Flying south, and I’ll take your Braves questions with me

Santonio Holmes and Chipper Jones exchanged jerseys last spring. Not sure who big ears is. (Photo courtesty of The Disney Blog)

Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes and the Braves' Chipper Jones exchanged jerseys last spring. I'm not sure who mister big ears is in the middle. (Photo courtesty of The Disney Blog)

OK, folks. It’s too cold in Atlanta so I’m outta here for a few days. Heading down to Florida tonight and will be in Camp Disney tomorrow, so that Bobby Cox can tell me again that he’s thinking of retiring  (Here’s a three-year-old link with my old column picture. Feel free to print out for your dart board.) I dunno. Maybe he’s telling the truth this time. You think?

I haven’t come up with a writing budget yet for the rest of the week but this will be the first spring training since the multi-blog era was born here at the AJC. So I figure it will be a good chance to bounce around the clubhouse and practice fields and give you a few things a day. Also, if anybody has a practical joke you would like me to play on David O’Brien, I’ll be more than happy to accommodate you. Maybe load up with iPod with Tony Orlando and Dawn.

Seriously, if anybody has a particular question they would like asked of a player, coach, Cox or Frank Wren — something that hasn’t already been asked and answered, ad nauseam — send them along. Or if there’s a blog you would like to see, let me know.

You can post all of your questions and blog ideas here, or send them to me via Twitter (are you following @JeffSchultzAJC yet? If not, hurry, because I plan on capping my followers at 75 million and I’m almost there. Or you can send me an email (jschultz@ajc.com).

If I use your blog idea, I promise to give you full credit and maybe even send you a printout with a certificate of authenticity.

Assuming I get enough requests for questions, I’ll probably throw them together in one expanded blog sometime during the week.

I’ll check back later. Thanks.

150 comments Add your comment

DamYankee

February 24th, 2010
6:09 pm

Please ask Bobby/Frank what Matt Diaz has to do to get 550 AB’s. First?

GovClintonTyree

February 24th, 2010
6:26 pm

Will Tim Hudson be kicking DOB’s a$$ this year? And if he had an axe to grind, shouldn’t it have been with the immortal and well-sourced Terrence Moore?

Bob Horner stayed hurt

February 24th, 2010
6:30 pm

ummm…DOB loves Tony Orlando and Dawn….he also likes the BeeGee’s…

Jeff..you are a bad man…!!

A.J.

February 24th, 2010
6:31 pm

What is the plan with JO Jo? Is he basically done with ATL??

IPayForAOL

February 24th, 2010
6:32 pm

Two questions:

1) The Braves ranked 21st in defensive efficiency and 29th in equivalent base running runs last season (in other words, they were beyond terrible on the base paths and pretty bad on defense). How are they going to address this?

2) Why does Brian Snitker still have a job?

lanier

February 24th, 2010
6:36 pm

please spend some time finding about the young arms we have in the minors who can close in the near future. like later this season. im concerned about who we have to open the season with. i dont trust Wagner long term.
we are banking on 2 old arms that probably don’t have many more quality innings in them.

Bob Horner stayed hurt

February 24th, 2010
6:49 pm

Will Tony Glaus hit 25hrs..????

Nite Owl

February 24th, 2010
7:06 pm

Please ask Bobby why he would trade a quality starter like Doyle Alexander for an unproven commodity like John Smoltz.

I mean, ask Frank why he would trade Vazquez.

JohnSmith242

February 24th, 2010
7:17 pm

Who will be Bobby Cox’s replacement as manager next year? Is someone (i.e. Terry Pendleton, Eddie Perez) going to be groomed for the job during the ‘10 season?

Dayman

February 24th, 2010
7:26 pm

1. Is Infante going to get a legit chance to start at 2nd? It was looking like he was going to replace KJ last year until he broke his hand.

2. Would Bobby consider moving Chipper down in the line up after the first couple of months, if he struggles like last year?

