No. 42: Charlie Leibrandt

charlie leibrandt.jpgLefthanded Pitcher
Seasons With Braves: 1990-92
Stats With Braves: 39-31, 3.35 ERA

I’ve written about Charlie at length before, but at the risk of repeating myself… Leibrandt was a rare hometown (or at least homestate) boy who got away from the Reds; after drafting him out of Miami University, they traded him to the Royals, where he won 76 games in six years. Schuerholz, for some reason, decided that he had to have Gerald Perry and traded Leibrandt to the Braves after the 1989 season, only to inherit him a year later when he took over the ballclub.

Charlie’s tenure with the club is probably the shortest of any player on the list, three years. He’s on the list for the simple reason that the Braves would not have won the division in 1991 without him. Of course, when you win by only one game that’s true of basically everybody, but a lot of guys were replaceable. Leibrandt, as the team’s one veteran starter, was a steadying influence on a very young staff; I think his role as a mentor to Glavine and Avery is unappreciated.

He pitched well in 1990 as well, but got no run support, and was an excellent #4 starter in 1992. After that season, he was traded to the Rangers to make room for Greg Maddux. He collapsed in 1993 and then retired. Maybe the Braves knew he was about to lose it, but I can’t see how.

Of course, his legacy is tainted by losing consecutive sixth games of the World Series, the latter to eliminate the team. He very nearly was the loser of the famous sixth game of the 1985 series as well, before the Cardinals forgot how to play.

I promise, we’ll get to a hitter soon.

Charlie Leibrandt Statistics –

81 thoughts on “No. 42: Charlie Leibrandt”

  1. At the rate this going, I don’t think there has to be any hope about getting the greatest 44 Braves done before the start of the 2007 season.

  2. Just read this on MLb Daily Rumors…

    The Braves hold an option on Danys Baez they have to pick up before Nov. 15 or he can become a free agent.

    I didnt think he had an option? If so, how much is the option. It might be worth picking it up and then trying to trade him if he’s not happy. There is more talk of the Giles to the Indians rumor

  3. I am really glad to see that Leibrandt makes the list. I believe that Leibrandt was a pivotal figure in the making of the Braves in the 1990s; he has probably been the most undervalued.

  4. The BCS is ridiculous. It’s not even worth mentioning, Wryn. Somehow, Cal is 10th and Tennessee is 11th.

  5. This is going to create a lot of interesting debate over who is included and who is ranked above whom. It’s also great for fans like my son, who may not appreciate the Little Bulldog’s place in Braves history.

    I guess as a long-toothed Braves fan, I tend to put more value in what in shorthand would be “Braves career value” rather than “Braves peak value,” e.g., guys like Benedict, Lum and Ramirez would probably be higher on my list than yours. Some of that is pure sentiment. But I will withhold comment until the list is much more complete and I see if there are any gross injustices.

  6. I like the fact that Auburn, who was beat by Arkansas, can play for the National Championship and also can avoid the conference championship. How does that happen?

    If Arkansas wins out they can play FL in the championship game. Ohio St and Michigan have to play each other so that basically moves Auburn to 3. USC will lose at least 1 game to UCLA, Cal, or Notre Dame. My guess is if Notre Dame beats USC they will get a whole lotta love and probably move ahead of Auburn. This system gets worse every year.

  7. I don’t think Leibrandt’s legacy is tainted by the WS losses because they wouldn’t have been in the World Series without him.It was just one of those things. He did a great job in ’91 and ’92.

    I like Mike Lum too, even though I guess he wasn’t such a good player. I do remember that Lum actually pinch hit for Hank Aaron once in a game the Braves were leading 15-3. Not many guys can say they pinch hit for Henry Aaron.

  8. I love it how one loss disqualifies you from playing for a championship. I believed Tuberville before he lost to Arkansas, and I still believed him after he lost to Arkansas, and now that they’ve beaten Florida, there’s no way Auburn is not worthy of consideration over some unbeaten team that doesn’t play the SEC. Go to a playoff. Honestly, come on. Tuberville’s making a lot of good points and no one’s listening.

    As for my team, Florida can beat Tennessee, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, FSU, and Auburn, but not even be considered for the BCS game because of their loss in week 7 to a GREAT team. Bullcrap.

  9. Oh, and even though I sound like I’m a sore loser: WOW what a team Auburn has. My goodness, they are incredible. They turned Florida’s offense in the second half into mush. That’s not an easy task. Wow, they’re good.

