Braves 6, Giants 3

ESPN – Giants vs. Braves Box Score, August 15 2007 – MLB

Tim Hudson had a big night on the mound and at the plate, and despite the best efforts of Angel Hernandez, the Braves were able to pull out a win after leaving a bunch of runners on early against Russ Ortiz. Bobby was thrown out — again! — by Hernandez in the third inning for arguing a balk called on Hudson for, as far as I can tell, wearing a Braves uniform. Hudson was called for another balk in the sixth, again by Hernandez, and Teixeira had to restrain the pitcher. The balks were pretty remarkable, as Hudson had committed only three balks in his career entering tonight, but didn’t figure in the scoring.

The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Russ Ortiz Special — two walks, a wild pitch, and a run scoring on an out. Hudson drove in a run with a single in the second, making it 2-0. But the Braves couldn’t add to the lead. The Giants got a run back in the fifth, and the Sloth hit a solo homer in the sixth to tie it.

The Braves got the first two on the sixth and Ortiz was pulled, then loaded the bases on a hard single from Francoeur. The go-ahead run scored on a wild pitch, then Andruw singled past the Sloth in left for a two-run double. He later came home on a sac fly to make it 6-2.

The Giants cut it to 6-3 after Dave Roberts tripled leading off the seventh and came home on a groundout, but that was all they’d get. Hudson went eight, allowing the three runs on eight hits but one walk, and striking out five, and had two hits of his own. He’s now hitting .237, which makes you question why Thorman, at .218, hit for him. Wickman made it entirely too exciting in the ninth, and Andruw had to go to the wall to catch a ball that just missed being a game-tying homer.

131 thoughts on “Braves 6, Giants 3”

  1. Peter said that Wells clear waivers tomorrow and that the Braves are interested. Take it for what its worth

    also says we are interested in Towers and may get him now or next year

  2. Wells would be a better fifth starter over the rest of the season than Lance Cormier or Jo-Jo Reyes would be.

  3. From previous thread:

    David15, next time read before you post. I didn’t say that Peavy wasn’t one of the top pitchers, I said Huddy is one. Take a logic class. Or an English class.

  4. Why can’t Wickman come and make it simple? I love the win, but come on! THANKS ANDRUW FOR A GREAT GAME! We needed it from you!

    I take Wells in a heartbeat! Another pitcher never hurts!

  5. Nice to get another “W”. It’s the games like this where it looks like an easy win on paper that scare me. I thought last night’s game was the worst umpiring I’ve ever seen. Tonights game took it to a whole new level – the entire crew got involved!

    One thing I need to get off my chest. I’m pretty upset that Selig hasn’t been following Cox around for the last few weeks as he’s been on the quest fot the all-time ejection record. He could have at least sent a representative. As bad as this crew has been, it was a sure thing that that he’d break the record during this series. Selig could have at least sent a representative or made a statement. I’m also disappointed that there was no statement from John McGraw’s family congratulating Cox. (Please note sarcasm above!)

  6. td:

    I think it is due to an investigation into Bobby’s alleged use of ejection-enhancing drugs. AJC reports he has used Cialis. Mitchell is seeking an interview.

  7. I believe that ESPN is about to show that hitter hitting the pitcher and catcher with his bat last night, dont remember who the guy was

  8. the third inning for arguing a balk called on Hudson for, as far as I can tell, wearing a Braves uniform.

    Nicely phrased. These games are way too interesting. Can’t we just blow somebody out? Not even Russ Ortiz?

  9. Jeff K – I don’t believe that Cox has used ejection enhancing drugs, but like Chipper Jones said, all records have to come under the scrutiny of steroids in this era. I mean, Cox has never tested positive and I don’t even think there is grand jury testimony.

  10. I would guess that the only reason Hudson doesn’t get the consideration the other guys do is because he’s less of a strikeout pitcher. But that said, I still think he’s better than Beckett, and, importantly, more economical with his pitchers than a lot of the other lower top-tier guys (C Young, Lackey, Harang). How else do you explain 14 win with this bullpen?

  11. I really think HUddy has pitched well enough to have 17 wins, he lost two games in which he tried finishing himself. He’s been dominant….Even with Smoltz’s recent struggles he still has an era of 3.09 and a lot more k’s than Hudson with less IP. If Huddy is being considered for a CY Young candidate, you would think that Smoltz would be in the conversation also. Smoltz should have around 12-14 wins also

  12. wow this is per Steve Phillips on the hot seat

    Mets and Yankees will not make the playoffs

    Braves win the East, Colorado wins the WC
    Redsox win, Seattle wins WC

  13. I was actually intetionally trying to steer the chat above onto steroids and not other types of drugs. I’ll have to give Jeff and csg credit for some pretty funny stuff, but I think I’ll sign out on that note.

  14. I think he will be in the conversation, if only because he’s gonna finish with 16-18 wins, which will put him near the top of the NL. I don’t think that should be the ultimate determinant – Chris Young has a 1.93 ERA and the lowest WHIP in the majors, but only 9 wins, for instance – but Hudson warrants being in the conversation.

