Wilson Betemit Statistics –

This isn’t a formal player analysis, which I’ll do closer to the start of the season. Just taking a closer look at Wilson Betemit…

I was one of Betemit’s bigger backers heading into last season. While I thought he could use another year in the minors (one not forthcoming) I thought people were too down on him for not playing well in AAA his first couple of seasons, not noticing that he actually hit well there in 2004 and was still young for the level. For some reason, his age still hasn’t been corrected, listing him as 16 months older than he actually is. Last year was not his Age 24 season, but his Age 22 season, and he was one of the younger players to play the whole season in the majors. What with the age adjustment the other way, he was slightly younger than Furcal was in his rookie season. .305/.359/.435 is pretty darned good for a 22-year-old rookie infielder. Actually, it’s better than 25-year-old rookie outfielder Ryan Langerhans.

Still, everyone, including me, doubts that the Braves will actually turn over full-time shortstop duties to Betemit should Furcal leave. Partially this is due to his defense, but that’s not all of it. It’s also concern about if he’s really this good of a hitter.

Defensively, he’s probably a little below average. I doubt that it’s going to kill you. By and large, he made slightly fewer plays than other shortstops, but was a little less likely to make an error. He’s nobody’s idea of a shortstop but I think he’s capable of a few good years there.

Now, about his bat… He hit .278/.336/.466 in Richmond in 2004, and like I said was still young for the level. So it’s possible that he’s really a .300 hitter. But my guess is that he’s closer to a .280 hitter. On the other hand, he might have more power than he showed last year, when he hit just four homers. He had 12 doubles and four triples to go along with those. With a more normal ratio of homers to doubles, he could lose twenty points off his batting average and still be a valuable hitter.

164 thoughts on “Betemit”

  1. I really hope everyone is wrong and Betemit is the opening day shortstop next year, because i swear to god the only thing that could possibly make my brave fandom wane is neifi perez as starting shortstop.

    That being said, I doubt he’ll hit .300 over 500 at bats next year, but I don’t really care either. If he puts up his line from Richmond that would suit me just fine.

  2. John Schuerholz if you can read this, start Wilson Betemit. Defense is important, very much so. But its also overrated. Betemit is gonna be a solid to good shortstop because of his bat alone. Please dont screw with him. AND DEAR GOD DO NOT SIGN NEIFI PEREZ OR I MAY HAVE TO LEAD A REVOLT OF ANGRY BRAVES FANS TO YOUR DOORSTEP.

  3. I want “Neifi” to become a common noun, uncapitalized, thusly:

    neiēfi (na’fe)

    1. A utility infielder with a good glove but no offensive value.
    2. A useless frivolity.

  4. Because he’s not that good of a hitter and the Braves have other options. It’s unlikely that he’d outhit Johnson in the long term, and in the short term he’s not much better than Langerhans, who would be far superior defensively.

  5. I don’t know why the Braves would sign Neifi. Gee it must suck to have your name replace Mario Mendoza as the symbol of offensive futility.

    I wouldn’t have a problem with Betemit as our starting shortstop. He’s not going to hit .300 or HIT 25 HOMERUNS Alex R. but you’re right he hits his AAA line, makes all the standard plays and he is a quality major league SS. I’d give him a chance before I hit the panic button and gave any real money to a hittless glove guy.

    On Langerhans from the last thread. Extrapolate his stats to full time status (I know very unscientific) coupled with his defense and he is a quality CENTER fielder. Still doesn’t hit enough to be a corner OF.

  6. There’s evidence that Betemit can hit enough to be a plus middle infielder. Thats it. Doesn’t hit enough to be an OF or a corner infielder. Especially when Langerhans, Johnson, Marte, and LaRoche will hit for more power.

  7. Alex isn’t here, and says he isn’t coming back for real this time, but Betemit probably does have 25-homer potential. I’m not saying he definitely will, but he hit 13 in 356 AB in AAA in 2004. (Langerhans hit 20 in 456.) Given his relative youth and that he was still having injury problems, he could hit 25 in a season if he could stay in the lineup.

  8. Mac, tell Alex we need him to come back. He is our Leo, our Furcal, our Glavine, Maddux, Sheffield, Blauser…

    I’m kidding. Really tell him to come back, Braves Journal isn’t the same with out his rants. It was like when Dennis Miller had his own show on HBO. His rants were great.

  9. In comparison… Derek Jeter hit only two homers as a 21-year-old in AAA in 1995. He’s never hit 25, but has hit 24, 21, and 23. Betemit isn’t close to the sort of all-around hitter Jeter is, but showed much better power in the minors. (Both are listed as 6-3, 195, but Betemit is probably bigger.)

  10. I don’t know that Langerhans will hit for more power than Betemit. I think Langer could be a higher OBP guy, but Betemit will be more a power guy. I’m fine with Betemit at SS. No Neifi!! I won’t freak if it’s Nomar, but Neifi is too much for me.

    Langerhans not being the prototypical LF might get him traded – he does put up more a CF line. I expect Jeff to come down to earth, making Chipper, Giles, and possibly Betemit our OBP guys. If we can get OBP out of Ryan, I’m fine with it, since we get so much power from Andruw. Not the typical LF and CF hitters, but who cares?

    Kelly seems the more typical LF, but we’ll have to see how it shakes out.

  11. Langerhans not being the prototypical LF might get him traded – he does put up more a CF line.

    Wendy, I’m actually working on something related to this now. It’s an essay, just in the drafting stages, connecting Langerhans, Betemit, and Marte.

  12. Kelly seems the more typical LF, but we’ll have to see how it shakes out.

    As I see it, we are still short one corner outfielder. Johnson or Francoeur might be it but they both still have a lot to prove. Francoeur especially because his current plate approach cannot work at a major league level, the pitchers are just too smart.

    I have no problem predicting that Betemit is going to put up some impressive numbers. I’m skeptical that they will be as a shortstop, and even more skeptical that they will be for the Braves.

  13. I know going after Nomar is stupid, but wouldn’t it be cool to see what a healthy Nomar could do under Bobby Cox for a season?

  14. I’m actually a huge Langerhans fan, and I hope we keep him. He looked great down the stretch this year and his judgement at the plate was excellent by the end of the year, IMO. Didn’t show much power, but got lots of singles, doubles, and walks. I’ll wait to see what Mac says, but I expect Ryan to be a prime “trade high” guy and won’t be surprised to see KJ in LF next year. I suppose both could be kept, but I doubt it.

  15. I heard the name Derek Jeter. And I am now going to make a comparison that will get me impaled. Wilson Betemit is Derek Jeter with a little less average and eye. Defense is superior to Jeter’s and he has more power potential. Now, let the reprecussions begin.

  16. Bravoatoc, I think you are right. Oh course he doesn’t have the team leadership, moxy, ability to part the Red Sea, stop terrorism and other traits that only matter to Tim McCarver.

  17. I could see Nomar signed to a 1-year contract with a bunch of performance incentives so we’re not too screwed if/when he pulls up lame. In any case, I don’t think they move Betemit. He’s too useful in reserve, and still very young/cheap. I think a trade for someone like Lugo is the most likely scenario.

  18. Wendy, I’m actually working on something related to this now. It’s an essay, just in the drafting stages, connecting Langerhans, Betemit, and Marte.

    Does it involve the Mayans and 2012? And what about the Templars? You can’t connect more than three entities in any essay without somehow involving the Templars.

  19. It’s not a silly comparison, though most people would slam you for it. When Betemit was in his mid-teens, he was often considered potentially in that class. Now, A-Rod’s a ridiculously good player, and already was when he was 20. But Betemit is still, because he’s so young, comparable to Jeter and Garciaparra.

