How they really stand: Falcons hold, Braves climb, Dogs fall

Mark Richt hopes things are looking up at Georgia, but he's got something to prove next season.

It seemed like Mark Richt got rained on a lot last season. Paul Johnson is just trying to figure out how to win a bowl game. (AJC photo)

It was two years ago when we introduced our inaugural “How They Really Stand” rankings for local sports teams. The Georgia football team was so overwhelmed by the moment of being listed No. 1 that coach Mark Richt decided to keep defensive coordinator Willie Martinez for two more seasons, and well, OK — the bowl devolution from Sugar to Capital One to Shreveport, that’s all my fault.

This is how the rankings work. There is no mathematical formula. There are no computers. There is no Harris poll. It’s a completely subjective set of rankings based on records in the most current season, projections for the immediate future, recent transactions, management, coaching, direction, ownership, leadership, structure, stability, drafts (or recruiting), fan support and — in extremely rare circumstances — bizarre issues that might find owners buried in litigation for over four years running (hypothetically speaking).

So who’s No. 1? Same as last year’s No. 1. (Last year’s ranking is in parenthesis.)

♦ 1. Falcons (1): They didn’t meet expectations in 2009. But they have the best GM-coach combination of the four pro teams and there’s no reason to doubt direction. The to-do list:

Mike Smith made some fans when he wanted to tear of DeAngelo Hall's head. And that's a good thing.

Mike Smith made some fans when he wanted to tear of DeAngelo Hall's head. And that's a good thing. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Thomas Dimitroff needs to fix the defense, Mike Smith needs to smooth out the team’s inconsistencies and Matt Ryan must show everybody that his rookie season wasn’t an aberration. A good kicker wouldn’t hurt, either.

♦ 2. Braves (4): I know. Seems strange to jump the Braves two spots after a winter that included trading Javier Vazquez for a fourth outfielder and a box of Ding Dongs. But general manager Frank Wren had some good moves during last season to set things up for the future. The pitching staff – led by Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens – should be among baseball’s best. Also, good move by president John Schuerholz bringing Tom Glavine back into the fold as an assistant in the front office, even if Glavine’s likely first move will be to cut the legs off Wren’s desk chair.

♦ 3. Hawks (5): Rick Sund had the best offseason among the general managers. He re-signed every important player and added Jamal Crawford. He’s rolling the dice a little bit with Joe Johnson and Mike Woodson each in the final year of their respective contracts. But you can sort of understand the mindset if something goes wrong in the playoffs. Either way, Josh Smith and Al Horford aren’t going anywhere.

The sky may be the limit this season for the Hawks, in part because of Josh Smith and Jamal Crawford. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

The sky may be the limit this season for the Hawks, in part because of Josh Smith and Jamal Crawford. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

♦ 4. Georgia Tech football (3): The Jackets weren’t dropped so much as they were passed. Paul Johnson has exceeded expectations in his two seasons. He won the ACC. But it wouldn’t hurt to win a bowl game — or at least not get body-slammed. Player losses could hurt next season. But Johnson was quick to react to a problem on his coaching staff and hired Al Groh as the new defensive coordinator. Careful: He’s old but angry.

♦ 5. Georgia football (2): Martinez: Exit, stage lift. But the Bulldogs’ slide hasn’t been all about the defense. They have been generally soft on both sides of the ball, and error prone. It doesn’t mean the program is crumbling. But Mark Richt is coming off a 4-4 season in the SEC, where life expectancy is less than in other conferences. Also, while you know how I feel about people’s over obsession with recruiting, it doesn’t look good when the state’s No. 1 recruit (Da’Rick Rogers) pulls the chute in the 11th hour.

♦ 6. (This space for lease.)

♦ 7. Georgia Tech basketball (7): Paul Hewitt can recruit. And sometimes win. But if the Jackets miss the NCAA tournament with this roster, Hewitt’s out of excuses, and he knows it.

