Where Do We Go From Here? 2005: Part 8, Who Replaces Leo?

The list of candidates I came up with yesterday was:

  • Guy Hansen, former Royals pitching coach, now the pitching coach at Richmond.
  • Bruce Dal Canton, former Braves pitching coach, now the pitching coach at Myrtle Beach.
  • Mike Maddux, Brewers pitching coach, brother of longtime Brave Greg.
  • Don Gullett, former Reds pitching coach.
  • Randy St. Claire, former Brave, now Natspos pitching coach.

Two other names have been mentioned:

  • Kent Willis, Mississippi pitching coach.
  • Mel Stottlemyre, former Yankees pitching coach.

Stottlemyre was a teammate of Bobby’s during the collapse of the Yankee dynasty. I don’t take him seriously as a candidate, but you never know. Some people have mentioned Greg Maddux, but he’s under contract to pitch for roughly fifty times what he’d make as a pitching coach.

My belief is that it will be Dal Canton, who’s been the guy they normally plug in during emergencies and has been in the organization forever. He’s 63 years old and would probably be a short-termer.

135 thoughts on “Where Do We Go From Here? 2005: Part 8, Who Replaces Leo?”

  1. I’d hate to be the one who replaces Leo. Eventually the streak of division titles is going to end, and when it does, he’s likely to be blamed, rightfully or wrongfully.

  2. We shouldn’t put any extra burden on Smoltzie as he’s not a spring chicken anymore. Forget Stottlemyre because one of the main reasons he’s leaving the Yankees is his health. I think Dal Canton, because of his connections to our younger pitchers, will be the one. Mike Maddux won’t come until Ned Yost becomes Bobby’s successor :>)

  3. Bruce is also the guy who is usually given credit for developing the arms in the system. He’d be the best successor. But Leo is irreplaceable. I seriously believe that if Leo goes, we go back to a .500 club.

  4. I said this on the Braves Beat forums and it’s worth repeating: Anyone who would leave an organization like ours to go work for Peter Angelos should have his head examined.

  5. I attend many Chattanooga Lookouts games (AA Reds) and they play Mississippi and I have heard nothing but really good things about Kent Willis. It seems that Bobby and John really like him a lot. He is partially responsible for making Boyer a reliever.
    Mississippi finished 4th in the league with a 3.98 ERA and that is with 4 or 5 of their pitcher getting promoted.

  6. This is too depressing to talk about. I’m serious this is the biggest blow the Braves have taken since I have been a fan which is now going on 23 years. This is a dark day that I never saw coming, I thought Cox would leave before Leo…

  7. I think this one is totally Bobby’s call. This is the guy who is going to be sitting next to Bobby and it’s my guess that if Mel Stottlemyre wants to return to coaching, the job will be his.

    Guy Hansen is the darkhorse here and I think St. Claire is an up-and-comer.

    Does anyone know what Joe Kerrigan is doing these days?

  8. Kerrigan is in the Yankee organization in some capacity. His name keeps getting dropped as a candidate for the Yankees job.

    Personally, from what I remember, I could do without him. He micro manages and is a self glorifier, if memory serves me correctly, the players didn’t like him as a coach or a manager.

  9. They will bring in a guy the players like. You know that Smoltz will play a big part in who they bring in.

  10. Whoever they bring in, I just hope they more or less keep Leo’s system of throwing twice between starts, among other things. I am not worried about losing Leo so much as his system. I beleive it is a system that can mostly be duplicated, but no one is talking about that.

  11. I say we get as many young arms from the farm as we can and maybe two vets for the pen. That way we build a pen that will be strong for years. IF we mix that with a pitching coach fromt he system, everything will be ok

  12. Don Sutton. He sure talks like he knows everything in the world about pitching. Plus, it will get his goofy self out of the broadcast booth.

  13. From reading these posts I see that Leo is vastly overrated on this board. Oh, Yes, he was a key figure in the 14 divisional crowns and world championship, but he was not THE key reason. He was a part of a system that has proved to be successful during the regular season. Now to get to the next level (World Championship) Braves seem to feel that change may not be such a bad thing, even though it was not intentional change. A system is in place, Leo STOP making vets like JS and Hudson better year years ago. In fact, I don’t think he can take any credit for Hudson at all. Nor can he take much credit for Davis, Boyer, Devine..ect. These young guys came here this year and were effective because of the training they received in the minors. Yes for guys like Wright, how came here without a clue, he deserves some credit. But I guess I am trying to say is the Brave new world will not end because Leo is gone. There are at least 4 guys who can replace him effectively and the winning will continue. As a true fan and Ex-BB player, I have to believe that the system is always greater than the individual. JMTC

  14. I have heard Sutton’s name dropped myself, but I doubt he would leave the $ he’s making in the booth to go onto the field for a couple hundred K.

  15. I think Leo actually hurt Kolb. The Braves tried to make him a more of a stikeout pitcher, thus he was over throwing a lot and not putting the ball in the strike zone and thus walking way too many people.

  16. The notion of duplicating the pitching system is an interesting one & perhaps it’s part of the “Braves Way.”

    Having played a little, however, I’ll say that (sometimes) receiving the right message can depend on how it’s delivered by the messenger. That messenger won’t be Mazzone.

    Doesn’t mean it’ll be dramatically worse in Bravesburg, just different. A bitter pill, sure, but gotta move on & think about how the ’06 Braves are gonna win again.

