111 thoughts on “Mildly disappointing”

  1. The crystal balls try to pick a firmly middle-of-the-road approach–meaning, what will actually happen in real life will probably either be wildly better or wildly worse. Frankly, I wouldn’t be sorry at all to see Francouer have a 380 HR, 1360 RBI career, and if he got to 100 RBI by age 25, that’d be better than anyone the Braves have developed since Andruw.

    If you’re right, Mac, and he improves even more rapidly than Sickels guesses, we’ll be even more fortunate still.

  2. Comparing him with Dale Murphy? Cool.

    I, too, can live with those career numbers, especially if he continues to hit in the 6-spot.

    And let’s not forget that bad-ass arm in right.

  3. I think he’ll hit for a better average, which should result in more HRs.

    I’m interested to see how things go for Jeff next year. I have no scientific tools at my fingertips to make projections, but I think his BB numbers are going to rise considerably. My guess is he’ll hit the 1-in-10 level for walks in the next couple of years.

  4. Looked at Murphy’s career. First its hard to remember how badly the Braves sucked that Murph made it to the majors for a cup of coffee in 1976 with a terrible minor league resume. His only outstanding minor league season was 1977 at Richmond.

    But I’m not sure if Dale is really a comp. I’m sure that Sickels used a better scientific method than I did but looking back however undistinguished Murph’s early minor league numbers look it does look like he drew walks. Shoot, as a major leaguer he averaged 73 per season.

    All that being said, I’d take a Murphy like peak from Francouer. I just hope that he doesn’t just stop hitting like Murph did in his early 30’s.

  5. Also, that projection has him staying with the Braves his whole career. If he has even a little bit of talent, he’ll sign with YankerSoxAngelMets (or whatever team Cuban buys) in 2012.

  6. I’m not crazy Sickel’s projections at all. He doesn’t have him as a guy touching his potential until after 2010 and the number for the most imminent coming years are too low. The kid has superstar reflected off him in every possible way and I think he has the opportunity and potential to be even better than Murph. Lest we not forget that Murph didn’t begin to really emerge until Bobby Cox moved him to the outfield.

  7. Projecting Francoeur’s career is very difficult right now. His MLB performance in 2005 was so out of character (except for the lack of walks) for what he did in the minors that it’s hard to know what to make of it. Not to mention that he is so young. 2006 will be pivotal. The real Francoeur should stand up. I wouldn’t put much stock in what any projection system has to say about him, including my own.

  8. Well he is put in the same class as Carter (HOF), Rice (Should be in the HOF), and Murphy (should be in the HOF)

    Not too bad at all.

  9. The Murphy comp makes no sense to me. Murph walked. Jeff won’t be as good as Murph, but the Joe Carter comp looks pretty on the money at this point. It’s hard to remember, but Carter could run pretty well in his younger days.

  10. 259 .306 .464 770 (Joe Carter) is a Hall of Famer? You have a low standard Smitty.

    I’m in the same camp. There is no way to predict what Francouer will do next year. A mini poll perhaps? type 1 if you think he is at least starter material and plays with Atlanta the whole season or 2 if you think he eventually finds himself in Richmond.

    I’ll start.
    2

  11. 1

    Joe Carter is in the Hall, Jim Rice would be if he got along with the media, Murphy should be in the Hall and has two MVP’s. If Francoeur can play out to be a Hall of famer or boarder line, I think we would all be happy. If those are low standards, I must be living a picky life.

    I think the numbers could be low on him. He has a great swing (almost perfect.) He will be more patient as time goes on, but hell if he is getting hits on bad balls, I’ll take it.

  12. Is Carter really in the Hall? I missed that if it happened.

    1 (not because he’ll be good next year, but because the pressure will be on to leave him out there)

  13. Yes he is in a Hall of Fame, the Canadian Hall Of Fame. My bad. But he has solid numbers and is just on the out side looking in.

