#4: Chipper Jones

See the 44 Greatest Atlanta Braves here.

Switch Hitting, Righthanded Throwing Third Baseman/Left Fielder
Seasons With Braves: 1993; 1995-2006
Stats With Braves: .304/.402/.542 , 357 HR, 1197 RBI, 1188 RS

Chipper Jones has 1944 hits, 357 homers, and an MVP award, and has made $92,885,467 in his career. In a related note, I think Todd Van Poppel took my order at Jimmy John’s last night.

The Braves claim that they always were going to draft Chipper with the first pick in the 1990 draft, or at least that they were deciding between Chipper and Van Poppel when the latter announced he wouldn’t sign with a sad-sack organization like the Braves if they drafted him. This is nonsense; they were always focused on Van Poppel, and everyone was, and Chipper was a signability pick of sorts — even if he would have been taken second by the Tigers. Worked out pretty well — sometimes, you just get lucky.

At 19, Chipper was beating up the Sally League for Macon; at 20, he was in Greenville and doing much the same to the Southern League. At 21, he was an International League All-Star, and the only question was where the Braves were going to put him. Shortstop seemed unlikely, and then Blauser had a big year in 1993. Pendleton faded, and third base was the most prominent option, but then Ron Gant went dirt-biking. Chipper had the left field job sewed up in spring of 1994 when he bizarrely tore up his knee heading to first base on a ground ball and missed the “entire” season, opening the door for Klesko.

So he rehabbed, and Pendleton had another bad year and left as a free agent, and Chipper was inserted into the lineup at third base. He hit .265/.353/.450 with 23 homers and in a normal year likely would have been Rookie of the Year, but ran into the Nomo phenomenon. Chipper was probably a bit hit-unlucky; he has hit .295 or better in ten of the following eleven seasons, beginning with 1996 when he hit .309/.393/.530, made the all-star team, played shortstop when Blauser was embarrassingly bad and Pendleton was reacquired in trade, and finished fourth in the MVP voting.

After a power slump in 1997, Chipper bounced back in 1998 with another strong season. Then in 1999 he hit .319/.441/.633 with 45 homers, made the Mets cry, and won the MVP award going away, though the two fools who thought Matt Williams was the best player in the league should lose their voting privileges. (Not just for MVP, I mean they should lose all voting privileges.)

For the next two seasons, Chipper wasn’t quite as good, merely excellent, hitting over .300 with OBPs over .400 with over 35 homers. So they moved him to left field, for reasons that still aren’t clear. Vinny Castilla? Really? Chipper lost a bit of power in the move, but his average and OBP stayed the same. On the other hand, he started having leg problems that probably aren’t unrelated to the position change. Then Vinny left and the Braves, instead of moving Chipper back to third, tried to use Mark DeRosa there every day — thinking that sooner or later Andy Marte would take the spot. (Though, checking what I wrote in the DeRosa comment that year, I thought that the Braves really wanted someone else — Russ Branyan, Eli Marrero, or Wilson Betemit — to win the third base job that spring and only went with DeRosa when none of those played well.)

Anyway, that didn’t work, and Chipper was off to a terrible start in 2004, and finally after a stint on the DL he moved back to third base. His final numbers in 2004 look awful — .248/.362/.485 — but that is a fluke. The singles just didn’t fall, and his power and walks stayed constant. Unsurprisingly, he bounced back to his normal levels in 2005-2006, though he missed over 50 games each season with various injuries.

Chipper has passed Murphy for the lead in most of the counting stats; he is the Atlanta leader in hits, runs, RBI, total bases, doubles, and walks. As I’ve mentioned, he and Andruw will probably both pass Murphy on the franchise home run list this year, but with Andruw likely in his last Atlanta season Chipper should wind up the Atlanta leader there as well. He’s created far more runs in Atlanta, and is far more above-average, than any other player.

Chipper, oddly, has a Black Ink score of 0: he has never lead the league in any official category. On the other hand, his cumulative stats are quite good. His most-similar player is, as it has been for most of his career, Gary Sheffield, which seems odd but makes a lot of sense as both are high-walk players with good power, who came up young, played third base and outfield, and have missed time as they’ve aged. Chipper’s chance at the Hall probably depends upon how much he can stay in the lineup the next 3-4 years. He needs a few more 160-170 hit seasons to get to a Hall of Fame standard.

