Two bad trades cost Braves this season

If you’re trying to place blame on when the Braves blew their shot at making the playoffs, it wasn’t when Matt Diaz was caught off base trying to score against the Florida Marlins. That would have made the score only 5-5, and the game could still have been won.

And it wasn’t when Frank Wren was slow to pull the trigger on John Smoltz, leaving him to hook up with the Red Sox. Nor when Tom Glavine was turned down, in essence making way for Tommy Hanson in the pitching rotation. Au contraire, a stroke of glowing luck.

No, it goes way back longer than that. (And with this, I promise never to bring it up again.) It was when the Braves traded Adam Wainwright — as if he wasn’t enough — and Jason Marquis to the Cardinals for J.D. Drew, the nomadic outfielder. (Eli Marrero, the mysterious Latin also came along, but he created more dilemma than offense.)

And, of course, more recently the disastrous deal that robbed the farm system of five high-grade prospects to Texas for Mark Teixeira, the temporary first baseman. Five, mind you, starting pitcher, a catcher with long-range value, a shortstop now among the finest in the other league, Elvis Andrus, and maybe best of them all, the relief pitcher named Neftali Feliz.

They patched some of the holes, like signing Garret Anderson, the expression-less outfielder, then had to turn around and undo the deal that sent Adam LaRoche to the Pirates, by way of the Red Sox. LaRoche had been traded away in exchange for Mike Gonzalez, another of those one-inning bullpen wonders.

There’s nothing like what-might-have-been. Some of the best deals in baseball are those that are never made. It is quite likely that after all those 14 seasons of ringing up those banners over the left-field fence, that the Braves brass was beginning to pant for a return to glory. Their scouts had brought in some glistening prospects, only to have them squandered in disastrous trades. Nothing worse than the one that sent a pitcher developed under their noses here in the state, in Brunswick, also a tough out at-bat — Wainwright, who hits as well as he pitches. A 20-game winner for years down the road. Marquis, winner of 15 games at Denver — after being passed around to the Cubs and Cardinals — wasn’t popular with the brass. But waste a 15-game winner because he’s quirky?

Under Wren’s care, some good deals were made, and some not so good. He invested heavily in Kenshin Kawakami, the good-natured Japanese, who has since fallen from grace — into the bullpen. Derek Lowe cost even more, and true, he found a way to win 15 times, but his earned-run average outweighed his value, by a bunch. The Braves invested $60 million in him over the long haul. Just how much of this they can afford into future seasons is yet to be seen.

But, you will have to conclude that one major reason Bobby Cox decided to stick around another season is that he must have felt it a shame to leave with a gold-nugget pitching staff on hand. So there.

As for Matt Diaz, he’s a good card to have in your hand. Not only was he the Braves’ leading hitter, but he has never made a move that  he didn’t make with the idea that it might win the game. Yep, he does have a kind of unscripted swing, but you can believe this — he’ll be back, and the Braves will win with him.

218 comments Add your comment

Sonny Clusters

October 3rd, 2009
3:27 pm

We was thinking the same thing. Giving away all those players didn’t make a lot of sense. Then, they stuck with some players that wasn’t doing much and kept letting them make the same mistakes again and again. When we was playing ball Coach just played the players that wanted to win and played like they wanted to win. Coach never hollered, “easy” when we was running the bases and Coach never picked his nose.

Sonny Clusters

October 3rd, 2009
3:27 pm

Whoa! We was first!

Josh

October 3rd, 2009
3:52 pm

The pitching didn’t cost the Braves this year, the offense did. This article makes no sense. Marquis has been no better than Derek Lowe recently.

NCBravesFan

October 3rd, 2009
3:59 pm

KK has fallen out of favor? Really? For a fourth or fifth starter, he had a fine season.

I peg it as the Braves wanting to get a look at Hudson so they can make a somewhat informed decision about his option for 2010. And they certainly weren’t going to put Lowe in the bullpen for $15 million a year, even if it was only six weeks.

Stotts Era

October 3rd, 2009
4:22 pm

would we have made the playoffs in 2004 without JD Drew?

Knoxville bound

October 3rd, 2009
4:24 pm

Enter your comments here I don’t agree at all……they wouldn’t have won that year without Drew and Marquis was more frustrating than Francouer, ……and which of the players at Texas would have made a difference this year for the Braves? The pitchers may yet do that but they didn’t make the difference for Texas did they? The year turned out well for what they had to deal with and if they can upgrade the left field situation, replace the 2 relievers that should leave…..next year will be a lot of fun.

Country Boy

October 3rd, 2009
4:25 pm

Mr. Bisher I agree with your points on the bad trades but what do you think of Bobby’s inability to recognize the better players on his own team. I believe if Cox had not stubbornly continued to play Johnson and Shaefer early in the year – only to have Infante and Prado collect splinters and watch then we would be a playoff team..This season was lost on the field in Apr. and May.

AndyC

October 3rd, 2009
4:28 pm

“a catcher with long-range value”

Furman, you might want to check the stats before you go and say something like above. So far Salty is a marginal major league player. In 84 games he has struck out 97 times and has an OPS of .661. He lost his starting job and really hasn’t been playing much. Seems to me that he will be a career backup. Also, keep in mind that the Braves have a pretty good catcher.

Regarding Andus, he may develop into a fine shortstop, but again, the Braves have a pretty good young shortstop. The only real loss from that trade is Feliz, but I will point out that he started out pitching lights out but after a few trips around the league it appears batters figured him out a little. Over his last 7 outings he pitched 8 innings with an ERA of 5.63. I’m not saying that he isn’t a terrific prospect, but lets wait at least for a full season before anointing him as the next great pitcher.

Can’t argue with you on the Cardinals trade, it was terrible. Although, Marquis had not distinguished himself with the Braves, 14-15 with an ERA in the mid 4’s.

Billy

October 3rd, 2009
4:41 pm

The Tex trade is the one that really hurt!

JB

October 3rd, 2009
4:52 pm

Ummm….did you, like, watch a game this year?
The Braves pitching was fine this year, Furman…wasn’t a major problem like the offense was.

In closing: what are you talking about?

Ralph Garr

October 3rd, 2009
5:02 pm

Enter your comments here
After he compared Paul Johnson to some of the greatest coaches in football history, I have absolutely NO belief in any of Mr. Bisher’s blogs. He was always a great journalist but maybe it’s time to move on………….

Mark from LA

October 3rd, 2009
5:04 pm

If this were an essay, it would get an F. You’ve not proven your point at all, Bisher. Salty wouldn’t start over McCann. Andrus wouldn’t start over Escobar. They would have remained what they were at the time of the Texeria trade: Trade bait.

Furthermore, Marquis became a free agent three years ago. Your assertion is that had the Braves not kept him, he would have remained a Brave and become the threat the Braves had always hoped he had been. But, because they traded him, I believe we could safely assume that they would have let him walk after free agency. Instead, we got J.D. Drew for a year. And made the playoffs.

As for Wainwright, the only assumption you can make is that if he had been successful with the Braves, they wouldn’t have had to sign Lowe, Kawakami, or trade for Vasquez, thus freeing up salary for a power bat. But which power bat would you have signed? Who was available last winter that would have meant the playoffs for the Braves? Pat Burrell? Bobby Abreu? Adam Dunn?

Would we have held onto Salty and Andrus, only to trade them for Jason Bay last year?

You made a very poor argument. Consult your Optometrist, Bisher. Even your hindsight isn’t 20/20.

William

October 3rd, 2009
5:08 pm

Mr. Bisher, you have written some fine articles in the past. However, I’m wondering if it isn’t perhaps time for you to step aside so that a younger writer might have a chance.

It’s not realistic to think that the home team will “win” every trade. It’s interesting that you mentioned Marrero. Gosh…I wonder if Kansas City is happy with that trade. If I recall, the Braves received Matt Diaz. I’d say we did pretty well with that trade.

I wonder how Detroit feels about the trade they made that brought the Braves a pretty decent pitcher for Renteria. I wonder how the Chicago White Sox feel about the trade that brought another fairly decent pitcher to Atlanta. Even if Tyler Flowers develops into a thumper, which is questionable, we did pretty well for ourselves.

The reality is that you have to give up something to get something. Sometimes it works out for you…sometimes it doesn’t. What’s the saying? No guts…no glory.

It’s easy to sit back and offer a revisionist berating. But I think that it is an unrealistic thing to do…unless someone is desperate for a story to make at deadline.

Please come up with something better next time, Mr. Bisher. I do wish you well.

columbiadawg

October 3rd, 2009
5:10 pm

Enter your comments here
Hey Furman: it’s college football game day…check your blog vs. football blogs…NOBODY CARES RIGHT NOW ABOUT THE BRAVES…questionable if anyone cares period…how pathetic did the stands look during that amazing last month run?! Baseball isn’t a sport…it’s truly “AMERICA’s PASS TIME.” It passes the time til football starts!

jw

October 3rd, 2009
5:11 pm

The trades over the years have cost us greatly, but I personally think the slow starts that the Braves traditionally have really show up big this time of year – we traditionally have the best record after the all star break every single year – but the slow starts really put a lot of focus on needing those late season wins – we didn’t have winning streaks of any amount until August – too late for playoff caliber teams – maybe a little more consistency at the start of the season can get another pennant! Next year looks promising!

njbraves

October 3rd, 2009
5:14 pm

Oh look, it’s another pointless article from Bisher. Yeah, I’d love to have Wainright, but pitching isn’t this teams problem Marquis isn’t very good, so nobody cares if he’s gone. And the Tex trade is no where near as big of a disaster as many like to portray it to be. Salty and Andrus would have never played for the Braves. McCann and Esco are both better players. Matt Harrison is a back end of the rotation guy and isn’t missed either. The only piece they will miss is Feliz, the kid looks great. So they gave up one useful guy for a year and a half of Tex. Come on Furman, you can do better.

scottbravesfan

October 3rd, 2009
5:35 pm

Trading Adam Wainwright and Jason Marquis for JD Drew for ONE FREAKING YEAR was the worst trade in Braves history. The Texiera trade is right up there with it. John Schuerholtz is the most overrated general manager in the history of professional sports. The guy came into a great situation. Bobby Cox has already drafted Chipper Jones, Steve Avery, Tom Glavine, and traded for John Smoltz. Schuerholtz also had Ted Turner’s large check book to use as well to sign guys like Maddux and thankfully Greg Maddux did not want to pitch in New York if so the Yankees would have gotten him. The Dave Justice and Marquis Grissom for Kenny Lofton was a stupid trade as well as was the Jermaine Dye for Keith Lockhardt deal that Schuerholtz made. I could go on and on but the guy is so overrated.

FEAR

October 3rd, 2009
5:50 pm

scottbravesfan – I agree with you.

double d

October 3rd, 2009
6:09 pm

Also I think Frenchy for Church was a recent bad trade.

BravesFanLostinOhio

October 3rd, 2009
6:17 pm

Mark in LA, you get an A+.

BravesFanLostinOhio

October 3rd, 2009
6:19 pm

Dear Screw This Guy,
It wasn’t a great article, but you’re out of line.

HAL

October 3rd, 2009
6:43 pm

Enter your comments hereand those js trades scott mentioned were nlot even his worst think david cone for ed hearn in kc lol he ruined the braves his book should have been titled a blue print to disaster lol

BravesAC

October 3rd, 2009
6:55 pm

Screw This Guy…out of bounds. 2 stroke penalty…tee it up again.
When you reach seniority let’s hope your body of work leaves room for a bit of respect as you look upon it as a whole. (and don’t go making fun of that last word…lol)

Tired of reading classless remarks

October 3rd, 2009
7:28 pm

Some of you bozos don’t have as much class in your whole body as Furman Bisher does in his “nail clippings”. Calling the older Gentleman “names” reminds me of how classless these new generations are. No wonder the country is such bad shape.

