Andruw Jones

For newcomers, here are the two parts of Braves Journal Andruw Theory:

1. He hits better when he’s getting hit by pitches.
2. He is wildly unpredictable during the season, but at the end of the season will put up pretty much the same sort of numbers as he always does.

Even in 2005, when he hit 51 homers, Andruw’s batting average and OBP were basically right on his career norms. In 2006, he hit ten fewer homers and his batting average dropped one point, but in many ways it was a more productive season as he drew 82 walks, one short of his career high, and drove in one more run, breaking his own team record (but didn’t lead the league this time). It was his most complete season as a hitter since 2000. Though he missed four more games than in 2005, Andruw had just three fewer PA, a function largely of hitting high in the batting order the whole season, plus being in a better offense.

Defensively, Andruw has fallen from “historic” to “outstanding” in my estimation, though some others would have “average”. As far as I’m concerned, his defense is no problem whatsoever, and he anchored the league’s best defensive outfield. No longer a stolen base threat, as his four last year matched a career low, but was caught just once.

My guesses (and these are just guesses) as to Andruw’s future:
65 Percent: Andruw plays out the season in Atlanta, then signs elsewhere as a free agent.
20 Percent: Andruw is traded in July or August.
5 Percent: Andruw is traded before the season.
5 Percent: Andruw re-signs during the season.
5 Percent: Andruw re-signs after the season.

Andruw sits 29 homers behind Dale Murphy, 15 behind Chipper, on the Atlanta career list. I expect that at some point this season he will be the Atlanta leader. With a complete season at his 2005-06 standard, he would pass Murphy in RBI and in doubles, in both cases for second in Atlanta history. Needs 58 homers for 400, which is unlikely to happen in 2007 but not impossible.

Andruw Jones Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

91 thoughts on “Andruw Jones”

  1. If Chipper were to stay healthy, then I’d say Chipper would hit 35+ hrs. So Andruw would have to hit 50+ which is not impossible for him. Especially with this being his contract year. I can imagine $$$$ floating about his head everytime he rounds the bases after a hr this year. Sort of like those Arby’s commercials. Andruw will be thinking Boras.

  2. My favorite new feature at BBRef is the “neurtralize stats” tool. You can convert any player’s stats to what they would have been had they played with the 1968 Dodgers or the 2000 Rockies.

    If Andruw had played in the 2000 Rockies environment over the last seven years, he would have averaged 142 runs scored, 46 HRs, and 154 RBI (including 183 last year).

    Maddux’s Braves ERAs, translated to the ’68 Dodgers:

    1.60
    1.01
    1.06
    1.67
    1.45
    1.46
    2.19
    1.78
    1.92
    1.77
    2.64

  3. “he anchored the league’s best defensive outfield.”

    Uh what? Matt Diaz one of the league’s best defenders? Jeff “Take My Eyes Off the Ground Ball Because I’m Too Eager to Overthrow the Cutoff Man” Francoeur is one of the league’s best defenders?

  4. Langerhans, A. Jones and Francoeur makes up, in my personal opinion, the NL’s best defensive outfield, especially on flyballs.

  5. Frenchy has taken over the LaRoache role. Soon he will be hitting /285 with 45 bombs and will still get torn apart on here.

  6. True!!! I think for some reason people expect him to be an MVP right now. He’s 22 and this will be his 2nd year in the league. I hope that at the end of the season a lot of people will no longer be talking about how much they don’t like him. I can understand the complaining if he were a guy that’s been in the league for many years and has not improved, but the fact is that he is on an upward curve. He is a big reason why I am excited about the future of the franchise.

  7. Smitty,

    God, I hope you’re right! :-D

    And yes, the Braves had the best defensive OF last year according to an article in the 2007 HB Times annual.

    Actually, I think the Blue Jays edged us once you included stuff like runners not “taking the extra base”…. But the Braves were still 2nd, IIRC.

  8. You have been watching one of the greatest center fielders — and one of the greatest careers by a center fielder — in the history of baseball. Enjoy it while it lasts.

  9. Mikemc,

    I don’t see why he wouldn’t. If the “beaten up” theory is correct, Andruw will get hurt sometime in the near future and his stats will be harmed because of it, and he’ll look like a Hall of Famer from Atlanta, not wherever else he goes.