    (I always get him and Dave Winfield mixed up)

  14. LF KJ
    CF Andruw
    RF April/mid May Francouer
    RF mid May – September Langerhans

    The same patience/loyalty that Bobby showed Mondesi and Jordan, he will show to Jeff Francouer. When he is hitting .234 .289 .420 in Mid May they’ll have to do something. I hope not. Hell, I hope that he proves BP, THT, me, JC and everyone else that leans to the statistical side damn wrong, but I wouldn’t count on it.

  15. If Francouer has a ten year stretch like Murphy, Carter, and Rice had in their careers, then we should all be happy.

    1 (the kid is just has too much going for him, mentally and physically)

  16. Well, that wasn’t exactly a surprise.

    Apparently, baseball has enacted the three-strikes-and-you’re-out steroid policy, with an announcement later today. Good for them. I think a 50-game suspension for a first offense will make a LOT of players more careful. And they’re also testing for amphetamines. After reading the congressional report that stated that in one clubhouse, some players spiked the coffee with amphetamines on a regular basis and that on a given day, 8 of 9 guys on the field were taking greenies, I’m pleased about that.

  17. 2

    Great tools, awesome outfielder, but needs work on his approach at the plate, and would benefit from more time in the minors.

  18. Thanks for the update Jenny. I’m also glad to hear they’re going to include amphetamines in the testing program.

  19. 1

    There will be frustrating moments & ridiculous streaks, but overall I think he’ll be fine. My guess is that his BA will drop some, but his OBP will rise a little. I think his slugging will drop a tiny bit, but he just seems like a guy who’ll get a ton of XBH (and strike out 125 times).

    I’m not going to say that he’ll definitely have 30 2Bs & 28 HRs, but would that surprise anyone if he did? I don’t think he’ll be the next Joe Charboneau.

    I also love having the RF who makes people really think about trying to take third.

  20. 1. I’m not going to hazard a guess as to what his final numbers will be, but it’s fairly obvious that the Braves see him as a franchise player, and he’d have to completely bomb for them to send him down again.

  21. Bobby used to leave Andruw out there in slumps becuase of his glove and arm, the same will go for Frenchy

  22. I think Francouer maybe should spend some time at Richmond, but realistically the right field job is his to lose, barring a Corey Patterson-esque meltdown.

    1

  23. Anyone projecting Jeff’s performance at this point is just guessing. No one really knows what he’ll do next year. Maybe closer to ST we can have a “Jeff’s 2005 Line” prediction contest with a bag of stale cheetos as first prize.

  24. Bobby used to leave Andruw out there in slumps becuase of his glove and arm, the same will go for Frenchy

    Actually, the reason you leave a guy out there is because you want him to come out of the slump. All benching a slumping player will do is ensure they stay in a slump. The only time you bench them is when you are convinced they can’t get out of it or you can’t afford to give them the chance.

    Anyway, I think overall the prediction on Frenchy is plausible. I think he’ll peak closer to 70 walks in a year and I think his career .BA will probably be closer to .280. But that’s all just gut feeling.

  25. It’s a measure of how chastened the players union has become by the steroid embarrassments that they didn’t try to outmaneuver the addition of amphetamine testing to the latest agreement. Considering how pervasive “greenies” have always been, it’s anybody’s guess how this will impact on-field performance. Better strike zone judgement, maybe??

  26. Any word on if they freeze samples and retest? If not, HGH use will go on unabated, as will the use of any other performance enhancer with no good current urine test.

    But, yeah, the greenie thing is huge. When did that start up? 50s? 60s? We could be looking at a major performance shift next year.

  27. From what I’ve heard about the amphetamine problem, it seems like players are pretty much doing everything they can short of overtly smoking crack rocks in the clubhouse. We may see performance dip significantly towards the end of the season next year. And towards the end of games.

    I watched a health video on drug use in 11th grade that, hilariously, accidentally explained exactly how to shoot heroin. It involves putting the heroin on a metal spoon, melting it over a candle, dissolving it in water, and then shooting it into the vein of your choice, although the elbow vein in your non-dominant arm is usually preferable :-) So in case I ever decide to do that, my public school education has equipped me well!