Chipper Jones Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

120 thoughts on “#4: Chipper Jones”

  1. Which also takes into account that Alex Rodriguez isn’t really a third baseman and Scott Rolen has been injured so stinking much.

  2. One thing you need to realize: third basemen are still underrepresented in the Hall of Fame, and there are probably more borderline third base candidates (Santo, Ken Boyer, Evans, Nettles, the first three of whom definitely should be in) out than at any other position.

  3. If Chipper got hit by a bus right now, I believe he’d get in the HOF. There’s nothing in his offensive game that you can say, “Yeah, but…” Average, walks, power—it’s all there. And for the RBI-fetish HOF voters, he’s got that in spades.

    I also believe that his career numbers compare favorably to the greatest offensive 3Bs of all time—that’s not, however, taking into account how good they were relative to their eras.

    I think the reason Chipper got moved to LF was because he was never a very good 3B. He was adequate, but he would never be confused for Nettles. I think Bobby & JS lost confidence in him.

    He did make some misplays that cost us in the post-season. One, in Game 1 of the 1997 NLCS vs. Fla was called a double (but it went right under his glove) and it was the crushing moment in a 4-run inning. Another, in Game 1 of the 2000 NLDS vs. StL was a big botch in the middle of a 6-run inning.

    But I agree that, in the end, moving him to LF may not have been the greatest thing for his limbs. Castilla could pick it, but I’m not sure we would’ve been any worse off with another LF instead of Castilla in the lineup & Chipper at 3B.

    Whatever. I’ll always think of him as a 3B. And I’ll always relish those great moments he’s had at Shea.

  4. I think you accidentally used Chipper’s 2006 line when you mention his career stats, which are “only” .304/.402/.542. I got real excited when I saw those numbers and started thinking that he’s been even better than I thought.

  5. Sorry, I have to reminisce real quick.

    In the late summer/early fall of 1999, I was going into the 9th grade. It was only the second or third week of school when the Mets came to town for that big 3-game series. I’m too lazy to do the research right now, but if memory serves it was pretty tight going into that series. Somehow, I got tickets to the first two games of the series. Good tickets, too.

    Watching Chipper unload on the Mets in that series, in person, from close-up, with all those transplanted Mets fans watching their season slip away–well, it was a beautiful thing and easily one of my top, if not all-time top, favorite baseball/Braves moments.

    Chipper Jones is great. I will be so angry if he doesn’t make it into the Hall. But I think he gets in. I just can’t wait to go to Cooperstown some day and see Chipper, Andruw, Maddux, Smoltz, and Glavine in there wearing Braves caps.

  6. Don’t sweat it, Tom. He’ll make it.

    This era of Braves is like the Brooklyn Dodgers of the late 1940s & 1950s–one title, 5 or 6 pennants & a good number of HOFers.

  7. As I’ve mentioned, he and Andruw will probably both pass Murphy this year, but with Andruw likely in his last Atlanta season Chipper should wind up the Atlanta leader there as well.

    Maybe I’m just not thinking clearly, but isn’t there something missing in that sentence?

  8. I once got scolded by JC when I said that the Braves didn’t use statistical analysis when making decisions. The Vinny Castilla acquisition is strong evidence in my favor. I hope that they never try to make Chipper an outfielder again. @4 ububba I remember those games too. Chipper looked lousy on some fairly routine plays. He ain’t Brooks Robinson but great defense at 3rd doesn’t win championships. If Murph is my favorite Brave, Chipper is 1A. A great player that one day when Mac does his next great top 44 a couple of years hence, may be the best Atlanta Brave ever.

  9. And those in the media should love him, because he’s always willing to talk (even if it is often cliched and sometimes self-laudatory).

  10. Chipper is my favourite Brave, and that said, I feel he is a bit away from the HoF. If he retired today or has a murphy-esque decline, he might not be in. But I think he should be in. best OPS by a 3rd baseman in the NL even last year..
    There were couple of threads on Chipper for HoF on Primer sometime ago..
    Will link to them if I find sometime later today

  11. It’s hard to write a tribute to Chipper when I’ve spent so many years begging him to come in big for the Braves. And he almost always does. And I always want more. It’s totally unfair to him.