  10. I really think Chris Leak just had a terrible second half. Drop punts, fumble by the quarterback, bad offensive line….Florida gave that game away. Auburn is above average, but not great….

  11. I was going to mention Chris Leak. He really blew it and lots of GatorNation is calling for Tim Tebow. A lot of people were calling for Tebow to come in with :35 left in the fourth. That’s just foolish. He’s a 18 year old freshman who’s yet to play even an entire quarter. Just not going to work, no matter how good he’s been. And this is coming from the creator of the Facebook group The Unofficial Tim Tebow Fan Club…

    Why can’t our punter catch a snap right to the chest? Why did we only throw the ball 17 times all game when we destroyed LSU the week before through the air? Why did Tebow only have 4 plays (3 runs and a decoy play) when he lit up LSU in limited duty the week before? What’s the deal, Urban?

  12. I completely forgot that the Braves did have three lefties in a rotation at one time with Leibrandt, Glavine, and Avery.

  13. Rob, I said the same thing during the game. They spread out the field in the first half and then got conservative. The Auburn defense looked better, but only because of Leak’s mistakes and a complete collapse of FL offensive line. Leak’s pass that was intercepted was one of the worst throws I’ve seen all year from any team. If you can get pressure on him, he’ll just fall apart.

  14. Tuberville’s making a lot of good points excuses and no one’s listening.

    Fixed that for you.

    Florida gave that game away. Auburn is above average, but not great….

    Agree with this completely. I thought Florida lost the game much more than Auburn won it.

    It’s going to be interesting to see if West Virginia gets a spot in the NC if (when?) USC loses. I think they are going to have to absolutely destroy Louisville to get enough popular support.

  15. From Braves mailbag..

    I’ve read that Juan Pierre will be a free agent. Is there any chance the Braves will sign him to be their leadoff hitter?
    — Drew M. Prattville, Ala.

    Obviously Pierre is an option to fill the leadoff spot. While filling that role in his career, he’s compiled a .350 on-base percentage and hit .302. At the same time, he’s always proven to be a good base stealer.

  16. sorry it didnt post the full thing…

    But when they had a chance to get Pierre last year, the Braves decided that his weak arm would be too much of a liability, even as a left fielder. He’s still got that same weak arm and, thus, I don’t think he’ll be playing with Atlanta anytime soon.

  17. Robert, one thing to think about. When Arkansas loses to South Carolina, Tennessee, or LSU, that will also hurt Auburn in the computer polls. I think Auburn will play Fla, both w/ one loss, in the Sec championship, but neither one will play for a National Title. I hate Notre Dame, but I’ve got a weird feeling that when they beat USC they will make a huge jump w/ everyone. That sucks in my opinion!

  18. When Arkansas loses to South Carolina, Tennessee, or LSU, that will also hurt Southern Cal in the computer polls.

    Notre Dame at 8 is the best chance in my opinion for a team not named Florida to jump us at season’s end. Yes, WV might briefly jump us, but looking long-term, ND worries me.

    Things balance out. Maybe we can get a break here for the robbery in 2004.

    Here’s one that made me laugh:
    15: Boise State
    16: Rutgers
    18: LSU

    Yes, I know, 15 & 16 are undefeated, 18 has two losses, but if you put LSU against Rutgers and Boise 20 times, I’m pretty sure LSU wins 15+ times easy.

    Also, it makes me chuckle when I see who isn’t in these BCS Top 25’s. No Penn State. No Florida State. No Georgia. No Alabama. The landscape of college football is changing.

  19. Robert, first of all, don’t edit my posts. If I want a secretary, I’ll give you a call.

    Second, these aren’t excuses. No other conference deals with this. After his team went undefeated in ’04 and Mr. Stoops in Oklahoma decided to abuse his power and put AUBURN at 23rd, putting Oklahoma in the title game over Auburn, Tuberville’s very justified in his points. He’s made it very clear that his team lost to Arkansas, and he’s not making excuses about it. Bottom line is that no one could have gone through the SEC unbeaten this year. It just wasn’t going to happen. I hoped Florida could have, but it didn’t happen, and we still have to play Georgia and South Carolina. We got beat by one of the MANY good teams the SEC brings to the table, unlike the Big 10.