    Smoltz may not be in that conversation, but we’ve all seen him labor over the last 3 weeks, and he’s still posted 3 QS out of his last four appearances. I love that guy.

  15. I agree that Hudson has had a remarkable year. I think he has a legitimate shot at the Cy Young, but in the end, it will all come down to wins and losses (most of the other contenders have similar ERAs). I was really hoping Smoltz could notch another Cy Young, but he won’t have enough wins to get serious consideration. I’m looking for Huddy to win 18 to 20 and Smoltz to win 14 to 16.

  16. Adam M – I agree that Ws and Ls shouldn’t be the ultimate determinant, but most of the time I think they play a bigger role than they should. I think that will be the case this year also.

  17. So I made the trip to Atlanta to see the Giants play the Braves. I got stuck between a die hard Bonds fan and die hard “Die Bonds” fan so I had to play diplomat to ensure there was no fight in my section. We sat in right field 10 rows away from Bonds. The guy in front of us had a sign that had a big asterik on it and something about Bonds and steroids. Security took away the sign because “MLB doesn’t allow the use of the word “steroid”” Is there a rule preventing the use on banners? That was really ridiculous. I’m making a banner that says “BARRY USED ZMA and THAT WAS FROM BALCO AS WELL!!” tommorow to see what they say then. Those knobs!

  18. I saw Phillips predict the Mets wouldn’t make the playoffs and we would win the division the other night. I cringed when he did that, like that was all I needed to see that we would certainly miss the playoffs.

    Think about this, Phillips is still a huge Met’s fan and doesn’t much care for the Braves. So he was probably thinking to himself that since his predictions are always wrong, that he would pick us to win knowing that would be the nail in our coffin. Damn you Phillips.

  19. Jeff, apparently whatever classes you’ve taken haven’t taught you what “omit” means.

    “Jeff K Says:
    August 15th, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Gammons on B-Ball Tonight:

    Who is the best pitcher in baseball, Beckett or Bedard?

    What about Santana? Hudson? Shouldn’t they get a mention? I think he’s having another stroke.”

    See? You omitted him. He isn’t there. Class starts in a few days, so please let me know which class I need to take so I can understand how that isn’t an omission. While you think of that I’ll be thinking of a class that will teach you to read what is typed to you instead of what you wished was typed to you. It’ll be great. Each of us will learn a lot, I’m sure.

  20. A few observations from last night:

    Huddy pitched a great game, giving the pen some rest (they’ll need it because they’ll be busy next three games).
    Kelly looked good defensively. Really good.
    Andruw started hitting some balls hard.
    Another series won.

  21. Actually, Steve Phillips always picks us to win the division. We really traumatized him back in the day.

  22. Those balk calls were ridiculous. Angel Hernandez should be suspended and investigated for gambling.

  23. Just noticed this looking at the standings:

    Mets vs Central 23-9
    Braves vs Central 16-12

    The Braves have better records vs the East and West. They are trailing the division because the Mets have done a much better job of beating up on the bad teams in the Central.

  24. im excited about going down to TF tonight to see Tim Lincecum pitch. We’ll need a peter gammons stroke of luck to beat him with chuck “60 pitches” james on the mound.

    As far as David Wells as a 5th starter. I was thinking about the 3rd starter. Lets hope buddy recovers nicely and we can sign wells. I think we can make the playoffs today. Tomorrow though is another story.

  25. Does anyone know anyway to get a message to the head of the umpires and tell him that Angel Hernandez is the worst umpire in the history of baseball? There is no way that he should ever be allowed to call another game. I got a bad feeling that Bobby may get thrown out tonight because the idiot will be behind the plate .

  26. Angel and Eric Gregg will always be at the top of the list. They are the two most petulant umpires ever.

  27. “Bobby may get thrown out tonight because the idiot will be behind the plate .”

    That’d be sort of a series sweep for ejections.

  28. Does anyone know if the Braves ever signed their second round pick, Josh Fields from UGA? I knew he was not signed as of earlier this week.

  29. My favorite part of the game was during Klesko’s ejection, when a several Giants players and coaches could barely keep him away from the umpires. Then Bonds steps onto the field, picks him up like a traffic cone, and removes him to the dugout in a matter of seconds.

  30. It seems like an odd choice for Fields. I know he had a disappointing year, but 4th year seniors do not generally make much more money especially if your a second round pick. His agent of course was Boras though.

    I know it is way in the future, but the Braves are going to have a whole lot of picks in the first two rounds next year unless some of these guys get resigned.

  31. I noticed that too JC. Like him or not (and I don’t), the sloth (I love Mac’s name for him) is one strong dude.

  32. . . . That’s what happens when you use lots of roids and human growth hormone. You get stronger and destroy your connective tissue. I.E. why his knee was bone on bone and why he is fricken massive.