♦ 8. Georgia basketball (8): The fact the Bulldogs already have upset three ranked teams (Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Vanderbilt) is a testament to Mark Fox’s coaching ability. The fact

The Thrashers' best (former) player now lives in New Jersey. Ugh. (AP photo)

The Thrashers' best (former) player now lives in New Jersey. Ugh. (AP photo)

Georgia was 2-7 in the SEC entering the weekend and has lost by 16 to UAB, 28 to Missouri, 16 to Florida and 19 to Auburn reflects the roster Fox has to work with. But if he can keep some talent in the state, Georgia will move up quickly in the SEC.

♦ 9. Dream (9): Good news: Atlanta’s WNBA team went from 4-30 to 18-16 in its second season. Bad news: Nobody cared and the Dream even got kicked out of Philips Arena for Sesame Street Live in the playoffs. Don’t mess with Elmo.

♦ 10. Thrashers (10): There is some young talent. But Ilya Kovalchuk is gone, playoff chances are on a respirator again, six former No. 1 picks are either playing elsewhere or out of hockey, and even NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is banging on ownership. Words like growth and stability don’t come to mind.

284 comments Add your comment

Another Dawg

February 12th, 2010
11:23 am

How is any team ahead of the Hawks. They’re the only team bound for playoff consistency. The Braves will disappoint as always, the Falcons are hit or miss at best.

And you can get off Paul Johnson’s junk, already.

Paul H

February 12th, 2010
11:27 am

Tech and UGA Football are interchangeable. Either one is about right. UGA has so many question marks but they are on the right track. Tech is a wild card due to losing players and coming off yet another spanking in their bowl game. Depends on how they react. Of course, playing in the ACC is a good slumpbuster for any program.

Reid Adair

February 12th, 2010
11:31 am

Oh, Jeff. I really can’t see how Frank Wren has managed to convince you he made good moves during last season to help the team. He’s done nothing to improve the offensive lineup, and he traded away the Opening Day starter for a back-up outfield and a prospect.

The only way I would have moved the Braves to No. 2 would have been if Glavine was being hired to replace Wren.


February 12th, 2010
11:32 am

Seem really high on the Braves, I think I would put the Hawks above them at this point (though that could change if we lose JJ this coming off-season). I hope you are right about the Bravos though, I hate not watching October baseball.


February 12th, 2010
11:35 am

Let’ get to the point – THRASHERS SUCK: Worst franchise in any sport in any organized league.


February 12th, 2010
11:40 am

No way the Georgia Tech football team is behind either the Falcons or Braves. The Hawks are debateable….depends on how far the Hawks make it in the post-season. If they make the Conference finals then YES they are #1. Otherwise GT would have to be based on the last two seasons in which both were major improvements. No team in the State has come close to rejuvenating a program. The Falcons did last year only to go backwards this year. The Braves would be behind even the UGA Football team since they have not made the post-season nor were they in serious contention. Shoot, I am an avid Dawg fan but even I am impressed with the job that has taken place in Atlanta and wish I could honestly say that I felt our coaches were nearly as good. We certainly have more talent and depth but are even with them at this moment in time (eventhough we have dominated the decade…Johnson has leveled the field).

Believe you must have been a little inebriated in order to list the Falcons or Braves into the illustrious locations you placed them.


February 12th, 2010
11:42 am

I miss October baseball, too, but also got depressed watching the underachieving (most of the ’90s) Braves in October also. Kinda like the Dawgs in ‘08 and ‘09. Depressing.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

February 12th, 2010
11:42 am

If the Falcons are the best this state has to offer, we should stop playing sports altogether and take up this whole climate change thing


February 12th, 2010
11:44 am

Am I the only one that thinks Glavine’s front office position is temporary until he can move into his more permanant spot in the dugout?


