Giants 2, Braves 1

ESPN – Braves vs. Giants Box Score, July 25 2007 – MLB

I stayed up late for that?

The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first as Andruw hit a little flare into center with two on — the Giants, who are almost definitely the slowest team in the majors even when the Sloth isn’t on the field, had no chance of keeping Escobar from scoring or Chipper from going to third. But Francoeur (hitting fifth against the lefty) hit a ball up the middle that was fielded for a double play, killing the rally. Get used to that.

Chuck James did pretty well. He allowed seven hits and struck out five, with only two walks, in six innings. He gave up an RBI single to tie it in the third. In the sixth, he allowed a solo homer to Rich Aurilia — no, Aurilia didn’t retire three years ago, but he should have — and winds up with an undeserved loss. He’s now 8-8 — with a 3.55 ERA. Paronto did a good job of keeping it close, going two innings and allowing two singles.

The offense was the problem, grounding into three double plays. In four of the last five innings, the Braves got the leadoff runner on, but failed to score. In the ninth, Francoeur led off with a double (I thought he could have made third if he’d run all the way) and got to third on a Diaz groundout, but Saltalamacchia struck out in a situation where almost anything would have tied the game, and KJ struck out pinch-hitting to end it, on a 3-2 count with McCann on deck. Ugh.

Pull the trigger, JS.

203 thoughts on “Giants 2, Braves 1”

  1. Forget squeezing C.J. Wilson out of the Rangers Schuerholz and just get Teixeria. Please?

  2. Salty is now hitting .228 in July. Yeah, his playing time has been erratic and all, but still. . . I don’t think he’s the answer to our 1B problems. He’s still a very immature hitter and has A LOT to learn.

  3. It would help. His EQA is .312 and his WARP1 of 2.9 is of course more than all our first basemen combined.

  4. I’ve chatted with Texas Rangers fans who think that their GM, Jon Daniels, is an idiot, but I told them that John Schuerholz could be desperate at some point after things like this. I don’t know if that’s right, but that’s what I said. One said that if Daniels got a trade where JS was fleeced, he’d be surprised.

  5. Dan, one more week of pain, but the Braves have to get CJ Wilson if we are going to give up Salty and Elvis.

  6. From everything I read, my impression this afternoon is correct. The deal is basically agreed to, the main point is if the Rangers will include a reliever, and who that reliever is, and if they’re going to send cash to Atlanta.

  7. Put me in the group that thinks Salty AND Andrus is way too much. I think it would be a colossal mistake to trade our two best prospects for an 8 month rental and a reliever.

  8. Long regarded as one of the top offensive prospects in the game, “Salty” could end up having been the key to the biggest deal of this year’s trade deadline. Late last night, the Braves and the Texas Rangers were said to be close to a deal that would send first baseman Mark Teixeira and a relief pitcher (such as C.J. Wilson, Ron Mahay or Joaquin Benoit) to Atlanta for Saltalamacchia, shortstop prospect Elvis Andrus and a minor-league pitcher.

    The Braves are set at catcher, now and for the near future, with All-Star Brian McCann. They like the 22-year-old Saltalamacchia enough that they’ve been trying to find him big-league at-bats as a first baseman and pinch hitter. But other teams like him, too, and if the Braves want to pull a major move to try and overtake the Mets and win back the NL East, they’re going to have to consider putting Saltalamacchia in a deal.

    http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/index.ssf?/base/sports-2/118542421988410.xml&coll=1

  9. Wow, when I left for China, we were all pining for Salty to get either full-time first base duties, or atleast in a platoon where he got a ton of at-bats. Now, less than three weeks later, people are saying that Salty is not the answer and he’s got a lot to learn. My how such a short time people can sour on someone so promising. If his June happened in July, you probably wouldn’t have so many people so crazy for Teixera.

  10. Not mentioned was the key sequence in the seventh inning. Score was 2-1, and the Braves had two on with one out against a tiring (and unfortunately left handed) Noah Lowry. Due up, Franco and the pitcher’s spot. Letting Franco hit was somewhat defensible I guess. Why else would he be on the team but to hit lefties. He predictabley flied out. Next up, pinch hitter…Chris Woodward! With McCann and Johnson available. But no we can’t use them even though they are 100 times the hitter Woodward is because they hit lefty. Woodward grounds out meekly to third. As TMQ would say, I wrote “Game Over” in my notebook.

    Bobby is still saving McCann for our 10th inning rally.

  11. Andrus? He’s an 18 year old nobody who is 3-4 years away from even making a September callup. Nobody should have the slightest hesitation about trading him now for a shot at the playoffs especially when the Braves would still have Renteria and Escobar. I have no doubt that Salty will be a quality major league catcher. The Braves already have an All-Star catcher signed to a long term deal. This trade makes all the sense in the world. You can’t hold onto unproven players when trading them can mean a chance to win a championship. The Braves’ window for winning is right now, this year what with Andruw being a free agent and Smoltz likely retiring in a year or two.

  12. I am kind of with Jeremy on this one. I keep hearing to get Texeira we would have to be willing to part with Salty, a SS (Andurus or Lillbridge), and a young starting pitcher. I think that would be a lot to give up, and would significantly deplete the minors for the next few years.

    That being said if JS can get something else back from the Rangers in return, RP or a minor league position player then I think we are moving in the right direction.

    One thing to remember is that if we did acquire Texeria and he left after the 2008 season we would very likely receive two first round picks as compensation.

    Of course all that being said I still don’t think the deal gets done.

  13. Texeria would be a huge upgrade over our incumbent 1bs but the key is the pitcher. Texas has to include a pitcher. Texeria is good no doubt but his numbers are skewed by his home stadium.

  14. Is today’s game at 4:05 or 7:05 PM eastern? The MLB site lists it as 7:05, but the article on “Trade Winds” says 4:05. 4:05 is the more common time for the West Coast.

  15. Tim Kurkijan on ESPN radio this morning says he things the Rangers’ asking price will be too high and Tex will not get traded. He also said that the Braves probably aren’t able to add enough payroll to make a major move.

    I like Kurkijan, but that seems really contrary to everything from other sources that has been posted here.

  16. It’s looking like either Mahay or Benoit as the reliever to be included in the Tex deal. Mahay is the lefty, but is 36. His numbers look pretty good this year (and his salary is $1.25 mil.)

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?statsId=5395

    From what I am reading, it is sounding more and more likely that the deal will get done. If you ask me, it’s not a moment too soon. I’ll echo Mac here – pull the trigger on the deal, JS. For the love of God, please!

  17. You can not get the lead off guy on in 4 of the last 5 innings and never score him. Tex of no Tex, every major league team should be able to score in at least 1 of those instances.

    I too like Tim, but I am confused by the last line where you said he was questioning our ability to take on the payroll. Why the heck would we be negotiating if there was no chance we could afford the $?

  18. Question 1:
    Why is Diory hernandez, our SS at Mississippi, never mentioned in polite company? He is only 23, hitting over .300 with some pop. We seem to be stacked at SS, with an MLB quality player or potential player on the bench (Escobar); at Richmond; Mississippi; and Myrtle Beach.

    Question 2: If Texas gets too piggy for Mark Teixera, with every California team slobbering over him, couldn’t we go approach the Reds about Adam Dunn for our 1B gig? He has a higher OPS than Mark, and is signed for a longer period. Surely we could do better with the Reds than the 3 people we are lobbing at Texas?

  19. Ok, finally, my chance to chime in on the Tex deal again since I did go to bed.

    I HATE West Coast games that start at 10 pm.

    Anyway, how anyone could look at the results of last night’s game, a 2-1 loss with Chuck James going 7 IP and only giving up 2 earned, but the offense doing basically nothing, as a sign that we should be dealing Salty for Snell.

    I am sure what’s his name (I won’t refer to him anymore) will be on here barking at me and Nick and everyone else that dealing prospects for one of the best offensive and defensive (and switching hitting) first basemen in Baseball is a giant mistake.