    The biggest knocks on Chipper are mostly BS. It’s like; he’s great, but not that great, ya’ know. Poster boy looks. He was the Man in 1999, but mostly just very good otherwise. Only one WS ring.

    It’s all baloney. Chipper’s a great ballplayer. Whitey Herzog said he was more valuable to the Braves than the Big 3. I’ve been lucky to see him play so much.

    Someday. when I get to explain switch hitters to my grandson, I’ll be glad to mention Mickey. But the Braves had a guy who could wail from both sides with the best of them. I think his real name was Larry Wayne.

  12. Having spent gobs of time over at Baseball Reference, I was surprised that Larry had zero Black Ink points. Regardless, I think he is a lock for the Hall. I was a senior in high school when he was drafted, and recall how pissed I was that TVP was taking a hard stance with respect for only signing with a ‘good’ team – thank you a hundred times over Todd for being such a turd.

  13. I look forward to Chip being a Braves first baseman for many years. His health seems to be his downfall and major long term slumps over the last two seasons. It will be interesting to see in 2007 what Chipper Jones shows up.
    I hope he is shuffled to 1B very soon. Although I am an old school Braves guy, and with all sports not just my Bravos, I will not get attached to any one player, Chipper is a strong asset to have and seems like a leader, not a Jeter type leader but an Olerud type leader

  14. Here is the main thread for the Chipper for HoF.
    Discussion really heats up on the second page..I remember that SI and Fox ran couple of articles on this issue a week after this thread had been posted !!

  15. I think one small thing that works in Chipper’s favor is his visibility as an opponent to the New York teams. Chipper, Andruw, and Manny Ramirez have played more high-profile games against Gotham teams than anyone else over the past 11 seasons. When it comes time to measure the writers’ subjectivity, I think that counts for something.

  16. I think at this point Chipper makes it, but if he doesn’t stay healthy and put together a couple more big seasons, people might forget how good he was. A lot depends on who becomes eligible with him. It’s ridiculous that Santo is not in the Hall and I think part of the problem is that people think of third as a power position, but not that many third basemen have huge numbers of home runs so they get overlooked. It would really help Chipper if he could at least get close to 500.

  17. While his injuries have been a problem of late, it’s worth remembering that over his first 8 years he only missed a total of 43 games – fewer than he missd in 0206 alone. And I’d bet a good many of those came after the Braves clinched.

    Chipper is a ridiculously good hitter who very likely will get in to the Hall after a few more years of accumulating stats. His main problem is that a lot of the things that made him valuable don’t get a lot of attention – walks are the big one, but also a lot of his SLG has been built on doubles offsetting a lack of truly gaudy home run totals. His defense has been reputed as worse than it likely is, though that notion was only reinforced when Bobby moved him for Vinny.

    I hadn’t considered the possibility that his dominating of the Mets would inflate his chances with NY voters. So that’s a good thing.

    I’ve never thought of him as a favorite inthe way I did Maddux, mostly because of his tendency to be quotable about the failures of others and absent for comment when he has screwed up. However, I respect his desire to remain a Brave, the deals he’s taken to do so and the restructuring, and the general willingness to do whatever he thought was necessary for the team. He’s a hell of a player, and one who never gives away at-bats (yeah, I’m looking at you, Andruw), and he’s carried this offense so often.

  18. rumor this morning…

    Anyway, as for Giles, the Padres might possibly be downplaying their need to get a second baseman right away _ they keep saying there’s a glut and they can get one later _ because they’re posturing and want to the Braves or another team to trade them one straight-up for Scott Linebrink, the reliever that San Diego seems to be pumping up in order to trade him.

    The Padres talk about him as though Linebrink is as valuable as a decent starting pitcher, like he’s worth more than any other setup man and blah blah blah. I’m not seeing what they’re trying to sell. He’s good, granted. Real good. But he’s a setup guy and hasn’t really shown the ability to be a closer if that’s what was needed later.

    And look at his numbers last season, how they tailed off right about the time the Braves were talking to the Padres and they Padres were trying to get Wilson Betemit (San Diego claims they wouldn’t trade Linebrink for Betemit, straight up, but I don’t think that’s the case.)