Max Sizemore

October 3rd, 2009
7:29 pm

Mark in LA, excellent rebuttal. I believe Furman is just about 91 now. As a kid, I remember watching him with Jim Minter, the old coach (can’t think of his name), Ed Miles, and a couple of other sportswriters on Football Review every Sunday afternoon. I’ll be happy just to make it to 91.

Dan

October 3rd, 2009
7:30 pm

Losing 5 straight games when your in a situation where you had to win the last 6 games, If that isn’t choking, I don’t know what is.

RC35

October 3rd, 2009
7:45 pm

The group Little Texas reminded us “Try not to think about what might have been,” and yet we do it all the time in sports. You might nitpick any one player Mr. Bisher identified, but taken as a group, the ones we got were not nearly as valuable as the ones we gave away.

Ned Yost

October 3rd, 2009
7:54 pm

If I were still the 3rd base coach Matty would have scored & we’d have won the Wild Card. by the way

I still need a job!

winthrop09

October 3rd, 2009
7:57 pm

tired of reading classless remarks, “no wonder the country is in bad shape” well you need to do a little research yourself. how do you mean the country is in such bad shape? the economy? well lets see, there was a bad recession during the 80s, and wasnt there one in the 30s? what was that thing called?? the great depression or something like that. even countries all over the world are experiencing economic difficulties, even in europe, where the mighty euro is king. have you read about the problems ireland is having recently? are we in bad shape because of military decisions? what was that skermish that we were in in the 60s that got so many of our own people killed and had virtually no point? what else has the “young” people of this country done to hurt it? us “younger generations” might be classless, but dont you dare say that it is the reason that we are killing the country.

John A.

October 3rd, 2009
8:03 pm

Enter your comments here In the last week Chipper is the one that deserved to be benched….does anyone realize he didn’t get a hit in his last four (4) games? Thta nis extremely bad for someone getting the money he gets to (his words) play a game.

Gov Clinton Tyree

October 3rd, 2009
8:03 pm

Only one of the whole bunch we miss is Wainwright. And we got Tex, then Kotch, then LaRoche. We can sign LaRoche. LaRoche for a nice reliever and a very good fielding shortstop and some spare parts. Really wasn’t so bad.

Can’t win ‘em all, and the new GM has made some really, really nice deals. I’m bullish on the Braves in ‘10.

Sid Bream's Legs

October 3rd, 2009
8:08 pm

Who woke Bisher from his 4-month nap?
Are farm system stinks, right Bish? Except that we have the #1 prospect in all of baseball.
We didn’t make the postseason this year because of hitting, not pitching. Would any Braves fan trade any young pitcher in the game for Tommy Hanson right now? Of course not.
Wren took a lot of heat this year, but except for Kawakami, he was perfect.

Now back to your jello and shuffleboard.

mccannfan

October 3rd, 2009
8:10 pm

this team should be ashamed of itself.;..no pride in itself at all. lackluster offense against the worst team ever. it is as if this team no longer has any pride in itself and with that, who can excited about next year. besides, the year was lost early on with Cox’s continuing support of Schaefer…and Francouer. this is not a manager we need

Jack G.

October 3rd, 2009
8:25 pm

Bisher is just like Bobby Cox. He dosent know when to quit (Retire)

When its over, its over and keeping on keeping on Just enlarges the obvious.

DHD

October 3rd, 2009
8:26 pm

Those were bad deals but most every team makes them. How about trading Renteria for Jurrjens? Maybe we don’t do that deal if we had Wainright. who knows?

oldfart

October 3rd, 2009
8:39 pm

Enter your comments here
Bobby’ll give us one more year of endless righty/lefty “play it safe,” moves and keep hoping for a homer. Chipper will embarass himself and won’t admit he can’t hit anything over 92 mph and can’t field anything not hit right at him. Lowe will continue to stink up the place. Kawakami, the dragon slayer, will gather dust and rust in the bullpen. Wren will roll the dice and bring the new kid up to play the outfield. And … another third place finish is in store for 2010.

siskel_god

October 3rd, 2009
8:43 pm

Elvis Andrus is nowhere near one of the best in the other league, Salty has yet to prove to be an everyday player, Harrison and Perez have shown flashes but none of those guys have made me say OMG, I can’t believe we let him get away. I would like to see the overall numbers from the firstbase position since the Tex deal since we essentially traded Tex for Kotch, and Kotch for LaRoche, I bet the production from them combined is incredible. As far as Wainright, yeah we let a good one get away but he could have very easily been Dan Meyer or better yet Marquis. I could care less about getting rid of Marquis as I promise this year is an exception, not the rule with him. J.D. had his best year with the Braves and was one of those guys where the hope was for that “home town discount”. You can’t hit a homerun if you don’t swing, I’m glad we went after both guys and I wish they both could have stayed and continued there success but it’s one of those things. I don’t understand the logic though, trading a couple guys who wouldn’t be starting for us (Andrus and Salty), plus a bunch of pitchers when we have had some of the best pitching in baseball this year…..just saying.

VaBravesfan

October 3rd, 2009
9:11 pm

I usually agree with you. You are way off on this one. Wainright would not have won 20 games with this offense, He pitched no better than Vazquez or Jurrgens. Marquis is a benefactor of run support. The people traded to Texas made very litle impact this year. Andrus may someday be an above average SS, but we already have Escobar. Ditto with Saltalamacchia, he was not going displace McCann. Harrion is a walking medical report and the kid who reportedly throws 100 mph is a flash in the pan. Get over it.

Ancient Mariner

October 3rd, 2009
9:33 pm

Furman, Furman. Why don’t you just retire? You are embarrassing yourself with this drivel.

Sonny Clusters

October 3rd, 2009
9:33 pm

We was in Parkview the other night Furman, and we was disappointed that the Braves started a losing streak.

jim

October 3rd, 2009
9:34 pm

furman bisher is probably rolling over in his grave right now as he reads this crap.

the Truth...

October 3rd, 2009
9:36 pm

Ok smucky little mindless pseudo sports fans…you bash Furman because you think you know so much….

Furman is right on the trades being marginally productive….what the real impact is that the trades were major in what we gave up, for one year rentals…not for players with a contract for two or three years…RENTALS,

RENTALS, RENTALS, RENTALS, RENTALS, RENTALS,RENTALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t you folks understand? You trade the future for RENTALS? That is crazy and Furman knows it better than you folks ever will…..

TRADE THEM OK….BUT NOT FOR RENTALS!!!!!

SO YOU SMART ASS SO CALLED FANS….OPEN YOUR BRAINS AND TRY AND UNDERSTAND RENTALS………………..ARE POISON…..

Meanwhile...speaking of trades

October 3rd, 2009
9:43 pm

Speaking of trades best not made, how good do the Braves look now for not packaging Hanson in a trade for Jake Peavy?

Rico Suave

October 3rd, 2009
9:45 pm

“A stroke of glowing luck”
Hey Bisher, why dont you just do me a favor and drop dead!!!

hop

October 3rd, 2009
9:57 pm

rico, you showed that you are a classless guy with that awful comment.

i would be real careful by going around and telling someone to drop dead!

thre is an old adage that says one reaps what one sows.

Joe

October 3rd, 2009
9:59 pm

The Braves are just in bad shape now they have good pitching but their offense isn’t going to get them over the top. I say during the offseason they need to address what the pitching rotation is going to look like next season, First off they shouldn’t re-sign Tim Hudson and try to Trade Kenshin Kawakami. I think they should try to sign Jermaine Dye and either Josh Willingham or Dan Uggla. Dye can play left field McCloth can play center and either Willingham or Uggla can play right field.

Harpie

October 3rd, 2009
9:59 pm

If the Braves had KEPT Teixeira, they’d be heading to the World Series right now. Cheapskates!

Thunderbull56

October 3rd, 2009
10:21 pm

Blind in one eye and can’t see out the other. Retire O’vaunted Sage.

What?

October 3rd, 2009
10:24 pm

Mr. Bisher have you even watched a game this season?

Honus Wagner Lives

October 3rd, 2009
10:26 pm

Has anyone seen Furman’s nurse?

His diaper needs changing.

Bisher Drinking Game

October 3rd, 2009
10:28 pm

Once again Furman lets us all know he’s been around long enough to get to waste AJC resources with impunity. So easy to point to the stinker trades as the reason why the Braved faltered down the stretch, but it was their bats and not their pitching that hurt them. You constantly drone on about not keeping Wainright so your statement that pointing this out for the last time is likely a grand lie. It was a bad trade in hindsight but move on, man.

And for those keeping up with the Bisher (Crutch Devices) Drinking Game, remember to take a shot for his “Eli Marrero, the mysterious Latin . . .” and another for “Kenshin Kawakami, the good-natured Japanese (aren’t they all in your world, Furman? Well, the ones who aren’t inscrutable, right?) . . .”

Leave the Braves alone and go back to writing about how nobody runs the Winged-T anymore or how the set shot has disappeared from the NBA or how many named you cannot pronounce in the LPGA.

steve munge

October 3rd, 2009
10:46 pm

Enter your comments hereThis team was good enough to make the playoffs this season, major reason is the poor coaching staff and next season will be the same old Cox sitting in the dugout waiting for something to happen instead of doing something to try and make it happen, the only way we win and make the playoffs is if our guys do it on their own.

18 Wheels of Love

October 3rd, 2009
10:55 pm

Wow. I’ll never get those 3 minutes back.

Poorjeff

October 3rd, 2009
11:01 pm

I agree with you on the 2 trades. You didn’t give the third reason the Braves didn’t make play offs=BOBBY COX! You can say what you wish but you can’t hide Bobby’s stupid moves and insanely loyal man crushes on JF,KJ, Schafer, A. Jones etc. Can’t wait till 2011 when his a@@ is gone. Damn we got another year of this BS to go.

Bisher: a journalist worth his salt

October 3rd, 2009
11:20 pm

Trading Salty still hurts.

I mean can you imagine the hit the Braves took on jersey sales? Those letters aren’t cheap, you know!

Magnolia

October 3rd, 2009
11:22 pm

Why is it necessary to describe Eli Marrero as a mysterious “Latin” and KK as a good natured “Japanese?” You didn’t mention that J.D. Drew is some “white guy” nomadic outfielder.

Da Mick

October 3rd, 2009
11:38 pm

Poor Jeff is just like the most realistic of us poor Braves fans — he’s spot on, as the Brits say. But all of the many different assorts of us here in the Braves nation apparently can’t all tell it like has been — it seems so similar to the political realities that our nation has suffered (don’t want to open that can of worms here). The Bobby Cox problem is sooo apparent to even the most casual observer, and really the biggest problem to the Braves organization. Never mind the wild card, I don’t think it’s overstating the reality that we could have realistically have won the East with some savy management over the first half of the season. This has all been hashed to death here before. Point is that the Atlanta media hasn’t the balls to get past the current reality of our venerated manager’s legacy. Once could say that this same ongoing boy’s club prejudice within the Brave organization has been the club’s greatest weaknesses over the course of the Bobby Cox era. And now hovers over the glaring ineptness of it’s manager for a period of several years in gratitude. Over stated, I’d say.

Chuck Uga

October 3rd, 2009
11:44 pm

Braves are done. They will not win the division nore make the playoffs next year. All fingers should be pointing to Wren and Schurholz just like this article suggests. These trades basically set the franchise back years. I hope Schurholz AND Wren retire with Cox. Adios.

Gene

October 3rd, 2009
11:55 pm

If we are going to point fingers, save one for Chipper Jones.

