121 thoughts on “Game Thread: June 22, Tigers at Braves”

  1. Following up on the comments from the last page about Meche, yes, I was definitely in the chorus of people who felt Meche was way overpaid.

    However, this kid has worked so hard to feel that the Royals are “getting their money’s worth”, I have a ton of respect for that. I will never complain about a guy making a ton of money, if he’s doing his very best to earn it–like Meche. Meche is the type of athlete I would want my kid to look up to.

    he’s the complete opposite of someone like Carl Pavano who got his huge pay day from the Yankees after 1 good season and is doing everything he can to avoid pitching.

    Meche is the anti Pavano.

  2. I spent some time on this one, so forgive me for giving it new life in a new thread:

    Okay, identifying the teams who have absolutely no chance to win this year:

    1. Washington
    2. Cincinnati
    3. Pittsburgh
    4. Houston (?)
    5. San Francisco
    6. Toronto
    7. Baltimore
    8. Tampa Bay
    9. Kansas City
    10. ChiSox
    11. Texas

    Now, identifying the (Desirable) starting pitchers from those teams who may be available within the next month or so, who have not been mentioned here:

    How about Aaron Harang? Bronson Arroyo? Keviin Millwood (Assuming TX pays a lot of salary)?

    Just looking for new ideas…

  3. I like Arroyo’s stuff an dmaybe Millwood, back in a Braves uniform, would do well again?

    Unfortunately, we have nothing on our team that could possibly pry away Erik Bedard from Baltimore.

    I don’t think Houston will see A) because of their history in 2nd halves and B) because the NL Central is awful.

  4. If JS was willing to take on Hampton’s mess of a contract, it would not surprise me if he got Millwood back at a “discount.”

    Aaron Harang would be a big difference-maker for the Braves this year, but Cincy could make a killing if they made him available, and Atlanta would likely be outbid.

  5. Wow Hate King beat me to it. As soon as I saw the list of teams I said “Which pitchers would I trade Salty for on those teams?”

    Harang, Oswalt, Halladay, Bedard, and Kazmir would be the only ones I’d really consider a Salty swap, or a Salty package (hahahahaha).

    Stepping out of la-la land, Oswalt, Halladay, and probably Kazmir and Bedard ain’t happening. I also also doubt Harang would too. [editor’s note: I didn’t realize Harang and Bedard were 28 and 29, that sucks]

    But if you’re gonna shoot, shoot for the stars I say.

    Side note: Do you think JS would trade JS Jr. for a middling starter if the oppotunity arose? I’d love to hear his inner dialogue.

  6. Harang is one of the best pitchers in baseball. He’s put up ERAs of 3.83, 3.76 and 3.88 the last two seasons and this pitching in an impossible park in front of a bad defense. He’s third in the NL in strikeouts and fourth in K/BB ratio. He’s 7-2 on the worst team in the NL.

  7. Well, AAR, Harang did lead the NL in K’s last year, so he struck fear into at least a few people’s hearts. The Reds would be retarded to trade him for anything less than a King’s Ransom though. They have him below market through 2011, I think.

    Even though he sort of looks like a zombie, I bet giving him up for Jose Guillen is a move Billy Beane quite regrets.

  8. I think JS would trade Jr. if he thought he was going to get a shot at playing. He’s obviously blocked in the Atlanta organization, but it probably take the ok of Jr. Possibly the only ever no-trade clause that wasn’t written into a contract.

  9. Mark Richt’s son Jon signed with Clemson this past signing season. All us Georgia fans support this because in the end, you don’t want to ever be at risk of nepotism. Nepotism led my school to 4 years of the Harricks.

    If JS can trade JS Jr., he should do that in a heartbeat. It’s better for JS and his kid because it’s a no win situation having your child playing in an organization you ar the GM of.

    Again, as AAR said: IT’S AARON FREAKING HARANG.

  10. Harang is a stud, a very similar pitcher to John Smoltz and he has a reasonable contract. For a team with two catchers, trading one of them for a starter of his ability is a great deal.

  11. The Reds did take Mesoraco, a high school catcher in the first round, but I would assume they would like to have Salty, as most other teams would too.

  12. In what organizations would Jr. not be blocked?

    Or how about this one.

    Unlike in most cases, Jr. is blocked from moving down, not up, the organizational depth chart.

  13. Harang is likely to be the best pitcher available from a team not in contention, and (If he is available) he will net the Reds a gigantic return.

    Salty alone would not do it, unless Krivsky has another “Austin Kearns” moment.

  14. It’s a weird world in which there are people who think Matt Morris is worth trading for and Aaron Harang isn’t.

    Morris is pitching in a pitchers’ park and has been pretty lucky this year. Basically his only skill is not giving up the long ball, and he isn’t even particularly good at that.