    Linebrink was 6-2 with a 2.62 ERA and .199 opponents’ average in 42 appearances through July 17, but 1-2 with a 4.94 ERA and .299 opponents’ average in 31 games the rest of the way. Huge difference.

    While his save opportunities have generally come in less-than-favorable conditions (often the case for saves with setup guys or middle guys), it’s worth noting he’s blown 19 of 22 career save opportunities, including 9 of 11 last season.

    As for Giles, there’s supposedly mixed opinions among Padres executives, some of whom believe that having two of the, uh, colorful Giles brothers in one clubhouse might be one too many.

  19. Linebrink was 6-2 with a 2.62 ERA and .199 opponents’ average in 42 appearances through July 17, but 1-2 with a 4.94 ERA and .299 opponents’ average in 31 games the rest of the way. Huge difference.

    You could look at it that way, or you could say:

    ERA through 7/22: 2.70
    ERA on 7/22 and 7/23: 32.40 (6 ER in 1.2 IP)
    ERA from 7/24 on: 3.29

    Either way is correct — I just wanted to point out that he was very bad for two days, but consistently good otherwise.

    While his save opportunities have generally come in less-than-favorable conditions (often the case for saves with setup guys or middle guys), it’s worth noting he’s blown 19 of 22 career save opportunities, including 9 of 11 last season.

    Most of these aren’t just unfavorable — they’re not opportunities at all. Giving up the tying run in the eighth inning is a blown save, even when there was no chance Linebrink was going to be in the game in the ninth inning.

  20. At 1st I thought the Giles trade would pretty much be a done deal in SD. The more I read articles and rumors it seems less likely. Reports are they have around $30 mil to spend and are looking heavily at Soriano. Also, they have a couple of cheaper options than Giles also. I guess it shows us not to get to worked up over these rumors because you never know what will happen. Its certainly entertaining though!

  21. Thinking about trading partners for Giles, its a weak market.
    NL :
    a) STL : I vote this is most likely to happen. We will probably end up with something crummy like Kinney
    b) COL : jamey carroll’s last season notwithstanding…Rockies have lots of nice hitting prospects. If we can snag one of them
    c) CIN/SDP : They have nothing to offer really.

    AL :
    No real candidates
    Drays might bite. Twins want someone to play third, but they are as cheap as us. OAK might bite as Beane was mucho interested in Giles when he was cheap and good..But nothing likely.

    It looks like the best option might be to hold onto him and wait for the trading deadline!!

  22. Chipper….my all time favorite player(Braver or MLB) No one will ever pass him up in my mind. I think he should at least be #2, but thats just my biased opinion. :)

  23. “It looks like the best option might be to hold onto him and wait for the trading deadline!!”

    Maybe, maybe not. But I strongly believe that Giles has less than a 5% chance of being in a Braves’ uniform at all in 2007. That’s just me however.

  24. I know alot of people on here have been quick to dismiss the idea of Glavine returning to the Braves(mostly cause of the money) but he has said he still isnt certain if he wants to stay with the mets or return back to the Braves(which his family have said they want)….I have a feeling that he’s going to stay with the mets just because all that $$$…but there is still a part of me that says he will take a pay cut and come back home…

  25. Jay10, I think its the same thing that Mussina pulled on the Yanks. Mussina was saying he would be open to signing with the Mets and the Yanks quickly gave him a 2 year deal. Glavine is going through the motions and playing his cards right. He’ll stay

  26. The Van Poppel story needs some illumination for the kiddies.

    Todd Van Poppel was the consensus No. 1 pick in the draft, a tall, flamethrowing high school senior. In 1989, the Braves sucked for the nth year in a row and had finished dead last for the nth year in a row. Braves had the first pick in the draft, and they wanted Van Poppel bad.

    However, Todd repeatedly told the Braves that he was going to go to college, so don’t draft me (meaning, rather than play for Team Crap). The Braves weren’t sure he was bluffing, but decided not to take the chance, passing on Todd and picking up a kid named Larry Jones in Fla.

    Meanwhile, Todd started getting calls from Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, saying, “Hey come play with us. We’re in the World Series every year.”