  28. NEWS: Braves assistant GM Dayton Moore has just pulled his name out of consideration for the Red Sox job. Very good. Not only do we get to keep one of our talented executives, yet another possible candidate (and probably one of the only qualified ones) has told Lucchino, essentially, to go suck it (sorry, I really hate the guy). Larry, give it to Jed freaking Hoyer already and end the soap opera.

  29. My dad played ACC football in the mid 1960s. He said they had a huge jar of greenies in their locker room and that they would all grab handfuls of them right before games.

  30. I wonder if a relatively drug-free MLB will mean a return to the days when the Bill Meltons and Graig Nettles of the world lead the league with 32-36 HRs. The Cult of Small Ball is right around the corner…

    Speaking of drugs…my Catholic grade school had local cops come to class every few months & give us our series of “drug talks.” It was like a “Dragnet 68” episode, bordering on hysteria & insanely bogus stories.

    One time, they told us how a babysitter, who was “high on pot,” put a baby in the oven. Then they gave us tickets to go see pro wrestling.

    I’ve distrusted authority ever since…

  31. Just remember to never, ever share needles, Jenny, no matter how clean you think the guy is. It’s very easy to contract hepatitis B. There are needle exchange programs in a number of major cities.

  32. ububba,

    I got the same lecture in eighth grade from Avondale Estate’s police chief, who referred to the drugs as “barb-i-tur-ates” and “am-phet-a-mines,” the latter pronounced like those places where men go to dig coal. I think I got more out of that lecture than I did watching Signal 30.

  33. My eighth grade lecture series was administered by ex-addicts. It was actually pretty cool. They talked about how awesome it was to get high, but then told us about all the ways it wasn’t worth it. They didn’t quite get into back alley blow jobs (at least, not to the eighth graders), but they were pretty convincing.

  34. Make that “Avondale Estates’ police chief,” who also owned Hensler’s, where kids hopped up on dope would go to cure the munchies.

  35. Those things never existed, right? I remember hearing about them, then hearing the whole thing was a lie. I was like eight, though, so I could be mixing things up.

  36. Speculation alert: Although I’m pleased that Dayton Moore is not jumping ship for Boston, why did he change his mind? The prevalent rumor out there seems to be that JS sweetened the pot to get him to stay, possibly by telling him he would be GM in a few years. Could this be a sign that JS is on his way out when his contract expires? I have dismissed a lot of crap over the past few weeks that turned out not to be such crap after all, so I’m hesitant to toss this speculation to the scrap heap. Leo’s gone. JS is getting up there in years. Is Dayton Moore going to be GM in 2007 or 2008?

  37. Yeah, the tattoos were a fraud. And yet, the story would surface every few years, with the same drawings.

    I assume Moore has been promised the GM job, but he may have pulled out because it was clear he wouldn’t actually be in charge in Boston. Nobody wants to play Lester to Lucchino’s Willie Tyler.

  38. I think amphetamines are and always have been a bigger problem than “steroids”.

    I’ve always thought that ampetamines are more prevelent in the game than steroids, but not a bigger problem than juice because of their somewhat muted effect on what you see on the field.

    I’m about as much of a hardass (sorry Mac) on drug use in baseball as there is, but a 50 game suspension for a first offense is completely insane when the false positive percentage of the test is anywhere north of zero. Which it is. Who knew that that the drug issue was the Players Association’s kryptonite?

  39. I’m not sure that an absence (or serious decline) in amphetamine use would result in lower offensive production, because there’s no telling what (if any) effect greenies have on performance, and because there’s no reason to believe that position players take them more than pitchers do.

    My idea of better strike zone judgement is based on the (admittedly dubious) notion that a batter who’s not as jacked up would be less likely to swing at anything. I dunno.

    Another possible effect might be fewer stolen base attempts, due to a perceived lack of hair-trigger response….

