His MVP candidate season was peculiar in that other than home runs and slugging percentage (and RBI, though that’s mostly team context) his offensive numbers were pretty flat. He hit .263 with a .347 OBP; his career norms are .267 and .342. You would think that, if nothing else, 15 additional homers would mean 15 additional hits, but it didn’t work out that way, for whatever reason. JC would like me to say here that PrOPS thinks Andruw was hit-unlucky last year. If the hits fall, he could lose a few homers and still have better overall numbers; .280/.360/.580, maybe.
Set a career high in HBP; my theory on that (that Andruw, for some reason, plays better when he’s getting hit) may have legs. Arrested a trend of increasing GIDP; his 19 were the second-highest of his career, but five fewer than in 2004; it had been rising each year since 2001.
Ruben Sierra, at long last, is no longer Andruw’s most-comparable hitter. He has been passed by a bona fide Hall of Famer, Frank Robinson. Sierra is second. The rest of the list is made up of Hall of Famers (Kaline, Mathews, Aaron), will-be Hall of Famers (Junior Griffey, Barry Bonds), should-be Hall of Famers (Santo) and should-have-been Hall of Famers (Strawberry, Juan Gonzalez). Andruw’s moving into that territory. One of Bill James’ projection systems has him finishing his career with over 550 homers and nearly 3000 hits. His 50th homer last year was also the 300th of his career. While Chipper is passing Murphy on the Atlanta leaderboards, Andruw is starting to move past Hank for third. Needs 92 hits for 1500, 106 RBI for 1000, 26 doubles for 300. Will probably be the Atlanta record holder for career homers, possibly as soon as the 2007 (depending upon Chipper’s health).
Probably has slowed down some in the outfield, but stats showing him as basically average last year in center are fishy to me; there are all sorts of peculiarities in last year’s outfield stats for the Braves, and I don’t think any conclusions should be drawn there. He’s no longer a good basestealer, and doesn’t run much anymore.
IF Andruw can hit 45 and Chipper 38 HR, we should be in good shape
I think Chipper’s days of hitting 38 HR are gone – I wonder what Andruw’s chances are of breaking the career record for K’s held by Reggie Jackson.
Here it is the quote of the week:
During a radio interview with Stephen A. Smith Monday Isiah Thomas said, “I’m gonna tell ya … if I see this guy Bill Simmons, oh, it’s gonna be a problem with me and him …”
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!
Go read the cowbell segment on Simmons’s site, it is worth it!
And, he’s taking on the world as the sole competitor from the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.
He has a good arm so I bet he can pitch and he can cover some ground and will get to hit nine times. I think he will win two games.
Maybe Blyleven can come out of retirement. He’d have to be one of their better pitchers still.
“…The Netherlands, which will train at Disney’s Wide World of Sports from March 3-6 and face the Braves in an exhibition game on March 5.”
Wow, Andruw will hit a ball and have to go catch it!
The Dutch team won’t be stealing too many bases because it’s tough to run in those wooden shoes.
Alexander Smit is a solid LH pitching prospect in the Twins’ minor league system. Randall Simon and Hensley “Bam Bam” Muelens are also Curacao natives, so I imagine they can put a team together.
Vicotr Zambrano got $3 million to avoid Arb.At least HoRam was over .500 this season
Maybe Rik Smits can learn how to play baseball.
Aruba’s a Dutch colony too. Will Sir Sidney Ponson be out of jail in time for the tournament?
Somebody needs to start a “Fire John Donovan” blog as a sidekick to “Fire Joe Morgan.” The guy’s most recent column is complete BS. He hands out offseason grades for the AL in a completely arbitrary manner, using double standards in some places and contradicting himself in others. Plus his evaluations are off. For example:
Anaheim: “A good team, but not improved at all. D”
If they’re already good by your own admission, why do they need to improve? And if they don’t, shouldn’t they at least get an average grade? D implies that they got WORSE.
How could we forget Ardley Jansen, a native of Curacao who’s right under our noses as an OF in our farm system?
Man…maybe we should all defect to the Netherlands…
Here we go, crazy Trade of the day…
I just got a text message from Cingular saying the Braves, Indians, and Royals are invovled in a three team deal.
ATL gets- Crisp and Rafael Betancourt form Cleveland and Mike Sweeney from KC
Cleveland gets- Langerhans, Mark Teahan,Jorge Sosa, and Brian Pena
KC gets- Chuck James,LaRoche, and Betemit
That trade actually really makes sense… weird considered it came from Cingular….
