Braves’ Frank Wren needs to fix good, but not great, team

Michael Bourn may have played his last game for the Braves, who have some big decisions to make this offseason. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Center fielder Michael Bourn may have played his last game for the Braves, who have some big decisions to make this offseason. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Once you get past the fact that the Braves waited until game No. 163 to resemble baseball’s all-thumbs team, and that a major league umpiring crew just made the NFL’s replacement referees look fit to be air traffic controllers, this is what the 2012 season really comes down to: The Braves’ margin for error this season was just too narrow.

They won 94 games. That’s impressive. They went 20-9 down the stretch after it looked again like they were circling the drain. That’s really impressive. But what really pushed this team into the postseason were two unexpected occurrences: 1) A 40-year-old (Chipper Jones) unexpectedly hit .300 for most of this season, had two walk-off homers against Philadelphia (the second when the club looked comatose on Sept. 2), and finished second in game-winning RBIs (12) and third in go-ahead RBIs (18) despite missing 50 games; 2) Kris Medlen went from middle reliever to emergency starter to channeling Cy Young.

Unexpected occurrences can make a good team look like a great team. But it’s not something anybody should count on.

The Braves’ lineup still is a bit heavy on “could be” and “should be.”

Some questioned whether general manager Frank Wren should have brought back predominantly the same roster after the team’s unraveling in 2011. But it was an understandable risk. He could make the case that one horrific finish was an aberration. There is no case now.

The Braves are losing Chipper Jones. There’s a good chance they’re going to lose center fielder and leadoff hitter Michael Bourn to free agency. Catcher Brian McCann just suffered through the most miserable season of his career, and health issues are an increasing concern. If Martin Prado is viewed as a comforting backup plan at third base, that leaves left field open.

That’s four of eight positions.

When the 2011 season ended, the heat was on manager Fredi Gonzalez and his staff (hitting coach Larry Parrish was fired). That’s not the case after Friday’s Wild Card game loss to St. Louis. The onus now is on Wren. He needs to improve a lineup that too often struggled to score runs, even during a hot September.

Wren said Saturday he’s “very optimistic about where we sit as a franchise.” He referenced the team’s young core (Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Andrelton Simmons), the late-season bounce back of Dan Uggla and pitching. That’s a good start. But these aren’t minor issues that need addressing.

“I think they need some pieces,”  the outgoing Jones said. “But Frank will have a good time with all the money he’s going to have this offseason to try to get those pieces.”

There’s potentially $36.345 million coming off the books for just four players: Jones ($14 million), Derek Lowe ($10 million of dead money), Bourn ($6.845 million) and Jair Jurrjens ($5.5 million). The assumption is Wren will exercise club options for both McCann ($12 million) and Tim Hudson ($9 million).

How might payroll flexibility change the dynamic in the Braves’ offseason? Wren, handcuffed by budgetary constraints in the past, joked, “We may shop in a different store.”

So not Wal-mart?

“We may go up the street to Target,” he said.

When told that, Jones — who remembers when payroll size wasn’t an issue like now — cracked, “I guess that’s good to hear. Maybe one day we’ll get back to Macy’s and Dillard’s.”

Wren said it won’t be a great free-agent group (one reason why Bourn is expected to land an astronomical contract). The Braves more likely will need to acquire talent through trades. The other issue will be leadership, particularly with the loss of Jones. Heyward and Freeman will be expected to take on expanded roles. The Braves have gone through several transitions over the past decade, but this one might be the most difficult.

It’s also something nobody in the organization wanted to be focusing on so soon — one game — into the postseason.

“Anytime you get this close, you want to take advantage of it because you don’t know what’s going to happen next year,” Gonzalez said. “Chipper’s not going to be here. We’ve got to sign [Bourn]. You don’t know if you’re going to be healthy next year. We may not have had the sexiest team out there, but we were good.”

Not great, just good.

By Jeff Schultz

263 comments Add your comment

TheOnlyBravesFan

October 6th, 2012
4:44 pm

Great offseason to be a Braves fan.

Bill Naha

October 6th, 2012
4:46 pm

Fredi references needing to sign Bourne. Is that a little hint they may actually make a run at keeping him? knowing what Philadelphia is likely to offer?

dawggirl

October 6th, 2012
4:46 pm

They need to throw out that lineup and start over. Keep Freeman, Heyward and Prado. Throw out everyone else.

Bobby Bobby

October 6th, 2012
4:46 pm

Baker

October 6th, 2012
4:46 pm

Only one mention of Uggla? And Gonzales says “we’ve got to sign” Bourn but you say Bourn is for sure gone?

Is that “late-season bounce back” of Uggla enough to pay him $13 MILL for a .220 avg and 19 HRs? Any chance we see someone else at 2B next year?

Najeh Davenpoop

October 6th, 2012
4:57 pm

Uggla needs to go.

bulldogbubba

October 6th, 2012
4:58 pm

If we are going to make changes then do it.Trade Uggla and Hanson cut the dead wood.Hudson is a toss up.If our pitching coach is as good as we think he is then these young pitchers should be the next Young Guns next year.Put the Rev at 2nd and Prado at third.Get us a left fielder and we might have a team that could contend.Thanks for listening. GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!

Big Wally

October 6th, 2012
5:04 pm

Uggla won’t be going anywhere due to his contract. No other teams wants a 2nd baseman that whiff’s as many times as he does and only average defensively. Due to Wren’s incompetence in signing him to that outrageous contract two years ago, we are stuck with Uggla at 2nd.

Buddy Greene

October 6th, 2012
5:05 pm

with mc cann needing shoulder surgery one must wonder if we are going to exercise that 12million option if he is only going to be around as much as moylan was this year b4 bolting to free agency.

lanier

October 6th, 2012
5:05 pm

damn straight they were good

Fredo

October 6th, 2012
5:15 pm

“We’ve got to sign [Bourn]”

you don’t HAVE to sign a leadoff hitter who looks like he’ll now strikeout 150+ times per season. You study the market, you don’t overpay for Bourn, you find the next available cheaper option

Largo

October 6th, 2012
5:18 pm

The future should be interesting.

what a joke

October 6th, 2012
5:19 pm

braves are a joke , when you hired freddi you are never changing….chipper is a hot dog…and a ho

Old Dog

October 6th, 2012
5:21 pm

Do we really want Bourne?

CJ

October 6th, 2012
5:21 pm

Lets be honest. This bargain baseball may work out in Oakland but that won’t cut it in a division where you are being out spent 3 to1 by Miami,Washington, and Philly. To be honest if Philly is healthy next season we probly won’t even make the playoffs next yr.

Old Dog

October 6th, 2012
5:23 pm

I look forward to 2013.

NickGranite

October 6th, 2012
5:23 pm

For the gazillionth time. Uggla is owed 39 million bucks for the next 3 years. Who will take that on? What we really need is another right handed bat(s) that can actually hit left handed pitching. That was one of the reasons we picked up Uggla…. Anyway, who ever we might pick up, it needs to be someone who makes contact to mitigate all the big whiffers in the line-up, particularly if you keep Bourn because he strikes out alot along with Uggla, Freeman and Heyward.

Knox Culpepper

October 6th, 2012
5:29 pm

This is MLB not the NFL so Uggla is here unless someone else is dumber than the Braves or the Braves do another Derek Lowe trade which is highly unlikely. Bourn is gone. With the limited free agent market and Boras as his agent say goodbye and don’t look back. I don’t know if it is wise to resign McCann as he seems to be going in the wrong direction. Freeman, Heyward and Simmons are still under contract and cheap so they aren’t going anywhere. Prado is excellent so he and the other three will be the nucleus of the team and let’s see what Uggla does. That still leaves three starting positions up in the air. Catcher, CF and either 3B or LF depending upon where Prado plays. With $20+ million to spend (after resigning Hudson) Wren could do pretty well. Along with their returning pitching (both starting and relievers) the Braves should be just fine.

English Speaking White Guy

October 6th, 2012
5:31 pm

NickGranite – the Hawks found someone willing to take on Joe Johnson’s contract. Hopefully, the same stupidity exists someplace in baseball and Uggla will be gone.

Curt Douglass

October 6th, 2012
5:33 pm

Before you go too far in castigating Frank wren and the fans at Turner, may I suggest that you consider the fnas when confronted with a really bad umpire call. I’m proud of the fans and they have every right to be upset. Just remember, they paid to get in the front door. Without fans, what does it all mean anyway?

Ralph

October 6th, 2012
5:34 pm

If the Braves want to be a contender next year in addition to Chipper and Bourn leaving McCann, Hudson and Uggla must go utherwise it will be the same-o-same-o. Hudson has been great for us but he is no longer worth $9mil and McCann’s time has come and gone, Uggla is a total waste of money.

MikeY

October 6th, 2012
5:35 pm

Here’s how I see it:

Potential Braves 2013 roster members before free agent re-signings/signings:

McCann (assume Braves accept $12M 2013 option, if not, $500K buy-out)
Boscan

Freeman
Uggla
Simmons
Pastornicky
Janish
Prado
Francisco

Constanza
Heyward

Hanson
Hudson (assume Braves accept $9M 2013 option, if not, $1M buy-out)
Medlen
Minor
Maholm (assume Braves accept $6.5M 2013 option, if not, $500K buy-out)
Juurgens
Delgado
Teheran
Beachy (midyear)

Kimbrel
Venters
O’Flaherty
Martinez
Avilan
Varvaro
Gearrin

Bourn, Ross, Hinske, Diaz, Wilson, Sheets, Johnson, Overbay, Baker, Bautista, Moylan, and Durbin are free agents or retiring, thus not on the 2013 roster unless re-signed. Chipper will be in retirement. And there are some more prospects in the minors that could have a chance. Obviously the Braves need some back-ups and to add to the OF roster.

It is also interesting to look at 2013, from a money perspective, Chipper, Lowe, and Hernandez (yes, the Braves are still on the hook for Livan’s salary for 2012) come off the books, and free agents Bourn, Ross, Hinske, Diaz, Wilson, Sheets, Johnson, Overbay, Baker, Bautista, Moylan, and Durbin are gone, if the Braves do not re-sign them. That frees up about $40M. BUT we will have a number of arbitration raises: Prado, Jurrjens, and O’Flaherty are all arb-3. Janish is arb-2. Venters, Hanson, Medlen, Martinez, and Heyward are all arb-1. My guess is that raises for all these arb-eligible guys will eat about $16M. Assuming Liberty leaves the salary budget at the current level, that leaves about $24M in 2013 to either re-sign our FA’s or sign new FA’s. Plus the Cubs paid part of Maholm’s remaining 2012 salary, so that might cut the Braves’ 2013 remaining budget a bit. It will be interesting to see how the Jurrjens situation plays out, he is making $5.5M in 2012, if he does not turn it around he could be released in 2013, freeing up at least $5.5M. He might actually get a raise in the arbitration process if we keep him!

I certainly hope we re-sign Durbin, Moylan, Ross and Johnson. Of the veterans that we lose to free agency, those I would really like to see back.

I could see a Constanxa/Johnson (if we re-sign him platoon in CF, the go for a BIG bat in LF (w/ Prado at 3B) or at 3B (with Prado at 3B). Ask yourself, would you like a CF platoon as above, with Josh Hamilton in LF?

smoltzfan

October 6th, 2012
5:38 pm

Any future plans has to include off-loading Uggla, he’s a massive hole in the lineup and a liability in the field. I love McCann, but his body seems to say it’s time for the AL. BRINGING BACK THE SAME SQUAD AFTER LAST NIGHT JUST WON’T CUT IT WREN.

Henry D.

October 6th, 2012
5:38 pm

I agree with trading Hanson and whoever we need to to get a good right handed bat somewhere in the lineup. Prado at 3rd and leave him there. Have no clue what to do about Uggla, but something has to change either at the position or between his ears. Hinske is gone, he was awful this year. We do need a speedy center fielder other than paying Bourne half of the money we have to spend. I don’t think Canstanza is the guy, but he may be piece in a trade. I would like to see another experienced pitcher brought in to help steady this starting staff. McCann is another puzzle. To pay him 13 mil. is a big gamble based on his health the last 2 years.

There you go Frank, take these suggestions and run with them.

stevie zero

October 6th, 2012
5:41 pm

wish we could find a sucker to take on strugglas contract. for 12 mil a year, he kinda sucks

Armchair Observer

October 6th, 2012
5:41 pm

For the poster who said play Pastornicky over Uggla, your credibility is gone.

Bye, bye, Bourn.

Should be bye, bye, McCann.

Definitely bye, bye Hanson.

jed

October 6th, 2012
5:42 pm

if we’re stuck with uggla, do we have to keep him at 2b? he’s a huge liability defensively.

Skram30082

October 6th, 2012
5:44 pm

MikeY,

Good analysis, but I think the Braves will let Jurrgens go. There is no reason for the Braves to go to arbitration with him. That takes another $5.5 off the books.

ButterMilk Tuesdays

October 6th, 2012
5:44 pm

Pick up McCann’s option? Uh, why? The dude is absolutely useless; he can’t hit, run, defend, or call a single decent game behind the plate. He’s a couple years shy of 30, but his body appears to be ahead of that by a few years. And Uggla? I’m not even going to go there… Wren just needs to swallow his pride, and get rid of him.

Orange Brave

October 6th, 2012
5:45 pm

Why would you even consider keeping McCann at $13 million????

JT

October 6th, 2012
5:49 pm

I saw Ted at the Ted yesterday. Sure wish we had his money back in Atlanta. Then maybe the Braves could be a legitimate contender. It’s unfortunate that in order to attract good ballplayers anymore you must first make them multi-millionaires!

Big Crimson 75

October 6th, 2012
5:49 pm

The Braves Pitching is solid:
Beachy, Medlin, Hanson, Hudson, Minor, Maholm, Delgado, Teheran, Kimbrell, Venters, O’Flatery, Martinez, Avalan & Durbin.
As good a staff as any in MLB.
The position Players:
McCann is done. Bourne isn’t worth 10+mil.
It’d be a gift if someone took Uggla off our hands.
Move Prado to 3rd, Freddie is solid at 1st. Singleton at SS. Heyward in RF.
Wren needs to spend some $$ on 2 Five-Tool Outfielders for CF & LF.

Orange Brave

October 6th, 2012
5:51 pm

Remember everyone in the division “upgraded” last year and will probably do so this year. This is not about keeping up with the “jones” (pun intended), but to think that all your weak links (McCann, Uggla, hanson, JJ, etc.) are going to improve is nuts. Remember the definition of insanity??