    Jeter got to play everyday as a 22-year-old rookie, unlike Betemit, but his percentages are pretty darned similar, .314/.370/.430. When Nomar was 22, he was in the Eastern League, hitting .267/.337/.384 (OBP approximate). His power “developed” at 23.

  20. Trade I’d like to see:

    Laroche/Estrada/??? – Figgins/Shields

    The Angels have no production at first and that has to kill in the Jr. League HR Derby. Anderson isnt the left handed bat he was in his youth. Need protection for their big investment Vlad. Cabrera is untradeable with that K and Izturis is supposed to be solid. Dallas is the next Blaylock, or so they think. There is no room for Chone.
    Molina is sitting pretty for a big paycheck, even though Estrada has more production left in him.

    Shields would be a dream at closer.
    Figgins is a decent hitter, glove, and has speed that will produce a lot of good pitches for our 2-3-4 and score runs.

  21. Figgins isn’t good enough to start anywhere on the diamond for the Braves. He’s just another spare part which we really don’t need. Shields is of course valuable, but I don’t think he’s going anywhere.

  22. Laroche/Estrada/??? – Figgins/Shields

    Well, we would know for sure that Estrada and Erstad wouldn’t room together on the road.

    The Angels just signed a new big-money TV contract with Fox Sports here (similar money to the Dodgers, as the Boys in Blue continue their slide to the number two team in this market), so they are going FA shopping again this offseason. I doubt they have interest in our castoffs. I’d say they are a near lock to wildly overpay for Konerko if Boston doesn’t beat them to it.

    We do need to find someone to take LaRoche and Estrada off our hands.

  23. You’re dreaming if you think the Angels would go for that trade because just consider that Chone was considered their MVP this past season. Mac pointed it out erlier and I agree that we should give betemit a full shot. Just tuen the clock back a few years and remmeber the talk about Betemit at SS with Raffy moving over to 2B, his natural position

  24. I had no idea Betemit was only 22. His value just doubled in my mind. Hmm.

    Also, in regards to something on the last thread, there’s absolutely no way Reitsma was the “veteran” expressing displeasure with Leo. Reitsma’s not the type of guy to discuss displeasure with his teammates or coaches to the media. If he doesn’t like someone, I’d be willing to bet his wife is about the only person who knows about it.

  25. I think we will sign Neifi (or someone exactly like him) but just as a backup plan for Betemit.

    All this is assuming, of course, that we don’t re-sign Furcal … I guess we’ve all given up on that?

  26. I don’t MISS Alex. I don’t know him, but I don’t THINK you can wear your feelings ON your sleeve in a blog. I don’t expect any of the free agent shortstops will be signed. Pena Jr. will probably back up Betemit.

  27. Mac, I hope that Alex ain’t leaving because of something I wrote. I mean the guy is off the wall sometimes but you gotta love that Brave Red and Blue passion.

    Jeter huh? Ok its a stretch but I can buy Betemit as a 15 to 20 HR guy. Closer to 15. Lets say his line is .275/.350/.460. Wow, thats positively Furcal like. A little less average and defense but a little more pop. Right before our eyes Betemit is turning into an elite short stop. I think the guy can be a contributing starter. The big year in AA Greenville that elevated him to uber prospect is looking more and more like a statistical outlier.

    Can’t wait for the Marte, Betemit, Langerhans love triangle story.

    I know I’m a little late but the Leo Love from the Braves is kinda like what I posted in an earlier thread. ‘Dude you were starting to believe your own press clippings.’ Y’all know that I think that Leo was a big part of our run of excellence but a pitching coach ain’t like a good defensive/offensive coordinator. The press is getting this stuff with the organizations blessings.

  28. Mac,
    Do you what Wilson Betemits actual birthdate
    is? I looked at his profile at different places online and it still has him listed as being born in 1980. This makes me think twice about the Braves keeping Furcal. I wanted them to keep him but with Betemit only being 22 the skyes the limit.

  29. Boy, I’d love to have Betemit turn into another Jeter. His age is certainly a positive factor, but I’m still not sold on his defensive ability. I would be surprised not to see a veteran defensive shortstop signed as backup if Furcal leaves.

    I would like to see Alex R. return also. I rarely agreed with his point of view, I respected it. Simply put, a forum discussion is enriched by a variety of perspectives, and his contributions were valuable.

  30. I saw Betemit make a few athletic and even acrobatic plays at both short and third last year. Obviously he’s not furcal, but his defense might not be as bad as we expect. My concern is his size, he just looks too big to move with much grace in the middle infield. On the other hand, Wilson Betemit will garner the nickname “THE WB” which is one for the ages.

  31. I also see Betemit at ss with Pena as back up. Escobar and Andrus are probably 2 years away. I think the key to trades is Marte. Where do you put him? If Chipper moves to 1st then you have Estrada and Laroche for trade. Many questions. I don’t know if they are set with their rotation and how many of the rookies will get relieving spots. I hope I am underestimating but I think if they spend any money they spend it on affordable veteran relief pitchers.

  32. I wasn’t taking credit for “THE WB”, I have seen it bounced around here and at braves beat all season. I’m a big fan of the nickname, that’s all.

  33. If you want a good laugh, head over to The Hardball Times and see who their defensive system rated as the best leftfielder in the National League this season. Hint: It’s not Langerhans. The author goes on to suggest trading Andruw and putting this guy in centerfield to take advantage of his “spectacular” defense. And yes he is completely serious.


    Reason #8029 why you should never take any one defense metric too seriously.

  34. Kevin Barry and Buddy Hernandez were on the short list to break with the team after 05 spring training are they in the braves’ plans?

  35. Thanks for the laugh. He tags Jones as an average fielder and this guy as spectacular? He must not have watched many Braves games.

  36. Hey Mac, I will be another person wanting to see AlexR back. What’s wrong with a guy showing his passion? If someone doesn’t agree with his comments, one can simply ignore what he writes and read on the next comment.

    Regarding Betemit, he is obviously not Furcal defensively, but I bet we are all surprised with his defense during his extented playing time at third base. He may not get to as many groundball as Furcal will, but he does have an accurate and strong arm. Personally, I am not crazy about giving $8-$10 million Furcal. If the Astros can reach the World Series with this sorry offense, I would much rather spend the money to further improve the pitching.

  37. Whoa! bmac. There is nothing in the WB’s (ok I’ll do it too) history that says Jeter.

    Man, y’all would think that KJ is the worst left fielder in history. I’d prefer to look at how good a defender Langerhans is as opposed to how bad KJ is. I mean thats the comparison, right? KJ is way better than Chipper or Ryan Klesko as a fielder. I know that aint saying much but Langerhans is a very good Center fielder for crying out loud. Pretty tough to slam a guy on his 3rd position change since the start of his career.

  38. Well, KJ didn’t play the last month, but I can still remember I say something similar to KJ being about the same as Chipper being the leftfielder. They are both shortstop converted to outfielder. So, I think KJ is on the right learning curve. I just hope he will learn to play the position better and STOP BEING SO FREAKING AFRAID OF THE DAMN WALL. Seriously, KJ has good speed, and he should be a pretty good leftfielder with more experience. Klesko…well…he is another story. I have no clue how the Braves could live with Klesko in leftfield for so long…

  39. Mac is right that Betemit was not 24 this past season, but he wasn’t 22 either.

    Betemit was 23 this past season.

  40. just went back and read why Alex left. Hard call as moderator but I thought you did a good job Mac. And I am from St. Pete but in all honesty as a sporting teams mecca they suck.