  15. Not only is Harang a beast, but judging by the opinions of some of these BJ readers, he has to be the most undervalued, unsung pitchers in MLB. Maybe Krivsky does not know what he has over there…

  16. Well, maybe Jr. shows leadership qualities of which we are unaware. He might be another Pete Orr!

  17. Although it would never happen, for many reasons, I would leave to have Scott Kazmir in a Braves uniform . . . pitching at Shea.

  18. I’d trade any prospect if the player gets the Braves to the World Series.

    Even if Salty turns out to be god there is no guarantee he’d win us a world series, AROD being example.

  19. If JS and Booby were about 5 to 7 years younger, this would be the perfect time to blow this roster up and build around McCann, Frenchy, KJ, and Salty

  20. Justin,

    If Chipper, Smoltz can’t keep themselves healthy that might happen sooner then you realize.

  21. I think some of you are right about Harang being undervalued by many people. I think he’s been flying under the radar and his name isn’t recognizable as great to many. That being said I too would love to have him. I think AlexR would like to have him too but has a man crush on Salty (just like me). I would hate to see Salty be traded, but if it is going to happen (and I get the feeling it probably will), then it has to be for someone with #1 or #2 stuff. Harang is that man. He also has a very reasonable contract until 2011. Salty for Buerhle is a no, but Salty for Harang is a yes in my book.

  22. I just checked out Harang’s baseballreference page, and he certainly has been quite good the past couple years. He’s starting to strike people out for the first time in his career, and since he’s only 29, maybe he’s really legit.

    I guess I may have spoken out of turn. Given Krivsky’s fetish for relievers, maybe we could trade Devine for him.

  23. Harang’s ERA’s, the last 3 years, are 3.76 or higher.

    His career ERA is at 4.23.

    Maybe AAR and I are missing something? Please fill us in as to why this guy is a ‘beast’.

    the one thing to like is the K/BB, but still, why is this guy higher on people’s radars over Morris and Buehrle?

  24. JoshQ

    Forget man crush, but c’mon, Salty’s awesome. He’s clearly a terrific prospect who already has the maturity at a young age to be a really great hitter and catcher, long term. What’s not to like?

    Salty is the kind of kid we can build around now, and long term.

  25. Honestly, Alex R, I think Mac’s first post on the subject should have shown why Harang is a better pitcher than Burly and Morris.

    Career ERA’s are one thing, but sustaining improved performance over the past three years is a better indicator of his current value.

  26. Alex, the Reds’ park is just a terrible, terrible place to pitch. Look at his Baseball-Reference page. Over the last three years, the ERAs adjusted for playing half your games in that park are 4.44, 4.81, and 4.56. That doesn’t even take into account the Reds’ bad defense.

    Trading any prospect, especially one you don’t even have a job for, for an established pitcher with a below-market contract who is one of the top strikeout pitchers in the game and three straight years of good ERAs — that’s a no-brainer.

  27. My bigger point about Salty, in fact, is we should be playing him now, like tonight, and everyday. At first base. He’s a far superior hitter to Scott Thorman.

  28. About that Big Ten vs. Comcast thing, I find it unbelievably ridiculous that the owners of these half-assed networks want to force everybody who subscribes to digital cable to buy their freaking channel. Isn’t that what a digital sports tier is for? Maybe I’m not understanding the concept here.

    I subscribe to the sports tier via Comcast here in Atlanta (mainly for the two soccer channels), and it’s five extra bucks a month. Now what the hell is wrong with that? People who want endless yammer about the NFL (oh wait, we already get that from ESPN…guess there’s really no point in getting the NFL Network) and baseball and, in this case, SECOND-TIER Big Ten sporting events, can pay for them if they want, but everyone who gets digital cable should not be forced to subscribe to an extremely niche channel.

    And forcing them to put it on BASIC cable is about the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life. I mean, MSNBC (which is no different from CNN and Fox News Channel, which are both on basic cable everywhere) isn’t on basic cable where I live. ESPNEWS, which is a pretty general sports channel, isn’t on basic cable where I live. What the hell chance does Big Ten Network with it’s women’s field hockey and indoor track championships have? They can bite me.

    Oh, and for the record, I would totally give up Salty for Harang, but then, I’d pretty much give up any prospect we don’t have an immediate need for, no matter how good.

  29. Alex, again, it’s the ballpark! It’s worth about a third of a run of ERA. That ERA last year is a 128 ERA+. Is John Smoltz a frontline starter? Well, last year his ERA+ was 126.