Chipper was bigger than you think, just saying.

McCann was a bigger hole than you think. Bring up the BettenCourt kid, keep Rossy, nuke Hinske (really any reason to pay him a million )to hit .192 and be a “good presence” in the clubhouse.

On another note, I would/could be a good presence in the clubhouse and they don’t even have to pay me. Just give me peanuts and few beers (I will put it in a cup) and high five the guys and go out after games with them and buy them supper and generally yuck it up.

Great article Schultzie. Some of your sentences hit the nail on the head. After reading you for many years, I am finally agreeing with nearly everything you say.

I think DOB is a homer and think you tell it like it is in an entertaining way.

Cheers.

Orange Brave

October 6th, 2012
5:58 pm

love the “struggla” name. funny.

I do think he is worth keeping just because noboday else will take the contract. Maybe our hitting coaches can show him some dumbed down stats that can convince him not to swing for the fences eveytime.

We should nuke: McCann (sorry McFann); JJ (5.5 mill, really, really, really??); Hinske (why keep), and Jack Wilson (just seeing if anybody reads my posts).

Bourne; make him a generous offer, but no reason to play around. I think he likes it here and we need him. Braves DONT need a long term high dollar contract. He is our catalyst and an All Star, but no reason to cripple us (e.g. Lowe, Struggla, etc.) with a long term deal for a player already peaking.

TNT

October 6th, 2012
6:01 pm

Josh Hamilton, please.

Mitchell

October 6th, 2012
6:11 pm

Is that picture from this year or last year?

Ha!

2 funny.

alex

October 6th, 2012
6:13 pm

CAN’T KEEP PLAYING UGGLA, WHAT’S THE PURPOSE ? I SUSPECT THERE ARE SEVERAL 240-250-AAA OR AA 2ND BASEMAN AVAILABLE WHO CAN FIELD AND THROW,LET’S FACE IT HE IS NOT STARTING MATERIAL.Get someone to take Hanson and MCcann and throw in the uggla to play for their AAA team….As for Bourne, his post alllstar team collapse makes me think he’s in it only for the money and thinking the all star gave it to him, doesn;t give a sh33 and won’t produce after some idiot gives him a big check, read uggla, lowe….
d

JT

October 6th, 2012
6:14 pm

TNT – 6:01 pm – I thought about Josh Hamilton, as well. He can be a little “streaky”, but when he’s on his game, watch out.

JT

October 6th, 2012
6:14 pm

TNT – 6:01 pm – I thought about Josh Hamilton, as well. He can be a little “streaky”, but when he’s on his game, watch out.

Charles

October 6th, 2012
6:15 pm

I wish the Braves would hire any decent Little League coach to keep reminding Mr. Uggla to stop swinging up on every pitch. Or, does that snarl he makes all the time affect his hearing?

Jay Dubu

October 6th, 2012
6:15 pm

The Braves are not bringing JJ back, unless there’s someway that they can sign him to a minor league contract (and to get that, he’ll have to show some drastic improvement over the offseason).

Unless Hudson decides to leave, the Braves will bring him back. He won 16 games and pitched 179 innings. Nine mil is a bargin for a pitcher that dekivers those numbers.

Jeff Schultz

October 6th, 2012
6:19 pm

Bill Naha — I think everybody on team would like Michael Bourn back but I think his value on the open market will exceed what the Braves will budget for him (and possibly what he is legitimately worth, even as much as everybody likes him).

Jay Dubu

October 6th, 2012
6:19 pm

If the Braves can’t afford to sign Bourn, there no way they can get Hamilton. Hamilton will be looking for a contract simular to Carl Crawford and/or Pujols.

Jeff Schultz

October 6th, 2012
6:21 pm

For those interpreting Gonzalez’ comment on Bourn: I think the context was more like signing Bourn is on the “to-do” list, he wasn’t suggesting if they lose Bourn that they’re doomed (although the need for CF and leadoff hitter obviously becomes a crucial).

Deep Six...........

October 6th, 2012
6:21 pm

Deep Six and File 13: Tommy Hanson, JJ, Fredi Gonzalez, Roger McDowell and Dan Uggla – Trade Brian McCann while you can get something for him – try to find some real men and not sissies (aka Jason Heyward) that really want to play baseball and invest Gimper Jone’s salary in some decent young hitting prospects………and while you are at it Frank, go play out in the middle of I-75 in rush hour traffic.

Ken Stallings

October 6th, 2012
6:23 pm

In my view, McCann is a player I may wish to keep my money in my wallet and let go. It would be a bit of an unpopular move, but the Braves have options at catcher and need to start using them. I think McCann is on the injury road now. I would save the $13 million on McCann and of course exercise that $13 million option on Tim Hudson.

There is a chance to keep Michael Bourn and I would make that effort.

However, Josh Hamilton has lost the Midas touch in Texas despite putting up another year of monster numbers. The kid is from North Carolina and therefore it might be possible for the Braves to pursue him. If the Braves are willing to devote $30 million then I believe it is possible to keep Bourn (if he wants to stay) and sign Hamilton. That would create a monster infield.

You then move Prado to third base.

It would represent an overall increase in payroll of about $10 million, but it would give the Braves precisely the kind of lineup needed. If Hamilton is willing to move, put the emphasis on signing him and then replacing Bourn with a lower cost option. If Boras is able to fleece a team for a $15 million a year contract on Bourn, then the Braves should walk away immediately. The limit I would pay Bourn would be about $10 million a year, and that would leave something in the $18 million a year range for Josh Hamilton.

Jeff Schultz

October 6th, 2012
6:24 pm

Some cries here for Josh Hamilton. I would say: proceed with caution.

Alaska Braves Fan

October 6th, 2012
6:26 pm

I’m still shell-shocked over yesterday’s game. None of the terms for it that come to mind are suitable for public use.

One certainty going forward: We will not have Michael Bourn next year. He will draw such huge offers from other teams that the Braves would have to scrape the gold off the capitol dome to come up with enough cash to keep him. Management will try, but they cannot succeed in keeping Bourn.

ABF

Stinger2

October 6th, 2012
6:28 pm

I enjoy reading the thoughts and comments about how Wren should go about reshaping the team for 2013. It seems that Freeman, Heyward, Simmons and Prado are unamiously liked as the core position players with varying opinions about the pitching, backups, Uggla and McCann. That leaves a big job for Frank over the winter.
I trust him do do all he can with the money available and his expertise in trading and signing FA to make the 2013 team a legitmate contender.I am a fan who prefers to observe others opinions (rather than to give my own) as long as these people do not make negative comments that are personal, out of line with the AJC blog rules. Also, those comments which are negative, repeatitive against the same indivduals and disguised under attempted humor or jokes are ones to which I will respond. If my
responses annoy someone, they should remember what we all are entitled to and subject to what others are entitled to say instead of calling that person by ugly names. In other words, if you put ugly stuff out there have thick skin.

archie

October 6th, 2012
6:31 pm

The “late season bounce back” of Dan Uggla? What? You mean when he skyrocketed from .210 to .220? Surely, our farm teams in Cleveland, Toronto or Kansas City would take him off our hands, as they so kindly did with Frenchy, Kotchman, Yunel & Cox’s son Kelly Johnson: all of whom are proudly hitting just above their weight. Uggs would be a superstar on those teams.

McCann $13 million? Stop the madness! His overweight body is tired, worn out and beyond repair. If he was in a footrace with Octomom at full term, he’d finish 10th!

Jay Dubu

October 6th, 2012
6:33 pm

As horrific as the infield fly call was, that only played a art n the Braves’ loss. All year long, they have struggled to hit with runners in scoring position, and it showed again last night.

I recall DOB recently mentioning in one of his highly rated blogs that the Braves were the owners of the lostest BA with runners in scoring position in all of MLB (or something along those lines…).

Don

October 6th, 2012
6:36 pm

Jeff, you call to change the team and then state that McCann’s option will likely get picked up? Change needs to include moving on from McCann. This is not the first fold up he has experienced over the past 3 years. I’m afraid his better days are behind him, if not for poor performance, but for oft injured as well. this team cannot afford to soak up $10 million + for him in 2013.

Jeff Schultz

October 6th, 2012
6:38 pm

Orange Brave — Thanks for the comments.

Jeff Schultz

October 6th, 2012
6:40 pm

Don (and others): I’m too big of a McCann fan to say cut him loose now, and I think such a move would be premature. He has had too many great years here to assume that he can’t come back next year. It would really be kind of dumb actually to cut him loose now with no catcher there to replace him. Do I think he’ll be gone after next season? Very possible. But I wouldn’t do it now.

jeffrey d

October 6th, 2012
6:40 pm

Is that picture from this year or last year?

Given the 2012 behind Bourn, I’d guess it’s from this year.

Badway

October 6th, 2012
6:48 pm

If you disagree with this single elimination wild card game than sign this petition please…we need your help.

https://www.change.org/petitions/major-league-baseball-end-the-failed-experiment-of-a-one-game-wild-card-playoff

SSA

October 6th, 2012
6:50 pm

Agreed schultz, mccann was basically injured this whole year, i think it would be unwise as well as unfair to mac to cut him loose given what he’s done for our club the past seven years.

in regards to replacing bourn i think we should look into pursuing either of the upton twins, bj is a free agent and just came off a 28 homer year and justin had a decent year for an underperforming dbacks club and could be on the trade block

Sonny Clusters

October 6th, 2012
6:51 pm

Enter your comments here

Sonny Clusters

October 6th, 2012
6:51 pm

Enter your comments here

P Rose

October 6th, 2012
6:53 pm

“The other issue will be leadership, particularly with the loss of Jones.”

I strongly disagree. On the contrary, leadership will NO LONGER be an issue for this team, now that Chipper will be gone. The manager can now go about the business of leading, without being overshadowed anymore.

Chipper was one of the greatest hitters of all time (in the regular season), but he is not a good leader, either by word or by example, on the field or off.

I like Chipper, but I love the Braves. They have been his team for a very long time. Without him next season, they may be better, or they may be worse; but either way, it’s going to be interesting.

jeffrey d

October 6th, 2012
6:56 pm

Good try, Sonny ;)

Steve

October 6th, 2012
7:08 pm

While getting rid of Uggla’s contract would sound like a great idea, the reality is we are likely to have a tough time doing it. Who would trade anything of value for him?

As for McCann, the Braves are not sold on Betancourt being ready and they might pay McCann to keep the fans happy with Chipper being gone. Maybe not, but it would not surprise me. And yes, McCann could turn it around and if so is probably worth the $13 million.

I just wonder who is available that we could get and that is actually worth something. By all accounts this is a horrible free agent year for bats, especially right-handed.

The Braves need to restock their position players in the minors. They have a serious lack of depth in the OF and with Simmons and Pastornicky likely to start the season in Atlanta they will have next to no depthin the middle infield.

Time to offload a couple of pitchers for depth at other positions. It will be an interesting offseason as we finally have some flexibility.

chc4

October 6th, 2012
7:09 pm

Fredi is getting a pass for that atrocious safety squeeze call involving Simmons. Cox, LaRussa, Leyland, Baker… not one other respected manager would’ve made that call in that situation. Is that why we lost? No. But it’s indicative of poor in-game decision making in the biggest game if the year.

Hillbilly D

October 6th, 2012
7:09 pm

According to what Don Sutton said on air a few days ago, Jack Wilson is retiring, since somebody mentioned him.

Najeh Davenpoop

October 6th, 2012
7:15 pm

If the Braves can trade Lowe, they can trade Uggla. At least Uggla has two redeeming qualities (power, walks). Lowe had none. If they can find a taker to get his salary off the books they should have enough to keep Bourn and McCann and add another bat.

Bill Payer

October 6th, 2012
7:16 pm

Really doubt Fredi actually called for a safety squeeze. Think he’s covering his players mistake. Braves need ownership change. Out of town company owning team does nothing for the Braves. Just another p&l statement for their accountants to fiddle with. Someone like Arthur Blank, not necessarily Arthur Blank, would be a big plus.

gy6

October 6th, 2012
7:23 pm

just like last year. and the year before that. and the year before that, and the year…

Silver Bean

October 6th, 2012
7:28 pm

It appears that the Braves are stuck with Fugla. Why can’t the illustrious batting coach duo instill in him that he does NOT, repeat NOT have to attempt to absolutely kill the ball everytime he swings? He looks like a muscle bound FOOL every at bat.

Silver Bean

October 6th, 2012
7:28 pm

It appears that the Braves are stuck with Fugla. Why can’t the illustrious batting coach duo instill in him that he does NOT, repeat NOT have to attempt to absolutely kill the ball everytime he swings? He looks like a muscle bound FOOL every at bat.

Virginia Ranger

October 6th, 2012
7:32 pm

Denver wants to move Cuddyer and Fowler. I am sure we have enough trash to get those two useable risks. Hanson, Venters and Jurjens or a combination thereof should pry them loose. I am interested to see if anyone things Fowler is worth it.

I don’t trust Fowler, but he seems to have the potential to be just what we need without giving up any useful and valuable pieces. Maybe hometown cooking and monitoring will make him a stud next to JayHey and then we could platoon Constanza and Johnson in left.

For you McCann haters, The Rox are not all that all enamoured with Wilton Rosario, so he may be an option, but he is a lot worse that Bmac behind the dish.

Feedback please.

Ted Turner

October 6th, 2012
7:33 pm

McCann is aging in dog years. There’s no way in the world I’d pay a non-athletic blurred vision McCann that kind of money.

McCann is fully expendable with David Ross on our roster.

Time to go after some high energy character guys who have some fire in their belly.

How many more wait till next year

October 6th, 2012
7:33 pm

Find someone to take uggla like Dodgers..and sign David Wright to play 3b and put Prado at 2b where he was a all-Star.

Virginia Ranger

October 6th, 2012
7:35 pm

As a business owner I want people who produce and if they don’t produce they exert an all out effort. No one can accuse Danno Uggly that he does not generte maximum effort and intensity.

Virginia Ranger

October 6th, 2012
7:37 pm

Generate not genrte you ding dong

How many more wait till next year

October 6th, 2012
7:41 pm

If Braves can’t sign Bourn then go for Angel Pagan who is a FA.
Trade Mac to AL and get some prospects.
Hanson needs to be traded also.