  41. If you want a good laugh, head over to The Hardball Times…

    Sorry, I was late to the party on this one. Interesting discussion in the other thread…

  42. Alex. . .Alex. . .Alex. . .Alex.

    Hey all you Alex fans, stand up and clap your hands!

    Alex, you get back here right now. Unless you’re just taking a short break to recharge the old D cells. You’re missed.

    Betemit. Hard to tell much about fielding with big SSs. They have more range than it appears because my guess is Wilson has two or three inches on sleeve length on Furcal and that’s a half a foot right there. So one step one way or the other and you might get to some balls that a shorter guy can’t get to. But with a bigger SS, it’s usually one step because they aren’t quick enough for more than one.

    I have been a big Betemit fan all along. He is one guy I think the Braves’ minor league brass greatly mishandled and rushed too quickly. He had guys in front of him and there was no reason to stick him in AAA at age 20. That more than anything dulled the sheen on the guy.

    He’s a great athlete. Big and fast (although not quick). It will be interesting to see how he does if he does become the everyday SS.

    I think he can hit in the .280 to .300 range. He showed an ability to be patient and have good ABs throughout the season, although the walk rate dropped as the season wore on. He still appears to have problems with breaking pitches. My jury is still out on his projected power numbers. I would guess a mid-to-high 400 slugging percentage.

    I am still not convinced that Furcal won’t be back for one year, if he accepts arbitration. With the alleged Hampton insurance doughski and the departure of Kolb (and probably Reitsma), I think the Braves could scrape together the additional $4 million to $5 million that it would take to meet the rising Furcal remuneration figures. I think the problem is more a long term thing. With Escobar and Andrus (and Hernandez) probably ready in 2 years, signing Furcal to a long-term deal probably isn’t in the cards.

  43. I don’t think Furcal will accept arbitration. I do think the Braves should take the Cubs’ first round pick next year though, so arbitration should nonetheless be offered. Given his DUIs (the ticking time-bomb factor) and his (relative) injury-proneness, I think he’ll want a multi-year deal.

  44. Having watched Cal Ripken – great arm, great hands, little range — play a very mediocre shortstop for years (heresy!), he proved that his big bat more than made up for his inability to reach balls that every other shortstop in the league gets to. That’s the comparison that springs to my mind. I haven’t seen enough of Betemit to know if it’s accurate or not, but getting 20-25 dingers from short would make up for quite a few matador waves at balls in the hole.

    What’s the rap on Betemit’s defense: arm, range, head, what?

  45. I just read that a veteran braves blogger said he thought “it was time for Alex R. to leave.”

    Honestly people, I dont know the history of this spat but the melodrama is getting ridiculous. I assume everyone here is a adult or close to it. We should expect a certain amount of civility, but sports dialogues rarely exhibit the manners of the elizabethan court. Lets just talk about the braves and not turn this into some schoolyard mock-up of a reality TV show. Dont take cheap shots and be a jerk to someone. But also remember these ancient words of wisdom:

    “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”

  46. Range and a few extra errors. He didn’t show the last last season.

    You’re right about the age thing, he’s 23 now. Betemit turns 24 in… hmm… nine days. (I’m not actually that good at math.) He was still young, but a lot of what I said above doesn’t apply.

  47. You can live with below average defense at short if the guy hits like Tejada, Garciaparra, or Jeter. Noone projects Betemit in that class. Or at least with any conviction or proof. And despite Mac’s attempt with the Jeter comp I still don’t see where he hits 20 to 25 hr. The 13 hr in AAA aren’t really proof. Minor league numbers are adjusted downwards for major league service his age not withstanding.

    The Braves themselves have shown little confidence in Betemit at short by moving to third in the minors. Visual evidence suggests a sure handed fielder with little range.

    Furcal would be a fool to accept arbitration. One year at say 10.5 or 11 as opposed to some team signing him for 40 mil over 4? I still don’t think that the Braves will offer arbitration to him though. The Maddux affair might have ruined them forever on that tactic no matter what the circumstances are. Take Drew last year. 28, Breakout season, looks like he has finally beaten the injury bug, surly to command the 55 mil that the Dodgers gave him and the Braves still didn’t offer arbitration. I agree that it makes sense to get something even draft choices for his imminent departure but I just don’t think that Schuerholz goes there.

  48. We’re in the internet blogosphere. Feel free to take cheap shots and be a jerk to me.

    I totally agree with offering Furcal arbitration. Any arbitration deal the Braves get would probably be somewhat below market (either through coming to terms or by winning, which clubs do more often than players). Since there’s serious talk of offering Furcal market value, Furcal accepting arbitration wouldn’t be the worst thing. This isn’t a Maddux situation.

    He won’t accept, though, for the reason Johnny mentioned, so it would be nice to get a draft pick. Offering arbitration is really a win-win for the Braves.

  49. I feel I’ve washed my hands of Furcal. History makes it unlikely we will bring him back. I hope we could at least get draft picks, but once again history shows that is also unlikely.
    Unless we trade for a shortstop, we will most likely see Betemit at short next year w/ a veteran as backup. I am interested in seeing what kind of numbers Betemit could put up. It would be a shame to never find out what he could do.

  50. As far as Drew, there’s no way the Braves could have afforded what he’d command in arbitration. The lesson of Maddux is to not offer arbitration unless you’re prepared to go through with it. Furcal’s a different beast. Because of the Hampton situation and the influx of youth, finances are in a little better shape next season. The Braves could probably afford a one-year deal for a shortstop who’s still young and nearly irreplacable.

  51. [2cents] I for one don’t really miss Alex R, because I stopped reading his comments a while ago. I wish others who objected to what he said had done the same. [/2cents]

  52. JoeyT, you’ve basically stated why the Braves won’t offer Furcal arbitration. They aren’t prepaired to pay him 10 million for one year. They won’t take the chance that he’ll go insane and take it.

  53. I think the Braves are very much prepared to offer him 10 million for one year. Next year, largely because of the Hampton insurance money, they have the money available to do that. Their problem would be offering that much over a period of years, because the budgets in future years don’t appear to be as friendly. Plus, in future years, our shortstop prospects project to be a bit more Major League-ready.

  54. Alex R.’s rants are the spice of life, we all deserve equal say. If we dont like it, dont read it….come back Alex, PLEASE

  55. I’m with Stu. I think the front office would love to give Furcal a huge one-year contract and not have to pay the bonus for a first-round draft pick. Giving him a one-year contract is pefect. I’m not sure we’ll offer arby though – if JS is certain Furcal won’t accept (which his agent could say up front), then it’s a matter of whether he wants that first-round draft pick.

    But if they don’t offer arby, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to pay Furcal, it may just mean it’s futile.

  56. Does it really matter? I mean, considering that he is Cox’s “bench coach”, and Cox’s deficiency seems to involve in-game strategy (whom to start in a big game, which reliever to use in what situation just about any day), how could the loss of Pat Corales really be a big deal? Either he isn’t being listened to in what I would expect to be one his primary roles, or he isn’t very good at it.

    And, yes, I know he positions the defense. But Jimy Williams used to do that. That’s something that is apparently based on a formula that someone else could pick up.

    Seems the biggest loss might be his work with catchers… but maybe he can do that in some capacity if it’s a purely physical problem. I gues another potential negative is that it may be just another thing pushing Cox into retirement.

  57. I’d hope that Eddie Perez would get first crack at the bench coach job if it opened up. He’d be great with McCann and eventually Salty, and help keep the clubhouse loose.

  58. I like eddie perez as much as anybody, but chances are the slots will be filled by guys that have logged the time in the bus leagues.