  10. I am still dreaming that Andruw will resign with the Braves…this dream will last for one more season and I will wake up by this time next year…

  11. I don’t see why we should keep him at anything above what he’s making right now if all he’s going to do is decline.

  12. Sam, I agree. We shouldnt be giving someone more than 12-13 mil when our payroll is only $80 mil. If we keep him we will have to cut ties w/ Smoltz. Andruw is great, but in 2 years will probably need to move to LF anyways

  13. “Diaz, as I mentioned, had a great range factor.”

    Perfectly illustrating the limitations of range factor in determining who is a good fielder or not.

  14. If you assume, and I believe most people do, that Andruw has not been using performance enhancing drugs during his career his career to date is off the charts.

    He, Frank Thomas and Ken Griffey, Jr. in my opinion have been hurt more by the steroid enhanced performances of the past 10 years than any other position players.

    Their historically great play has been devalued by the steroid enhanced stats of Palmero, Sosa, and company.

    I have enjoyed watching Andruw since he played half a season in Durham in 1996. He was a joy to watch then (though he was only one of the big three on that Bulls team that lived up to expectations – Wright and Helms being the others) and is one of the big reasons I still watch the Braves.

    He will be missed when he leaves.

  15. 1. Frank Robinson (873) *
    2. Eddie Mathews (863) *
    3. Ken Griffey (849)
    4. Ruben Sierra (846)
    5. Al Kaline (844) *
    6. Ron Santo (841)
    7. Hank Aaron (828) *
    8. Juan Gonzalez (826)
    9. Darryl Strawberry (820)
    10. Duke Snider (817) *

    For all of you who say we won’t miss Andruw. Those 10 guys had 31 All-star games and 6 top 3 in MVP voting seasons after age 30. Granted a lot of the guys fell off after 33 but I’d be willing to roll the dice that Andruw is more like Frank Robinson than Ruben Sierra, Juan Gonzalez, or Darryl Strawberry.

  16. I’ll always remember Bill James writing about the guy that plays and has a terrific career but never seems to meet his potential and is never appreciated until after he leaves. Part of that applys to Andruw. His 2000 season hitting .303 led everyone to believe that every season after that was below his potential. On the other hand some folks think that he is a superstar in the Albert Pujols, young Ken Griffey, Alex Rodriguez league which he isn’t. He is a terrific ballplayer though and I want to enjoy every inning of his last season as a Brave.

    I thought at first I’d write something about Francouer but shoot I’ll wait until Monday.

  17. I am hoping that we will all wake up and find that Andruw has done the unexpected and resigned with the Braves–before the season….Of course I am also dreaming.

    Clearly he wants to stay in Atlanta and I wonder how much we have left after letting Giles walk, trading LaRoche and HoRam for players that cost less (including Wilson). I realize that in this year’s market it could not be enough, but I wonder if the Braves now have enough to be in Andruw’s words “respectable”.

    If we cannot resign Andruw, I hope that we keep him in the hope that he has one last great year. With free agency looming, he will be a joy to watch….

  18. I couldn’t stomach giving Andruw a raise, even if he’s one of my favorite players. I’d hate to let nostalgia factor into a decision to give him $15M per for the 7 or 8 seasons when you KNOW he won’t be worth it and he’ll be a Todd Helton-sized albatross on the team’s finances for the next half decade or so.

  19. Braves Caravan Saturday in Chattanooga. I called the mall to see who was gong to be there and the lady said, “Matt Diaz, Anthony Lerew, and Andy…Andrew, um, I mean…Brian Pena.”

    I thought Andruw Jones was going to be there, but nope, Brian Pena…

  20. I pretty much agree with Rob completely on this one.

    Stephen in the UAE,

    Even with all of those moves, and even if Hampton’s contract was budgeted so that he’s only making 8 million this year, our team payroll is still around $78 million dollars. And, I believe, only three contracts come off the books at the end of this season — Andruw’s, Smoltz’s, and Wickman’s. The $6.5 we’ll save by (I assume) letting Wickman go will be almost completely eaten up by arbitration raises for Francoeur and McCann, and maybe others I’m forgetting about. Langerhans will of course be arbitration-eligible, but barring an unforeseen 2007 from him, his salary won’t go up all that much.

    Anyway, my point is this: We’re going to have to choose between Andruw and Smoltz. I’d pick Smoltz because 1) he’s a pitcher, and 2) our long-term commitment to him would be far less.

    Andruw’s a goner. I just hope he gets us a Championship before he goes.