February 12th, 2010
11:47 am

If the Thrasher’s are that bad and listed at #10, why are they only 2-4 points out of the playoffs? That alone should have them higher, even if the overall prognosis is negative. However, maybe getting rid of llya might be the best thing to happen to his team in a long time…hope that draft picks work out. I also predict a rise of UGA hoops in the next year or two (not this year though) and a fall for the UGA football team (already started). Iffy on Braves season this year, but hopeful, Don’t need Damon, give RF to the rookie from opening day onward.

Bob Didier caught here

February 12th, 2010
11:49 am


After reading where you put both UGA’s football and basketball programs respectivley I have to admit that you actually DO have a tilted bias against UGA. What gives?? UGA Defense dramatically improves alone with the departure of CWM AND losing The “da-rick” will actually benefit the dawgs in the long run. Please when evaluating the Dawgs look at the big picture instead of what happened in the past


February 12th, 2010
11:50 am

meh – basing a program’s relative worth over a rash decision made by somebody still in high school seems a bit rash in itself. You bump up the Braves and Hawks over their offseason moves yet drop Georgia for theirs when general consensus is that they were very positive for the direction of the program.


February 12th, 2010
11:52 am

Die-hard Tech fan. No secret there. That being said, you could’ve switched UGA and Tech’s hoops teams and nobody could argue. Georgia has tremendous upside with a coach who has already garnered signature wins (ILL, GT, TN, VANDY) and is doing so with one arm ‘handicapped’ behind his back thanks to the mess Felton left.

Hewitt has no excuses. It’s an abomination of what USED TO OCCUR at the McTit back in it’s hey day.

Hoops Dawg

February 12th, 2010
11:52 am

I concur with your assessment of Ga basketball. Has anyone out there heard any rumors about targeted recruits for the Dawg basketball team this coming signing period?
As for the Bravos, I get the feeling that Wren is going to look either like a genius or an idiot depending on how Hudson and the other offseason acquisitions perform. Of course Chipper also HAS to snap back to his old levels of proficiency for the Braves to be a real threat–a large task for a player his age. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.


February 12th, 2010
11:54 am

Shultz- I wish I had your job. All I would have to do is come up with a topic that I don’t know jack about and piss everybody off and I could get paid?????? WOW!!

How are the Braves better? YOu said it yourself, they traded their Opening Day starter for a 4th OF and a prospect (i’ll look forward to seeing that prospect in about 3 years if he actually becomes something). They sign Troy %$&#@ Glaus to play 1b??? Really?? He’s never played 1b before. THe offense still has no pop and the back end of your bullpen needs a handicap sticker to park and a wheelchair ramp to get into the stadium!!!

i have a dream

February 12th, 2010
12:03 pm

I didn’t realize that the WNBA still existed… Even if they didn’t, i’d still put their defunct team above the thrashers. Good call, Jeff


February 12th, 2010
12:06 pm


Oh Jeffy...

February 12th, 2010
12:06 pm

The fact that you have the Braves in at #2 on your bogus list totally takes away any validity this piece could have had. I mean seriously dude, Frank Wren makes moves like an anorexic with a yeast infection…


February 12th, 2010
12:08 pm

He’s a receiver Jeff. Granted it didn’t look good and GA’s recruiting limped to the finish line overall but Rogers is really not that big of a deal. The key is a freshman quarterback. All that returning talent on offense and hopefully they commit to the running game like they did against Tech. Murray showed flashes of real athleticism and field generalship in the spring game but it’s a spring game. Mettenberger has a bazooka for an arm but so what.

I think the real key here is escape with a win at SC and the schedule falls to a realistic? 9 win season. Hard to be realistic when you’re a dog fan.


February 12th, 2010
12:10 pm

What was my point? I think you’re pretty much right with the exception of maybe swapping places with the Braves and Hawks and Ga and Ga Tech football. Tech lost an awful lot of talent.

Paul H

February 12th, 2010
12:12 pm

Hawks should be ahead of the Braves.