    Yes, Salty is clearly the answer at first base. Uh, not. He would be the answer at Catcher, yes, if we still had Johnny Freaking Estrada or an aging Javy Lopez. But we have Brian McCann. I see no reason to ‘hang onto’ Salty.

    As for Ian Snell, he’s a solid pitcher with good stuff, but last night, a lesser talent, Chuck James, lost a quality start. Last Sunday, Jo Jo Reyes, tossed a quality start and the Braves lost because they COULDN’T SCORE ANY RUNS.

    And while Teixeira is clearly needed on this team, as an earlier post said, what in GOD’S NAME WAS BOBBY POSSIBLY THINKING when he allowed Chris Woodward, that pieace of crap, to bat ahead of Kelly Johnson and Brian McCann?

    In all that is good & holy, in a game where your team is losing 2-1 and the Mets and Phillies had already won their games, how on earth does Bobby justify not using one of our two stud young hitters in that situation, and instead, use a loser like Woodward.

    This is why I will never understand those who praise Bobby as an in game genius. He’s a good overall manager in terms of dealing with players and managing a season as a marathon, not a sprint, but no manager with any common sense, when their team is losing and every victory is precious in a pennant race in late July, uses Cgris Woodward over Brian McCann.

    Honestly, getting Teixeira may save Bobby from himself. I’m disgusted with his managing–not to mention his recent use of the bullpen is worse then normal.

  20. Oh, and in case Bobby or anyone on Braves Journal was unaware, those annoying Phillies a–holes are now just 1 game behind the Braves for 2nd place in the East, while the Mets are now 4 up on us.

    Yes, every single frakking game counts.

  21. “This is why I will never understand those who praise Bobby as an in game genius. He’s a good overall manager in terms of dealing with players and managing a season as a marathon, not a sprint, but no manager with any common sense, when their team is losing and every victory is precious in a pennant race in late July, uses Cgris Woodward over Brian McCann.”

    I agree with this. Bobby has a lot of strengths, but in-game tactics is not one of them.

  22. Tex makes more sense than Dunn because of his defense.

    And it doesn’t hurt that he’s a switch hitter.

    I hope JS can get CJ Wilson out of the deal…

  23. I can understand not using McCann earlier because he wanted to wait in case he was needed at catcher. What I don’t understand is not using Johnson. I guarantee this is an instance of “getting the guy some at bats.” Ridiculous!!!

  24. Dunn also has a trade kick of like $10 million if he gets moved. I don’t see us doing that deal

  25. My question, and maybe the most important question associated with a Teixeira deal:

    If we get Teixeira, does this mean we can finally, FINALLY, see Chris Woodward out the door?

    This garbage player has singlehandedly hurt the Braves twice in the last 5 days.

    I think back to the 5 long years, Keith Lockhart disgraced the Braves uniform, why is it necessary for this team to always carry at least 1-3 completely useless players who do absolutely nothing well?

    Lockhart wasn’t good offensively or defensively (like Woodward) and yet both inexplicably keep getting at bats or playing time.

    The only safe conclusion Mac and I came to about Lockhart was that he had damaging photos of Bobby and that he blackmailed his way into a job each yr. Maybe Lockhart passed the photos to Kolbb, who gave them to Reitsma, who gave them to Woodward.

    It’s the only logical explanation.

  26. And to those that are comfortable that we may “only” be a game back in the wild card, notice too that Arizona and the Cubs are only a half game back of San Diego, and those Phillies remain just as far behind us (or close) in the WC race as they do in the division race.

    Somehow, 4 games back feels a lot worse than 3 and a half. How is it that we can only lose ground? The Mets struggle, and we struggle. Then we get hot and so do they. Then we struggle again, and they beat the teams they are supposed to beat. Hrmph!

  27. I think the Braves have awoken to the fact that Salty isn’t the answer. According to the AJC, the players are excited about the possibility of getting Teixera and, interestingly enough, one of them said it’s a good deal if all you have to give up is a Triple A player or platoon player. Presumably, they all know that Salty is the one to go so they clearly don’t think they can win with him at first. I’m sure he will be a good player but he just isn’t ready (and I don’t think the Braves expected him to be)and with Francoeur having become Juan Pierre, the Braves really need some pop. I’m stunned at how few home runs they are hitting. Did all the Braves stop the steroids at the same time? The real issue is whether a possible playoff appearance is worth giving up good prospects when Teixera is likely to leave in two years. But if they don’t make a move, this is a .500 team. They are now 7-6 against the Pirates, Reds, Cards, and Giants–this was supposed to be the time to make their move. And a lot is because of the offense. So, IMO, you either make the move or you start looking to next year.

  28. Just a note about the 7-6 record since the break. I would contend that we would be 10-3 or 11-2 if the bullpen wasn’t in meltdown mode. That being said, I also think we would be nearly 10-3 if we could score more runs.

  29. So when the Braves get Texiera and Salty is gone will we bring up Pena to give us a back up catcher? If so, who goes away to make room for him? Also who goes away to make room for the new relief pitcher (whoever it is)? I am really hoping one or the other of these situations causes us to DFA Woodward.

  30. Something else that bothered me last night was the play where Diaz bunted Franco over and Franco got thrown out at second. What really peeved me was that he didn’t even slide to try and break up a potential double play. This go around with the Braves has really shown me how old he is looking. He now plays like he is 50. The thought actually occurred to me that maybe he didn’t slide because he might throw out his hip.

  31. Ron Mahay looks like a flameout waiting to happen. I’m sure the Rangers are trying to package him with Tex, but hopefully Atlanta ends up with a fresher arm than that guy…

  32. It’s nice that Julio wants to play until 50 but the idea that he is starting at first base (apparently b/c of his defense)just defines this team. In the last 7 games, the Braves have totalled 35 runs, ie, 5 per game. But they have scored less than 5 in 5 of those games and less than 3 in 3 of them. So, please don’t give me the stats about how they are 4th or whatever in runs scored. Scoring 14 one day and 2 the next doesn’t work.

    I will believe the Tex trade when it happens. Rumors from the media don’t mean squat. Contrary to what Alex said yesterday, the Red Sox do need offense. Neither Manny or Ortiz are having particularly good years and they just played back to back 1-0 games (with the Indians? What’s going on in the AL?) I think they or someone else could swoop in at the last minute. The only thing that comforts me some is that the Braves probably need to make a deal more than the other teams involved.

  33. Alex,

    I think you make a lot of great points, but the Braves offense is still 5th in the NL in runs scored. If you take one or two games over the course of the season and use that as proof of the offense lacking your not getting the complete story.

    I still think the more prudent move would be to upgrade the rotation (Ian Snell), as we are 9th in runs allowed. That being said if you cannot strengthen your weakest link why not strenghten the offense.

    On the plus side I think it is about time we start giving Chuck James more praise. This is his 5th good start, and 4 of them have been quality starts.

    I too hope this is the end of the West Coast games.

  34. BTW, Glavine won his 299th. I know it hurts the Braves but I can’t root against him. After he gets his 300+ wins, I hope he retires and ends up back in the Braves organization in some capacity, although I doubt it will happen while JS is around. As far as I’m concerned, he will always be a Brave. (Although I know some don’t feel as kindly toward him.) At least from a distance, he seems the antithesis of Barry Bonds.

  35. Marc,

    Contrary to what you are saying, the Red Sox still have plenty more offense than the Braves.

    Manny and Ortiz are still hitting plenty, so is Youkilis, Lowell, Varitek, Pedroia and others. This team is just fine offensively.

    But the larger problem is that a lot of teams are contending to get Tex so we may have to package in Andrus. Fine. You can’t constantly “play for the future” when you are about to lose the veteran leadership of your team by the end of 2008.

    Plus, if Andruw leaves, we still have Teixeira and Chipper in the middle of the order. Obviously the players in Atlanta want it. Only Cox probably isn’t excited because it might mean less at bats for 49 year old Franco.

    I love Julio but seeing him starting is cringe-worthy. Seeing Woodward starting at all is criminally insane.