    Todd suddenly decided college couldn’t be all that important, and the A’s picked him up as something like No. 23 overall. It was a straight out con job.

    And it’s probably one of the best things ever to happen to the Braves.

    Todd’s career line: 40-52, ERA 5.58.

    In 1994 he led the AL in walks. IN 95 his ERA+ was 54.

    Chipper’s MVP year, Todd was out of the league. He came back as a mediocre middle reliever.

    He has a value of 1 on the HOF Monitor. He fares much better on the HOF Standards: 2.

    Karma.

    Damn right I’m gloating.

  27. I went to high school in Deland, Florida. One of the guys I played D&D with played with Chipper on the Deland American Legion team the year before Chipper was drafted. Back then Chipper was both a pitcher and shortstop. When I heard Chipper was the Braves’ draft, I asked him what Chipper was like. He answered something like “he’s an asshole, and gets into fights, but he’s real good.”

  28. Speaking of No. Fla., here’s an odd fact: Chipper Jones went to the same high school as the late, great singer/songwriter Gram Parsons—The Bolles School in Jacksonville.

  29. I used to think Tom Glavine was seriously coming back, but now I think he’s just giving the Braves lip service to get something more (money/years/perks) from the Mets.

    In other news, a few newspapers and blogs are saying the Rangers won the bidding for Daisuke Matzusaka. Take that Yankees and Mets. Of course, that also means no ESPN love for Mr. Matzusaka.

    And finally, I think Bowman is starting to see that Tyler Yates! is not set-up man. He seems to think/want Giles or Ramirez traded for some bullpen help. I give Giles a 95% of being gone by 2007, Ramirez 50%, Hudson 20% and Andruw 0.5%.

  30. Ububba, great comparison with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The only difference I can see is that while they were offense-heavy, we’re pitching-heavy. Jones and Jones are probably the only two position players from the run to make it to the Hall of Fame, since I agree with Mac that Javy probably won’t make it (even though there is certainly a case to be made).

  31. “In other news, a few newspapers and blogs are saying the Rangers won the bidding for Daisuke Matzusaka. Take that Yankees and Mets. Of course, that also means no ESPN love for Mr. Matzusaka.”

    Well, maybe not. Now Busty Olney is saying the Red Sox may have won. Red Sox or Rangers, interesting stuff.

  32. yeah…I heard the Rangers offer was around $30mil …this guy better be great, for all this that teams are willing to go through…

  33. AAR,

    Maybe Javy is our Gil Hodges, someone who’s on the HOF borderline, but perhaps unjustifiably on the outside.

    BKN in HOF: Snider, Robinson, Reese, Campanella (no pitchers)
    ATL to be in HOF: Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, C. Jones, A. Jones.

    It’s funny. If ATL wins the ’96 WS, they’re viewed like the Big Red Machine; instead it’s the Boys of Summer.

  34. Maybe Javy is our Gil Hodges, someone who’s on the HOF borderline, but perhaps unjustifiably on the outside.

    BKN in HOF: Snider, Robinson, Reese, Campanella (no pitchers)
    ATL to be in HOF: Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, C. Jones, A. Jones.

    I could have sworn Don Newcombe had been inducted, but I just looked it up and saw that you were right. I guess I could be technical about it and say that both Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale pitched for the last Brooklyn team to win the pennant, but obviously neither contributed until the move west and are not part of the Boys of Summer crowd.

    I think that Javy won’t even get the 5% needed to stay on the ballot. He is clearly better than some HoF catchers, but his career numbers aren’t that great and he’ll be remembered as the guy who couldn’t catch Maddux.

  35. bamadan,

    Yeah, Newk wasn’t really in MLB that long. I believe he also lost some playing time to a stint in the service.

    Another Brooklyn Dodgers tidbit: Every work day for the past 10 years, I’ve driven by the site of Campy’s accident on Dosoris Lane in Glen Cove, LI. Kinda weird, I think.

  36. ububba, I like the Brooklyn Dodgers analogy better than the Minnesota Vikings/Buffalo Bills one way better too. I think it fits better since we won one. How right you are. If we don’t choke against the Yankees there is no analogy to almost dynasties.