  40. PUJOLS WINS MVP…WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP.

    Gold glove + HR crown + RBI crown = MVP.

    I won’t argue anymore. It appears Andruw was gracious. With Barry coming back I am sure half the voters have already mailed in next year’s ballot. Still I wouldnt trade Andruw for Pujols. Unless I could lock Pujols into a long term deal :)

  41. I’d trade Andruw and Marte for Pujols. Hell I’d throw in LaRoche and Davies for good measure. As much as I love Andruw and wanted him to win the MVP, Pujols undoubtably had the better case…

  42. I’d trade Andruw and Marte for Pujols. Heck I’d throw in LaRoche and Davies for good measure. As much as I love Andruw and wanted him to win the MVP, Pujols undoubtably had the better case…

  43. Mac,
    Could you break down how much the Braves have to spend with their $80 million payroll. What options they have if they do or don’t sign Furcal.
    Thanks….

  44. The Dodgers gave their GM job to the Giants assistant GM. What is wrong with Kim Ng? Let’s get some female power in here! And isn’t that like the Red Sox hiring Jean Afterman?

  45. Justin, it’s a lot of work analyzing the Braves payroll. In addition, there are lots of unknown factors such as how the Braves handle the Hampton contract, Smoltz contract, and Hudson’s huge signing bonus due this year which make this exercise rather pointless to carry out. I have thought about doing one myself, but I come to a conclusion that it just doesn’t worth the time with all these unknown factors.

    However, I do come to a conclusion that keeping Furcal will sacrifice a lot of payroll flexibility over the next few years and will hinder the club’s ability to improve other areas. Personally, I don’t want to see the Braves handing out $8+ millions to Furcal, but I also don’t want the Braves to go after Lugo or Gonzalez if they are not giving Betemit a chance he deserves. Also, I would hate to see the Braves to trade Marte away.

  46. Jenny, the fact the Kim Ng being considered is a breakthrough itself. There is no doubt there are plenty of females who have the attributes to be a GM, but it does take a lot of time and courage to break an industry tradition, which is not something I see the McCourts will do. So, just be patient, I am sure some female will get her chance sooner or later.

  47. Mac, didn’t you mention sometimes ago that you are working on a piece of work on Marte, Betemit, and KJ or something like that? How are you doing on that piece of work?

  48. That’s ok, I just thought your topic is very interesting and is keen to know your findings. Good luck with it!

  49. Is there anywhere that I can find defensive statistics, such as ‘Andruw’s fielding percentage and where he ranks among all centerfielders in that category’? I need something that doesn’t require a subscription and I need it ASAP….I am in a pissing match with a friend of mine that is disputing Andruw’s defensive greatness. Help me please!

  50. Well, fielding percentage isn’t a great measure of defense, but you can get the stat from espn.com. They have a pretty good stats section. He ended up tied for second in the bigs (behind Vernon Wells), first in the NL.

  51. With the lack of plate discipline, I’d have suspected that Francoeur would have at least one 200-hit season during his career. I wonder how Sickel does his analysis?

  52. According to AJC:

    “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is one of several newspapers that don’t vote for BBWAA or other awards. Travis Haney of Morris News Service and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com cast the Atlanta votes. Travis Haney of Morris News Service and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com cast the Atlanta votes, and both voted Pujols first and Jones second.”

    I wonder if that’s because everyone in the country knows AJC doesn’t have a competent baseball writer.

  53. Jayson Stark said this morning on ESPN Radio that the Cubs will offer Furcal 5 yrs, $10 Million per year. If that’s true, then I say good luck in Chicago, Raffy.

  54. With greenies outlawed, I can just imagine there will be guys guzzling Red Bull right before the game.

  55. Pujols is the better player and, overall, had a much better year. I know “clutch” hitting stats (ie, RISP) are suspect, but Andruw left a hell of a lot of RBIs chances on the bases–he should have had 140-150. There is no way you could get the Cards to trade Pujols for Andruw even up–it’s just not a contest even with Andruw’s defense. Pujols may end up being one of the top 4 or 5 hitters ever. The Cardinals got the top two awards in the NL and didn’t go to the WS; it just shows how distorted the playoffs are in baseball.