Dan Higgins

October 6th, 2012
7:43 pm

The Braves have not won a single post season game since 2001…EVERY year they collapse….
WTF…

CLEAN HOUSE!!!!

October 6th, 2012
7:43 pm

Clean House Starting With Frank Wren and next in line get rid of Tommy Hanson, JJ, Fredi Gonzalez, Roger McDowell and Dan Uggla – Trade Brian McCann while you can get something for him – try to find some real men and not sissies (aka Jason Heyward) that really want to play baseball and invest Gimper Jone’s salary in some decent young hitting prospects

Virginia Ranger

October 6th, 2012
7:43 pm

Dan they one a game in 2010. Remember Rick Ankiel

How many more wait till next year

October 6th, 2012
7:44 pm

Uggla is worth half what he makes…do you over pay your help?

We wuz robbed

October 6th, 2012
7:47 pm

I don’t believe for a second that fg is trying to protect his players about the squeeze play. If it had not been for that idiot ump, he may have been in hot water; IF we had owners that give a crap. But thats a whole nother story. AND fg didn’t get near mad enough, so the fans had to get mad instead. Does Bourne not have a mind of his own whether he wants to go or stay? Guess they can never get enough money.

Virginia Ranger

October 6th, 2012
7:48 pm

Point taken, but not much we can do. We own him and I just have to hope he can produce. Would this hve been a different season if he hit 250 with 30 jacks? He is capable

Can we offer Bourne arbitration. I think he is worth the big bucks quoted but only for short years–no more than three

Virginia Ranger

October 6th, 2012
7:50 pm

As for overpaying employees, look what we are all paying the clowns that run this country—but that is a different arguement for a different forum

Gary

October 6th, 2012
7:58 pm

UGGLA failed so many many times in key scoring opportunities during the regular season and again in this crucial playoff game……..isnt the object to win…….they will have to eat that salary…..

How many more wait till next year

October 6th, 2012
7:59 pm

Amen~~ Virginia @7:50 vote him out~~If Uggla hit 250~30 hrs I’d be happy and so would Braves.

I also hope Braves keep all there Coaches…don’t like Roger but can’t like them all.

UGA forgot to show up tonight so far. Steve 21 and Richt 0

Walker

October 6th, 2012
8:03 pm

Look for Wren to target Justin Upton and Denard Span

How many more wait till next year

October 6th, 2012
8:04 pm

Congrat to O’s for win over Texas. Det 3 & A’s 1 in 6th on TBS

nova

October 6th, 2012
8:04 pm

Excited about next year’s pitching potential.

Cautious about Hamilton? Yes, but willing to take that chance.

Any chance to trade for Chase Headley for 3b (and leave Prado in LF)?

Barry

October 6th, 2012
8:05 pm

Moneyball 101: do NOT resign Bourne!!! Just bc he’s a speedy lil black man does not mean he is a competent leadoff hitter!

We wuz robbed

October 6th, 2012
8:08 pm

Agreed, Virgina. I will help with that vote. I’m still wondering why Chipper dogged it to first in his last at bat. He slowed down, and rumor has it he was called safe, when in fact he was out. Hate to hear that Francona went to the Indians. He would have been an asset here. Elmer Fudd would do better than the manager we have.

Barry

October 6th, 2012
8:09 pm

As far as dumping Uggla, find a team stupid enough to take him as an add-on for an actual player of value (see LA Dodgers raped by the Red Sox–took on 3 or 4 overpaid players just to get the one they wanted). So, exercise the option on Hudson, and package him with Uggla and ship both of them off for promising young, cheap pitching. Use the free money to sign/trade for a good player.

How many more wait till next year

October 6th, 2012
8:11 pm

Walker, I don’t think so..Wren could have got Span last winter but passed. Upton is 4 or 5th on list. Wren likes the kid from Royals L Cain if he could get him.

F Troop

October 6th, 2012
8:12 pm

So what exactly is UP with ATL and the playoffs??? Is there a voodoo curse on the city? The Braves and Falcons just shut down for one reason after another – in the playoffs.

Chop Chop

October 6th, 2012
8:13 pm

Frank Wren needs to hire Bobo to fix the offense and Grantham to fix the defense.

How many more wait till next year

October 6th, 2012
8:15 pm

Barry ..Black has nothing to do with it..where do you live on a Island? Get a life.

FSUBrave

October 6th, 2012
8:20 pm

sign josh hamilton yes!

Hammond B-3

October 6th, 2012
8:24 pm

we need to keep Bourn period Constanza needs to be traded he is only at best a 220 hitter I know he is fast so is Bourn, Ugla stays we need the power Hanson can be traded

Ross could be a started of a lot of teams we may lose him please Trade JJ he is toast

Dum-Bass

October 6th, 2012
8:24 pm

This article surmazed me(that’s a combo of surprised and amazed). How could such an item even be written with no mention of replacing 50% of the problem? If you start “fixin”, you gots to start at the top. By the “top” I mean the person who made a large contribution to the loss yesterday. I have never, ever, in my 50 yrs. of watching baseball seen a more “boneheaded” call than the safety squeeze. I had said a couple of days before the game on one of the blogs that I was afraid FG was pull out one of his early season decisions, but had no idea it would be one as ridiculous as that one. I’ve heard at least 2 managers say they were shocked at that. Personally, I don’t care anymore, as I have washed my hands of the Braves. Been disappointed for too many years to keep putting up with. Liberty Media will not spend the money and appoint inferior managers. BTW, the Cleveland Indians just got Terry Francona. Let’s watch them go places next year. The Braves need somebody who actually knows what they are doing, not just a “good ol’boy ” who kisses everybody’s butt!

Dum-Bass

October 6th, 2012
8:31 pm

My last post just disappeared. Lots of problems with that lately. Maybe had to do with me calling for FG to get the boot.

stew

October 6th, 2012
8:32 pm

Try to acquire the two Uptons.

stew

October 6th, 2012
8:32 pm

Try to acquire the two Uptons.

stew

October 6th, 2012
8:32 pm

Try to acquire the two Uptons.

Let's Go

October 6th, 2012
8:35 pm

Good Article Jeff. Starting Pitching needs to be addressed with the addition of at least 1 top level starter to go along with Hudson, Medlen, and Minor. Mahlom is a 5th starter and a good one but if the right offer was out there Paul cold be traded. Hanson is never going to get any better and if he stays on the roster the bullpen is the only place for him. Beachy will be back but I don’t expect the Braves to over use him and possibly not bring him around until 1 June to keep his innings down. People can scream all they want but Uggla is not going anywhere and even if the Braves were to trade him they would have to take in return another over paid under performing player with a bad contract and like him or not Dan Uggla is a good teammate and does not damage the clubhouse. The Braves need to resign Reed Johnson, a very good pinch hitter and utility outfielder. Players the Braves should have available as trade material: Hanson, Teheran, Martinez, Pastornicky and maybe Jonny Venters. If the Braves are to make a trade that brings back a power hitter they will have to give up someone good and Venters might be the piece needed to make a really good trade.

Dum-Bass

October 6th, 2012
8:36 pm

Mine disappears and STEWS is in “triplet”. This site needs fixing badly. I saw a post yesterday post about 7 times in a row.

VinceVanGo

October 6th, 2012
8:42 pm

You don’t just let McCann walk, you sign him and ship him. Exercise the option, then trade him to an A.L. team as a designated hitter, telling prospective buyers that after shoulder surgery he’ll be fine. Get the best you can for him. He is no longer an everyday catcher, and is a poor defensive one when in the game. Let Bourne go, I think that his second half was the real Bourne, plus he wants a long term contract and will soon be pushing 30, not a great age for a base stealer. Send Ernesto Meija to the winter league to re-learn the outfield and give him a shot at left field. Then go out and get the best center fielder you can in free agency or trade. Resign David Ross and let him teach Betancourt and them share the catching. As far as Uggla you eat the contract for 3 more years and hope he regains his Miami form. Prado moves to third. Leave the pitching alone after dumping Hanson & Jurrgens, and strengthen the bench. Give Fredi a one year contract, I think he learned from 2011, but he hasn’t earned a long term contract yet.

Caseyatthebat

October 6th, 2012
8:43 pm

Does anyone here think as I do that Fredi Gonzalez insistence upon using Uggla, McCann and Hanson for months thru their struggles cost us the division? I contend that 5-6 games could have swung our way and gained us the division, thereby avoiding entirely the one game choke we all witnessed. I think Wren’s moves this year were admirable and wish he would continue using good judgement by releasing a very mediocre manager perhaps to Bobby Cox farm. I applaud the Braves for limiting our anguish, taking us only 3 hours into the post season rather than 3 games. I wish they would stop reminding us of successes 17 years in the past and change the mindset of habitually losing when it really matters. If I didn’t have this dysfunctional love affair with them I could make a fortune from the bookies. This is a heart break team with something inherently wrong with their psyche. “Good but not great”, BOY Schultzie, you said it!

JoeFan

October 6th, 2012
8:47 pm

Would not be surprise for Wren to find a stop gap solution for cf, if it looks like Cunningham will be ready sometime during 2013. 3B is liekly Prado’s, so LF is where Wren will try to find a top shelf player. Catcher is a big question mark especially with possible surgery for McCann but if Betancourt can make progress, then maybe he and Ross can handle the job if the Braves don’t exercise McCann’s option.

Bravesfan54

October 6th, 2012
8:49 pm

Jeff – I trust your insight when you say “the assumption is that Braves will exercise their 13M option on McCann”. I don’t see BMac as anywere close to a 13M balllplaye, and he is going to want a multi-year deal, which simply increases the risk of signing him. I think the wiser course is to let someone else overpay him and spread that 13M around other players. I think the option on Hudson should be picked up. I think we should let someone else vastly overpay Michael Bourn. I believe Hanson to have little value, and I would not pursue him unless he comes cheap, but admit tht I am not current on his contractual situation. (Hinske, of course, should not be re-signed – so there’s another million to spend!)

Of course, I like Andrellton,

superiorblogman

October 6th, 2012
8:50 pm

Martin 3B
Jason RF
Freddie 1B
Simmons SS

Look to upgrade everywhere else. Trade Uggla, B-Mac, and some more of your 25 year old promising rookies to fill out the roster with high level players.

Maybe pick up Nick Swisher to play the LF position.

This team is not very good. A bunch of 25 year old rookie pitchers who have never shown anything in the big leagues and there two highest paid players of B-Mac and Uggla are not worth there pay. Plus the team does not want to spend any money. I don’t see why the ATL fans have the passion that they do have. On the other hand, I can see why they sit at home until the playoffs.

Bravesfan54

October 6th, 2012
8:50 pm

…meant to say spread that 13M around FOR other players!

Let's Go

October 6th, 2012
8:52 pm

The Braves will most likely offer Michael Bourn arbitration but look for him to end up back with the Phillies who will probably pay him 12 to 14 mil a year on a 5 year contract and I like him but he’s not worth that amount of money. If the Braves go after a CF in free agency there will be Victorino, BJ Upton, Pagan available. If the Yankees don’t pick up the option on Granderson then Bourn all of the sudden isn’t the top dog on the market and then his price could come down.

Think some more

October 6th, 2012
8:53 pm

I am not here to defend Uggla but….let’s recognize that he led the league in walks, his on-base average was third best on the team. And 26th best in the league. Sounds like the type of player the A’s fool everybody by taking bc they look at more than batting average. Yes, he strikes out too often and his fielding isn’t great, but it is possible he is a better offensive player than we may think

chilidawg

October 6th, 2012
8:55 pm

We should dump Ugla as a start. The guy can’t hit consistently. Based on his toe tapping in the batter’s box , maybe he can tap dance for a living.

Let's Go

October 6th, 2012
8:59 pm

If the Braves go crazy for one player in Free Agency then let it be Zack Grinke or Brandon McCarthy, 2 under 30 stud pitchers. Heck sign them both and then offer up Minor since his value will probably never be higher for a power hitter.

BravesFanInNashville

October 6th, 2012
9:00 pm

The Braves have a great opportunity to strengthen a good team and move them closer to being a great team. If you just take emotion and attachment out of it you could do the following:

Trade Uggla to a team that has an extra outfielder or 3B. Solve the LF or 3B problem with that trade.
We may need to give up a pitching prospect or trade Hanson in this deal to get someone to take on Uggla’s salary. Do not eat salary to trade Uggla. If you have to eat salary then I say keep him because he could have a huge bounce back year and paying 1/2 his salary and then having to pay another 2B $6 or $7 million is the same as keeping him. Anyone we get at $6 million or less won’t be a big improvement over Uggla so it only works if we get rid of his salary and get to move Martin back to 2B. Best move is a salary trade for a LF or 3B.

Move Prado back to his best position 2B and let him bring maximum value buy playing solid defense and let him be a 2-Hole hitter or move him back to leadoff if we don’t resign Bourn or get a legit leadoff hitter. Martin had almost 200 hits as leadoff hitter for the Braves the year before we traded for Bourn.

Use the money coming off the books from Chipper $14Mil to sign a LF or 3B that you didn’t pick up in the Uggla trade. This let’s you sign a great player. This may have to come in the form of a trade by a team that needs to dump salary and we give up a prospect and take on the salary to get a really good addition.

Pick up Tim Hudson’s option. He’s a stabilizing force to the pitching staff and entire team. We need his leadership and competitiveness.

Pick up McCann’s option and then trade him. He could bring us a 3B or LF or CF prospect or established player. There are several teams in the AL that could us a catcher/DH that has Brian’s upsides. You know he’s going to have to get in great shape this winter because he’ll be playing for a contract next year. Other teams will know he’ll have incentive to have a big year to get a pay day. The Braves should leverage that and get maximum value for him now. He’s not worth signing longterm because the Braves are in the NL so no DH and he’s not strong defensively. Championship teams are strong up the middle C, SS, 2B and CF we need to work towards that end.

Either way trading McCann either brings us a great player now or get us prospects and removes $13million in salary that we can add to the $14 Million coming off with Chipper the $10 Million we save from D Lowe and the $5.5 Million from JJ. It looks like after arbitration raises the Braves will have between $22 and $26 Million to spend even if we pick up Hudson’s contract. This number looks even better if we trade Uggla for a 3B or LF even up because we don’t have to use any of that money to fix 3B or LF. We now have all of that money to use towards CF and the remaining position. If these things all happen we should have a solid outlook for 2013.

Go Braves.

