It’s over

I emailed DOB with the arbitration question, and he says that the Braves will not offer Andruw arbitration. So unless they change their minds, it’s over.

UPDATE: They could technically still offer it, he says, but I guess he doesn’t expect it — unless they’re sure Andruw’ll say no, I guess.

ALSO: For those of you who missed it, the centerfielder of the future, Jordan Schafer!

Hi, I'm an elf!

191 thoughts on “It’s over”

  1. It’s just as well. It’s the right thing for both sides. The Braves clear the payroll they need for a couple of significant raises to Hudson and Smoltz and Andruw can get his big bucks elsewhere.

  2. Well this is a sad day for me. Andruw has been my favorite brave for a long time. It really bothers me how everyone turns on him after a bad season.. A really bad season I should say. I just remember how in 2005 in an extra inning game everyone would just wait for Andruw to come up and end it.. Overall I do understand the braves move. Im just going to really miss him. Also Schafer is one goofy looking guy!

  3. The Maddux thing. I guess fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me. I guess I don’t blame Schuerholz for this stance but each circumstance is different.

    Don’t you all think that having Boras as your agent is more of a drag on a player’s negotiating stance than an enhancement?

  4. You have to hope that having BorASS as an agent would eventually catch up with the players who hire him, but it only seems to be getting worse.

    I will miss Andruw’s defense, but Mike Cameron or someone like him should fill in just fine.

    What I won’t miss is Andruw’s .222 average in the #4 spot for the majority of the year.
    But his batting averages and legendary, momentum killing cold streaks that have been happening year after year after year, I won’t miss.

    I actually think the earlier comments that the Rangers and Nationals being the leading Andruw candidates are correct. Two bad teams – the Rangers have no outfield at all and the Nats have a new ballpakrk and what put some players people have heard of out there.

    The Yankees are going to spend their money on pitching and actually payroll, the Red Sox like guys who can actually take a pitch, the Mets have Beltran, and the Cubs are going to sign A-Rod. I don’t see him going to any of those 4 teams.

  5. He hit cleanup in 86 games. Yep, that’s a majority, but a bare one. Of course, he actually hit .220 in the cleanup spot…

    There’s a fair chance that Andruw is done, that he can’t hit good fastballs anymore. The spike in walk rate in a player in his thirties can be a bad sign, a sign that they can’t pull the trigger on pitches they used to swing at.

  6. I have been a huge Andruw fan since those two World Series homeruns against the Yankees. I was nine and can remember vividly the announcer saying after that game, “The Yankees were helped by a kid this postseason, and hurt by a kid.”

    I’ve always loved watching defense over offense, so Andruw became my favorite player by default. I’ll miss his spectacular catches, even if he has lost a step or two since he came up. Many times over the past decade I’ve watched games the Braves weren’t playing in where a ball was hit into center and I’ve thought, “oh, he’s out.” Then the ball would drop safely way in front of the centerfielder and I’d realize how great Andruw was.

    I will miss Andruw a lot, and will probably cringe next year if a ball drops in front of our new CF that Andruw might have gotten to. That said, it’s totally understandable why the Braves decided this, and I am glad they announced it so soon so we won’t have many weeks of speculation. I don’t know what else we really could have expected for a player represented by Scott Boras. Sad, really.

  7. i know we have a long offseason, but can anyone produce the 2008 payroll thus far so we can see what we have to work with?

  8. Interesting thought Mac. I don’t think he is done, and I think he can go back to being a .260 hitter. The honest truth is that as much as we all liked AJ he has not been a great hitter in awhile. I think for me the hardest part was I never felt he reached his full potential. I always thought he could have been a more consistent hitter if was really willing to work on it. Andruw decided along time ago that he is only going to be a pull-hitter. Maybe the change in scenery will end up being good for him. He was without a doubt the most physically gifted player I think I have ever seen at such a young age. I remember him being the Minor league player of the year twice, and the Braves Minor league player of the year three times.

    I will miss him, but I definitely did not want to waste the money to see him stay. Good luck AJ!

  9. I feel bad that it devolved into a “what have you done for me lately?” thing with Andruw; but with the “big payday” looming, it was almost justified in criticizing every stinking thing wrong that he did in 2007.


  10. Better to let him go than sign him to an expensive multi-year deal. Depending on next year’s budget, I might have done arbitration. If nothing else, a couple of draft picks might have been nice. Oh well, time to move on.

    I’m not really a favorite player sort of fan so I don’t have any special warm fuzzies for Andruw, but he made a highlight reel catch during the one game I attended at Turner Field. (I’m only 75 minutes or so from the field but who wants to screw with the traffic?) I was sitting in the right field stands near the pen on the day that Andruw made the catch that TBS made part of the opening sequence for the next few seasons. Andruw ends up like a spider with both hands and feet up against the outfield wall.

    The last thread had some chatter about LF–I bet it is a Diaz/Brandon Jones platoon. If Jones flops in spring training then maybe Willie Harris sticks around or Thorman gets the LH part of the platoon.

  11. i wonder, does thorman get any shot in atlanta next year? it’s been well documented that it takes thorman a little while longer than most players to come around in a league.

  12. Seriously? Do they really think it would be a disaster if AJ accepted arbitration? Do they really think that those two beautiful draft picks not worth the risk that we end up with a GG CF on a semi-reasonable 1 year deal?

    I don’t like that move at all.

  13. Just to add: guess we should hope he signs with someone right after the season ends. ‘Course, given that it’s Boras and Andruw is looking to get paid, I kinda doubt that’ll happen.

