45 thoughts on “Ahem.”

  1. Mac, will you make sure to remind us of the book again when it’s released? I don’t want to forget it.

  2. Hey, cool Mac. I’ve been looking to finally divorce myself from teh continually-declining Prospectus annual, so maybe I’ll pick up this one instead.

  3. Must… resist… urge… to… make… Lonnie… Smith… joke.

    Seriously, I’m sure it’ll be a terrific article. Any thoughts as to whether Schuerholz might merit the Hall of Fame? It’s a rare honor for a GM, but so is 14 straight division titles for a medium-market team.

  4. Baseball Prospectus came out with its top ten Braves list. They are:

    Excellent Prospects
    None
    Very Good Prospects
    1. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
    2. Matt Harrison, LHP
    Good Prospects
    3. Neftali Feliz, RHP
    4. Eric Campbell, 3B/2B
    5. Elvis Andrus, SS
    Average Prospects
    6. Brandon Jones, OF
    7. Joey Devine, RHP
    8. Jeff Locke, LHP
    9. Chase Fontaine, SS… maybe
    10. Anthony Lerew, RHP

    They also work in non-rookie players under 25 as follows:

    1. Brian McCann, C
    2. Jeff Francoeur, OF
    3. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
    4. Matt Harrison, LHP
    5. Neftali Perez, RHP
    6. Eric Campbell, 3B/2B
    7. Willy Aybar, 2B/3B
    8. Macay McBride, LHP
    9. Brandon Jones, OF
    10. Joey Devine, RHP

  5. Braves could deal at Florida meetings

    Braves general manager John Schuerholz has a second home in Naples, Fla., but doesn’t plan to spend much time in it this week while baseball’s GM meetings are going at the Naples Ritz-Carlton.

    The trade and free-agent markets could heat up earlier than usual this winter, and Schuerholz said the Braves might be involved in one or more transactions this week. He plans on spending most waking hours at the Ritz-Carlton.

    The Braves are listening to offers for second baseman Marcus Giles, who appears likely to be dealt for several reasons — his salary ($5.5 million or more in 2007), his pending free agency after next season, and organizational depth in middle-infield prospects.

    Schuerholz said restoring the pitching staff to an elite level remains his top priority — as difficult as that might appear considering the team’s payroll constraints.

    San Diego and Cincinnati are among teams interested in Giles. The Padres have a setup reliever the Braves covet, Scott Linebrink.

    The Braves are in the market for a setup man along with a left-handed reliever, and have also inquired about starting pitchers.

    They aren’t competing for the ace starters that big-spenders such as the Yankees, Mets and Boston are going for, but there remains a tantalizing situation with Tom Glavine and the Braves. Maybe.

    http://www.ajc.com/braves/content/sports/braves/stories/2006/11/12/1113gmmeetings.html

    Also, Glavine could be back and Schuerholz says a leadoff hitter isn’t important.

  6. Congrats Mac.

    Damn, look at you, published right alongside some other big names. Just don’t get too carried away by this foray into print, I expect the same level of high-quality website Braves commentary as I’ve become accustomed to.

  7. Congrats Mac. I bought the book this year, but really didn’t get much out of it. Might try again next year though.

  8. Actually, Marc, that reminds me… I was published in the Washington Post on Friday, a 200-word review of a concert by Primus.

    By the way, Stan Kasten just did a chat at the Washington Post website, talking blandly about the Washington Nationals. One interesting thing: when he got there, he found out that “things were worse than I realized.” Nice to hear a bit of honesty from the guy they’re counting on to bring a winning tradition, and I’ve always liked Stan. I actually went to high school with his son, too, who was a good guy.

  9. Not to be overly cynical, but by claiming things are worse than he thought, Kasten accomplishes two things: (1) he abjures responsibilities for bad seasons in the immediate future (ie, buys time), and (2) he makes sure he gets credit whent the team improves.

    But not to take anything away from Kasten. I expect the organization to be run competently and professionally, unlike the Redskins. I wish the Redskins had a Kasten in place, but that won’t happen as long as Dan Snyder owns the team.

  10. And to think I ordered it without even knowing that my friend Mac was going to have an article included. Congrats!

  11. From an AP article:

    “Goodbye, Shea Stadium; hello, CitiField.

    “The Mets and Citigroup Inc. have agreed on a 20-year sponsorship deal for the team’s new ballpark that is worth more than an average of $20 million annually and includes stadium naming rights, a baseball official said Saturday. The source spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal will not be announced until Monday at the formal groundbreaking.”

    So, when will a Brave name his son Citi?

  12. Latest from Mark Blowman

    Over the past few weeks, first-base coach Glenn Hubbard has been helping Johnson learn to play second base. Hubbard worked wonders with Marcus Giles, and as one scout said earlier this week, “If he could do that with Giles, I really believe he could be a great asset for Kelly.