Tired of reading classless remarks

October 4th, 2009
12:29 am

“Winthrop09″, you assume I was talking about the economy, I’m talking about the loss of standards and morals in our society. Some people can’t even blog with any civility, I guess they think it’s o.k., being anonymous. Same way in the public, no respect for other people, even if there’s a little ol’ grandma standing near them, talking trash and swearing. Hopefully you won’t be in public with your wife or daughter when it happens to your familly, some guys or even girls swearing near you. Not an easy thing to have to explain to a young child what some ugly words might mean, if they were to ask. But then again, what do I know, I only went to war when my country called during the Vietnam War. Way back then, they called it a “draft”. Didn’t know then what I know now, just low life politicians playing with peoples lives. Hopefully you or your son won’t find out. I’m just saying, I wish there were more respect for one another or more pride.

robbiemac

October 4th, 2009
12:37 am

Enter your comments here

I totally agree with your assessment of the long term damage done by the Wainwright trade. Imagine him with Hanson and JJ for the next ten years and you’ve got a rotation on par with the one in the 90s. But Schuerholtz got so obsessed with the short term that he forgot the future. If he’ been willing to have an occasional rebuilding years then likely the Braves would have won more World Series titles in the last 20 years–certainly at least as many as the Marlins. Jason Schmidt would have been nice to have back too. When might Wainwright be a free agent? It would be wise to get him back home where he belongs.

SwimtrunkDawg

October 4th, 2009
1:22 am

All the Braves need is a 3 and 4 hitter and they’ll be good to go.

obomaisaclown

October 4th, 2009
1:32 am

I have alway thought it was a waste of time to read Bisher. After reading this I remember why I felt that way. Maybe I will try again in 5 years or so.It’s kind of like hoping Obama will not lie the next time he talks , it’s not going to happen.

Joe

October 4th, 2009
1:32 am

Go out and get Jermaine Dye and Josh Willingham during the offseason Dye can play left field and Willingham can play right. This will give the braves some power bats that they lacked this year at those positions.

tim

October 4th, 2009
1:38 am

Yea, and they lost this year because they let Albert Pujols drop to the 15th round.

Or when they drafted Joseph McBride instead of David Wright, and the next year when they picked up Jeff Francoeur even though Matt Cain was available.

WOW

October 4th, 2009
2:45 am

This article makes no sense what so ever. Jason Marquis was a very bad example hes a forth starter at best. Are you serious the Braves make more good trades than bad. Here are a few examples over the last few years. Edgar Renteria for Jair Jurjens and Gorkys Hernandez we get a future ace which he pretty much is already. Thomas Flowers and brent lillibridge for Javy Vasquez already a win for the braves well see how it plays out for the sox bug Vasquez has been an ace for the braves from the start. You named 2 bad trades and i can’t think of another one at the moment more good trades are Jose Ascino for infante and ohman, diaz trade was a great one, and also soriano and O’flarety are two more good trades but the braves usually make some of the best trades. Furman next time come up with something that actually makes sense you are very desperate to hate on the braves. Really Marquis? Man you have to laugh that one off.

Born2Buzz

October 4th, 2009
4:46 am

Furman you are so right. But it’s like revisiting the Hawks drafting Marvin Williams over Chris Paul, it will drive you crazy to think about what could have been.

avgg

October 4th, 2009
4:51 am

Fisher=epic failure

Retired on the Lake (formerly cityofdecatur)

October 4th, 2009
6:05 am

Dear Mr. Bisher, been reading your articles for many years, from one old coot to another don’t embarrass yourself by writing any more, please. Enjoyed your writings until about a year or two ago and now it’s like watching old uncle Ned drool at family gatherings, just painful.

Jurrjens4NLCY

October 4th, 2009
6:21 am

I’m sorry,

How do you have a job?

avocado

October 4th, 2009
6:38 am

Agree with you totally about Andrus and Feliz.
Who is/was Wainwright’s agent? Boras again?

Alan

October 4th, 2009
7:13 am

Bobby when it comes to the bullpen, Bobby when it comes to the offense-did someone say he was coming back next year-I guess we will have some more of the same, not a pretty picture and it doesn’t get me excited.

Joseph

October 4th, 2009
7:50 am

For me, the good of the season has been erased by a 5 (maybe 6 game) losing streak to close the season. The Braves have played erratic all year and here we go again. They need to dump D-Lo, Kama-whatever, and get some hitting. The facts are that pitching does NOT win penants anymore. Look at the Philllies…….OK pitching with great hitting. We have really good pitching, but need the monster home hitter now who doesnt slump every 2 weeks like this bunch.

dufferdawg

October 4th, 2009
7:58 am

Winthrop09….your last sentence in your rebuttal was a classic ! Not only did you show your ignorance…it proved “tired of classless remarks” point !…..”us younger generations may be classless but….!!!
Thanks for the chuckle so early this morning…

dizjosh

October 4th, 2009
8:18 am

Bischer, late to the party on this topic. Many columnist have already made this point over and over again for the past three years. So, did it take you this long to come to a realization others and fans have already reached, or are you just filling your allotted amount of inches to pull a paycheck?

Dan_in_NC

October 4th, 2009
8:35 am

Guys, guys, guys…you’re missing the point. It wasn’t those trades that doomed the Braves in 2009. You gotta all the way back to the 80’s when we traded Brett Butler for Len Barker…now that’s why we didn’t win in 09.

PJG

October 4th, 2009
8:36 am

Enter your comments here
I agree with Country Boy. Bobby Cox stuck with players who weren’t performing for too long. Where would the Braves be if Infante and Prado had been inserted into the lineup , say after 20 games of the season. Twenty games should be enough time to prove you are a starter. Also, why didn’t Bobby drop Chipper down in the batting order when it was clear he was not hitting? We may be in for more of the same next season.

Charlie

October 4th, 2009
8:47 am

The Braves are finishing the season, as they have played almost all of the season. Chipper, since late June, has been positively terrible. No offensive help, and it seems every ball that he boots, leads to runs, that cost a ballgame. We have one or two decent hitters, and NO “money” hitters (Yunel, perhaps)…those guys that get the BIG hit in the clutch. We have wasted yet another great pitching performance by JJ. Lowe is as close to worthless as one can get, at 15 mil a year. He is a 6th starter on his best day. KK is a better than Lowe. Stick a fork in Derek Lowe. He, Chipper, and Bobby Bozo (the leader of the clowns) should retire NOW. If this team had even MEDIOCRE hitting they would have won 100 games. Manny Acosta…96 MPH of loser. That’s all he’ll ever be as a pitcher. No command. None. Consistent only as a chocker… It’s hard to watch the last 5 games, after a great run of 15-2, BUT, the last 5 games are much more true to form for this group of batters box non-producers, than the 15-2 run. Chipper is telling us how the fans can be encouraged…that the Braves can compete next year…then he does an 0 for 5 games…ya, he’s one to listen to…he’ll lead the club…

Bradshaw

October 4th, 2009
9:01 am

They should have brought Hanson up to start the season in the bigs this year and should have at least brought Heyward up after the all star break….That would have done the job. Instead we had wasted starts by Jo Jo and Goricki as a fill in outfielder down the strectch. Thats the difference.

Jake Pollard

October 4th, 2009
9:15 am

Enter your comments here It all started when the Braves and John (I can do no wrong) Schuerholz traded away David Justice and later Jermine Dye and received nothing in return. It’s gone downhill ever since.

Jeff R

October 4th, 2009
9:19 am

This line that the Braves wouldn’t have made the playoffs without Just the Dollars Drew in 2004 is sheer nonsense. The team’s offense was loaded that year. What the Braves needed was a couple of seasoned, successful pitchers.

The Wainwright and Tex trades were possibly the worst ever made by JS before he was bumped upstairs. But, I think Wren learned from those mistakes.

In hindsight, Lowe’s not worth a $60 million deal – but that’s hindsight. Last winter, he got what the market would bear. The Braves paid happily. There’s some scuttlebutt that Wren may dangle Lowe this winter in exchange for a power bat. Not a bad idea, and better than dealing Vazquez.

And Lowe did win 15 games and give the Braves the 200 innings guy they wanted. Having said that, he’s easily the number 4 starter on the staff. Not worth the balance of his contract.

Michael Lunsford

October 4th, 2009
9:28 am

No…don’t agree Derek Lowe cost them…..waaaaayyyy over paid!!!!! and JOJO Reyes at the beginning!!!

Doc Dawg

October 4th, 2009
9:35 am

Mr. Bisher (and the rest of you morons), yes the farm was depleted but the Braves were exactly where they wanted to be, in the playoffs every year. I am sure the front office felt like they were one player away from another championship and made those trades to put them over the top. If you want to place blame, how about the failure of Mr. Cox to deliver when given those lineups?

Daybed Wagmoe

October 4th, 2009
9:51 am

Ummmm…….okay.

HIGH HEATER

October 4th, 2009
9:54 am

MR.BISHER,Earlier this summer on another blog I wrote the same exact thing!!! Anyone with a lick of baseball sense can see the folly of these two misguided trade’s and the aftermath that will be felt for sometime to come!!

BartBuzz

October 4th, 2009
10:01 am

The Braves have made a lot of dumb trades over the years. But the Mark Teixeira trade was the dumbest. We gave up so much for so little return.

The Braves’ hopes for next year depend on keeping Adam LaRoche, praying that Chipper bounces back and finding two outfielders with some power. We already know that the best starting pitchers can’t win a Division title.

Keith B

October 4th, 2009
10:08 am

If you look at the Braves’ payroll, you soon understand that the folks who carried the team were making the least, for the most part, while the ’superstars’ were dead weight. Let’s start with Lowe. $15 million for an ERA near 4.7. Chipper Jones, hitting, what, .230 the last 2/3 of the year? $10 mill wasted there, but Bobby would rather die than move him from the number 3 spot. What was Bobby waiting on, for Chipper to turn it around the last two days of the season? Kawakami. Mediocre at best and $8.34 mil a year! Klley Johnson, $2.8 mil and can’t hit his way out of a wet paper sack! Soriano? Give me a break! 6 mill and way overrated! CHurch at, what, another $2.8 mill? How many games did he play to hit his 4 HRs this year? Norton? Good God, he didn’t hit .140 but yet Cox continued to utilize him, as if he, too, would break his ’slump’ at some time. Bobby COx and the Braves organization need to get real in assessing the club. And Buddy Carlisle with an ERA of around 8. is still in uniform? Come on Bobby, old age isn’t catching up with you that bad, is it? Move the players or retire even earlier? WREN, where you at? THINK !

Keith B

October 4th, 2009
10:14 am

Oh, and let’s not forget about Hudson. For $15 million, he should be THE Ace, along with Lowe.

Trade Hudson ($15 mil), Lowe ($15 mil), Chipper ($10 mil), Kawakami ($8.3 mil), Kelly Johnson ($2.8 mil), Soriano ($6.3 mil) and thow in Church ($2.8 mil), Norton, Carlyle – and you’d still have the nucleus left on the team that was productive this year. And what could we get for all that (half the team payroll?) Speed and power. Come on Atlanta, THINK !!! IMPROVE the team next year based upon what you saw this year. And if Bobby Cox keeps Chipper in the number 3 spot while hitting like the .230 hitter he was the last 2/3 the season, WREN needs to stick his foot up Cox’s tail and rotate it !!!

Mike

October 4th, 2009
10:22 am

That Drew trade was five years ago! Those pitchers are having great years this year, but that’s a long time to wait when they were supposed to be ready a long time ago. It’s hard to say putting up with their growing pains the last four years would have been better. And I agree with everyone who points out that none of those prospects in the Tex trade have been stars yet. Plus, the Braves also got a valuable left-handed arm for at least that year’s playoff push in that trade. The Braves don’t have the budget that a lot of these teams have, and have done a great job with what they do have.

varoadrunner

October 4th, 2009
10:23 am

Furman, all of that is old news – but you are right onall points…primarily the Tex trade. All of that talent could be here now or could have been used to find us a somewhat permanent BAT now. If Wren does anything good at all in this offseeason, then Bobby might have a chance to reach the post season in his last season as a manager. Still, even with a team loaded with pitching and with the potental of new power bats, Bobby could come uo with a way to screw it up. I really do think he reached the end of his effectiveness a few years ago.

