Deadline report: Braves have stood out by doing nothing

Yunel Escobar seems like he's looking at the standings, but he just got hit on the wrist by a pitch Thursday night.

Good morning. The Braves haven’t made a trade yet. Why do I get the feeling I’ll be able to type the same thing after breakfast?

Did something a little bit different last night, while switching between the Braves-Marlins and the “The Doors” movie on HBO (and by the way, it turns out Jim Morrison was kind of dark and had a drinking problem). I arranged all of the National League playoff contenders by winning percentage. The idea was to determine if only the best teams are being aggressive as they approached the trade deadline.

The maybe-not-so-shocking results: Yes.

As you go down the list, notice how as the winning percentages decrease, the lesser teams are napping. (This includes your Braves: No. 8 with a bullet.) Now, doing nothing isn’t surprising for a non-playoff contender, unless you’re the Pittsburgh Pirates and the idea is to see how much you can sell off your major organs for. But every team I’m listing below is at least a legitimate wild-card contender. Or is supposed to be.

The list:

1. Dodgers (.618): They just made a trade with Baltimore for All-Star reliever George Sherrill, who can close or be a set-up man. There’s the added bonus of Sherrill not having failed a drug test in 2003, which sets him apart in the Dodgers’ clubhouse.

2. Phillies (.580): The team the Braves have pretty much ceased chasing in the East tried to swing a deal for Toronto pitcher Roy Halladay but couldn’t get him. So they settled for Cleveland’s Cliff Lee, a Cy Young winner. Assuming we can call that settling.

3. Giants (.549) They’re one of the teams that has benefited most from the Pirates’ yard sale, acquiring All-Star second baseman Freddy Sanchez.

4. Cubs (.540): Not a huge move but a solid one, acquiring reliever John Grabow from Pittsburgh. Grabow is 3-0 with a 3.42 earned run average. Seems like he’s a guy who could have helped the Braves’ bullpen.

5. Rockies (.539): Nothing big this week but last week added set-up man Rafael Betancourt from Cleveland. Opponents were hitting .225 against him. So far he’s allowed one base runner in three appearances in Colorado.

6. Cardinals (.533): Acquired someone who potentially could’ve put the Braves over the top for a wild-card spot: Oakland outfielder/first baseman Matt Holliday, a legitimate home run hitter. (Correction from earlier reference to “40-home run hitter.”)

7. Marlins (.520): Nothing.

8. Braves (.510): Nothing.

9. Brewers (.500): Nothing.

10. Astros (.500): Nothing.

Does this disturb you? We’ve weighed in on the whole should-the-Braves-deal-or-stand-pat thing several times. But seeing them at the bottom of this list and doing nothing jumps out at me. Isn’t the idea to be aggressive in a pennant stretch? Or is this just about 2010?

149 comments Add your comment

Reid Adair

July 31st, 2009
8:00 am

Yes, it disturbs me, but it doesn’t surprise me. The “offense,” to be kind, remains inconsistent. They got on a bit of a streak there, then disappeared again for the first two games at Land Shark Stadium.

The pitching is solid, but Frank Wren has done nothing during the season to address the offensive issues. As a result, I believe the Braves will once again be sitting at home during the playoffs.

On a separate note, Jim Morrison was “kind of dark” and “had a drinking problem”?!??! Wow.

Adam Price

July 31st, 2009
8:00 am

Why don’t you try researching/explaining why the Braves are not doing anything Jeff! All of the AJC sports columnists are the same…you write an article without any research to why. Maybe it is because they have one of the best pitching staffs in the NL, thus keeping them in every game. Martin Prado has made the lineup go in addition to the recent surges of Garret Anderson and Casey Kotchman. Escobar, Chipper, and McCann are solid all year, so the lineup is not bad. We have made trade deadline moves…just a little earlier. Remember McClouth, Church? Even though Frenchy is doing well in NYC, the addition of Church will further lessen the holes in our lineup. A hitter would be nice to add, but you are going to write another article bashing Frank Wren if he were to mortgage any future to obtain a rental player. In addition, no team is going to jump at the idea of obtaining Kelly Johnson or any other unattractive players we have to offer. They will want Vazquez, Heyward, or someone else important to the organization. The only rumors have been for the Braves to add a bullpen piece. The deadline if 4:00, so why jump to conclusions now? This is why I need to stop reading the AJC.