  21. Stu,

    While I generally agree with about 99.9% of what you post on here, how could you in your right mind say that you would rather keep Smoltz than Andruw. While I realize that Smoltzie is in my mind a HOF pitcher, he is almost a 40 something and unless he is the next coming of Clemens or Ryan, how many more seasons can we really get out of him? Andruw, however, has several good ones left.

    I know this is probably an unpopular stance, and I’ll probably get rotten tomatoes thrown at me, but I just feel that I would rather have Andruw long term than Smolztie…..

  22. LanceinFl,
    You are right logically, but Smoltz will be attractive because he won’t be looking for a 7-8 contract, but instead a 2-3 contract (and may settle for a year). As such, unless we were to offer 15-20 (which we wouldn’t, no matter what, for any player, even Pujols or Johan), the contract won’t be an albatross for long (if ever). So, while logically it makes more sense to sign Andruw, I don’t think it will happen. But then, I didn’t think he would sign the last time he neared free agency (so hopefully I’ll get to eat some of that famous crow).

  23. I dont really want to sign anyone for an 8 year deal. Andruw is a risk for anything more than 4-5 years. There is no way we can tie up $15 mil per year for 7 to 8 years on him. I would rather have Smoltz for $10-11 for 2 years…

  24. I had hoped that you would have convinced me that there was some more money out there for Andruw. 7-8 years is probably impossible for JS to accept, but as much as I like Smoltz, there are real warrants for making the investment in Jones….

    I suspect that the Braves will do well to get one great year out of Andruw and then the financial flexiblity (it is almost as good as a trade)which will come when he goes….

  25. Oh Mac, yeah, I can’t wait for Monday!……Its always great to start off the day with some Francouer bashing……….hey, that’s it, that’s why Scheurholtz signed Sturtze, so we can have someone to bash on the otherwise strong pitching staff!

  26. Even if we have some financial flexibility after this season, I don’t see JS going out and spending much of that cash. Our payroll has to eventually go up, Right!?!?!? I mean inflation or cost of living should kick in at some point, Right ?!?!? I’d say we bring Smoltz back, sign McCann and French long term, and make a trade to cover the outfield.

  27. The Braves 2007 Calendar has been released. Early gripe: All of Atlanta’s Interleague games are against Boston, Cleveland, Minnesota and Detroit. No easy wins against Kansas City, much less any team that’s not a World Series contender. I suppose to be the best they’ll have to beat the best…

  28. Josh makes a good point – keeping the salary the same in this era is the same as a cut, because the $80 million buys less & less w/ each passing year. There is constant upward pressure on salaries, and if there is a fixed dollar amount the club is spending, it moves the team down the list in terms of dollars spent. I’m sure someone has pictured it nicely in a graph (although a quick search of google came up mostly empty); but if graphed, you’d see all the other dots moving up (generally speaking) with the $80m losing ground.
    Already the Braves have moved from head of the pack to middle of the pack…

  29. Re: HOF plaque caps.

    I think there was an under-the-table agreement with the Yankees & Reggie Jackson, too. He’s in as a Yankee, which is ridiculous because he played a lot longer with Oakland.

    Made it to Panama. When I left NY yesterday, it was snowing. Now it’s about 19-degrees with wind chill around zero; here it’s 90-degrees & hella sticky. Whew.

    Found out that tonight’s event is a dinner, not a cocktail party, for Omar Moreno’s Foundation. I’m told my table will have a current ML ballplayer—Bernie Williams. I’m guessing he’ll want to talk more about his guitar than his OPS. I bet he likes Metallica more than Mariano. Hope I don’t drink too much cerveza & start asking him about A-Rod (or maybe I will). Should be fun.

  30. Reggie Jackson was with Oakland for 8 full years (he came in the middle of 1967 with the KC A’s) and with the Yankees for 5 years. I don’t think it’s necessarily unreasonable to have him with either team.

  31. Does the Hall decide for EVERY player? I mean, that was an easy call on Wade Boggs. And for most players there’s really no question what cap they should wear on their plaque. But what if there’s no obvious choice? Does the Hall still make the call then?