    Excuses? I’m really not liking Auburn right now because my team just lost to them, but Tuberville is making good points. Only one loss in the SEC should not disqualify you from the title picture; it should guarantee your place in it.

  20. Notre Dame’s computer number is pretty good right now, but it’s going to go down with their upcoming tour of the service acadamies plus North Carolina. They could jump Auburn, but I’d still be more worried about West Virginia were I an Auburn fan.

    West Virginia is going to pick up Louisville, Rutgers, and Pitt as opponents and that will help their sorry computer numbers. Throw in the strong bias that voters have for undefeated teams and I find it hard to believe Auburn could squeeze by them. It might be different if AU had lost a controversal or real close game, but they were flat out whipped. I don’t think the voters will go that much out of their way for them.

  21. Only one loss in the SEC should not disqualify you from the title picture; it should guarantee your place in it.

    I’m not going to waste my time with homerism like this. The SEC can be had, Auburn did it just two years ago. The whole ‘it’s impossible to go through the SEC unbeaten’ argument is ridiculous and demonstarbly false.

    Anyway, Auburn is really in pretty good position to step right in should a few other teams slip up. The scenarios for them making the NC game are pretty strong.

  22. Robert,

    You just really don’t have any idea what you’re talking about when it comes to college football, do you?

    On another note…how the heck is Cal above Tennessee in the BCS? That alone should tell you how worthwhile this system is.

  23. I guess Arkansas has a pretty good argument right now also. Only loss to USC, w/ out McFadd. and Mustain didnt start, also they beat Auburn. However over the next 4 to 5 weeks their argument will probably go away.

  24. From an SI article:

    Willie Randolph picked Oliver Perez for his Game 4 starter Sunday night based on talent. In terms of ERA, he would have had to flip a coin between Perez (6.55) and Dave Williams (6.52)

    That’s pretty funny, even though the Mets ended up winning.

  25. You just really don’t have any idea what you’re talking about when it comes to college football, do you?

    Actually yeah I do, but I’m just not a big SEC guy. Good league but always, always, always overrated because of their nonconference schedule and history. I mean Georgia was voted a Top 10 team for quite a while this year.

    On another note…how the heck is Cal above Tennessee in the BCS? That alone should tell you how worthwhile this system is.

    The system leaves a lot to be desired, totally agree. This particular silliness is because the computers absolutely love the Pac 10 so far. With few non conference games left, that’s probably not going to change much. And no I don’t agree with the conference rankings, but they are what they are at this point.

  26. I didn’t know you could edit other people’s comments. That’s sort of disturbing.

    I’m not exactly a Miami fan, but I am a graduate of the law school and I am, as I have been for 20 years, largely embarrassed by the “U” (as some of the Miami players call it.) It’s not as bad as when I was in school there–and it always strikes me as humorous how Michael Irvin now comes across as a good citizen–but still pretty bad. On the other hand, whenever I deal with someone from a more prestigious law school, I can generally say, well your law school is better, but my football team can beat the hell out of yours. Now, I don’t even have that.

  27. Wait…there are less prestigious law schools than Miami, Marc?

    I kid!

    As a semi-fan of Tennessee (and as the son of an alumnus who is a full-fledged fan), though, I can definitely feel your pain. The Leonard Littles, Jamal Lewises, and Albert Haynesworths of the program’s recent history (not to mention the Onterrio Smiths, James Bankses, and Brent Schaeffers, who were so bad that even Fulmer had to get rid of them) are quite embarrassing.

  28. Somehow, I don’t see Schuerholz as the guy to pay the expensive fee just to talk to these Japanese pitchers.

  29. The BCS & the collegiate football “national championship” are the dumbest, least legit things in the history of American sports.

    If they had the BCS for baseball, the Braves or Indians might have 3 or 4 WS trophies. If they had it for the NFL, Indianapolis would have 2 Super Bowl trophies. But in those sports, you have to actually earn the opportunity to win a title—it’s not given to you by a computer or voters who vote on your reputation, or voters who don’t even watch your games. Silly beyond silly. How is this legit? How can you call anyone a champion?

    Get a legit Div. 1 playoff that ends up in a real champion. Until then, it’ll always be suspect.

  30. There he goes again:

    What will the Braves do about their relievers next season? I don’t know about anyone else, but it seemed to me that the bullpen gave up most of the Braves games last season. Will this potential weak spot in the Braves pitching staff be addressed by the Braves, or will they let it go and see how some of these young guys do?
    — Ashley W., Greer, S.C.