Max Sizemore

July 31st, 2009
8:01 am

The Braves don’t do relief pitching. Which is why Bobby overuses the few good ones he has. Moylan missed most of last season with an injury after 80 appearances the year before. A team simply can’t ignore the 6th and 7th inning, and the Braves do. If you are weak in run production, as the Braves are, you are going to be in a lot of close games. And you can’t use Gonzalez and Soriano every game. A Betancourt, Sherrill, or Grabow would be huge pluses for the Braves. Yes, Wren deserves credit for bolstering the rotation, nabbing McLouth, and finally ridding the Braves of Francoeur, but until he learns to value the bullpen the Braves will never amount to much.

FSUBrad

July 31st, 2009
8:04 am

Was figuring they might move KJ, but w/ Prado & Yunel banged up temporarily & Omar still on the DL, have a feeling he’s sticking around & may get moved via waivers next month. Until KK’s blowup Wed night, was hoping they’d possibly move Javy for a big bat (either LF, RF or 1B). Now, KK & Hudson are too big of a question mark for them to move Javy. Had they not won last night, would have liked to see them make a similar deal (either Gonzo or Soriano) to Balt sending Sherrill for a very good prospect in Bell. Today, I think they stand pat, and potentially make some moves mid to late August. Those moves will be based on where they stand though, could be buyers or sellers.

FSUBrad

July 31st, 2009
8:07 am

Reid, I’d call Mclouth a solid move to improve the offense. I’d call Church an upgrade over Frenchy too. Not a season changing deal, but an upgrade nonetheless…

Toots

July 31st, 2009
8:16 am

If the Braves did something would you be happy? Or are you just naturally dark and disturbed? I’m kidding, Jeff, but really–what would you have the Braves do?

nes

July 31st, 2009
8:27 am

What big bats are available? And we don’t want Freeman or Heyward being dealt.

All I'm Saying Is...

July 31st, 2009
8:27 am

Hey “Adam Price on July 31st, 2009 at 8:00 am”: Your post was priceless, dude! I could not have said it better myself. The quantity of blog postings by AJ/C sports writers may have increased and so has, unfortunately, the proof that they have little to say. As you stated, do some real work (i.e. research), Schultz, and at least appear informed.

greg

July 31st, 2009
8:34 am

Tell me how the Marlins do what they do with the lowest payroll in the majors. The Braves are a nice .500 club..that’s it. They simply are not better than half the teams in the league.

All I'm Saying Is...

July 31st, 2009
8:35 am

Schultz:

1) The Braves expect to continue to improve with the return of Infante and Hudson. (you might want to research their expected return dates…oops, that would require work).

2) Braves pitching has been consistently strong all year (you might want to research the team ERA…oops, that would require work).

3) Braves had no interest in trading their most marketable minor league/young talents:

a) Hanson (you might want to review his performance at the MLB level to see if that makes sense…oops, that would require work) or
b) Heyward (you might want to research his performance in the minors to see if that makes sense…oops, that would require work) or
c) Escobar (you might want to check his stats this year and how they have improved over the last couple of years…oops, that would require work) or
d) Prado (you might want to research his performance since becoming a starter (and the teams record since then)…oops, that would require work) so it did not appear logical or rational to go after Holliday or Adam Dunn.