  36. And Kenny, you just underscored my point.

    We just got another quality start from James, and a quality start on Sunday from Jo Jo Reyes. Buddy has had several quality starts in a row and I suspect another one tonight, against that old Giants lineup.

    Yet despite last night’s quality Chuck James performance and the one Sunday by Reyes, we lost both games. The problems were the bullpen and the offense. Reyes and James were not the reasons we lost. That’s why getting Snell and bypassing Teixeira makes no sense whatsoever.

  37. 37.- I also can’t believe that Franco is refusing to downsize from that redwood tree to at least something as small as a utility pole. Give him a swingable piece of lumber and he might turn into a .350 hitter!

  38. The other thing I see happpening over & over is that when the Braves face quality starters, we really can’t score. Sure, we can pound the Tim Reddings of the world, but Noah Lowry, a quality starting pitcher, completely shut us down. (and yes, Bobby’s stupid managing and use of Woodward didn’t help).

    But in the post season, if we made it, you’re facing the Jake Peavys and Tom Glavines a lot more and if you can’t find a way to score of those better pitchers, your completely S.O.L.

  39. Alex,

    I will still disagree with you as far as getting Ian Snell. It would not be just what he would bring this year, but the fact that he would still be locked up for several more years. I like how you think Buddy Carlye is a quality pitcher when it underscores your point. Again, don’t get me wrong if we can get Texeira for a resonable price I am definitely for it. I just don’t think we can afford to totally sacrafice our minor league system with a team’s payroll that will continually be held at a moderate level.

  40. Alex you just summed up why we have only won 1 WS in all those years. Our offense could never get it done. I think it would be great if we could improve the starting pitching in order to get through the rest of the season. The thing is that if/when we get into the postseason, our 4th and 5th starter won’t matter. I’m find with C James as a 3rd guy if we have a team that can score some runs.

  41. Alex,

    I agree about needing to make the deal, but I still think the Red Sawx, seeing their lead over the Yankees shrinking, might panic and give away the farm, if for nothing else, to keep Tex away from the Yankees (although I doubt the Yankees really want him). I’ve gone back and forth over whether to play for this year or not. I don’t want to mortgage the future but if they are serious about winning this year, they have to make a deal. And, I agree, you can’t keep just playing for the future, especially since most prospects don’t pan out.

    And I disagree with Kenny about the offense. As I said, the rankings are misleading–this offense is very inconsistent. I have never considered this a good offense. If they had a chance to get a stud pitcher who could eventually replace Smoltz, I would probably do that, but I don’t see that happening and I think you are better off improving the offense than acquiring a number three starter. Frankly, if I were the Pirates, I would try to get more than Salty (who is, after all, still a prospect) for Snell.

  42. You know, I was all for getting Snell, but I’m now in the Tex camp. We need him. Let’s get him.

    By the way, Chuckie J. has been pitching like an ace for a few weeks now. Cool, huh?

  43. Marc,

    I agree I don’t see how the Pirates would give up Snell for just Salty, but if they were willing I would take it. I understand what you mean by the Braves offense being inconsistent, that is why it is not higher. Outside of obviously 1st base where else would we possibly upgrade?

  44. JoshQ-

    Exactly…as I pointed out yesterday, all those years we had 3 of the 10 best starters in Baseball (Smoltz, Maddux and Glavine) and yet only 1 WS title…we couldn’t score any runs. (Plus, it didn’t help that Maddux and Glavine weren’t as good in the post season as the regular season).

    Mark Teixeira changes the equation.

  45. If your tired of talking about Salty, here’s something interesting……….

    “The Yankees have been calling a few teams to see if they’d be interested in taking center fielder Johnny Damon off their hands. One of those teams is the Braves, whose answer (according to an official with one of the teams involved, who requested anonymity because he was talking about deals that weren’t completed) was that they liked Damon, “but not at that price.” Damon is signed through 2009 at $13 million per season, and if the Yankees were to trade him, which they technically could if they believe Jason Giambi is coming back soon from his foot injury, they’d probably have to chip in a good chunk of that salary. That, along with Damon’s limited no-trade clause, makes it unlikely the Yankees would deal him, but it sure is interesting that they’ve looked into it”. — http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/index.ssf?/base/sports-2/118542421988410.xml&coll=1

  46. Do the deal yes–but only if the Braves get an arm with Teixeria. Best case scenario includes trading Salty, Lillibridge (maybe the Rangers are dumb enough) and Harrison–rather than Salty, Andrus and Reyes.

    Andrus is about 2 years from a call-up not 3-4. To understand his potential look at his age in relation to the average age of the league. Still, a prospect is nothing but a prospect until he proves otherwise,

    Finally, I really hope that once the deal is done, Bobby will refrain from using Chris Woodward! What was Bobby thinking??

  47. 680 the fan was just talking Braves and trade rumors. A new one was mentioned this morning (at least for me). The Yankees and Braves have talked about bringing Johnny Damon to Atlanta.

    No link. It was on the radio.

  48. what is Damon hitting this season, like .250? I don’t know about all that. Still he’s living proof that baseball is so easy, a caveman can do it.

  49. I agree it kills me watching Woodward or Orr getting a start, and I know this will be unpopular but I was never much of a fan of Julio Franco.

    I had the idea the other day that we just use either KJ or Escobar as the 1st basemen when they are not playing second, and put Diaz at 1st as well sometimes when Willie is in the outfield. I know that wouldn’t be the traditional power you would like from 1st base but it has to be better than what we are getting now.

  50. Kenny,

    I’m not saying there are any alternatives, but there are several weak spots in the batting order; cleanup obviously being one. I think rightfield is another–other than his RBIs (situational dependent)and batting average, Francoeur hasn’t been an impact player. McCann isn’t having the year he did last year–partly because of injuries and partly because you couldn’t expect a repeat of last year. Left field has been ok, but again little power. Obviously, you can’t upgrade in all areas, but, to me, there are a lot of weaknesses. But if you add another big bat, it’s likely to help the rest of the order. I think the big thing is the lack of home runs.

  51. I didn’t want to trade Salty because I thought it was clear that he should start at first base full time because he was the best option. Now that I see that that isn’t going to happen, the best thing to do is to trade him. I was never so high on Andrus to begin with, so I wouldn’t mind if he was traded. But the fact is the Braves would be giving up their two best prospects, so a pitcher has to be included in this thing.

  52. Just say no to Damon. My guess is that he would play LF which would be a serious downgrade from Diaz/Harris. This to me sounds like one of those NY driven rumors that are giant loads of crap.

  53. Marc,

    I am not going to get on Francouer too much. I think he is starting to learn how to hit and once he can figure out how to hit and drive the ball I think he can actually be as good as everyone thinks he is. He is still leading the Braves in RBIs right?

  54. I defer everything to JS. The guy is sharp and generally comes up with something that works. I’m tired of saying what he should be doing. Whatever he does, I’m on board with . . . he doesn’t dissapoint that often.

  55. Kenny,

    I agree that he has made progress in some respects. His OBP is pretty decent compared to last year. But a right fielder with 10 home runs at the end of July, a .429 slugging percentage and .766 OPS just isn’t a productive player. The RBIs reflect the fact that he comes up with a lot of runners on base. And the point is not that he isn’t improving but that he isn’t producing enough this year for a corner outfielder. I’m not saying they should trade him and maybe he will be great. But he isn’t right now.

  56. “One of those teams is the Braves, whose answer . . . was that they liked Damon, “but not at that price.””

    Cashman: We’ll give you Damon for Pete Orr and a couple of tickets to the Atlanta Symphony.

    JS: Hmm, I like Damon, but not at that price.

  57. JoshQ-

    How DARE you apply common sense in response to what is obviously some Yankee (homer) driven rumor by one of their state run newspapers.

    Oh yes, let’s pay $13 mill for over the hill Johnny Damon. Please. I suppose the Yankees/state run newspaper “suggested” we “throw in” Escobar, Andrus and Lillibridge for Damon and say taking Carl Pavano and his salary off their hands–right?