  33. Other than last night Brandon Jones has been smoking the ball. I think he will be the first to get a call up in September.

  34. It seems like an odd choice for Fields. I know he had a disappointing year, but 4th year seniors do not generally make much more money especially if your a second round pick. His agent of course was Boras though.

    Disagree completely. Coming into the season, Fields was generally viewed as the top closer prospect in the college ranks. By the end of the year, Vanderbilt’s Casey Weathers, a senior, was that guy, and he was selected 8th overall by the Rockies. I don’t think these college closers—the good ones, anyway—actually lose much leverage by returning, because they’re frequently drafted on the basis of “let’s get this guy to the major leagues as quickly as possible to help our crappy ‘pen” thinking.

    Fields has crazy-good stuff, and I wish the Braves had been able to sign him. But I think it’s worth the gamble on his end, because he stands to make a good amount of money.

  35. Marc (I like your name),

    Why would Phillips be a Met fan? They fired him. He probably hates them. I’ll bet that’s what Met fans were saying when he picked them to finish third.

    I can’t believe how every game, no matter how big the lead, becomes a drama in the ninth. I’m glad I didn’t see it. Meanwhile, I was at the Nats-Phillies game and the Nats bullpen pitched out of a big jam in the 7th and completely shut down the Phils in the 8th and 9th. Why can’t our bullpen do that? And don’t say it’s overwork; the Nats use the bullpen more than the Braves–and don’t even have a Smoltz and Hudson to get some innings.

  36. DOB’s blog entry from yesterday has a bit about Willy Aybar, for those who are interested:

    http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/braves/entries/2007/08/15/optimistic_brav.html

    I’m with DOB on this one.

    Re: David Wells—get him. He can’t be worse than what we’ve got, and he can’t be too expensive, either.

    Marc Schneider,

    Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and again.

    You’re starting to resemble the Negative Nancies on this board more and more. We won last night, dude! We’re a half-game out of the playoffs!

  37. I agree with Kenny in the fact that 4th year seniors do lose some leverage. How can they not? They no longer have the “I’ll just go back to college for another year” card to play.

  38. Tenn:
    I think they lose some leverage, but if they have a big season it doesn’t matter. He had a mediocre season last year and thinks he can turn it around. It is a big gamble because you lose that leverage.

  39. TN Brave,

    A couple points:

    (1) They may lose *some*, but in Fields’ case, I think he stands to gain a lot more than he’ll lose.

    (2) Again, my point is that it’s different for closers. They have, it would seem to me, more leverage than your average draft pick, since they’re often drafted—the elite ones like Fields, anyway—based on their ability to help right away.

  40. Weathers went from something like a 20th round pick to a 1st round pick. It made a lot of sense for him to take the risk and see if he could improve his stock. Fields has a much greater chance of dropping in next year’s draft than anything else. It doesn’t help, in sofar as being drafted high, when your agent is Boras and so many clubs are afraid to deal with him and his clients. Most peole thought that Fields would be no worse than a 1st round sandwich pick, but a lot of teams did not want to deal with Boras and he fell to the Braves.

    The other thing your forgetting about is the unique situation of Weathers. Weathers was that an outfielder earlier in his career who was still refining his stuff. I also think Weathers signed for below slot money. I am not sure what the exact dollar figure is for the second round, but I know it is close to the 900K+ range. If Fields comes back and has the same type of year I think all he can do is fall in the draft. All this being said Fields has fantastic stuff and would have loved if the Braves could have signed him.

  41. Stu,

    But see, the more negative I get, the more the Braves win. It’s when I am positive that they lose! It’s called the power of negative thinking. :)

  42. Most peole thought that Fields would be no worse than a 1st round sandwich pick, but a lot of teams did not want to deal with Boras and he fell to the Braves.

    This was true before the season. This was not true at draft time. I don’t think anybody expected him to be drafted any higher than he was taken. Fields’ stock dropped significantly from the beginning of the season to the end of the season. He stands to gain a lot by returning.

    And you don’t have to tell me Weathers’ story. I know it well. I have Vanderbilt Baseball season tickets.

  43. Weathers did sign below slot for $1.8MM. (Slot was $1.98MM.)

    Fields’ slot this year was $472.5K.

    Even if he signs below slot in 2008, a good year gets him a lot more money.

  44. Stu,

    You must have enjoyed a fantastic season with Vanderbilt. I hope you keep those tickets for next year because I think Pedro Alvarez is going to be fantastic.

    As far as Fields goes. I never remember seeing him not listed as one of the 20 or so best draft eligible players in college baseball. While Fields’ season wasn’t what everyone expected. I remember him posting fairly solid numbers, just nothing like what he posted in 2006.

  45. Stu,

    My point more than anything else is that he has further to fall than to rise. It does tell you a lot about him that he has that kind of coinfidence in himself.

  46. Beating this even deeper into the ground, still a couple more points:

    (1) Fields, as a Boras client, won’t sign for below-slot money. It won’t happen. If he’s one of the best college closers next year, he’ll get paid as such, regardless of how far he falls.