Maxwell Snark

July 31st, 2009
8:37 am

We don’t know what it’s about, not me and not you. Wren likely had discussions, at least it has been reported he did, but did find something that was going to tip the scales for this year. I trust Wren and like what he’s done so far. Holliday? From his first-half stats, he looked like a product of Coors Field, not the second coming of Fred McGriff. He may have a McGriff-type impact, and if so, maybe the Braves should have pushed to get him. But, for me, I’m happy for the Braves to fight with what they’ve got and continue the rebuilding process over the winter.

Joebrave

July 31st, 2009
8:45 am

Shultz, you’re full of steaming cat poop!

Dave

July 31st, 2009
8:47 am

Hey Jeff, how do think Jim Minter would feel about blogs in his day? Can you see Grizzard sitting at his old Royal trying to respond . . .

W

July 31st, 2009
8:51 am

Who’s been hot lately.. A couple of pieces returning too. Shultz trying to
stir the pot why .. because he’s a writer. By the what see what happened
the last time we did what he proposed. Great idea Jeffy. Just shad up as the
baseball experts get paid for this kind thinking. God I’m stupid for reading
your rubbish.

Michael

July 31st, 2009
8:54 am

It’s a little disingenuous to say that the Braves have done nothing. They got McClouth and Church. Those acquisitions didn’t happen within the last week, but it’s hardly “nothing.”

Jeff Schultz

July 31st, 2009
8:55 am

Reid – Thanks for checking in and being FIRST! I was worried there for a while. Thought I’d have to write something about Vick again. … Agree on your analysis. The lineup changes basically have been to amend mistakes, and jury is still out on Francoeur-Church, despite what many Francoeur-bashers in this blogosphere might believe.

Adam – The why has been addressed – you’re obviously just not reading everything — and I’ll touch on it again tonight in a column off the game. 1) Budget; 2) Primary focus is on 2010; 3) Unwillingness to deal more prospects for contracts.

FSUBrad – Good point. It will be interesting now to see if KJ doesn’t get moved, because of what happened last night. I think he was as good as gone.

Toots – Dark, disturbed and occasionally happy.

Jeff Schultz

July 31st, 2009
9:01 am

Nes – well, Holliday WAS available. I know some folks want Adam Dunn but that’s just not realistic with his salary.

All I’m saying –
1) I’m aware of Hudson and Infante. Also aware Lindbergh made it.
2) Bullpen still could use middle relief help. (Might want to do some research.)
3) Duh. See above.
But you do get a few points for sarcasm.

Dave – Not sure Jim Minter would be into the whole blogging thing. Lewis maybe – after several beers.

Bravedawg

July 31st, 2009
9:07 am

Jeff,

I think this is an example of the teams at the top happening to have glaring holes. The Phillies were in dire need of pitching (their recent winning streak notwithstanding). The Giants have a ton of pitching, but little offense. Particularly, 2B was a black hole for them. Rich Aurilia?

And the teams at the top also have a lot more money than anyone else. So, they’re able to take on more salary. Numerous people on the AJC have said that the Braves couldn’t take an Adam Dunn or Matt Holliday because they can’t afford them. It may have been nice to get a reliever, but that’s about the only thing we need (and that we could reasonably afford).

Interesting that you make a distinction that the Braves getting McLouth and Church is “correcting mistakes.” Isn’t that what all of these trades are for? The Phillies made a mistake thinking they could win with the rotation they opened the season with. The Giants made a mistake thinking they could win with the offense they opened the season with. You catch my drift. If this McLouth deal was done yesterday, people would be saying the Braves made a spectacular move. So, wouldn’t it make it even better considering they got McLouth 2.5 months ago?

People just want a trade for the sake of a trade, and that’s stupid.

Herschel Talker

July 31st, 2009
9:11 am

Schultzie – I think it’s about 2010. The only things they would trade away would be things they wouldn’t want to part with, so standing pat is wise for the long-term (this assumes that some GM isn’t going for a Jo Jo Reyes and Kelly Johnson for Albert Pujols type deal).

All I'm Saying Is...