    I am surprised Peter Gammons and Buster Olney don’t form a barber shop quartet w/ Steve Phillip and Tim Kurkjian to help spew this kind of ludicrous crap.

  58. People who are bitching about Woodward are conveniently forgetting that Renty (K), Chipper (K), Andruw, Salty (K) and KJ (K) all failed with the a tying runner in scoring position—just like Woodward.

    I’m not crazy that about Woodward is on this team, but he’s not the only reason Atlanta lost last night. It’s best players failed in big spots. Happens.

    Let’s win today & get out with 3 of 4.

  59. I love how every deal ever talked about by ESPN A) involves the Yankees or Sawx, B) involves the Yankees or Sawx getting the better end of the deal or C) involves some team that has payroll restrictions taking over some bad contract on some over the hill veteran that the Yanks or Sawx would love to unload.

    This is what has gotten so tiring me about Baseball. ESPN and other newspapers feel the need to make EVERYTING THAT EVER HAPPENS WITH BASEBALL somehow about the Yankees & Sawx.

  60. ububba,

    Yes, fine, but Woodward should not have taken the pinch hit at bat from McCann and Woodward still neeeds to be destroyed.

  61. True ububba…the inning where Renty and Chip K’d was pretty ugly. I pretty much had no hope Andruw would do anything (I generally have zero hope for him providing anything offensively). I think Woodward just stuck out because he is just a warm body holding a roster spot and therefore easy to pick on.

  62. Marc your point contradicts itself. The RBI’s only reflect that he comes up with a lot of men on base?? Umm what? It means he’s batting those men in when they are on base, hence the Runs Batted In.

  63. Alex,

    ESPN focuses on what it thinks its viewers want. Like it or not, Yankees/Red Sox is the biggest rivalry in baseball and involve the biggest market in the country. They have fans all over the country. They also are the most passionate fans. They are also two of the best teams. I get tired of it too, but without Yankees/Red Sox, interest in baseball would be a lot less. Let’s face it, in a lot of places, people have already shifted to the NFL (or,should I say, the mini-SEC).

  64. I hate that argument. It doesn’t matter how many men are on base when he comes up if he’s not batting them in he’s not going to have any RBI’s. He bats 5th and 6th, remember? Leading the team in RBI’s batting 5th and 6th is pretty damn good.

  65. Marc,

    Do you think that logic is sort of a self-fullfilling prophecy? That is, ESPN hypes the Red Sox-Yankees because that’s what they think people want, and because of all the hype, people begin to think that the Yankees-Sox really are the most important thing in baseball. 2003-4 was great, but neither team has been all that important since then.

  66. Alex,

    I saw what Bobby was doing & wasn’t crazy about his chances of success there either. It didn’t work.

    He was saving KJ and/or McCann for a spot against the closer. He got KJ up (pretty much in the same kind of situation, except against a RHP), but not McCann. He gambled & lost.

    We had plenty of chances to win that game. I wish we had a better player in that roster spot than Woodward, but we don’t right now, so I don’t waste much energy on him when he performs up to expectations.

  67. Don’t the BoSox have the best record in baseball? That sounds semi-important.

    Mac, poll question: For or against Tex? (Simple, straightforward headcount).

  68. I am with AMH 100%.

    ESPN continues to shovel those teams down our throats, therefore, Joe Q. Public has now been conditioned to care about the Sawx and Yanks, even if Joe Q. Public lives in freaking Minnesota–because that’s what ESPN says.

    Marc, you are buying into the hype and ESPN is achieving what it hopes. Remember…where is ESPN located? CONNECTICUT. What 2 teams do people in that state root for? NYY and Boston. That’s a lot of it.

    ESPN gives credence to rumors that the Braves are going to trade prospects for over the hill crap like Damon, because it wants to continue hyping the Yankee and Sawx machine. And then when the Braves get a Tex instead of a Boston, the ESPN crew always acts with surprise…like why in God’s name would anyone but the Yanks or Sawx get a great player?

  69. Lando,

    I’m not going to completely denigrate his RBIs because I agree with you–someone has to knock them in. But, if Matt Diaz played every day and batter fifth, I bet he would have almost as many RBIs. Francoeur’s other numbers are terrible. He doesn’t hit for power and he doesn’t get on base all that much. He is Matt Diaz with a lower batting average. Again, I’m not saying we should trade him, my whole point is that his overall production is not up to snuff for a right fielder who is supposed to be one of the primary players on the team. Consequently, the Braves need another bat.

  70. If the fight is over whether Frenchy (and others)has lots of RBI’s because he is a clutch hitter or just because he has lots of opportunities based on where he bats in the order, maybe we should use a stat like the following to settle it ………… “Batting Average with Runners in Scoring Position (abbreviated BA/RISP or BA/RSP) is a baseball statistic derived by dividing a players hits with runners on second or third base by his at bats with runners in scoring position. Batting Average with Runners in Scoring Position is often used as an indicator of clutch ability, as a hit with a runner on second or third will likely score the runner and is thus considered a clutch situation. Recently, however, the statistic has been replaced with Win Probability Added, considered to be a better measure of clutch ability”.

    Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batting_Average_with_Runners_in_Scoring_Position”

  71. Do we expect Woodward to be able to come through in the clutch? No, but we do espect Chipper, Renteria and our regulars to do that. We couldnt even move runners over last night. Its like everyone was trying to hit the 2 run HR and everyone on the Giants staff knew they would be swinging at everything. Thats another reason why we couldnt score last night, Lowry could have thrown 200 pitches if he needed to. All he has to throw us were cutters and change ups.

    I still dont like the fact that when McCann isnt playing we cant use him during regulation. Why save someone for extras when the guys your putting out there cant perform well enough to get us there. Im getting the impression that there will be no major trade for us at the deadline, its all talks and someone on either side will pull out.

  72. petros, Im not surprised at all. Which it makes me more frustrated that Bobby lets him bat cleanup behind our two hottest hitters. I would rather have Frenchy or McCann there

  73. Wow, and you said Frenchy was a Matt Diaz. HAH!

    His WPA is much better than Diaz’s. Salty and Andruw are pretty bad…. ugh

  74. I know the Braves want Tex, but did they have to prove to us why? I mean last night was sort of embarassing…then again they could be tired thanks to the bullpen. Extra inningS on Sunday, west coast flight…then another extra inning on Tuesday who knows. The fact remains we need a stud in this line-up who might even hit a homerun. Edgar and Chipper will not remain this hot forever…and Francouer, McCann, and KJ are still immature hitters with emphasis on Francouer. AJ…well just sad.

    Can we close the book on the Great Ian Snell….his line against the Mets on Tuesday:

    4.0 innings/10 hits/6 er/ 1 HR/5 SO

    How about Gorzelany on Wednesday:

    2.1 innings/7 hits/6 er/3 walks/1 SO

    I will take Chuck and Jo-Jo over that anyday.

  75. Alex,

    C’mon. ESPN is part of one of the largest corporations in the world. Are you seriously suggesting that they focus on the Red Sox and Yankees because the HQ is in Connecticut? You can’t be that naive. It’s like saying Time Warner didn’t want the Braves to win because all the executives are Yankee and Met fans. Corporations care about profit, that’s it. I could just see the president of ESPN telling the Disney Chairman, “Well, I know our ratings are hurt by showing the Yankees/Red Sox but the headquarters staff likes it because we all live in Connecticut.” Do you really think that ESPN (Disney) is making its programming decisions based on what people in Connecticut like to see? You can’t be serious.

    I mean, you can argue about whether their judgement is misplaced, but to say they are making decisions based on their personal loyalty to teams is just not a very realistic view of how the world works. This is business to them, nothing else.

    As for the question of whether Frenchy is or is not a “clutch” hitter, that’s irrelevant to my point. Even if he is a clutch hitter, he still needs to be more productive overall than he is. For one thing, you expect a right fielder to be able to generate offense when there are no runners in scoring position, ie, with home runs.