    (2) Generally speaking, Boras doesn’t make mistakes. The fact that Fields is going back to college should tell you that the best in the business is very confident that he’ll be in a position to get more money next year.

    (3) Weathers’ story has nothing to do with anything. The point was that the best college closers, regardless of age, make lots of money in the draft. I wasn’t comparing his story to Fields’.

  47. Stu,

    Again in response to your criticism about my “negativity” I don’t see what’s negative about pointing out that this bullpen has trouble holding even substantial leads. Two weeks ago, Soriano gave up a grand slam, against the Mets, it took an acrobatic catch to save the game (again with a four run lead) and last night, the guy just misses tying the game. Just because you win a game doesn’t mean everything is hunky-dory.

  48. Kenny,

    I’m just glad Corbin turned down Oregon’s offer. Our team is so loaded, and the top-notch recruits keep pouring in. It’s nice to finally have a Vandy team about which one can say that. Alvarez has the ability to be an incredible hitter, though he needs to add some discipline. Should be a very good team.

    Also, from Baseball America’s Draft Preview, ranking the eligible prospects:

    58. Joshua Fields, rhp
    School: Georgia. Class: Jr.
    B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 8/19/85.
    Scouting Report: Fields was pegged as a potentially fast-moving, low-risk college reliever after his remarkable 2006 summer in the Cape Cod League. He led the league with 13 saves and ranked as the league’s No. 4 prospect. He maintained his 93-96 mph velocity this spring as a junior, but his command has been erratic and the plus-plus breaking ball he showed last summer has deserted him. He has a tendency to overthrow, and he’s upright in his delivery, flies open, doesn’t stay back over the rubber and has lots of effort. While his slider had hard, three-quarter tilt at 83-85 mph in the past, its shape and spin have been inconsistent, and the pitch has been mostly 79-81 mph. It’s also hard to project much in his smallish frame. He’s hard-nosed and determined, but he struggled most of the spring and slipped out of contention for a spot in the first round. Based on his past performance, Fields will likely still get a look in the supplemental round.

    W L ERA G SV IP H BB SO
    1 6 4.75 24 6 36 32 23 43

  49. Marc Schneider,

    I didn’t say everything was hunky-dory. But you questioned why our bullpen can’t do what the Nats’ did. My point was intended to be that it has. Not with the frequency we’d like, but you act like the bullpen, with a 3.73 ERA on the season, hasn’t had a single good game. That just isn’t accurate.

  50. (1)I think Boras does a fantastic job of getting the best value for his clients. That being said it is hard to ignore the blatant fact that fourth year seniors make less money than they are slotted for.

    (2)I think Fields going back to college has more to do with confidence that he has in himself.

    (3)You did use the Weathers story to point out that some fourth year seniors still go high in draft.

    I don’t think that there is any doubt that if Fields goes out and replicates his 2006 season that he will be high 1st round pick. Again, my point was that he would have a greater chance of not improving, than improving his position. When you are in the top 5% of the draft the numbers say you are more likely to drop than improve.

  51. Do we get a compensation pick for not signing Fields? Or does that only apply to first-rounders?

  52. I believe under the new agreement we will get a pick at either the same number or close to it. This was in MLB effort to reduce the leverage that players had on the teams.

  53. If Fields is closer Vandy and pitches up to his capabilities or even close, he will be a first round pick and make more money with or without leverage. I agree with Stu that he stands to gain a lot more than the small risk he may lose something.

  54. This from DOB:
    “In his past 19 games, Escobar has hit .393 (24-for-61) with four doubles, 10 runs and eight RBIs.”
    I’d say he has filled in nicely for Renteria. This team has played virtually the same with or without Renteria, which leads me to believe we could/should trade him for pitching in the offseason. I’m not going to discount the fact that Renteria has been the epitome of consistent production this year and I’m glad he is currently on the roster. I just think that Escobar is making him expendable.

  55. A small risk, What if he gets injured? There are a lot of things that can go wrong in a season. Who would have thought that we would be talking about Soriano possibly being the weakest link in the bullpen? It is not as simple as just going out there and dominating.

  56. JoshQ,

    Fields is actually UGA’s closer. Vandy’s is likely going to be Nick Christiani or Brett Jacobson.

  57. Is anyone else sickened by the fact that the Cards are suddenly in the Central race? We like to talk about how no one wants to win the NL East, but what about the Central? It’s disgusting. If the Cards make the playoffs with 80 wins… ah, forget it.

  58. I know what you mean they are still like 3 games under .500. I don’t think I have ever seen a worse championship team than the Cardinals from last year.

  59. Which is why they should do away with divisions and just have the teams with the 4 best records make the playoffs.

  60. Thoughts on a few topics…

    re: Cards

    Yeah it sickens me because that obnoxious, snake in the grass, LaRussa, is their Manager. Believe me when I say I am a Cubs or Brewers fan the next month and a half. I HATE the Cardinals.

    re: David Wells

    I cannot stand this guy, but unlike say a Farnsworth or Lofton, he at least hasn’t already been a clubhouse cancer and all around prick, to the Braves.