    There are probably more and better examples of this, but right now Clemens comes to mind. He played over half his career in Boston, and won his only MVP and 3 of his 7 Cy Young’s there; only one Cy Young in 5 seasons in NY, but he did win a couple rings there and met his boyfriend Andy Pettite. I think I’ve heard him say he wants to go in as a Yankee, but the stats say Red Sox. Is the HOF gonna tell him he has to wear a Boston cap? You also have to keep in mind the whole Yanks-Sox saga. Again, there are probably better examples. Just wondering and rambling…

  32. The Hall decides for ever player now. I’m pretty sure players had a say in it beforehand.

    One thing about signing Andruw to a long-term deal:

    While I doubt JS would do it (it’s just not his style to give out contracts like that), the way salaries have been inflating lately, it might not be an “albatross” five years from now, assuming Andruw hasn’t completely fallen off physically. 5 years from now, 15-20 mil will be what 10-15 is today, and that’s not being very conservative. If the Braves get new ownership, that should easily be doable.

    But with that said, it’s unlikley JS will do it, becuase if we’re stuck at 80M for 3-4 more years, we really will have no financial flexibility. :-/

    Also, earlier someone mentioned that Jones wasn’t as good of a ballplayer as guys like ARod, Pujols, etc. Well, he’s certainly not as good of a hitter, but I think he’s right up there in overall skill. He is probably the best defensive CF ever. I mean, he’s really, REALLY good. At least he was in his prime. Now he’s probably around average or a little above (having Langerhans getting half of the games in LF and the speedy Frenchy in right certainly impacted his range factor by getting to a few balls quicker than he did), which is still very good for a guy who hits 40 bombs a year.

  33. I’d sign Andruw to a 7-8 year deal at $15M per.

    Keep these things in mind: Andruw’s still only going to be 30 this year, making him 37 at the end of an 8-year deal. Thirty-seven isn’t that old anymore in baseball.

    He’ll be a corner outfielder in two years and probably a first baseman by the end of the deal, but his bat should be good enough to carry those positions barring catastrophic injury or faster-than-average decline. He’s been consistent in his total results to an extent few players have been, as Mac notes.

    Sign McCann long-term (and Chuck James if he has another good season) and get some fueless cluck to trade his farm system for Frenchy. Don’t resign Smoltz- his 41-yo season almost certainly won’t be worth what he’s paid.

  34. Andruw Jones will play 0 games at first base in his Major League career.

    And it’s not his age I worry about; it’s the wear and tear that’s been put on that body — and the lack of top-notch conditioning to go with it. I suspect 37-year old Andruw will be pretty bad.

    And most people probably didn’t think Smoltz’s 38- and 39-year old seasons would be worth what he was paid, either.

  35. Marc,
    Reggie can do whatever he wants. But when he’s getting his number retired at Yankee Stadium, after playing only 5 years there, I’m not down with that. There are Yankee HOFers who played their entire careers in The Bronx that don’t have their numbers retired. In that context, I think it’s bogus.

  36. One of the most puzzling moves ( or non-move ) this offseason has been the Braves lethargy towards extending Smoltz and trying to sign him for another year with an option.

    I have a feeling the Braves upper brass are hoping the ownership issue is resolved during the season, and that they might have the cash to re-sign both Smoltz and Andruw next offseason. Personally, I think it is better long term for the franchise to let Andruw go. Sentimental reasons obviously run contrary to that

  37. Didn’t Andruw lose quite a bit of weight during the offseason a few years ago? I thought that he gained most of it back during the 2005 season and this is when he had what some consider his breakout year, although Mac’s point about his consistent inconsistency is a good one. I bet he has very little incentive to stay in shape if his best years are seemingly when he’s overweight.

  38. Andruw is overweight and will probably not get in better shape as time goes on. He might be worth 15 mil next year and the year after, but by the time he’s 34 or 35 he’ll be in decline. However, with inflation and the value of salaries rising every year, that could be a reasonable contract in 5 years time. Maybe or maybe not….I wouldnt risk it

  39. andruw gains weight every offseason, and loses some during the season. however, if you gain 20 every year and only lose 15, that adds up over time. 5 lbs a year since ’97. that is probably pretty accurate.

  40. Good Scott Thorman article.

    http://www.cambridgetimes.ca/cam/sports/sports_709114.html

    I’ve liked Schuerholz’s moves this offseason, but I still can’t figure out why he hasn’t signed Smoltz to an extension. Why risk letting him become a free agent? Smoltz deserves and should retire a Brave. Letting Smoltz go so you can go all-out in a futile effert to re-sign Andruw Jones isn’t wise, and even if you got him, the 15-20 million for seven or eight years is not worth it, period, no matter how much we all likes Jones.