I meant considering… it’s been a long day….
Yeah Rob, I was shocked as you are
We give up Sosa, LaRoache, Betemit, Langerhans, Chuck James and Bryan Pena
And get Crisp, Betencourt, and Sweeney
At least it was just some stupid rumor……otherwise we’d get fleeced.
I dunno – I would probably do that. Coco Crisp is pretty good. It’s definitely not a slam dunk either way, at least in my opinion.
Bill Simmons’ new column is up on ESPN. He pretty much is a self-parody at this point: complaints about the refs in the Pats game? Check (Probably at least 1000, maybe even 1500 words dedicated to this). Talk about “the Manning face” and how much Peyton sucks? Check. Isiah Thomas criticism? Check. Pro wrestling homage? Check. Reference to bad 80s TV shows? Check (The White Shadow).
Could Sosa even be traded while under salary arbitration?
Speaking of which, I think the hated Fish got the steal of the year with what they’re paying D-Train Willis. Purely my opinion, but the USA Today article about arbitatration salaries make him look pretty good when compared to what the O’s are paying Bruce Chen.
It has a lot to do with service time
Crisp is great and Betancourt is a good pitcher. Sweany leaves us with out a left handed hitter
Willis got or will get the highest salary ever awarded a first year pitcher, I believe. So yes, he’s a bargain compared with some, but not compared with anyone else of similar service time. He will be up around market value ($10m per year, probably) by his last arb year, the 2008 season.
If I were the Fish, I would have signed Dontrelle Willis to a 6-year, $40 million contract.
Quick question: would you trade Jeff Francouer for Billy Wagner?
We’d give up 6 players to get 3…so lets break it down this way.
Take our two weakest in this trade for the weakest we receive…Betencourt
So it would be Langerhans and Betemit for Betencourt.
Betencourt: 2.79 ERA…71 SO…67 IP..only 17 BB
Next lets take Sosa and Pena to Cleveland for Crisp
Crisp: .300 avg…16 HR…69 RBI…15 SB…345 OBP
Next its LaRoache and James for Sweeney
Sweeney: .300 avg…21 HR…83 RBI…517 Slug.
Result of this trade.
While most people are down on LaRoache I don’t see where losing him and James for Sweeney, who DH’d all of last year, would benefit the Braves. Even if you substitute in Betemit or Pena I still don’t see the dramatic increase in production over what LaRoache alone could give us.
I say cut out the Royals and work with the Indians. Getting Crisp and Betencourt would be a tremendous boost to the lineup. Just a matter of who to give up.
Nats look like they may not go after Sammy. I hope we don’t either
Wow this is the most discussion I have ever had over one of my trades!
I was just thinking why are we analyzing a fictitious trade?
In other news, Bill Polian (GM, Colts) blasted the O’line and said it wasn’t Manning’s fault.
Brayan Pena is by far the least worthwhile person in that trade.
Unsurprising re: Polian. Jaworski on PTI said that it was the worst game he’d seen the Colts O-line play in the last 8 years. The problem is that even so, Peyton shouldn’t have said what he said. Because this was bound to happen as a result. Also because he didn’t play that well. But to blame it completely on him, as many are eager to do, is of course stupid.
Kyle, you’ve just been invited on board the Rational Train. The ticket is yours if you want it.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, though, the party’s always on the Irrational Train.
What’s the difference between the Irrational Train and the Crazy Train?
Chipper Jones’ at-bats.
As for Simmons, I’m willing to forgive a lot for an Ali Haji-Sheikh reference.
Someone let me know when Bill Simmons is done whining about the Patriots game. Every time I think I’m over it, he comes in with some new revelation about how bad it was that just rubs salt in the wound. When he’s done with that, I’ll start reading him again.
Jenny, he has lost his edge, he will talk about it forever, or until Zeek gets a hold of him
Who knew Mark Mulder would be on the Netherlands team?
And Francoeur is on the US team.
I think you should at least prove that you’ve actually been to a country before you can be on one of their national teams.
If we extended this “national team” principle to every day life, what a mess we’d have.
My grandmother grew up in Georgia. I think I should be allowed to vote there. Maybe even get in-state tuition!