  76. Please don’t tell Texas that Salty’s WPA is lower than Langerhaus’ and Orr’s were.

  77. That WPA ranking is interesting:

    1. KJ ranks higher than Renteria.

    2. Woodward, Andruw, Salty, and Thorman all rank behind all of our pitchers, as well as Langerhans, as bad as he was, and Wilson who was quickly released.

  78. lando, once again, WPA is not only a function of “clutchiness”, but also “opportunities to be clutchtastic”. Diaz has less at-bats, and most of his at-bats come lower in the order after the OBP machines of Frenchie, AJ, etc.

    I think the problem with ESPN is they’re so deep within the forest they can’t see the trees. They’ve become so large and powerful they ain’t got a damn clue what the average Joe wants. Plus, sports coverage is a weird thing. It ain’t like normal news where you have world, national, state, and local tiers. You’ve got 30 teams in baseball with their own devout fanbases. Sure the Yanks and Sawkx are probably the most popular, but together I bet they don’t make up more than 10% of all baseball fans.

    From a business standpoint, I guess it makes sense to just focus on the largest group, but eventually alienating the other 90% is bad for business.

  79. Note: I’m a big fan of WPA, but I think it’s still a pretty flawed statistic, mainly due to my statistician mind blaring “SMALL SAMPLE SIZE ALERT” over and over. Some of the guys on that list probably have less than 10 high-leverage plate appearances.

  80. I do think ESPN’s location in Bristol influences their coverage of Yankees/Red Sox. People are influenced by what’s relevant where they live and work. If ESPN was based in Chicago, I think there would be relatively more White Sox/Cubs and less Red Sox/Yankees.

  81. Josh,

    But the point is, even if only 10% of the public are Red Sox or Yankee fans, there are probably a lot more that will watch the Red Sox/Yankees because of their notoriety. Baseball’s problem on national TV is that it is very much a local game. National ratings are generally abysmal and even the World Series, unlike the Super Bowl,doesn’t really draw big ratings anymore except in the cities with the two participants. People primarily want to watch their favorite teams, unlike the NFL where people will watch pretty much any game that’s on. So, to program for a national audience, you have to put on teams that you think has some interest across the board. That’s probably the main reason the Braves have been on what, 3 or 4 Sunday night games even though they aren’t as good as, say the Brewers. Like it or not, the Red Sox and Yankees have (or, at least ESPN’s business judgement is) that those teams will draw more casual fans nationwide. Fox thinks the same thing, that’s why the Yankees ALWAYS have the prime time game to open the playoffs. The fact is, baseball is a difficult sell on a nationwide basis.

    It bothers me too that the East Coast teams get so much attention. Look at the Sid Bream game in 1992 with the Pirates; people hardly talk about what was one of the most dramatic endings in baseball history. I guarantee if the Yanks or Red Sox had been involved, people would talk about it all the time. But it’s a measure of the fact that baseball has to some extent receded as a national sport.

  82. I refute the notion that the Yankees and Red Sox have the most passionate fan bases. Just because they have large numbers of fans, mostly fairweather, doesn’t make them the most passionate.

  83. I agree with you Marc. Which is pretty sad. Pro football is a terrible, terrible game.

    Funny that you mention Sid Bream. I went out last night with 5 Pirates “fans” who ranted for a long time about how awesome that play was even though they lost… mainly because it gives them a concrete reason to hate Barry Bonds.

  84. Ironically, Marc, baseball has itself at least partially to blame for the local nature of the game. After all, it hasn’t exploited superstations, like TBS or WGN, but instead fought against them, nor has it tried to find other outlets to build a national fan base. Yet such a strategy would work. After all, it was TBS that brought many in this community (BravesJournal) together despite the fact that many of us have never lived in Georgia or the South. And as a result, when the Braves visit Texas, I go (and when I lived in San Antonio, I went to the games in Houston). Unfortunately, as both TBS and WGN are done away with (and yes TBS made that decision, but before they did so, they were pressured not to air so many games), the game will become even more regional leaving fans like me out of the picture.

  85. Justin,

    Having been to Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium, yea they are pretty passionate. The energy in those ballparks is absolutely amazing.

  86. Marc, I wouldn’t say that “people hardly talk about” when Sid slid. Certainly, most of the people talking about it are in the South. But that’s okay. It’s still undoubtedly one of the most-replayed playoff moments of the ’90s.

  87. just wondering if we ever came up with a valid reason as to why runners dont tag up on deep fly balls like the one that Julio hit last night. If an outfielder has his back turned towards home plate and is at the warning track there is no way he can throw out someone running to 2nd or 3rd. If its over his head then there is no way he can keep someone from scoring from 2nd. It seemed like last night was just another game where the guys just kept making one bad decision after another

  88. AAR,

    Yeah, but if it was the Yankees, especially, it would be talked about. Of course, one problem was that it happened after MIDNIGHT. After Bream scored, my friend from Atlanta called and woke up my wife. Not good.

  89. My biggest problem with ESPN is not that it focuses it sole coverage on Sox/Yanks. My problem is that ESPN has become a monopoly and it has drained all the creativity out the network. I hate these stupid special like “Who’s Now.” Here is a link to the best article on what is wrong with ESPN.

    http://www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com/?p=1406

  90. I find WPA fascinating, but it’s important to consider a few things when you’re comparing players:

    First, as said in #95, it’s based on opportunities. Both the number of opportunities and the type of opportunities (crucial or non-crucial situations) are important.

    WPA alone doesn’t tell you much unless you know how many at-bats a player has and the leverage of those at-bats (measured on FanGraphs by Leverage Index or just “LI”).

    If you look at the numbers from FanGraphs, WPA/LI neutralizes the effect of high- and low-leverage situations and puts all players on a level playing field in that regard.

    Their “Clutch” rating is also partially dependent on LI. The lower a player’s LI, the less chance he has had to affect his Clutch rating.

    On my site (where I track the Braves only), I keep up with an “expected clutch” number that neutralizes for this second effect. I abbreviate it EC, if you decide to visit. I also track what you might call pure “clutch performance (CP),” which eliminates that EC variable and provides what I think is the best look at whether a player has been “clutch.”

    Right now, Moylan, McCann, and Escobar are tearing it up in the clutch department, while Hudson, Diaz, and Davies are lagging behind. Hudson, and maybe Diaz, are perhaps the big surprises on that list.

    I remain unconvinced that there is a significant difference between players in innate clutch ability, but it’s interesting to see where players rank on a leaderboard like this.

    I know WPA has its shortcomings, but clearly some of you are interested in it, so you might want to check all this out.

  91. I hope we have a plan “B” if the Texeira negotiations drag on until Tuesday. Texas may wait until the last minute to let the suitors offer more and better deals. If we don’t complete this deal, we still badly need a lefty reliever who can actually get a lefhanded batter out………… I also think the offense is a bigger problem than the starting pitching.

  92. Remeber how this off-season it was all “LaRoche for Gonzo straight up!!!!1”? Well, I do, and I remember saying at the time that there was no way that was all we would get for LaRoche.

    Well, it’s the same thing here. Salty for Teix straight up won’t happen either. From the Atlanta perspective. Maybe if Teix had another year on the arb. clock, maybe if there would be a lot of money coming Atlanta’s way, but not otherwise. And if the Braves are throwing in more prospects…. Well, I just don’t see it happening. I find an Andrus/Harrison-or-JoJo-or-Davies/lower-level pitching prospect for Teix to be a lot more likely. Or something like Salty/lower-level pitcher for Teix/lefty reliever. But this Salty + Andrus + high-minors pitcher crap? No, not gonna happen.

    My guess is people are going to come away shocked when the Braves only give up one of Salty and Andrus and get back Teix AND a reliever.

  93. Ok, if people really want to LOOK AT why Baseball and Basketball ratings have been suffering the last few years (steroids and cheating refs aside), it’s what I brought up yesterday to a colleague of mine (who happens to be a Red Sox fan):

    The start times of post season games.

    It’s been discussed before, but the biggest way you BUILD an audience is by getting generations of kids into your sport.