  41. Yes, I’ve heard Andruw discuss weight here and there and he seems to have concluded that he gets weaker during the season if he doesn’t have the extra weight on. Early in his career, I’d probably agree with that assessment. But from personal knowledge, when you hit your mid 30s the metabolism slows down and you don’t lose weight quite as much as you used to (though there are certainly exceptions to every such rule). So I doubt that he will continue to lose 15 of 20 every season. And that’s going to make the weight issue more problematic as time goes by. Personally, if I were Boras I would be telling Andruw to lose 10-20 this offseason, hoping that 15 would be lost on top of that during the season. Such a combined loss would help his knees and thus improve his longevity (both in a season and career) and ultimately his pocketbook. But then I’m not Boras (and if I was I’d be a hell of a lot better off financially, so wtf and am I giving advice anyway).

  42. #46
    Jonathan, just click through the last six years of salary data. Atlanta has definitely been moving down by holding steady (and cutting payroll). They still have a very respectable team salary, just not as much as all of us would like. What are the odds of a change of ownership happening in the near future?

  43. I can your point Stu, I should have thought about it a little more. But whats to say we have to give him 8 years? Why not give him with club options for 6 or 7th. If Andruw REALLY wants to stay here like he says, I cant really see a year or two being a sticking point. Give him the $16 a year its probably going to take, thats fine by me.

  44. Remember that Vernon Wells just signed for 7 years at 18M per year. Add another year’s inflation… Andruw will probably get a similar deal, even including his age. Will he take a year or two and 2 or 3 million per year less to stay in Atlanta? I dunno, but I imagine Boras won’t really want him to.

    And that’s even before you decide whether we want to commit 15M to him for the next 5 years guaranteed.

  45. I think the point about Andruw’s consistent inconsistency is important. Would he be considered an HOFer if it wasn’t for his fielding. Every hitter, of course, goes through streaks during the season, but I doubt many legitimate HOFers have been as consistently inconsistent as Andruw. And the fact that he ends up with the same stats at the end of the year doesn’t impress me all that much given that, other than home runs, they aren’t all that great, especially if you adjust for the era. Andruw is a very good player and was an otherworldly outfielder (I think he is still well above average), but I just don’t see paying the kind of money he is likely to want for a player that really isn’t even the best player on the team (Chipper still is when he is healthy). If he was 25, I might think differently. Let’s face it, the Braves payroll isn’t likely to go up in the next few years, and even if they get new ownership, they aren’t going to suddenly become the Yankees. It’s true, as salaries and revenue go up, what seems exorbitant now might not in a few years, but it could go the other way too. There’s no guarantee that MLB revenues won’t decline (it’s not the NFL) or there won’t be a recession. The Braves position in the early 90s of being essentially a big market team was essentially a fluke resulting from a confluence of factors, mainly that Ted Turner happened to be from Atlanta and his cable empire was taking off. From now on, even with new ownership, they are going to have to watch their pennies and go through ups and downs.

  46. Marc, you make a number of good points, but Andruw has been the best player on the team for several years. You can say “if” Chipper wasn’t hurt, but the fact remains that he is often injured and doesn’t play as often as he should.

    I am a little perplexed by the fact that many contributors to this site don’t realize what they have seen in Andruw. I am older than many of you, but I’ll never see another player like him in a Braves uniform in my lifetime. He’s been one helluva ballplayer. I’m gonna miss him greatly.

  47. Speaking as a fan, I love Andruw, and I absolutely appreciate what he has done as a Brave. But speaking as an armchair GM (which is a hobby shared by many here), all I can say is that sentimentality is a one-way ticket to last place. Unless he takes a discount, we won’t be able to afford him.

    And, to be sure, there are some fans out there who will expect him to take a discount. They demand loyalty from others, even at the expense of common sense. I find that to be an incredibly arrogant position to take, but that’s just me.

    At the end of the day, each party will have to do what’s best for them. The resignation you hear is the realization that the Braves’ long-term interests and Andruw’s long-term interests are two different things at this point. If both parties are smart, Andruw will end up elsewhere. That will be sad, but it will also be wise.

  48. If JD Drew can sign for $75 million, imagine what Andruw will get from Boston. Boras knows AJ will be his meal ticket for his 2007 XMas bonus.