    I don’t see Stottlemyre coming for a variety of reasons–his health, his age, the possibility of going home to Seattle & taking that gig. I’m guessing the next pitching coach will come from within, whomever that may be. Fingers crossed.

  17. Promote from witin! Canton. Maddening this aol ownership, they probably could save the 150 K it would take to keep Leo by ceasing to bombard us with Aol cds that we will never use…

    …was there a falling out between Cox and Mazzone? Why Leo why???

  18. …was there a falling out between Cox and Mazzone? Why Leo why???

    I don’t think so. Everything I’ve heard indicates that Leo wanted to work with Perlozzo and now he has that chance. Aside from hiring Perlozzo to manage, I don’t think the Braves could have done anything different to keep him.

    In my opinion, as long as they hire someone reasonably compentent to replace him, I think our pitchers will survive. It’s not like we had that great of a pitching staff right now anyway, a fresh perspective might actually help.

  19. CC, I wasn’t advocating for Kerrigan. I was honestly curious as to what he was doing. My impression of him matches yours. There has to be a reason that his name never comes up anymore and maybe his attitude has something to do with that.

  20. I see this and Pendleton cancelling an interview for the Dodgers mgr job, and I wonder if Cox isn’t at least seriously considering retirement. Both are easily explained alone, of course, but I’m kinda paranoid by nature.

  21. The Braves philosophy has seemed to go back to the early nineties of letting the kids play. So with that philosophy, I think we will see someone who the kids (Davies, Lerew, James…) know very well.

  22. I would hope the Braves promote from within. There’s been a lot of talk about how the rookies were able to adapt quickly to the majors, because they were taught within the system how the Braves did things. I think there’s some validity in that, and for sake of continuity, I’d like to see one of the minor league pitching coaches get the job.

    If not, then I’d like to see the Braves hire Brian Price. Someone brought up his name on the earlier post about Leo leaving. I live in the Seattle area, and he was very well thought of here by players, management, and fans, and seemed to do a good job with his staff. (Granted, some results were less than hoped for – Pineiro/Meche.) I think he would be a good fit for the Braves.

  23. Pryce is my pick for an outside guy as well, though I think it will be someone from within.

    Did he get fired in Seattle and does anyone have an idea as to how much he was responsible for the shredding of so many arms in Seattle? My thinking is that it was more organizational than anything else, but as the pitching coach more than some of that ishas to be on him. Any thoughts?

  24. Leo is a great pitching coach, but he’s not the only good pitching coach and his system is not the only right way to do things. It’s not as if no other pitching coaches have developed great pitchers. There are lots of ways to do things and there isn’t necessarily one right way to teach pitching or one right pitching philosophy. As good as Leo is, he still had to have some pretty good talent to work with. The Braves will be ok; the talent of the arms is far more important than the pitching coach, assuming that you hire someone competent,which is assume they will.

  25. why does everyone think there is a falling out? its complete nonsense. Perlozzo was the best man at Leo’s wedding, he’s from Maryland. Its not so far fetched. The stars aligned to steal him away from bobby. my guess is that bobby is turning over the reigns soon anyway. Maybe they figured they’d hang em up when the streak ended. But with the Braves winning the division with free agent signings like Mondesi and Jordan, and umpteen million AA ball players, they decided that it will never end. Perlozzo was probably getting canned in a year or two w/o Leo, Im sure he called in a favor from his best childhood friend.

  26. There is a chance that Eddie Guardado could become a free agent if Seatle doesn’t pick up hiw option. Just a thought on a possible closer in the $4-6 million range

  27. The thing is, the Braves farm system hasn’t been producing most of the pitchers that the Braves have used to dominate the league for the past 14 seasons. I don’t know what dipping into the farm is going to yeild in terms of pitching coaches. Is that that the coaches or scouts that are the problem? The current group of young kids might be great, but we don’t know that yet.

  28. Chris, Price resigned, he was not fired. Management said they asked him to stay, and wanted him to stay, but he said he wanted to try something new. How much of that is true? That’s open to conjecture I think.

    I don’t think all of the arm injuries can be laid at his doorstep, as many of them occurred prior to his tenure. I do think there is an organizational problem because they do have so many injuries occurring in the minors as well as in the majors, but you’re right, some of the blame must be attributed to him as well.

  29. Losing Leo’s a blow, but I can’t see the Braves just collapsing with him gone. I mean, the Braves also have the best manager in baseball bar none, one of the two or three best GMs, a consistent .900+ OPS third baseman, a forty-HR centerfielder, one of the best-hitting second basemen in the game, Smoltz, Huddy, and one of the most productive farm systems in baseball.

  30. smitty, I’m not sure I’d be willing to spend $4 mil on Guardado. He’s 35 and there is some question about the condition of his left shoulder, even before the season gone by had begun. He made it through the season OK, but I’m not sure how much longer he’ll last. He also has a player’s option for next season with Seattle that he may exercise, even if Seattle doesn’t make him an offer.

  31. Dal Canton seems like a logical choice, for the reasons Mac mentioned. As far as who I would want it to be….hell, I have no idea. So much of what they do is unobservable and not reliably quantifiable (I did read and enjoy JC’s Mazzone piece) — I can’t knowledgeably advocate anyone. I liked Price when I lived in Seattle, but it had as much to do with his willing participation in the M’s always-great promo spots as anything.