Spud Webb

October 6th, 2012
9:01 pm

Unless they can get the dodgers to take another bad salary Uggla isn’t going anywhere. Prado won’t be playing 3B….they’ll need to sign someone for that. Bourn will get a GIANT contract from someone, not worth it….lots of money, Hope wren uses it wisely!

Mitchell

October 6th, 2012
9:02 pm

When told that, Jones — who remembers when payroll size wasn’t an issue like now — cracked, “I guess that’s good to hear. Maybe one day we’ll get back to Macy’s and Dillard’s.”

Yeah, maybe one day you’ll actually win a playoff game.

Is there a correlation here somewhere?

Jesus Christ.

You’re not owed anything.

This whole organization, front office, Chipper Jones, etc. think they deserves things they haven’t earned.

Like respect. Like the right to not have to play one game for their entire season.

You didn’t win your division.

You’re lucky they even decided to create a wild card in the first place or you would have just gone seven full seasons without making the playoffs once.

If you didn’t want to have to play this game, you should have won more games than the Nationals.

Could you possibly be more delusional?

What more does Frank Wren need to see.

Play meaningful baseball, the fans will turn out.

Win a playoff series.

God forbid you win the World Series.

Wild guess is you’re not going to have to cry yourself to sleep at night about quite as many payroll constraints.

Aspire to be better than just good enough or don’t even bother trying.

moboman

October 6th, 2012
9:05 pm

Cant go with Bettancourt unless he can hit. BMac will be back. Uggla goin nowhere. Braves wont overpay for Bourn, doesnt mean they wont spend for someone else. Look for two FA acquisitions this offseason, or a trade for one and a sign of a FA. Theres always someone willing to trade for a potential pitcher. (See Derek Lowe)

Bravesfan54

October 6th, 2012
9:06 pm

I am not a McCann hater but I don’t understand the logic of those folks who want to resign BMAC, an injured, poor defensive player for 13M, when that is the pro-rated salary of a healthy Uggla, who is at least good defensively. Both have had a bad last couple of years. I remember those who harped on getting rid of Gonzalez, our slick-fielding, poor hitting 2nd baseman, with 14 HR when he played for us – for 2M. I oft thought of those misguided souls when contemplating the 65M contract we gave Uggla, who doubled Gonzalez HR total last year, but cost 13M. This season, Uggla only hit more HR’s, had the same BA (.220), but again cost us 13M.

Tell me, again, why BMAC is considered to have some BB life in him – oh, I see, he was injured this season, well, sorry to say his decline goes back to mid-2011. Lowe, Uggla, Kawakami – need I say more. (Oh, I know, he’s a “local area” boy and popular.)

Outfield fly rule

October 6th, 2012
9:06 pm

….. And bud selig needs to fix horrible but not good one game playofff

Bravesfan54

October 6th, 2012
9:08 pm

For all you Fredi haters: Braves won 94 games with Fredi running the club. Fredi was in the dugout when the 3 errors ended our season. Stop this.

BravesFanInNashville

October 6th, 2012
9:16 pm

Caseyatthebat….

I agree that Fredi cost us a lot this year. The problem is the best manager prospect just signed with the Indian’s. I felt like the Braves should have fired Fredi last year and gone after Francona then.

In Fredi’s defense it seems like he started to turn a corner and learn from last year and even early in this season. To his credit he didn’t burn out O’Ventbril this year and our bullpen was much better for it. He did sit down Uggla for a spell even though he’s really close to him after the years in Miami. It’s a hard call because a guy like Uggla can suddenly break out and carry a team for two weeks if he gets hot. Last year was evidence that he can be bad enough to send down to the minors and then have a 3 game hitting streak with power. His OBP is good and he commands enough fear that he still gets walked a lot.

I didn’t like the safety squeeze call last night especially with Freeman at 3B. It would have taken a perfect bunt to score him and Ross just surprised them with a bunt the play before. It would have been really really hard to pull that off right then. In my opinion we had a better chance to get a Sac Fly out of Simmons then to get Freeman home on a bunt. Poor in game decision I felt.

Those things are feel for the game issues that I don’t see in Fredi. Maybe he’ll continue learning like he did handling the bullpen better this year.

Who would be available as manager that would be a better choice than Fredi? I like John Farrell in Toronto but he seems locked down for a while.

wins-by-a-link

October 6th, 2012
9:17 pm

The Braves will never win another championship again as long as Liberty Media owns the team, Budget constraints and a GM who signs players like Dan Uggla to huge contracts along with holding onto players like Tim Hudson and Brian Mccann will only result in more of the same, Bourn will sign with the Phillies and who plays third is anyone guess, Not a very promising outlook for this organization.

We wuz robbed

October 6th, 2012
9:19 pm

I don’t think the Braves won because fg was running the club. I think they won in spite of him running the team.

BravesFanInNashville

October 6th, 2012
9:19 pm

33 game hitting streak on Uggla 2011 not 3… sorry.

Cecil34

October 6th, 2012
9:40 pm

Of course this season will be portrayed as a great success by Wren and Liberty Media as well as DOB, but we know better.

Obviously the National League is in pretty poor shape for the Braves to win 94 games with their lineup.

It was no secret that once they faced above-500 teams they would fail.

It’s as if they play for wild-card, and everything is rosey if they get it.

Liberty Media is of course pleased.

There are about four players that should be retained – the rest can get lost.

Cecil34

October 6th, 2012
9:44 pm

Oh and do not sign McCann – let’s bank on Bethancourt for the future – McCann has had it.

Caseyatthebat

October 6th, 2012
9:46 pm

BravesFaninNashville…………I understand and agree that Fredi did appear later in he season to demonstrate some judgement. But, last year it was pitchers, this year it’s Uggla, McCann and Hanson. What next? I have always been frustrated by the continual use of a player in a protracted slump. Cox did the same thing with Johnson at second. Prado had to hit like Baba Ruth before he finally was awarded second. It seems to me that a main responsibility of a manager is to field the most effective team regardless of name recognition or salary. In the case of Uggla, he should have worked with the hitting coach for 4 games and played on the 5th to view his progress. Until his effectiveness returned Gonzalez should have had Prado at second and Reed Johnson (a 300 hitter) in left. I like McCann and am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt to injury. But the bottom line is what’s important and REAL and he wasn’t effective. There’s simply no room in the pitching line for Hanson, in my opinion. As for other managers, I agree with you about Francona and am sorry to hear he’s going to Cleveland. I think his personality would have worked w ell here. As to others, I’m not aware of those available but I think Bucky Showalter would be great. Of course, Baltimore would never let him go.

We wuz robbed

October 6th, 2012
9:53 pm

We all know in our heart of hearts that they will keep freddi. As useless as he is, what else is there to do? They let Francona get away, so we are pretty much stuck again. I don’t think he has the players backs, he shows no emotion at all, and is way over his head in this position. He has to call Bobby Cox before he can make any decision. He is over managed by every other manager, and it shows.

sburk

October 6th, 2012
9:55 pm

Braves fans as long as Liberty Media is the owner of the Braves Walmart is the best you can hope for.I do think, most of the time it will be a yard sale or second hand stores looking for cheap players that have one more good year left.

Caseyatthebat

October 6th, 2012
10:00 pm

We Wuz Robbed………very sadly, I think your right!

Sonny Clusters

October 6th, 2012
10:00 pm

Lately, when we have expressed our opinion on here some little fella has jumped on us personally for doing so – on a baseball blog, no less! We decided it wasn’t much fun being stalked all the time and backed away for a few days only to have this fiasco of a play-in game reaffirm our beliefs and perhaps even vindicate those beliefs. Let us share some thoughts with you . . . baseball itself is the culprit and the inane “culture” of this professional baseball organization known as the Atlanta Braves. To wit, MLB sells out. The extra wild card makes no sense. Purists will tell you that. MLB has no respect for the fans. A 5:07 start time, in Atlanta rush hour traffic, with fans fighting to get to their seats is disrespectful. The game has disrespected itself. Barry Bonds, Melky Cabrera and Ryan Braun come to mind. Melky was going to be batting champion but for the indignation that finally arose. Braun’s indiscretions were swept under the rug. Mark McGwire was in the other dugout last night. Shameful. And then, the call. The fortuitous call as it turned out. That was wrong and everybody in the Ted knew it was wrong except that umpiring crew. Then MLB said, “never mind” to the fans. We disregard you. We’re sticking with the call and by the way, that was a classless display of emotion and anger by you fans. They called it a “hostile” environment. Well, probably so but it was hostility brought on by incompetence and disregard and maybe the fans have finally had enough. It would seem so.

Enough slights by MLB. Enough tributes to Chipper Jones during the final days of what should have been the division race. Focus should have been on winning baseball games not on kissing Chipper’s sliding pants. Now, we will have people tell us how much Chipper has meant and how we are unworthy to be a fan but we really think the organization needs to set its course to win the pennant every season – not the wild card, not the division. That should be the only focus and especially in the final days when distractions like the Chipperfest are so not needed. Enough of Dan Uggla, too, and his wasted at-bats and never-know-where-it’s-going throws. There was a time character counted in this organization and that was a time in the past. Now, they look the other way too often. Enough of not trying to win every game. Games on the front end count the same as games at the end. When this organization finds itself in a must win situation – it does not win. Count on it. Book it. The Braves do not win the big games. How many celebrations have they watched on their own field after they’ve been eliminated by a “lesser” team? There is a culture here and it is not a good one. Sure, they won 94 games. The Nats won 98, so 94 wasn’t enough. 94 got them a one-game shot. Know what they do with one-game shots? They lose. Always have. Perhaps they will get a Participation Award this year for the outfield wall. They really didn’t “win” anything (again) but the chance to compete for the wild card. That silly celebration and Playoffs caps and shirts (and injury to our All-Star second baseman hurt while celebrating) fools no one except the people who call themselves “true” fans and tell those of us who want and expect more that we are unworthy to follow this team.

The fans must demand more. More must be expected of the organization, the manager, the players, and MLB in general. Joe Simpson castigated the fans last night. Find another job in another town, Joe. We lost respect for Joe this season as he told us about “hot-hitting” Dan Uggla again and again. Joe is a homer. A shameless homer – until last night when he became even more a shill. Joe Torre used to work in this town. He was invited to leave because it was a time when character really did count. We thought he’d cleaned up and now was a man of integrity. Then, we heard him justifying MLB’s actions last night on television. Shameful. Shameful. They say Fredi called for a safety squeeze. When the player responded everyone was shocked. The guys on TV said it was a “rookie’ mistake and flawed in every way. Then, it was determined Fredi called for it. Instead of saying Fredi was deficient in strategy, no one could believe it! They reasoned that Fredi was taking one for the rookie. Bullfeathers! More flawed baseball. Can’t throw to the base. Can’t execute the bunt. Can’t hit behind a runner. Won’t play team ball (Uggla) in favor of personal stats. It is time to do something different or better. Say they won 94 games and that’s good enough. Go ahead and say it. Schuerholz apologized for the fans’ behavior last night. He should apologize to the fans. The EPIC collapse happened on his watch as team president. Epic failure, really. He should apologize for the 5:00 start time and for the sloppy play and for how expensive it is to go to the games and how hard it is to park and then have to listen to Country Boy playing while the deer hunters roam the infield. JS should apologize to the fans for pretending he and his organization won something this time or really, won something ever. If they are winning why are they going home early each year?

We are one pizza’d off Clusters right now and we may not get over it for awhile. We’ll have more to say we are sure. Let us rest a little while first. Before we go, though, let’s marvel again at the character of this organization and at the people in this organization described often as “Class Act”. Class must mean different things to different people. Where’s the clutch play? Where’s the will to win? Where’s the force of your presence? And, in truth . . . where’s the class off the field? And to those that are “leaving it all on the field” like Uggla is said to do (to excuse his horrid play) – he left one throw last night somewhere between first and the plate up against the screen and it bounced over to the third base side of the plate before Ross could chase it down. When insisting that this is a professional and classy organization we think that may be self aggrandizement. St. Louis comes to mind as a really successful group – if you measure success in results and many people do. Atlanta does not exude success though they tell us they do. Look at all the little signs erected in the outfield while other teams are still in the playoffs. One more thing, the NY Yankees were smirking in the dugout counting all the “pennants” on the outfield wall – a joke to them and it should be to us, as well. Take down those silly little signs until you win something. Just because JS wears suspenders don’t be fooled. Smoltz wasn’t fooled. Smoltz called him homeboy. Smoltz also called out Chipper for dogging it and not playing. They let Smoltz go and kept the wrong ones. Big sissies. We will cool off in time and the Braves will remain our team but can’t they please make a change or two and get some different results? Here’s an irony . . . Nate McLouth will probably get a ring before any of the Braves. Clusters out.

Rafael

October 6th, 2012
10:04 pm

KNOWING Frank “Skinflint” Wren and Liberty CHEAPA as we do, our STARTING OF lineup in 2013 will be Matt “Double Play” Diaz in LF, Reed “NO upside” Johnson in CF, and Jason Heyward in RF.

You think I’m kidding, this WILL be the BRAVE’S starting OF, and quoting Brad Childress “that’s a fact!!!!!!!” Scarier thought than any horror movie.

We wuz robbed

October 6th, 2012
10:06 pm

Thanks Caseyatthebat . I hate to say it, and it is very sad. The fans and the players deserve better. If that umps call would have happened on Bobby’s watch, he would have had a stroke. This guy at the podium interview could barely put a sentence together. That was sad.

The Real GM

October 6th, 2012
10:10 pm

The one free agent outfielder that will make everyone forget about Michael Bourne leaving and cost alot less…Delmon Young !!!!

CHICKEN wren STINKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

October 6th, 2012
10:17 pm

Well addition by subtracting, FIRING wren would be the BEST STEP forward, he STINKS Period, needs to GO Away !

Then DUMP uggla, he is a Disaster, way overpaid and does NOTHING, another wren special !

Resign Bourne, a couple pitchers, and a solid 3rd baseman, and outfielder who can hit.

But this needs to be done by another GM, NOT Chicken wren ! He is a complete LOSER !!!!!

Hillbilly D

October 6th, 2012
10:18 pm

Nate McLouth will probably get a ring before any of the Braves. Clusters out.

Have to give Nate credit, he’s played pretty well in his stint in Baltimore.

Heartbroke Brave

October 6th, 2012
10:18 pm

I agree Fri. was probably Bourn’s last game. I can’t see Hamilton coming here. Trade for Jose Batista from Toronto for any two pitcher(s) they want.