February 12th, 2010
12:12 pm

Matt, you need to come out of your shell and tell us what you really think!!! No more holding back. Frankly, I agree with you for the most part. I do hope they can turn things back around, but the jury is too far out to be moving them up in the rankings. That is based on hope and press releases.

Bob Didier caught here, if you are looking for original thinking you know you are at the wrong place. The main MO at the AJC is to report what others have already reported and to find ridiculous provocational topics just to get a lot of hits/postings. Apparently, the bosses only care about those numbers, not about actual content or creativity or accuracy.


February 12th, 2010
12:13 pm

I have no clue how you have the Braves ahead of the Hawks. Wren took a competitive ballclub and turned it into a laughingstock within 3 months. Botched the Vazquez deal, didn’t find a 1B, Chipper has finally hit the wall, and don’t even get me started on what you dreamers are expecting out of Tim Hudson. There aint a snowballs chance in hell this Braves team makes the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Hawks are stocked with young talent that has ARRIVED and are primed for a eastern conference final run. I’ll be expecting an updated column with updated rankings. In honor of Iron Mike, “this column is ludacrisp!”

Fed Up With Wren (Again)

February 12th, 2010
12:14 pm

Braves are way too high. They are going backwards. Frank may have made some good moves last season, but they are more than undone by the moronic moves he made in the offseason. The Braves will not make the playoffs unless a major move or two is made midseason. I agree with 2BT that the Tech and UGA hoops team should be flip flopped. Tech is going nowhere until Hewitt is fired.

Nite Owl

February 12th, 2010
12:18 pm

Jeff, I love/hate you. You’re brilliant/an idiot. This list is dead-on/the dumbest thing ever written.

Truth be told, these teams are all mediocre to above average. Nothing horrible is going to happen to any of them, but nothing great, either.

Hawks will not hurdle the Cavaliers or Magic.

Braves will be a little over .500 but won’t make the playoffs.

Thrashers will miss the playoffs by a few points.

Falcons will compete but not win the division.

Tech football takes a small step back. UGA football stays just good enough to lose to the big boys.

Tech basketball continues to squander its talent. UGA basketball looks to a brighter future, but it’s not quite here yet.

And by the way, Jeff, you are really biased for/against my team.

History can sometimes be cruel

February 12th, 2010
12:20 pm

History can be painful and it makes one not want to face the truth. I am not talking about the Al Gore claim of Global Warming or more recently …………Climate Change. HAHAHAHA

Tech’s painful football history of the last 50-55 years is so well documented. Dodd left in 66? or 67? after about 10-12 years in A ROW of mediocrity in his last many years. Look at his dismal 1960s bowl record. Then, Tech brought in a parade of football coaches, too many to name. They at best were a 6-5 type of team playing lil boy ball and in a lil boy conference.

All COACHES LEFT Tech for one reason or other. Bill Curry DUMPED TECH for the SEC and Alabama and that hurt the jocks that he played with in the 60s. They were humiliated by that one move. Most of Tech’s other football coaches were fired.

I will give Bobby Ross a ” he went to the NFL” pass with a NC but he was tied with Colorado, Miami and one or two other schools in 90; depending on what newspaper that you read that year or in what region of the USA that you lived in. Ross did win big one year then he bailed out. See?

IF CPJ wins about 9 this year, and he loses to UGA again for Tech’s 9th time in 10 years, he will go away to another program where they play big boy ball or maybe the NFL. Such is life at Tech and the HISTORYof THE FLATS for the last 50 years. Now, if he only wins about 7 and shows signs of losing in the ACC …………. um, well ah, he is in trouble with that triple option thing.

Are there any intelligent AND ACCURATE CHALLENGES to this? Nope. A SUCCESSFUL football program is defined over 40-50-60 years …………not one sad bowl game or two other fair years in 45 – 50 years . For this reason, a Nebraksa or a Texas A & M are considered successul or BIG TIME football programs BUT just not lately have they been. Nebraska is again making some noise. Tech’s ONE year in 90, then the Urange Bowl in 2009 for example, do not make a program. That record shows a hit and miss CONSISTENT third tier program …. at best.