  14. if JS has any chance of doing that DeJesus for Thorman deal, he should jump on that right now

  15. Andruw Jones has priced himself out of the Braves’ range and will not be returning next year. O’Brien says Scott Boras’ starting point was seven years and nearly $20MM annually.

  16. I think the most likely scenario for Thorman is a trade. He needs ABs to figure out if he’s a ML player or a AAAA player. He did have a monster homer a week ago, but he’s not well suited for PH and he’s not going to get many ABs playing behind Tex.

    This might be overreading things, but AJ’s disappearing act in Houston might have been a big clue about where things were headed.

  17. Dear Andruw,

    Thanks for the memories and good luck wherever you land. You will be missed dearly.


  18. You can tell JS is not comfortable in dealing with Boras when I read JS hasn’t talked to Boras for a year!!! Well, they will HAVE TO talk when they negotiate a contract on Tex, who I think JS is indeed hoping to keep.

    mraver, I think the budget only allows one of Andruw and Tex.

    Alex, the older I get, the more I believe Boras is not the guy to blame. It takes two sides to make an agreement. The owners are the ones to pay the salary, and the owners are the ones who agreed to the flaws in draft and the arbitration processes. Overall, I blame the owners on most of the wrongs in baseball.

  19. Jo Jo a #2, cmon now…

    One of the primary reasons the Braves missed the postseason for a second straight year was the fact they had to rely so heavily on John Smoltz and Tim Hudson. But the success Jo-Jo Reyes and Jeff Bennett enjoyed during this season’s final few weeks provided some stability to the back end of the rotation and slightly increased optimism about planning for the 2008 season.

    “It’d be nice to find [a pitcher] that is [solid],” Cox said. “But Jo-Jo came on so strong and Bennett, out of nowhere, looked fine. He’s a strike-thrower with pretty good stuff. But, it would be nice to have depth.”

    With Bennett owning just two Major League starts, he has to be viewed with some of the same uncertainty that surrounds Mike Hampton, whose left elbow has caused him to essentially be absent since May 2005, and Chuck James, who struggled this year — and maybe more alarming, did so with a sore left shoulder.

    While going 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA in his final four starts this year, Reyes impressed Cox to the point where it seems he’s a favorite to be included in next year’s rotation, which will once again be headed by Smoltz and Hudson.

    “Reyes was very impressive,” Cox said of the 22-year-old southpaw, who made just 17 starts above Class A before his July 7 Major League debut. “He’s so close to being a No. 2 starter at the Major League level that it’s not funny. He still needs a little bit of work. Maybe we can handle that up here

  20. Teixeira said he had more fun the past two months than he’s had at any other point of his career. But still when it comes time to re-sign him next year, he’ll be come with a hefty price and the request that the Braves ignore their strict thoughts regarding no-trade policies.

    “He wants to stay in one place for a long time,” Boras said. “But that’s probably not in Atlanta because the Braves don’t offer no-trade clauses. That’s been a problem with a number of my clients who have wanted to sign there.”

  21. No, he’s really good at his job because he’s evil. Evil people are often good at what they do, especially when lies and deceit are a plus.

    By that definition John Schuerholz is evil.

    Boras can be as evil and deceitful as he wants, but he didn’t hold a gun to Tom Hicks’ head and make him offer A-Rod $250 mill.

  22. Evil people are often good at what they do, especially when lies and deceit are a plus.

    See also: Saban, Nicky

  23. #30 – see also, every other college football coach

    So, you’re telling me that Tyrone Willingham is as evil a person as Little Nicky Saban?

    I disagree.

  24. Well, regarding an abscene of a no-trade clause, I don’t think there will be a situation where the Braves will have to trade Teixeira. There’s too much talent on the team at this point for them to dump salary. I mean, when was the last time that they actually did that?

  25. Hm, good point. I stand corrected. Here’s a better question: would there realistically be a situation where the Braves would have to trade Teixeira?

  26. That’s what everyone said when we signed Hudson, Sam. Just last year, it looked like we might have to seriously consider trading him, if you’ll recall.

  27. I will certainly miss Andruw.

    I never bought into the “Andruw-should-be-better” camp. He is exactly what he is and, until this year, his offensive numbers were remarkably consistent. A big, big plus for the team over that time.

  28. #33 & #37 – nope, just saying that every college coach lies to just about every person they come in contact with. They promise every player everything and promise it to every players family. Happened to me

    Saban is a liar, Im fine with saying that

  29. I never bought into the “Andruw-should-be-better” camp. He is exactly what he is

    Amen to that, ububba.

    Mets fans bagging on Reyes right is the same line of thinking. They expect him to be the second coming of Honus Wagner and since he’s not, he sucks. Silliness.

  30. anyone see the rumor on mlb rumors yesterday or the day before saying that the Mets could be going after Santana. Offer could be Reyes and Pelfrey

  31. Dear Andruw,

    Thanks for the memories and good luck wherever you land. You will be missed dearly.



    I think the budget only allows one of Andruw and Tex.

    Considering the Boras factor I think the smart money is on ‘neither’.

    Bad day to be a Braves fan, but what else is new.

  32. You know, from what I remember, the reason that Hudson was supposed to be traded was because he stunk it up in 2006. I know I wanted that to happen. He made a very nice comeback this season, and I hope that he continues that trend.

  33. put me in the “i’ll miss andruw camp”, as bad as he sucked at the plate this year( it’s not like he forced bobby to keep him at clean up), he still made plenty of amazing plays in the field. it’s sad that he wont remain a brave, but i wish him luck and success where ever he lands (just not the mets please mr. boras).