    Plus, since I believe my 85 year old grandmother might be more reliable as our fifth starter, I am for the signing and rolling the dice.

    But we need to be cautioned that he could just stink and screw up the clubhouse. It’s a risk.

    re: Bobby Cox

    In all seriousness, I am really disappointed Selig didn’t do an on field IMPROMPTU ceremony right as Bonds was coming to bat, for Bobby. Yeah, it wasn’t going to happen but anything that pisses off Barry is good by me.

    re: Angel Hernandez

    Mac and I talked last night and my quote to him was “Angel Hernandez has been the worst umpire in Baseball for 15 years and has been pulling this same sh–, over & over. Like most NBA Refs (that aren’t already on the take), Hernandez thinks he’s bigger than the game.”

    Now, Eric Gregg literally was bigger than the game because he ate half of Baseball from looking at him, but Hernadez is just plain bad.

    My question to the fellow Braves Journal posters, is there a review in place after every season by Selig and his upper management on these umps, or is someone like Hernandez continuing to be employed just another classic case of Bud’s complete incompetence.

    Seriously, no one in Baseball likes this guy. He managed to completely annoy and anger both the Giants and Braves last night, equally.

  61. Alex,

    The umpires get reviewed at least annually. But, they do have a union so they cannot be summarily dismissed. At one time, during the original umps union, umpire assignments for the playoffs had to be made randomly, ie, they couldn’t base the assignments on who was better or worse. I think that has changed so that the better-rated umpires do the playoffs.

    I don’t know what you are talking about Bud’s complete incompetence. If you look objectively, the game has absolutely prospered under Bud. He’s done a lot of things I don’t care for, but to talk about complete incompetence is just a total exaggeration at best, especially when you consider some of the other clowns that have run the game. Plus, he is not personally responsible for everything you don’t like in baseball.

    Ron,

    I agree with you totally about the divisions. I don’t see why a team with 90+ wins should be considered inferior to a team with 80 wins just because it won a weak division.

  62. Maybe Angel Hernandez has the pictures?

    In a 1999 survey conducted by the Major League Baseball Players Association, Hernández was ranked 31st out of 36 National League umpires. However, later that year Hernández was asked to return for the 2000 season while 13 of his NL colleagues were let go. Given his low ranking, the Philadelphia Inquirer termed the retention of Hernández one of the “surprises” of the 1999 purge.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_Hernandez_(umpire)

  63. Marc,

    Well, let’s start with the infamous All Star game tie but that’s just one bump in the road for the seemingly endless reign of Bud Selig.

    This was a guy planted by the owners as a pawn after they deposed Fay Vincent, an ACTUAL commissioner. He was supposed to “temporarily” be in charge and instead, has continued to extend his run.

    I don’t see what’s to like—EXCEPT the introduction of the Wild Card.

    His continued money grab has led to greater (and worse) power for the Networks to have these effing Playoff games start later & later to the point where no kid in America can stay up and watch any World series games anymore–this is under BUD’S watch.

    He was perfectly fine to turn a giant blind eye to steroids when it helped his cause–like the 98 home run chase–yet came right back to act like he cares as to what it may have done to the sport now. He’s a hippocrat if nothing else.

    He continuously FAILS at properly promoting his sport…besides the fact that kids can’t stay up and watch World Series games (something I could do as a kid) he has allowed his sport to become Red Sox-Yankees or Yankees-Red Sox and everything else pales in comparison.

    When you promote your entire sport (and allow ESPN to be culpable in this mess) around 2 teams, no question you’ll get even lower ratings when one of those two teams isn’t winning the world series.

    Baseball continues to be in the worst shape from a financial competitive standpoint. The Pirates, Royals and Devil Rays of the world continue to be irrelevant in a sport that has been hijacked by one super agent (Boras) and 2 teams (the Sawx and Yanks) and maybe 4-5 others that can afford these bloated salaries.

    In the NBA and NFL, the Timberwolves and Packers of the world can compete on an even playing field with the Lakers and Jets because of the sports financial structure. Baseball cannot.

    Plus, I simply can’t stand him. Everytime he comes on TV or Radio, I find him to be an obnoxious, unlikeable blowhard and he bugs the ever living cr– out of me. Yeah, that’s a personal dislike but I know many who have the same visceral reaction to Bud.

    Anyway, I am sure you’ll come back with a long disagreement but if Bud quit tomorrow, I would pop the champaign.

  64. And maybe Bud or Baseball’s brass, besides the need to challenge the super agents and hard core player’s union more (from ruining the sport), need to also challenge this mad with power umpires union that basically only wants more $ to “approve” background checks so MLB could avoid a “Donaghy”.