    I am 32 years old and growing up in the 80’s, even though the Braves stunk, I was still able to get into Baseball as a whole each October because Playoff and WS games started at reasonable hours, since I am part of the majority of the population that lived or grew up on the east coast.

    They keep using the west coast as an excuse but no offense to those on here from the west coast, but F— the west coast.

    These 9 PM+ or 10 PM+ EST start times for playoff games is eliminating generations of kids from watching these sports. So great…kids in L.A. and Seattle can watch, but what about kids in Atlanta and Philly and Boston and NY? When you’re parents are sending you to bed, a kid can’t stay up & watch that late and function.

    We used to have a lot of DAY games for the NBA Finals or WS games. That’s a myth now. Even during the most recent NBA Finals, Game 4 was a Sunday NIGHT…why not at least have had that game during the afternoon?

    So I won’t just blame the incessant pandering to Yanks and Sawx, because even when those teams play in the Fall, a lot of the youngest potential fans can’t watch anyway.

    If you ask me, thsi is one of the things I believe Stern and Selig have done to most help ruin the audience for their respective sports.

  94. Furthermore, if these start times don’t change, my soon to be arriving son won’t have the opportunity to watch the World Series for a long time, unless I DVR the ganmes for him.

  95. I think you are stretching a bit when complaining about the lack of exposure of the Sid Bream play…1st it wasn’t the World Series, 2nd the Braves didn’t win the World Series that year, and unfortunately it was the Braves against Pirates. Enough of that…

    Diaz not performing in the clutch is not a surprise to me, that’s why he’s not an everyday player.

  96. I seriously do not believe in “clutch” situations, but 2 out/RISP is about as close as I’ll get to believing in it.

  97. “and unfortunately it was the Braves against Pirates. Enough of that…”

    That’s the point, isn’t it? How much would it be talked about if the “Sid Bream slide” happened in the 1992 ALCS between the Yankees and Red Sox?

  98. ESPN using their “Who’s Now?” segments for cross-promotion. What does the cast of “I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry” know about sports?

  99. Tony,

    Those are good points about the Bream play, but the Giants didn’t win the World Series after Bobby Thomson’s home run either, but that still gets a fair amount of attention. And I still say if it had been the Yankees/Red Sox, we would be seeing it all the time. And your last point is what I was saying, the lack of attention relates to the teams playing.

    As for the start times of playoff games, Alex, I assume you are not advocating day games during the week for the World Series. When I was a kid, all the WS games were during the day and it was great fun to sneak radios into school and listen (most teachers didn’t mind). But one of the problems with afternoon games on the weekend is that people don’t stay home to watch, especially during the spring. Playing the NBA Finals on a Sunday afternoon in June would be ratings suicide. And WS games aren’t played during the day because of football. As for the times, I agree they start too late, largely because Fox insists on a having its 45 minute pre-game show. But they have tried starting the games earlier and found that the ratings are better for the later start times. And you can’t just ignore the West Coast and start the games at 4 pm PCT. That’s not fair either and, from a business perspective, why would you want to foreclose major TV markets from seeing the game? But the main reason that there are few playoff games during the day on weekends is because of football. The networks don’t want to put even a WS game against the NFL.

    The reality is, sports leagues are dependent on TV. The NFL is strong enough that it can pretty much do what it wants but MLB and the NBA can’t. And TV is much more concerned about the ratings during particular times of the day than they are about when the game ends. In other words, they would rather have more people watching during prime time; to do that, they have to start the games late enough for the West Coast people to be able to watch. They are indifferent to how many people are watching at the end, so they don’t care that the games end late.

    I know no one wants to hear this, but sports is a business. The networks just want to maximize revenue. That’s why TW decided it would rather have Friends reruns or the Bill Engvall Show than the Braves. They think they will make more money.

  100. “Who’s Now” segments and Sportscenter updates from Sage Steele are the highlights of my day.

  101. Oh also about the Bream play, it wasn’t a homerun…The point about it being the Braves against the Pirates is that it’s just not “sexy”. The Pirates were in the NLCS for the 3rd straight year…their team was pretty boring. The Braves were upstarts, trying to get back to the Series for the 2nd year in a row. And the games was on CBS with Sean McDonough calling the play instead of Vin Scully, or Jack Buck. Now Skip had a great call, but I’m talking TV. Having said all that, if the Braves would have would the World Series the play would get more play.

    Is Tex a Brave yet????

  102. Sage Steele…interestingly, she’s a former colleague of mine here in the DC area when we both worked at the sports cable channel here.

    She’s that gorgeous in person, too. :-)

    As for the ‘Chuck & Larry’ cast, I never want to hear anyone on BravesJOurnal ever again complaining about more air time for someone who looks like Jessica Biel.

    Tony,

    I am advocating 7 PM EST starts during the week. At least!

  103. My comment about Sage Steele was dripping with sarcasm. I think she is beyond terrible. It’s cool that you used to work with her, and I am sure that she is a perfectly nice person, but her being given airtime is the equivalent of Chris Woodward getting playing time.

  104. How many times have you seen Aaron fucking Boone’s home run? The Yankees didn’t win the world series that year either. I know it was more recent and “more now” (haha), but…

    1) Aaron Boone wasn’t a “true yankee ™” [imagine if Jeter had hit it]
    2) Wakefield is hardly Schilling or Pedro
    3) The Yankees didn’t win the WS
    4) Boone was a cocky little asshole after the home run (imo) showing more arrogance and taunting than pure joy

    I think the awesomeness of Bream’s play is the pure unlikeliness of it all.

    3rd string Catcher knocks in the winning run which is scored by possibly the slowest man in baseball at the time. Not only that, but the left fielder was a regining gold glover (average arm or not), and the pitcher was no slouch (ok he was an average reliver). All with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth holy shit.

    I just pooped a little I got so excited again.

  105. How many times have you seen Aaron fucking Boone’s home run? The Yankees didn’t win the world series that year either. I know it was more recent and “more now” (haha), but…

    1) Aaron Boone wasn’t a “true yankee ™” [imagine if Jeter had hit it]
    2) Wakefield is hardly Schilling or Pedro
    3) The Yankees didn’t win the WS
    4) Boone was a cocky little asshole after the home run (imo) showing more arrogance and taunting than pure joy

    I think the awesomeness of Bream’s play is the pure unlikeliness of it all.

    3rd string Catcher knocks in the winning run which is scored by possibly the slowest man in baseball at the time. Not only that, but the left fielder was a regining gold glover (average arm or not), and the pitcher was no slouch (ok he was an average reliver). All with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth holy shit.

    I just pooped a little I got so excited again.

  106. The starting time of the game is up to MLB. But if MLB wants to wring every last cent out of the TV contract, Fox is going to demand that the games be on at a time that is most beneficial to Fox. If MLB says ‘we’re starting the games at 7:30 pm EST” then Fox (or another network – please!) will probably not pay as much for the rights. But MLB may need to take a short term financial hit to build more interest in the games.

    If pre-game started at 7:30 and first pitch at 8:00 I don’t think that is unfair to the west coast. As it is, I can’t stay up to watch the last few innings. If I had a choice, I’d prefer to see the end of the game and miss the first couple of innings.

  107. Alex

    7pm start time? Who is home at 7pm? You know the routine…get off work at 5pm or 6pm, if you commute like me you are in traffic for an hour…or you head to the gym you will miss the 1st 4 or 5 innings…

  108. That game was so boring. Something about the Giants just seem to slow the flow of time and space. Or maybe it’s Julio. The Braves need to give Julio his lifetime achievement award and just move on.

  109. I am home at 7 PM, but I’m in bed by 10…thus, no night games for me when the Brvaes are on the West coast.

  110. From Keith Law’s ESPN chat:

    “Shar (Durham): Your thoughts on the Teixiera/Salty deal? Is it worth it to give up Salty, Davies/Harrison, and Andrus for Teix and a lefty reliever??