  34. and yes i bagged on andruw for most of the season, but andruw would have bagged on andruw this season.
    good luck man, thanks for the thrills.

  35. There’s a lot you could say to sum up the Andruw era, and others have said it better than I could. This year wasn’t a great note to end on; I prefer to remember 2005.

    But really, Andruw had an amazing decade in center field for the Braves, one of the best decades any center fielder ever had. There’s no question we got the best he had to give, and that he’s on his decline; how fast and how far he’ll fall is hard to know at this point. But God, he’s been good for us, and I can’t remember another player who’s more fun to watch. He was the Ozzie Smith of center field.

    He’s in the Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz camp for me. I’ll always love him. Always.

  36. it would be funny if this was all a bluff? Wonder what Boras would do if it came out in a month and said that Andruw and JS had reached an agreement

  37. As long as the Mets have Beltran locked up for another 4 years, Andruw won’t be going to Shea/Citi Field.

    However, WFAN’s Mets reporter Ed Coleman did mention the possibility that Beltran could be dealt because the remainder of his contract averages out to $15M per—not so crazy for a lotta teams.

    Of course, I think Beltran, Reyes & Wright remain a more-than-decent nucleus for the Enemy in Queens.

    Aside from the disgraceful attitude problems they displayed near the end of the season—eg., Delgado said, “We’re so good, sometimes we get bored.”—the Mets are too old.

    Lotsa Reyes talk among Mets fans up here: He parties too much; he doesn’t respect the game; he doesn’t hustle; his celebratory antics make it tough on his teammates; he fires up the opposition; he pads his stats; etc.

    In their celebrating clubhouse after the Cards beat the Mets in the ’06 NLCS, they were doing a mock “Jose-Jose-Jose-Jose” chant. Like a lot of clubs, they can’t stand the guy.

    He’s not the kinda guy I ever like to root for because I think he shows up the other team, but he’s supertalented. Even if all of those fan complaints are true, I think the Mets would be nuts to trade him. He’s just gotta grow up.

  38. good to see Memphis win tonight after losing one of their players in the school shooting, it was probably a difficult night for them

  39. I just got up and read about Andruw and find myself feeling pretty sad about it. Its the right decision–but I had hoped we would keep him longer, he would perform better and somehow be a Brave.

    Leaving aside Boras (yes, the Tex issue again) I want to say that Andruw will be missed–far more than some of us have realized during the last frustrating season.

    Andruw was a joy to have on the Braves–both for his on the field and off the field achievements–and I really hope 2007 was an exception and that he returns to form and the path to Cooperstown. Somehow I see him in Dodger blue and this morning it makes me cringe….

  40. My wacky idea:
    Sign Glavine.
    Trade Edgar Renteria, Scott Thorman, Chuck James to Cubs for Felix Pie, Carlos Marmol, and Sean Marshall.

    Rotation of Smoltz, Hudson, Glavine, and let a healthy Hampton/Marshall/James/Reyes fight out for 4/5.

    Kelly at 2B, Escobar at SS, outfield of Diaz (maybe bring in another corner OF in the Eli Marrero mold to platoon), Pie, and Francoeur.

  41. I’ll miss Andruw being the only hitter I’ve ever seen to ask for appeals on checked swings.

  42. Wow, Andruw is already off the banner on the website. Or was he even up there to begin with?

  43. Terence Moore doesn’t bug me like he does a lotta folks. But I quit reading his latest column on Andruw Jones, when I got to this:

    “[Andruw Jones] is the hidden reason the Braves produced Cy Glavine, Cy Smoltz and Cy Maddux, along with all of those consecutive years of team ERAs that ranked first or second in baseball.”

    The second part…OK fine, but I hate to break the news to you, Terence: Andruw was the regular CF for only one of the 7 Cy Young Awards those guys won—Glavine in 1998. As great as Andruw has been, those guys did just fine with Gant, Nixon & Sanders in CF.

  44. I will miss Andruw a lot, just like I really miss(ed) Maddux and Glavine. It’s a sad day. It is the right decision anyway.

  45. I’m a little bummed to see the inevitable unfold, but I have no doubt in my mind that it was the right thing to do. A team that hopes to win next year cannot pay $15 million+ to a guy who is starting to fall apart. Even if he lost some of that weight, he isn’t nearly as graceful as the Andruw I grew up watching. Watching him dive for a ball, plays that four years ago were definite outs, made me cringe all year. Not only did he catch fewer, but he hit the ground like a sack of potatoes and grimaced.

    My prediction for Andruw: he’ll have a much better year next year, .260 35+ HR 100+ RBIs but will miss a significant amount of time due to injury. In 2009, he’ll miss a lot more.

    Just my thoughts.

  46. “Wow, Andruw is already off the banner on the website. Or was he even up there to begin with?”

    Yeah he was, on the far-right. I think they replaced him with Teixeira on that banner. So it goes: Francoeur, Chipper Jones, Smoltz, McCann and Teixeira from left to right.

    From MLBTradeRumors:

    As I noted earlier, a $95MM payroll (a $7MM increase from last year) would probably just buy the Braves their current roster without Andruw or Octavio Dotel. The raises are that significant.

    The Braves really had no room to keep Andruw Jones if they had any thoughts whatsoever of getting a third starter. It hurts, but it is the right move.

  47. It was the right thing to do, but it still sucks. Andruw was my favorite Brave as well. Living in Yankee country, I’ll never the 2 HR game. We’ll realize next year exactly how good he really was in CF.

    Now let’s go get a starter younger than 40.