Auburn lately has been third tier BUT they are gonna move up to Second Tier this year with maybe 8 or 9 wins. They will remain there then move higher in 2011 and 2012. Time will tell. Same is true of UT. UGA has won 8 or more for the last 13 years and that is a fine SECOND TIER program. I am a UGA grad, so I am happy to admit to this fine status. There are only about 5 TOP TIER programs, so we at UGA are happy to be just below that ………….consistently, I might add.

Tech is a Third Tier team where about 95% of all NCAA schools are. Tech longs to be a consistent BUT ONLY Second Tier program for the long haul, historically speaking. Sort of like their basketball teams are.

Go Dogs.


February 12th, 2010
12:22 pm

Hewitt is awfule – and he knows it. he has no confidence, anymore, in himself and it shows. Football bowl games – although I wish Tech would do better, unless you are playing in the National Championship BCS bowl game – all others are essentially meaningless. IE. an ACC Championship game AND win is much more important than a non-BCS national championship bowl game.

Nite Owl

February 12th, 2010
12:31 pm

Where do the Greendale Human Beings fit into all this?

Tailback U

February 12th, 2010
12:32 pm

Tech in front of UGA football?
When did you start doing stand up ?
I can hear Terry Bradshaw’s voice in my head just now,
you are a funny man Jeff!
Damn! still laughing !
So where can we see you next ? Punchline ?


February 12th, 2010
12:34 pm

Sometimes you really are a douche… listing the Thrashers behind the Dream would be one of those moments where you qualify. You do it to get a reaction from the Thrasher fans here, and here I am taking your bait. Well done, Mr. Schultz, well done…

By the way, I liked that you completely disregarded what Pollack was saying about the Lehtonen trade on 790 the other day when you were on. Not much for listing facts are you? Lehtonen wasn’t traded for garbage, Ivan Vishnevskiy was also a former first round draft pick with promise and is regarded by many Stars fans as their top prospect, but of course you never want to list the good, you just want to continue to pile on and on and on. I understand that things are far from perfect with the Thrash, but these pieces really disrespect and are a slap in the face to the players who do try and give their all on the ice and the fans who love and support them.

Willie the Martinez

February 12th, 2010
12:35 pm

{{{{{{{{{{ Bud Foster }}}}}}}}}}
{{{{{{{{{{ John Chavis }}}}}}}}}}
{{{{{{{{{{ Kirby Smart }}}}}}}}}}

That guy

February 12th, 2010
12:37 pm

The Hawks losing JJ could be a blessing in disguise. Maybe that will give the Hawks a chance to sign Bosh or Wade. I’m not sure Wade will leave Miami, but without signing Joe we should have a pretty good shot at Bosh. Finding a 2 to fill JJ’s spot will be tricky, but a frontcourt that includes Bosh, Smith and Horford is a great spot to look at the future from.

I like JJ but he doesn’t have the killer instinct a player with his leading role needs. I’m still waiting on the clutch 4th quarter performance. He can fill it up when there is no pressure, but when it matters I can’t remember him doing anything special.

Again, this is the thinking of a fan, and not the ownership. And this ownership is likely to not sign anybody and let this momentum the Hawks have created completely fizzle.

That guy

February 12th, 2010
12:45 pm

You can’t be mad about the Thrashers being listed behind the Dream. The Thrashers have been the laughing stock of the NHL, and the pathetic ownership hasn’t done anything to improve the franchise, i.e. spend money, or fire Waddell. The spirit are pathetic.

The Dream made it to the playoffs in their second season. I didn’t care and hardly anybody else did either, but that is just how pathetic the Thrashers, and the Atlanta Spirit, have been.

There are only two possibilities for the Hawks and Thrashers to be competitive at the same time. New owners for each franchise, or the Thrashers in another town.