    It’s funny to me how these players from the 50s and 60s become so sanctimonious about steroids when everyone that has read Jim Bouton’s “Ball Four” knows how rampant greenie use was. And if steroids had been available then, I guarantee a lot of guys would have used them. The nature of pro sports is that guys are going to do what they have to to get an edge, even if it hurts them in the long run. And that hasn’t changed in 100 years and won’t change in another 100 years.

  56. Marc, I think you hit on the heart of the matter. I think there can be a strong argument for Andruw being MVP and my guess is that in the 1950s or 1960s, me may have won. But, even with his improvements, Andruw left a lot of guys standing on the bases. He had a great year, but it could have been a monster year.

  57. On the Braves MLB website it says

    “Had Moore left the Braves organization, he would have likely taken Roy Clark, the director of scouting, and many of the club’s top scouts with him. That would have had a damaging effect on Atlanta’s scouting and player-development department, which has established itself as the game’s best.”

    Why? I guess I just don’t understand how everything works, but why would a bunch of guys follow the assistant GM to a different organization? I don’t get it

  58. Something smells in the Braves front office. If Moore could have taken and entourage, some people are not happy. We have a faction, and Moore is the leader of one of them.

  59. mlb4u.com is reporting the braves have contacted Alex The Marlin Gonzalez. i have no idea how credible that website is, but if it’s true then the wheels are in motion to replace furcal. if betemit isn’t going to start, they have to trade him, don’t they? it would seem like a waste to let this guy rot with 6 AB’s a week. he’d be worth more in a trade.

  60. 50lb – just a thought about your comment about Andruw maybe winning MVP in 50s or 60s. I think he still would have come in somewhere other than 1st because, while the HR & RBI categories were weighted more, the average category also carried a lot of weight. Not to say it couldn’t have been overcome (like when Maris won), but also, there was not the disparity between Maris & others in the league in BA that there was between Andruw & others…
    Re: A. The Marlin Gonzales – I wish they’d give Betemit a chance. I’d rather they bring in someone who you absolutely KNOW shouldn’t be starting (like a Belliard or Guillen) rather than someone who is nominally a starter (who there would then be a real risk of him being made a starter if Betemit struggles or makes an error).

  61. When GMs switch jobs, they usually bring a lot of their own people with them. It’s just how it works. A lot of people are saying that when Epstein gets his next job, there will be a mass exodus from the Red Sox FO, at least those that have not already exited to Arizona to be with Josh Byrnes. It’s not necessarily an indication of factionalism (well, maybe the Red Sox aren’t a good example of that, given the presence of Larry Lucchino, but in general). If Moore took a promotion to become a GM, it’s logical to assume that the people below him would also move up the ladder if they came with him. Given a higher position and more pay, it’s easy to see why they’d leave. I don’t think there’s a problem in the Braves FO. If there were one, Moore would have gone to a new job in Boston. He didn’t.

  62. I’m going to agree with Jenny on this one. If the folks that report to Dayton Moore DIDN’T want to follow him, that would say more about Dayton Moore than it would about the Braves.

  63. Or Moore stayed because gained a bargaining chip and some more power within the organization for his group. The Mazzone departure was weird. Moore staying with the Braves at a lesser position is weird. The fact that numerous scouts, including Roy Clark, would consider leaving a traditionally stable organization is weird. That’s all I’m saying. I still think there is something ugly going on behind the scenes.

  64. Can we please not start an FO soap opera until we have something substantive to justify all the speculation? I’ve been following the Red Sox mess for a few weeks now, and it is extremely frustrating to be dealing in complete nothings. Sox fans have built entire pyramids of thought on absolutely no substance. The newest idea? Jed Hoyer will like working for Lucchino more than Theo because Theo’s demands on his time caused Hoyer’s girlfriend to break up with him. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in the Braves FO, and until I see something that suggests otherwise, I will continue to believe that. It wasn’t like Mazzone left over an argument. He didn’t want offers from the Braves. He wanted to go to Baltimore, period. The Braves have a philosophy of not offering long-term contracts to coaches and they kept with that philosophy. Nothing fishy there.