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:02 PM ET ) It’s a very win-now move for Atlanta. I think Texas gets more value in that deal if Harrison is the arm. Now, I say that as someone who thinks Saltalamacchia (sal-tuh-luh-MAK-ee-uh) won’t stay behind the plate because of his size. If I’m wrong and he does end up a catcher, it’s a heist for Texas.”

  111. A Little TV 101: Post-season MLB games (esp. WS games & LCS games) start so late for the East Coast, so that they can maximize West Coast viewership. Done-to-death research reveals that networks maximize viewership that way. It’s not changing.

    These are network decisions, not MLB decisions. Networks, like most corporations, are in the business of making money right now for stockholders. The long-term “health” of the game isn’t on their minds.

    It sucks for EC fans, but what’s new? MLB & the networks max profits & screw some of the fans. (I personally think it sucks when the ESPN Sunday night game is announced so late, after people have already bought tix for what they thought was an afternoon game—but that’s another story.)

    Personally, I don’t care about the post-season start times because I keep late hours, but I understand why it’s annoying to so many on this side of the continent.

  112. I was just at atlantabraves.com and you should check out the picture of Lincecum. It looks like Carlyle is pitching against a 14 year old tonight. He can bring it though, so should be a great game tonight.

  113. Kyle,

    I’m with 300% on he Julio Franco saga. I know Bobby likes the guy, but starting him every game? Please get Tex here. AND HURRY!! Julio should be on the bench offering advice, and teaching…not on the field. I was impressed with a 40 whateva playing baseball, 3 years ago, but not it’s a non-story. Pitchers are not shaking in their boots b’c Julio is back….

  114. Bobby is starting Julio for every game to help get his bat back (or so he hopes.) Regardless of what transpires in the trade, I do not look to see Franco getting the lion’s share of starts the rest of the season as he has since we got him back. He’s already had half of the at bats in the past seven games than he had all season for the Mets. Better to give Franco some time now than in September, methinks.

    Now, the question is – if we do get Tex, how many times will Cox start Franco at 1st for the rest of the year?

  115. Yea that “little boy” can bring at almost 100 mph, so look for AJ to go 0-4 with 4ks….

  116. 135 – Agreed. A good explanation I read from DOB was that Bobby wanted to get Franco a lot of playing time early to see if he had enough left in his bat to possibly take regular starts in a platoon situation or whether he should be used as just a pinch-hitter. Kind of a precursor as to whether they should bring in Teixeira or live with what they have at 1B.

    I think Julio is doing an excellent job proving we need Teixeira.

  117. Yea that would be dumb to trade him to the Angels…but this is TEXAS we are talking about.

  118. The Angels are a little worrisome in this considering that they don’t seem to be trying to take a reliver as well, where JS most certainly wants a reliever involved. Hmmm..

  119. Huh. Heynman says Renteria for Garland is a good idea for the Braves, but doesn’t understand why they would want to send Salty for Tex.

    If I’m the Rangers, I might prefer Kotchman/Santana to what the Braves are offering, though Santana is having a bad year.

  120. If Texas were more of a contender in the West that would probably be the case KLB, but since they are looking two years down the road anyway, they shouldn’t worry about trading him to a division rival, they should concentrate on getting the best deal.

  121. I know Jon Daniels is not the brightest GM, but even he has to see a problem with trading Teixeira to a division rival….right?

  122. “SI.com Jon Heyman report indicating Angels are in the lead for Teixeira.”

    Where in that article did you read “Angels in lead for Teixeira” exactly?

  123. Dan,

    They aren’t looking to contend for another two years, so it would only hurt them if Teix signed an extension with the Angels, but its also a possibility that he signs with them in two years anyway, so if they have the best deal, then thats who they should trade with.

  124. 148 – I don’t necessarily think that the Rangers are looking two years down the road. It’s not like they’re giving up everybody, just one guy that can give them a pretty good return now who they won’t be able to sign next season. Plus, they seem to be looking for at least one MLB-ready prospect from the teams they are talking too (Salty/Reyes, Loney, Kotchman, Lester/Ellsbury, and Hughes).

  125. To follow-up, they have a core of Young, Kinsler, and Blalock in the infield. Their rotation has Millwood and Padilla signed for a couple of years, and pre-arbitration pitchers in McCarthy and Loe. And from all the talk, the bullpen is where they are loaded.

    Their outfield will need some revamping, but it’s not like Texas has shown an inability to spend money.

  126. All the news reports seem to indicate Teixeira is certain to sign a deal with the Orioles in the 2008 offseason. Teixeira has even said playing with the Orioles “would be a childhood dream come true.”

    If you trade him to the Angels, you risk him liking the weather and atmosphere so much he signs an extension and stays. Probably not, but you do dramatically increase Teixeira’s chances of being an Angel for 2009 and beyond if you trade him there.

    Also Oliver Perez is having one of his usual meltdowns, giving up five runs to the Pirates in the sixth. Pirates leading the Mets 5-1 now.

  127. I really don’t know how anyone can possibly know whether Elvis Andrus is gonna be worth anything by the time and if he ever makes it up to the majors. I don’t think there’s a single Class A player in baseball I wouldn’t be willing to include in a trade if I really wanted the guy or guys I was trading for. It’s just too far down the road for you to have any idea.

    Frankly, I actually think it makes a little more sense to trade Escobar since the shortstop position is already filled right now and theoretically Andrus would be coming up at just about the time we’d be letting Edgar go. But even so, I’m not sure how you can say a Class A player is ever untouchable. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

  128. Nick,

    Well Betemit, Marte, Jurries, proved what prospects are…just prospects. You pretty much have an idea of what Escobar can do…Elvis is still a question. So that’s why you trade Elvis. You don’t want to be left without a shortstop.

    Also Dan,

    The Angels have an owner who will pay…

  129. I think one reason national reporters like Heynman and Kurkijan don’t think the Braves will make a big deal is that they are operating on the assumption that the Braves are under the same $$ constraints as when AOL was owner. There have been some signs that the new owner will up the payroll a bit.

  130. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I’m going to anyways. Anyone do the Predictotron and Hacking MASS contests over there at baseballprospectus.com? I am repping bravesjournal well.

    Predict: 54th out of 840
    HackingMass: 10th out of 1328 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111oneoneoneEXCITED)

  131. Heymann thinking that the Renteria deal would “make perfect sense” is a really good example of what we were talking about the other day with Edgar getting no respect in the national media because of his crappy year with the Red Sox, by the way. The poor fool actually thinks Escobar and Renteria are interchangeable.

    I think we’re also seeing how well respected Peter Gammons is in the baseball writers’ circle. I mean, he off-handedly mentions a totally bizarre trade rumor that makes no sense and then all of a sudden everyone is picking it up and carrying it like it’s an irrefutable fact. I guess he probably was a good writer at some point. He is in the Hall of Fame writers’ wing.

  132. Yankees Shopping Damon?
    Here’s a name we haven’t talked about yet: Johnny Damon. I think he hasn’t come up much because his contract makes him nearly immovable. He’ll make $13MM annually through 2009 and has a partial no-trade clause.

    Nonetheless, Dan Graziano of the Newark Star-Ledger reports that the Yankees have been calling around to see if anyone’s interested in Damon. The Braves have a touch of interest, but obviously there are many obstacles. I imagine the Yankees are stuck with Damon. Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Can Damon play 1st? If not, he’s no use to us. He’s always injured and would be our version of Juan Pierre or Kenny Lofton

  133. @ 147. – Nowhere. I meant that the tenor of the article would suggest that. Sorry if it was unclear.

  134. Indeed, I never commented about the earlier Damon rumors because they seemed ridiculous. We don’t need him now, and God help us if we cannot find a better center fielder for next year. I used to like Damon. That is until he signed a pact with the Devil and joined the Yanks.

  135. Yes, Edgar for Garland only makes perfect sense for those out there who have little or no respect (apparently) for John Schuerholz as a GM, but think Gammons is a fu–ing genius.

    AAR–thanks :-)

  136. AAR,

    I respectfully disagree. Heyman openly admitted he is a “sucker” in the column posted above. Why on earth on would anyone pay attention to someone that refers to himself as a “sucker”? JS needs to leak some faulty info to Heyman, Stoneman already knows what’s up.