    There needs to be a system in place where an awful umpire like Angel Hernandez doesn’t keep his job for 15 years. If Angel hernandez was working in the private sector or even the Govt., he would have been fired about 20 times over for being such an incompetent employee.

  65. On Fields,

    Yes, Boras has a good record in representing his clients. We don’t know for sure that Fields followed Boras advice.

    About 5 years ago, an early pick (I don’t think represented by Boras) turned down pretty big money out of high school. Then, went to college and got drafted again lower at less money. Turned that down and got hurt. Then, pitched in an independent league and couldn’t get a look.

    Even if Fields had a great medical record, we have seen Reitsma, Byrd, and all sorts of others labor on without a problem that eventually is diagnosed. At Fields’ size, the way he throws, he is a shoulder injury or elbow injury waiting to happen. Even taking that out, I would say the odds are 1 in 8 that he has a significant injury before draft 2008.

    BUT who was really bullheaded here? The Braves should have offered incentives that IF Fields turns out to be the dominant closer that his 2006 season said he would be, then Fields would get high first round money as a bonus or incentive. But if not, then Fields got slot for where he was drfted and that was it. and IF Boras turned that down, that was a bad idea.

  66. Cliff,

    I would really be surprised if the Braves did not offer Fields above slot money. They continually reiterated the fact that they thought that he was one of the best pitchers coming out of college. I would assume much the way they did with Heyward that their was extra money involved above the MLB slot.

    When the Braves take a college player that high in the draft it is usally because they hold that player in high regard.

  67. Justin,

    I am glad I could entertain and I love some of Marc’s posts, but anyone who comes on here and gives an impassioned defense of Bud Selig – well, it’s going to “set me off”.

  68. Alex,

    Bud Selig is the greatest commisioner ever! A list of his wonderful accomplishments.

    1. Contraction hearings, was going to eliminate Twins, Expos, others…
    2. Allowed a tie game in the All-Star game.
    3. His continual waffling on will he or won’t he be there for Bonds.
    4. His general lack of class and continually looking like an idiot.
    5. His lack of player discpline. Players commit crimes and face little if any problems from the front office.
    6. And the whole steroid thing.

  69. Wasn’t Selig the owner of the Brewers during the collusion scandal? If so, that’s enough right there to make me distrust his judgment.

  70. Here’s a petition to fire C. B. Bucknor, who, in my opinion, is ten times worse than Angel Hernandez.

    Remy saves the day! I thought I was going to read all the way through a ‘bad umpire’ thread and not see CB Bucknor’s name. He the reigning king.

    (2) Generally speaking, Boras doesn’t make mistakes. The fact that Fields is going back to college should tell you that the best in the business is very confident that he’ll be in a position to get more money next year.

    Well this is just silly of course, there is a long list of clients that have lost money because of Boras’s hardball tactics just as there is a long lost of clients that have gained money. One person has already referenced the sad Matt Harrington saga. Fields could improve his draft status or, since he’s a pitcher, he could easily get hurt and flameout. He’s actually taking quite a risk. Being a short reliever he could have been fast tracked and been making major league money quickly. Who knows what will happen now. The kid is obviously comfortable with risk.

    From the Braves perspective, ah, big deal. We’ll get the same pick next year.

  71. Show me the list, Robert. You claim it’s long; surely you’ll be able to offer several names. Matt Harrington is one.

    Obviously, I didn’t mean Boras has a 100% success rate. However, I’d bet on a Boras client making more money much more quickly than I’d bet against it.

  72. I would have to believe that like every other agent he gives his client what he believes is the best advice, but ultimately it is the client’s decision. Fields being a competitor thinks that he can go out and have a better year.

    On another note I hate the height argument for pitchers. The main problem with pitchers staying healthy is not a matter of height or size, but a matter of mechanics. Watch Fields pitch. He has tremendous delivery and creates a ton of power seemingly effortlessly.

  73. Kenny,

    You read any of Carlos Gomez’s stuff over at THT? He devotes his study to mechanics. He agrees with you. He’s probably my favorite baseball writer on the ‘net, and I suggest you check him out if you haven’t already.

  74. I have read him on occasion. He does some excellent stuff. I think Fields kind of reminds me of a Roy Oswalt. Stu what do you think?

  75. I share Alex R.’s hatred for Bud Selig. Alex’s points shouldn’t be taken lightly.
    In Bud’s defense, he’s made his bosses happy-namely himself and the other owners. Bud claims revenues are up for all parties, but since they’ll never open the books; we can’t know.
    Not long ago, the league managed one franchise-Montreal-and the commisioner had great influence over another.
    Why were the Brewers moved to the National League? Is that a neat coincindence it’s Bud’s franchise?
    It can be argued that baseball has done no more whoring for televison than any other sport, but can anybody call this the National Passtime with a straight face?
    How has the game improved under his tenure?
    What has he done to ensure baseball’s place in our future?

  76. Wow that Harrington saga is just dumb, the first offer is most likely the best you will get, but to turn down a second and third offer, is just rediculous. It also should be noted, that Boras was not his client the first time he was drafted.