    Along with Wickman, the second-half turnaround was sparked by the success enjoyed by Tyler Yates and Macay McBride, who once again will return to be valuable bullpen pieces. As for Oscar Villarreal, his ability to work both long and short relief proved invaluable.

    So knowing Wickman, Yates, Villarreal and the left-handed McBride are already in place, the Braves bullpen will enter the 2007 season feeling a lot better about their relievers. If Blaine Boyer is able to fully recover from shoulder surgery, he’ll also find himself as a key cog.

    Right now, it appears they may need to find another left-handed reliever and possibly find a veteran reliever capable of being the reliable primary setup man that Wickman needs. Yates could prove quite capable of filling this role.

    Why Tyler Yates, why? Because he is cheap?

  31. well I guess if he’s going to suck at least it’ll be for cheap, thats a little better than what we are getting from Reitsma and Sosa this past year.

  32. Said Athletics GM Billy Beane, “Ken was pliant, but occasionally would do what he wanted without consulting me first. I needed a manager who would do the bidding of the front office without question every time and had no initiative of his own.

    “So I would like to introduce the new manager of the A’s, Mark Bowman. Come on up here, Peanut.”

  33. Stu,

    What makes you think Miami isn’t a prestigious law school–just because our professors came to class in bathing suits? –;)
    As for UT, I grew up in Tennessee, following the Vols in the sixties. My relatives are still Vols fans. It was a lot different environment, of course. Tennessee was a solid program, but people didn’t have the expectations that it would always compete for a national championship. I have a hard time getting into college football these days because of how corrupt it all seems. I think it’s the same all over. When I was at Georgia for grad school, I knew a woman who tutored some of the players–guess what, they weren’t taking molecular chemistry and they weren’t coming to Georgia because of the political science program. Yes, the NFL has those same people, but at least they aren’t pretending to be students.)

  34. have we set a record for most managers being fired in one year. What is that 6 or 7 now.

    Nats, Giants, Cubs, A’s, Marlins, Rangers, who am I forgetting. I bet another one is soon to come, Blue Jays maybe!

  35. And it’s funny because it was the first year in a long time where no managers were fired during the season!

  36. “Now, that’s what I’m talking about,” Thomas said as the brawl raged out of control. “You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked. You don’t come into the OB playing that stuff. You’re across the ocean over there. You’re across the city. You can’t come over to our place talking noise like that. You’ll get your butt beat. I was about to go down the elevator to get in that thing.”

    “Anybody who knows me knows I played the game of football with my heart on my sleeve,” Thomas said. “Unfortunately for me during the fight I got a little hyped up. In no way do I condone fighting.”

    As the fight slowed, Thomas’ comments continued.

    “I say, why don’t they just meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more? You don’t come into the OB, baby,” Thomas said. “We’ve had a down couple years but you don’t come in here talking smack. Not in our house.” ……?????????????

    Someone needs to beat the crap out of this guy, I hope he loses his job for being utterly stupid and acting like a thug on the radio. “Your across the ocean over there.” The schools are 9 miles apart, what the crap is he talking about?

  37. And it’s funny because it was the first year in a long time where no managers were fired during the season!

    It’s hardly coincidental. These types of firings tend to have a domino effect; when one team fires it’s manager, other teams follow. These guys were all going to lose their jobs, the teams just all waited until the season’s conclusion.

  38. I have just come across the craziest argument I have heard in a long time on Baseball Fever.

    A poster believes it would be a big mistake for the Braves to trade Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I agree, but this is how the conversation has gone:

    525dp: I predict he will be traded this winter (possibly to KC or Florida) and it will come back to bite us in the “arse” big time!!

    Me: HA!! Don’t make me laugh!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!…….. HA!



    Okay I’m done.

    In all seriousness. You are telling us that Saltalamacchia is going to be oodles better than Brian McCann or McCann is going to have some serious career-ending injury.

    Is there something you know that you’re not telling us?

    525dp: Most scouts say he’s better defensively right now and they all say he can hit. He did hit .336 and hit 5 of his 9 HR’s since he came off the DL with the wrist injury, (which obviously along with his priority work on his defense led to his poor BA before the stint on the DL) continued to hit in Cuba with TeamUSA and is doing very well in the AFL. “Oodles” better than Heep? Only time will tell and I wish him the best.