    Just so it’s not Vern Ruhle — I can’t bear to look at him. Or anyone from one of Larry Bowa’s old coaching staffs — same reason.

  32. I hate to break it to you, but Guy Hansen is not in the Braves organziation. He was with the Royals this past season and had his ass fired. Hes a free agent. Sure he could come back but its a lie to say he is the Rbraves pitching coach.

  33. Here’s a list of pitchers the Braves drafted or signed as amateur free agents that played for the Braves from 1991-2004 that I have compiled.

    Steve Avery
    Micah Bowie
    Chris Brock
    Bruce Chen
    John Foster
    Tom Glavine
    John Leroy
    Kevin Lomon
    Jason Marquis
    Kent Mercker
    Kevin Millwood
    Damian Moss
    Matt Murray
    David Nied
    Odalis Perez
    Ben Rivera
    Luis Rivera
    John Rocker
    Jason Schmidt
    Chris Seelbach
    Tim Spooneybarger
    Mike Stanton
    Terrell Wade
    Mark Wohlers

    Are there any I’ve missed here? Lahman and Retrosheet are not fun to work with for this type of project.

    So far, it’s clear where the Braves pitching dominance hasn’t come from.

  34. JC, I’m not sure what you mean by this statement:

    So far, it’s clear where the Braves pitching dominance hasn’t come from.

    Please expound, sir.

  35. David Nied was going to be great until he got sent to Colorado. If he hadn’t been drafted i think he would have been on the same path as a guy like Avery. I guess it was him or Chipper, I think we choose the better of the two.

  36. Hansen was listed as the Richmond pitching coach, but I think you’re right. I think he may have hooked back on with the Braves after his dismissal, though.

  37. Some of those guys have had decent careers. The Braves have had the most dominant pitching staff in the league since Leo came on board (average ERA rank of 2.18 an average ERA of 3.5). Probably one of the logest sustained runs of pitching excellence in baseball history.

    Let’s take a closer look. Avery, Glavine, Mercker, Stanton, and Wholers (not to mention John Smoltz) where all products of Leo’s minor league work.

    Here are the career ERA+(100-average) of the guys Leo didn’t get to handle in the minors. Coincidently, they were all shipped out, too.

    Schmidt: 108
    Perez: 100
    Marquis: 103
    Millwood: 114
    Chen: 102

    These guys have been average, and some of their best seasons have come after they were shipped away (which might be one mark against Leo, nobody said he was perfect). My point is that the overall dominance of Braves pitching has come through getting guys like Maddux, Neagle, Burkett, Wright, etc. to come in here and pitch phenomenal seasons. And Leo’s been just as good with the bullpen.

    Don’t put me on the doomsayer side of this argument. I do not think the Braves will suddenly suck next year. But, I am worried that the Braves aren’t going to have Leo there to work with these outside guys, on which the Braves have relied heavily for the past 14 seasons.

  38. This will be the sceen this year when watching the Braves with my girl friend if they hire Guy Hansen:

    Braves Gal: “Who is that guy?”
    Smitty: “Yes that is Guy.”
    BG: “Huh? What is he doing on the field?”
    Smitty: “He is the pitching coach and his name is guy.”
    BG: “That is a stupid name. Hey, I thought the guy that rocks was the pitching coach.”
    Smitty: “He went to Baltimore.”
    BG: “Oh, well I think he had problems because of his rocking. Who is the ‘Guy’ fellow?”
    Smitty: (starting to cry and rocking) “I don’t know, is name is kid of stupid.”

    ESPN is reporting that MLB is holding up the Leo deal because of need for compensation.

  39. There was a pretty good study on the USS Mariner awhile back regarding all the Mariners’ pitching injuries. Here’s where my utility ends; I don’t really recall the conclusions too well- the only thing I can definitively say was that Seattle was over 2 standard deviations above the mean with regards to pitcher injuries during the period studied- and I am too lazy to go find it and link to it. Yeah, I suck. Anyway you’d think that a good pitching coach would have some, hopefully a lot, of say in an organization’s strategy for developing pitchers. I’d probably assign most of the blame to Price, either for being directly responsible (instituting a policy that got guys hurt) or for not responding to the injury trend and trying something different…

  40. JC, I think what your post shows is that the Braves turned a lot of guys over for other guys.

    A statistically-minded fellow could easily refute me on this, but one of my signature statements (as if a guy like me has a signature statement) is that “You can’t bet on young pitching, but you can’t bet against it either.”

    You, as a statistically-minded fellow, must know why the Braves kept turning younger guys over for older guys. Past performance can be a fairly reliable predictor of future performance and the Braves have consistently moved toward “developed” pitchers over the past decade, probably because of predictability. And the Braves have guesse right more often than not. For all his warts, Reitsma has contributed more to the Braves than either Nelson or Bong have for the Reds.

    I think the other point is that the Braves have always prided themselves as being “5-Deep” in the starting rotation. Even with their great top end of the rotation, they have always had solid guys in the 4 and 5 slots. Guys like Burkett and Shane Reynolds who are basically told, “Go out and throw strikes and you’ll probably beat whatever 23-year-old guy is pitching for the Reds tonight.” I think that, along with Leo’s expertise, is what put elevated some of these reclamation projects.