3. If Heyward is clearly our best RF will he start the season even with arbitration coming sooner.

4. How has Moylan’s elbow held up over the off season?

26.2

February 24th, 2010
7:29 pm

Compared to what’s on the radio lately I’d opt for Tony O. and Dawn.

lanier

February 24th, 2010
7:29 pm

Ipay you are correct about Snitker. 11 years or so ago he was the Macon Braves Mgr and we actually laughed at him down here. this moron must have some real damning knowledge about somebody important

Nite Owl

February 24th, 2010
7:32 pm

@Dayman:

I know you’re not asking me, but I’ve got to think Prado’s locked down the job at second.

I love Infante though. Great insurance policy at seven positions. Amazing.

Dayman

February 24th, 2010
7:37 pm

I’m like you nite owl, even if Infante doesn’t start he is one of the best bench player you could ask for?

Dayman

February 24th, 2010
7:38 pm

I don’t know why i phrased that as a question.

Poopy Pants

February 24th, 2010
7:58 pm

Will Chipper Jones ever consider playing some time at first this season if Glaus can’t get the hang of it?

Please refer to me in your article as Mr. Poopy Pants.

Thank you,

Mr. Poopy Pants

Fred

February 24th, 2010
7:59 pm

Does Bobby miss Leo or does he realize Leo just lucked into a great situation with the pitching staff we had back during the glory days?

Stinky

February 24th, 2010
7:59 pm

It’s just like Chipper to covort with rodent Met fans.

jack

February 24th, 2010
8:02 pm

To Wren: How does Schafer figure in their plans for this year?

To Jeff: Blog about what kind of vehicle the main guys on the 25 man roster drive? Why don’t you guess one day and give your reasoning; then the next day give their answer.

Nite Owl

February 24th, 2010
8:03 pm

@Dayman:

It’s ok, we were playing Braves Jeopardy…

Seriously, though, Infante may be the most valuable as an insurance policy for Chipper. If Chipper fails to live up to his own expectations next year, he might just walk away in mid-season.

Josh

February 24th, 2010
8:06 pm

With all the recent attention focused on Heyward being in camp and hitting trucks and windows, how are our other guys swinging the bat? We’ve got 5 guys that can knock 20 a piece, it’d be nice to see some displays during the Spring.

Dayman

February 24th, 2010
8:07 pm

@Nite Owl

I don’t see Chipper just quiting mid year. I know he has said if his #s don’t improve this year he will retire with two years left on his contract. But no way he gives it up mid-season.

Nite Owl

February 24th, 2010
8:12 pm

DOB’s ipod needs: Lady Gaga, Michael Buble, Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Cyrus the Syrian Assassin.

Oh and that Jason Mraz song. I think it’s called Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

Reid Adair

February 24th, 2010
8:15 pm

Jeff, I’m sure that you will find more than enough good ideas and material in Orlando. I’m just hoping that you’re able to finally get photographic evidence that Frank Wren spends most of his spring-training time at the theme park dressed in a mouse costume.

Nite Owl

February 24th, 2010
8:29 pm

@Dayman:

Actually I think Bobby and Chipper will play one more game of catch at the end of the season, then disappear into a cornfield together.

(Crickets)

JawjuhBoy

February 24th, 2010
8:33 pm

Ask Frank if tar and feathers is considered appropriate General Manager attire.

BravesLover

February 24th, 2010
8:36 pm

How in the world can I tolerate Little Carey’s chattering for a whole season for a majority of the games? If he would just shut up life would be so much nicer during the telecasts. Last season’s playoffs when the network chunked him should have told the Braves something, but nooooo he gets to bring his drivel to my tv. Still haven’t decided whether to fork out the $180 or so to Direct TV for the game plan. Without Motor Mouth Boy there wouldn’t be a question, but….

Delbert D.

February 24th, 2010
8:41 pm

That was Chipper’s only smile last year. Time for the Sullen One to take it elsewhere.

IPayForAOL

February 24th, 2010
8:42 pm

DamYankee (February 24th, 2010 6:09 pm EST): Please ask Bobby/Frank what Matt Diaz has to do to get 550 AB’s.