Nice summary of the deals that made very little sense.

varoadrunner

October 4th, 2009
10:30 am

Keith – Keep either Lowe or Hudson (I prefer shipping Lowe somewhere) and we have four good to excellent starters for next year. But I do not agree with your assessment of Bobby keeping Chipper in the 3 hole. He had a bad year! Who would have expected it to last so long? He lead the league in hitting last year and has been a superior hitter his whole career – so, you keep him in the three hole and wait for him to get out of the slump – which never happened. But the facts supported that decision. Chipper is not a Kelly Johnson or Francoeur. He has proven for years that he can do it and do it well.

Keith B

October 4th, 2009
10:38 am

Bisher: That’s not what cost the Braves this year. What costs the Braves this year, is no different than what costs the Braves MOST years. Bobby Cox manages the first half the season like it’s still Spring Training. He leaves players who are non-productive (Choker, Lowe, etc) in the game, while leaving productive players on the bench. His loyalty to players overshadows his loyalty to the fans and his desire to win, which should come first at the professional level. I think back on the game where he left Moylan in the game to hit when runners were on base in the 7th inning. It was Moylan’s first careeer at bat. Yet, he pulled Moylan in the top of the 8th anyway. WTF was that for? Then, I am reminded of the game where Lowe was pitching and the other team had 6 hits off Lowe in one inning. Did Bobby pull Lowe then? No! The team got yet another hit that inning. Did Bobby pull Lowe then? No! It was only after the EIGHTH hit that Bobby finally pulled him. Cox TOO OFTEN doesn’t give the TEAM a chance to win. Tell me. What moron COULDN’T have won as many games as Cox did this year, with the talent on that team? If I was Prado or Infante, I’d be raising hell with Bobby Cox or demand a trade / free agency as SOON as I could. I guess we’ll have to suffer through another season of what if’s next year while Cox continues to let his .230 hitter bat in the number 3 spot.

Keith B

October 4th, 2009
10:49 am

VARoadRunner: I could see keeping Hudson as a Number 4 pitcher. Lowe definitely doesn’t belong. (And there’s talk of trading Vasquez? Unbelievable!) I guess my point on Chipper is this. You can’t manage the entire year like it’s spring training. If your Number 3 guy ISN”T producing, at some point in the year, you have to move him. Chipper’s success last year didn’t help the Braves this year. His power numbers have fallen off dramatically over the past few years, though he’s always been a very good hitter. NL batting title last year noted.

2010 Lineup
+++++++++

Infante – 2B
Prado – 3B
Diaz – OF
Escobar – SS
LaRoche – 1B
McCann – C
Anderson – OF (trade Church, Jones, Lowe, Johnson, Kawakami, Norton, Carlyle, Soriano, etc*)
McLouth – OF

JJ, Vasquez, Hanson, Hudson

* I know some are eligible for free agency, but this will clear up money for power and speed.

varoadrunner

October 4th, 2009
10:50 am

Now Keith is showing ignorance. Chipper is not a 230 hitter – he is a lifetime 307 hitter who is hitting 263 this year. Granted, he had a bad year FOR CHIPPER JONES. The all time average batting average for MLB is 260 – 270 which would mean that Chipper had an average year, based on his peers. Again, I agree, he had a bad year for himself. Still Bobby Cox rightfully keeps him in the 3 hole.

Now go back and get in the line, kindergarten is now over and you can go home.

Bobby has made (IMHO) many errors in judgement over the past few years and I am one of the many that thinks he is long overdue for retirement, but not because he kept the best hitter on the team in the 3 hole.

Andrew

October 4th, 2009
10:53 am

Bish, perhaps you forgot the trade that also brought Hudson here, Renteria here and then traded him away in which we got Jurrjens, Soriano, and also Fred McGriff….on never mind, those wouldn’t support your article.

Charles

October 4th, 2009
11:12 am

Mr. Bisher,

Your comments about Marrero and Kawakami (”the mysterious Latin and Kawakami as a good natured Japanese”) are inappropriate and seemingly out of context. It smell bad.

Marrero came from Cuba when he was a 9 years old, and don’t worry…they are legal workers (as well Infante, Soriano, Escobar, Prado, Suzuki,…………………………….. )

By the way, don’t blame the “bad trades” for the Braves failure!!!

siskel_god

October 4th, 2009
11:18 am

To the guy bashing the bashers, how long do you have to keep somebody before they aren’t considered rentals? In 157 games Tex hit 37 homers and 134 rbi’s with about a .290 average, in 130 games KC hit about .260, with 8 homers and 61 rbi’s, and in 56 games LaRoche has hit 12 homers and 40 rbi’s with a .330 avg. That works out to just over 2 years 343 games, 57 homers (about 26 a year) and 235 rbi’s ( about 100 a year) and about a .280-.290 avg. Not to mention the fact that we can resign Laroche and if he opts not to come back, we still get draft pick compensation for him. It doesn’t look to stupid now considering that over the past three seasons, two of the years we were in the playoff chase until the end and if it weren’t for a plethra of injuries to our starting pitching we would have been in it all three years. Remember, we had Julio Franco and Scott Thorman playing first base for us! Of course that deal was the right deal to make then and still is now!

BravesBeat

October 4th, 2009
11:22 am

The Braves should have never gotten rid of Smoltz or Glavine! If they had paid them the big money they wanted, those two pitchers would have produced enough wins to get the division or a wild card spot. The braves blew it again!

Keeping It Real

October 4th, 2009
11:52 am

I usually do not agree with Bisher. In this case I do. None of the players received in both trades are in the Braves orginization. Most if not all of the players that the Braves gave up are helping other teams. The Braves have nothing to show except a boring team with no athleticism. They will be no better next year unless they get rid of some of the dead weight they have on the team. This team is not good as has been demonstrated in the recent five game loss streak. A good team would play better to show that they belong in the top elite. This team cannot even beat the worst team in baseball.

The only major Newspaper with only a single Black Sports Columnist

October 4th, 2009
12:20 pm

Mr. Bisher,
Thank you for the sentiment and time served, but your statistically flawed column is an example of why Atlanta is the only major city you could continue to write in!

JJ was stolen from Detroit, as was Vasquez from the Whitesox!

Jason Marquis was traded 3 or 4 times after we traded him!

We cannot lament every trade that works out or doesn’t, especially when the principals are mediocre at best (save Wainwright)!

AJC can you assign an Intern with actual Internet access to develop non Kentucky Derby story ideas for Mr. Bisher?

And suprise surprise who is the hero in the end? Not the Pitching MVP (JJ or Javy), not the best everyday player (Escobar)…. no the 5th outfielder (who I love by the way)!!!!

I can hear you now Whistling Dixie….wondering why no one reads this rag!

Zerevon

October 4th, 2009
12:23 pm

Francoeur needs to come back to the Braves. Church is not better. Mr.personality Anderson should go, so should Mr.reliable pinch no-hitting sensation, you know who. We don’t need to bring Heyward back yet, he needs another season down there. If we can get a good hitting outfielder get rid of Lowe and his ridicules salary. Chipper should go to AL where he can play DH. He is done here, no fricking fire, he is slower then Roachey. Ther are too much to say bit what can you say for a team that just lost three in a row at home to the worst team in baseball?

FastBallFilth

October 4th, 2009
12:33 pm

I have always and will continue to regard you, Mr. Bisher, as pre-eminent in your field and perfect in ascertaining and communicating situations and events. Thank you. I’m in agreement with everything you extolled in this article and only want to add that the loss of Matt Harrison in the Texiera deal was devastating as well. Matt is an awesome individual and supremely talented pitcher. His career will continue to sparkle as it unfolds into a remarkable, long successful fashion. It was remarkable for me to get to know both Matt and Adam and their families during Spring Trainings provided by the Braves and equally as heartbreaking to have them traded away before their progression to the Majors and beginning steps of their fourishing careers. It has been my pleasure to have had several occasions to meet you in person, Mr. Bisher, and appreciate you using your influence and platform to promulgate the correctness of events. Your insight and incisive journalism is profound and marvelous!

KC

October 4th, 2009
12:38 pm

THIS IS THE LATEST IN A STRING OF NONSENSE FROM MR. BISHER.

I’m sure he’s a wonderful person, and I’m not trying to be cruel, but the simple fact of the matter is that he simply is not well enough informed to be writing about the Braves.

Not too long ago, we had his gem about the Braves talent on the farm having dried up… not long after multiple publications ranked the Braves farm system as the best in the NL.

Then he mentioned that maybe Chipper should be traded, but admitted he wasn’t sure if Chipper had a no-trade clause. Huh? First of all, the Braves have never offered ANY player a no-trade clause. But what makes his ignorance even worse is that… any journalist who feels he or she knows enough about baseball to write about it should understand the 10-5 rule. (If you’ve been in the league for 10 years, and have spent the last 5 years with your current team, you have veto power over any trade.) I’d be willing to bet that nearly everyone who frequents this blog understands that. Yet, Mr. Bisher, who writes about sports for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, wasn’t aware of the rule.

Which brings us to his most recent jewel of an editorial…

Bad trades cost the Braves a post-season berth? Really??? And which trades would those be?

According to Mr. Bisher, the fact that we traded away Chris Carpenter and Jason Marquis years ago cost us dearly this year. HOW???!!!! The Braves had the best starting rotation in baseball. How did parting with Chris Carpenter years ago, or Jason Marquis (who folded in the second half, BTW) injure the Braves post-season hopes this year when they led all of baseball in starters ERA??

And then he brought up the Mark Teixeira trade, and all that talent we gave up to get him.

But how exactly would the players we sent to Texas have made the difference here this year? Would we have been better off with Elvis Andrus at SS instead of Escobar??

Would we be in better shape if Salty were at 1B or behind the plate instead of Adam LaRoche or Brian McCann? I mean, how does he come to these conclusions???

Then he said the Braves “invested heavily in Kenshin Kawakami, the good-natured Japanese, who has since fallen from grace — into the bullpen.”

Fallen from grace? What?! In his last month as a starter (August), he posted an ERA of 2.87. His performance since May 1had been stellar. He was moved to the bullpen only because the Braves had a #1 start coming off the DL, and SOMEONE had to be moved to the ‘pen. As undeserving as he was to lose his place in the rotation, KK was the guy. But if you think KK had “fallen from grace”, you just have no idea what you’re talking about.

Does he get paid to write this stuff?? Again, I’m not trying to be insulting. I’m sure he’s a good guy. But I’ve never seen a less informed sports writer in my entire life.

KC

October 4th, 2009
12:40 pm

I meant Adam Wainwright, not Chris Carpenter.

Dorothy Davis

October 4th, 2009
12:44 pm

I keep hearing threats that Schafer will be back for Spring Training. Don’t the Braves want to be contenders next year? What is the “man crush” Bobby has on him? He can not hit and fielding is mediocre, so my question is: WHY? Please somebody, help the head office learn how to pick out talent from their farm teams!

Dan Meyer

October 4th, 2009
12:46 pm

I realized we gave up Salty and Andrus for Tex, but I had completely forgotten Neftali Feliz was a part of that as well.. This makes it sting even more. You can’t blame management for trading Wainwright or Marquis because they obviously weren’t the same pitchers than as they are now, but that Tex trade was stupid from the get go. Terrible, Terrible trade.

Bravissimo

October 4th, 2009
12:59 pm

Mr. Bisher… Ive always admired your work…so did my dad.
Arent you just amazed at all the wannabe sportswriters on here??

KC

October 4th, 2009
1:12 pm

To be clear, and to follow up my last post… if John Schuerholz, Frank Wren, or any Braves fan in the world could go back in time and rescind the Drew/Wainwright, and Mark Teixeira deals… would they?

ABSOLUTELY!!!