    I think the biggest loss coming from Leo’s departure can be best summed up from an interview with him in the dugout during spring training during a game on ESPN. Leo basically said his goal was to “simplify” the games for pitchers. Make good pitches and things tend to take care of themselves (something Ramirez has trouble with). I think Leo stressed that all you have to be is fine and trust your stuff instead of worrying and trying to be super-fine.

  41. That’s just it. Until this year, there really haven’t been that many injuries to the pitching staff. None of the fold-the-tent variety, that is. Certainly, Leo’s pitching program must take credit for that.

  42. I wonder how long it will take the Braves to retire Leo’s jersey. Five years? Ten years? Would that set a precedent?

  43. OK, forget my earlier comment about wanting Brian Price, formerly of Seattle, to be pitching coach. I just checked USS Mariner, who reminded me that he is now pitching coach of the Diamondbacks.

  44. Sorry to get off topic, but Angel Hernandez was named one of the umps for the World Series. If he gets to be homeplate ump at all we should expect someone to get tossed.

  45. There is no possible way for the umpiring in the World Series to be any worse than it’s been up to this point. I have never seen such bad postseason umpiring. What was wrong with last year’s crews? They did a great job. I honestly think the umpires they got this year are some of the worst in baseball and I don’t know what MLB saw that made them let these guys anywhere near a postseason. Doug Eddings? Phil Cuzzi? Come on.

    At the very least, this should be entertaining. Angel Hernandez is pretty incompetent, and if you combine this with the short fuses of Ozzie Guillen and Carl Everett, who is so completely insane that I bet the Red Sox had a secret internal memo that no front office member was allowed to be alone in a room with him, we should get some pretty good entertainment.

  46. I don’t think Leo leaving is that big of a deal. Sure, the Braves have managed to win so many division titles in a row with him, but they haven’t won but the one World Series.

    It might be interesting to see what a few changes might allow. Maybe the Braves won’t win a division title for another 14 years, but can any of you honestly say that you thought this run would last forever? And as many have said, it’s a good litmus test — how good was Leo? Next year should tell a lot about his legacy..

  47. Losing Mazzone is a stomache punch. It doesn’t mean the Braves won’t win #15, just the same way keeping Mazzone wouldn’t guarantee win #15. I hope the Braves look at Mike Maddux, who I’m pretty sure wouldn’t want to leave Milwaukee anyway. He and Yost have something going up there, and if it were me I’d want to see it through. My vote for the replacement is Kent Willis. All I’ve heard are good things about the guy, and he already has a relationship with some of the guys on the roster.

    Call me crazy, but I think the scariest team in the division is the Mets. I don’t think they were as bad this year as their record, given Beltran’s struggles and their lack of bullpen. There is no way that Beltran (or Manny) will have that bad of a season again. Piazza’s off the books, so they have money to spend on the bullpen and another starter. They’ll have a new identity now that Piazza is gone, and ownership of the team will shift to Pedro/David Wright. I know they’re the Mets, but still, they could potentially be very, very solid.

  48. Two problems with the Mets… One is that I don’t think Pedro will do that again. Most people were surprised he held up the first time. The second is that Cameron’s injury is the sort of thing you don’t recover from.

  49. Re: The Mets.

    How do we view them if Manny Ramirez shows up in Flushing?

    Wright & Manny would make a tough 3/4 in the lineup.

  50. The Manny for Beltran trade rumors are all over the place. I would be surprised if the Red Sox did this, but as we all know, Theo Epstein is perfectly willing to do the unexpected. So who knows? It just doesn’t make much sense to me. Why would they want to exchange Manny’s bloated contract for Beltran’s? Manny has at least justified some of that money for more than two weeks.

  51. JC’s list could only be useful if he could show that we are producing less pitchers than the competition. I’ve never seen him show that although he is obviously implying it.

    I’ll restate my objection from yesterday. It makes no sense to cast negative light on the Braves orgization when other teams screw up our pitching prospects after we trade them away. Neid was doomed the day we sent him to Colorado, does that mean the Braves did a poor job of producing a pitcher? Pitching prospects (or prospects in general) are typically traded to the also-rans of the league who are out of it and are prospecting. These teams tend to be the teams that suck at player development or else they wouldn’t be also-rans. Jung Bong was finished the day he entered the Reds organization. They have no idea how to develop pitching, that’s why they’re the Reds.

  52. From all the Boston writers/columnists I hear on NYC sports radio, they make it seem like the chances of Manny returning to Boston are not good. Whether it’s Beltran or a package (with Glavine?) or whatever in return, they seem bent on moving him.

  53. Let’s not dis-credit what Leo has done. He has shown enough that he is an important part of the team, and it is hard to artribute the success of the Braves to any one person. It is a collective effort of a group of people and Leo is part of that. It is just not easy for us to see Leo go after 15 years of constant in pitching coach.

    On the other hand, it would be funny if Leo stays with the Braves after all these because the O’s wouldn’t give the Braves the prospect JS wants.

  54. I think this Beltran for Manny trade would make sense. I’d be kind of surprised in the Mets for bailing after Year 1 of the 7-year Beltran deal, but Manny is Manny. The Mets need some OBP and power, so why not trade for the best available hitter? Mike Cameron is every bit the defensive center fielder Beltran is; New York’s center field depth makes the deal viable.