My starting rotation would be Medlen, Minor, Maholm, Delgado, and Tehran next year. I’m on the fence about Huddy, but I’m leaning towards letting him go. We get Beachy back next season, I’ll worry bout that he is off the DL.

Relief core, other than Kimbrel being the closer and O’Flaherty and Venters coming back, it needs Durbin to be brought back. I liked Avalian, he’ll stay. Let Moylan go (reluctantly). Martinez comes back as does Gearrin.

Infield… (1st to 3rd) Freeman, Uggla, Simmons, Prado
Outfiled: (right to left) Heyward,
Catchers: McCann, Ross
Reserves: Pastornicky, Constanza, Johnson, Francisco

Release Hinske, Baker, Boscan, Moylan, Huddy, Diaz, Janish, Overbay, Bourn (to FA)

I’m kinda jumping on the release McCann train too. Not so sure I’m ready for the kid catcher to come up. That’s next year.

Of those last 2: bring in 2 World Series veterans who know the score. You need a Chipper Jones type player.

I’d go ahead and pencil Batista in the lineup (RF), move Heyward to CF. Find a LF or 3rd and put Prado in either.

We wuz robbed

October 6th, 2012
10:18 pm

Sonny; I read every word of your post and was very impressed indeed. You make me proud, Sonny Clusters, the Braves? Not so much. Everything you said was true.

Charles

October 6th, 2012
10:25 pm

Having moved to DC 12 years ago after 30+ loyal years as a Braves fan, I am now officially a Nats fan after enduring last night’s episode in the continuing saga of consistently inconsistent play by the Braves. But a few parting shots: 1) forget about a change in ownership, unless it’s the A’s owner buying the Braves. They screwed up their TV contract so no big buck type is likely to be on the horizon given the anemic attendance, even when the team wins games. 2) Keep McCann and see how he does next year. He’s the closest thing to a Chipper left — he can be the guy who plays hurt but plays well. 3) don’t feel hurt if Bourn takes the big bucks — a leadoff man who is in the top 10 in strikeouts, including a big one last night with the bases loaded, ain’t worth what someone else will pay. 3) since a change in ownership isn’t likely to occur, the only realistic hope, albeit remote, is a change the front office persona of this team from the corporate mode to a team with fire. I’ve been a Braves fan for over 30 years and quite candidly the most fun times for me was the Knucksie/Murph/Horner teams with Torre at the helm. That team had fire in its belly — Bobby Cox got by with talent but when the ducks were on the pond seldom produced, just like this year’s team which posted the most anemic 94 wins in history. Jeff,you’re spot on with noting that Chipper’s career year and Medlen are not likely to be duplicated next year. Best thing that can happen is that the muffed infield fly allows the Braves to dwell in the cellar for a couple of years, and then build the team with Strasbourg and Harper #1 picks with a more agressive and exciting orgnaization, as have the Nats. Remember the last time the Braves had a #1 pick!. But such optimism must be misplaced with the more likely scenario that the muffed infield fly call will be the payback for Sid Sliding Home — the Braves are doomed to a Pirate-like future for the rest of my life, maybe longer.

Caseyatthebat

October 6th, 2012
10:35 pm

Sonny Clusters……….I am one of those who have taken a shot or two at you for your criticism of Chipper this season. I won’t apologize for them. But I do agree that this goodbye show has influenced the efforts to win at the end. I must admit I got tired of it and felt there were more important things to attend to. I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of this team and your criticisms in general. I feel like this organization views itself primarily as a “business.” It produces a good product at an affordable cost to the organization and presents it to the public with skillfull advertising bravado who buys this bullshit and provides this “business” with a rewarding profit. GONE IS THE HEART THAT BEATS IN THE TRUE FANS OF BASEBALL!

ronaldh

October 6th, 2012
10:35 pm

I say get rid of wren and do it yesterday. Why? It is an easy 3 word answer; lowe, kamakazi and uggla.
Uggla, whose second half “surge” raised his average from .210 to .220
Uggla, who was the worst fielding second baseman in the game when we signed him

Frank, the bird, Wren has been shopping at walmart. Well, you know what, part of that is because of his own stupidity. In reality lowe, kamakazi and uggla make him look like he was shopping at a yard sale.

Ken in Alpharetta

October 6th, 2012
10:41 pm

Bourn is leaving, McCann should, Ugla needs to along with Hanson. The big question is, other than Bourn, how does Wren make it all happen in a way to benefit the club? I guess we will know by late December. Until then, we have these cool blog opinions to read.

Thomas Brown

October 6th, 2012
10:42 pm

____________________________________________________________________

LakeDawg June 17th, 2012 12:25 am

“I do not have faith in Richt as a coach. I don’t think were destined to underachieve”

_____________________________________________________________________

kingdaddy July 2nd, 2012 9:56 am

“ If UGA loses to S.C. this year but wins the rest of the scheduled games, then makes it to the SEC-CG and is not competitive, then I see a major shake-up in our staff by McGarrity. UGA has to beat someone ranked this year in my belief. I don’t think CMR & CMB get a free pass this year just for beating unranked teams. This team has the talent to win, but do they have the coaching? Its too late to do anything this year, but ride it out…”
_____________________________________________________________________

JB July 2nd, 2012 10:02 am

“I agree Kingdaddy. Beating up on weak foe and losing to good teams ( not even great teams) is a pattern for the Dawgs the Last three years, And it’s not a lack of talent. You can read a lot of thing into Richt’s new contract, and I’m reading McGarity is not sold. Here’s more rope, and we;ll see.”
______________________________________________________________________

Congratulations to South Carolina

Aaron Murray as Starting UGA QB 21-12
Connor Shaw as Starting USCe QB 13-1

Aaron Murray vs SEC teams who made winning SEC record 0-7
Aaron Murray vs teams who made any Top 25 poll 0-10

We wuz robbed

October 6th, 2012
10:45 pm

This is a Braves blog. Take it to the Dawgs blog.

BillEGoat

October 6th, 2012
10:46 pm

The Braves franchise has followed the SAME pattern for many years–have a good to excellent regular season record but then fall flat in post-season play YEAR AFTER YEAR. They are 5-16 in win-or-go-home games in front of the home fans. Something always happens, absurd errors, no clutch hitting, whatever. No player can get to the Major Leagues if he can’t play under pressure, but Atlanta’s players seem to have more trouble than normal in the clutch playoff situations. I think it has happened to the Braves so many times that they are expecting it. How many honest fans REALLY think the Braves would have won the game if the infield fly had not been called? SOMEBODY would have had to come through with a late-inning clutch hit in a playoff game, and the Braves don’t do that.

Thomas Brown

October 6th, 2012
10:49 pm

Braves are finished.

Thomas Brown

October 6th, 2012
10:50 pm

Exactly as I said the Braves would be finished and your post is not about the Braves, either.

Thomas Brown

October 6th, 2012
10:58 pm

No difference between the Braves and Georgia

Thomas DiNatale

October 6th, 2012
11:07 pm

Maybe we keep Bourne and see if another team wants a .220 avg 94 walk Uggla? Just a thought…

TN Jeff

October 6th, 2012
11:16 pm

Need to trade for Clutch players IF there are any known commodities in the market. Braves play without passion nor expectation to come through in the clutch. Thus they have horrible stats in RISP situations. Thus they have become completely anemic during the playoffs – both offensively and defensively. They play without confidence hoping not to lose. Sounds a lot like the Georgia Bullpuppies. A little fire from the manager & or head coach would be nice.

Pale Rider

October 6th, 2012
11:19 pm

Can we find someone from the south to buy the Braves from Liberty Media- that is the first step towards winning. Until then, expect continued mediocrity.

thomas smith

October 6th, 2012
11:40 pm

if the braves had a good manager, ,they would have won their division and wouldn’t have had to worry about this wild card crap

Pmc

October 6th, 2012
11:48 pm

Honestly it’s refreshing they have to find new players for this lineup.

But what to do with Rally Killer at 2nd? Expensive Disaster

Joe 12-Pack

October 7th, 2012
12:00 am

Need to trade Uggla ASAP. There has to be some sucker out there that thinks they can turn him around.

Constanza is still a possibility as a leadoff OF.

Juan Francisco has a shot at third.

Will Christian Bethancourt be ready?

lowcountry cock

October 7th, 2012
12:09 am

Tried to tell you Jeff but you were too hard headed!! Your name got thrown around few times at Williams Brice tonight

lowcountry cock

October 7th, 2012
12:17 am

and trust me Dawg fans were not talking about how much much nicer Richt was than our coach.
Bum and damn loser were most common descriptions of your guy

GOP Cannon

October 7th, 2012
12:31 am

Last nights game broke my heart! I really don’t care what this team does at this point…. The Braves are just going to find a new way to loose next year.

Escalante

October 7th, 2012
12:38 am

guys come on the player we need to pursue this offseason is shane victorino he is a couple more years older then bourne wont cost as much as bourn and can be just as good as bourn yea he had an off year but what he brings to the table isnt far off from bourn plus he brings championship experience something the braves lack OBVIOUSLY I def. will give mccann another year to prove himself because the guy can play ball he just was hurt this year guys tough to play at your best when your hurt but if i was wren i would be doing everything and anything to get rid of dan ” not the man” sluggla and that contract so we can also get bj upton no need to get hamilton because i believe freeman and heyward will be really good next year as far as homeruns and clutch rbi’s

bulldogbubba

October 7th, 2012
1:24 am

To Mr. Clusters – AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!!!!!!!!

alex

October 7th, 2012
2:44 am

we have to try to solve uggla problem. what about new LA fool Kasten. they in trouble to count own money. let them bite.

captguitarman

October 7th, 2012
2:44 am

Prado, Heyward, Freeman, and platooning McCann and and Ross, and keeping Bourn, are the future. Bourn just got worn out, like the Braves’ bull pen last year. But if they let him go, he is no Pete Rose, but he will come back to haunt. Simmons is a big quetion mark. but he is immature and played like it. He didn’t get the green light for a bunt (rampant stupidity), but Fredi gave him cover with a plausible explanation . . . he was worried that Simmons (or pick any Brave) could not hit a runner in. Prado on third, then who is in left. They need to find somebody. Failure to get men on and move them is their Achilles heel, unlike St. Louis. With Braves runners on, you could always take a break, chaannel surf, go get a beer, hit the john, because you knew what was going to happen.- nothing. It wasn’t only the errors, as Chipper owned up to, but the Braves left ten runners on base. They could have won 13 to 6. How do you fix that? Not sure, but it kept them from winning the division outright, and from winning a BS Wild Card game, and it will keep them out of the play offs until the hitters learn to move runners around the bases.

kreedham

October 7th, 2012
3:01 am

captguitarman….yes not hitting with RISP was huge but I think we might have won it if Beachy hadn’t gotten hurt!

Gritsfalcon

October 7th, 2012
3:26 am

First, trade Uggla, even if the team has to eat some of the contract, like they did with D. Lowe! Second, sign Bourne. (I think all that hype about the Phillies’ is coming from Scott Boras–his agent.)
The next priority –and this is big, really big–3rd base. I don’t think Prado is the answer there and neither is Francisco. The Braves’ have to find a power hitting 3rd baseball that can hit for a good average with minimal strikeouts! If those three things happen we’ll be back here next year moving into the Divisional/Championship series round(s)! Anyway they could waggle David Wright from the Mets? Just one fans’ opinion!

Stinger2

October 7th, 2012
4:48 am

wewuzrobbed: “We” normally means two or more people. Are you the twin of another poster who constantly refers to himself as “We”? Sure sounds like it since you gushed the other “We” person with so much praise. Sounds like either you are one and the same or you are his little or maybe twin brother. Anyway, the original one of you took a lot of time and used a lot of space to say nothing but the same type of negative complaining he always does.

Buddy Landel

October 7th, 2012
6:57 am

To everyone saying we should’ve fired FG and hired Francona: do you remember Francona’s managing record before he was hired by the Red Sox and their bottomless pockets? didn’t think so. unless your name is Joe Maddon, your team is only as good as it’s players. Francona managed a .440 winning percentage with the Phillies from 1997-2000.
I look for Scott Boras to con someone into giving Bourne 18M per year. If the Phillies want to do that, more power to them.

Paddy

October 7th, 2012
7:31 am

CJ…………The Braves won’t have to worry about the Marlins out spending them as you suggest. That owner is the worst in baseball. He gutted and gave up on his team when he realized he could still not draw crowds in Miami with his joke of a new ballpark. He gushes over the artists that painted the murals on his concourse but cares little or nothing about his players and fans. A seperate column is need for his less than professional manager. No, Miami will not be considered a threat to the Braves .

jfreak13713

October 7th, 2012
7:37 am

With a limited budget Wren has put together a solid team. There have been some mistakes like Derrick Lowe but overall he has done a good job. The Braves have been chokers long before Wren ever got to town and that is on the players. Hopefully with a little extra money to spend they can improve the power hitting in the outfield and maybe sure up their starting rotation??

I’d ride myself of Tommy Hanson. I would NOT resign Bourne at what he is expecting to get. Although, I would love for him to stay but he isn’t worth 15 million a year. I’d rather pay Josh Hamilton that kind of money for 140 games a year. But regardless Wren will put a quality team on the field and it will be up to those guys to not make THREE ERRORS in a one game playoff not FRANK WREN!

Thanks Chipper hope to see you soon on the bench for the Braves??

a fan

October 7th, 2012
7:45 am

Vince you make a lot of sense on you 8:42

Ted

October 7th, 2012
7:49 am

Bye bye Braves! What a great ending to the season!

MoreOrLess

October 7th, 2012
8:02 am

I still think the Braves need to sign Bourne even though he strikes out a lot. He adds a dimension to the lineup that we haven’t had in a while — speed. He has proven that a good lead-off hitter is essential for us. The Braves look more like the Braves of Otis Nixon with Bourne in the lineup. I don’t wan’t to see us return to the one dimensional “get somebody on base then wait for someone to hit a home run to bring them in” days of Bobby Cox.

guy

October 7th, 2012
8:06 am

bye uggla!!!!

Ralph

October 7th, 2012
8:17 am

Deep Six………..

October 6th, 2012
6:21 pm

Deep Six and File 13: Tommy Hanson, JJ, Fredi Gonzalez, Roger McDowell and Dan Uggla – Trade Brian McCann while you can get something for him –
—————————————————————————————————————
Before you can trade Blind/Mac you first must either pick up his option or re sign him, either way it’s gonna cost you $12million, Buy out his contract $1mil and say bye/bye.