  48. I’m just glad he’s gone. No, I’m EXTATIC he’s gone. Andruw will be a really bad player with a huge contract next year and the year after that and after that, and I’m just glad he will not suck for us. Can’t wait for Smoltzie to strike him out on three pitches and Hudson to make him ground into a double play.

    Anyway, I’d also like to say thank you for a couple good memories, one huge season and one great playoff performance.

    Oh, and gold glove defense for a decade.

  49. @69: What in the world makes you believe Andruw will have a better year next year? I just can’t see what indicates that.

  50. 74. He was the worst hitting everyday player this year by a pretty decent margin. It would be tough not to have a better year next year. I think it is safe to assume he will have a better year. The question is how much better.

  51. Usually I would wait and see if Shuerholz was lying since he often does, but this time I think he’s sincere. The Braves’ payroll and team needs just don’t allow them to re-sign a declining 30 year old hitter. This does make me very pessimistic about the chances of re-signing Teixeira next year, since he’s a far better hitter than Andruw.

    My guess is the Braves either try to sign Glavine to a deeply discounted 1 year deal (less than $10 mil) or they trade for a good, cheap starter who may not be much better than James then sign or trade for some inexpensive veteran to play centerfield since Bobby won’t want to hand over the job to a rookie.

  52. Andruw Jones is the best defensive centerfielder I’ve ever seen, and I’m old enough to have seen Mays, Mantle and Snider play in person during the ’50s. I love Andruw Jones and would have loved for the Braves to have been able to keep him. However, even I believe we need to improve starting pitching and sign Teixiera more than we need to keep my favorite ever player.

    Good luck, Andruw, and thanks for the memories.

  53. Just to pile on… Andruw’s defense will be sorely missed (by this fan and by the team). The man was unbelievable patrolling CF (and still is, whether he’s declining or not, he’s still playing at a high level in CF).

    But for some reason, it always bugged me that he didn’t *seem* to care. I know it’s ridiculous to try and judge that from my couch, but that’s just what it seemed like. Must have been all of those double plays that it *seemed* like he could have beat out if he’d just hustle.

    If he’s actually healthy next year, then I could see him returning to .260 35 110 for sure. We’ll miss those bombs as well.

    His terrible season this year has scarred many of us… but I just don’t think AJ was going to be a Brave next year anyway.


    AJ has amazing year — no chance of signing him, he’s going for the big bucks

    AJ has decent to solid year — again, he goes for more than the Braves can afford

    AJ has terrible year — only chance Braves have of affording him for one year until he proves himself healthy/productive so he can get a big contract, EXCEPT that Boras is going to find some team willing to give him a long term deal anyway.

    JS said on-air in the middle of the season that it just wasn’t in the realistic plans of the team to sign AJ… it was a foregone conclusion that he wouldn’t be a Brave. We knew this was coming.

    I know that doesn’t necessarily soften the blow.

    Anything more than a 3 year offer from the Braves would be a silly decision on their part. And 3 years might even be pushing it. A 1 year offer would be great (I think for both AJ and the Braves), but, obviously, that’s not a possibility either.

    JS seems to be pretty shrewd about knowing when to cut bait as well. Anyone still want Marcus Giles? I think AJ still has some good playing time left in him… but not a long term contract’s worth, for sure.

    AJ will be missed, but if:

    -A CF with plus defense can be found
    -Franceour continues to progress at the plate
    -McCann can stay healthy
    -Chipper can stay relatively healthy

    then the lineup and defense will still be ok.

    If this somehow frees up the Braves to solidify the rotation, then it seems that it would have been the right move for sure.

    And I’m done. Maybe I should get some work done this morning…

  54. @74

    Regression to the mean points out that Andruw should bounce back from this outlier year to a more ‘average’ year. He’s not so old that he can’t improve on this year’s stats. The question is whether he’ll improve on them enough to warrant the type of money Boras is asking for next season and in the future.

    THAT is the key question for any team thinking of signing him.

  55. @ 66 – I just finished reading that T. Moore column too and almost fell out of my chair when he attributed the Cy Youngs to AJ’s defense. I’m surprised he didn’t mention Ken Griffey, Jr. as a possible substitute.

    I seem to remember that we would have signed A-Rod had JS waived the no-trade clause, then Hicks came along and blew every team out of the water. By the way, the problem is not Boras, it is the owners who are complete idiots. I’ve never understood the Braves’ insistence on foregoing no-trade clauses in contracts. When was the last time the Braves traded any player with even a moderately big salary?

  56. I hate to see Andruw go. I always hate to see the guys who came up through our farm system and blossomed into regular players go. As I said a few days ago, I’m also fairly confident that I don’t yet realize how much I’ll miss him until we’re actually playing games without him.

    With that said, I won’t miss 2007 Andruw Jones. And I think the money we might have allocated to Andruw will be put to good use elsewhere.

    I’d also be willing to bet that Andruw shows up to Spring Training with his next team in the best shape any of us have seen him in over the past 6 or so years.

  57. Wouldn’t you love to have been a fly on the wall when Moore was first informed by someone that Andruw didn’t start playing until the very end of the ’96 season, well after most of those Cy Youngs had already been won?

    He is such a bad writer and so utterly predictable. At least he’s consistent, though, right?

  58. I would be in favor of somehow finding a way of re-signing Andruw only if there was a way to ensure that he would be in top physical shape. Like he has to come in at less than 225 pounds or something. Even then, we couldn’t do that, and we still can’t afford him.

  59. Andruw was in good shape to start this year, but by the end he was back to being fat and slow. I guess he figured if he can’t hit, it didn’t matter if he overate.