    The trade would help Boston as well. Either you sign four more years of Johnny Damon or take on the next six of Carlos Beltran. Beltran is the better player in every single way, and the marginal cost is worth it. Damon has the potential to seriously underperform in years 3 and 4 of his new deal, while Beltran will probably age well.

    If Brian Giles is imported to complement Beltran in the outfield, the Red Sox probably have a net gain on offense despite losing Ramirez and Damon. This scenario would also be a net gain on defense for the BoSox.

  55. I hardly think that the Mets are planning on giving up one of their biggest free agent signings ever after just one year. And, why give up a young Beltran for a soon-to-be aging Manny Ramirez. And there is every reason to believe that Pedro is behind ALL OF THIS!

    Ok, now, onto the “Beltran aura”. This guy has been around for 7 years now. He’s a career .282 hitter. He has never hit more than 29 homers in a single season, in fact, the past 3 years, his production has fallen streadily! Now, some argue that hes got speed; well, the past 3 years he has stolen 14, 28, and 17 bases. ..speed…riiiiight. And what does speed do for the Red Sox anyways? They have always been the win it with the big swing team, never a small ball team. Even if he comes to Boston his SB’s will go down yet again.

    Need more proof that this Beltran phantom isn’t all hes hyped up to be? Past 3 years stikeouts have gone from 44 to 57 to 96! Hmm, who does that number remind me of…oh yeah, Mark Belhorn…(no offense Bel). Given, Manny had more SO than Beltran, BUT he still hit higher avg and drove in more runs. Beltran has only hit over .300 in 2/7 seasons, Manny has done it 9/11 full seasons. The numbers are not even comparable.

    Sure, the guy is an obvious upgrade defensively over the girly armed Johnny Damon, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about the Red Sox in recent years is you do not screw with the chemistry. You think Ortiz is going to be happy about losing his best friend Manny for the quiet and withdrawn Beltran? Hell no! Manny’s antics on the field are a part of this team and entertain the fans and players alike, I’ll take a few unbelieveably botched plays per year for the 45 HR that come with them.

    Manny Ramirez means more to the Boston Red Sox than anyone seems to choose to recognize and it would be a damn shame if management trades him for Beltran (which also means goodbye Damon). Tear apart this team and you will be waging war with the fans who love them. Manny is routinely named the most dangerous right handed hitter in the AL (Sheff too) followed by Papi who is the most dangerous left handed hitter in MLB. Break up this duo and you may not see the playoffs for a while. Especially when you don’t have the pitching to back it up.

    Remember, all Beltran did to deserve that contract last year was tear up the playoffs. Wow, 12 games=best player in the league? I dont think so.

  56. I love Ortiz, but Barry Bonds is still the most dangerous left-handed, right-handed, or armless hitter in baseball until he’s done.

  57. I think I just heard that we may get a played from the O’s if Leo go’s there.
    But im not sure.
    I know its possible. Randy win was in something like that one time.

  58. And also, Mac, although I wouldn’t say I expect it, I don’t think it’s out of the question that Pedro has another very good year in him.

  59. Damon, last I checked, was demanding a 6/72 contract. Unless Theo has taken his Eddie Vedder obsession too far and started using drugs, there is no way he gives Damon that contract. Damon is becoming subpar defensively, has no power, is injured, and has a big, obnoxious mouth. His offensive numbers this year have not been approached previously and may never be again. $12 mil a year for that? I think not. Which means they must be looking for other options.

  60. nyb, will you at least put forth the minimal effort to provide some couter-eveidence ever? My dog’s farts are more useful than any forgotten mememory of a dead link from ten years ago that you kind of remembering destroying anything I did. If you want to have an opinion that’s wrong, I don’t care. But, don’t act like it refutes something I said. GO OUT AND GET SOME EVIDENCE!!!!

    Look if I’m being the a-hole here I’ll happily leave the site. Just say the word guys. But I can’t take much more of that loser’s crap.

  61. I don’t think the Braves could have done anything different to keep him.

    They could have payed him what he deserves, for one thing.

  62. Also, Damon looks like a neanderthal and sounds like one each time he opens his mouth. I wouldn’t pay 72 million to have a caveman roaming center. I hope Theo’s dumb enough to do so.

  63. “who is the Orioles prospect that the Braves want?”

    The Braves have supposedly loved local product (Woodstock HS and Young-Harris JC) Nick Markakis since he was an amatuer. I dont know if like they liked him as an OF or LHP then though. Most teams saw him as a LHP but the Os put him in the OF and hes done well. It could be the Braves liked him either way bc of his makeup, which is universally praised

    Angelos also supposedly has a special affection for him though since he is Greek and was the star of the Angelos funded Greek olympic baseball team.

    I don’t know if we’ll get him, i assume hes way above a normal compensationlevel prospect for a manager let alone a coach, but then again leo’s way above your average coach-but id guess thats who the braves want. the Os system isnt great.

    also, are we even sure we get compensation? he wasnt on a multiyear deal so basically the braves have to prove they had an oral agreement.

  64. Don’t put me on the doomsayer side of this argument. I do not think the Braves will suddenly suck next year. But, I am worried that the Braves aren’t going to have Leo there to work with these outside guys, on which the Braves have relied heavily for the past 14 seasons.

    One thing to remember about this organization is that the philosophy at the top is worked all the way down the organization. After all these years, I’ve no doubt our minor league system is packed with pitching couches of the same philosophy as Leo. Who knows if any of them are as good at working with individual players as Leo is, but our organization and its pitching is not going to fall apart at the departure of one person.