Jay Dawg

October 7th, 2012
8:27 am

Uggla and Hudson have to go. Too much money and not enough production. Good core with Freeman, Heyward and Simmons with Prado as backup. Good core of starting pitchers and relievers. Love Brian McCann but is he reaching the end of his effectiveness as a catcher? Can he play anything else with Freeman at first that would keep him a little healthier? Not sure I see it. Ship him to an AL team to DH. Should be an interesting off season…..

Nativebird

October 7th, 2012
8:30 am

Not one all star remaining on this team next year. braves need a “game changer” if this franchise will ever get beyond an even higher bar now with this ludicrous 1-game coin toss playoff system. We’ve got to replace our retiring HOF’er with another future HOF’er. That’s the store we should be shopping in. Where is the next Cabreera? Trout? Who has the next 20 game winner?

Joey

October 7th, 2012
8:37 am

Please don’t resign Mac – for any amount of money.

Ralph

October 7th, 2012
8:40 am

For those who think Ross doesn’t want to be an every day catcher, DON’T BET ON IT, he is a free agent so my thinking is offer him the job at $6mil and bring up Bethencourt and save $6mil and put that toward paying part of Uggla’s payroll in Cleveland, i.e., like D.Lowe.

Homer for life

October 7th, 2012
8:52 am

If someone say “the Rev” at second base needs their head examined. This guy is a AAA player at best. Best stats he will ever get .240/8hr/40rbi. He is not an answer.

anonymous

October 7th, 2012
9:02 am

Couple of things: Braves fans are so immature, childish, and third-rate baseball fans. Where were the white handkerchiefs, tomahawks waving, or anything waving to show the team solidarity and support? Where was the NOISE? Instead, one call does not go your way, late in the game while you are losing, and you throw a TANTRUM JUST LIKE A SPOILED CHILD!

Chipper lost this game with his error. HOF-mer yes. But no one of Derek Jeter’s calibre will make such a throw at such a time. TOTALLY threw Medlen off. Except for a few guys, the Braves did not show up to WIN this game. A lot like UGA football against S. Carolina.

All in all, glad they made the wild card playoff. Could have been so much better.

Good luck next year. And please, let’s move past Chipper. No special interviews with him next season. No air time in the Braves radio/tv box while a game is ongoing. No commentary from him. Let next year be the NEW Braves!

Go Braves!

p

October 7th, 2012
9:03 am

uggla must go

DHD

October 7th, 2012
9:10 am

I would love Hamilton. The problem with him is the potential for injury and when you put all your money on one guy, that could be a problem. I would go a little lower and sign Swisher or BJ Upton. I wouldn’t mind if we could do both. In fact, if we could sign both of them, we’re good to go. Upton has great upside and we know what we get in Swisher.

Upton, cf
Prado, 3b
Heyward, rf
Swisher, lf
Freeman, 1b
Uggla, 2b
McCann/Ross, c
Simmons, ss

Still Gritz Blitz'n

October 7th, 2012
9:35 am

I’m w/jfreak,Hansons gotta go,Jurgens-see ya, & heck, I’m tired of all the whiffs as well, did we lead the league in total team strikeouts, I didn’t think Bourne would’ve been a whiff’n buff. Before this past season, Uncle Frankie suggested that the team needed to have more quality at bats, more discipline, working the count, & there were little spurts of it, but it was on & off again, especially in the “Gio” game home against the nats. So many times he tried to sucker our hitter’s w/ his stuff, moving in & out, alittle off the plate w/ the corners, everything he would normally do that gave him success, the Bravos that night did not succomb to that, that each guy(even Uggla I believe battled him) had an approach against him, & they beat him. They did at times but not consistently look like disciplined hitters, then after a couple of days of that, or after a off-day, they go up there flail’n themselves senseless, like they ain’t gotta clue where the strikezone is. Not good w/ 2 strike hitt’n (except for prado, & mabey at times chipper battled) but the rest of the guys look clueless, lost of focus & swing’n like they hope they hit it. I knew when Uncle Frankie brought in the 2 headed hitting Coach, Walker Fletcher that ok we’ll get on the right track. One dude that probably could hardly ever get it was struggla, mabey in smaller spurts, yeah, our record shows pretty good consider’n all the mishaps the team went through this year, now the mystery of what this team will build into next year, will we progress or will we digress(dang,somebody correct me if spelled incorrectly,thanks)

Peter

October 7th, 2012
9:36 am

Well Infante and Blanco..are part of playoff teams,,,,,and we are gone……..

We had what we needed two years ago, and we traded Blanco for Ankiel who is out of baseball…….and all are calling for the head of Uggla…..or for him to be traded.

We could play small ball then, had much better speed.

Please tell me Wren has a clue ? Once he traded away Blanco for Ankiel.we turned into a choke machine……and lost out club house cohesiveness.

Baltimore is in the playoffs……. that of course is after Wren was fired by them !

FIRE WREN ! Unless of course we should continue to build a softball team as we have……. Lack of speed and can only win when we hit home runs.

Peter

October 7th, 2012
9:38 am

Well Chipper and the crew was all excited about that one game playoff….POP that Champagne !

What a FAIL !

Still Gritz Blitz'n/O'l 74

October 7th, 2012
9:39 am

I’d love to have Swisher, DHD, good points, heck upton too, I’d go w/it.

Shane Sikes

October 7th, 2012
9:44 am

don’t need another season of Uggla batting .210/.220 (killing us)
Bring up Battencourt and put McCann on the bench.

What do you think?

Li'l Roy FontlyRoy

October 7th, 2012
9:49 am

Just mabey we’ll find out if this organization will have a clue one day.

Thomas

October 7th, 2012
9:55 am

Payroll issues always come from an owner that either has a interest that the team will win or use it as write off for tax purposes. Liberty Media is the problem!

bravos

October 7th, 2012
10:00 am

mike y – great post

starting pitching is fine – even with hanson #5
bullpen is good

now onto starting lineup
c – I like mccann but don’t see how you pay him $12mm if you have an option- go with ross and pay somebody or if have someone in minor leagues
1b – freeman – good
2b uggla – no choice and he is not that bad – walks a lot but hoped for more
ss – simmons – he is a good player – green but has a lot of potential
3b – prado with francooccasionally is not terrible and prado can play outfield as well
of – heyward is great – constanzo could play some cf and is a burner – so go get a big bopper
hamilton might be the man- would rather pay for a big bopper and shuffle constanzo and franco than bring back bourn – have to replace chipper with someone in the middle of the lineup and we should have the money. Who is out there besides hamilton that can hit homers and do we need mcanns salary to pay for him? those are the biggest questions to me besides how much you pay to keep free agent bench players.

virginia ranger

October 7th, 2012
10:10 am

How about taking the money and buying “Milkey the Drugging”—for the ML minimum and spending another ML minimum lining the pockets of the umpires.

Seriously Swisher does make some sense, cause a switch hitter who can (try to) play multiple positions would be an assest

playmeortrademe

October 7th, 2012
10:11 am

Blow it up. Wipe it out. Close the door on the Bobby Cox era. Change everything, get rid of the tomahawk and the damn chop that blares incessantly like “Rocky Top” at a Tennessee football game. Trade Uggla and pay 70% of his contract. Don’t pick up the option on McCann, he’s done. Start Ross for a year until the stud catcher in the minors is ready. Use the $45million or whatever to get some real players and build around the young staff, Heyward. Freeman, Simmons, and Prado.

virginia ranger

October 7th, 2012
10:11 am

Hey how about figuring a way to get Hamilton and Braun then between inning they could slide out to Fulton St and siupplement their incomes.

Winston

October 7th, 2012
10:16 am

Okay, who is going to take Uggla? Really, who? We have to hope he gets a little of his bat back because nobody is going to take him off the Braves hands.

The Twins have let it be known that Dennard Spann is available for a young pitcher. We have 3 and Spann is much cheaper than Bourn. He doesn’t steal as much (who does?) but he doesn’t strike out nearly as much, either.

Todd Cunningham looks like the big addition from the farm next year. The kid has hit everywhere he has played, so he looks like an inexpensive option in LF. Take Chipper’s money and pick up the options on McCann (he was hurt this year – he’ll be back) and Hudson (he’s got one more season in the tank). Then we just have to hope that Heyward, Freeman, and Uggla all stretch out their power a little. Simple!

Winston

October 7th, 2012
10:21 am

If the Rangers (who have money to burn) aren’t going to pay Hamilton, why would the Braves (who have a budget) go anywhere near that train wreck? Keep dreaming. He’s not coming to Atlanta, and that’s probably a good thing. The guy was as bad as Uggla for big chunks of last season.

beamMeUp

October 7th, 2012
10:22 am

the braves were still suffering effects from that huge champagne shower after backing into the playoffs. Drinking a bunch of champagne for just making a playoff game—-minor league stuff.

playmeortrademe

October 7th, 2012
10:25 am

Someone will take Uggla for the right price. He’s still young and could right himself, but he’s not worth what the Braves are paying him. If the Braves could find a buyer that would pay even 25% of his contract, that would free up about $1MM-$1.5MM per year, and I bet you could find at least one, probably two or three players more productive than Uggla at that price, or put that money toward free agents.

playmeortrademe

October 7th, 2012
10:34 am

For me, Wren has to have to have the guts to let the hometown guys, Hudson and McCann, walk and free up that money. McCann especially. There’s a chance he could rebound, but between his eyesight problems and age, his bat is slow so he pops up a lot, he can’t hit to all fields, and his defense doesn’t make up for it. Hudson can still pitch but it’s time to let the young guys have the rotation and get the experience. Use that money for position players and a cheaper 4th or 5th starter.

Johnny Come Lately

October 7th, 2012
10:41 am

I find it funny that Chipper said he gave his all every day. Did he give his all on that day in September when he sat for a game against the division leading Nationals? He settled for the wildcard, and this is what he got.

Sonny Clusters

October 7th, 2012
10:44 am

Hey Tiny, talk baseball or go talk society with the other pansies. We think you got your feelings hurt along the way and now you’re all red in the face and embarrassed and have to talk Clusters when you aren’t smart enough to make valid points of your own about the baseball team. Oh, we forgot, you are the “golly, gee, gee willikers, love me some Chipper” blogger. Many of us are looking for some better baseball from this organization and some candid reality from them about their lack of success when the big boys get together to settle the pennant. Do you ever get tired of watching other teams celebrate on Turner Field? Of course, the fans made that unadvisable for the Cards. Finally, Atlanta fans seem to have had enough of the ineptitude and the excuses and the charade of telling us they are some kind of “champions”. How did that “playoff” championship they celebrated the other night work out for them? It’s little blatherers like you that give JS the courage to keep on keeping on because you slobber at the fountain and can’t get enough Popeye arms and wasted, totally unprofessional at-bats (there you go again, “he had some pretty walks”) where he strikes out or pops up with runners on base. We say jettison Uggla. Let him go make movies with the prOn star and he can stop off and see Chipper at the ranch and kill something since he can no longer kill a baseball. Stalker2, we got so annoyed with you we left for a few days because you make it personal instead of about baseball and we think you are jealous of this Clusters because of our nice monogrammed CLUSTERS pajamas instead of those Braves pajamas with the tomahawk and the little feet sewed in them that you wear. You and “true” fans like you that make excuses for the Braves are the ones who enable them to continue to deliver mediocrity. Now, stalk away, Tiny. Show us your ignorance. Your Pal, Sonny Clusters, we don’t hold it against you because you probably are doing the best you can.

Sam Augustine

October 7th, 2012
10:51 am

Uggla and Bourn need to leave, Bourn can’t bunt Constanza can. Uggla will finish the season with a 225 avg send him back to the Marlins and get a prospect

Let's Go

October 7th, 2012
10:54 am

Winston @ 10:16 & 10:21
You make too much sense with your post but the Fantasy GM’s that troll these blogs don’t want to hear that.

In todays baseball world signing free agents is too much of a crap shoot especially for power hitters who come from the AL with their small parks and high ERA’s that inflate the numbers. Hamilton has talent and could probably hit 30 HR’s in the NL but the baggage this guy has with his substance abuse problems is a red flag that all teams have to look at. People are screaming trade for Bautista. Please, here is a guy where red flags should be all over the place with his shady numbers. The guy goes from never hitting more than 16 in his first 5 years to hitting 54 and then 43.

BraveFan

October 7th, 2012
11:14 am

Keep in mind that there is risk with every player you decide to use and especially those you choose to pay big $$. I think a 1 yr risk on Mac is probably a bargain unless you want to go bargain and take smaller risk on Ross as everyday catcher.

Prado should be signed long term. One of his values is that he looms over Uggla this offseason as a 2nd baseman if he does not change. We may not be able to trade him right now but he could go route of failed overpaids and ride buses in Mississippi if he can’t make some changes. I would look for top players at 3rd, CF, LF on the market. Whichever we don’t sign we fill till the right time.

Resign Huddy and Maholm options. Bargains for starters. Medlin an Minor with them and hope Delgado, Teheran finally step up. Beachy back mid season possibly but may be pen help.

Bullpen should be good again. Kimberly, venters, Oflaherty and cobble the rest together like we always do. Fredi does deserve credit for bullpen this year. Very good job.

Can’t wait to see what we do with a little money for a change. Make it count Frank Wren.

BUSTERBrave

October 7th, 2012
11:16 am

Tommy Hanson for Peter Bourgeous….fast centerfielder with Angels….Hanson’s hometown team.Also,possibilities are Rajia Davis….outfielder,can play centerfield and has as many SB’s as Bourn……Lorenzo Cain…..centerfielder with KC….fast and can hit………… too much $$$ for speedy centerfielder on a lonf term contract for Bourn

The rev al

October 7th, 2012
11:22 am

The Braves need to resign Bourne. If they don’t it will be a sure sign that they aren’t serious about building a long term winner. Bourne is a good hitter,great outfielder and a major base stealing threat and run generator as a lead off man. Of course they need to do a lot more than resigning Bourne but that is a key starting point. What tells me they won’t pill the trigger? Guess they won’t mind seeing him in a phillies or Nationals uniform. Both teams have expressed a high level of interest.