    I believe defense is overrated and the team will be fine if it can find a replacement centerfielder(s) who has average to good defense but also gets on base more than 30% of the time.

  60. There’s a fair chance that Andruw is done, that he can’t hit good fastballs anymore. The spike in walk rate in a player in his thirties can be a bad sign, a sign that they can’t pull the trigger on pitches they used to swing at.

    That’s my concern about Andruw, and I think it is a significant enough risk that I am glad they won’t offer arbitration. $15M for a .220 hitting CF with declining (if still good) defense is way too much. He wasn’t worth his salary this year. I’ll miss the memories, but not the player. Of course I’d be happy for him to prove me wrong, even for another team.

  61. If defense was all that mattered, the Braves probably would have kept Ryan Langerhans to be their center fielder.

  62. Ron,

    I agree with you on one point, defense is overrated? I don’t see the entirety of the outfield having that much of a dropoff as long as we don’t put players in positions they cannot play (i.e. Francoeur in CF).

    No one should be surprised by the article of Terrance Moore. I have noticied in every article he will write about the Braves there will be a mentioning of David Justice. Terrance Moore has absolutely no clue about baseball, and am surprised he did not call the Braves racist. I might be over analyzing his column, but to me it sounded like the only way to replace AJ would be with a black player (Torii Hunter).

    His reporting is atypical of so much reporting, instead of looking at the facts and stating things objectively he bases things on intangibles. If our payroll is going to be $95 million dollar, does it make sense to have another guy occupying over 20% of the payroll? I don’t believe so. Would that money be better suited in other areas of concern for the team? I think almost everyone agrees that it would.

  63. Terrance Moore’s likely list of approved center fielders for next season now that Andruw Jones is gone:

    Mike Cameron
    Torri Hunter
    Willie Harris
    Kenny Lofton

    For some reason, Aaron Rowand and Kosuke Fukudome didn’t make the cut.

  64. I had one more comment to make on the Terrance Moore colum. At the end he says: “This isn’t to say Jones will become Robinson or even Justice during his post-Braves career.” Does anyone really believe that AJ will not go down as clearly the superior outfielder to David Justice?

  65. That is literally the worst sports-related column I’ve ever read. Which is really saying something.

  66. I think he’s already superior to David Justice, so that kills the statement and buries it 60 feet below right there.

  67. Mac,

    Bisher’s bemoaning of the Braves’ tendency to trade away prospects after the Teixeira trade is burned within my mind. @_@

  68. I guess I sort of give Bisher a pass for being senile. I blame the AJC for continuing to give him space to prove it, though.

  69. If Andruw retired today, he’d be a superior outfielder to David Justice. After playing another 10 years as he probably will, it will be impossible to even mention the two in the same sentence with a straight face.

    The Braves can’t afford to bring Andruw Jones back at the price he is requesting and still improve other areas on the team that more urgently need fixing. That’s really all there is to this. Andruw has been a good but not great offensive player. The Braves will recover from not having him surprisingly easily just like they did when they let Furcal and Giles go.

  70. Jesse Outlar? Wow, there’s a memory. The good ol’ days of good ol’ boys writing about Atlanta sports.

    I’ve never been able to find the actual piece, but apparently Furman Bisher wrote a column for the Sporting News back in 1947 (in the wake of Jackie Robinson’s debut) about how MLB wasn’t ready for a black ballplayer.

    While it wasn’t exactly out of step with much of society at the time, that one might be the very bottom scraping of sports columns.

  71. No doubt Ron, in 10 more years will be talking about AJ and the HOF. As much as I like David Justice the Braves Hall of Fame is the only place he will be going.

  72. Ububba,

    It’s a little much to go back to 1947 and apply today’s standards to all conduct at the time. I am unaware of any such Bisher article. However, if he only pointed out what you said (didn’t downgrade African Americans or say “segregation now and forever” that is an awfully hard hit.

    If it was what was commonly thought at the time (and I certainly believe that), although that doesn’t make it right, it does provide a lot of context.

    In the same manner, many people have downgraded Abraham Lincoln for making statements about “maybe the black people should be returned to Africa” as making him a white racist. Now maybe according to the definition of Dr. Charles King (Urban Crisis Center, that “if your sister or daughter said she was marrying a black person would you take that any different than if she said she were marrying a white man”) Abraham Lincoln was a racist. However, he did more toward racial equality than any other president until probably Franklin Roosevelt.

  73. This reminds me a bit of letting Dale Murphy go. I hated it at the time, but Dale’s career was essentially over. I was too blinded by memories of the old Dale Murphy to see it, even though by the time we let him go he had put up two terrible offensive years, not one. I’m now 17 years older, and I hope a hair wiser. Best of luck, Andruw.

  74. You know what’s weird? I never saw Dale Murphy play personally and yet he’s still one of my favorite Braves.

  75. Me too Sam. I think I may have gotten to see him one time when I was really young. He is definitely one of my favorite Braves players. Of course, it was not hard to admire someone who really stood up for what he believed.

  76. Cliff,
    Although I’m thoroughly entertained to see Furman Bisher & Abraham Lincoln sharing the same context, I’ll stand by my entire statement.

  77. I vowed never to read a Terrence Moore column again but the fisking was hilarious. I STILL can’t believe that dope gets PAID to write that crap.

    Chipper has actually supplanted Murph as my favorite Brave. I had actually started mourning Murphy before his trade when his fantastic skill set started to desert him.

    We’ll live without Andruw. It will be interesting to see which totally insane team will pony up the dollars he and Boras want. I don’t think that he will make it to the Hall of Fame.