  65. also, are we even sure we get compensation? he wasnt on a multiyear deal so basically the braves have to prove they had an oral agreement.

    The braves seem sure, so that makes me pretty sure. Maybe the fact that his current contract is through November is where the compensation comes from?

  66. Some of us are speculating that JS and Leo have some private agreement in place to make sure Leo will leave only when he is under a contract with the Braves to make sure the Braves get some compensation for his leaving.

  67. We want Nick Markakis, stud outfielder. We’ll probably end up with someone like… hmm. John Maine? Adam Loewen? Their system kind of sucks.

  68. It will be interesting the see how this will play out. I am sure seeking compensation is part of the agreement between the two teams when the O’s were seeking approval from the Braves to talk to Leo. That’s why the O’s never argue in the media that the Braves are not entitled to compensation for Leo.

  69. From AJC:

    “All that remained was for Major League Baseball to approve the minor leaguer the Orioles would send to Atlanta as compensation for letting them talk to Mazzone while he was still under contract with the Braves, but that was no longer seen as an issue that could delay the announcement beyond today.”

    Bye bye Leo, wish you all the best.

  70. I heard if he had gone to the Yankees we were going to ask for Rivera, I know that sounds far feached, but it would have been worth it.

  71. Their system kind of sucks? If you think it sucks now you would probably have had a seizure four years ago. At least be grateful that they have SOME functional prospects that we can have.

    If the Sox pay Damon 6/72, hamstringing them until he is 39 and probably not able to get the ball to second base with two relay men, I will surmise that the pressure has finally gotten to Theo and he has had a nervous breakdown, signing the deal just to get Scott Boras off his cell phone and out of his nightmares. I would say that he’s too smart for that, but this is the same Theo Epstein that gave RentError the 4/40 contract, paid Byung-Hyun Kim $10 million, and jumped at the chance to work for Larry Lucchino. So anything can happen.

  72. Well, Theo is still young, he will learn his trade. Hey, at least he has one world championship under his name already!

    Smitty, which Rivera you are talking about? Juan Rivera? Just kidding, there is no way the Yankees will give up Mariano. The Braves can’t take on his salary anyway.

  73. Agree with Smitty: If we’d been offered Mariano as compensation, haha, I would not bat an eyelash letting Leo go to NYY.

    To clarify, I don’t think Theo is dumb. In fact, he’s one of the smartest guys out there and he definitely knows what he’s doing. It’s just that, perhaps as a function of media exposure, his mistakes, which all GMs make, are a lot easier to recall.

    Although here’s a doozy from a book I just finished by Rob Bradford:

    “Paul, I want to talk to you about one of your outfielders,” said Levine upon receiving the return phone call from Godfrey.

    “Shannon Stewart or Jose Cruz?” responded the Blue Jays’ president, still wondering hy Levine was calling him, instead of New York GM Brian Cashman putting out a feeler to his peer, J.P. Ricciardi.

    “No, I want to talk about Mondesi,” responded Levine.

    “Mondesi! Holy shit!”

    The words never came out of Godfrey’s mouth but they wanted to. The closest holiday was Canada Day on July 1, but after hearing the name of Toronto’s most unwanted outfielder come out of his office’s phone Godfrey was ready to start drawing up a new proclamation: “The Day Somebody Wanted Raul Mondesi and His Goddamn Contract.”


  74. I really just want to get this over with and see who we get in return. I hope it is someone who will play for the Braves for 13 years and hit 300+ dingers. Or the next Glavine, just someone we will go, “Wow, they were stupid!”

  75. Well, at that time, Mondesi was still only an over-paid outfielder who can still produce some decent looking numbers. The Yankees was the only team who can afford his contract. When he joined the Braves, he was completely useless.

  76. And I remember he hit that walkoff homerun against the Cardinals too! Hey, it’s not all bad memory!!!

  77. Remember the fly ball he caught? Wow, why did we let this guy go? He might have hit 4 bombs in October and pitched out of the pen!

  78. If we won the east with Murphy playing 132 games, hew ould be a lock for the hall an Bobby Cox would have sold his own soul.

  79. With Jordan, Murphy, and Mondesi in the outfield, there is no place for Andruw. We should trade our MVP!

  80. hahahahahah. you guys are crazy.
    Mondesi down right sucks.
    I wonder if he is gonna try and make a team next year.

  81. Come see the 2006 Braves. Last year was a youth movement, this year is a reunion of the 86 Braves! Come see the guys you wouldn’t 20 years ago!

  82. A Choi Hoon cartoon, hopefully to help folks remember that we’ve lost plenty of big pieces (though maybe not a single one [b]this[/b] big) and done okay:

  83. From AJC:

    “The Braves will receive a low-level minor league player from Baltimore as compensation for letting the Orioles talk to Mazzone while he was still under contract with the Braves.”

    That player will not be a household name for sure…nor he will be anyone mentioned on here before if he is a low-level minor league player…

  84. This may be a dead thread, but if not, may I make a suggestion on how one might post here in a less incendiary manner.

    Good: It would be crazy to trade Tim Hudson.
    Questionable: You’re crazy if you think Dan Kolbb will pitch for us next year.
    Wrong: You’re Eric Gregging crazy, man!