Matt Diaz career splits:

vs. LHP .347/.384/.537
vs. RHP .276/.334/.387

Perhaps producing more than an on base average of .334 and a slugging percentage of .387 against the pitchers he’d be facing 70 per cent of the time if he were to get 550 AB’s would be a good start.

Delbert D.

February 24th, 2010
8:45 pm

Jeff, that’s Frank Wren in the middle.

Dayman

February 24th, 2010
8:46 pm

Maybe not doing stupid things like getting picked off 3rd to end a rally in a tight WC race would help too, Ipayforaol.

george potter

February 24th, 2010
8:57 pm

Why not send Chipper jones to first(his skills and range are deteriorating) and allow new signee Glaus back at third, where he specializes?

Alex

February 24th, 2010
8:59 pm

Ask Glaus if he had second thoughts about having to move to first base.

1st 2010

February 24th, 2010
9:02 pm

Tell bobby to have matt diaz as lead off hitter!

1st 2010

February 24th, 2010
9:04 pm

Ask him about Smoltz!

1st 2010

February 24th, 2010
9:09 pm

Ask frank about Pendelton!

toga

February 24th, 2010
9:19 pm

1. Ask Glavive what exactly is he doing?
2. Ask yourself, and be truthful, how has the most disturbing rednecks. Alabama, Georgia or Florida.

toga

February 24th, 2010
9:19 pm

that is who has..

IPayForAOL

February 24th, 2010
9:23 pm

A.J. (February 24th, 2010 6:31 pm EST): What is the plan with JO Jo? Is he basically done with ATL??

He has option(s?) left, so he probably won’t be released or waived or anything (unless the Braves really need a 40-man roster spot), but I don’t think he has much of a future in Atlanta. He may be traded, but I figure he’ll probably be released about this time next year.

lanier (February 24th, 2010 6:36 pm): please spend some time finding about the young arms we have in the minors who can close in the near future. like later this season. im concerned about who we have to open the season with. i dont trust Wagner long term.
we are banking on 2 old arms that probably don’t have many more quality innings in them.

Well, I think you’re wrong about Wagner, considering how well he pitched immediately before and after surgery and his otherwise mostly clean bill of health, but I can see where you’re coming from. And I don’t much trust Takashi Saito to stay healthy or pitch well.

Craig Kimbrel, who is a top-10 Braves prospect, made it all the way to AAA last season. He throws an upper 90’s fastball and a plus slider, but he’s had horrible control issues thus far (career minor league BB/9 of 5.7). He’s strictly a relief prospect and is viewed as the future closer in Atlanta. As soon as he gets the control issues ironed out (if he ever does, that is) he’s ready for MLB, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he cracks the majors in 2010.

There’s a couple other relief prospects like Lee Hyde, Jose Ortegano, Jonny Venters, et cetera. that are fairly close to MLB ready, but they probably won’t amount to much in the way of late innings relievers.

Bob Horner stayed hurt (February 24th, 2010 6:49 pm EST): Will Tony Glaus hit 25hrs..????

My crystal ball is in the shop.

Nite Owl (February 24th, 2010 7:06 pm EST): Please ask Bobby why he would trade a quality starter like Doyle Alexander for an unproven commodity like John Smoltz.

I mean, ask Frank why he would trade Vazquez.

I laughed out loud at this, mainly because I don’t think most people get it. But very well done.

JohnSmith242 (February 24th, 2010 7:17 pm): Who will be Bobby Cox’s replacement as manager next year? Is someone (i.e. Terry Pendleton, Eddie Perez) going to be groomed for the job during the ‘10 season?

John, come on, you know Frank Wren isn’t going to answer that.

Dayman (February 24th, 2010 7:26 pm EST): 1. Is Infante going to get a legit chance to start at 2nd? It was looking like he was going to replace KJ last year until he broke his hand.

In like 3 PA’s. Omar Infante has a career .310 on base average and a career .391 slugging percentage. He’s not in the mix for any every day job.