  59. I’m with Johnny on the WB defensive eval. Visual evidence tells me that WB lacks range. Evidence of organizational trepidation should be obvious by now.

    If he hits anywhere near the other SSs mentioned, sure, it’ll make up for some defensive deficiencies. Personally, I’d like to have a guy who can play the position better.

    Also, I must say: I love the notion that Betamit’s upside could rival Jeter’s. (The Blauser comparison strikes me as more apt.) Usually, only comics and politicians tickle my funny bone to that extent. We have a Nor’easter blowin’ outside, and now I’m in a good mood.

  60. I just saw where Wagner has stated thru his agent that he will test the free agent market and decline the Phillies latest offer. Now will the Braves pursue him??

  61. The problem with everyone’s arbitration predictions is that y’all don’t take the process into account. 2 numbers are proposed. One by the player and one by the club. The arbitrator has to pick one or the other figure. In every single case (at least I don’t know of any exceptions) the player gets a significant raise even if he ‘loses’ arbitration.

    If I understand this correctly then lets say Furcal wants 12.5 the Braves counter with 10. Furcal loses arbitration and he gets a 100% increase (almost) in salary. If he wins then he is getting Andruw money. Is that worth the risk?

  62. I’d much rather pay furcal $10 million than wagner.

    Also, everyone seems to mention J.D. Drew as though the move was questionable. Maybe I misread the comments, but that seemed to be a clear cut choice.

    We all know who JS will sign to play left field.

    can you say, Juan Gone???

  63. Oh, I don’t think Furcal would accept arby either. I should have probably re-worded my post.

    I guess what I was trying to say is that with the Hampton insurance money and a couple of other guys (Kolb for sure, maybe Reitsma) leaving, enough money could be pooled to meet Furcal’s likely financial demands for one year. The bigger problem, at least to me, is that Furcal is going to want 3 or, more likely, 4 years. With Hernandez, Escobar, and Andrus all slated to be ready in 2 or 3, we probably wouldn’t go that far in terms of contract length.

  64. Is Furcal worth Andruw money for one year if he wins arby? Yes and it’s not even close. I don’t want to commit to a long contract because of who we will need to lock up later. But I’d gladly pay him 13 mil in 2006.

    But I agree with 500lb, he won’t accept it.

  65. When I made the Jeter comparison, you must take into account that
    1) Jeter is highly overrated because of his postseason play and the fact that he plays in NY
    2) Jeter will have a batting average and on base percentage slightly higher (15-20 points maybe) than Betemit’s
    3) Defensively, Betemit and Jeter are on the same plain. (According to BP Defensive Stats)
    4) Betemit could have much more power than Jeter simply because he is younger.
    Please understand that I am not saying that Wilson Betemit will be a HOFer but I am saying that he is a solid player who could be very good.

  66. The problem with everyone’s arbitration predictions is that y’all don’t take the process into account.

    I think we understand the process, but we also understand that there is next to no chance Furcal will accept arbitration. And if you don’t offer it, you don’t get the draft picks from the team that signs him away. He’s is the top free agent on the market this year. He would have to be absolutely nuts to accept arbitration and forfit his multiyear payday.

    But your right that if you do offer arbitration you have to be prepared to pay the player if something crazy happens and the player accepts. After the Maddux/Millwood fiasco, the Braves are extremely gunshy about offering arbitration to even the most obviously gone players. We may see an exception here, as the Braves might be able to afford him for one year and they have a desperate need at that position.

  67. Pat Corrales is to Bobby Cox as Leo Mazzone is to what’shisname up in Baltimore. They’re childhood friends and I’m guessing they retire together.

  68. The manager in Baltimore, I think his name starts with a P, is totally a case where I define a guy in my mind by one important fact. Whenever I mention him around friends, his name is “Mazzone’s BFF”, because that’s all he is to me. The man who took Him away.

  69. Bravoatoc,

    I hope you’re right about Betamit. I’ll admit that WB’s 296 ABs in ’05 were encouraging, but for the record, in 331 career AB, Betamit is 280/339/389. When it comes to certain players at certain positions, like him at SS, I tend to believe my own eyes. And Betamit at SS scares me a little. (If he’s our starting SS, of course, I hope my fears are completely off-base.)

    The fact that Jeter plays in NY for the Yankees accounts for the fact that he’s overpaid (relative to the rest of baseball, not the Yankees), which isn’t the same as overrated.

    I understand that people don’t like the Yankees, don’t like New York, etc. And despite the number of defining plays he’s made at SS that have helped his team win big games, Jeter still doesn’t have great range on ground balls. (On pop-ups, however, he’s like Jerry Rice with a GPS.)

    But how anyone can be considered “overrated” because he performs well in the post-season is beyond me. Doesn’t that bolster any claims that you’re actually a great player, not an overrated one?

    BTW, Jeter’s career post-season numbers (307/383/456 in 463 AB/115 games) are very similar to his career regular-season numbers (314/386/461 in 6,167 AB/1,525 games).

    I’m not going to say that Betamit couldn’t carry Jeter’s jock, because I don’t know that. But right now, Betamit’s got a long way to go before he’s even considered Jeter’s footstool. I’m rooting for WB, but I don’t get my hopes up.

    PS – Come back Alex.

  70. I just saw that MLB is forcing Houston to keep the roof open for their games. Why didn’t they do that for the NLDS and NLCS? Why now? I am done gloating about poetic justice and that doesn’t seem fair to me.

  71. Oh, and a White Sox fan slapped Craig Biggio’s wife. Biggio’s brother-in-law apparently slammed him against the wall, but come on. What is this world coming to?

  72. The World Series falls under Bud Selig’s jurisdiction, whereas the NL and AL playoffs are controlled by the respective league offices. Selig says he wants the roof open because he’s striving for consistency, and he made Arizona open their roof for the 2001 Series.

    I believe that’s the summary, anyway.

  73. I don’t think that’s the case anymore, Drew. Once upon a time, but now the league presidencies are strictly ceremonial and the power has been concentrated in the Commissioner’s Office. Note, for example, the addition of the phrase “Office of the Commissioner of Baseball” to the the standard “express written consent” disclaimer on broadcasts. Or doing away with league umpiring. That’s all part of the centralization baseball has seen under Selig. Heck, when was the last time you saw an AL or NL logo?

  74. Alex R.;
    You don’t know me and I don’t know you. I’m poorer for it, I’m sure, so I can tell you honestly that any request by me for you to post here is purely for my own selfish reasons.
    You’re an entertaining sonofagun and I’d miss your wit. But if it ain’t fun for you here anymore, I respect you’re taking a pass. Thanks for helping me through a long, hard summer, even if you didn’t know you did. We’ll send our best wishes to you through the WarLiberal.

    When I saw the fan post earlier that Furcal is the no. 1 free agant, I’d have gone with Konerko. But that’s just my opinion. And as my father used to remind me:

    The opinions of idiots are of no consequence.

  75. Jenny, Bud Selig is doing everything he can to let the White Sox win…I am sure he heard enough from Jerry Reindorf to reach this conclusion.

    In respect of Furcal, I am not quite sure about Johnny’s concerned about Furcal getting over $10M in arbitration. In order to win an arbitration case, Furcal’s agent has to prove that his client deserves the figure his side is asking. Claiming Furcal deserves more than $10M means Furcal is as good as Tejada in terms of playing skills or his marketability is as good as Jeter, which are not the cases. It’s quite clear, at least to me, that Furcal falls within the Jimmy Rollins ($8M per year) and Edger Renteria ($10M per year) range. The maximum impact should really be $10M for single year, which I think the Braves can afford in 2006. It’s up to JS to decide if he really wants Furcal back at that price. What do you think Johnny?