    Good: I didn’t get your analysis. Either what you listed was incomplete or I’m not with you. Here’s what I found. (Real important to give your data.)
    Wrong: Your data is shit. Only a brain-damaged mule would try to sell that nonsense.

    I love passion and my life would be less colorful if I couldnt read either Stu or Alex R. The numbers guys who post here bring a clarity to the issues and all we ask is you post your best.

    We need everybody. Please don’t give up!

  85. Glad I can provide everyone here with a little entertainment. Except for Alex, to whom I apparently give much stress.

    Saw that, Kirk, and laughed heartily. Go Yanks!

  86. God I hope Bowa finishes the Season at BBTN, his insite has really taken the show to a new level. Maybe next year they can get Dan Kolb to be their pitching gooroo. Maybe Buddy Bell will take Bowa’s spot and give us more great instie!

  87. Only if it’s the Dan Kolb who posts here. Or Johnny Damon, who has roughly the same command of the English language.

  88. As far as I’m concerned, Colorado is welcome to him. People keep telling me he’s a good pitcher, but if that’s true, why am I forced to change the channel every time he comes in? Unlucky or not, he’s maddeningly inconsistent, tires too easily, and just gives me the creeps.

    Larry Bowa to the Yankees? That just brightened my day.

  89. The only explanation I can come up with is that Cashman has decided to bail and is just screwing with the Yankees as revenge for what the Boss put him through. That has to be it, right?

  90. Speaking of Reitsma, this kind of got lost in the Mazzone stuff. I think he pitched hurt in the second half and that he will bounce back. I do not want to lose him. Who else do we have to rely on?

  91. I agreed at first, JC, but the problem is that Reitsma’s going to be expensive for the Braves to keep and I don’t think they’re going to go that high for a middle reliever.

  92. Well, we’ll see how much he’s worth. I agree that it’s a tough call. Valuing relievers is a bit difficult. I check what “The Book on the Book” has to say about it. I’m just worried that the Braves don’t have much in the pen. Reitsma’s about the only veteran who’s any good that we have a possibility of keeping. Sosa might fall into that category, but I’m not so comfortable with him. The kids are just that kids. Some will falter, some will do well. I’d just prefer something certain, especially without Leo on board.

  93. From what I hear on NYC radio & the tabs is that the Yankee fascination with Bowa has always been Steinbrenner’s. He sees another Billy Martin.

    Of course, what most baseball fans see is a very unstable and certainly unaccomplished manager. Yankeehaters & the media here would love to see Bowa as Torre’s successor. His weekly radio show would rival Bobby Valentine’s for ego-driven, emotional outbursts (for those who never heard them, nothing beat a Valentine radio show after a particularly difficult loss–classic.)

    Steinbrenner loves a guy who’s “fiery” for the sake of being fiery. He also loves a thin-skinned guy in the dugout with whom he can create conflict. Of course, in the Steinbrenner history of the Yanks, he seems to forget that this kind of approach has earned exactly one WS title (1977), which is the only thing that counts up here. (Think 1979-95.) For the most part, the other guys who won–Torre & Lemon–barely seemed to have a pulse when Steinbrenner got involved.

    Petty Conspiracy Theory: It’s also curious that Cashman is front-and-center here. Tampa often has Cashman do dirty work that might be viewed as questionable by press & fans. This would be a Tampa move, whether or not Cashman is out the door.

    I’ll always remember the anonymous quote from the Padre who endured Bowa’s tenure in San Diego.
    Question: What’s it like to play for Bowa?
    Answer: It just seems like we’re always sitting in our locker stalls, listening to our manager scream.

    Bottom Line: If Bowa is Torre’s successor, it’ll turn into quite a show, perhaps a brief one.

  94. I have read a lot of discussion about Manny to the Mets, but listening to the radio this morning it sounds like Manny has pretty much ruled that out. He says that he’ll play for the Angels preferably, failing that the Indians, but not the Mets. Could be a bargaining ploy of course, but I could see the Angels making a move for him. They’d probably have to give up a LOT though- would the Sox want Anderson, along with Kotchman or McPherson?

  95. They probably would, but they are somewhat hamstringed by the fact that Theo is a free agent in 10 days and those negotiations don’t seem to be going so well. Now they have to deal with this mess of David Wells wanting a trade. I would say the first item on their list right now is getting Theo resigned, then maybe that trade would be good. Kotchman is a first baseman and the Sox are in limbo at 1B. Anderson is also good against LHP, which is important with David Ortiz in the lineup, but his OBP against RHP is only .290, which would probably not make Theo so happy.

    Manny Ramirez will probably be the conspiracy mystery of the winter, but I think Larry Bowa the Yankee will be one of next year’s most entertaining soap operas.

  96. I can’t imagine that the Sox would want Anderson. It’s hard to make things work there, because other than Vlad (who isn’t going anywhere) the Angels’ big-money hitters aren’t actually any good. The Sox could take a bunch of players, starting with Kotchman, and then take Finley off their hands, I guess.

  97. Wild Card ; the general situation ” rel=”nofollow”> by Choi, Hoon

    Bid farewell to the two of pitchers who won 18 games
    #47 Tom Glavine 18-11 ERA 2.96 , #34 Kevin Milwood 18-8 ERA 3.24

    Jack McKeon : This is a good chance opportunity for us.
    Art Howe : One of the two is ours.(Tommy)
    Larry Bowa : The other is ours.(Milly)
    Frank Robinson : Hey, we have an ace!
    Atlanta Braves 2003 NL East Division Champions!