  49. Just got a minute, so a very short moment from last night’s dinner in Panama City.

    I’m at a banquet table with former Giant/Brave/Dodger Elias Sosa & I ask him about his tenure with the Braves. His answer: “We lost every day. It was very difficult.”

    I asked him about Ted Turner & what it was like to be on the team when Terrible Ted decided he was going to be the manager: “He liked to travel with the team & I remember one time he came into the clubhouse drunk & turned over the food table before the game and called us a bunch of losers and every other name in the book. We were shocked, but the way things were going with that team, nothing surprised us, not even when he managed that one game in Pittsburgh. It was crazy to be on the Braves back then, like a circus.”

    On giving up HR #2 to Reggie Jackson during Game 6 of the ’77 WS:
    “He hit a good pitch. He went down and got my sinker. It went just inside the foul pole. What can I say? It was his night. And the last one he hit off Charlie Hough—it’s still going.”

    Tony Perez was at the event & I asked, “Did you get him out?” Answer: “I got him out OK, but he took me deep, too.”

    On pitching to Hank Aaron: “Keep it down in the zone & pray.”

    Best hitter he ever faced: “That’s easy—Joe Morgan.”

    Best team he ever saw: “The 1975 Cincinnati Reds.”

    Best pitching coach: “Red Adams with the Dodgers—taught me a great sinker.”

    Biggest thrill in baseball: “Saving a game for my childhood hero, Juan Marichal. When I was a boy in the Dominican, I dreamed about Juan Marichal, so you can’t beat that.”

    Sosa lives near Charlotte & works for MLB. Unbelievably sweet guy & so accommodating. Gracias, senor. There’s more, but I gotta run.

  50. I think it’s probably safe to assume MLB salarries will keep rising. We have labor peace until 2011 at least and no more talk of contraction or other measures that would reduce the money sloshing around the sport.

    Offering Andruw a long-term deal isn’t sentiment. It’s a question of keeping the best player on the team here for the rest of his useful career. The counter-argument would be if what he demands is longer than you think his productive career will be. I think even an eight-year deal is not excessive, as he’ll probably still be an effective hitter in 2014.

    (Signing Smoltz, as some here are advocating, is sentiment- we’d be paying him for a fine career, not for what he’ll do in the future.)

  51. Great stuff, ububba! Thanks for sharing that. Sosa was a Brave back when I was listening to Milo and Ernie on the transistor radio I kept under my pillow (yes, this actually happened). I didn’t know too much about non-famous players back then, but I recall an air of disappointment about his Braves days. We traded longtime Brave Ron Reed for Sosa and Ray Sadecki, and neither pitched well, or very long, for us. I can’t imagine the trade was very popular.

    Looking at Sosa’s career, you can see that he found playing here difficult. He was a good pitcher before and after being a Brave.

  52. Another thing about signing Andruw to a long term deal is that if we do decide to trade him any time afterwards, a team would demand that we pay about half his salary, which isn’t something the Braves do (or can afford to) so we’d really be stuck.

  53. sansho,

    You must be as old as I am if you remember Milo. He was a great announcer even though Skip hates his guts for what he said about Harry.

    I have to disagree with Mikemc about Chipper and Andruw. Chipper has been and remains the best player on the team. As good as Andruw’s defense was, Chipper was and is a much better hitter and the guy the team relied on. And they still rely on him even now. I grant that Andruw carried the team in 2005 when Chipper was hurt, but, in general, his consistent inconsistency makes him difficult to rely on. If you had to choose between Chipper and Andruw to have up in the bottom of the 9th in the seventh game of the WS, I would choose Chipper in a heartbeat. (And, yes, I do remember Chipper hitting into a double play to end the Giants playoff series on 2002.) He is simply a tougher out. I will be sorry to see Andruw leave, but not at the price he will be asking.

  54. This is not a post to bash Jeff Francouer…

    But I do want everyone to know he clows chunks and never walks…

    Sincerely, I do not hate Jeff Francoeur, I just want him traded to Siberia for some untrained seals and deer meat…

  55. I agree AJ is fat….I thought last year our pitchers getting shelled would help him as the Summer went on, him having to run hard and all…

    Anyone seen a current picture of AJ?

    Its been months, and if he ahs blown up even more, his playing weight will be horrific because we all know Bobby Cox is a “players manager” which means no veteran is ever in the best of shape…(Except the self-driven Julio Franco)…

  56. Andruw tries to play himself into shape as the season goes along. He’s one of those talents who never had to work at the game to be good. Its rare for a player like him to also possess the competitive spirit and work ethic that athletes like MJ and Steve Yzerman possessed.