I can’t blame JS for the Drew/Wainwright trade. They needed the bat, Drew had a huge season here, and the odds of any pitching prospect turning into what Wainwright is today are VERY slim (and while he was highly thought of, it wasn’t like he was a Tommy-Hanson-like prospect).

On the Mark Teixeira trade, I think you can make arguments both ways. Did we give up a lot? YES! Absolutely. BUT… the centerpieces of that deal wery Salty and Andrus, who were both blocked here in ATL, and couldn’t have helped us anyway. Tyler Flowers was traded without a second thought this last winter for the same reason. He’s blocked.

But again, with the benefit of hindsight, if I could turn back time and keep those trades from happening, I would most definitely do it.

But the fact remains that neither the Drew/Wainwright nor the Tex trades had ANYTHING to do with missing the post-season this year.

You can thank Francoeur, Kelly Johnson, and Jordan Schafer for this disappointment. They choked the life out of this lineup for the first 2-3 months of the season, and cost us a lot of wins… the wins that eventually made the difference between October baseball and fishing.

And nobody we gave up in either of those deals would have prevented that from being the case. Could Andruws have played 2B for us? Probably. But we already had Prado. Having a great plan B wasn’t the problem. The problem is all the time you give a player to snap out of it before you finally have to give up on him.

The Braves elimination this year can be summed up in 3 words: Frenchy, Johnson, Schafer. It had NOTHING to do with bad trades.

bravofan

October 4th, 2009
1:14 pm

You are right on target Mr. Bisher, what kind of young hitting could we obtained if we traded the people in the Tex and Drew deal. People, go read the top 25 propects in major league baseball for this year and you will find that the Atlanta Braves once OWNED 5 of the players. The braves still own 2 of them but traded away the other 3, andrus, feliz and a third one. Now trade these people for a freeman and outfielders and build the minor league system back.

Shaneneeee Faneneeeeeee

October 4th, 2009
1:14 pm

The 90’s are over,so are the Braves.

bravofan

October 4th, 2009
1:15 pm

I hastly said major league prospects, it is minor league propects, no other team even had 2 in the top 25 but one.

jeffrey d

October 4th, 2009
1:16 pm

Our pitching was superb this season. It was the offense that was a problem.

So you’re saying with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Elvis Andrus on the team, with nowhere to play mind you, we’d be in the postseason? Yeah okay.

KC

October 4th, 2009
1:27 pm

Bravissimo: “Mr. Bisher… Ive always admired your work…so did my dad.
Arent you just amazed at all the wannabe sportswriters on here??”

Aren’t you just amazed by the ill informed sportswriters who are wannabe GM’s??

Reid Adair

October 4th, 2009
2:10 pm

I am of the opinion that overpaying for Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami was a huge part of the problem. It left little money available to address obvious issues with the offense and left Frank Wren trying to convince everyone that Nate McLouth, Ryan Church, Garret Anderson, et al, would solve the problem.

Not surprisingly, he was wrong, And now, for 2010, I think Wren will manage to send two of the starting pitchers away (Hudson and Vazquez) … and he still won’t do anything to actually improve the offense.

ABravesFan

October 4th, 2009
2:54 pm

I still insist that you can’t fault the JD Drew trade because that continued the streak (who know whether we could have won without Drew…who was reasonably productive for that one season). As for the Teixeira trade, it does look worse and worse every day but some of it has to be how lucky (or good) that the Rangers got with everyone that they got (for all we know, Feliz’s good arm could have just gone the wayside as Veldez…the guy we traded to SF for Russ Ortiz).

ExBrave Fan

October 4th, 2009
3:36 pm

I have been saying this for a long time. I am glad that one of the writers has finally had a set too say it also. The BAD, HORRIBLE trades far out number the good ones. Five for basically nothing in the Mark T. trade. I hated the Wainwright deal when it was made. What did they get, fatso King? No, you can talk about how wonderful John S. was in trades, but really, in the long run, he was a TOTAL FAILURE in trades. His replace is basically not much better. Just look around the majors at the exBraves who are doing great for other teams. Wainwright has what, 19 wins. Even Jason has had decent years when used properly. Most teams over pitch him and he wears down. The signing of Kenshin Kawakami was worthless. Why sign an over the hill pitcher when you might as well use one of the younger pitchers in the system? But, then this is the Atlanta Braves. The same team that signed Jim Bouton, Denny McLain, Andy “I got a sore arm and am finished” Messersmith, etc. The Braves always bring in washed up, used up, pitchers. Like the 14 division titles, those are really worthless. ONE WS win. And all those other WS losses. All these long years. Braves, Falcons, Hawks, and ONE championship, just one. The rest has been worthless.

Hillbilly Deluxe

October 4th, 2009
3:52 pm

The J D Drew trade was over 5 years ago. Like the Len Barker deal, it just isn’t relevant to what’s going on today. And on the subject of J D Drew, he hit .305, drove in 93 runs, and scored 118 runs in 145 games that year. Not exactly like the man stunk up the joint.

Jeff R

October 4th, 2009
4:37 pm

As I recall, Wainwright was the Braves top pitching prospect. Even then, some of us who post regularly on DOB’s blog, objected to the trade. We thought packing off Wainwright was a mistake.

I write again: the Braves line up was loaded with offensive talent in 2004. The team needed to upgrade its pitching going into that season, not its offense. Drew’s numbers were good but not the difference.

tjhook

October 4th, 2009
5:06 pm

You should not waste our time with these simple blogs, Mr. Bisher. Give us a 2009 blog, not 2007. Your would’ve, should’ve rant is like complaining about a hat you brought three years ago that you rarely use. You got it, own it and look forward to making decisions that better reflect what you want in life.

Editor

October 4th, 2009
5:43 pm

Does the AJC edit these entries? It’s apparent Mr. Bisher feels a compelling need not only to highlight every non-white member of the team’s ethnicity (in the clunkiest, most borderline manner possible), but he also likes to add unnecessary descriptors such as “mysterious.” It’s not only odd, anachronistic, and uncultured, it’s just poor writing and stereotypical (of the old, provincial, undereducated country bumpkin), I realize Mr. Bisher is three generations removed, but not every Latino/ Hispanic (proper usage by the way) is shifty or mysterious. I am just curious if the AJC actually has a standards and practices editor. This would have been appropriate for 1963, but his era of veiled offensiveness had passed. I’m tired of reading his drivel. Oh, and his baseball knowledge could use some updating as well.

PN

October 4th, 2009
6:40 pm

I can never follow the purpose of your articles, and my engineering and medical degrees reassure me that it’s not me…it’s you. I don’t get it. What are you talking about? Trades happen. Good, bad, and washes. Everyone loved the Teixera trade at the time. Unfortunately, trades are not made with 5 years of foresight. Yes, it would be nice to have some of those pieces still, but honestly, where would Andrus or Salty be playing right now? Exactly, both would still be traded, whether for the one year rental Tex or some other player that you’d whine about. You’re going back 5 years to pull the Wainwright/JD Drew trade out of you arse? Give me a break, this Braves team would be EQUALLY out of the playoffs with Wainwright in the rotation. None of the players traded away would be starting on this team. Mike Gonzo is one of those “one-inning players”? Have you watched baseball since 1953? Par article for you Mr. Bisher.

Dick

October 4th, 2009
7:21 pm

Season started down hill when team left spring training with Horton on roster. Great persoan, but not professional leaguer. Season continued down hill when Cox kept starting Shaffer and also Francour day after day. Lowe is not worth his salary. Not sure Hudson will be back entirely as prior to injury. Also, noticed today Fredi Gonzalex is on hot seat. if this is true, Braveds need to bring him in now and allow him to take over for Cox. If Pendleton is named manager, you won’t ever see 500 baseball.

130on2

October 4th, 2009
7:27 pm

What Bisher is trying to point out is that we got nothing for our players which management should have known (and probably did). If they had been judiciously kept or traded we would have had plenty of money and talent to trade for the big bats that we need. If we had kept Wainwright we would not have signed Lowe most likely. Certainly one of the pitchers. That would have freed up salary cap.

As for most (all???) of you Bisher bashers, you wouldn’t recognize a valid point if it hit you in the side of the head with a 2×4.

Joe

October 4th, 2009
7:28 pm

2010 Lineup
+++++++++

Adam LaRoche – 1B
Martin Prado – 2B
Chipper Jones – 3B
Yunel Escobar – SS
Josh Willingham – RF
Nate McLouth – CF
Jermaine Dye – LF
McCann – C

Starting Pitching Rotation:

(Ace) Javier Vazquez, Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson, Derek Lowe, Ben Sheets (If he’s healthy)

Trade Kenshin Kawakami, Mike Gonzalez & Manny Acosta.

Do not re-sign: Kelly Johnson, Garret Anderson, Ryan Church & Greg Norton,

(trade Church, Jones, Lowe, Johnson, Kawakami, Norton, Carlyle, Soriano, etc*)

JJ, Vasquez, Hanson, Hudson

CallUpConrad

October 4th, 2009
8:08 pm

howie

October 4th, 2009
8:08 pm

I think it was a bigger mistake to let Drew and Tnot t

CallUpConrad

October 4th, 2009
8:09 pm

JOe, I don’t see Atlanta being able to trade Soriano or Gonzalez.

howie

October 4th, 2009
8:11 pm

If we would have keep Drew and Teixteria they would have gotten us into the playoffs this year.

It makes no sense to trade prospects away and then let the player you traded for walk away. It costs money that the Braves are not willing to spend but that is not the point.

STOKY

October 4th, 2009
8:31 pm

More chicks hit on Janet Reno than attended the last few Braves games. GO PHILLIES

mark

October 4th, 2009
9:02 pm

You can’t win on every trade. You make a bunch of trades and you are going to win and lose.
That’s why I say Trade McLouth, Escobar, and Vasquez for prospects that will help in a few years, when the Braves can really make a run at it.

Zach

October 4th, 2009
9:14 pm

If I wrote this article I would want it not to be one in which people could comment on, because this is quite possibly the worst article I have read from the ajc. I wonder if Bisher talks at all with any of his ajc colleagues because I think ALL OF THEM WOULD DISAGREE.

Mr. Bisher, your article was so bad that I didn’t read the whole thing. Did you watch a game this year? And did you see the trades and signing Wren made just to give us a shot.

Terrible terrible article.

jason

October 4th, 2009
9:16 pm

Kind of funny how when Bisher brought this up the first time all hell broke loose. He caught alot of flack. I agreed with him the first time and do now. You cannot pretend to be the Yankees when you don’t have Yankee money to throw around. Forget Marquis. That JD Drew trade was the one that hurt. That one hurt more than the Tex trade. Wainright was what Hanson is and should have never been traded. Hard to belive that trade was made when you consider that ATL has been built around pitching for the past 20 years. Everyone knew Drew as well as Tex was gonna be chasing $$$. Even the Braves braintrust had to know we had not a chance in HELL in resiging those 2 players. How much is it worth to lose your future chasing a fainting chance at not a WS birth, but rather a spot in the playoffs?

Danno

October 4th, 2009
9:17 pm

Enter your comments here Whats up with benching Diaz? I can think of 4 games that he could have pintch hit in with better results than Norton or Ross…More Bobby Ball gone bad

siskel_god

October 4th, 2009
9:23 pm

Just curious why the JD Drew trade is being brought up as bad? Any deal made during 14 straight division titles should not be questioned because it is very obvious that the front office knew what they where doing.

AdirondackDave

October 4th, 2009
9:26 pm

Furman — You missed one of the biggest potential negative deals, extending my all-time favorite Brave Chipper. Unless he comes back big-time, which seems unlikely, and unless they get very creative with his contract, or unless he actually retires, they are burdened for 3 years with a player taking up a valuable roster spot and how many millions, I forget.

However, all clubs make good deals and bad deals. Seems to me Frank Wren has done a good job in his short tenure. (I “credit” JS with the Teixeira deal.) If he can do with the offense what he did with pitching, and I expect him to try, I’ll give him straight AAAAs.