    Uuhhh, yeah, could be.

    (He called Brian McCann “Heep”, anyone know what that means?)

    Me: Okay, so he’ll be a better backup than Pratt. I just assumed you were saying that he was going to be better than McCann. Unless McCann turns into Earl Williams overnight, Salty won’t be better than McCann, I think.

    525dp: 1. Salty is no back-up
    2. You should never “assume” anything
    3. I think you are wrong.

    Me: Give me a good reason why you think the Braves should trade Brian McCann in order to make room for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

    You must think very highly of Jarrod. You think he can do just as good as .333/.388/.572, if not better?

    That’s how it has gone so far.

  39. @61

    That’s what I said, but he didn’t buy it. He seems convinced that Salty is better than McCann RIGHT NOW. Scouts say he can hit? Sure, fine, but so can McCann, we all saw that.

    He hit 5 of his 9 homers after he came off the DL. Uh huh. So he went on a hot streak, big whoop.

    On a side note, I can’t believe he put oodles in quotation marks. Has he never heard of that nonsense word before?

  40. Well, “he”, “she”, it, whatever. This argument 525dp is putting out has very little to stand on.

  41. Robert, who is your college football team?

    USC. I graduated during the Paul Hackett era of pain and humiliation.

    I didn’t know you could edit other people’s comments. That’s sort of disturbing.

    I can’t edit people comments either. It’s just the ‘strike’ tag. Like this:

    well your law school is better, but my football team can will literally beat the hell out of yours.

  42. I don’t believe the Braves are going to trade Saltalamacchia. To who? And for what? If he is involved in a package for, say, Dontrelle Willis, go for it. But he did hit .326 after coming back from his wrist injury.

  43. “But he did hit .326 after coming back from his wrist injury.”

    Never mind, it was .338.

    “He did hit .336 and hit 5 of his 9 HR’s since he came off the DL with the wrist injury…”

    Oh my God, 525dp is Mark Bowman!

    Hampered by a wrist injury through this past season’s first three months, Saltalamacchia hit just .196. After July, he batted .338 and collected five of the nine homers he hit this season.

    (See link in post #49 on this thread.)

  44. I was doing a little poking around to see how Michigan jumped USC in the AP poll this week and came across this ballot from Jeff Metcalfe from the Arizona Republic:

    1 Ohio St.
    2 Michigan
    3 Tennessee
    4 California
    5 Texas
    6 West Virginia
    7 Southern Cal
    8 Notre Dame
    9 Louisville
    10 Arkansas
    11 Auburn
    12 Florida

    …and now I feel silly for concerning myself with what these people do. Apparently not a big SC fan.

  45. @68

    Hahahaha, well, I think I just proved or gave further proof that the Braves’ beat writer for isn’t that good at arguing. ;)

  46. I’ll keep you guys posted on this, because I fully expect this person to say that McCann should be traded in order for Salty to take the catcher’s job.

  47. Every team would love to have a catcher who can hit. If Salty turns out to be a future Johnny Bench, let’s just hope we get a Gary Nolan and Pedro Borbon in return, at the very least. Not sure how the gym teacher balances the deal, though.

  48. Not sure either. Some light will be shed on that in the future, I assume. But as right now, wheter first-catcher-first DP likes it or not, Salty is a great candidate to replace Todd Pratt as backup catcher.

  49. In a perfect world, I’d prefer Salty to Pratt, easily.

    Worst case scenario, however: Salty doesn’t hit Major League pitching & his trade value diminishes.

  50. I don’t know that the Braves will trade Salty. But given their recent history and the youth of McCann and Pena, as well as the success of McCann, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Braves trade him if the right (or right enough) deal came along. Obviously, I’m not advocating this, but it would fit the Braves’ pattern, especially if he has success during his Arizona fall campaign.

  51. #75

    What do you do if McCann gets hurt, as he did last year? Who do you use as Pena’s backup — a raw Salty? I suggest Todd Greene as McCann’s backup. He’s 35 and is a Georgia boy.

  52. I think McCann-Pena is the ticket. It’s always painful to trade someone you’ve developed, and who is thought of as highly as Salty, but there’s no place for him and we have needs. It would be silly not to entertain offers — how many teams wouldn’t want a power-hitting catcher prospect? How often does that come along? In terms of supply and demand, we should get $1.25 to the dollar by dealing him, and then I’ll wish him well.

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