  137. AAR, that was my point. If you cant play 1st or pitch then you have very little value to us. Esp. if your old, injury prone, and cant throw. On top of that add in the $13-15 salary.

  138. Well, for everybody not interested in Mike Cameron over the offseason, at least he would be better than Johnny Damon.

  139. csg,
    You asked earlier about the play where Diaz didn’t tag up from 2nd. That (to me at least)was a base running error on Diaz’s part. He seemed to get too far off 2nd instead of just waiting and tagging up.

    Re: baseball start times
    I know that the networks determine start times base on the present, but I also think that MLB should negotiate earlier start times into the tv deals.

  140. I don’t even know if I’d want Damon if the Yanks paid every cent of his contract.

  141. Tony, you are absolutely right. I love to tell all the folks that told me I was crazy for not being in love with Marte “See I told you so.” I never thought that lazy bat stance of his would work and I was ridiculed for saying that–on here more than anywhere. In much the same way we got rid of Marte, we now need to get rid of Salty to get Tex.

  142. I think DOB is getting pissed at some of the recent comments. Here’s his latest

    By David O’Brien

    July 26, 2007 12:55 PM | Link to this

    It’s been said 100 times, here and elsewhere, that Jo-Jo Reyes isn’t being offered by the Braves, that they almost certainly won’t part with him, that it’d be Harrison or another prospect. So either cite where you’re seeing anything about the Braves trading Reyes, or stop bringing it up. Because you’re making things up yourself if you just keep raging against trading a guy that no one is suggesting the Braves are going to trade….

  143. Is Reyes supposed to be that good that he’s off the table? I thought he was a 3rd-4th starter type. Not bad, but not someone who was untouchable.

  144. Why would Atlanta want an overpaid hurt guy in his 13th year?

    And, even for baseball reasons, I wouldn’t want him on the Braves. He’s not a good player anymore. The Harris/Diaz combo blows him away.

    He’s another case of Steinbrenner getting a guy who once beat him. A bad signing. They should’ve gone after Beltran.

  145. As far as the start times go, I think the biggest thing is to actually start the game at 8 p.m. ET like they’re supposed to. They could still have their ratings if they do that and I think it would really help, if not for the children (who frankly I couldn’t care less about) then for everyone who has to go to work in the morning. If they must have their talking heads show, have it start at 7:30. Seems simple to me.

  146. We have spent the entire season trying to establish something that resembles a 5 man rotation. We finally have a working rotation and that is why I don’t think Reyes will be traded.

  147. Well, Linceum may look 12 but he doesn’t throw like 12. And he will be pitching in twilight (4 pm Pacific start). Carlisle is due for a bad game although that is mitigated by the fact that it’s the Giants. I would not be surprised at all to see Bonds hit a home run since Carlisle is usually around the plate. All in all, last night was the game the Braves should have won.

    At this point, it’s all rumors. No one really knows what’s being offered. And the Rangers have no incentive to do anything until Tuesday at 11:59. (And, actually, even if they don’t do something then, it’s easy enough to do a waiver deal later.) Although I do think it’s possible that, if JS thinks the deal is going south, he might go ahead and deal for a pitcher first.

    But he has to do something if he wants to win this year, either Tex or a pitcher. He either has to increase the number of runs scored or reduce the number given up. The team as currently constructed, I don’t think, will make it. They don’t have enough hitting to outslug people and don’t have enough pitching to win the Padres way, especially with the bullpen struggling. With no changes, I think they are likely to finish as they are now, with about 84-85 wins, which would leave them close but no cigar.

    NOT DAMON!

  148. Yeah, I really don’t understand the whole not wanting to trade Reyes thing. I would rather trade Harrison since he’s not a part of the rotation at the moment, I guess, but Reyes has only been officially a part of the rotation for one start. I really don’t see why it’s such a big ordeal to move him. He hasn’t established himself whatsoever. He’s only had one good start. I’m afraid I just don’t get it.

  149. I’d rather trade Davies than Reyes but if Reyes is what is holding up a deal for Tex + a reliever then throw him in there already.

  150. No one’s gonna want Davies. I’m guessing we aren’t getting rid of him in the trade unless we essentially throw him in for nothing at the end.

    For instance, the deal has entirely been agreed to and then JS says, “By the way, do you mind if we throw this guy in just so we don’t have to look at him again?”

    Either that or a Langerhans-style PTBNL thing.

    Those are the only two ways in which we are trading Davies.

  151. Thank-goodness the people here aren’t making the deal; everyone here is in deal heat, and we will be throwing in Chipper; Andruw; and Kelley to close the deal, by Tuesday.

  152. Just to think…there were some who were saying trade Chipper so Marte could play 3rd….

    Let’s see a young hard-thrower who the Braves have never faced…what do you think? Perfect game? No-hitter? At least a shutout…right?

    I like Jo-Jo…I just hopes he stays away from that McCann/Wickman diet.

    Is Teixeira a Brave yet?

  153. I agree that Texas should wait until the last day to make a deal to see if anybody panics and ups their offer. Maybe the source of rumors of deals with the White Sox (for Konerko/Garland) are to scare the Rangers into thinking the Braves may go another direction.

    Also, is the deadline at midnight? I thought the last couple of years it had been in the afternoon.

  154. I think that if we make a trade (any trade) we should tell Woodward that he has been included even though it won’t be true. He would then show up at his assumed new team’s field and security would not let him pass. This just seems like a much more exciting way to let him go.

  155. It sounds like there is a bidding war and that can’t be good for the Braves. The Angels and Dodgers can afford to overpay because they can always sign free agents to replace the prospects.

  156. On the plus side, Salty is probably the most sought-after prospect among all the teams vying for Teixeira.

    Plus, we can sign free agents to replace the prospects. It just won’t be Alex Rodriguez or some such crap. And the positions which the prospects play are all taken at the moment, so I think we can afford to do it.

  157. Well if we don’t get Tex…let’s get Frenchy and Salty some Gary Sheffield cream and hope for the best…

  158. Marc S, I absolutely agree with you about why Steinbrenner brought in Damon. They also shoulda gone after Guerrero instead of Sheffield, as Cashman wanted. God, Vladimir Guerrero’s a good hitter.

    By the way, Joe Posnanski’s blog is very good, but in a live blog yesterday of the 2-1 Giants game, he and Michael Vaccaro announced that they thought Joe Torre’s managerial career had been better than Bobby Cox’s, because Torre had more World Series rings. What do you guys think?

  159. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. How much more is the Yankee payroll? Case closed.

  160. Damn Lando…you beat me to it. Also having the greatest closer of all-time didn’t make Lazy Joe look too bad either…

  161. I’ve never seen Torre get to the playoffs with 15+ rookies on one team. If he has, prove me wrong!

    By the way, new thread is up

  162. Torre had better teams in a better league. I don’t think that proves anything. I like Torre, I thought he did a great job in Atlanta, but it’s like saying that Brett Favre is better than Dan Marino just because Favre won a Super Bowl. (Having lived in Miami, I disagree strongly.) Winning the WS involves a lot of luck; what if Lonnie Smith hadn’t stopped (or the Metrodome guy hadn’t turned the AC on and off); what if Jeff Reardon had been able to save Game 2 against Toronto; what if Wohlers doesn’t hang the slider to Leyritz? You can’t blame Cox for that. By the same token, what if the idiot ump actually sees that Jeffrey Meier interfered with the ball in the ALCS? I know a lot of people argue that Cox has been outmanaged in a lot of playoffs and maybe he has, but I bet he would have been a better manager if he had actually had guys on the bench that could play and a shut down bullpen.

  163. Also Marc…who didn’t see Hrbek literally throw Gant off the bag? Who knew Reardon, Lightenberg, Buerenger(sp), Wohlers, Pena, Rocker, Farnsworth…would be garbage as closers in the postseason? Well not Rocker too much and Wohlers did win it in ’95, but they are not Rivera.

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