AdirondackDave

October 4th, 2009
9:30 pm

Joe — How do you trade free agents Gonzalez and Soriano?

ms. shirley

October 4th, 2009
10:09 pm

Mr. Bisher,
I think this is the 3rd or 4th article you’ve written about the “bad” trades the Braves have made. Please find a fresh topic. Especially a topic that matters and is relevant to the present Braves. (like the fact that Bobby Cox needs to retire now and not next year; Bobby Cox continually gets a pass from the news media in this city.) And oh yeah, maybe a topic that you know what the freak your talking about. AJC – time to bring in some fresh writing talent or did you make “bad” trades like Bisher indicates the Braves did.

Agree!

October 4th, 2009
10:17 pm

Furman,
You are absolutely spot-on! Naysayers can raise all kinds of other issues, but the loss of talent for those 2 players who are all about ME and care nothing for the team was unforgiveable. Those trades by far outweighed the good ones over the years. Hopefully, Wren will continue as he did this year and failed to pull the trigger on some disasters. As you say some of the best trades are the ones not made.

Please do not dump salary by giving up Vazquez.

Wayne

October 4th, 2009
11:11 pm

Enter your comments here
Escobar leads off with a single–do we bunt him into scoring position as the situation calls for–no we go for the ground ball double play. Great move cox-a little leaguer could have made the call. RETIRE NOW-don’t make us suffer through another year of brain dead decisions.

Mr. Enigma

October 4th, 2009
11:11 pm

Out of the 14 straight playoff seasons, the 2004 team was absolutely the worst Braves squad of them all that John Schuerholz trotted out. The Braves would have never won that year if not for the J.D. Drew trade. Drew was, without question, the team’s co-MVP with Johnny Estrada (still can’t believe I’m typing that; only Barry Bonds had a higher average that season with RISP than Estrada) as Chipper Jones was having a rough year with the bat (.248 despite 30 homers and 96 RBIs) and that was the season he started to become a target of the injury bug. Andruw’s bat was still slightly above average (.268/29 HR/91 RBIs, just a season away from 51 homers in 2005 and 41 in 2006. Drew had the first injury-free season of his career, hitting .305 with 31 homers and 93 RBIs. He even stole 12 bases. The most he’s stolen in a season since was 4 in 2007 and 2008 with the Red Sox.

Also, I remember Eli Marrero being a Matt Diaz-esque player of 2004. Marrero hit .320 for the Braves and was awesome. I remember the first time Marrero came back to Turner Field in another uniform, he got a standing ovation at the plate that even he couldn’t ignore. He had to step back and tip his helmet.

Yes, giving up Adam Wainwright hurts now. Jason Marquis was expendable. But that unbelievable division title streak would have ended at 12 instead of 14 if that trade wasn’t made. And with Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson, two more years of Javier Vazquez and Kenshin Kawakami, the Braves have a rotation I won’t have to worry about again until after 2011, despite Derek Lowe’s 3 remaining seasons.

Rick

October 4th, 2009
11:51 pm

Why is it that wnenever a player and it does not matter whom he is, is traded or dealt to another team he always winds up doing better with his new team than the Braves. I just don’t understand why that old grump Cox thinks more of himself rather than the team. If he cared anything at all for the team he would have quit years ago. Cox without a doubt is the most absolutely worse manager in the major leauges. I still say an empty paper bag could outmanage Cox.

moboman

October 5th, 2009
12:43 am

Dont disrespect Furman. Why does anyone think its a good idea to give up the farm, or do any major trade unless you FIRST get a signed extension from the “star” you are bringing in. I have never understood that. Anyone remember the Danny Manning trade for Nique? Makes no sense to trade for someone who isnt under contract to you for a reasonable amount of time. What are you trading for – the hope he may sign later??? There’s no guarantee of that. Its just bad business no matter how you look at it. Thats what Bisher was saying, and he’s absolutely right. No matter what the guys you gave away are or arent doing with their new teams, you are giving away something with long term potential for short term gratification and no promise of anything longer. How does that ever make sense?

Mike M

October 5th, 2009
2:36 am

Enter your comments here Everyone’s afraid of the BIG problem. Chipper Tanked. If he had a normal Chipper year we are in the playoffs and Jujens is a 20 game winner. He’s been playing wounded for five years. Encourage him to retire, make him a coach and a candidate to succeed Bobby and free up his $12M or so for a power hitter.We are one thumper away from pushing the Phillies aside.

hey Bisher say bye to cox

October 5th, 2009
2:55 am

what more worse losin all four to the Nats who lost 103 Games should been 55-107 intead we gave them a 4 games in typical Bobby cox mode….chipper swings like a rusted shovel Must been hurt when found that dead illegal alien on his ranch in Texas.also his playin of Kelly johnson he played with no pride just sulks like chipper do after watchin TP hittin coach films.then there Bobby Ph with Morton a real loser (so he had 2 hits at time) where hell was he all season watchin corn grow!Its 2011 folks hold u season tickets renewal till we hire Lou Pinella he be fired from cubs soon anyway!

Kevin

October 5th, 2009
2:58 am

Make chipper a coach he not even Hall of fame anythin…he more like Hall of laughs…if he can’t cuss out some people n be a leader no way he could not coach a little league Game!

clint ellison

October 5th, 2009
6:47 am

Great column, Furman. After reading comments from readers, however, it becomes apparent that Braves fans are a truly clueless bunch. I apologize for their collective ignorance. Trading Wainwright was so stupid that there should have been a house-cleaning of Braves management the next day. Giving up Feliz was criminal. I’m sorry, Mr Bisher, that your wisdom is so wasted on Atlanta “fans”.

stoky

October 5th, 2009
7:01 am

Kevin… SAY WHAT? Have you ever considered reading instead of writing? DO IT

Jack

October 5th, 2009
7:04 am

What took so long for the media to finally write this. Not the first of bad trades. Jermaine Dye for Michael Tucker and Keith Lockart. The Ybar and Baez trade. Yes we did not need the pitching this year but we also wouldn’t mortage the ranch is we had Harrison from Texas and Wainwright. Maybe then we sign Tex. Deal the prospects for a guy we can keep. Just a poor business move by an overrated GM in Schuerholz.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

October 5th, 2009
7:43 am

Furman, I’m not sure if this season was lost on these trades or not, I lean more to Bobby’s sticking with Johnson and Schafer so long and his love affair with Norton and Chipper at the top of the order when he is struggling. I do agree that these really hurt. People you can try and justify these trades all you want.. Bottom line, I wouldn’t trade Wainewright for Drew straight up even if Drew were long term. And I wouldn’t trade Elvis or Neftali for Tex straight up. And the argument that Elvis couldn’t beat out Escobar is lame. Elvis is a much better SS with much more range and if you didn’t notice we sucked at second even with Prado. Prado is not a second baseman. Also, Chipper was out a 1/3 of the season and is not going to be around much more. Yeah I think we could have used Elvis.

willie

October 5th, 2009
9:06 am

Agree with Harpie….If had ponied up the cash for Tex, we would be one of the favorites to win it all. Gotta pay to play or hope you get lucky.

Random

October 5th, 2009
9:09 am

Within the span of just two short paragraphs, Mr Furman Bisher is of two different minds on relievers:

Theirs — “and maybe best of them all, the relief pitcher named Neftali Feliz”

and

Ours — “Mike Gonzalez, another of those one-inning bullpen wonders.” (Derisive sarcsam is inferred.)

Richard Dawson

October 5th, 2009
9:15 am

Agreed. The Braves gave up tons of prospects that never panned out over the years, but those particular ones hurt. Lowe was a total bust. Attributing wins and losses to pitchers is remarkably ignorant.

Richard Dawson

October 5th, 2009
9:16 am

Chipper: “To the guys’ credit, it’s kind of hard to come out here and play the last day of the season with nothing riding on it.”

It’s this kind of losing attitude I can’t stand. You’re getting paid a lot of money, fans are paying a lot of money, and you’re supposed to be competitive athletes. It’s not a tribute that you play on the last day, it’s a freaking requirement, it’s your job, and it should be your passion.

Don

October 5th, 2009
9:19 am

The huge mystery is— Why do the AJC writers look at comparatively insignificant problems and ignore the main obvious problem with the Braves. I agree that these two deals should not have been made – but as far is disasterous effect on the Braves, they pale in comparison to having Bobby Cox as a manager – with his continuous bluundering and terrible actions and lack of actions – not to mention his complete failure to manage the offense – - He has never taught, emphasized, demanded working the count/ being selective/ making the pitcher throw a lot of pitches – which has multiple effects – this failure guarantees inconsistant run production. The way he has won was by having a Pitching Staff so far far superior to all other teams that this overcame his lack of management and enabled the Braves to win over the 162 game regular season. But even with this tremendous advantage, he usually only barely won the Division and only 1 W.S. in 14 opportunities.

David

October 5th, 2009
9:27 am

What a completely unnecessary commentary. The Braves got exactly what they needed in the Wainwright trade, a 30-homer cleanup hitter for 2004 which got them into the playoffs. I seriously doubt the Braves would have gotten there without him. The Tex trade was a molestation, clear and simple, I can’t argue that. But he produced very well while he was here, the pitching just couldn’t stay healthy (remember Buddy Carlyle was the #3 guy for half the season), otherwise one of those years might have been another playoff year as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the more recent prospects who were traded that went on to become stars: Hanley Ramirez, Scott Kazmir, Adam Jones, Dan Haren, Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore…I could go on an on. And I won’t even start a list of all the touted prospects who were traded that never made it, but I would imagine that’s a very long list. Basically, hindsight articles are a pointless exercise in futility. It doesn’t do any good for anyone.

bvillebaron

October 5th, 2009
9:28 am

BravesBeat:

The Braves would have won if they kept Glavine and Smoltz? Get real! Stop living in the past! Hanson is twice the pitcher than either of them are NOW and he is 22. Besides, starting pitching wasn’t the problem this year. Furman hit this one right on the head. Schuerholz will go down as one of the best GMs of all times, but his shortsighted trades that cost us Marquis and Wainwright and gave up 5, repeat 5 quality prospects, for a one year rent a player, Mr. Mercenary, Mark Texeira, has hurt this team tremendously.

Extend Hudson

October 5th, 2009
9:29 am

Looking back, those trades are horrible. And so are the free agent signings. $15 million for Lowe? The guy was overrated from the start. And Kawakami’s kung fu moo goo gai pan is no good in America. You know, where REAL baseball players play, not the slant-eye league.

OedipusTax

October 5th, 2009
9:35 am

Reading many of the posts here, many of which vary far from the original topic, reminds me that “a walk through the ocean of most souls will barely get your feet wet.” Here’s hoping that the most insulting of you actually look into the mirror, and see the real problem.

David

October 5th, 2009
9:35 am

Richard Dawson @ 9:16 am…

You telling me you’ve never taken it easy at work on a Friday afternoon before a holiday? These guys are human, I don’t care how much pay is involved. If you really want to vent some anger, go yell at the nine DOT workers gathered around a hole in the road with only one shovel. We don’t have a choice about paying for that, now that’s a travesty!!!

B. E. Pettitt

October 5th, 2009
11:30 am

Amen to your article. You hit the nail on the head. I have been thinking about Wainwright and those guys in Texas for sometime now. We (Braves) just rented two players for a short while. Drew is always hurt and he does not appear to want to play. I am not favorably impressed with Wren’s management skills. We shall see what the Winter brings. The Braves stayed too long with Shafer, Johnson, and Francoeur. If they had contributed anything at all, we would have run away with the eastern division!!!!!!

Doug B

October 5th, 2009
12:02 pm

Both trades needed to be made. Jd replaced Shef and we made the playoffs. We desperately needed a 1B and Tex was avail. What about the bad trade of Klesko and Boone for Versas and Sanders, ouch!!