  65. Jenny is right. If there was something wrong, noth of those guys would have left. It is like working for Willy Wonka and then one day ole Snearley comes up to you and asks you to run his company, it is a higer position with more pay, but you really love working for Wonka. Wonka lets you ride around in that boat when ever you want and the Ompalompas come to your kids birthday. Willy has also hinted that he is getting old and you seem like the right guy to take over. In the end if you stay with Wonka you could have more fun, less work, and more money. Plus you really know how Wonka treats people and how Snearley can get his panties in a wad over little things and one of Snearley’s most important candy makers wants to go work for Hershy’s and Snearley is trying to trade him to M&M Mars.

  66. Looks like the Mariners may put Ichiro on the market. I would send Estrada, Davies, LaRoche, and Chuck James for Ichiro and a pen guy. I know that it won’t happen though. Francoeur would have to move to left and we would have the best outfield in the majors.

  67. Jonathon, I guess my point about the 50s and 60s is that it was a more sentimental time and Andruw “looked” like he carried the club and the club was not expected to win its division.

    For all of the McCarvers and Morgans nowadays, there is a counterbalancing crowd that cuts through a lot of that sentimentality and gets to the hard numbers.

    But you are right that average also played a much larger role in the minds of the baseball crowd then.

  68. Something hasn’t been right with Ichiro for a while. He may need to get out of Seattle, or something, but he’s been steadily declining in production, and the traditional explanations–the Mariners batting coaches told him to try to hit home runs, the AL pitchers are finally catching up to him–seem to be disproven when he runs off one of his brilliant stretches. He still racks up hits like no one else in the business, but he’s a very inconsistent player. I’m not convinced he’d be worth our while.

  69. Also, I think Andruw would have won the MVP if he hadn’t gone into his late-season slump that claimed about 10 points off his batting average, or had raised his average a few points. It’s hard to give the hardware to a guy who’s batting .260; it’s not hard to give it to a guy batting .280, even though (as Bill James likes to point out) the difference is less than one hit every two weeks.

  70. From Deadspin, our old buddy Mike Stanton, on uppers (dual meaning intended):

    I dont condone using something, but this sport is unlike any other sport, he told the New York Post. We play every day. We travel every three days. We get in at 5 in the morning. Im not condoning using greenies or anything like that. My question is, what the cutoff will be. Can people still drink coffee? Can people still drink things like Red Bull? Some greenies are basically caffeine pills.

  71. The Mariners aren’t moving Ichiro! under any circumstance. Ichiro! is a cash cow. In addition, the Braves would be foolish to acquire Ichiro! because the perception of his value is higher than his actual value. Ichiro is a very, very good CF. But in RF his lack of power hurts him. Ichiro! is a fantastic player, and among the handful of best in the business, when he is hitting .350. At .330 Ichiro! is an All-Star. At .300 Ichiro!is a poor mediocre hitting corner OF. Ichiro! should be a CF anywhere except Seattle, and we don’t need a CF(Andruw Jones, Ryan Langerhans, and Jeff Francoeur are all MLB CF at the moment).

  72. Can we please not start an FO soap opera until we have something substantive to justify all the speculation?

    Like several long-tenured members of the organization who’ve turned down opportunities in the past leaving or threatening to leave.

    It wasn’t like Mazzone left over an argument. He didn’t want offers from the Braves. He wanted to go to Baltimore, period.

    I disagree with your assessment of the situation given all of the negative stuff that came out after Leo left. Leo was not liked by many within the organization. This was not an innocent departure.