Banned Poster

October 7th, 2012
11:29 am

If I was Wren, I would start the offseason off by picking up the option on McCann and then trade him. His health is a big reason why his future for this team is not behind the plate. With no reasonable place to put him elsewhere in the field, a trade would be the most logical thing to do. Resign Ross to be the primary catcher in case young Bethancourt is not ready for primetime. If the youngster is ready, Ross is still a very capable backup. Use McCann and Uggla as trade bait for a hitter – either 3B or LF. Prado can take over 2B. Resign Bourn or go after Shane Victorino (who might be a cheaper option in CF) or roll the dice and make a play for Josh Hamilton. As for 3B, I don’t know. Not many guys out there right now who are available. San Diego sounded like they were trying to unload Headley so it probably wouldn’t hurt to call and see if he is available.

As for pitching, I say for the most part it is setup fairly well. Hudson is a strong veteran to bring back and I don’t think this year was a flash in the pan for Medlen. He pitched well in the Wild Card game and came undone by his defense (when a pitcher gets you ground balls, you’re supposed to make outs). Beachy will be back in June or July and Minor came on strong in the 2nd half. The team does need to make a decision on the 4th and 5th roles. I don’t think Tommy Hanson is the answer. He has regressed over the last two seasons instead of progressing. He can’t hold runners and he can’t seem to get himself out of jams. I think it is time to cut bait and see what, if anything, you can get for him. The 5th job can go to either one of the rookies who finally show they can get their act together. Paul Maholm should NOT be brought back on this team. He wasn’t that big of a help and his career numbers are mediocre at best.

The Braves didn’t win 94 games by mistake. Heyward came back strong and showed us his power. He will only continue to get better. Freeman displayed some nice power, but did seem to hit a slight sophmore slump. I say he bounces back next season and becomes a legit .300, 25HR, 100RBI guy. These two are the cornerstones and the lineup should be built up around them. The Nationals played above their heads this year (look at all those HRs) and won 97 games. The Braves have a very legit shot at winning the NL East next year. Wren just needs to make the right moves to get them over the hump.

We wuz robbed

October 7th, 2012
11:30 am

To Stinger2….No I am not a Clusters, but he knows baseball, and I wish I knew him. You, on the other hand, are an enabler. I have read your posts all year, and some make sense; but there is no need to stalk Sonny Clusters because of your jealousy. Chipper should have been busting his butt to get to first, but instead he slowed down. After all his years of playing a person would think he could throw the ball without making an error that lost the game for the Braves. I for one am sick and tired of the Rah Rah Chipper fest. Lets have a “team” for once that cares.

Mister Frisky

October 7th, 2012
11:35 am

Is the the same Schultzy who wrote that standing pat with that pathetic impotent line up was the right move this past season?Guess you are having a Come to Jesus Moment three years later than the rest of us,welcome to the party.This line up has sucked since 2010.Malone and Liberty have plenty of money.Not having it and not wanting to spend what you have are two different things.Chipper finally gone thank God.Bourn walks thank God.And for Gods sake no McCann or Uggla in 2013.

Jim

October 7th, 2012
11:44 am

PLEASE DO NOT spend the money on McCann. He is a double play machine and a defensive liability. Go with Ross and Betacourt from Richmond. Use the money along with the other to get a 3rd baseman or two outfielders. Would pick up the option on Hudson.

southern hope

October 7th, 2012
11:44 am

Is there an al-alon group for braves supporters? All of you talking about future years? I’m sadder, angrier, more bummed out than I was on Friday (and I was pretty low on friday). and the fact that some teams are still playing? its too much….seriously. :(

Mister Frisky

October 7th, 2012
11:57 am

CLUSTERS RULES!

What Do You Expect?

October 7th, 2012
12:03 pm

This is the same brain trust that was shopping Prado in the off season, that dubbed Pastor the starting SS, that tinkered with Hanson’s delivery, that keeps clueless FG while learning on the job, that in the off season did not address the need for hiiting with RISP. The record was indicative of good pitching. Please make some better decisions and changes that will result in more wins.

Sonny Clusters

October 7th, 2012
12:13 pm

We was wondering . . . what position player has a guaranteed job in the spring? The All-Star at second base? Simmons? McCann? Will the Braves allow someone to win a position during spring training? Or will they decide Pastornicky fits here and Uggla fits here and we send Constanza to the minors again? Is Hanson guaranteed a spot in the rotation? Hmmm. . .

We wuz robbed

October 7th, 2012
12:16 pm

So true What Do You Expect? Would bet my paycheck the dufe fg will be back. And I also have the sinking feeling that Wren will not be allowed to spend much money. After all, it belongs to liberty media, and it been so obvious they don’t care about a team, only how much money is in the bank. I am still disbelieving what happened Friday night. It was the cruelest way to end a season. Hope that umpire gets hemroids, and zits the size of boils.

wondering

October 7th, 2012
12:32 pm

Aren’t there position players in AAA & AA that are ready to move up and fill some of these openings next year?

kazoo

October 7th, 2012
12:43 pm

Losing Bourn would be a big blow to the team. Good leadoff hitters are hard to find. Recall what happened when Braves lost Furcal–they weren’t the same. It would have been smart to resign Bourn months ago–but I assume he and his agent didn’t want to do that. McCann’s body seems to be breaking down–not sure how that will play out. There is a report today–perhaps just a rumor–than the Braves will go after Grienke with the Angels. But it also says that Angels would like to keep him–and if so that would mean the Braves would have to give him a monster contract. Braves had a good team this year and were victimized by the stupid new play-in game.

Art

October 7th, 2012
12:54 pm

Hopefully 2013 the Braves will have Bourn in CF. Braves need a right handed hitting left fielder and they need Uggla at 3rd and put Prado where he should be and that is 2nd. The rotation needs to be tweaked with Hanson finding what is wrong and getting Hudson signed up for another 3 years. Other than 1b, ss, rf, c are fine.

Better Decisions Start With

October 7th, 2012
1:45 pm

Brian McFann should be willing to give a hometown signing extention that has a base salary of $6 Millon and incentives based clauses that insures the justification.

Stinger2

October 7th, 2012
2:13 pm

Clusters: This is the first time I have used your name in quite a while. I am doing it now only because you (by calling me Stalker) just posted (not for the first time) about me wearing Braves pajamas. You are getting very personal talking about what I wear in bed.My wife is the only one who has authority to determine my night attire or lack thereof.Mr Nosey Clusters I assure you its never Braves pajamas. As for you, have a nice winter.
Maybe you can go to the Dairy Queen more often now that you will not be hearing so much about the team you are always finding something negative to say about.

J Matt

October 7th, 2012
2:24 pm

Pretenders all season . . . Wren & Company always the best at ‘rationalizing’ reasons for for poor performances or managing decisions. Really have to wonder about talent evaluation or ability to develop talent in too many situations. Probably nice locker room but who are dynamic leaders with heart? Already making excuses for not signing Bourn. They won’t spend. Any other top notch catching talent in system? McCann wearing down fast. Too bad they didn’t have guts to make play for Francona. Fresh, proven voice with ability to bring energy and heart to team.

Slammin' Helmets, and Breakin' Bats!

October 7th, 2012
2:56 pm

Nice post, Banned Poster, I agree with almost everything you said. I’m not a big fan of Victorino, though, and would rather the Braves go for J. Upton (still a lot of upside) or Pagan. I think the Braves should give another go at Cody Ross as well.

Slammin' Helmets, and Breakin' Bats!

October 7th, 2012
2:57 pm

@J Matt: Well, we’ve got both Evan Gattis and Christian Bethancourt. Although, I doubt Bethancourt will be ready for the big club next season.. Gattis on the other hand, deserves a chance, in my opinion.

Sonny Clusters

October 7th, 2012
3:32 pm

Little Buddy, you’d have to show us a wife for us to believe that! But we do believe the part about somebody else dressing you. Momma, maybe?

Mister Frisky

October 7th, 2012
3:41 pm

@J Matt,Great insight.John the Liar and Fat Frank always have their loser rationalization ready for the inevitable October flameout.Do us fans a favor sac up or pack up.Build us a team for once that can win it ALL.Not these dog squeeze p&?()-s that are built to loose the play in game.The prosecution rests.

Stinger2

October 7th, 2012
4:05 pm

Clusters: Goodbye. Go on a deer hunting trip with someone (Chipper won`t be an option for you) and make it a long one. When you get back maybe you can find something constructive to do since you will not have many blogs until the winter meetings.

Norm

October 7th, 2012
4:35 pm

My wish list for Wren:

- Josh Hamilton, CF
- David Wright, 3B
- Someone else at 2B

Delbert D.

October 7th, 2012
4:58 pm

I’d rather see Uggla in center field than Josh Hamilton. That guy is untouchable in my book. The guy is a former junkie and a current alcoholic.

Ralph

October 7th, 2012
5:13 pm

BUSTERBrave

October 7th, 2012
11:16 am

Tommy Hanson for Peter Bourgeous

Peter Bourgeos, 220BA, 3 HR, I think we’ve been there, for quite a few years in a row, please don’t go back to that.

JNick

October 7th, 2012
5:13 pm

New rule: if you misspell a player’s name in your post, your entire post is invalidated.

Ralph

October 7th, 2012
5:14 pm

BUSTER, I agree with one thing, Tommy Hanson for anything of value.

Dirty Boyd

October 7th, 2012
5:41 pm

Frank Wren!s insufferable smugness is already on display. Why do I have so little confidence that Wren will wisely spend the money freed up by Chipper/Lowe etc?

Mike

October 7th, 2012
5:45 pm

McCann is a 6 time all star. Hes one of the best hitting catchers in the game. Now he has one bad year and yall want to get rid of him. He will bounce back next year. Plus didnt alot of you want to put prado as a utility player after last year. Calm down!

Sonny Clusters

October 7th, 2012
6:13 pm

If we was going to do something with McCann we’d try to get him off the french fries and milkshakes. If he was to take some of the putty off he might be more durable and maybe he could stay healthy. One thing we was noticing this year and that was the several times McCann never got leather on a pitch and it would hit the umpire. That cannot be a confidence builder for the ump standing back there. McCann may be delivering a message when he does that. One like, I am not very good defensively.

Sonny Clusters

October 7th, 2012
6:18 pm

We don’t wish to be mean to that little fella but he just won’t leave us alone. He’s telling us to have a good winter so maybe he’s going to hibernate in his pajamas. As for us, we’ll still be posting some baseball only it won’t be baseball season. We’ll gather ’round the hot stove and eat some bratwurst sausages and spit some seeds and belch and phart and talk about how we left it all on the last blog. Come to think of it, golly, gee, gee willikers, little buddy may just want to join us. Go Braves. Fix what’s wrong.

John Leonard

October 7th, 2012
6:44 pm

B Mac has not hit for two years,and has never been anything but a poor defensive player,along with his ailments,he can’t see well.Now the boy played good offense for the first four years,but is not worth the 13 mil.Pick up a defensive catcher to go along with Ross and put that 13Mil to pick up one of the opther needs we have,if we can trade Uggla,do it,not likely with that salary,but who knows,maybe some team needs his hustle.You have to make and offer to Bourn to get the draft pick,but please don’t sign him,we can find anybody to K 150 times plus a year.The problem is there aren’t a lot of options out there,Pagan is the best option for us,but at what cost?

superiorblogman

October 7th, 2012
7:08 pm

playmeortrademe
October 7th, 2012
10:11 am

Blow it up. Wipe it out. Close the door on the Bobby Cox era. Change everything, get rid of the tomahawk and the damn chop that blares incessantly like “Rocky Top” at a Tennessee football game. Trade Uggla and pay 70% of his contract. Don’t pick up the option on McCann, he’s done. Start Ross for a year until the stud catcher in the minors is ready. Use the $45million or whatever to get some real players and build around the young staff, Heyward. Freeman, Simmons, and Prado.

Co-sign this post for the most part.

Lynn Fowler

October 7th, 2012
9:00 pm

Keep Hudson, Sent Hanson on his way. Put McCann on first and move Freeman to 3rd. David Ross is a good catcher.

Delbert D.

October 7th, 2012
9:16 pm

Ross at 36 has far less wear and tear than McCann. If he can come back strong by early summer, do the team and McCann a favor and trade him to the AL before the deadline. He possibly has several good years left as a DH. Jim Thome is in his early 40’s.

Dirty Boyd

October 7th, 2012
9:39 pm

Ladies and gentlemen … Nate McLouth with a big 2-run single for the Orioles.

bulldogbubba

October 8th, 2012
12:54 am

It looks like the new president may have to have a “peace summit” between Clusters and Stinger2. What a tough job that will be!! “Circle the wagons Ann I am going in”.

Josh Hamilton? Seriously?

October 8th, 2012
1:24 am

Hamilton is an eyelash away from total self destruction again. Shows all the signs of it the last few weeks of the season in Texas. The last game he dropped a fly ball, jogged after it, halfheartedly threw it back in and then bristled when the manager got on him about it.
He’s going to sign a huge contract and then break some organizations’ heart in crunch time. We don’t need that.
Trade Hanson and Uggla? Puhleeze. Who in MLB is going to give you anything for those two, and you’d have to eat most of Uggs’ contract anyway.

superiorblogman

October 8th, 2012
1:45 am

What about Uggla and Delgado for Carlos Gonzalez? Uggla is owed $39 million while Delgado is up for a raise also.

Gonzalez is owed just $71 over the next 5 years which is $14 mil per, which is just $1 mill more than Uggla.

collegeballfan

October 8th, 2012
7:14 am

Sign the best power hitter you can get that can play LF, CF or 3B. I assume Uggla is under contract for a few years yet. Wren has some flexibility with Prado able to play LF or 3B.

GDM

October 8th, 2012
9:32 am

Personally, I think the Braves will be a better team without Chipper. No doubt he is a Hall of Fame offensive player, but his defense has always been questionable and unfortunately it showed up again
Friday. Has anyone mentioned Shane Victorino in center field and leadoff. He totured the Braves while in Philadelphia, and would probably be cheaper than Bourn. I agree we need to trade Hanson and Francisco for a right handed hitting left fielder, put Prado at third and leave him there. His defense is far superior to Chipper’s.

DawgDad

October 8th, 2012
10:26 am

The Braves flaws were exposed Friday. The top of the lineup did nothing until the game was essentially decided, the overpaid aging veterans broke down in the field, and the rookie shortstop, for all his obvious talent, flashed his inexperience.

The middle of the Braves lineup in 2012 was age 23-40-23, no player in his prime. This offseason presents a rare opportunity to turn the page on past over-inflated contracts and focus on building around the 23-year old core and the young pitching. Take another shot at playing for a wild card and we’ll get years more disappointment. Go find some young, athletic players and stop giving huge contracts to plodding dinosaurs.