  37. Anyone who makes the Bills/Vikings analogy with the Braves is an absolute fool. Have a little effort, boys; there’s this thing called the internet. Use it.

  38. Bamadan, I was thinking the same thing about Newk. It looks like he fell off a bit after winning 27 games in 1956, the year he won the Cy AND the MVP. (And the Dodgers just SQUEAKED by the Braves into the Series.) I guess that kind of a year’ll do that to you.

    The Brooklyn Dodgers had one other Hall of Fame pitcher, of course, but his name was Tommy Lasorda.

  39. Biggio also agreed to one more season in Houston, in which he’ll be able to pursue 3000 hits (70 to go) and the 300-300 club (19 homers to go).

    I’m happy about this. He’s one of the greatest players of his generation, one of the great second baseman ever, and I’m glad that he’ll never play for another team. I kind of hope Bagwell retires too, because watching him the last couple years has been absolutely painful, although I guess he could rack up some counting stats for his HOF bid if he’s a DH. They both deserve to be in the Hall anyway, and it sure would be nice to have them go in as teammates who always played together and never played for another team. Kind of sappy, I know, but baseball makes me sentimental sometimes.

  40. Here’s another odd fact about Chipper Jones’ high school: The Bolles School knocked my baseball team out of the playoffs my junior and senior years of high school. I would have robbed a home run if there wasn’t a net over their left field fence my senior year. It would have been sweet. No, I’m not bitter.

    The Bolles School is ridiculously good in just about everything they do. They beat my football team 56-3 a year after I graduated. Heh. It’s one of those private high schools where you actually live there in dorms and stuff.

  41. damn….

    Smoltz, Hudson, James, HoRam, Davies…and now Glavine(when it becomes offical)….our staff is looking pretty good.

  42. Yeah….sorry I got a little excited because he’s my favorite pitcher…but yeah there is a chance that he could re-sign with the Mets but now I wouldn’t be surprised if he decides to come back to ATL.

  43. There is no reason why Tommy should accept the $7.5M option. He deserves much more with the season he just had, and the Mets will give that to him.

  44. Yeah, they’re probably just working out a new multi-year deal. And even if Glavine did come back to Atlanta, we’d have to deal with adding payroll (even if we only pay him $4-5 mil/yr), and bumping someone else out of an already crowded rotation. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t want him back, it’s just that there’s a few things to think about before it could happen.

  45. Big D, I disagree–I’d say our rotation is crowded with scrubs. Given that Hudson, Horacio, Hampton and Davies are all less reliable than Chuck James at this point, Tommy’s welcome to pitch for my team any time.

  46. I won’t disagree with that. I actually considered adding in my previous post that even though our rotation is crowded, it’s not like it’s full of solid talent. And I did say that I wouldn’t be against bringing Glav back (though I doubt it happens).

  47. Tommy will not be back. If JS and Tommy couldn’t agree on a price four years ago, they will not be able to agree on one now.

  48. Jay10 got to love your optimism but Glavine won’t be back. The Mets still have a team option for 14.5 on him that they have to decide on by 11/20. They’ll decline too. Then they’ll split the difference. Say 10 or 11 for 2 years or maybe one year guarenteed with another option year but what ever out of our price range and ridiculous for a guy that will turn 41 next spring. That Tom would decline his option was a no brainer. Why take a paltry 7.5 when the club could theoretically renew for twice that.

  49. “Edmonds and Cardinals agree to $19 million, 2-year contract.”

    I am 100% sure Andruw will get more than $15M per year if a 36 years old CF can get that…

  50. Glavine is just using the Braves for extra stuff from the Mets. Don’t think for a second he really wants to come back.

    John Smoltz turned down 4yrs/52M from the Yankees to sign with the Braves for 4yrs/40M. He’s a real team player, not Tom “but the Mets offered” Glavine.

  51. Glavine sees the Mets need him desperately because Pedro’s out

    Glavine: Mmmmmm… I think I want to go back to Atlanta instead…

    NY Mets: EEEEEEEEKK! No, stay here!!! *throws bucketfuls of cash at him*

    Glavine: :) Okay, I’ll stay here.

  52. I don’t think it’s about the cash. If it was, he’d just tell the Mets to pick up his absurdly large contract or he walks or something like that. I think he either wants another year or to be able to leave the team on weekends or something like what Roger Clemens got.