2. Would Bobby consider moving Chipper down in the line up after the first couple of months, if he struggles like last year?

Of course he’ll consider it. He always considers what’s best for the team, regardless of the circumstances. It’s just, he usually gets to “Chipper Jones batting third is probably best for the team”. I see no evidence he’s wrong. Just because something hasn’t changed doesn’t mean he hasn’t considered it.

3. If Heyward is clearly our best RF will he start the season even with arbitration coming sooner.

The official answer is yes, and that’s all you’re going to get, really, regardless of the truth.

4. How has Moylan’s elbow held up over the off season?

Still attached! (I don’t mean to be a smart ass, I just haven’t heard anything.)

Poopy Pants (February 24th, 2010 7:58 pm EST): Will Chipper Jones ever consider playing some time at first this season if Glaus can’t get the hang of it?

Once again, I think he will consider it. I just don’t think he’ll do it, once he’s done considerin’.

Fred (February 24th, 2010 7:59 pm EST): Does Bobby miss Leo or does he realize Leo just lucked into a great situation with the pitching staff we had back during the glory days?

Jesus. What a loaded question. I assume Bobby personally misses Leo. I have no idea if he misses Leo, professionally. I suppose Roger McDowell has done a good enough job.

jack (February 24th, 2010 8:02 pm EST): To Wren: How does Schafer figure in their plans for this year?

Whenever he’s ready, he’ll be the Braves’ starting center fielder, at least against right handed pitching. “When” becomes the question. I think he’ll most likely be ready at some point in 2010. I can’t predict with much more precision than that, though.

IPayForAOL

February 24th, 2010
9:31 pm

Dayman (February 24th, 2010 8:46 pm EST): Maybe not doing stupid things like getting picked off 3rd to end a rally in a tight WC race would help too, Ipayforaol.

Eh, everyone does stupid things from time to time. The timing of that event was unfortunate, but it’s not like he does stupid things any more frequently than the next guy.

I don’t think anyone in the industry thinks any less of Matt Diaz in terms of value based on that play.

David Duncan

February 24th, 2010
9:41 pm

Plese ask Bobby Cox why he thinks the Braves are better offensively than last year? I can’t see how Cabera and Glaus are an upgrade over Laroche and Anderson. The lack of the ability to score runs will doom the Braves to another 4th place finish in the NL East in 2010.

todd grantham

February 24th, 2010
9:56 pm

jeff, safe travels and give us some good scoop.

Matt the Brave

February 24th, 2010
10:03 pm

God speed, Jeff! Just push the buttons like you do, especially with Frank Wren.

matt r

February 24th, 2010
10:20 pm

Give us some picture diaries.

thunderbull56

February 24th, 2010
10:25 pm

1.Item 1A.TP had a chance at the Dodgers.TP spurned that op.TP is waiting to PURLION the new and infectiously POSITIVE ATTITUDES of our young and up and up and comers. No offense TP,but,If you can;t teach ‘EM how to SWING,GO somewhere else BRO! Bad as I want BC to ride into the the Sunset,AB’s Baseball Club altready has enough HOMECOMBERS!

Traver

February 24th, 2010
10:26 pm

Question for Frank: Would you also consider making this your last year? Sure would hate to see your incompetency exposed any further after Bobby isn’t around to make overachievers out of your underacheivers.

Sincerely, The entire Southeast Coast of Georgia and the Low Country of South Carolina.

JTH

February 24th, 2010
10:31 pm

Ask somebody if/ when is Liberty Media going to sell the team.

Jeff Walker

February 24th, 2010
10:33 pm

Question: How much money is left in our budget in case we would like to make a trade during the season?

bad brad

February 24th, 2010
11:00 pm

once you get south, stay there.

FIRE FRANK WREN

February 24th, 2010
11:00 pm

Ask Frank Wren how does it feel to be the second most inept GM in Atlanta just behind Don Waddell? Ask him what his next move to screw up the Braves will be and if he has considered retiring with Bobby Cox?