  76. I just saw the picture on the Braves MLB website where Smoltz is getting his Roberto Clemente award, and, it may be just me, but Smoltz is either really tall or Bud Selig is really short. Smoltz’s shoulder is level with Selig’s ear. I got the biggest kick when I saw that and thought I’d pass it along.

    Also, congrats to Smoltz on winning the award. That’s pretty cool.

  77. But one thing I agree with you though, Johnny, is that JS will not offer arbitration to Furcal just for the sake of a draft pick. He will only offer arbitration to a player who he wants to retain at a price the Braves can afford.

  78. Isn’t 280/339/389 about league average for a shortstop? If the Braves could give Derosa a shot why not Betemit?

  79. I think giving Betemit a chance at shortstop’s fine. I agree with Alex R. that we need to shore up our bullpen–anyone know if Graeme Lloyd’s got any plans for the next year or so? The bullpen’s the only glaring weak link. We’ve got a glut at the infield corners, which should be filled by Chipper and Marte. We’ve got solid outfielders in KJ, Ryno, and Druw. Francouer should go back to the minor leagues to close up the holes in his swing. He’ll be back soon enough.

    It would be nice to add one more arm to a rotation of Smoltz, Hudson, Sosa, and Thomson, but that seems pretty much secondary. I don’t mind keeping Farnsworth as a closer if the price is right; hopefully the 2005 NLDS will push him down into the Time Warner affordable range. What we need more than anything is a SETUP MAN. Someone like Guillermo Mota before his arm turned to cheese, or like Scot Shields. If we let Furcal walk, we’ll have enough money from Hampton’s insurance to sign a monster setup man.

    Then again, if we hire Mike Maddux, we can always resurrect Dan Kolb.

    Please add my name to the list of people who miss Alex R. He made it more fun to be a Braves fan, and that’s the highest compliment I can give.

  80. [quote]I thought Johnny Damon would be the biggest FA this winter[/quote]

    You’d think so, but Damon looks like a prime candidate to decline to me. His defense, not that great in the first place, is in decline, he can’t really hit enough to play left and he doesn’t have the arm for right. Whichever team signs Damon will be looking at Bernie Williams, circa 2003-2005, at the tail end of the deal, methinks.

  81. They’ll both probably be around $8 mil a year, but because Furcal is younger, I’d bet Furcal gets the better deal in the offseason. He’s probably the #1 offensive FA out there. (I’d rate Millwood and Burnett higher.)

  82. kc, just because the market says that Renteria, Rollins, get paid 10 million doesn’t mean that SS with Furcal’s ability are worth that. I bet if the Bosox could have a do over they certainly wouldn’t pay Renteria that kind of money. From the Braves perspective you have to weigh what you CAN’T afford when you pay Furcal that much. I’m sure that JS would love to have Furcal back. Shoot money aside I’d like to see him back because I think that he is a championship caliber player, but what do you give up? How do you handle the impending arbitration with Giles and Ramirez? Farnsworth’s impending free agency? Thomson’s option?
    The arbitration process itself, so weighted to the player makes it a huge risk to engage in. Furcal is perfectly within his rights to ask for 12 or 13 million dollars. Since the arbitrator has to pick a number, if they pick his then the Braves are screwed. Thats why arb eligible players are almost like free agents and are the most likely to be trade fodder.

  83. Tanto, I agree 100% that Furcal should be the most valuable commodity out there and that investing long-term in Johnny Damon is probably dumb. But a team will give Damon a big fat contract, possibly bigger than Furcal’s. The perception of good offense is sexier than defense, right?

    Can’t assume these teams signing FAs are all smart :)

  84. I say the braves have nothing to lose by offering arbitration. If they put up a figure of around 8.5-9 million, Furcal is worth that. I think if furcal put up 12 million, the braves would surely win. Rollins is not worth 25% less than Furcal. Historically, the teams have won arbitration 57% of the time. I would hope the braves experience with maddux would cure them of lowballing to the extreme, but if we are losing furcal due to money, we should at least get something out of it.

  85. What doubledawg wrote is entirely true. As long as the Braves don’t just go ridiculous with their arbitration submission, should it come to that, there’s almost no reason for the Braves to not offer.

    First, with so few top FAs out there, Furcal would be a fool to accept arbitration and the likely one-year deal. Second, if Furcal brainfarts and accepts, the Braves will likely be able to work out a deal and avoid arbitration. Third, if it does reach arbitration, Furcal’s probably worth what a reasonable Braves submission would be.

    Arbitration is nothing but good for the Braves, unless they’re worried about draft pick bonuses, which is kind of silly, as you don’t HAVE to sign the guy you pick with the compensation.

  86. I would say that besides picking up Thomson’s option, offering Furcal arbitration will be the easiest decision the Braves will make this offseason. Heck, even non-tendering Kolb, the next most easy decision, isn’t as slam-dunk as offering Furcal arbitration.

  87. A lot of the argument about Andruw being MVP is based on his “carrying” the Braves and his clutch home runs. His overall stats weren’t anywhere near Pujols. So, if you are going to say that Andruw should be MVP largely because of his homeruns, I don’t see how you can say Jeter is overrated because of his postseason performance. Whatever Jeter’s deficiencies (and, yes, he may be overrated to some extent), I think it’s really churlish to imply that he isn’t better than a guy that has never started a full season. It’s not as if the Yankees had all stars at every position when they were winning World Series, so clearly Jeter had a lot to do with their success. Sometimes, stats hide as much as they reveal; I think even Bill James would concede that Derek Jeter is a great player.

  88. There has been far too much talk about “Peter Eater” Jeter on a Braves message board. Its giving me indigestion.

  89. Yeah, I know what you mean. I was going to reply to Marc’s comment, but then I realized that I don’t even care about Jeter enough to muster up the energy to type a post.

    I do, however, care about the Braves staying competitive with the Marlins, Phillies, and Mets with Mazzone gone. How they handle the Furcal situation could end up being critical.

  90. JoeyT, The problem with your assertions is that you expect common sense to prevail in the arbitration process. If the arbitrator comes to the conclusion that Furcal is the best SS in the NL (which he is) and the Braves lowball or even if they offer LAST YEARS market value he would pick the higher of the 2 offers because Furcal has WON the arbitration. If I’m Furcal and I decide to go into arbitration I ask for 12 million dollars. What the heck do I have to lose? You’re right few players go the full monty on the arb process but once arb is offered then the team is negotiating from a position of weakness. If I’m JS do I offer Furcal arbitration when he just might (low expectations of it happening) take a one time payoff to stay in Atlanta one more year. Even if the odds are 99 to 1 against him taking arb then JS doesn’t and won’t (history is on my side here) do it and ruin the teams financial plan for the year.

  91. WHY waste 10mm in Furcal if we have Betemit. The production of Furcal will be easily replaced by full seasons of Betemit, McCann and Franceour… then we can use those 10mm and sign McSluggo to play 1B or LF. Were going to be better without Furcal….. wait and see

  92. The thing is, McSluggo, you have to exist. The only people you could possibly be on the market are Konerko or Giles, and if you’re either one of those guys, you’re going to want a long-term deal that extends beyond next year’s Hampton relief.

    The Braves aren’t going to resign Furcal, anyway. He’ll be far too expensive in a sparce free agent market. When supply is low, prices go up.

  93. I read in the Sporting News where the Reds aren’t opposed to dealing Dunn, but they need pitching. I really, really, REALLY think we should make a serious run at the guy. Estrada, Thomson/Davies, Jeames? Heck, throw in KJ and/or LaRoche if they’ll throw in a viable bullpen option. I honestly think we can and should make this happen.