  53. Did anyone know that Lonnie Smith wanted to kill John Schuerholz?

    “He carries the most visible reminder on his right hand, where a deep scar near his thumb reminds him that he had both a gun and a plan to kill John Schuerholz, the general manager Smith blamed for sabotaging his career while he played for the Kansas City Royals.”

    http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/15932659.htm

  54. I just don’t see how that’s any different from anyone else who’s negotiating a contract. I doubt that the notion that Glavine might return to the Braves in particular means anything to the Mets. If it did, they could have just exercised their option and been done with it.

  55. John Smoltz turned down 4yrs/52M from the Yankees to sign with the Braves for 4yrs/40M

    I never really believed that offer existed. It was claimed by his agent, but I don’t know that the Yankees ever admitted it. I mean, he was coming off a lost injury season followed by a half season of closing that also included a handful of crappy performances as a starter and significant time on the DL.

    And even given that, I don’t think Smoltz had any intention of leaving Atlanta that offseason. He used the “Yankee offer” to drive up the offer teh braves made for him to make a decision he wanted to make anyway.

    No problem with that, but I never bought into the ‘Smoltz made such a huge sacrifice for the team” angle.

  56. Colin, I don’t know the truth of the matter, but the Yankees DO have a history of throwing buckets of money at injury-plagued or injury-risk starters.

    Ahem: Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, Randy Johnson, David Wells, Hideki Irabu…

  57. The University of Florida is giving its fans heart attacks. Two nail biting wins already in the past two weeks, then it took a blocked field goal at the buzzer to win it this week. Sheesh!

  58. The University of Alabama is giving its fans depression. Actually, Bama played about as well as they could against LSU – just not enough horses. If Shula would have coached that agressively all year, we would only have 2 losses!

  59. Rob- You ain’t kidding. I thought the game was over once SC got the ball accorss the 40… then Suprrior gives us by trying to get closer (even though his kicker has a CRAZY-good leg) and gives back 5 years on a false start. Then they get it back on a slant and I think things really are over….

    I’m starting to think that, even if the Gators do make it to the national championship game, they’re really not going to stand a chance against either Michigan or Ohio State.

  60. “Jaret Wright reportedly will be staying in the AL East next season — but not with the Yankees.

    New York will trade the right-handed starting pitcher to the Baltimore Orioles, according to newspaper reports out of New York and Baltimore.

    The Baltimore Sun, citing two Orioles sources, is reporting that Baltimore will send reliever Chris Britton to the Yankees for Wright and $4 million, the amount it would have cost the Yankees to buy out Wright’s contract.”

  61. Yanks are making some good moves getting rid of the dead wood, Sheffield for 3 pitchers and Wirght for anything is good, and not even eating any contracts.

  62. As much as it pains me to admit it, I think Florida could definitely hang with OSU or Michigan. They have great athletes, especially on D. The thing that holds them back is their very erratic QBs and lack of running game.

    If Leak has a big game & doesn’t turn it over (big ifs), they can beat anybody.

  63. Colin, I don’t know the truth of the matter, but the Yankees DO have a history of throwing buckets of money at injury-plagued or injury-risk starters.
    Ahem: Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, Randy Johnson, David Wells, Hideki Irabu

    The Yankees threw money at all of those guys right after good seasons; yes, some were still risky in spite of that, but none was coming off a campaign as weak and injury-ridden as Smoltz’s 2001. Smolt’z agent was claiming they were throwing $13m a year at him when he was coming off half a season in relief, 5 weak starts and a few months on the DL. Sorry, I just don’t buy it.

  64. I think the Yankees will need to more than trade Sheff and Wright. There is a young pitcher by the name of Carl Pavano who hasn’t earned his money. What are they going to do about it?

  65. I don’t think JS will trade Andruw during the winter unless he gets blown away–someone like Bonderman, for example–and I don’t think he will.

  66. JS can’t trade Andruw without Andruw’s consent. Boras has indicated AJ won’t give that consent and will play out his contract.

    While I think that’d still be negotiable at next year’s trade deadline, I don’t think it’ll be negotiable now unless the receiving team immediately extends his contract.

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