  77. Show me the list, Robert. You claim it’s long; surely you’ll be able to offer several names. Matt Harrington is one.

    Sure I keep the names of the anonymous high school kids who have turned down big money on Boras’ advice and then have never been heard from again in my breast pocket…

    If you haven’t been paying enough attention to see Boras’s missteps over the years, well, I’m not going to spend my morning tracking down names for you.

    To say, as you did, that Boras doesn’t make mistakes and so Fields must have made the right decision is hand-in-the-sand dumb. If Fields gets hurt and fades away everyone will forget him, and in five years no one will be able to site him in this same discussion.

  78. If you haven’t been paying enough attention to see Boras’s missteps over the years, well, I’m not going to spend my morning tracking down names for you.

    Translation: “I claimed you’re wrong but can’t back it up. Instead, I’ll just ramble.”

    And I believe the expression is “head-in-the-sand”.

    Kenny,

    I don’t think Fields throws with quite the velocity Oswalt does, but I can’t think of a better comparison.

  79. Wow that Harrington saga is just dumb, the first offer is most likely the best you will get, but to turn down a second and third offer, is just rediculous. It also should be noted, that Boras was not his client the first time he was drafted.

    That’s what was so amazing about the whole thing. He turns down the first offer, the next year the offer drops 70% and he and Boras decide to turn down the second offer. Now that takes some stones. That’s why everyone remembers his name. Personally I think Harrington is probably a long lost Drew brother.

  80. Robert,

    You should probably go ahead and bookmark this page in case that happens. You will then be able to throw the greatest in-your-face ever on the web!

    I think it is important to remember that ultimately it is Fields decision.

  81. Kenny,

    I’m not saying Fields won’t get hurt and fade away. I’m saying I think he’s more likely than not to make more money by signing next year than he would have by signing this year. That’s been my argument all along.

  82. The last ten games, Chucky has faced 23 batters on average. Maybe we are seeing a no-hitter through 7 today? C’mon, Chuck!!

  83. Stu,

    I would not at all be surprised to see Fields come out and once again dominate like he did in the 2006 season, and improve his draft status. I think we are in agreement for the most part. It is just pretty unusual for someone drafted that high to come back for their senior season. I actually hope he does well.

  84. Yeah, I’ll agree that it’s unusual for someone drafted that high to do that. I was never disputing that, only the idea that he’s incredibly unlikely to make more money by so doing.

  85. Stu, thanks for the Carlos Gomez recommendation. I could learn a lot from him. I’m proud to have him in the Atlanta area — I’ll bet the Braves will end up with a couple of his students some day.

  86. Hanley Ramirez is better than Jose Reyes. If he played for a more popular team, more people would know it.

  87. Greetings from Atlantic City, NJ.

    Phillie Phandom, Lesson #182

    So I’m in the bar in A.C. Sunday night watching the ESPN game. A man sits next to me & begins to watch the game. We make small talk. He’s a Phillies fan from South Jersey (a Misery Warning in itself) & rather unpleasant. I know this because when he asks me if I’m “rootin’ for the Phils,” I smile & say, “No, Atlanta…”

    “You like the Braves? Well, sorry to hear that—I fucking hate the Braves!

    “C’est la vie, man.”

    Just then, Andruw strikes out & this “fan” gets up and shouts at the TV, “Sit down, you fucking cunt!

    Every head in the place cranes in his direction & they stare. He’s been in the place 5 minutes & he’s become unhinged. I just turn to him and say, “Why do you hate yourself so much?”

    I guzzle half my beer & bail.

  88. btw,
    i was up in mahwah(sp?) earlier this summer for a wedding and had a similar experience whle watching a braves game. it came to blows. nuth’n like a post wedding scrum.

  89. beedee,

    Or he’d just lost his ass at the tables.

    Big fun last night. Nothing like setting up a quaking DJ system in a big brew pub. Music & beer—can’t go wrong.

  90. Re: Boras
    He is not God, he does have the ability to make mistakes, and I don’t think someone should have to supply a list of them in order to make that point.

    Ububba, I have a feeling I could go to most bars in philly and come back here and tell a similiar story any night of the week. Kind of crazy!!!

    I also want to second that I love Alex R rants. There was a time when some idiots ran him off and this place was without those morning rants. I don’t always agree but I always get a chuckle or two along the way.

  91. Not sure if anyone remembers him, but apparently Dan Meyer is now with the A’s big league club. He was the main guy in the trade for Tim Hudson a couple of years back. He has battled shoulder problems for the last few years. It looks like he is scheduled to start this Friday. I for one hope he does well. You look back on that trade and just say WOW!

    The only thing more impressive than the trade itself is that draft class for the Braves. Jeff Francouer, Brian McCann, Chuck James, and Dan Meyer, who we got Hudson for. You are often lucky to get 1 quality major leaguer. It is just amazing that we ended up getting 4 quality players out of one draft.