  13. I know Kelly Johnson stunk last year, but I would love it if he could play second base and lead-off, especially for close to the league minimum. That way, we could potentially get someone competent enough to play LF and hit a little bit, and then just focus on pitching, which is what we should be doing anyway instead of worrying about who is going to hit the first time in the game.

  14. Actually, KJ didn’t stink last year. He hit well in limited action in AAA then was shut down with needed Tommy John surgery. He was not actually that bad in 2005, and would have been pretty good for a second baseman.

  15. I like Kelly Johnson a lot. I don’t know that I see him playing 2B over Aybar and Prado, which would also leave us without a LF. My guess is that the infield practice is insurance for the former two stinking it up in March, but I see no reason why he shouldn’t be given a shot to win the LF job outright, because I’m not hanging my hat on Carl Crawford.

  16. Also keeping in mind that Marcus Giles hasn’t officially been traded yet. I’m really nervous about a Linebrink deal though.

  17. You know, it’s interesting that after all the snarky comments about how much the Boston media blew their prospects out of proportion, making a mountain out of a molehill, Hanley Ramirez and Freddy Sanchez (two prospects virtually hounded out of town for not living up to expectations) won the ROY and the batting title, respectively.

    So the Boston farm system did a good job, which the media reported, but the prospects couldn’t succeed in Boston, which is probably the media’s fault. What a screwed-up town.

  18. AAR, you make a great point, and I have no idea why that claim exists. A. Sanchez, F. Sanchez, Ramirez, Shoppach, etc. I think some want to attribute it to Gammons, but I’m not sure that’s entirely true either.

  19. Unless Hubbard can work miracles, an infield defense of Chipper Jones, Edgar Renteria, and Kelly Johnson will be the worst in the league. Very limited range on the left side combined with a newbie trying to turn double plays on the right is not a welcome sign for the pitching staff.

  20. I agree, bamadan. James and Smoltz might escape relatively unscathed, but our groundballers….man, I just don’t see it.

    KJ hasn’t played middle infield in four years. And maybe this means nothing, but he played the deepest left field I have ever seen. Apples and oranges perhaps, but to me that was a sign of a player not entirely comfortable with a glove on his hand. This is our second baseman?

  21. bamadan, your right on the money with that comment. That would be a horrid defense, then throw Diaz in left field and your really talking bad D,

  22. What are the chances the Yankees will also sell the rights for their new stadium?

    (My guess: -9999999999999.9999999999999999%. The other 0.00000000000000001% might happen if the bank gives them a platinum credit card and two unproven prospect pitchers(I think that’s how you say it))

  23. Many sources are saying that Peavy may be available. What would that cost us…Giles, Salty, Lerew??? Would that be enough?

  24. Every outfielder cheats deep or shallow based on their ability to go back on or come in on balls hit to them. Every player’s “medium depth” is different because of that. Not every player is an Andruw or an Edmonds that is insanely good at going back on balls. Obviously Kelly doesn’t want to get beat deep so he plays deep. Either that or he thinks he’s really good at coming in on balls. I have no idea. But saying that’s because he’s not confident with the leather is pretty absurd. Apples to oranges, indeed.

  25. Giles and Lerew i’m fine with. I’m still a little apprehensive about giving up Salty just yet.Of course if we offer him and a pitching prospect for Crawford….I would drool…

  26. But saying that’s because he’s not confident with the leather is pretty absurd. Apples to oranges, indeed.

    It may be immaterial, but it’s only absurd in the presence of evidence to the contrary — evidence that he is, in fact, capable of handling a far more difficult position. The Baseball Cube now has some basic minor league fielding stats — it’s tough to divine much from them, but it appears KJ was decent as a defensive SS in Myrtle Beach in 2002, but otherwise didn’t participate in many DPs, or made a lot of errors, or both. Have you got anything other than blind faith to say differently?

  27. Evidence to the contrary would be how players are coached, experience, what works for successful outfielders, etc. I think the sheer logic that you play deep to not have a ball hit over your head is pretty good as far as evidence goes. And how his ability to judge flyball relates to his ability to field grounders, make throws with entirely different mechanics, and his ability to turn doube plays, I don’t know…

  28. Saw a pretty good Bob Dylan show at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island tonight. Lotsa fairly obscure oldies (“She Belongs to Me,” “Visions of Johanna,” “Highway 61”), plus the new stuff & the regulation encores (“Like a Rolling Stone” & “All Along the Watchtower.”) Old Bob croaked his way through it pretty well. Not bad for a 65-year-old man.

    Opening act: The Raconteurs, who totally rocked.

  29. I suspect outfield skills and infield skills are different. Some guys have been bad outfielders and became good infielders and vice versa. But if you put a converted outfielder immediately in the lineup with the Braves lack of range, you are asking for trouble with an already shaky pitching staff.

    Peavey gives me some pause because only a year of so ago, he was considered the next stud and yet the Pads are willing to trade him. Maybe I’ve been burned too often, but I hear echos of another Tim Hudson.

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