  94. They should definitely offer arb. Worst case, he accepts, and we have a good shortstop for 9-10 million. Best case, he signs elsewhere, and we get a good first round pick for him. Bottom line, just as it wouldn’t have hurt us if Sheffield had stuck around for a 1 year, 13 million dollar deal, it wouldn’t hurt us to have Furcal one more year. If nothing else, it lets Andrus and Escobar get another year of seasoning and Betemit prove if he can handle SS as Furcal’s backup.

  95. Worst case with Furcal is we offer arbitration and he wins 12-13 million, and any flexibility we might have had is basically gone. Weaker cases than his have gotten more disproportionate rewards.

    Off-topic, but this SI article on Phil Garner was very interesting. Garner really hasn’t managed all that well this year; he trusts his veterans too much, and micro-manages his bench (look at all the defensive substitutions he makes that destroy his batting order in extra innings), and now that it’s catching up to him, he sounds lost at sea.

    Can you imagine Bobby saying a single syllable of that, especially after such a draining game? I wonder if Garner would’ve ripped the Astros like this if they’d ended up losing the 18-inning game at some point; if so, I think the Braves would’ve taken game 5.

  96. Did the Braves offer Sheffield arbitration? I don’t remember it that way. I know that they offered somewhere in the realm of 30 for 3 years but not arbitration.

    History says that the Braves disagree with you. They won’t offer arb to Furcal.

    To get Dunn would take top shelf talent. Think Marte. Not even the Reds would take the entire list of players you offered in exchange for Dunn. The Braves probably wouldn’t even try as he will be VERY expensive this year.

  97. Marc, please read my entire post. I am not saying that Betemit is better than or equal to Jeter. I am saying he is a slightly lesser player than Jeter which is still good. When, I said Jeter was overrated I didnt mean overrated in the Scott Podsednik sense of the word, more that he is given more than his just due thus making people assume he is more valuable.

  98. I dont understand why it “wouldnt have hurt us” to to pay sheffield’s jerk ass 13 million. It certainly would have hurt us. We got equal production from Drew, for a fraction of the price. Drew/Marrero together made just over half of sheffields salary. And why are you calling yourself “Kyle S” when you are clearly Terrence Moore.

    To this day, I dont know why Marrerro was dumped so quickly. His numbers indicated he’d be a decent buy at 3M, considering he could also be a 3rd string catcher in the post-season. I know I’ve asked before, but does anyone know why we ran him out for a song. After paying jordan and mondesi 2M to just plain suck, Eli looks like he’d have been a decen option. Personality? Health? Defense?

  99. There’s no way Furcal will get 12 million bucks. Arb awards are based a few things: a player’s history of performance, his recent compensation, and comparable players’ salaries. Furcal is comparable with Rollins, Renteria, and Orlando Cabrera, who range in salary from 8-10 million. He didn’t even make that much last year, so his recent salary will be, if anything, a downward pressure on the award. And his performance, while good, is hard to quantify in a manner an arbitrator will love (i.e. he doesn’t hit home runs like A-Rod or Miggy Tejada, so he won’t get paid like them).

    If push came to shove, I think Furcal would ask for 10-11 million, the team would offer 7-9, and they’d settle somewhere in the middle – probably about $9 million. And if we have the ability sign Furcal for 1 year, $9 million, we should do so.

    Teams would always prefer to sign players to shorter-term contracts; the reason that they don’t always do so is because they have to add more years to entice players not to sign with another team. Even if you overpay for a year, a bad one year contract is much less painful than a bad seven year contract. If you don’t believe me, ask the Phillies how they feel about Jim Thome’s deal, the Yanks about Giambi’s or Bernie’s deals, the Dodgers about Darren Dreifort’s deal, the Rangers about Chan Ho Park’s deal, the Rockies about Todd Helton’s, Mike Hampton’s, and Denny Neagle’s deals…

    I challenge anyone here to come up with five contracts signed in the last five years with durations over 4 years that the original team wouldn’t have liked to re-do or undo at some point during the contract. If you can find examples, I’d love to know them.

    I understand the fear that everyone has with arbitration, after what happened with Maddux and Millwood. However, that shouldn’t affect our behavior with Furcal – Maddux was going to get a much better award than Furcal will for the reasons I mentioned above. First, Maddux had an outstanding (at that point, anyway) recent performance record, as he had been one of the league’s top pitchers — even though he wasn’t likely to continue to be one of them. Second, Maddux’s salary the year before was already very high – $13.1 million. The minimum allowable arbitration award would have been 80% of that, or over $10 million, and he was coming off a season when he finished 2nd in ERA+. Finally, pitchers had recently signed a flurry of ridiculous contracts (the Neagle deal, the Hampton deal, the Mussina deal, the Park deal, the Johnson and Schilling deals, the Kevin Brown deal, etc) and Maddux had pitched better than almost all of them! So his “comparable” salary was very high.

    Offer arb to Furcal! We’ll regret it if we don’t.

  100. Doubledawg, You have succinctly put all that typing I’ve been doing about not offering Furcal arbitration in one paragraph.

    Marrero was traded for salary flexibility. Believe it or not they traded him for a nobody reliever so that they could sign Mondesi and Jordan. Pretty smart move to salary dump high on a guy coming off of a career year. Pretty dumb to use the money to buy two washed up old outfielders. Hind sight is a wonderful thing.

  101. Ouch, I’ve been called Terrence Moore! That stings. Okay, I’ll answer your points.

    I dont understand why it “wouldnt have hurt us” to to pay sheffield’s jerk ass 13 million. It certainly would have hurt us. We got equal production from Drew, for a fraction of the price. Drew/Marrero together made just over half of sheffields salary. And why are you calling yourself “Kyle S” when you are clearly Terrence Moore.

    While it’s true that Drew played very well and at less salary than Sheffield, it is quite silly to imply that he came at half the price. To acquire him, we had to trade three good players: Jason Marquis, Ray King, and Adam Wainwright. Marquis pitched very well with the Cards — 200 innings of 115 ERA+ at a cost of $500k — providing a lot of value (at least $7 million worth, making up the difference in salaries by himself). King also pitched excellently for St. Louis, and surely would have helped our bullpen by staying. Finally, Wainwright might never develop, but if he does, he’ll also make a huge difference. We would have been better off as a franchise getting Sheff’s ’04 production for $13 million and holding on to all of those pieces. Anyway, he probably would have left for a multi-year deal even if we had offered arb, allowing us to acquire Drew and snare an extra first round pick in the bargain.

    To this day, I dont know why Marrerro was dumped so quickly. His numbers indicated he’d be a decent buy at 3M, considering he could also be a 3rd string catcher in the post-season. I know I’ve asked before, but does anyone know why we ran him out for a song. After paying jordan and mondesi 2M to just plain suck, Eli looks like he’d have been a decen option. Personality? Health? Defense?

    Well, he hit .181/.239/.413 last year, so letting him go seems pretty astute in retrospect. At least the Braves saw the writing on the wall, since you apparently didn’t.

  102. What’s the word on Philadelphia at 1st base. Who are they going to keep. Maybe we should make a run at Howard! I dont know what the cost would be, but it cant be that high yet!

  103. I think a package with both James and Davies could get Dunn, Johnny. The article mentioned the Blue Jays and Royals as possible suitors, and if they could put together an attractive young-pitching-prospect package, I know we can.

    I’d only like Shealy if he can play in left. Even if we get rid of LaRoche, we’ve still got Marte/Chipper at the corners, and I’d prefer either of them to Shealy.