  30. I too like Salty a lot Alex R. I too want him at 1B tonite. I just have this gut feeling that JS looks at him and wants to maximize his value. So, he believes the best way to do that is to trade him and not make him a 1B. We can argue about that all day as I am one who would love to see him at 1B in the future. I just think that we have to get a top notch starter for him or I will cry foul and the rest of BJ will start a riot.

  31. Sorry if this is already posted somewhere

    News: According to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, the Braves are much more interested in Mark Buehrle than the Mets are.
    Impact: The Mets have indicated don’t want to give up Lastings Milledge or Carlos Gomez for a player in his walk year, and it’s safe to assume the Braves feel the same way when it comes to Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Yunel Escobar is a player we bet the White Sox would have a lot of interest in. The Braves value him highly, but it might be worth surrendering him to add Buehrle to the rotation.

  32. Maroth to the Cardinals for a player to be named later – seems like we coulda done that.

  33. Buehrle for Escobar? Do it. Add Buerhle and this team’s chances for winning the division just increased a lot.

    Do it, especially, if there’s any room for a long-term contract with Buehrle. Dunno the odds on that one, but if Andruw is elsewhere next year, I’d love to add a real major-league pitcher in that salary slot.

    Nick,
    I don’t think I’m nitpicking to say that there are rather obvious differences between CNN, MSNBC & FNN.

    But, I agree that the cable thing has gotten annoying to some degree. I already spend a small fortune each month for my upper-tier digital cable package & get every niche channel you can imagine.

    However, this year I had to spend another extra $5 a month for Versus, the hockey channel formerly known OLN. I mean, I get “Jewelry Television” and channels of Long Island cover bands playing awful versions of “Wild Thing” from their garages in Massapequa, but I have to pay even more for hockey.

    And, of course, I cannot get the Baseball Network, but that’s another conversation.

  34. Salty’s already a stud and Harang was a mediocre pitcher. Sorry, I don’t see it.

    How is Salty already a stud? Who cares what Harang was? I know everything has already been hashed out on this topic, but I just can’t get over this particular combination of sentiments.

    Harang would be a huge pick-up, which is exactly why we won’t get him. Denny Neagle is not walking through that door!

    I continue to be very worried about Smoltzie’s shoulder, by the way.

  35. Dunno the odds on that one, but if Andruw is elsewhere next year, I’d love to add a real major-league pitcher in that salary slot.

    The problem, ububba, is that $13MM is already devoted to raises for Smoltz and Hudson next season. We’ll likely have Wickman’s salary off the books, but we’ve also got some arbitration raises and, I suspect, a long-term deal for Francoeur looming. Barring a Renteria trade, an unexpected payroll bump from the higher-ups, or Hampton mercifully deciding to retire, I just don’t think the funds will be there.

  36. Stu, your the first person to mention Smoltz shoulder and I tried to beat around the bush regarding it earlier but his shoulder is messed up and is a big concern. In fact, i doubt he will last the whole year.

    I mentioned earlier that the offense will have to carry the team in the second half and I continue to stand by it.

  37. Stu,

    That’s why I said “if.”

    And I, too, remain concerned about Smoltz. That could be another pressing reason why JS may be agressively pursuing another starter. I’m not an alarmist, but Smoltzie’s not getting any younger.

  38. do we get insurance money on Hampton or Gonzalez this year. If so we could sign someone like Buerhle with this years Hampton money and then Hamptons money after 2008 can be applied there also?

  39. No insurance money was last year on Hampton and Gonzo is only making around 2 million…

  40. ububba,

    If/WHEN Smoltz has to end the year early I doubt the Braves will trade for anyone until July to see if they are still in it. Funny thing is, we might be sellers after all.

  41. the good thing is that we are due to score some runs and hopefully we can jump on Rogers early tonight. Hopefully Smoltz can keep their offense shut down.

    Bad thing is the next two pitching matchups look terrible on paper. I got a feeling Davies will look like Carlyle did against Boston

  42. King Diamond, thanks for the list. You are all over it. That is definitely the way to start.

    Develop a list of sellers. Determine the desirable players on their teams. Identify THEIR needs. Figure how your players can match up with their needs. Get it done.

  43. 1. Johnson
    2. Escobar
    3. Renteria
    4. Andruw Jones
    5. Francoeur
    6. McCann
    7. Diaz
    8. Thorman
    9. Smoltz

  44. okay serious, why Thorman and why Andruw and Francouer back to back? No Chipper again, he really frustrates me now. He’s the Griffey Jr of the braves

  45. Dear Kenny Rogers,

    Allow us the distinguished opportunity to welcome you back to Turner Field.

    Your last engagement here 7+ years ago was a memorable one and we still appreciate your efforts.