Nite Owl

February 12th, 2010
12:46 pm

I don’t have a problem with Joe leaving, either, but I think Crawford would be a pretty good option to step in and start for him.

Of course, we’d need another bench scorer or three.

By the way, I think the Thrashers get a bad rap. They have won an actual division championship. That really did happen. Would you rather be the Edmonton Oilers right now? I wouldn’t.


February 12th, 2010
12:53 pm

You will see Georgia run the ball more this year because…………..they will be able to. The line is back intact with depth and they are older and bigger and the running backs, although not all SEC types, are pretty good. The defense will be better and the schedule is friendlier, so all that adds up to 10 wins……….or Marks comfort zone. Second tier we are not.


February 12th, 2010
12:56 pm

Tech will be 8-4….The ACC is getting a little stronger and Tech , this year and next are losing the heart of that team. If they can replace those skill players with as good….or better , I’ll tip my hat to them………….but I doubt it.


February 12th, 2010
1:00 pm

Which team will sell out every home game in Georgia’s biggest stadium? The DAWGS will always be #1 in Georgia Sports!


February 12th, 2010
1:08 pm

Regarding your space 6 for lease: How about putting in a fan-o-meter? It would register the rancor level Atlanta fans have for sports writers, each other, various coaches, mascots, and uniforms. Should we hope for a better fan mood in 2010?


February 12th, 2010
1:09 pm

Do you actually follow sports anymore? A box of ding dongs? Have you even looked up the reviews for Arodys Vizcaino? Any time you can get the best pitching prospect from an organization, you’re getting more than a box of ding dongs.

And how can you say Sund is “rolling the dice” with Joe Johnson in the last year of his contract? He offered him a 4-year extension before the start of the reason that was rejected.


Nite Owl

February 12th, 2010
1:11 pm

As a die-hard Atlanta fan, I have to say the No. 1 team is whatever team Michael Vick plays for.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.


February 12th, 2010
1:15 pm

Why are the Braves listed so high?

It’s a completely subjective set of rankings based on records in the most current season (They don’t have one- Thrash mediocre), projections for the immediate future (Possible playoff team, but unlikely by most experts’ accounts, same for the Thrash.. and wait till you see them in five years), recent transactions (Saito, Wagner, Cabrera, Glaus?!? Really? This impresses you? —- Thrashers signed Antropov, Afingenov on the cheap, picked up Kubina for Exelby in the off-season. Traded Kovalchuk for good players, they aren’t on Kovy’s level, but got what the could. Kari trade is a win), management (Wren has made moves, but the jury is still out on most of them.. and remember Garrett Anderson was actually an upgrade over the move he wanted, Griffey — We all know what Waddell is, but since Rick Dudley has gotten here the organization has been under better management and made better decisions with their personnel), coaching (Bobby WAS the best, when his rotation consisted of 3 Hall of Fame pitchers… now not so much… John Anderson has a histroy of success in the lower levels, and has done a fair job with the Thrashers), direction (Debatable. They have some young talent, but nobody knows where that will lead them, especially with the uncertainty of who the next manager will be…. debatable with the Thrash as well.) ownership (Liberty freaking media— Atlanta freaking Spirt Group.. Lose, lose.), leadership (Chipper Jones? Really? Moose Hedberg, I suppose now.), stability (They have been mediocore for a long time, you’ve got me there—- Braves win, Braves win), drafts (Wainwright and possibly Heyward hit it out of the park in the last ten years. Other first round picks include Macay McBride, Joey Devine, and Scott Thorman —- Kovalchuk, Heatley, Lehtonen, Kane, Bogosian, Valabik, Little, Coburn, and Slater are all contributing at the NHL Level, Thrash win despite what you say) (or recruiting), fan support (Lacks. They sell as well as the Thrashers do) and — in extremely rare circumstances — bizarre issues that might find owners buried in litigation for over four years running (hypothetically speaking). But we can spin it all day.