  104. Ok, I admit the Terrence Moore line was overly harsh, Probably the harshest insult any regular reader of the AJC sports section could endure. Please accept my apologies, I would hate for this to give rise to a “Save Kyle S” movement on the board, though I would hope you have the intestinal fortitude to endure a name calling from a total stranger.

    As for Dirty Ray King, I dont know where to find it, but I would wager that he allowed more inherited runners to score than Gabe White. I call it the Dirty Ray King method for keeping your ERA low and pay checks high.

    As for marrero, he had decent numbers when allowed to play and not just sub/PH. Not fantastic, but better than Johnson-Mondesi-Jordan. Hindsight is 20-20, this year he had a ton of injuries. I just thought it was rare for the braves to bring a guy in, have him start performing, then dump him quickly.

    God knows after all the FA veteran OF busts we’ve had, we should take a guy playing over his head when we get it. The Braves are to veteran outfielders, what the mets are to, well, everybody. Lofton, Surhoff, Sanders, the list goes on. I will leave off Roberto Kelly, because he always sucked.

    I say we sign Reggie “rally-kill” Sanders, for the league minimum. That dirt bag still owes us about 20-25 HRS and about 3.5 million.

    Cincy loses Randa this year, I say we packager arms and marte and Starla Cox and send them over if Dunn is being shopped. It looks like the only McSluggo the Braves could sign is a broken down Larry Walker, if he’ll play for 4-5 million.

  105. Well, he hit .181/.239/.413 last year, so letting him go seems pretty astute in retrospect. At least the Braves saw the writing on the wall, since you apparently didn’t.

    He was also noticably thinner last year, if you know what I mean. I think this provides a clue as to why the Braves dropped him like a hot potato and he’s started bouncing around like league. The Braves don’t have much tolerance for that sort of thing.

  106. Re: recent contracts that the teams have not regretted. Vlad Guerrero. Carlos Delgado (though, I guess I should leave him off because it’s only been one year, but the question said “in the last 5 years”). Andy Pettite. Ken Griffey Jr (just kidding). Ichiro. Hideki Matsui. Sammy Sosa (again, I kid). Miggy Tejada. Bobby Abreu. Derek Jeter. Jim Edmonds.
    I guess there are a good many contracts that could be debated “are they good or not?” – contracts like the Andruws, Shannon Stewarts of the world (not that I’m directly comparing those two).
    But I do agree with the larger point, that there are many more albatross contracts than ones that are actually worth the $$ paid.

  107. Stu, if Shealy could play in left, he’d be playing left for the Rocks. The only thing that makes him available is his inability to play any other position on an NL club.

    I wasn’t actually promoting his acquisition. I was just responding to the guy suggesting the Braves go after Howard.

  108. Dude, why would you even bring up the insane idea of trading Marte? This guy has the potential to be the best 3B of his generation. Dunn is a good to great player but he is in no way worth what could be the best prospect in the high minors/Majors.

  109. It will be hard for Marte to be the best 3B of his generation with David Wright already putting up the numbers he is.

    2004: .293/.332/.525
    2005: .306/.388/.523

    Marte’s going to be good, but he’ll be lucky to sniff those numbers at his peak.

  110. I live in the heart of Reds country and I can tell you there’d be a palace revolt if they traded Dunn. We’d all have to invent new curse words because the Reds faithful would use up all of the old ones.
    Maybe back during the Jim Bowen era, but now they’d run the GM outta town on a rail.

  111. Jeter? surely you jest? He made $19 million last season. In his 11 years, the player he’s most similar to, Ray Durham. Ray Durham made $19 million over the past THREE years. Jeter, by comparison, in the past 3 years has made more than Ray Durham, in Ray Durham’s entire career. all the intangibles in the universe arent worth that and the universe is pretty damn big. why are we talking about Peter Eater again.

  112. Vlad Guerrero.
    Looks good so far. That’s one.
    Carlos Delgado (though, I guess I should leave him off because it’s only been one year, but the question said “in the last 5 years”).
    Because I’m generous, I’ll give it to you. Two.
    Andy Pettite. Ken Griffey Jr (just kidding). Ichiro. Hideki Matsui. Sammy Sosa (again, I kid).
    Pettite, Ichiro and Matsui both signed deals less than 5 years long. Ichiro looks like he’s going to be an albatross by the end of his current deal. I predict that Matsui will be as well at the end of the deal he signs this offseason.
    Miggy Tejada.
    He looks okay so far (great 2004, obviously) but his .276/.322/.416 post-all star break line bodes ominously for the future. They still have 4 years and 50 million plus left on this deal.
    Bobby Abreu.
    He’s making a lot of money, but is probably worth it. Three.
    Derek Jeter.
    His current deal pays him $20 million a year. I know the Yankees love him, but he would get maybe half that if he signed the deal today. On any other team it would be an absolute albatross of a deal.
    Jim Edmonds.
    He’s signed for 6/$57 – well more than he’d get now, but I guess the Cardinals are happy with it. Four.

    I’d add Pujols’ deal to that list – unless something drastic happens, the Cardinals are going to enjoy paying him over $10 mill a year for a long time.

  113. Congratulations to Andruw Jones for winning the Hank Aaron award as the best offensive player in the National League. OK folks, if he’s the best offensive player, then he MUST be the MVP, right? He’s definitely got Pujols on defense. Dan Patrick just asked him if he was the MVP, and he tried to dodge it, but Patrick nailed him down and he said, “I did the job to help my team get to the playoffs, and if they want to name me MVP, I’ll definitely take it.” I hate when they ask questions like that. The guy either sounds like a total jerk, or he is forced to say someone else is the MVP. I thought he handled it pretty well. Anyway, Congrats Andruw, hope they give you an MVP to go with it.

  114. Ichiro and Matsui are special cases. If you sign a Japanese (Korean/Chinese/etc.) player in a market with a large Japanese (Korean/Chinese/etc.) population, you’re going to make up any gap between salary and production on merchandise alone unless said player really, really sucks (for instance, every Asian player the Mets sign). I don’t see Ichiro or Matsui becoming as unproductive as they would have to be to play for the Mets, though.

  115. Tennessee, when Andruw was asked late during the season whom he thought should be MVP, he said he thought Derek Lee should win it.

    I also hate questions like that, but I thought it was pretty neat that he actually named a specific person he thought should win it, and it wasn’t him.

  116. Marte’s going to be good, but he’ll be lucky to sniff those numbers at his peak.

    If he doesn’t peak higher than that, something has gone terribley wrong. I think you greatly underestimate his bat.

  117. JoeyT, I agree that it’s cool he named someone else, and I also think that Derek Lee is who he SHOULD say, beacuse Lee WON’T win it, but he’s a legit candidate. You wouldn’t want Andruw saying “Pujols is MVP” because that is his #1 competition.

    On a side note, I am glad Andruw chose a very dapper suit and tie for his SportsCenter appearance, as opposed to that stupid-looking getup Ortiz was wearing. The classy tradition of the Braves just seems to shine through in even the most subtle ways.

  118. Actually, in that same ESPNNEWS conversation, he noted that Pujols and Cabrera were both having better years than him. (He didn’t mention Ensberg.)

  119. A few random statements, in no particular order:

    1. Phil Garner is an idiot and doesn’t deserve to win the World Series. Allowing his team to whine about the roof like that and then ripping his offense at the press conference was unprofessional and juvenile. It’s not like HE screwed up by leaving Oswalt in so long and not bunting in about 4 appropriate situations, no sir!

    2. Brian Cashman is going back to New York at $2.2 million a year. That means they get Larry Bowa. Next year should be EXTREMELY funny.