July 31st, 2009
9:24 am

Bravedawg: Great post! Probably over Schultz’ head though.

Schultz: Your giving me “…points for sarcasm” provides my life with so much meaning. And, yeah, middle relief help—the lack of that is what has been holding us back. Wow. Amazing insight from you.

LET’S GO BRAVES!

Tami

July 31st, 2009
9:25 am

In between the unnecessary “bashing” Mr. Price wrote @ 8 a.m., he did make some good points. While ALL of the possible trades were very, very attractive, the Braves would have to give up far too much for temporary players. I believe they are building for 2010, and any visit to the postseason this season is a bonus. I wouldn’t be surprised if Wren does make a “last-minute” change for the bullpen before today’s 4 pm ET deadline. However, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he didn’t.

I think Kawakami will end up going to the bullpen when Huddy comes back, which could assign Kawakami to a middle relief role. It’ll either be Kawakami or Lowe that moves to the bullpen. Based on his last outing, I tend to believe it’ll be the former more than the latter that is moved. Infante will be back soon as well, providing that extra bat we needed. So, there will be moves made on the team. Just internally. I think that in itself is the best move(s) for this team right now.

Brian

July 31st, 2009
9:27 am

Jeff, not only has Holliday never hit 40 home runs in a season (even when he played at Coors), he is only on a pace for less than 20 this year. How do you figure he is a 40-home run hitter?

Brian

July 31st, 2009
9:45 am

I would also like to add that, especially after being badly burned two years ago in a deadline deal, the Braves are probably taking more of a realistic attitude toward this season. It’s not the be-all, end-all, but the Braves’ postseason odds according to Baseball Prospectus peaked at just 31 percent, even after they got hot last week. It’s now at 21%. At least that illustrates how difficult it would have been to catch the Phillies or jump multiple wild card contenders. They have given themselves at least a shot this year without compromising 2010, and I think that’s all they want to do. The Braves are only two games over .500, and if they were under .500 like the Mets, I bet Javier Vazquez would be moved today.

Coach (2010 or Bust)

July 31st, 2009
9:49 am

Jeff, our Braves playoff chances are slim and none. Frank Wren knows this.

That said, the payroll is all but tapped out. The only tradeable commodity is our starting pitching and nobody want’s to go that route without having to basically tank the rest of the season. We are neither sellers nor buyers sitting at 52-50 (.510) and going nowhere fast.

I have been saying 2010 or Bust all season long and nothing has changed.

Herschel Talker

July 31st, 2009
10:14 am

OK. So it’s a consensus. The chances of making the playoffs this year are slim. Even if they do, the Phillies and Dodgers juggernauts would likely put an end to anything (not guaranteed, but likely). So don’t trade anything that would be an asset in 2010 and beyond. Furthermore, in the offseason, they can hopefully pick up the bat they need via free agency. Great. We’re all in agreement. On to the next…

Tony

July 31st, 2009
10:21 am

There is a reason none of us are GMs in this league. Trade away one of your most consistent starters (Vasquez)? Move D. Lowe to the bullpen? I want a bat as much as the next guy, but I am willing to wait for Mr. Freeman and Mr. Heyward to arrive in the next few years. We traded for the big bat two seasons ago and still missed the playoffs and lost a lot of prospects for it.

Doug

July 31st, 2009
10:32 am

I have said it before, I’ll say it again. There is talent here. A winning attitude has been missing. It has at least temporarily made an appearance. Hopefully, the team will discover it has a choice about winning. Winning doesn’t come by accident.

These players are major league players. They can play. The difference is, who can stay on top of the mental part of the game.

Finally, trading is complicated part of the business. A team has to be willing to give up players. They have to be willing to give up players to opposing teams. Sometimes the players actually have a say in that. Players may not want to come to Atlanta. Other teams may not want to help Atlanta reclaim first place status.