  78. I think he will make it to the HOF. This year is probably a fluke and he’ll go back to hitting 30+ HR and 120+ RBI next year. If he plays another 10 years with those kind of stats, he’ll have over 600 career homeruns. Combine that with being one of the top 2 or 3 defensive centerfielders of all time and he’d be a lock for the hall.

    I’m going to guess Andruw goes to the Dodgers since they seem big on signing ex-Braves and Andruw probably would like playing in a warm city like LA.

  79. I dont think we go after any FA CF’s this offseason. We may via trade through Renteria and Thorman, but thats only if we can get Glavine to come in below Market value. If not, then Renty has to go for a possible #3 or 4 guy and we should then look at a Thorman/Yates for DeJesus or something like that

  80. Mac,

    Wondering if you have a rough “road map” through this analysis? That is, which positions in which order?

  81. Man, that Mets blog is hilarious. They’re ripping Glavine like mad, completely faily to realize that they’d have been 3rd or worse in the division by the start of September if it hadn’t been for him.

  82. That’s the first Moore column I’ve read in years thanks to that “fisking” and I am now reminded why I stopped reading him in the first place. Grade A Moron.

    I admit, it is sad to see Andruw go but if the Braves can make up for his defense and find someone to give us avg. numbers for CF, that sadness should dissipate fairly quickly. Hell, I almost hope the kid goes to the AL and has a career surge.

  83. I think It would take more than a junkpile reliever and a first baseman who hasn’t proven himself as a major leaguer to snag the Royals best player.

  84. Although I’m thoroughly entertained to see Furman Bisher & Abraham Lincoln…

    Lincoln said some pretty bad things too.

    “And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

    -Abe Lincoln, Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858

    Sorry to quote that, but I just want to point that it was a different time and it’s not fair to hold someone to something they said or wrote so very long ago. Times and people change.

  85. I think the comparisons to letting Murphy go are pretty apt, but Murphy might have had a little less in the tank at the point (if AJ can get healthy).

    I did get to see the Murphy at Fulton CO. stadium once (no small feat for an 8-year-old in Virginia). He struck out (of course!) but also threw a runner out at 3rd with a laser from RF. it was sweet. And, oh yeah, Andres Galarraga (with the Expos then) hit a go ahead HR. ugh.

    Murphy was the best.

  86. 122 — ha! there was a conversation with Jonah Keri on during the tiebreaker that I read a tiny bit of as I was watching. People were astounded by how bad the commentating was. Not us Braves fans though.

    by the way, regarding 121 — I think it’ll prove to be a wise decision to let Andruw walk. Maybe not next year. But years 4-7 (if he gets that many) of his future contract are going to be a millstone on some franchise. Or it’ll be nothing to some franchise that spends and spends and spends.

  87. No one seems to like Chip Caray or Joe Simpson outside of some Braves’ fans.

    I like Simpson. Maybe Simpson meant Matsui had pop compared to his playing career.

  88. I think It would take more than a junkpile reliever and a first baseman who hasn’t proven himself as a major leaguer to snag the Royals best player.

    I tend to agree that a Yates/Thorman package isn’t all that enticing, but there’s just no way DeJesus is the Royals’ best player.

  89. Talk about blazing hot…if the Rockies hang onto their lead today (it’s 3-0 in the 4th), that would be 15 wins in their last 16 games.

  90. Anyone else find it a little annoying that the announcers will talk about Pat Burrel’s tendency to strike out (he had 120), but do nothing but praise Ryan Howard like he’s Jesus when he struck out 199 times during the season and twice today?

  91. Cliff,

    I said this a few times, and I’ll say it again because I want to: didn’t Fukudome have arm surgery in the middle of the 2007 season?

  92. To be honest, I like Pete and then Skip and then Joe and then Chip, although Chip seems to be growing on me (perhaps in the way his father did… although Chip is still lightyears behind). While Joe is tolerable, he’s usually pretty bad. Pete is consistently good, and while Skip sometimes acts like an old fuddyduddy, more often than not he’s charming and occasionally hilarious.

  93. Also, Jeff Francis is really good.

    He has outdueled Cole Hamels, despite the fact that, according to, “Sal Fasano is afraid of Cole Hamels.”

  94. And I thought that Pha/Col series was going to be a shootout.

    Has there ever been a hotter team headed to the playoffs? The ’51 Giants, ’78 Yanks & ’93 Braves come to mind, but this is ree-diculous.

    BTW, on WFAN today, Tom Glavine said he’d decline his player option for ’08 because “he’s not sure he wants to pitch.” Guess he won’t be a Met. Let the rumors begin.

  95. andruw ranked 6th in outfield putouts this year in the majors, but 1st in the nl. i guess you can contribute most of that to the dh (the difference in andruw and #1 was 32 putouts, and i would have to say that over the course of a year, a dh in a 162 game season would fly out to center at least 32 more times than a pitcher). his defense has slowed, but the leading the nl in putouts once again shows that he can still get it.

  96. sorry for the double post, but i forgot the link,

    andruw ranked 6th in outfield putouts this year in the majors, but 1st in the nl. i guess you can contribute most of that to the dh (the difference in andruw and #1 was 32 putouts, and i would have to say that over the course of a year, a dh in a 162 game season would fly out to center at least 32 more times than a pitcher). his defense has slowed, but the leading the nl in putouts once again shows that he can still get it.

  97. Well, that shows he still has good judgement on balls. :)

    His FRAR-FRAA ratings this season are 16/-1 though. I still haven’t figured out how they calculate that.