    3. I have read about 6 different stories about the Theo Epstein negotiations today and not one person really has any substantive material. The best I can guess right now is that he is sick of Lucchino and sick of his fishbowl lifestyle and seriously considering leaving, or he would have resigned by now. That will be a PR disaster of epic proportions. Yet another fascination offseason story.

    4. This blurb from Sports Weekly:

    “An American League outfielder on a postseason team tested positive for steroids, according to his agent, but the player is appealing the results.”

    Well? Who is it?

  120. Phil Garner has proved time and time again this year and last year that he is a terrible manager. He was completely out-managed by Bobby in last year NLDS, and he was terrible again this year for instances like pinch running for Berkman in Game 4 of NLDS. Phil Garner has been lucky to have the kind of pitching rotation he has and Lidge to abuse.

    I have no clue how the Cardinals lost to the Astros, but the Braves and the Cardinals are both better than the Astros.

  121. 4. This blurb from Sports Weekly:

    “An American League outfielder on a postseason team tested positive for steroids, according to his agent, but the player is appealing the results.”

    Well? Who is it?

    Juan Rivera. Obviously if a guy will steal Jeter’s glove, he’ll do anything.

    –end obscure Michael Kay joke–

  122. Sadly, nyb, I know what you’re talking about.

    I know. Obviously, it’s Podsednik. *rolls eyes*

  123. Kevin Lee, where abouts in Reds Country? I’m in Columbus, OH Reds/Indians country. Ok really Buckeye country and then theres those other sports.

    Stu, the thing with your trade proposal is that:
    a. You suppose that the Reds are totally incompetent. Ok you’ve got me on that one.
    b. Dunn is arbitration eligible. He made 4.6 last year. 949 OPS last season. Care to wager what his salary is going to be? He is too expensive for the Braves.
    c. The rule of thumb is that when it comes to 25 year old power hitters with 949 OPS is that it takes talent to get talent. James and Davies ain’t enough talent. Somewhere somehow even the Reds have read tnstaapp.
    d. The Reds know that season after next Dunn becomes very expensive. If they are really looking to dump him (a huge mistake, you build your team around guys like Dunn) they are going to want a package of players including Major league ready pitching. If they are leaking trade rumors (more likely just a ‘journalist’ making crap up) then its only to see who is interested.

  124. Name that Steroid User!

    American League outfielders on postseason teams: (please feel free to add anyone I have omitted)

    Bubba Crosby
    Hideki Matsui
    Gary Sheffield
    Bernie Williams
    Tony Womack
    Garret Anderson
    Jeff DaVanon
    Steve Finley
    Vladimir Guerrero
    Juan Rivera
    Chone Chacon (sometimes an outfielder)
    Johnny Damon
    Trot Nixon
    Manny Ramirez
    Jermaine Dye
    Carl Everett
    Timo Perez
    Scott Podsednik
    Aaron Rowand

    Who does everyone vote for? I will take Gary Sheffield (as others have) with my darkhorse candidate being Johnny Damon. Remember folks, the question is, who do you THINK it is….not who you HOPE it is.

  125. *figgins

    I hope it’s either womack or anyone on the white sox.

    oh, and gabe kapler could be a possibility.

  126. Thanks david15, you are right. I tried to do that off the top of my head, and I typed Chacon instead of Figgins.

  127. Brad Lidge is really having a terrible post-season. I am so sicked of the Astros, so let’s start the off-season asap…

  128. Did Michael Kay confuse Juan Rivera with Ruben Rivera? Is that the joke?

    Pretty much. He and his nitwit partner rather famously went off on Juan Rivera for several minutes during a game against the Angels for the whole glove stealing incident, only to return after commercial with the now classic “We’ve made a terrible mistake” line.

  129. Is that where Fox’s “Arrested Development” came up with it’s popular catch phrase “I’ve made a huge mistake”?

  130. Did anyone else read the Bill Shanks article slamming Leo Mazzone on He went after Leo hard.

  131. The White Sox?


    I didn’t see that one coming!

    I live just west of Richmond, IN. The Reds would really miss Dunn, but I know he has a relationship with Chipper Jones. Might be interesting.

  132. bravatoc,

    Sorry if I misunderstood your post. I agree that Jeter is probably not as good as he is often represented, but he is still a hell of a player and I get the feeling that a lot of people don’t want to give him credit because he is a Yankee. Frankly, if Betamit became as good as Jeter (overrated or not), that would be fine with me.

  133. BTW, has anyone noticed that the National League officially sucks? It’s lost 10 of the last 14 WS, 4 by sweeps, one more in 5 games; if Rivera doesn’t botch a bunt in Arizona, that’s probably another WS the AL wins. The AL wins the All-Star game every year. What’s going on here; the NL is turning into the 1980s AFC.

  134. With the season officially over we can focus on deals/signings. Does anyone know when the winter meetings are held? I want to say first or second week in Dec.

  135. Why does Andruw win the Aaron award when Pujols had a much better overall season and is a much better hitter. I’m not knocking Andruw–maybe he should be MVP–but he had a few more homers and a few more RBIs than Pujols and was way behind in every other statistic. This seems to be a case where being on a high profile team that’s on TV a lot helped Andruw’s case. I just can’t see it otherwise. Defense aside, anyone would take Pujols over Andruw without even thinking about it.

  136. Maybe Pujols will be MVP, and Andruw received the Aaron award as something of a consolation prize?

  137. Marc, Pujols and a few other guys had far better offensive seasons than Andruw, but in the minds of many people, Homers and RBI are two of the only three offensive stats that matter. That’s why Andruw will win MVP. These awards are judged on triple crown stats.

  138. You know, there has never been a year where the MVP and Hank Aaron winners were the same in both leagues.

    I think that happens this year, too. A-Rod probably gets AL MVP.

  139. i just read an article by shanks, though not the one mentioned above. ir’s the first thing i’ve ever read from him. in it he writes like a high schooler. is his “scout’s honor” book as painful to read as i’m imagining, or has nobody read it?

  140. I have read Scout’s Honor (well, 90% of it, I should finish soon), and while I have thoroughly enjoyed the subject matter of the book and some of the inside stories it provides, the quality of writing leaves a lot to be desired. It’s just not very polished. I was really surprised that it was not cleaned up more in editing. David15, you mentioned that Shanks writes like a high-schooler, and I would guess that if he WAS in high school and turned in “Scout’s Honor” to an English/Grammar teacher, he probably wouldn’t get an A.

  141. I’ve read the book in bits and pieces.


    What’s the deal with Shanks and why does he hate Mazzone?
    His book doesn’t give Leo any credit and now he’s written a negative article on him???

  142. doubledawg/joey,

    I’ve been in Amsterdam that last few days & didn’t get a chance to respond, but my often-spouted points about Jeter are always in response to someone else. It’s not an obseesion of mine. It’s a seeming constant conversation because so many people on this site think he’s not a great ballplayer.

    The reason I stick up for him is that I believe that anyone who attempts to diminish him as a great player diminishes themselves a little bit as a baseball fan. My opinion, not popular, and I don’t care, I’m not running for office.

    My view is an honest one. If anyone said the same thing about Chipper or Andruw or Smoltz or Dale Murphy or whomever, I’d raise a point as well.

    If you hate Jeter because he’s a Yankee, fine. If you hate him because a defensive stat says so, there’s a little bit of validity (but not that much). However, if you wouldn’t want him on your team because you don’t think he’s a winning ballplayer, you’re not paying enough attention. He’s a helluva ballplayer & any team would be damn lucky to have a guy like him.

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