    Make Braves’ Adieu to an ace & the 4th hitter
    #31 Greg Maddux 16-11 ERA 3.96 , #11 Gary Sheffield .330 HR 39 RBI 132

    Jack McKeon : I’m sure this time is a real thing
    Art Howe : Also, Javy Lopez is gone. You know he was a monster last year
    Larry Bowa : The three of them built a new nest. Game is over.
    Frank Robinson : Braves’ golden days are over, too

    Atlanta Braves 2004 NL East Division Champions! (a matter of course!!!)

    Say good bye an ace & the 4th hitter, again
    #27 Jaret Wright 15-8 ERA 3.28 , #7 J.D Drew .305 HR 31 RBI 93

    Jack McKeon : I’m really confident this is a good chance.Trust me
    Willie Randolph : No one remains
    Charlie Manuel : LOL , Mondesi and Jordan….look at the outfielders~~~
    Frank Robinson : BTW, Howe and Bowa already got the air? No surprise!!!

    Atlanta Braves is cruising through 1st place in 2005 !!! (You bet!)

    Jack McKeon : Braves is in the mood for a champion. Fierce competition for wild card is usually intense.
    Willie Randolph : Feel easy !
    Charlie Manuel : Wild Card is the general world situation recently! Follow the general trend.
    Frank Robinson : LOL

    Atlanta Braves 21-18 .618 (NL East 1st place) 2005/05/13

    Choi’s comments are nothing special. It’s about k-league.
    my comments : It has been twenty years since I first began to have a morbid what had long been considered male-dominated majors, such as sports
    in our society. But I’m a big fan of baseball. I’m a mania for sports, too.
    One day my uncle and I went baseball park while eating instant noodles in the rain as soon as he came back from overseas training as a supervisor. How could you do this to niece? Don’t you remember an immature youth, uncle?
    My uncle was a child born of an old couple. We were very close at that time. And I have nothing to do with Braves but I like Braves. Why do you like Braves? The reason is very simple. I was always fascinated by Bobby Cox and Leo Mazzone. Now Mazzone is planning to take a chance to O’s. Never say adios. Just Wish give Leo my blessings!!! Bobby and Leo, you still my no.1!!!!!!
    Which one?
    1) weep all night, so wet a pillow
    2) Tomorrow is another day
    After completing Braves season, all is vanity in life. And falll into mannerism. I’m Bravesholic.
    ps. Mac,Whenever I post something your blog I have troubles with the wrong tags.Only yours!!!Do you know What’s the problem? I know each board has its own peculiarities.

  98. And the Braves’ Compensation for Leo Mazzone is, drum roll please. . .(fumbles with envelope).

    Moises Hernandez, 21-year-old pitcher who pitched for Aberdeen (I didn’t know they played baseball in Scotland) in the NY-Penn league in 2005.

  99. The Braves’ compensation for Leo is A-ball pitcher Moises Hernandez. 21, good strikeout rate, needs to cut down on the walks.

  100. Braves Rule, I don’t know what the problem is. Movable Type strips out a lot of tags. Basically, you’re limited to italics, boldface, underline, blockquote, and links.

    Great, a live arm. Just the sort of person you’d… want… Leo… to… work… with…

    Oh, God, Leo, why?!?!?!?!????

  101. First time I’ve had the inside track on you Tanto.

    Braves have a pretty strong scouting presence in Venezuela, so I wonder if they have a book on this guy?

  102. I vote for Dick Pole to replace Leo. He’s got to be frustrated under Dusty Baker (who wouldn’t?) and he has the coolest name. Lol.

  103. I’m back with Reitsma’s estimated worth according to Bill Felber. His data is for 2003 when Reitsma pitcher for the Reds and posted 14 HR, 19 BB, and 53 Ks with an ERA of 4.29 (which was league average that year) in 84 IP. He estimated his value, based of his linear weights system to be about $2.98 Mil. This year Reitsma posted 3 HR, 14 BB, and 42 K, with and ERA of 3.93 in 73.3 IP.

  104. Reitsma had this year to prove his longevity as a Brave. He’s outta here. Plus your right Mac, more service time for Reitsma equals more money, so based on performance he won’t justify the pay raise from Atlanta.

  105. Speaking of Dick Pole, there was also an old pitching coach for the Twins named Dick Such. Between the two of them, I know I could never be a baseball announcer. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t want to be between the two of them regardless of my occupation.

  106. Re: Kevin Lee’s forum-decorum post

    Thanks for that. It strikes me as dead-on. I think we all enjoy this too much to mess it up for folks.

    Saw a really good movie last night (a period piece called “Good Night, and Good Luck” about the 1950s conflict between CBS & Sen. Joe McCarthy), and it struck me for a variety of reasons. For the purposes of this forum, what hit me most was the relative civility displayed by both sides of a very contentious debate, even when both sides were seething with anger inside.

    I highly recommend the film & I think we could attempt some similar civility (without losing the passion).

  107. ububba, I’m seeing that movie tomorrow night. I saw an interview with George Clooney regarding the film and when test audiences saw it, they said they generally liked it except that “the guy playing Joe McCarthy was too over the top.”

    For those of you who aren’t aware, the McCarthy footage in the movie is archival footage of “Tail-Gunner” Joe himself.

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