  98. #126 Dan, I just posted that because there have been more than one rumor stating that the Royals prefer Gathright (sp?) over DeJesus and they may be interested in a Thorman/DeJesus deal. They have also stated that they want to get Grienke back in the rotation, but to do so they need a hard throwing reliever.

  99. its a big game for Fulmer this saturday, however, I think he’ll be on the losing end of that battle

    what about Kentucky/SC tomorrow night? Does Kentucky have a chance? They have never beaten Spurrier

  100. UK/USC
    From what I’ve seen (all of 2 games), it seems like, with that QB, Kentucky has a chance against anybody. And, I’m doing my best to avoid an infantile joke about the Cocks’ new QB Chris Smelley.

    As a UGA guy, I’m not yet sure which school gets my rooting interest. We need USC to lose another one & we’ll have to take care of Kentucky anyway, so I guess it’s, “Go Cats!”
    Kentucky 28, USC 20

    In the Richt Era, we’ve had a lot of luck in K-Town, but it’s still a tough place to play. In the 2 Vols games I’ve seen, their defense got ripped apart by 2 talented offenses. I tend to doubt that’s exactly going to happen this time out—I’m more worried about stopping them—but it’s a comforting thought. If offensive coordinator Mike Bobo’s got some new tricks, it’s time to break ’em out.

    Georgia 23, UT 20

  101. Yeah, the Royals like Gathright in center (for no good reason) and even in a good year (he had a bad one) DeJesus is iffy offensively in a corner.

  102. That’s what I’m thinking about. The Braves need someone that’s better than Willie Harris. What do people see in DeJesus; I must be missing something.

  103. He’s a lot better than Willie Harris. He had a bad year, but even then put up an OBP better than .350 (Harris’ career OBP is .318, and even this year it wound up at .349) and has a little pop. DeJesus’ career line is .282 .358 .415; Harris’ is .247 .318 .321, and this year, his “career year”, he hit .270 .349 .392.

    DeJesus isn’t going to be an All-Star; I thought he would, once, but it’s not in the cards. He’s still a far better CF candidate than anyone in the organization.

  104. I think Dejesus would outperform Willie, though their stats this year were pretty similar. Both did pretty poorly coming down the stretch, Willie outhit Dejesus at the beginning of the year. The real question is whether you have more faith in the guy coming off the best year of career (Willie) or the guy coming off of a relative down year (Dejesus) if both hit similarly.

    My favoring Dejesus is based on the fact he has a track record (as much as I want to have faith in Willie, its very possible, likely even, that he had a hot first few months of the season and that won’t happen again) and his defense is more highly regarded (if this isn’t true, than I think its basically a push).

    Even if Dejesus repeats his performance this year, he will be around as valuable as Andruw was offensively (.723 v .724 OPS), and there is upside (.774 OPS from 04-06).

    Remember we can keep Willie, platoon them even, or play the hot hand, but I’d feel a lot more comfortable having Dejesus around.

  105. DeJesus’s production is actually a lot better than Andruw’s in 2007 because it’s OBP-heavy. DeJesus’s Offensive Winning Percentage (basically, what a team full of DeJesuses would do with average pitching and defense) was .471. Andruw’s was .416. (You also have to correct for the DH; DeJesus is getting compared to hitters only for the most part, Andruw to a league where a significant number of plate appearances go to pitchers, which drags down the average.)

    Sam, not for Thorman and Yates, no. The left side of the Royals’ defensive spectrum is already crowded with DH/1B/LF types. They’d more likely want a starting pitcher.

  106. And finally (like anything is ever final), the whole Royals team sucked on offense this year. Their only hitter with an above-average OPS was Billy Butler, and his was just 102 in just 349 AB. DeJesus’s .351 OBP nearly led the team. I am tempted to think that there was something going on in KC this year that the stats aren’t set up to measure.

  107. Too bad we don’t still have Davies to deal them.

    Still, with Moore’s familiarity with the system, you gotta figure they’ll at least discuss it. I agree Thorman makes no sense, they’ll give Billy Butler every chance to find a way into the lineup without the DH.

  108. If Moore would trade his starting center fielder for him. It’s easy to trade a dime a dozen relief pitcher.

  109. Haven’t we already established that DeJesus is not going to be the starter? That Gathright is?

    You really think the market for DeJesus this offseason will be stronger than that for Dotel at this past trading deadline? I think that’s going to be a pretty tough argument for you to win.

  110. Hey, I don’t know if you guys knew this, but Davies was traded on July 31. So, unless we somehow got him back, this conversation’s pretty much pointless. But, I’ll bite…

    Yes, the market for DeJesus this offseason should be higher than for Dotel this past trading deadline? After all, Dotel was an expensive, high-injury-risk, mediocre reliever, right Stu? I would have to say that a decent centerfielder would be better than an expensive, high-injury-risk, mediocre reliever. Plus, guys like Mike Cameron, Andruw Jones, et al are going to cost a fortune through FA, and DeJesus is relatively cheap. So yeah, I think the market would be pretty decent.

  111. I think the market for Dotel was stronger. Sure Dejesus is worth more to a team, but the market for Dotel was made up by playoff seeking teams looking to push themselves over the top, and that marginal value is inflated. Plus there were at least 5 teams actively seeking relief help and Dotel was probably the biggest name. In the offseason, especially this year for CF, supply is much higher, and at least half the teams have CFs already lined up. Nobody is forced into overpaying because there are many different options from which to draw on.