Thus, it still comes back to attitude. A team has to be willing to develop the chemistry and attitude it takes to win with the team it has. They have to win with the talent that is available. Getting discouraged about not having an all-star team to field everyday doesn’t help a team win.

All I'm Saying Is...

July 31st, 2009
10:36 am

Hold on a minute, Herschel Talker and Coach (2010 or Bust): The Braves are 7 back of the Phillies and 4 behind San Francisco (two teams who have an ongoing series with each other, by the way) and the Braves have 60 games left in the season and you two are writing things like: “Playoff chances slim and none” and “…chances of making the playoffs this year are slim.” What are you two smoking?

Let me tell you something and I’ll shout it to make myself clear: THE BRAVES HAVE AN EXCELLENT CHANCE OF MAKING THE PLAYOFFS IN 2009 IF WE STICK WITH WHO WE HAVE! As Tami noted, Schultz’ (over-stated) concern about middle relief will dissipate (Jeff: that means disappear which is what you wish for me, I’m sure) when Huddy returns given how well positioned our pitching staff is at the moment. As others have noted, teams tend to go with either a 3- or 4-man rotation in the playoffs which makes every other non-closer or non-set-up or non-situational pitcher a candidate for middle relief.

So all the Braves need to do is what every other playoff contender is trying to do at this time of year and that’s win games and win series and hope teams in front lose (yes, despite the million statistics available, baseball is really that simple).

In terms of the division, we still have nine games left with the Phillies in August and September. In terms of the wild card, well that’s why the darn thing was invented by Selig (during one of his few inspired moments as Commish) and we have an outstanding shot at it. So get your collective heads together and start thinking some positive thoughts.

LET’S GO BRAVES!

All I'm Saying Is...

July 31st, 2009
10:49 am

We also have 11 games left with the Nationals and the Padres—two last place clubs. If we can win eight to eleven of those games and take six of the nine versus the Phillies, then we can put tremendous pressure on them and bolster our wild card prospects. The Braves are well positioned to make a run and simply need to handle their business over the next 60 games starting tonight against the Dodgers. We’ll see and it will be fun to watch!

LET’S GO BRAVES!

Craig

July 31st, 2009
11:02 am

How can you say we haven’t done anything? McClouth / Church Just because this was done early doesn’t mean the Braves haven’t made moves before the trade deadline!

All I'm Saying Is...

July 31st, 2009
11:06 am

If you folks want to learn something about trade deadline trades, check this posting out on si.com:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/joe_posnanski/07/29/trades.prospects/index.html?eref=sihpT1

This article is an example of what a little research can do for the quality of your work (and since you are getting paid by the AJ/C and I’m not, Schultz, you are held to a higher standard than I am — and please don’t give me the excuse that the si.com writer works for a magazine and not a daily newspaper and faces less pressure to post daily blah-blah-blah—as my grandpappy use to say “If you are in the game then you need to play it well” so don’t give us less than your best effort with your posts, Schultz. I mean after all they have your name by them. Where’s your pride in your work, dude?)

LET’S GO BRAVES!

Jeff Schultz

July 31st, 2009
11:10 am

Bravedawg – That’s true, although Phils’ ERA has been among best in the majors of late and have been so not sure Lee fills glaring weakness. My point is that other clubs all took a big step forward. What you said about money certainly is true – particularly Philly and LA.

Herschel – I think you are correct. That’s not to say team is blowing off this season. But it’s almost like priority No. 2, if you follow.

Tami – Agree with you on 2010 thing (as others have echoed). I planned for that to be my focus tonight, unless somebody throws a no-no or I see Manny injecting between innings. …. On KK going to bullpen: Very possible, depending on how Huddy looks, but that doesn’t say much for KK given what he’s being paid.

Brian – True, actually 36 and 34. I stand corrected. Point is the same though, that his pop could’ve helped this team and should help the Cards.

Brian – I don’t think there’s any question that after Tex deal the Braves decided to closely guard remaining prospects. That’s been well-chronicled.