You’re biased. (And so am I)


February 12th, 2010
1:19 pm


I think the Falcons and the Hawks are built for success in the long term. If they continue to build their depth they’ll be a consistent threats in the playoffs.

Paul Johnson will continue to exceed expectations at Tech because the expectations aren’t as high there as they are at UGA. It’s too early to gauge UGA but I know this: if Richt and Bobo can’t develop a QB better than they did with Joe Cox and if his team isn’t at least competitve in losses, it will be the end of his program.

The Braves are stuck in mediocrity. They do just enough to win games and be competitive but I don’t see them playing for championships anytime soon.


February 12th, 2010
1:22 pm

GratefulDawg- That statement summarizes all UGA fans! Wins and losses mean nothing, it’s who has the most fans.

Thank You

J Dawg

February 12th, 2010
1:23 pm

pathetic take, not at all accurate. Here’s the truth


take your pick on the rest, no one really cares about em

Black Helmets Forever

February 12th, 2010
1:25 pm

Jeff, you didn’t mention black helmets in your article. I would just like to know more about how you think the return of the black helmets and/or pants will affect UGA football this year. We may try black jerseys. Or possibly give away free black tacos. We are desperate.


February 12th, 2010
1:26 pm

1. Falcons
2. Braves
3. Hawks
4. GT football
5. UGA Basketball
6. UGA Football
7. GT Basketball


February 12th, 2010
1:32 pm

30-24, 8 of 9…gosh you nerds are hilarious..we own you, got it?


February 12th, 2010
1:35 pm

schultz, 30-24, your loverboy hasn’t even won a bowl game, and has been manhandled the last 2 games of the season..get your excuses ready for next have plenty of time to find one…

Give the man some credit

February 12th, 2010
1:35 pm

Jeff, I am so confused as to how you have done this to me. I do not care for most of your pieces (mostly due to the fact that I am young and have very much faith in my hometown teams). I do however, find myself here every day looking at your posts specifically.

And while I would love to provide you folks with statistics for all of the atlanta teams that I could mold into making you feel they are all note-worthy franchises, I will just stick with the Braves. The Braves are not a joke, as a large percentage of you seem to think.

Thank you for acknowledging that Wren “had some good moves” and “set things up for the future.” From my perspective, the moves that Wren has made this offseason are not as terribly bad as OH JEFFY, REID ADDAIR, CHIPPERSLOVECHILD and quite a few other knowledge-lacking commenters seem to think.

Let’s conduct an experiment:
Hitter A averaged 142 games per season from 2005-2008. He hit for an average of .260 with an average of 30.5 home runs and 90.5 RBIs each season for those same four years.
Hitter B averaged 144.5 games per season from 2005-2008. He hit for an average of .272 with an average of 24.5 home runs and 85.25 RBIs each season for those same four years.

Who would you rather have??

Hitter A is Troy Glaus. Hitter B is Adam LaRoche. 2009 is omitted because Glaus missed most of the year. Granted it might be more difficult to come back from an injury at the “later” part of your baseball career. I still see it as a potential UPGRADE.

Pitcher A averaged 33.66 saves per year from 2006-2008. He did this with a 2.39 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP over the course of those same four years.
Pitcher B averaged 27 saves per year from 2006-2008. He did this with a 1.986 ERA and a 0.937 WHIP over the course of those same four years.

Who would you rather have??

This one was actually a trick. Pitcher A is Billy Wagner. Pitcher B is Takshi Saito. 2009 is removed because both pitchers statistics were deflated as a close whether from injury or from being moved to a set-up role. I still see this as two SOLID additions if not UPGRADES.

I struggle to see how these moves are idiotic or irrational. Aside from the occasional Steve Phillips, most General Managers know how to obtain players that will result in more wins (sorry Steve, but nobody really thought you were that great of a GM) [although I enjoyed your short-lived analyses of the game on TV].

ga gator

February 12th, 2010
1:45 pm

Where are the Gators on this power poll?