THE BEAR Illegitimi non carborundum

October 5th, 2009
12:03 pm

I agree on Wainwright but at the time he had not shown that much promise at the time. It took him years to develop with the Cardinals, including many months in their bullpen.

As for Marquis he was always a nutjob and had never come close to winning 15 games until this year. The Cards and Cubs liked him almost as much as Atlanta did. And tell me this, just where would Marquis have fit into the Atlanta rotation this year?

Pitching was not what the Braves needed this year. Consistent hitting was their weakness.

As for Andrus would anyone trade Escobar for Andrus right now? Or would anyone trade McCann for the (Salty) catcher with the long name right now? No way would I do that.

So, I must say that of all the brickbats you threw at the Braves management today I only agree with one thing and that is Wainwright. On the other hand we did get J. D. Drew that year and we won the pennant with him. Could we have won it without him? It is highly doubtful.

I will admit I would like to have Neftali Feliz around but you never get something for nothing. I didn’t like giving up all those prospects for one player but they believed they had a shot at winning that year with Tex. Obviously they were wrong on that score.

THE BEAR Illegitimi non carborundum

October 5th, 2009
12:21 pm

Furman, let’s take this a step further. I just checked the stats and maybe you should do the same before you again attack the Braves management like you did today.

This year Saltalamachia hit .233, 9HR and 34 RBI. You would prefer him to McCann?

Andrus hit .267, 6HRs and 40 RBI’s. And you would prefer him to Yunel Escobar?

And to cap it off Feliz was 1-0 in 20 games from the bullpen. He did have an ERA of 1.78 (or thereabouts).

Are you contending the Braves would have been better off in 2009 with those three players on the roster?

Furman, just perhaps it is time for you to consider hanging it up. I am pushing 80 and remember you all the way back to Charlotte but I can still check the stats.

Charles

October 5th, 2009
12:36 pm

Mr. Bisher, you are right on the money about making trades for short term gains — the Braves seemed consumed by trying to get back on top quickly and made a series of trades – JD Drew, Teixera, etc — that on balance were very costly to the long term success of the team. The Braves should have realized that their aging stars could not be expected to stay healthy or maintain past performance levels and should have made the decision to rebuild, as they finally did in the 2nd half of this year. The desire to stay on top and get their quickly with the Boras rent-a-players was a disaster.

alvin

October 5th, 2009
12:50 pm

Furman,

Is this the same column you wrote at the start of the year?

Get back to us after your done with the beating…

Green Tea

October 5th, 2009
12:58 pm

It’s not bad trades that cost em. They couldn’t hit worth a SH*&, period, point blank….

don

October 5th, 2009
1:10 pm

VINDICATED. AMEN. I sounded the alarm about the sheer stupidity of the Drew trade and the Teixeira trade BEFORE they were made. I posted repeatedly that the Braves were destroying their future. I was crucified by other “knowledgeable” posters.

I was right. But, you know what, it is of little consolation to read that Bisher agrees. And, I assume, that finally the rest of you have caught up. Possibly a lesson has been learned- but don’t bet on it.

The absolute truth is that Schuerholz and Wren were completely outsmarted by St. Louis and Texas and the shortsighted fans fell in line. “Stupid” is too nice a word to describe the fools.

Kendawg

October 5th, 2009
1:14 pm

I personally thought (and still think) the Wainwright trade was one of the dumbest moves I’ve ever seen a major league club make.

swhite1115

October 5th, 2009
1:14 pm

Mr. Bisher:

I have enjoyed your columns for many years (and yes, I agree with you that if the NFL had awarded Lindsay Hopkins the franchise instead of Rankin Smith we would’ve had a great NFL team earlier. That’s how far back I go!) but I must say I can’t see your reasoning. Jason Marquis is 94-83 in his career, with a 4.48 ERA and has had 4 winning seasons out of 10. This season he did win 15, equaling his career high, but he also lost 13. Not what might be called stellar. Salty is at, what, .233 with 9 homers? And where would we have played him? Andrus batted .267 and had a .968 fielding percentage. Escobar was .299 with a .979 fielding average. So, where do we put Andrus? Second? What about Prado? Third? Hmmm, Chipper Jones.
As many have pointed out, the problem this year was hitting, not pitching. I guess we could’ve used Andrus, Salty, and Marquis as trade bait, but then, wasn’t that what we did before?

scott

October 5th, 2009
2:24 pm

Furman Please retire. J.D. Drew said he was going to resign with us. The bad trade was not getting the same in return from the Angels for The now Yankee first basemen.

ugaaccountant

October 5th, 2009
2:29 pm

Speaking as an accountant here, Mr. Bisher is absolutely correct. If we had held onto Wainright and Feliz instead of including them in those trades, we would not have needed to invest in 2 of the 3 pitchers: 60 million in Derek Lowe this year or 21 million for Kawakami or 20 million plus prospects for Vasquez. That would have left plenty of money for Adam Dunn. Power problem solved and his defense in left would equal Loaf’s. The whole offseason we were told no to Dunn because of his defense and we settled for somebody with even worse defense. Makes no sense.

Also incidentally, if we had more prospects available last offseason I read several times that KC was willing to move Greinke for Francouer plus something. Imagine if we could have made that one work.

Moral of the story for mid level payroll teams – Hold onto your prospects.

ugaaccountant

October 5th, 2009
2:52 pm

To anyone saying it was ok to include Feliz in the Tex trade, it absolutely was not. The reason was because he wasn’t essential to it. We drastically underrated his value because he was the 4th player in a 5 man trade. If we had not included him and instead sent an average minor leaguer the trade would have made sense.

Same thing for Drew. Marquis for Drew was a good core to the trade given contract status at the time. Giving them Wainright as well was overpaying.

And just because Andrus isn’t better than Yunel doesn’t mean we couldn’t have used him. Think about all the at bats Diory Hernandez and Brooks Conrad got this year. Or we could have traded Kelly Johnson last offseason while his trade value was high. There certainly was consideration of that and with an extra middle infielder I think they would have. Elvis wouldn’t have to start for us, but having him on the bench could have been huge for our flexibility.

NS from Kennesaw

October 5th, 2009
2:55 pm

Mr. Bisher,

The Braves lost 2009 season before the ALL STARS break !!!

For sure it wasn’t pitching – but it is the “lack of critical hits” that caused us so many games. Now with the players we have (assuming that most of them remain for 2010), I hope Bobby would, for once, play the hot guys. Then we will have a better chance to play in October 2010.

bits

October 5th, 2009
3:15 pm

You are spot on…those two trades will continue to take a toll for years to come. Why not include JS first trade after becoming Braves GM…Jermaine Dye for Michael Tucker.

Nativebird

October 5th, 2009
4:00 pm

Oh come on now Furman, you can say it, you of all people certainly must have avoided the dark side, must have NOT caved in to political pressure of this City and have the GUTS to actually name, in writing, the culprit you speak of is thou holiest of all names Atlantan…a one Mr. JOHN SCHUERHOLZ! the keeper of all baseball knowledge, thoust embodiment of all brilliance in baseball? as well as and all things great and one with the world of the diamond as we know it? Surely you dont mean, THE MESSIAh, John Schuerholz?

Sammy

October 5th, 2009
4:05 pm

As long as the Braves don’t trade Heyward or Freeman, it’s all good.
If Salty was so good why did Texas acquire Pudge Rodriguez? Salty will be a career backup. Andrus is decent but Escobar is better.

Jeff

October 5th, 2009
4:08 pm

Beautifully written…

ugaaccountant

October 5th, 2009
4:16 pm

It’s not Salty that we miss. It’s Andrus as a 3rd infielder and Feliz as another potential #1 starter. Could you imagine the excitement of 2 Tommy Hanson’s coming up this year, not to mention the payroll flexibility?

tom

October 5th, 2009
5:11 pm

Thanks for the reminders, Furman! We could still have competed and, maybe won, had we brought Tommy with us from Florida. I still recall Wren saying that Medlin was the better of the two when he was promoted to the Braves from Gwinett. Really???

Hotrod

October 5th, 2009
5:13 pm

10 games over .500
They exceeded my expectations this year.

They were fun to watch this season.

jgon

October 5th, 2009
5:41 pm

Braves over the yrs have had outstanding pitching except for last year. The problem has been that the team is a brutal bunch of chokers. You can’t expect a pitcher to give up no runs everday. A good team seems to come back in the late innings if they are behind. When the Braves are down a run or tied you might just as well switch the channel. Last game brought out the best of the chokers!!!!!

CharlieAlphaBravo

October 5th, 2009
5:56 pm

So let me get this straight…

You’re suggesting that the Bravos didn’t make the playoffs this season because of poor pitching (Wainwright/Feliz), catching (Saltalamacchia), and shortstop play (Andrus)??? Brian McCann, Yunel Escobar and one of the National League’s best pitching staffs might disagree…

I suppose they don’t show Braves games at the country club…

DawgDad

October 5th, 2009
6:18 pm

No point in looking back at the Drew-Teixiera trades now. Braves did not make the playoffs this season for one reason and one reason alone: Chipper Jones. Others could have picked him up, sure, but when your $10 million+ #3 hitter and 3b-man plays a whole half season like a AAA retread you aren’t going to win.

The production from the 3-4-5 hitters was crap (it’s not fair to McCann as a catcher to expect him to carry the load for all three spots). On the big issues Frank Wren did pretty darn well, but he couldn’t find a replacement for Norton (just what kind of prospect would it have taken to get a .230 pinch hitter to replace our .130 pinch hitter?, and he didn’t bring up Heyward from Mississippi. It would have been nice to see a young player with some energy in one of the corner OF spots, like when McCann and Frenchy came up a few years ago.

I don’t see how the Braves can be better next year. Willing to be pleasantly surprised, but too many big holes and more opening up with free agency. The team payroll is going to be soaked up by two or three players not likely to pull their weight or otherwise ride the pine when they don’t perform and drag the team down. What are they going to do, sign Utley and Howard? Braun and Fielder?

Greg

October 5th, 2009
6:38 pm

My problem is that Furman is in the print edition of the paper and I guess Tony Barnhart was not good enough for the AJC. Please note that the bad trades alluded to were not made by Frank Wren but by his predecessor. As far as this years lineup compare the opening day lineup to the ending lineup and there is a major improvement. Some of the improvement is statistical but quite a bit is batting lineup chemistry.

Ron

October 5th, 2009
6:40 pm

Enter your comments here
The Texeira trade and the Wainwright trades were bad, but there is enough talent on the present team to win a division if they hit like they were capable. It was obvious to everyone that hitting issues became a “head” problem.

The decision (two years in a row) to keep the same coaching staff is unbelievable. These guys are the ones that created the head problems. Now we’re going to perpetuate them for another year.

I’m a Terry Pendleton fan, but he is not a good hitting coach. Someone needed to show some passion and raise a little hell with some players. I am so tired of hearing that they had some extra hitting time before the game.

Charles

October 5th, 2009
6:45 pm

Enter your comments here: Let me see——— How many trades has Mr. Bisher made in his career? The answer to that would be zero. He has made a living of second guessing coach’s, managers, general managers, owners and if the truth be known the ” Housewives of Atlanta”. I wounder if he has ever second guessed himself about the Wally Butts – Bear Bryant story? Time to say good night Gracie.-

brad

October 5th, 2009
7:16 pm

hindsight is always 20/20..trading wainwright was a mistake, but no one knew what he would become, like Detroit didn’t know what Smoltz would become. Marquis has bounced around a bit, he can be real good, but he can also be real bad. Andrus is good, but Escobar is a far better hitter and has about the same defense. Salty was not going to take McCain’s job nor is he anywhere near as good at 1B than Laroche. Every team can look back at trades and see mistakes that were made, but for every Wainwright you lose, you get a Smoltz back.