Rollwave06

July 31st, 2009
11:17 am

This has been said before, but I just want to reiterate the “timing” issue. The Braves have already made moves- I think for the better- and for the first time all year we have a solid line-up with few noticeable gaps. Why do you need to make a move the week of the deadline? The McLouth trade was a big deal, and would have been a headliner had it occurred this week. But it was made two months ago, and has certainly benefited the Braves. Church-Francoeur was probably a wash, but necessary.

I just think your grasping at straws here, Jeff. Was there nothing else to write? What was this, your 3rd article on the subject just this week? The Braves have been playing well of late- let’s see where it goes. And besides, let’s be honest. The Braves’ chances of making the playoffs are relatively low this year, given the sheer number of teams currently ahead of them they would have to best to make the wild card. Let’s not make a big deal (i.e. Teixeira) that’s going to hurt us the next year and years to come.

stamper

July 31st, 2009
11:19 am

honestly, i like our chances. i really do. the schedule also seems to favor us, so that helps… and while we might not do any trade activity today, we have the fortunate position of getting two additions in about 2 weeks, with Hudson and Infante. That right there will be HUGE.

gonna check out Hudson pitch in his rehab game tonight…i’m excited for him to get back in our rotation. He’ll be a major addition for us. He’s probably gonna get about 7 starts… that could be 7 wins for us; whereas KK might only equal to about 3 wins in that same time. that 4 game differential could pay a huge dividend for us in the end.

even if Hudson isn’t at his best, he’s still a significant upgrade over KK (who will be relegated to the bullpen for the rest of the year). a rotation of Lowe, Jurrjens, Vazquez, Hudson and Hanson is absolutely ridiculous. It will allow us all the opportunity to believe we have a serious chance of winning every night. no other team can feel equally confident about their rotation.

i like our chances, indeed.

Herschel Talker

July 31st, 2009
11:21 am

All I’m Saying is:

The wild card is certainly a possibility in terms of being 4 games back. The fact is that they’re in the mix with 5 or so teams, which makes it harder, but I do acknowledge the possibility. The division is done. Just do the math. They are not making up 7 games (8 in the loss column) against the Phils in 60 games. Just not happening. Read Schultz’s column earlier this week about not being able to have a bad week. They will have a bad week at some point, and that will seal the deal.

Our point is that it seems the only way to get better now is to give something up for the future (that’s generally how trading away prospects works), so it’s not worth it given the fact that they do not have an excellent chance, as you say. A possibility? Sure. But to say they have an excellent chance is just being naive. There is no sense in trading away Vazquez or a future chip in order to try and make it this year. Let’s focus on 2010 and beyond, and go at it this year with the horses we have.

Jeff Schultz

July 31st, 2009
11:22 am

NC Braves Fan — Sorry, we’ve had issues exclusive to people using Explorer. But they should be resolved now if you check. .. For future, email: jschultz@ajc.com … Twitter: @SchultzAJC

bry22

July 31st, 2009
11:23 am

If the Braves stand pat, there is very very very little chance they will make the playoffs. All they had to do was add one big bat and their chances would have increased tremendously!! What in the hell is Wren waiting for? Are we competitive? Yes! Are we Good? Not really. Average at best scoring runs. Above average pitching! Again what is Wren waiting for?

stamper

July 31st, 2009
11:25 am

sorry if i double posted.

BravoMan

July 31st, 2009
11:25 am

What about the aquisition of Nate McLouth? None of these teams did anything then. And not too many of these teams have a top of the rotation starter in Hudson returning, not to mention Infante and Carlyle. We’re not in a position where we have to do something, therefore this article is a waste of time.