  112. After all, Dotel was an expensive, high-injury-risk, mediocre reliever, right Stu?

    Well, I never said mediocre, but the other two are certainly true. That doesn’t change the fact that there was, as alluded to by Rbraves, a great deal of demand for him. The M’s reportedly offered Wladimir Balentien for Dotel. There’s no way they’d offer Balentien for DeJesus.

    Don’t let the facts get in the way, though, Rob.

  113. arguing for arguing’s sake. gotta love it. speaking of argument, a mets fan over on mlbtraderumors was saying that the mets are in a better position than the braves are this offseason because they can retool. i dont really understand his argument, and on that site, i normally just let it go, but i bit. re-tooling is what teams do in the offseason, and i’m sure by the time spring rolls, we shall have some new tools of our own to throw around the shop. anywho, here’s the link of my argument if any is interested. nothing too clever, but i got a kick out of it.

  114. Let me summarize my line of thinking here:

    There was a lot of demand for Dotel, but I remain disappointed that we were one of those teams driving said demand. You can’t dispute that a lot of teams wanted Dotel at the time we acquired him, but you can dispute whether it was wise to want him, as I repeatedly have.

    As for Davies, my point was never that we shouldn’t have traded him, only that we shouldn’t have traded him (whom I viewed, unlike most here, as having value) for a commodity I viewed as so utterly valueless (which, BTW, turned out to be true).

    Now, it looks like there might be a more-valuable-to-the-Braves asset out there that could almost certainly be acquired for the same thing we gave up to get the nothing (Dotel). That is, if Dayton Moore values Kyle Davies more than he values Wladimir Balentien, there’s no way he doesn’t also value Davies more than DeJesus.

    Basically, the reason I was against trading Davies for Dotel (and Parish, for one, was right there with me for the same reasons, IIRC) is perfectly illustrated with David DeJesus.

  115. The trade was a lost gamble. It’s a drag, but it happens. I might lose sleep over a lot of things, but Kyle Davies is not one of them.

    And I’m not sure David DeJesus is any kind of prize. The idea that we’re weighing the difference between Willie Harris & this guy, I find somewhat depressing.

    Pretty good ballgame tonight. For a minute, I forgot how much I love pitcher’s duels.

  116. As I’ve said before, Dotel was a good gamble. I can also pretty much guarantee that JS was trying to trade Davies, and Dotel was the best we could have gotten. The fact of the matter is that Kyle Davies is not a good pitcher, regardless of his age, and Stu’s love for Davies is still beyond me.

    If Moore has a brain, Davies isn’t enough to get David DeJesus. DeJesus’ market should be pretty high this offseason, if he’s available, and teams will give up more than a Kyle Davies-type pitcher for him. Basically, if all we could get for Davies was a high-injury-risk, expensive reliever, then I doubt he will get us a good centerfielder, regardless of the market.

  117. What’s the deal with Blaine Boyer now? I’m a big Baseball Mogul fan, and he became a stud on that game. I know that it’s a video game, but when it was like 2010 and he had a 1.50 ERA with 45 saves, I was wondering if that’s what he was supposed to become.

  118. Rob Cope,

    I don’t know, Rob. I’ve had games where Jung Bong won the Cy Young Award and Doug Gwosdz had a good, long career. *laughs*

  119. Haha, Willy Aybar ended up becoming a .320/.410/.480 type player, and Kyle Davies went 22-9 with a .346 ERA in 241 innings pitched in his age-26 season. Oh, and Jeff Francouer hit .323/.380/.675 with 55 home runs. That was in his age-30 season. He also had 48 BBs and 141 K’s, so it’s still a little realistic there.

  120. Doesn’t a “good gamble”, by definition, pay off?


    The “somewhat depressing” line got me to laugh aloud. All we need in CF is a good defender who can bat 8th.

  121. My favorite baseball name, as I believe I’ve said before, was Archi Cianfrocco.

    All we need in CF is a good defender who can bat 8th.

    You realize you’re describing Andruw Jones, right?

  122. Stu,
    I know. A Langerhans who can hit even a little bit, a Melky Cabrera. I’d like to do better, but I was alluding to the notion of settling for something that ain’t great.

  123. AAR – I guess the idea is that we shouldn’t have to pay $15M – $20M for said 8th place hitter.

    Stu deserves credit for calling the Dotel deal. It would certainly be nice to have Davies now and get DeJesus. Maybe Dayton Moore also has a man-crush on Anthony Lerew.

  124. Another topic:

    Certainly, the Braves need to be ready to spend on a free agent starting pitcher in the next two years (probably in 2009). There just won’t be enough ready from the farm system in that time frame.

    Do you guys think we should go after the mid to bottom of the rotation guys who are still getting multiple years at 8 figures per, or should we really blow some money on a top of the rotation guy?

  125. Not that I totally disagree, but JS seems to be taking the Johnny Rotten approach (“No Future”)—so I’d lean toward the latter, assuming the budget allows & someone like that becomes available.

  126. The other thing about Andruw—besides the salary, I mean—is that Bobby won’t bat him 8th.

  127. When will the Andruw Jones merchandise get marked down? Does anyone know of a good site for jerseys other than the MLB shop?

  128. Don’t we have a $5.5 M option on Dotel for next season? If we do maybe we can trade him to the Donkees (Who are always looking for middle relief, especially with Jaba Chamberlain likely moving to the rotation next season) for Melky Cabrera. However, Johnny Damon’s mediocre performance coupled with Abreu’s pending free agency would conceivably increase Melky Cabrera’s value to the Yankees. Imagine how pretty we’d be sitting if we had traded Mike Gonzalez for Melky in the offseason and then flipped Andruw Jones when he was very tradable!

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