  57. I bet those untrained seals draw a lot of walks. Hopefully they’ll come up with the bases loaded 103 times.

  58. Great read ububba – thanks. I’d like to make a few points on recent posts:

    1) Are there any baseball managers anymore that have that clout to say to their best players, “Get in shape in the offseason or you don’t play!”? Maybe there are, but I think getting in top condition during the offseason has to pretty much be self-driven.

    2) I know Andruw has said that he would like to finish out his career in Atlanta, but does anyone really think that that is one of his top priorities? I don’t beleive he would have hire Boras as his agent if so.

  59. So, we’re agreeing here that we don’t want Andruw to be fat? Well, then why don’t we let him go to some fools who are willing to pay $20 mil for a fat-but-talented slugger?

  60. Thanks Ububba!! I was a senior in high school in 1977 and remember the day Ted took over well. Those were difficult, but at least comical days for Braves fans…Thank you again!

  61. Another last-second victory for the hoop Dawgs today. It was ugly, and LSU was down a player, but I’ll definitely take it. Lunardi has them in the tournament as a 9-seed, yet they don’t even appear in the “Also Receiving Votes” list for either poll. That should change this week.

    They’re a tough team this year. Takais Brown gives them the inside force they’ve needed to counterbalance all the shooters, and Sundiata Gaines, though he didn’t have a great game today, is beginning to make me forget about the great Rashad Wright. Steve Newman didn’t score, but played killer D in the second half. Not a lot of talk here about Georgia basketball (with good reason, usually), but they’ll be a battle-tested bunch once tournament time comes around.

    Do it for Broph!

  62. More importantly, Vandy will move into the Top 25 this week. Of course, we’ll likely then fall out again since we travel to Gainesville, but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

    If this team makes it to the Tourney — and given our 5-2 conference record and the fact that we have more home games than road games remaining, it would be quite the collapse if we don’t — we should be pretty dangerous.

  63. I watched a good bit of the Vandy-Ole Miss game yesterday. Given my preconceived notions about the Mississippi teams, I would have thought a narrow home win for Vandy would be kind of disappointing, but it was anything but. Both teams played a great game, and my estimation for Ole Miss rose greatly. If anyone doubts that the SEC is playing some great ball these days, they should have watched that game.

  64. Seriously, sansho. Ole Miss is much improved.

    And I was actually quite disappointed that we let a 15-point halftime lead get erased so quickly, but I think we showed a lot by hanging on and making the big plays down the stretch. Previous Vandy teams — and even this team, during the first couple weeks of the season — would have wilted. Still, the defensive collapse, which we hadn’t seen since the loss in Athens, is cause for concern.

    I have a man-crush on Derrick Byars.

  65. @87 – Hopefuly the SEC doubters watched the Ole Miss/ Vandy game and not the Ala/Ark game. As has been the case for the last 3 weeks now, Bama looked awful. It’s a strange thing about Gottfried, when it looks like he’s going to have a final four team, they’re a total bust. When you don’t expect much from them, they make a run of it.

    Bama was in the top 10 b/f the SEC schedule and they could have reached the top 2 or 3 if they would have beaten ND (they looked like they were going to, then collapsed the final 2 minutes). Incredibly at 2-4 in the SEC, they will be very lucky to make it to the Big Dance. They’ve had some adverse circumstances and nagging injuries, but nothing more than 95% of their opponents.

  66. Gottfried has a little too much talent on this team. He has trouble setting a rotation and does better when he only has eight players to choose from.

    But the real problem is that Steele hasn’t been healthy all year and isn’t getting better, and Davidson is obviously not all there psychologically — and who can blame him? Hendrix is really the only guy on the team playing well. They would probably be better off sitting Steele and letting Hollinger run the point, and going small more often with Hendrix as the only big man.

  67. Mac,
    I agree completely with all of your points. My point is that Bama’s issues are no bigger than most other teams. Even with a hurt Steele and an understandably numb Davidson I think they have enough talent to win and make it to the NCAA -definitely enough to beat Arkansas at home. For whatever reason, they just aren’t doing it. Unless they turn it around quickly, they are looking at an NIT bid and will get to play either UAB or South Alabama. Not the kind of season we should have considering our talent.

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