    Jenny, I’m sorry you don’t like speculation, but it’s something fans do. And, in this case, I think the Braves are dealing with several issues that are out of character for the organization. I think there is something going on. If you don’t wish to believe that, you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

  73. I think I agree with you, JC. Something fishy–or at least, unusual–is definitely going on in the organization, and those who wish to turn a blind eye may do so, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share your conspiracy theories with us.

  74. Maybe I’m in a state of denial because I don’t want the Braves, who have a reputation for being a very stable, professional organization, to turn into the complete circus that Boston and New York have become. Maybe it’s a function of the rather tame Atlanta media market that I don’t think we have anything substantive to start an FO soap opera over, because nothing real has been reported. In Boston right now, Theo Epstein leaving his house to go to the deli becomes front page news. “Why isn’t he on vacation? Why did he go to that deli near the airport? Is he leaving? He always ordered pastrami on rye when he was working on Wednesdays, could he be reminiscing and wanting to come back?” and things of that nature. Maybe there is something wrong with the Braves. But unlike Boston, where there are actually tidbits to base speculation on, I just can’t see anything that would warrant it here. I actually do enjoy speculation, but only when there’s some figment of truth to use as a springboard. I just can’t see that with the Dayton Moore situation. IMHO, there’s far more of a springboard for Red Sox fans in that area then there is for Braves fans. But I guess I’m in a state of denial. Seeing the Braves FO deteriorate into the grand clusterf*ck going on in the north would be saddening.

  75. 1.) Where did you hear the Mariners were entertaining offers for Ichiro. It would seem to me that he is probably the most untouchable player in the game. Probably Japan’s most famous athlete, playing one of Japan’s two national pasttimes, playing in the Major Leagues for the team closest to Japan, which happens to be owned by a Japanese man. Ichiro ain’t going nowhere. Ever.

    2.) Mike Stanton has a point. I don’t think they should test for greenies or any amphetamines any more than they test for, say, marijuana. There is no proof that greenies are performance enhancers. Steroids were such a problem because they compromised the integrity of competition as a whole, just like Pete Rose’s gambling did. Greenies, amphetamines, pot, LSD, coke, or whatever the drug of choice may be compromises the integrity of the athlete, but I don’t think it screws up the nature of competition on a broader scale. I’m not condoning anything, I’m just saying, it’s easy for us to say that in game 105 in the beginning of August that the players should just suck up their various injuries and perform. It’s easy to judge from the outside, but I don’t think any of us can really fathom how physically and mentally taxing a baseball season really is.

  76. I read it in the Chicago Sun Times. I got the link on prosportsdaily.com

    I think if the Braves can’t resign Furcal, get Alex “the Marlin” Gonzalez on the cheap, may not be a bad move. We could use him a a late inning replacement for the WB. Gonzo has a great arm (almost, but not quite Furcal’s.)and would be a good sub. He has a terrible OBP and only drew 33 walk last year.
    It would be terrible to have him as a starter in a line up with Francoeur, we would be last in the league in walks.

  77. I’m usually just a reader, not a poster, but I think is getting a little out of hand, especially for a blog that’s usually good to read.

    To understate it completely, Dayton Moore is obviously a talented guy. I imagine that the people who work under him are loyal to him and want to work with him, since he’s a true baseball guy with great people skills.

    That doesn’t mean that there’s anyone ready to lead a mutiny against Schuerholz. I doubt that there are “factions” at work here. But I think we can read between the lines and say that the GM job belongs to Moore once Schuerholz is done. (JC, perhaps the reason that we went outside for McDowell was because Schuerholz intended the GM position for Moore all along.) I, for one, am glad that we’ve got someone in line for the job who inspires such confidence amongst his staff.

    I think that all we have to do is ask ourselves a simple question. Does the Braves’ performance reflect a dysfunctional organizaiton, rife with factions and personal conflicts? No? Then the organization’s probably not dysfunctional. The proof is on the field.