  92. ububba, are you a writer by chance, or do you just have the innate ability to recognize a good story? Your stories crack me up!

  93. Re: Boras
    He is not God, he does have the ability to make mistakes, and I don’t think someone should have to supply a list of them in order to make that point.

    You obvioiusly missed my point completely, JoshQ.

    I also want to second that I love Alex R rants. There was a time when some idiots ran him off and this place was without those morning rants. I don’t always agree but I always get a chuckle or two along the way.

    I was one of said idiots. I’ve mellowed. I now love them, too. Alex and I are like BFFs now.

  94. AAR,

    No problem. Glad you like him. I check the website compulsively for his newest articles. Even though he always posts on Wednesdays or Thursdays, I check every single day so that I don’t miss anything.

  95. Wow, JoshQ, I think I should say “thanks” but not quite sure? ;-) LOL.

    Actually, nobody ran me off…I mainly had “Braves Journal” burn out for a while and needed to make a clean break.

    But like a siren song, this site was calling me back to it. Ha!

  96. Stu,

    Yes, it’s odd how well we finally get along but seriously, I just had Braves Journal burnout–it really was less about arguing (with you or a few others) than I just got winded with all the back n forth and the addiction this site causes for many of us.

  97. Oops, Sorry about that Stu. That’s what I get for coming in mid-thread sometimes. I should be more careful. Also, if you and AlexR are now BFF’s, do you think it is possible that you and Tony could someday be best buddies? :)

  98. In regards to Boras I think from an economic perspecitive that he did an amazing job revolutionizing the MLB amateur draft. He saw what an inequity there was in signing bonuses compared to MLB salaries, and just exploited it. He has changed the draft so much that MLB has done everything in their power to curb his influence and force clubs to only sign players for the recommended slot money. I know that many don’t like him because of his antics, but I admire the way that he took something on and changed the status quo. It use to be that players just took whatever the team offered them.

  99. Oops, Sorry about that Stu.

    Don’t worry about it. He changed his point midstream when it became clear his original statement was ridiculous. It can be hard to keep up.

  100. Don’t worry about it. He changed his point midstream when it became clear his original statement was ridiculous. It can be hard to keep up.

    Anyone who actually reads the entire dialogue will see that my point stayed the same from start to finish.

  101. I didn’t think that was an “impassioned defense” of Bud. I just pointed out that not all of the problems were his doing. As for the All-Star Game, why was that his fault? They ran out of pitchers. Second, his accomplishments include (1) Wild Card; (2) interleague play (which I know a lot of people, including myself, don’t particularly like, but which seems to be popular; and (3) labor peace. Yes, I know the lockout happened on his watch, but give him some credit for getting the owners and the union to show some sense. It didn’t happen in hockey.

    There are lots of things I don’t like: (1) the stupid All-Star game giving home field advantage in the World Series; (2) the division setup which really rewards mediocrity; and (3) the endless push to force cities to build new stadiums. But, number 3 started long before he took over.

    I agree that he bears some responsibility for the steroid problem. Obviously, the owners weren’t anxious to kill the hen that laid the golden egg (ie, home runs). But, let’s face it, if he had tried to get steroid testing in, the union would have laughed in his face. You can say, well, just stand up to them, but the last time that happened, we lost the World Series.

    As for competitive balance, there has been a different World Series winner every year since 2000 (and it hasn’t been the Yankees). Most of the teams that Alex mentioned are so poorly run that it wouldn’t matter what their payroll was. Would I prefer a salary cap to level the playing field? Sure, but not at the expense of a strike. There is no way the union would go for that. I just don’t see how you can lay that at Bud’s feet.

    And, as for the late start times for TV–that’s inevitable. I remember when the Super Bowl was played in the afternoon and when college basketball games didn’t start at 9 pm. Baseball is not such a ratings grabber on TV that it can dictate to the networks what it wants. Maybe the NFL could, but not MLB.

    As for assuring baseball’s place in our future, that’s sort of like saying, what did Abraham Lincoln do about that pesky budget deficit?

    And, Alex, your point about letting the sport be built around two teams. Well, I disagree with that; that’s more a function of your hatred of ESPN. That’s like saying, why did David Stern build the NBA around that Michael Jordan guy? Bud can’t control the fact that the Yankees and Red Sox are in two major media markets and have fans throughout the country. The better argument is, what would happen to baseball if it didn’t have ANY national teams? It has been true throughout baseball history that baseball is much healthier when the Yankees are good. Sorry to break the news to you.

    What is Bud Selig supposed to do about that? And, frankly, the game seems to be in pretty good health.

    I certainly don’t mean for this to be an impassioned defense of Bud Selig. But I don’t understand the hatred for someone that seems to be, overall, a pretty decent guy. I don’t what to say about your visceral dislike of the guy. If you weren’t Jewish, I would be suspicious of a statement like that, frankly.

    I know this is long but, if Alex wants to rant, that’s fine, but let’s hear the other side too.

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