    Here’s to you, big guy.

    Sincerely,
    Braves Fans Everywhere

  46. Chipper is prob. going to go back on 15 DL. I don’t know about Thorman..

  47. Andruw may be fat and may suck but at least he doesn’t miss 20 games every time he falls down. Good lord.

  48. ubuubba,

    I’ll never forget Bobby Valentine slamming his hands down on the dugout rail and screaming “no” as Rogers walked in the winning run.

    One of my favorite memories of the last ten years. That was a heckuva game.

  49. I, for one, am glad to have Gary Sheffield back in the park. Hopefully he won’t hurt us too badly. How can you not love the only guy in MLB history that had to find a way to slow his bat down?

  50. jinx. I should have refreshed before I post. It’s good to see some love for the chef.

  51. wow, that might be the worst two out, noone on in the bottom of the second inning at bat I’ve ever seen, Jeff.

  52. Are we actually going to see Andruw’s average go down to sub .200 tonight?

    Boy that’s depressing.

  53. The Phillies signed JC Romero, which makes them a better team than they were yesterday.

  54. Rogers’ revenge, so far.

    Jeremy,
    I was at that game & don’t think I’ve ever been more relieved in my life when Jerry Crawford (I think) called ball 4. I was turning into a puddle.

  55. Kenny Rogers couldn’t have picked a better opponent for his first start of the year…

  56. It is terrifying to think what Verlander could do to the Braves lineup tomorrow…

  57. david, are you kidding me??? He was out and that was a good block by mccann

  58. Oh yeah, braves are done. Smoltz injured, Chipper DLed soon… not looking good!

  59. I thought he was out after I saw the replay, but no I wasn’t kidding. He had the plate blocked and the ball in his glove, so if the guy really got under it it would have been his fault. He did lift his leg a little early, but I don’t think Ordonez got the plate.

  60. This is depressing. The real problem here, as bad as 5 runs are, is that we just haven’t had an offense this month that can pull us from such an abyss. So, pitchers can’t go out there and relax knowing that in the end the offense will produce. And a good bullpen is useless when the score is out of reach by the time they get in the game.

    I think I might be with the artist formerly known as Unknown. We need offense. The trouble, I guess, is how do we get it when the players that such are not replaceable. After all, would JS or BC ever sit Andruw down for more than a game? Or ever sit Frenchy at all? Thorman’s the only one, seemingly, that can be bounced.

  61. And of course, offensively, we have nothing at Richmond that can come up and help. Those two players, Escobar and Salty, are already here.

  62. Theres no speculating, earlier i said Smoltz was hurt and nobody responded. I’m telling you that he’s not doing well and don’t be suprised if you hear something about it soon.

  63. Barry Bonds get a homerun watch. Does Andruw get a “about to hit under .200 watch?” If so, stay tuned.

  64. Smoltz won’t last the year and thats a fact! The Braves know it, thats why they haven’t pulled the trigger on a big SP trade b/c if Smoltz goes down the Braves aren’t contending.

  65. Team hasn’t hit in months, wonder what TP is doing?

  66. it’s time to trade chipper, andruw and even renty and start building around the young guys (mccan, frankie, salty, kj). may be a year or two of crap. but now’s the time to rebuild in the nl.

  67. What can TP do? He’s been given a roster of either impatient guys who wait for the elusive 3-run homer, guys who should be in AAA, or guys who’ve chosen 2007 to have their worst years ever. Can’t blame him for this.

  68. I think he might be live blogging the game… If you guess who, you’ll win a set of ginsu steak knives (no, not really).

  69. Or a tomato and then use the tomato halves to throw at Frenchy and Andruw, one right after the other as they pop out on first pitches. Or, you could throw have a tomato at Kyle Davies and then throw the other half the next day at the fifth starter flavor of the week.

  70. Maybe JS will genetically engineer a mix between Buddy Carlyle and Villareal. They could call it “The Bulture.”

  71. The silver lining is we’re being shut out by two of the best teams in the majors. If it was the Nationals and the Marlins doing this, I’d be more worried.

    But don’t get me wrong, I’m worried.

  72. Fredo, quite an entrance.

    And I’m watching “The Godfather” on Bravo. Just like this game, I know how it’ll end.

  73. Late to the party here. Just got in and put the kids down. This really, really wreaks. I can’t remember a stretch like this. Forget who we are playing and realize that we have been shut out 28 innings! That is horrible. All I can say is there is no way this will continue, but then again, I said that about Druw more than a month ago when he got his average up to a whopping .221. Hmmmm.

    I am not enjoying this version of the Braves as much as I thought I would at the beginning of the season. Come on, boys!
    Go Braves!!!!

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