  78. I just want to throw a few thoughts into the mix:
    -I agree that signing Furcal for 8+ may be good next year, but the long term effect is not worth it. I think if we lose furcal, then we have to give Betemit an opportunity to win the job at SS.
    -I can see JS signing Farnsworth (3yr 15mil)and using one of our many trade pieces for a solid veteran middle relief guy (B Fuentes, S Shields).
    -We need a veteran insurance guy in the outfield. Not named B Jordan or R Mondesi. I’m worried that JS may take a gamble on Reggie Sanders. That could be great or end up as Kolb 2006. I’d love B Giles, but the guy is gonna get 8+ from someone else over 3 years and I don’t think we can do that. I’d prefer we once again look at the trade market for a known quantity or a guy on the upward trend of his career (talk to the Reds, Devil Rays, Twins). If we went for a free agent, what about Juan Encarnacion (3yr 15 mil).
    I’ll stop rambling now…

  79. Adam, I agree with you 100%

    Joshg- you too, except I don’t know a lot of things, but I do know that Reggie Sanders will never be a Brave again.

  80. I like your ideas, joshg (a fellow member of the Rational Train, if I recall), but, to nitpick, I seem to remember Encarnacion last year having a problem with reduced playing time, which he’d certainly have to accept with the Braves.

  81. Yeah Reggie can’t have very great memories with the Braves. Of course, my memories of him during his stint with the Braves aren’t great either.

  82. It’s a pretty odd assumption that “steroids” affect player performance and other drugs don’t. Doesn’t make sense to me. Like I said earlier in the thread, I think amphetamines are a bigger problem, and I don’t mean only that they’re more pervasive.

  83. Soon MLB is going to outlaw “Beaver Shooting,” and all of the other fun things from “Ball Four.”

    On Mike and Mike this morning they had Jim Bunning on and he siad, “I don’t ever remember seeing ‘greenies’ around.” After like 30 minuets of speculation Mike Greenburg finally remembered “Ball Four” (long after the Bunning had hung up) and then went back and discredited Bunning’s argument.

    How come we aren’t hearing more about Bouton’s book and how he talked about the Greenie problem fourty years ago?

  84. jenny-
    boston is a complete circus because the majority of their fans are clowns. the organization has to take them into consideration before making any decision. the braves don’t deal with that crap.
    plus, i’d like to think that our fans are not clowns. at least not the ones on this site.

    boston has no GM and i find that funny. don’t worry jenny, they’ll be OK. it’s just funny to see them scuffling right now. they really wanted Dayton Moore, too.

    So, on to Mr. Moore. it’s now obvious that JS’s exit plan involves Dayton Moore. This is a good thing. He built the farm and the farm is good. the team’s average age last year was like 16 even with grandpa franco and there are more kids to come. we should be happy that he’s the guy. he’s done an incredible job.

    as far as the faction talk…who cares. i’m surprised people think everything has always been honky dory. i mean, seriously, has there ever been a workplace in the history of workplaces where people didn’t disagree and form their own opinions? everyone knows that JS is stepping down. let’s not undersell the braves’ gm position. It’s a pretty sweet-ass gig. hell, i’d probably start my own faction, too.

    the braves are in good shape. just don’t trade marte.

  85. How did Greenberg manage to forget “Ball Four?” It’s only been in every single newspaper article since yesterday. Maybe he doesn’t know how to read? That’s ridiculous. How can you go anywhere with a discussion on amphetamines and not remember that book until half an hour later?

    Good to know I’m not the only one not seeing an FO intrigue here, although I’m not sure I agree with the conclusion that you can eliminate the possiblity of an FO problem by observing the on-field product. The Red Sox won 95 games this year and almost their division, yet I have heard that the situation in the FO was very bad, worse than people have speculated. The source? Theo Epstein’s mother. I think she would know. Notice I’m not saying that it means there IS an FO problem, just that it can’t be eliminated by the on-field product. Stuff can be swept under the rug, especially in Atlanta, where the team is very close-mouthed. But in this case, I see no reason to believe there is a problem.

  86. Greenberg is an idiot and they put him on the air with Golic. I still can’t figure out why I listen to them.

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