Whatever you can do to move Dan Uggla, by all means move him. With good young pitching build a strong defense up the middle. Offer McCann and Bourn reasonable contracts, not too long in term, and if they balk let them walk. And, finally, find a right-handed power hitter to play left field and bat fourth between Heyward and Freeman.

Food for thought: The Braves finished four games back of the Nats. I wonder what would have happened if LaRoche was playing first base in Atlanta, not Washington. Penny-wise, pound foolish.

Tumbledown

October 8th, 2012
10:49 am

I say yes to Victorino and no to Bourn. SV has played for a winning organization and is a winner. Bourn came from Houston and is too familiar with losing. I do not remember Bourn doing anything to win crucial games down the stretch. Braves need to think back to 1990-91 when they surrounded their young team back then with quality players from winning clubs (Bream, Pendleton, and Belliard). No to losing players like Bourn and Uggla, and yes to SV and similar-type players.

Only News I want to Hear is........

October 8th, 2012
11:01 am

The only news I really want to hear about the Atlanta FLOPS Braves is that Fredi Gonzalez has been FIRED……that Tommy Hanson has been released as well as JJ, and that Brian McCann has been traded for somebody who can hit……

Tami

October 8th, 2012
11:05 am

dawggirl
October 6th, 2012
4:46 pm

They need to throw out that lineup and start over. Keep Freeman, Heyward and Prado. Throw out everyone else.

Perhaps. But that would cost way more money than Liberty’s going to {{cough}} up to allot to the Braves’ Brass. Gotta TRY to keep Bourn (can’t hit, but can run and play CF), and definitely keep McCann (and get him diagnosed, operated on if it comes to that ASAP, and fixed in time for at least the start of 2013 season). And hope with the extra $$$$$$$$ that the Braves Brass can attract the rest of the pieces of the puzzle. Maybe they have a Macy’s or a Dillard’s outlet store??? LOL

bravesfan82

October 8th, 2012
11:27 am

I say don’t sign Bourne because we need to THINK RH and If Wren is a betting man he should go after one of the Uptons one will do and I don’t care who. I would send and I know I am gonna catch flack but to Arizona Fransisco Pastorniky and Sean Gilmartin to the D-backs for Upton and Bloomquist. Then trade Uggla to Seattle for Chone Figgins, then trade Hanson and Terdo to SD for Volquez.

Line up for 2013
Figgins 2b
Simmons SS
Freeman 1st
Upton RF
Prado 3rd
Heyward CF
Reed Johnson LF
Evan Gattis C
Rotation
Volquez
Minor
Medlen |
Teheran
Delgad

Rick C

October 8th, 2012
11:56 am

bravesfan82, your suggestions are unrealistic and don’t make sense. Heyward is going to stay in RF, he’s best suited there. Gattis has barely any experience at AA, he’s not ML ready. Why trade for Volquez but not pick up the affordable options on Hudson and Maholm? And it’s questionable if Delgado and Teheran are ready as well.

Klaus

October 8th, 2012
12:41 pm

This winter consider doing the following:

Trade Mac (AL team), Uggla (DET with cash) and Hanson (anywhere) for a combination of prospects and or ML ready talent.

Focus on getting a defensive catcher. Mac is not going to work as the core of the offense going forward but you are paying him like he will. Trade him before he has no value.

Put Prado back at 2B where he should have stayed. Decline Hudson’s 9mm option (it is not 13) and offer him a 1yr 5mm to be a #3-4 starter. He will take it.

Release the entire bench apart from Juan & Ross. Pastornicky is a toss in as part of trade IMHO not some super utility player find for ATL.

Trade an arm pkge to Texas for Elvis and then trade one of Elvis or Simmons to AZ for Justin Upton. While I like Simmons he makes a bone head play almost every game. That is either a maturity thing or a yip that may stick around.

Sign BJ Upton for CF – Bourn will cost too much and he faded badly at the plate in the 2H.

Make a run at Greinke and or Peavy for your Ace spot.

I would rather have Peavy’s power arm in the rotation over Hanson’s and possibly Hudson. Greinke is the Ace you don’t have today. He may not come here but a player of his caliber is needed to anchor this rotation.

Give Juan a shot a 3B with the requirement he gets in better shape over the winter & works on his approach at the plate and at 3B.

Use one of the trade scenarios above to get a 3B prospect into the system for insurance.

BTW If Terds name comes up again as the replacement for Chipper we are screwed. He is not very good. A better version of Pastornicky at 3B.

Some other cocktail of players may work but in 2013 we need new faces in CF, LF and 3B at a min with 25% of the rotation and 75% of the bench replaced.

I don’t think Wren does this and that is why he should be flushed along with JS & McGuirk. They have this desire to white wash the previous season and convince fans their tweaks or ill advised all ins moves (Uggla, Lowe, KK) could have worked.

If you want to put away other teams you need a FO with a killer instinct. The Braves lack that and quite frankly so does Fredi. I would broom the lot.

Bottom Line – Had Chipper not pulled out all the stops and more importantly Medlen become a temporary Maddux this team would have missed the post season, possible by 6 games.

To say they were so close is being in denial. No one expected Chipper to play like he did down the stretch and Medlen was doing OK in the pen before he became an unhittable write in Ace.

Wren is lucky more than he is smart. Without the safety net of Chipper his luck will run out should he chose to “tweak” his way into 2013.

Frankly I am fine with him face planting in 2013 bc I just don’t see the Braves doing more than what we have seen of late with him driving. I want to see the FO flushed and Fredi with them.

Sorry but as a 25 year Braves fan I know what great looks like and this FO team is not great. JS is a shadow and the rest are empty suits hiding behind “budget” for their ill conceived moves.

enough

October 8th, 2012
1:31 pm

wish everyone would stop saying we’re stuck with uggla because of his salary. you’re never stuck with a player. Even the braves front office has to admit he is a bust. someone will take him. you may have to eat 1/2 or 3/4 of his salary, but someone will take him and you have a little bit more money to spend on replacements. Prado needs to be second baseman if we are going to do anything next year, his bat is not what you want power wise out of a left fielder or thirdbaseman. need right handed power hitting/run producers at third and in left. offset the left handed power of heyward, freeman and mccann provided they bring him back and he’s healthy.

Mister Frisky

October 8th, 2012
1:41 pm

If the Angels got suckered into taking Vernon 220 Wells at 22 mil per.Im sure there is some unexpecting douche bag GM that would take Caveman Dan off our books.

Mister Frisky

October 8th, 2012
1:45 pm

Angels got suckered into taking Vernon Wells at 22 mil a year.I think the Braves could find someone just as stupid to take Caveman Dan off our hands.

Rick C

October 8th, 2012
2:16 pm

Klaus, neither McCann, Uggla, or Hanson is going to fetch much value in a trade right now. Uggla in particular the Braves would have to eat most of the contract, which they can’t do with their payroll. I think Hanson will probably be traded though since they have internal options to replace him.

Your outlook on Hudson is misguided. He could easily get a multi-year deal somewhere if he wants it. His option is extremely affordable.

Simmons is just young. Giving up on him without even a half season of ML performance would be incredibly shortsighted. I question what games you are watching if you don’t think he has great ability at SS.

The rotation is pretty much set for next year. They need to spend their money on hitters, not pitchers. Even if they don’t have a true “ace,” the lineup has a bigger need right now.

Had Beachy not gotten hurt, Medlen may have never even been in the rotation. Medlen certainly had some luck behind him, but we would not have really even needed him there had Beachy stayed healthy. It’s not like they just barely made the post season either. They won the first WC spot by 6 games and were only a few behind the division leader.

enough, the need for a power hitting 3B or LF is already offset by the fact that they have a power hitting 2B.

Ron

October 8th, 2012
3:57 pm

There ain’t no way the Braves sign Josh Hamilton, he will go to a bigger payroll team, a.k.a. Red Sox, Dodgers. I think the Braves should take a hard look at one of their own in center and lead-off, Luis Durango, can steal, can hit (not much power), excellent defense and good arm. Th Braves need to concentrate on LF and 3rd base. I agree Uggla, Hanson and possibly McCann. Line-up, rotation, bench, bullpen I would like to see 1. CF Durango 2. 2nd Prado 3. 1st Freeman 4. LF To be Named 5. Rf Heyward 6. 3rd To be named 7. C Ross 8. SS Simmons. Rotation: 1)Ace To be named 2)Medlen 3)Minor 4)Hudson 5)Maholm or Delgado(Beachy not back until minimum All-Star Break) Bullpen: Kimbrel, O’Flaherty,Venters, Avilan, Gearrin, Martinez, rest to be determined at spring training. Bench: Bettancourt or Gattis, Pastornicky, Francisco, Mejia, Costanza, Can be tweaked at Spring Training. I think Uggla, Hanson, Jurrijens, McCann and most of this seasons bench should be gone. As far as To be named players: Denard Spann and Josh Willingham from Twins via trade would be good choices. Also Kyle Lohse as our Ace as I think the Cardinals would trade him as they have many arms they want in next years rotation.

Dick Dodge

October 8th, 2012
4:30 pm

It is getting old hearing Braves fans complain about the new Wild Card format.

The genius of the new format..is that WINNING the division is REWARDED (by earning an entry into the Division Series),..while being one of the two Wild Cards (no matter how much better a record one WC has over the other) warrants having to play the play-in game in order to get into the Division Series.

The Giants won 103 games in 1993..and didnt have the luxury of a Wild Card play-in game.

If the Braves management had better decisions (like not having Randal Delgado make 17 starts…like not waiting until July 31st to give Kris Medlen his first start of the season)…if Braves players had actually taken care of business on the field (like not taking the month of September off from an offensive standpoint…like getting a clutch hit with runners in scoring position)….then we would have won the division.

Bottom line, we deserved the ramifications that came with the Wild Card play-in game. We deserve being in a position of being susceptible to bad luck (like a bad call costing us a chance to come back in the 8th inning).

I love the Wild Card set-up now, because from an entertainment standpoint…it forces you to play your A game, RIGHT AWAY. The sense of urgency that has been sorely needed for a number of years with this organization…simply failed to rise on Friday. The Cardinals, once again, rose up when the chips were down…while we (and this is a familiar storyline)…choked away our season.

Maybe in 2013…Braves management will put us in a position (and give us some more players who can deliver a clutch hit..as well as stay healthy) where by winning the division…our margin for error wont come down to a one game Wild Card play-in game.

Blaming the umpire, blaming Bud Selig…may make many of you feel better, however it DOES NOTHING to change the fact that we shot ourselves in the foot several times in the game…as well as during the regular season. Instead, you guys should be directing your anger at Braves management AND the Braves players.

We had a 162 games to show that we were worthy of avoiding a one game play-in game. Plain simply…we didnt.

bravesfan82

October 8th, 2012
5:42 pm

I say trade Freeman Pastornicky and Lipka to KC for Billy Butler Jarrod Dyson and Adam Moore. Then Trade Uggla to Seattle for Figgins you know bad contract for another Move Mcann to 3rd and use Prado to 2nd and have Figgins play left field and have at the top of the lineup.

lineup for 2013
Figgins LF
Dyson CF
Prado 2nd
Heyward RF
Butler 1st
Mcann 3B
Gattis C
Simmons SS

Rick C

October 8th, 2012
6:57 pm

lol McCann at 3B? You really can’t be that stupid to think that’s seriously a good idea, can you?

superiorblogman

October 8th, 2012
7:02 pm

The Hawks are still the best team in ATL. The Braves are severely overrating there team and talent.

All the Braves really have is Prado, Heyward, Freeman, and Simmons. Everything else should be moved.

I would love to see Wren do something significant this offseason but I doubt it will happen. He made a mistake last offseason by doing other than forecasting 95 wins. Looks like more of the same this offseason. He will go out and pick up some bargain players with no pop in there bats but claim he thinks we can still win 90 games next year because he thinks Uggla will finally have a good year after 2 bad ones in ATL and our young pitchers will finally be ready at 25 and McCann will bounce back.

Wren is a forecaster and predictor rather than someone that manages by taking action.

A-town homer

October 9th, 2012
2:07 pm

Terdoslavic, Cunningham, Lipka, Bethancourt, Gattis, and Ahmed are getting close to MLB level. Bourn is gone. To many K for a lead off man. Save 11.5 mil by giving Bmac 500,000 buyout. Buying out Huddy to really get some money for the free agent market is tempting but for 9 million (8 because you would have to give 1 to buyout his contract) is a great deal. If you add all that up Bmac, Bourn, Ross, and maybe Huddy contract money…you can get wright at 3rd and Revere in OF. Plenty of money available to do that. What sounds better Huddy Bmac Bourn and Ross or Wright and Revere. Just putting that out there.

superiorblogman

October 9th, 2012
3:58 pm

Wright and Revere, lmao. Only way we get Wright is if they cut him and I think he has too much value for them to just cut. Revere I will pass.

We need to be looking at a team like Arizona that has Aaron Hill and Justin Upton. Do what you need to get those two.

superiorblogman

October 9th, 2012
4:54 pm

Candidates for lead-off man if Bourn should not get resigned

1.Shin-Soo Choo

2A Dexter Fowler
2B Austin Jackson

3 BJ Upton

PEPr

October 10th, 2012
1:44 pm

With Josh Hamilton you would have to have “AA” on speed dial! Also, the Dan Uggla I see on defense is not a liability. He plays Second like a man possessed.

nashvillewill

October 10th, 2012
3:16 pm

I agree with the commentators who wish to let McCann and Bourne go. Here’s an idea for Uggla: start him at AAA and inform him that he will be brought up when he learns to hit to all fields and bat .300 at AAA. If he succeeds by May 15, bring him up. Meanwhile, Pastornicky or Jannish can fill in and do as well or better than Ugs has so far. Any thoughts of trying Durango or Mejia who had good AAA seasons? Since Prado can play IF, leave him there and go for a power-hitting LF and a speedy leadoff at CF (Durango or Constanza could be tried in spring training). A trade including either Delgado or Teheran is ok given the depth at pitching. Gonzales/Wren (who makes these decisions?) made two major mistakes costing the Braves the division: playing Uggla and toying with Medlen for a month before giving him the starting role. Since better decisions were made than the previous year regarding the bullpen, maybe learning is still possible. Though the old Cox-like stubbornness to stand by non-productive favorites continues to irritate me and other fans.