Vols_1

July 31st, 2009
11:27 am

The Braves are biding time until Heyward and Freeman fill two power slots in a year or two. The smart move is to stand pat when stocked with good, young players. They’re not going to make the playoffs in 2009 so why blow up the minor league system? Doing so in the Tex trade a few years ago probably set the franchise back a year or two.

bravesfan27

July 31st, 2009
11:28 am

I guess nate and church was not good enough for you people esp u shultz

Jeff Schultz

July 31st, 2009
11:28 am

Bry22 — Careful, man. You’re rocking the boat with some folks here. :)

stamper

July 31st, 2009
11:29 am

Schultz your thread is screwy. not posting/telling me i’m double posting. WTF

bvillebaron

July 31st, 2009
11:29 am

I cannot believe that anyone would advocate trading for Matt Holliday after the Texeira disaster. Trading for Holliday would have been more stupid and shortsighted for several reasons: (1) you only get him for two months rather than a second season before he leaves (don’t kid yourselves folks, Holliday ain’t re-signing with the Braves with Boras being his agent with their budgetary constraints); and (2) Holliday isn’t having a “difference maker” season. “Standing pat” isn’t the worse thing the Braves can do, largely because they will be adding Hudson (in my mind, if Hudson pitches like the “old” Tim Hudson, he is as good as Cliff Lee) and Infante in August and this should make them contenders for the wild card spot (as much as I hate to say it, the Braves ain’t catching the Phils for 1st any way).

Iron Mike

July 31st, 2009
11:31 am

Why should they bother with a trade when they are getting Hudson and Infantae back and they can add Heyward when rosters expand. Why add a reliever at this time of the year since all of the best ones are getting to the point of overuse by this time of the year. I’m in favor of them standing pat.

stamper

July 31st, 2009
11:31 am

i give up. today is not my day. it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right???

myra

July 31st, 2009
11:38 am

Im not sure the Bravos can afford anything anymore. But for godsake,can we please end the NORTON experiment? If we are playing him to move him in a trade…it ain’t workin.
Im sure he is a fine gentleman,but he cant hit right now,anymore,(whateva).

Isn’t ATL supposed to be dumping our VETS for younger dudes? Per Frank Wren?
Dump Naaawwten and bring back BROOKSIE!!!!!!!!
Please!

curtis jones

July 31st, 2009
11:38 am

Let’s be real folks. McLouth was an attractive addition, but he hasn’t been a difference-maker. He was a .250 hitter then, he’s a .250 hitter now. Strikes out way too much, outfield play has been inconsistent; great play one day, poor arm/range the next.

Church is a platoon/bench guy…again, not a difference maker, although it was nice to get more than a bucket of balls for Frenchy.

Will Hudson/Infante make a difference? Huddy can’t get this team into the playoffs, and even if Infante batted his usual .350 from 5 positions, Cox won’t play him enough to make an impact. Never has, never will.

While there have been some reasons to smile (McCann, Yunel, Prado, Soriano and most of the starting pitching) this is certainly not a playoff team. It is a .500 team. This franchise is willing to settle for a mediocre team, with a mediocre manager and mediocre attendance. In 2000, this was not acceptable. In 2009, it’s okay. Yawn.

This manager and/or GM is perfectly okay with a low-production 1st baseman, a head-case 2nd baseman (for the first 80 games, and last night), a fading 3rd baseman, a DH in LF, a big question mark in RF, and the most overused, coming-off-serious-surgery relief pitching squad in the history of baseball. Oh, and a # 1 pinch-hitter who would need a GPS to find his way around the bases.

It’s a .500 team, folks. And nobody in management is too upset about that. It’s what we do these days.

midnite

July 31st, 2009
11:38 am

Kawakami is like a tender, beautiful, fragile cut flower-nice at first but he wilts easily. I have no confidence whatsoever when Gonzo comes in now because you know he is gonna make it a misadventure.

Chris

July 31st, 2009
11:38 am

You know? It’s a good day when you have 4 Vents.

A great win it was, but there’s a bunch of work to do from here.

I’ve been thinking we need a big bat, but it looks like we’re not gonna get it. Damn shame.