I want to play for the Irish team, but we didn’t get invited. I guess we aren’t part of this world.
Off-topic question: Which is the bigger honor, having your number retired, or being in the hall of fame? There’s room for thousands of plaques in the hall, but only so many numbers to go around, so I am currently leaning numbers, but I’m not married to it… what do you guys think?
I’d say being in the Hall is better, because having your number by a team is like being in that team’s Hall of Fame, whereas being in the Hall applies to all of baseball.
By the way, I’m not sure I agree with your math: there are only 261 people in the Hall, whereas there are 30 teams, each of which has 100 numbers to give out.
Jackie Robinson’s the only person whose number has been retired by EVERY team, and it’s likely that he’ll stay the only one.
delg’s point is that, eventually, every team will run out of numbers. However, 1000 years from now, there could be a heck of a lot of people in the Hall.
By the way, the Mets just signed swingman Yusaku Iraki to a one-year deal. Iraki, whose name is Japanese for “Satoru Komiyama” and “Kazuhisa Ishii,” is about as likely to be a good pitcher this year as James Belushi is to become an action star.
Here’s the story: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2297335
Joey, I see what you’re saying, but in a thousand years there will be teams on every planet in the galaxy, uniforms will employ digital technology to reflect irrational and imaginary numbers, and Bert Blyleven will still be getting 57% of the vote for the Hall. Therefore, I think the Hall is still preferable.
Yusaku Iraki is also German for “Dan Kolb.”
Don’t forget that one of our future players may also “pull a Prince” and decide to have an symbol instead of a number on his jerey.
Let’s actually use spellcheck this time:
Don’t forget that one of our future players may also “pull a Prince” and decide to have a symbol instead of a number on his jersey.
Sorry for the double-post but I just had to correct it.
To join in the anal retentive party, it actually wasn’t a spell-check error, it was a grammatical error. You misused an article with regards to the rule about consecutive consonants and vowels 😉
And to make matters worse, you misspelled the word jerey in your follow-up post!
Anyone else going down for spring training? We’re thinking about going early in the month this year. It really depends on how our deadlines fall. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Braves v. Netherlands. I mean, the spring training games are basically pointless anyway (still great fun, though) and it’s not everyday that you get to see the Braves beat a foreign country.Plus, does anyone know the deal about visiting the practice fields during the day? Can anyone just go and hang out?
Well done, basil.
jenny, please, no more “I know about grammar” posts. The man already corrected his mistakes.
Who knew Mark Mulder would be on the Netherlands team?What the…? Does anyone know how they can do this? Or if he will actually play for them?
Well with no Irish team out there, I amy play for Japan or Korea. I took a Japanese history course in the fall, that should make me eligable.
With A-Rod on the American team for the next three days, doeas that mean we (Americans) are going to loose?
If I were Buck Martinez, I’d start Chipper, who’s wanted to be there all along, instead.
I think Buck has a man crush on A-Rod. I want Chipper to come off the bench, so he doesn’t get hurt.
Why can’t you start both? Who’s playing short? Jeter? A-Rod’s way better.
to keep everyone happy, i bet he rotates the starting lineup quite a bit
Urlhix, I’ll be going down for spring training at the beginning of March, and I already have tickets to see the opening game of the Classic, Dom. Rep. vs. Venezuela. Planning on seeing the Braves game the preceding day, too.
In Futurama, Matt Groening’s cartoon that took place 1000 years in the future, all the regular numbers had been retired, so the players all had to wear fractions. Also, in one episode a billboard outside Shea Stadium read “1969 and 1986 World Champions,” implying that they hadn’t managed to pull off another won in the intervening years.
urlhix,,,I wish I were going on vacation.
It’s be worth seeing and it appeals to me, but totally I found I neverhad time to see it. It will take a long time…
Instead of going to Braves game, I am thinking of going to Singapore or Jeju island during the vacation.
Want to trade vacations? Yours sounds more fun than mine.
If we end up going around that time I’ll drop you a line and maybe we can grab a beer somewhere around mouseland. Too bad the Big Bamboo is gone, it was one of the best tiki dive bars in Florida. If you get a chance go check out Jai-alai in North Orlando, $1 to get in and you can gamble and drink while watching the world’s fastest ball sport. The s.o. likes it because there are a bunch of “hot Basque guys” playing but I think she secretly enjoys the game too. It is a cool part of old-school Florida culture that is still around.