Braves Mom

October 5th, 2009
9:23 pm

I am glad that Marquis isn’t a Brave, especially after his remarks when he left that he “didn’t really learn anything from Mazzone”. Honestly, the Braves probably saw that unprofessionalism in him, and were happy to let him go.
I don’t agree about the Tex trade, although I don’t like Tex. I agree w/ others who say that Mac and Escobar would be starting in front of Salty and Elvis anyway, and they have not helped Texas get into the playoffs.

For next year, please please trade Kelly Johnson and Derek Lowe.

rufues

October 5th, 2009
11:29 pm

Bobby Cox said he wanted to keep Kelly Johnson because he had a good year last year, and play Prado in the outfield. This statement convince me the man has lost his reasoning, his senses are no where in site, lost his mined, and most of all his memory, this guy is unreal. I hope someone with a little bit of sense in the front office will eliminate that though. The season isn’t even over and he already has the Braves position in fourth place for the 2010 season. The gut is scary.

Tech sucks

October 6th, 2009
8:43 am

Good article. That should go down as one of the worst trades of alltime. Hindsight I guess? At the time everyone loved getting Tex. We obviously gave up WAY too much.

KD

October 6th, 2009
9:35 am

Adam Wainwright was a bad one but, the Tex deal will go down as the biggest bust trade of all time, considering what we had to give up.

Alan Breeden

October 6th, 2009
10:22 am

Enter your comments here

Time to stop ignoring or covering up Cox’s mismanaging this team for the past two years. Two glaring examples: Sat.: in extra innings Yuenel leads off with a single & Cox does lets KJ hit away. Result: double play; players are satisfied to let Nationals win the game. Today, Cox announces he want KJ back at second in 2010. Same old, same old, and it’s terrible. Players will go into 2010 with the same attitude and the fans will get more of the same. Past time for a bench clearing of management.

Anthony

October 6th, 2009
10:49 am

Time for Furman and Bobby to walk into the sunset. Perhaps then, we’d get both a sports team worth watching and a sports page worth reading.

Skeezix

October 6th, 2009
12:12 pm

Still recovering from that depressing ending to the season. I thought before the season’s beginning that they were a third place team at best…but with the run they went on in September, I thought that maybe they would prove me wrong. Anyway, I agree that the Tex trade was pitifully shortsighted as well as the JD Drew trade. The Tex trade only made sense if we were to keep him (put his stick in the offense this year and the Braves are in the playoffs). One that goes back a ways that still haunts me is the trading away of Jermaine Dye. JS did some brilliant trading during his tenure, but the Tex trade was by far his worst.

Skeezix

October 6th, 2009
12:20 pm

Regarding 2010: Again, no playoffs if they don’t add punch/power/speed to the line up; but maybe we move up to second place.

Dan A.

October 6th, 2009
1:04 pm

Seriously Bisher, stop writing about the Braves. You haven’t got a damned clue. I suppose your next article will be about how the Braves current front office is still paying for the mistakes of moving the team out of Boston. You borderline on window-licking toolbag with your whining about the Teixeira deal. Saltalamacchia? Seriously? Your whining about trading Saltalamacchia? Where would you play Saltalamacchia right now, Bisher? Or Elvis Andrus… please, tell me about how you would play Elvis Andrus ahead of Yunel Escobar. Please tell me about how awesome Neftali Perez has been in the big leagues already. But you couldn’t leave it at just that. No, you had to suggest that we screwed ourselves by trading Jason Marquis. Your stupidity knows no bounds. Please retire, or limit yourself to writing retirement home reviews. You are taking a job away from somebody who can actually write about baseball.

ugaaccountant

October 6th, 2009
2:06 pm

Dan A. – Please look up how many at bats Diory Hernandez, Brooks Conrad, and Kelly Johnson got this year as backups.

As for Salty, perhaps he could have taken Greg Nortons at bats.

Pete

October 6th, 2009
2:22 pm

Mr. Bisher…………..right on !!!!

Nate Hurst

October 6th, 2009
2:56 pm

Yes we did give up alot for Tex, but keep in mind we were trying to make a push to the playoffs, what Braves fan was not excited to get Tex from the Rangers……another stinking Boras client……bottom line, dont sign Boras clients, they just dont pan out or they leave for the money…..15 million for a 4.5 ERA….whatever, could of done that with Glavine.

Roge

October 6th, 2009
4:45 pm

Get Chipper off his butt and make him hustle. He’s not doing what he’s getting paid to do.

Dwayne

October 6th, 2009
4:54 pm

KC is right, Johnson, Frenchy and Schaeffer….they stunk and Boobie Cox is to senile to have realized that. Please leave now Boobie…and take Don Waddel with you!!

Ted

October 6th, 2009
5:33 pm

The reason he mentioned the Drew trade was that we wouldn’t have needed to sign Lowe if we had Wainwright. We would have had a front of the rotation type of pitcher already with us. We could have used that 15 million this year that we spent on Lowe somewhere else. Now that’s not to say we wouldn’t have traded Wainwright later on because you almost always trade prospects for proven commodities. It’s a good thing that it is not always because I remember a lot of people clamoring for Wren to trade Hanson to get Peavy this past winter.

p

October 6th, 2009
5:58 pm

Good God, Booby Cox lost the post-season chance by continually pitching to Ryan Howard. How stupid do you have to be to lose FIVE games to ONE guy in 4 weeks?

SuperB

October 6th, 2009
6:16 pm

As usual, Furman bisher is right and Frank Wr–en is Wr–ong.

Phinfan

October 6th, 2009
9:50 pm

Shush you old codger.. enough

Keith Conley

October 7th, 2009
12:32 am

I’m not an overly critical person, but this is the most pointless article I have ever seen. The only players that the Braves’ brass would like back would probably be Wainwright and Feliz. Marquis was in a great situation this year, and he pitched well early in the year, but he has been awful the last 2 months. There’s a reason he’s bounced around alot since he left Atlanta. I like Elvis Andrus, but Yunel is better. Salty may lose his job if he hasn’t already. The Braves took a shot on Teixeira, and even though the postseason wasn’t attained, it certainly wasn’t his fault. He hit the ball and he played unbelievable D. I’m glad that the franchise I support took a shot. It shows the fans that the organization will stand up when they believe the team is close. And the last point I make is simply that you contend if we had Wainwright and Marquis we would somehow be better. Check out the Braves pitching #s this year and rewrite this article. I would love to have Wainwright back, but I wouldn’t trade the Braves’ starting 5 for another in the NL.

Tim

October 7th, 2009
4:26 am

This season was lost when Brett Butler, Brook Jocoby and Rick Behenna was traded for Len Barker.

Robert

October 7th, 2009
7:01 am

Let’s be thankful for the trades that didn’t happen. The largest being the Peavy deal. Talk about gutting the farm. The Texas and St. Louis trades did alter how the 09 team could’ve looked. Salty would have been traded regardless of the year of team. Elvis will be the one missed. His attitude would be welcomed over Escobar’s pouting any day. The pitchers traded won’t amount to much. Felix is a flash. Anyone remember Valdez traded to SF a few years back? This trade wouldn’t be talked about as much if the Braves would have received equal value in return from the Angels, or any other team for that matter. I think I would have rather seen Tex walk and receive two first round picks. Having Adam on the staff replacing Lowe, no brainer. Let’s all hope moving forward talks such as the Peavy deal don’t surface. Don’t need anymore one year “wonders”. Especially Boras clients.
Wren please keep in mind Chipper is talking of retirement. There are no replacements on the farm!!!

stupup74

October 7th, 2009
2:18 pm

You can add the Gonzo for LaRoche trade to this list. If we had not traded LaRoche the Scott Thorman Error would have not happened. Then the braves would not have had to sell the farm for Tex.

All of you hating on Furman need to go read the “farm system” article again. He stated that all these trades for one year wonders is what caused the system to dry up.

I hate to tell you folks something, but other than Freeman and Heyward, the farm system looks really bad, at least at AA.

The trades themselves were not so bad. It is the fact that know we have NOTHING for them. Tex walked, Drew walked, Wainright won 20 games for the Cards (Marquis needed to go), Gonzo was a disappointment, and we had to pay Lowe 16 mil for a 4.50 ERA and double didgit losses.

So on top of NEVER being able to move Lowe’s contract. The braves have no chips to trade (ie a Chipper replacement or a RH power bat). They had to trade the only other offensive catcher in the system (Tyler Flowers) for Javier Vasquez, who is the most likely to get dealt again. They had to sign KK and his 12 loses. (I have hope for him, guys from Japan do better in year 2 usually.)

There is no doubt the lack of talent to trade and/or money to spend hurt the braves this year. It also looks like it will hurt the club for years to come.

Phil

October 7th, 2009
3:03 pm

Bobby Bowden Cox was the main reason that cost us the season, as will he next season. Keeping him around for one more nostalgic year is a big mistake. 2011 can’t get here soon enough.

Mike Hogan

October 9th, 2009
11:58 am

The Braves have not won a playoff series since 2001 and haven’t even made the playoffs since 2005.Since 2006 their collective record is a losing one(321-327).This situation is the definition of mediocrity and the reason Atlanta is known nationally as LOSERSVILLE.We have one WORLD SERIES RING in 44 seasons.The moves that the Braves have made over the last few seasons have been half-hearted and obligatory.This franchise is clearly one that doesn’t have the desire or the ability to compete seriously on a winning level.One more point;tell me one other team in the MAJOR LEAGUES that has the same manager for the last eight years who has NOT won a playoff series.There isn’t one team that I can find.And that’s why Atlanta is known as LOSERSVILLE.(And we’ve got Cox signed through next year).No other MAJOR LEAGUE franchise would tolerate such complete sorriness.Only Atlanta.Stop going to the games and stop watching them.Maybe then they’ll do something to make us competitive….

timthebrave

October 9th, 2009
12:30 pm

Yeah, If we only had pitching, a decent catcher, and a shortstop. Oh wait….None of those are reasons we aren’t in the playoffs. We have great starting pitcher, an all star catcher and a really good shortstop. Those are not the reasons we didn’t make the playoffs. Oh, thanks for rubbing our noses in trades from YEARS ago

Kevrock/Smarty Jones

October 9th, 2009
12:51 pm

The Braves brass until Wren took charge…really has made only had two good trades and that was for McGriff & Neagle. Don’t forget us trading Jermaine Dye for Michael Tucker…bad trade…Of course Wainwright…we will pay for years on that….Marquis is a push…BUT Teixeira trade will haunt us yet again for years…NOW if we had of signed TEX and gave him a no trade clause…which I WOULD have made a exception for him…then we would be in the playoffs as we speak….With again that trade for TEX WE HAD to re-sign him….we didn’t and again we are out of the playoffs….I will have to say thus far Wren has made some solid trades and I didn’t agree with them at first…so with that said…that’s I am a blogger and not a scout or in the front office anywhere as a ‘Traveling Secretary to the GM’.

jay

October 9th, 2009
1:00 pm

how does this fossil still have a job?

John

October 9th, 2009
9:57 pm

Also letting the fans run off Frenchie. He hit 15 pts. higher that Jones and less errors. Chip lead the league in errors at third this year. he’s a bum!

T'ville Dawg

October 13th, 2009
9:47 pm

That is a bullseye shot if I ever heard one. By the way I met you in the parking garage under the Omni in around 1990 or so. I was the idiot who said to you, hey you look older in person than in your column. I remember being being shocked at meeting someone I had admired for so many years, you see I’m 48 now.If you had not been there I may still be wandering around in the dark underneath the Omni. I guess maybe I never said thank you and I’m kinda doing that now, for so much over your career.

richbrave

November 7th, 2009
8:26 am

Good on ya’ you old coot for realizing DIAZ’ true strength – his character. Every good team needs at least a handful of these types of players, and the BRAVES are lucky to have him in ATLANTA.

Big Sack Dawg

January 10th, 2010
8:35 pm

LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL