Wedding present from the managers

Francoeur awarded first Gold Glove |

Jeff Francoeur got married on Saturday, and was (as everyone knows by now) awarded a Gold Glove on Tuesday. He may or may not know, since he’s incommunicado during his honeymoon. Andruw also won his usual GG, his tenth and presumably last in a Braves uniform. Greg Maddux, meanwhile, set an all-time record by winning his seventeenth.

226 thoughts on “Wedding present from the managers”

  1. I actually believe Smoltz deserved the GG this year. Some of those plays he made off the mound were simply phenomenal. But I’m happy to see Maddux get it as well – probably got by more on reputation this year though. And kudos to Frenchy!

  2. csg, yeah Zimmerman made some awful plays against us (and not against us) that should have taken him out of consideration at least for this year. I’m pretty sure Wright was doing the same thing for a time as well, but i guess the mets HAVE to have multiple gold glove winners each year or it wouldn’t be fair or something. that said i think chipper or feliz were the best candidates, but feliz has no name recognition and chipper has never won anything defensive in the past and people probably have the misconception he moved to the outfield because his defense was atrocious so how could it get any better..

  3. Agreed, Joshua. Smoltz charged the ball hard this year and made some plays that would make Chipper proud.

  4. OK, has this article on the Winter Meeting and how Cabrera had been discussed. Now, the Yankees have a huge hole at 3B, so who are the first players talked about? Cabera (rightfully so) and Joe Crede. Now, I’m gonna bet my arm that there were better players’ names being thrown around the Winter Meetings than Joe Crede. Crede sucks, but he’s mentioned at the top of a AP article because the Yankees have a hole there, and that’s absolutely ridiculous and lacks objective reporting. Because Joe Crede is a third baseman, does that mean he has to be discussed because the amazing Yankees have a need for a third baseman, so therefore we have to know about their options over, say, better players from other positions that will generate 10 times more interest from most teams? Uhh, yeah.

  5. Joe Crede is being considered because he’s viewed as a potential new Scott Brosius—a guy who can pick it a little bit, bat 9th & get the occasional big hit.

  6. ububba–I thought the same thing, but when I looked at Crede’s numbers I realized that Rob had a point.

    Still, a 3B who can get clutch hits like Brosius did has to be at least a attractive to the Yanks at this point….


    Hey Sam, you moron…

    next time you want to take what I say here and put it on ANOTHER forum, perhaps you need to ask permission. Funny, though, that you talk smack about me but chose to take what I said here and put it there. Sounds to me like you envy what I say.

    FWIW, that is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever seen anyone do on the Internet. Period. You should be castrated and not allowed to breed so that your idiocy ends with you.

  8. #7: I second that. Sam has posted quite a few insulting posts here (and elsewhere, obviously). I won’t call him names here but I have made up my mind about him a long time ago.

  9. Gold Gloves are actually a pretty stupid award. I wish baseball would do like the NBA and have a first team defense, 2nd team defense, etc. Also why does baseball string out the release of its postseason awards over a month?

  10. More crap

    UPDATE, EVENING OF 11-6-07:’s Bill Ladson has some more good Nationals information. His source says that both Livan Hernandez and Tom Glavine are interested in the club, but they only have the budget for one of them. Glavine makes more sense. Ladson also mentions that Bowden has his eye on Rocco Baldelli, and idea I like. I can’t really think of a great match for a trade though.

  11. Has there ever been a case when two outfielders on the same team win GGs, and the center fielder leaves but the right fielder doesn’t move over?

  12. JC,

    Is your perspective on the non move of Francoeur that he isn’t good enough or that the Braves are wrong not to do it.

    Maybe Mac can ask DOB: WHY the Braves won’t consider moving Francoeur for a year or two? IfFrancoeur is OPS 860 or so (where I see his peak years) then he is a plus hitter for center and barely over average for right.

    IF Brandon Jones can handle right (and he can’t handle center, which most on here agree with) or if Diaz can handle right (arm seems o.k., but maybe a little lacking in right), then moving Francoeur to center until one out of Lillibridge, Schaffer, or Gorkys is ready to go makes too much sense (to this idiot).

    Jones has shown he can hit o.k. at MLB level (say .280 / .340 / .480)and maybe grow from there.

  13. A lot of people on here keep posting that Maddux is getting by on reputation. However, he was #1 on + / – scale for pitchers. That is a pretty good real stat that says he is still right there.

  14. I’m all for moving Francoeur to center, but not because I think he’s all that good a defender. I just think it’s interesting that people are so high on his defense, but his own team doesn’t want him to play the more difficult defensive position.

    Francoeur won this award with his arm, which most people associate with a good right fielder. My intuition is his arm is more valuable in center than right (more opportunities to use the arm), but this may be wrong. It’s interesting that in the voting for The Fielding Bible Awards that Bill James, the BIS video scouts, and John Dewan all rate Francoeur as the best right fielder in baseball. This surprises me.

    Now, I think Francoeur is about the most overrated history in baseball, so I’ve deflected much of the talk of his good defense. However, maybe there is something to it.

    Also, Cliff I don’t have Francoeur topping out that high. I think an OPS between .810-.820 is more realistic. That’s what my aging model predicts, anyway. But who knows.

    The downside of this award is that now there is even more reason for the Atlanta media to ram “The Natural” down my throat.

  15. Yeah I have to think Jeff’s arm won him this award. He’s ok but not spectacular at chasing down flyballs and makes dumb errors on groundballs more often than you’d like. I’d guess the Braves want a strong defensive centerfielder to hold down the position until Shaefer or Hernandez is ready which is why they are leaving Francoeur in right and will import someone like Dejesus or Crisp.

  16. I have absolutely no idea how you can say Francoeur is the most overrated baseball player in history. That is an idiotic statement. The kid is 23 years old. He made tremendous strides in his second full season. I have no idea where his ceiling is, but it seems pretty likely that he is going to be an above average RF for the next decade.

  17. JC;
    @12 and @15

    I’m sorry someone used the word”idiotic” in his reply. Please ignore it; we can’t spare you.

    The 2003 Seattle Mariners had 2 GG winners in the outfield, Ichiro and Mike Cameron. Cameron moved on to the Mets and Ichiro stayed in RF. Although he has played some CF according to Baseball Reference. The only other duo that I found that qualifies may be Bill Virdon and Roberto Clemente from the 1962 Pirates, but even then Clemente was becoming a RF legend. Fred Lynn-Dwight Evans don’t quite make it.

    Look, Big Bird, just get us somebody that can go get the ball evrey night for a few years. Like Paul Blair or Garry Maddox did.

  18. Congrats to Andruw and Frenchy. As hinted at above… the GG is nearly completely based off of reputation. Evidenced by Jeter winning a few — because he’s made some spectacular plays that everyone remembers, but his efficiency isn’t that great. Rob Neyer should take my “Fool’s Gold Glove” idea and run with it like he said he would.

    Also as previously stated — Frenchy won with his arm.

    Chalk up my vote for keeping him in RF. That’s typically where you want your best arm and he seems to be getting comfortable there. No need to make him learn a new position while he’s still trying to improve at the plate as well.

  19. Coop @20:
    Amen, brother! I understand why he’s gone, but it’s gonna be weird.
    For the last ten years, every time a ball was hit to CF, I counted that as an out.

  20. Me too. I know the Braves can use the money better elsewhere, but I’ll miss Andruw. I hope he does well when he signs with my new second-favorite team.

  21. My feeling is that a strong arm is more important in right field because you have the opportunity to keep guys from going first to third. And it seems you see more plays at the plate on balls hit to right than to center. But I also have nothing to back that up.
    The managers are like fans in that they are influenced by the few plays that they see a guy make. People don’t run on Frenchy’s arm so they assume he’s a great outfielder. I would leave him in CF. I agree he is overrated at this point but it’s probably a little early to say he is the most overrated player in baseball history. Of course, it is highly, highly unlikely that he will ever be the best RF in Braves history.

  22. I only see us dealing with KC for a CF option. Boston and Crisp have been mentioned, perhaps they’ll take a reliever for him and not KJ. Thorman and a prospect for Dejesus is a better option in my opinion. I may be an idiot though

  23. I wonder what the Blue Jays would ask for for Burnett. He earns $12 in 2008, but this could get me excited

    Smoltz, Hudson, Glavine, Burnett, Hampton/James/Reyes/Jurrjens or whoever else you want to put there

    If we could just get rid of Hampton’s contract, one more year guys

  24. Back to a prior thread, generation gaps account for different ear worms too. Songs that get stuck in my head are CSN’s “Southern Cross,” Janis’ “Piece of My Heart,” and Joe Cocker’s “Unchain My Heart.”

  25. I’d try and trade for Crisp, and see how much it would take to sign Carlos Silva as a free agent. His ERA was 4.19, and if believe the league difference, could drop by half a run in the NL. I read somewhere that Silva may be in line for a Gil Meche-type deal, though.

  26. I’d rather have DeJesus than Crisp. And I’d rather have Burnett than just about any SP mentioned on here besides Erik Bedard.

  27. Is DeJesus available? How does his defense compare to Crisp (who some Boston fans at Baseball Primer think should have won a GG)?

    I like Burnett too, depending on the price, of course. But even though I’m not excited about a Glavine comeback, I’m beginning to think that he may be the most cost effective option.

  28. Stu, Im with you here. I’ll take Burnett and hope for the best, also would love to get DeJesus for a couple of years. Crisp doesnt excite me, but it depends on what his cost would be. I’ll take either over Lillibridge just because he hasnt played CF since College and never hit MLB pitching.

  29. jea, Im sure its not. KC is reporting that they are looking to add SP and RP. Im sure we would have to add one of those into the deal

  30. Frenchy may be overrated by some people. But I don’t care about those people, certainly not those interested in the matinee-idol side of things.

    Frenchy is what he is & he isn’t what he isn’t. He improved this year, but he’s still a very weird ballplayer, with a wacky set of strengths & weaknesses.

    I can’t remember who wrote it—DOB, probably—but he has big doubts that Frenchy could be a good CF because he doesn’t get great jumps on the ball. I’ve certainly seen him get turned around a few times in RF.

    I’m fine with him in RF, as long as he continues to improve (I’d like to see some more power) and bat no higher than 6th. He does have a gun in RF & he does have an uncanny knack in his young career for driving in runs—those are pluses in my book. (Teams do win games by scoring & preventing runs, remember?)

    But when it comes time for his big payoff, his status certainly can be reconsidered, IMO.

  31. lets do some speculation here today, Im bored. What college coaching jobs come available this year and who goes where?

    1. Michigan – Les Miles
    2. LSU – ?? do they promote Bo Pellini
    3. Nebraksa – ??
    4. Texas A&M – Tommy Tuberville
    5. Auburn – Bobby Petrino (maybe), paul Johnson
    6. Notre Dame – can Wiess survive this season if they lose to Air Force? If so who comes in
    7. FSU – Jimbo Fisher
    8. Penn State – does this guy ever retire

    Is Kragthorpe on the hot seat at Louisville yet? He gets booed at every home game that Ive watched, I wonder if they have changed their tune? Any other jobs not mentioned

  32. Francoeur started as overly hyped and is still too hyped–but that happens. Bill James likes him and its not because he listened to lots of hype in Atlanta….More important, I like the fact that he improved from 2006 to 2007 and I really believe that he might just have a big year in 2008. The bottom line is that I do think it will happen–whether in 2008 or not.

    Otherwise, I am not keen to trade for DeJesus or Crisp–but I would take a chance on Cameron if he is affordable….

  33. To say Jeff is drastically overrated is ridiculous. If you look at his #s, you see a very satisfying trend. He only hit 19 homers, but he had 188 hits and his OBP and BA went up +30 points. He had 16 more doubles (40) than last year and still drove in 105 runs. He hit in the .340s with RISP. Plus, you have to consider the Andruw Jones factor. How many pitchers had to really pitch to him this season because Andruw was the sure out batting before or after him? His plate discipline is increasing and you know he’s got the pop. I see him getting closer to 30-35 homers as he continues to mature and his OPS is going to trend up when the power returns.

    And the guy who leads the majors in outfield assists should win a Gold Glove. That’s an exceptional defensive accomplishment.

  34. My opinion on Francoeur improved last season. He’s only 23, and he made some big improvments. He increased is average by 30 points and his obp by 40 points. If he can maintain that and get back the power he had in 2006, then he’ll be approaching all-star quality. I’m concerned though because Andruw Jones had a similar beginning to his career. Good plate discpline one year, good power the next, but he never really put it all together.

    I’d leave Frenchy in RF. He’s good there, and we’ve got some good CFs on the way. If a good deal for a RF falls in our lap, then maybe its worth considering, but I think the best course is a short term fix in CF like Crisp or DeJesus.

  35. #41 –

    Pete Carrol to the NFL?

    Is Turberville really considering A&M? What’s the attraction of that job over Auburn/Alabama?

    Bowden and Paterno are playing chicken to see who will retire first, and who will get the wins record.

    Weis should be fired. He’s done a terrible job.

    Skip Holtz from East Carolina is a good coach and could get picked up by a bigger school.

    Nutt in Arkansas is gone, right?
    Fulmer at Tennessee?

  36. No way will Weis be fired, either this year or next. His buyout is HUGE.

    Butch Davis heading to Arkansas.

    Fulmer’s safe, but his staff is going to be shaken up quite a bit.


    Why not DeJesus? Save some money, get some quality defense. Our CF only needs to be able to bat 8th.

  37. I agree with SomeYahoo’s assessment of Francoeur. Good young player, looks to be getting even better.

  38. DeJesus would be fine. Crisp, I have doubts.

    Can we please get one of the good young arms rumored to be on the market?

  39. 1. Michigan – Les Miles
    2. LSU – Bo Pellini
    3. Nebraksa – Jim Grobe
    4. Texas A&M – Tommy Tuberville
    5. Auburn – Paul Johnson
    6. Notre Dame -Weiss is safe, for the remainder of this year. But if he goes anything below 6-6 next year the wolves will begin to circle
    7. FSU – Mark Richt
    8. Penn State – Greg Schiano
    9. Georgia – Jumbo Fisher
    10. Rutgers – Randy Edsall

    Sorry i got so angry back up there. My bad. But the guy needs to stop posting people’s words on other forums and then asking those people their opinions without at least allowing me an opportunity to retort.

  40. Davis is NOT going to Arkansas.

    His buyout is 3.5 mil, I believe. However, even if he goes, UNC will do better with Blake than anyone else (and I’m a UNC alum).

    So, call it:

    UNC – John Blake (Best recruiter in the country, hand’s down)
    Arkansas – Butch Davis
    Tennessee – Skip Holtz

  41. chris and Tom,

    Well, I guess I’ve made an enemy out of you guys. Too bad for you that most on Baseball Fever and Braves Nation agreed with me in opposition to your ideas.

    You can’t control what I do. It’s your risk to put your opinions on the Internet, and if people don’t like them, they might be so irked about them that they’d tell others.

    You can do the same thing to me if you want. Hell, I’m man enough to admit that I get irrational and angry and act like a prick sometimes (chris, you want me castrated? For shame). But your opinions can get around by someone posting them on message boards or telling others who actually care enough to listen. That is the risk you take. That is the risk we all take.

    “Hey, get this. I saw this AWFUL opinion on Braves Journal by a guy named chris…”

  42. I dont see Carroll back in the NFL, but you never know.

    Didnt FSU get Fisher to take over after Bowden. Richt to there is interesting however. Dont know why Tubby would want A&M, unless its just time for a change. Is Petrino done with Atl after one year? I think almost all the players dislike him and the staff

    Butch Davis to Ark? never thought about that, but very well could happen

  43. I think Tennessee should go after Lou Holtz, that would be awesome in my opinion. At least it would get him off of ESPN

  44. but yet, you didn’t tell me.

    you must REALLY had penis envy if you take another persons work QUOTED and say “look at this.”

    i bet you are the type of person who hated school cause you can’t just copy from a textbook.

    any way you might know how to paraphrase?

    perhaps saying: “this guy chris said…”

    not EXACTLY what i said…

    or i could do this

    “You can’t control what I do…and if people don’t like them, they might be so irked about them…”

    and say this is your justification as to why you look at kiddie porn.

  45. Stu–maybe its unfair but DeJesus reminds just a bit of Langerhans–some solid defense and occasional power. I would like him better if he had more pop in his bat or stole some bases….

    Let me add that I would not want to trade for him. I perfer to using our trading chips to try to improve the rotation–unrealistic as that may be….

  46. Stephen, the idea is that we won’t have to use our best trading chips to get Dejesus or Crisp. For instance, a Thorman for Dejesus trade would be getting Dejesus for practically nothing.

  47. How much value do you put into Win Shares?

    Frenchy is in the top 60. Of the sixty, 20 are outfielders rated equal or higher. Of the values they assign for defense as a portion of his value, he ranks 12th. (Coco Crisp is first).

    So take that for what it’s worth. It just tells me somebody thinks a lot of Coco’s defense.

  48. It would take more than that, though, Ron.

    Look, I wouldn’t advocate sending Lillibridge or Brandon Jones in a deal for DeJesus—I want to save guys like those for a Bedard deal :)— but I think something like Thorman/Devine could be close to enough and would be well worth doing.

  49. but if its Thorman and a okay reliever, then the trade becomes a good one in my opinion. His career avg is .282 and he doesnt strike out a whole lot. I just dont think any of our in house options will be as good for us next year. Lillibridge will be out of position and Schafer needs to improve.

    Keep in mind DeJesus has a career .288 avg when batting 1st and a .363 OBP.

  50. Agreed that Blanco won’t cut it either–but I would not want to have give up Devine at this point and not improve the rotation….

  51. But we have several young, controllable, right-handed, hard-throwing relievers. What we lack is an inexpensive ML-ready CF.

    And I don’t see how that would prevent us from improving the rotation.

  52. Coco Crisp and DeJesus are interchangeable options IMO, neither of them worth giving up anything of value over. Crisp is a better fielder and has more SBs so I’d say he’d have the edge.

    Why don’t people like KJ as the leadoff man? He was really solid last year leading off.

  53. @57 and 62,

    I couldn’t follow how DeJesus reminded anybody of Langerhans. His offensive numbers over several seasons are very solid. He is almost 2007 KJ with a little less power.

    Also, he is 28, which mens the next couple of years should be near peak.

    What i don’t know about is DeJesus’ defense, other than that the Royals thought it was good enough to let him play center and he didn’t come out in the high or low group on + / -.

  54. Thorman and Ascanio maybe–but I don’t want us to part with Acosta or Devine.

    Thorman needs to go (and I think he could be a good player in the right situation) and I think that he could be part of a trade which might bring a starter.

    My hope would be that Thorman + Gorkys Hernandez + a young arm might bring us a starter who can make a difference….

  55. With Andruw leaving the braves arn’t just losing his glove, but his bat too. He may have had a poor year at the plate in 2007 but he was one of the teams big bats for years. I would rather have an average or slightly better fielder with a big bat rather then a guy like Crisp.

  56. I’d much rather trade for DeJesus than have the Braves pay whatever Mike Cameron asks for (which will still be quite a bit even with the stimulant suspension).

  57. It’s sad to think that almost anyone we get will be an offensive uprgrade to 2007 Andruw Jones.

  58. I wouldn’t give up Devine for a mediocre hitting CF. I see no reason Lillibridge can’t play a pretty good defensive CF. He’ll have all of spring training and maybe part of winter ball if he gets healthy soon enough to re-learn playing the outfield. If it came down to him or trading a cheap, effective reliever like Devine for a veteran placeholder CF, I’d take my chances with Brent.

  59. @73,

    I agree that we should only trade parts of little use for a centerfielder and then only if the centerfielder is highly likely to exceed 2007 Andruw Jones offensively.

    If not likely to exceed AJ offensively(the king of cereal, Coco Crisp, won’t be likely) then allow the last man standing from Lillibridge and Schaffer to play.
    Lillibridge needs to be getting major league at bats next year.

    However if Aybar is missing in action or out of our plans, then I would hold Lillibridge for back up short and middle infield generally.

    De Jesus looks like the best fit for being pretty good offensively and defensively, probably won’t cost a lot of talent, won’t cost a lot of money and doesn’t block our prospects Brandon Jones, Schaffer, and Gorkys Hernandez.

    In fact, I believe that Gregor “no pop” Blanco would almost be as good as Coco Crisp unless something happens to bring back Coco’s lost offense.

    Another 2 thoughts on Coco:

    1. His age relative to his drop off in production as I understand JC’s work suggests that he is a bad hitter. Hitters that peak at 25 or so (Coco?)are usually grouped with the worst of players. Average hitters peak more like 27 (De Jesus?) and elite hitters more like 29 (try Chipper who may now be having his second peak).

    2. When my 10 year old daughter (who is a good fan and follower who said, in about June, with little coaching from me, “Woodward! Why are they having him hit, they should get rid of him”)thinks that having a player named for a cereal is just too dumb.

  60. My concern about keeping Devine is Bobby’s apparant reluctance to use him. If he’s not going to pitch, why keep him in the system?

  61. I don’t really want to jump on Jeff, but the expectations thrust upon this guy are too high. He is an everyday ballplayer, but I think he’ll be lucky to ever make an All-Star team, especially if he stays in right field. He’s a good-looking local boy with a lot of charm, and that has more to do with high expectations than anything else (IMO).

    2007 was another bizarre turn in his career. He nearly doubled his walk rate while keeping his strikeouts constant—definitely a good thing. But his iso-power dropped off from .250 to .190 to .150. Then take a look at his extra-base hits in 06 and 07. In both years he had 59, but the combination is crazy.

    D T HR
    2006: 24 6 29
    2007: 40 0 19

    I have no idea what it tells me about his future. I can concoct explanations that say good (he’s sacrificing power to get on base) and bad (he’s been lucky on balls in play).

    At the end of the day, I see his OPS of .780 and don’t get excited. We don’t hear people flipping out over Kelly Johnson and he had a far better season. For that reason, I think he’s overrated. And the fact that people think I’m “crazy” for saying this only strengthens my opinion.

    In any event, his development is fun to watch simply because it’s just hard to tell where he is headed.

  62. JC, I think people are justified in seeing a high-ceiling with Jeff because he’s done nothing but show that he has the tools to be a solid-to-great hitter if, like someone said earlier, he can combine the discipline and power over the long haul.

    I don’t think it’s that difficult to tell where he’s headed if you see last season as his attempt to sacrifice power for a little more discipline and consistency. The guy is 23. He’s already one of the best RFers in the NL. I like his chances to become a .300/30 homer/100 RBI and run producer for a long time, and I don’t think those are unreasonable projections.

  63. And one more thing: to say someone is lucky in putting balls in play over an entire season doesn’t fly. You don’t put together a good season on luck. You can’t get lucky for 162 games.

  64. Actually, that can happen, and does all the time. The difference between .270 and .300 isn’t that great — 18 hits in 600 ABs. It’s less than one single a week.

    Look at it this way: You shouldn’t argue this stuff with JC, who has studied it. To academic standards.

  65. In today’s column about Rich McKay, Terence Moore wrote the following sentence:

    “Can’t tell you, because the supposedly media-savvy NFL executive when he joined the Falcons from Tampa four seasons ago rarely has returned phone calls to reporters for months.”


  66. Are we discussing how poorly written that “sentence” is or how wise Rich McKay would seem to be in ignoring Terence Moore?

  67. Feel free to argue this stuff with me. :-) I’m just putting my opinion out there, and I haven’t seen any evidence to change my mind.

    If we’re talking tools, I can’t dispute what “they say”. I’m not a big believer in tools once you get to this level. The aging curve for baseball players isn’t all that steep, so I think we have a good grasp on what kind of player he will be at his peak.

    But what intrigues me about Francoeur is that he is supposed to blossom into something so much more. I enjoy following him just to see what will happen. I often wonder how his career will end.

  68. I’m not sure he is ignoring Terence Moore. We’d have to find out what happens on the occasions other than those rare ones in which he doesn’t return reporters’ phone calls for months. Is he usually more prompt in returning the calls, or does he not return them at all?

  69. When the writer becomes part of the story, you often have a problem—unless you’re Lester Bangs. And sports writers are rarely that interesting.

    Re: Frenchy
    Although the notion of luck has always been a nebulous area for me, I’m with JC in the sense that I see Frenchy as real wild card of a player.

    And yeah, he’s mildly fascinating.

  70. If we can lock Frenchy up to a sweetheart deal like we did with McCann, he’ll be a bargain at this level of production for the next 4 years. If he gets better, that’s gravy. He’s not as good a hitter as McCann, but he plays good defense, plays hard, and doesn’t appear to be a prima donna. He’s not worth what he’d make if he were a 30 year old in free agency, but as a 23-year old making near the minimum he’s an asset, not a liability.

  71. I am intrigued by Francouer too. I definitely want him to become a superstar, but his bat speed looks too slow. It seemed last year he could not catch up to the mid-90s fastball, and when he chases the heaters up in the zone it compounds the problem.

  72. John Blake the best recruiter in college football? That’s the most absurd thing in a thread full of absurdity.

  73. here’s more

    Latest Braves Rumors:
    Here’s a look at the recent dealings and rumors surrounding the Braves.

    Frank Wren publicly admitted that the Braves would like to add Tom Glavine to their rotation for 2008. They’re hoping for a hometown discount, which he may be amenable to based on this report. At the minimum, the Braves will have competition from the Nationals, Cardinals, Astros, and possibly the Mets.
    Wren also stated that the Braves will look outside the organization for their center fielder. David O’Brien (linked above) indicates that the Braves won’t make offers to Torii Hunter, Aaron Rowand, or Mike Cameron due to the size of the likely commitments. Since Cameron would seemingly only take two years, it’s surprising the Braves will pass. O’Brien says David DeJesus is a reasonable option even though he’s signed for three years, since he’s cheap and trade-able. A Coco Crisp acquisition would use similar logic.
    Unless he comes at a discount, it sounds like the Braves will pass on Todd Jones. Jones had expressed interest in pitching for his hometown team, but Wren stated yesterday that he will not pursue a free agent closer. There had been speculation yesterday that the Braves were interested in Japanese closer Masahide Kobayashi. They could still add him as a set-up man.
    Though the Braves declined his $5.5MM option, Octavio Dotel could still be in the picture. Most likely, he’ll seek more money and the opportunity to close elsewhere. It was a mutual option so Dotel would’ve declined it on his end anyway.

  74. Like AAR, I don’t worry too much about Francoeur. He’ll be league average or better and be cheap.

    And by the time he’s ready for a pay day we’ll have Heyward, Shafer, B. Jones, Cody Johnson and G. Hernandez with only 3 OF spots to play them.

    Regarding “luck,” my only problem is in saying a player can have an entire season that is “lucky” but that the concept of being “clutch” doesn’t exist.

    An idea: Francoeur’s see-ball-SWING attitude might be his asset in close-and-late situations. Relievers aren’t always the thinkers that starters are, in against them, he simply doesn’t get in his own way. Maybe?

  75. Francoeur’s comparables from are all good players, if not HOFs. I imagine his peak being something like Juan Gonzalez: .300/.350/.550+

    #88: I like those quotes from Wren.

  76. Francoeur is both almost as good as his praisers think and almost as bad as his critics think.

    I tried to find JC’s studies on age and hitting on his site a few minutes go. I also remember one on Hardball Times about a year ago that broke out each skill separately as to age (SB # at a decent %, BA, OBP, ISO, SLG). From my bad memory of that, I remember players increase SB% to about 25, batting average to about 27, walk rate to about 30 and iso to about 30. Even if I am off a bit based on standard aging, Francoeur has a long way to go up.

    The guy just finished his 23 year old season. He has already played AVERAGE, so he shouldn’t follow the below average age curve. That gives him 4 succeeding years of improvement. His career OPS is .782. If the age curve says he is at 90% of career max, then career max is .872. That is NOT superstar material; however, it might allow him a couple of more years of improvement to around .900.

    I know this has been criticized, but when Dale Murphy came up, I was 18. I watched the Braves regularly. The similarities between the two of them are 90 times the differences. Murphy didn’t walk well in his first year. By year two, he was about where Francoeur was this year. Murphy got vicitimized by low and away breaking balls from right handers and sometimes got smoked by really hard throwers. He also looked gangly and out of control in the outfield (after his move from catcher to center).

    This year, Francoeur has learned a “two strike” swing. It cost him home runs, but added OBP, BA, and specifically doubles. He will not stay like this. He will be a little better and a little better.

    As to the clutch thing, after three years, it doesn’t look like a fluke. You have to remember that the Major League player that knows him best, McCann, says he always has been that way, since little league.

    I agree with jjschiller. We may not need him in a few years. If he doesn’t want to accept his real value on a contract, let him walk when he is a free agent.

  77. This may be a tad premature, but I can tell you all that I’ve already committed to naming my firstborn Jason Heyward, regardless of gender.

  78. I largely agree with JC. Frenchy is such a weird player. I’m certainly no scout and cannot judge “tools.” But it looks to me like Jeff has a big hole in his game–an inability to hit fastballs, especially high fastballs. In a way, he reminds me of Ron Gant–a good player with power but a very limited hitter. You could certainly do worse but my impression is that Frenchy’s appearance and demeanor will always cause people, especially locally, to look at him as a much better player than he really is. If he really does develop into something better, I will be pleased and admit my mistake.

    The problem with the idea of “clutchness” is that hitting is essentially a random event over which the hitter has only limited control. You can hit the shit out of the ball in a clutch situation and make out (Willie McCovey in 1962 World Series as immortalized in “Peanuts”). Or you can hit a bloop that falls in (Luis Gonzalez). Other than Bonds, I guess, every hitter makes an out over half the time he bats. Whether he makes an out in a given at bat is as much dependent on the pitcher as on the hitter; if the pitcher throws a good enough pitch, he almost certainly will get the hitter out. It seems possible to me that a hitter might focus more in clutch situations but that makes no sense; that would be like saying a quarterback only really focuses on completing passes on third down.

  79. John Blake is absolutely the best recruiter in college football. And I hate UNC with the fire and passion of 1,000 suns.

    He’s the reason Oklahoma turned around so fast. They were loaded with talent when the new regime came in. Blake can’t coach, but he’s a phenomenal recruiter.

    And yes, I think Davis leaves this year. Rumor has it that there will be a five year/$16 million deal + the buyout on the table for him at the end of the year.

    Davis is 56. This will be his last big move. Plus, he’s seeing the same thing that drove Mack Brown off. During last week’s UNC-Maryland game, about 15,000 fans in Chapel Hill just walked out in the fourth quarter so they could go watch an exhibition basketball game.

  80. Cliff, the aging study I have done is new, and I have not yet published it. As I write I am editing it to submit to a journal.

  81. Marc, that’s a pretty significant oversimplification of hitting. To say it’s a random event just isn’t so. If it were random, all hitters would be hackers just looking to make contact and see where it goes. Give some credit to the great hitters who can put the ball where they want to. I’ve seen lots of “perfect” pitches get served up. Hitting is an art and if you don’t think so give Ted Williams’ book The Art of Hitting a read. It’s pretty fascinating.

    In my thinking, clutch is mental. It’s not letting the moment impede you from performing. It’s obvious that some guys get rattled and underperform when the pressure is on. Some thrive on it and find a greater clarity when it matters most.

  82. @91: I was very surprised that almost all those “polled” preferred Hunter over Andruw. But it was a good article.

  83. SomeYahoo @ 98,

    You are right. I overstated it. I didn’t mean to say hitting is all random. But, for any given at bat, the odds are against the hitter, no matter who he is. So, whether or not it’s a clutch situation, the odds are that the hitter will not succeed.

    I agree that some hitters (and players in general) can perform better–in the sense of not having their performance impeded–in pressure situations than others. But, from what I know, there is no statistical correlation showing a specific, consistent ability to hit in the clutch. The best hitters often have the worst playoffs, for example, while lousy hitters, such as Mark Lemke, often have great playoffs. That suggests some randomness; otherwise, why wouldn’t Lemke be able to duplicate his performance rather than being a .250 hitter?

    As for Ted Williams, he was accused of choking in the clutch by Boston sportswriters based on a very small sample of 13 games (7 games in the 1946 WS, a playoff game against Cleveland in 1948 and 2 games vs. Yanks at the end of 1949. The point is, no matter how good a hitter you are, you only have a limited amount of control. Yes, good pitches do get hit, but not often. And what happens if you have a great hitter vs. a great pitcher. Great pitcher makes a great pitch and great hitter pops up. Does that mean the great hitter choked? And vice versa.

  84. @99,

    I was surprised to see the huge disparity in votes for Andruw and votes for Hunter also. Many GMs probably think they saw Jones’s true colors this past season.

  85. Marc, you’re right. Hitters have only limited control. They can only swing at the pitches they’re thrown and it’s mostly the pitching mistakes that end up producing a big hit. And there is no statistical analysis one can do to determine a player’s “clutchness,” but I know that RISP average confirms what I already felt this season when I’d rather have Jeff up at the plate than Andruw when it mattered.

    Oh, and Ted had a bum elbow in the ’46 Series;)

  86. re: Ted Williams, I think that some extremely patient hitters don’t do well in playoff situations. During the season, they can wait for a pitch to clobber, or take a walk. In the playoffs, they may never get a good pitch to hit but are unwilling (or unable) to settle for an OK pitch and do the best the can with it.

    I never saw Williams, and I have absolutely no statistical or other evidence to back this up.

  87. Andy, I think you’re on to something there, though I think it’s probably a case-by-case. Ted was too prideful to break Boudreau’s shift by serving the ball up the other way. He always hit into the shift because he thought he could beat it.

    Could be A-Rod’s problem.

  88. “And Davis played at Arkansas. And Arkansas is in the SEC.”

    And Davis has family living there. And is good friends with some of the Tyson chicken execs who are big supporters of the Ark. program.

    Regarding Williams and the Boston media, wasn’t the media rather famously unfair with Williams? Keith Olbermann mentioned it on Dan Patrick’s show back when they were doing The Big Show everyday at 2 p.m.

  89. Yeah, they were unfair, but Ted was an infamous a-hole to the fans (spitting at them, brushing off curtain calls, etc) so he earned some of that treatment.

  90. Andruw probably isn’t as bad as he was in 2007, and Hunter isn’t as good as people like to think he is — he’s a product of the inexplicable aura of feel-goodiness that seems to surround Twins like Morneau and even, to some extent, Carlos Silva.

    Throughout his entire career, Hunter’s never been as good as Andruw. I don’t expect that to change dramatically.

  91. Ted Williams was supposedly surly with the media and therefore didn’t get good press. As to who started it, who knows?

    But, on Ted Williams, whether he was the best hitter, one of the best, surly, or whatever, he was one hell of an American. He was drafted into World War II despite the fact that he was the only support for his mother. He was a fighter pilot (20/10, yeah, you read that right, vision). He qualified as an ace (5 enemy planes downed). He lost 3 plus seasons.

    Then, he was called back up for Korea and flew jets. Again he was an ace (one of only two to do it in both wazs, the other was John Glenn). This time he lost two years of service.

    Whatever else about Williams you hear or read, always remember that.

  92. Ted Williams and Sandy Koufax—another guy with lots of “What if he’d been able to play for X more years?” possibilities, though for different reasons—are my father’s two favorite ballplayers of all time. Therefore, I am unable to speak objectively about them and will abstain from discussions thereon.

    In case anyone wonders. :)

  93. Hey, Stu, it’s no fun being a baseball fan if you have to be objective all the time! I, for one, defend your right to say whatever you want about Ted and Sandy.

  94. A lot of people on this board are still living in that fantasy world of getting quality players by trading the crap players we don’t want anymore, it doesn’t happen that way. KC has a glut of Dh/1b/Slow LF’s in their lineup, they don’t need to add Thorman. To get DeJesus, if he is available would probably require a mid-level Pitching prospect.

  95. Ted Williams was my mom’s fave, too.

    She used to tell me about how, when she was in grad school at Simmons in the late-1950s, she liked nothing more than buying a bleacher seat at Fenway, just to watch Teddy Ballgame hit.

    Koufax has always intrigued me to no end. I finally saw the original TV broadcast of that 1963 WS opener on Classic Sports. Otherworldly.

    BTW, I really enjoyed the book about him—Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy by Jane Leavy.

  96. AAR turned 24 today, according to facebook.

    Happy birthday, AAR!

    PS: Ted & Sandy are the collective bomb.

  97. Ted was a great American and is right there with Ruth as the greatest hitter ever. He also survived a jet crash landing when he was serving in Korea.

    While we’re talking about Ted, check out John Updike’s “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu”:

    It’s some of the best baseball writing ever done, describing Ted’s last game at Fenway (which was attended by 10,000 folks. It wasn’t a raucous farewell.)

  98. Ted Williams has always been my favorite player, and the sentence “Gods do not answer letters” sums him up quite nicely, in my opinion.

  99. From DOB:

    If (when?) Braves sign Glavine, it sounds like that will probably be it for winter starting-pitching aquisitions. Frank said they’d have 8-9 guys battling for rotation (meaning about 4-5 battling for the last spot)….

    Somewhat discouraging. With the number of good-to-great young trade options floated around, I’d hoped we’d really try to make a splash and dramatically upgrade our rotation. Wren could just be unwilling to show his cards, of course, but DOB is generally right about these sorts of things.

    He also mentions that Hampton has declared himself “ready” and will begin pitching in the Winter Leagues beginning in late November. We’ll see.

    He also says the Braves will be acquiring a backup shortstop this offseason, saying they don’t think Prado or Aybar can handle the position adequately. My question: What about Lillibridge?

  100. What I think the rotation will look like next year, based on the above:


    My guess is that Chuck will not be a Brave in 2008. I just get the feeling that the organization has soured on him. (And I would assume that he still has pretty good value on the trade market.) If Hampton can pitch, he’ll be in the rotation; if he can’t, Reyes will fill in.

  101. According to David DeJesus was hit by 23 pitches in 2007, that astounds me. I wonder if the Braves would be interested in signing Cuban defector Alexei Ramirez, I guess he plays CF, SS and 2B, but how often and how well he plays those positions is a different matter.

  102. I think that’s a dynamic rotation (#118). I don’t know how much more of an upgrade people want over last year’s rotation, but if everything breaks right and folks stay healthy, that’s the best rotation in the NL, top to bottom.

  103. HBP are a hidden stat in a lot of ways, because they don’t normally show up in the summaries but can be worth a lot more than you think, especially since there’s as much variance as in any stat. (For example, Chipper wasn’t hit at all last year and has only been hit 15 times in his career.) DeJesus gets hit a lot (maybe one reason for his injuries) and it’s worth something like 25 points of OBP. Basically, HBP are the only reason he was a useful offensive player in 2007.

  104. Wren would also like to find a veteran backup for All-Star catcher Brian McCann. While he thinks Clint Sammons could handle the role, he believes Sammons could benefit from more seasoning at the Minor League level.

    Okay, so really whats the deal with Brayan Pena??

  105. Why does nobody consider Lance Cormier a viable option for the back of our rotation? Just kidding. On another pitching note, it appears as though our minor league pitching depth is on an upswing, granted the upper levels are depleted, but if you look at the way the guys in the low minors, are pitching it will restore your faith somewhat. The Danville braves have several pitchers with a WHIP of 1.05 or better. The only starter in the high minors that intrigues me at all is James Parr, he seems to need about half a season to adjust every time he’s promoted. I predict he will be lights out at AA Mississippi in 08 then move up to Richmond and pitch poorly and so on. He should be a good major leaguer by 2010 though!

  106. “Both players [Schafer and Lillibridge] are very talented and have bright futures,” Wren said. “But at the end of the day, I think we’d prefer to have a more experienced player — for now.”

    Wren says he’s targeted a few center fielders to obtain via trade and believes his organization has plenty of young talent that could be utilized to complete one of these deals. He added this trade might be one that includes a young player that has been deemed expendable by another organization or possibly even an affordable veteran with limited time remaining on his contract.

  107. Seriously, what does Pena have to do to get a fair shake? He seems to be a good defensive catcher and he’s batted well over 300 for his minor league career.

  108. Hmmmm.

    Atlanta – David DeJesus
    KC – Chuck James

    Is that a viable trade? Or are we giving up too much?

  109. Other stuff from David O’Brien:

    Hampton is scheduled to go to Mexico to pitch in winter ball beginning Nov. 20, has progressed and told Frank and Braves trainers he’s ready. They want him to go 2-3 innings first time out down there.

    If (when?) Braves sign Glavine, it sounds like that will probably be it for winter starting-pitching aquisitions. Frank said they’d have 8-9 guys battling for rotation (meaning about 4-5 battling for the last spot)….

    If Braves can’t get a veteran backup catcher this winter, Frank said they’d be comfortable breaking camp with Sammons as the backup. But they are looking for an affordable veteran, if can find one…

    They will acquire a backup infielder who can play shortstop; that’s a priority. Aybar and Prado aren’t shortstops; both can play second and third, but not short to the degree the Braves want the backup to be able to play it….

    Forgot to mention, Frank said Braves have had discussions with Mahay’s rep, but also acknowledged his price tag could get too high. But they haven’t given up yet.

  110. Thorman + Ascanio should net us DeJesus. Then keep him for one year, until Schafer or Hernandez is ready, let Lillibridge back up our infield. I dont know why they want Thorman, but its been mentioned

  111. Atlanta – David DeJesus
    KC – Chuck James

    That’s a bad trade for the Braves. They seem to want a stopgap for just one year until Schafer is ready.

  112. I was also wondering why Lillibridge isn’t an option to back up at SS, but then it occurred to me that he isn’t 31 and worthless. In three years, though, Orr will be, so I’m betting we keep him around.

  113. Really, this is too much even though Andruw is a good defender. Is it rare to find someone as a GG?

    by the way, Another Alex

    I added your website to my bookmark. In my humble opinion, you have a flowery style. I think as a international student, sometimes your writing is diffficult to understand to me.

    Happy birthday, anyway. Today is also my roommate’s birthday. How spooky!!!!

  114. Everyone, and especially Stu for bringing it up, thanks for the birthday wishes! Ububba, that drink’s one of my priorities, as soon as I get up to New York. From what I can tell, you’ve got enough great bar stories to fill a Charles Bukowski novel.

    Brule, thanks for bookmarking me! I won’t disagree with you. I probably do have a bit of a flowery style. If there’s anything specific you don’t understand, I’ll be happy to explain it.

  115. The veteran to backup at short is bad news; next year’s dead wood(ward) on the bench. Use Prado or Aybar for limited duty; bring Lillibridge up if Escobar would miss extended time.

    I’m also on board the Pena gets no respect bus; he must have run over Bobby’s dog or something.

    Still not sold on signing Glavine. It gives lots of lefties and I’m not sure he’ll produce $7 million more value (that’s assuming a pretty good hometown discount) than the player he displaces (James or Reyes).

  116. @135 – Frank, we don’t need another #1 starting pitcher (although I wouldn’t complain, but we have 2). Our pitching was horrid last year simply b/c our 3,4, and 5 pitchers couldn’t get out of the 5th inning. Glavine was a workhorse last year, and that’s what we need. His age leaves a question mark, but I would be willing to take the risk. Don’t forget that it didn’t just effect our SP too. Our bullpen suffered greatly last year b/c of the tremendous workload put on them. I think that alone would warrant bringing in a guy like Glavine. Look at it this way – if Glavine was in our rotation last year (as our 5th starter), we win the division hands down. Don’t forget we didn’t get a win out of that 5th spot for at least 2 months.

  117. “John Blake is absolutely the best recruiter in college football. And I hate UNC with the fire and passion of 1,000 suns.

    He’s the reason Oklahoma turned around so fast. They were loaded with talent when the new regime came in. Blake can’t coach, but he’s a phenomenal recruiter.”
    No, he isn’t, and no, he isn’t. You may be right if you claimed he’s the coach with the biggest disparity between his coaching abilities and his recruiting abilities, though I still wouldn’t agree. The guy is a pretty damned good defensive line coach. He’s a good recruiter, not great. And he’s maybe the worst head coach in college football history.

    Luckily, I remember he OU national championship team well, so I can recite its best players and starters almost by heart, and without mistake with the help of wikipedia.

    The most important player on the team, Josh Heupel, was a Stoops recruit. The most important player on defense, Rocky Calmus, was a Blake recruit. However, Calmus is from an Oklahoma family, and chose OU in spite of Blake, not because of him. Blake actually almost pushed him to Nebraska or K-State. Calmus was the only linebacker who Blake recruited. Roger Steffen was a walk-on and Torrance Marshall was a Stoops recruit. Brandon Moore, incredibly, rarely played.

    The 2000 team’s best receivers (Woolfolk, Fagan, Mackey, Norman) were Stoops recruits or position changes. The best tight end was a Stoops recruit. The two best corners were Stoops recruits, and the two best defensive tackles were Stoops recruits. In the Championship Game a Stoops recruit started at defensive end. And most of the notable Blake recruited offensive linemen were converted into o-linemen by Bob Stoops.

    The myth that Stoops won with Blake’s recruits is really only evidenced by two guys, one of whom nobody outside Oklahoma remembers. The other, Roy Williams, wasn’t even a highly regarded recruit coming out of California. Blake, in fact, never really got any highly regarded recruits when he was at OU unless they fell into his lap. And it isn’t like it’s a difficult place to recruit to.

    Another reason this myth is believed is because Blake is an out and out liar. He once claimed 20 of the 22 starters on that team were his recruits, which would be laughable if it wasn’t sort of sad.

    When he went to NU all the Blake lovers talked as if he’d raid Oklahoma’s best players and take them to Lincoln. Yet, every year, OU got who they wanted unless Fulmer came in and enticed someone away.

    Sorry for the length, but the idea that John Blake, a guy who took all of OU’s recruiting files (which happens to be not quite legal)when he was fired after two 3-8 seasons in three years, had something to do with OU’s 2000 national title is preposterous.

  118. John Blake the best recruiter in college football? That’s the most absurd thing in a thread full of absurdity.

    two words for you:

    Marvin Austin

    At UNC.

    two more:

    Darnell Scott

  119. I absolutely hate the idea of trading Chuck James. I hope the Braves don’t do it.

    You don’t trade young pitching that doesn’t cost anything, especially one that is an excellent #4 starter that we really need, unless you’re getting something really, really good in return.

    RHP Smoltz
    LHP Glavine
    RHP Hudson
    LHP James
    LHP Hampton

    That has a chance to be a really good rotation. Also, it has a chance to be really mediocre for various reasons, but you never know with pitching.

  120. I can’t say I’ve heard of Darnell Scott. If you meant Darrell Scott, what does he have to do with anything? He isn’t going to UNC. If Marvin Austin makes John Blake the greatest recruiter in the country, what does Arrelious Benn and Martez Wilson to Illinois say about Ron Zook?

    There are plenty of recruiters better than Blake. He isn’t even the best proselytizing recruiter. Kevin Steele is. Other better recruiters: Bob Stoops, Mack Brown, Urban Meyer, Mark Richt, Trooper Taylor, Brent Venables, Darrell Wyatt, Ken Norton, Jr., Pete Carroll, Nick Saban, Zook, and so on.

  121. Ron Zook is a phenomenal recruiter. He should have received some of Urban’s bonus for giving him his national championship team. Pete Carroll seems to continue to bring in awesome talent, but here’s my question with him: is California as much of a hot-bed of talent as the Southeast, and he’s just getting most of it, or is he spending a huge amount of time in other parts of the country?

  122. “RHP Smoltz
    LHP Glavine
    RHP Hudson
    LHP James
    LHP Hampton”

    I just don’t see the Braves going with three LHP into the season. My guess is also that James will get traded. Reyes comes when Hampton is injured again and Jurrjens will win the 5th spot.

  123. If we sign glavine, lose Mahay and are able to keep Chuck James, I would advovate moving him and his two pitches to the bullpen. He seemed to flourish there in his rookie season.

  124. If we sign glavine, lose Mahay and are able to keep Chuck James, I would advovate moving him and his two pitches to the bullpen. He seemed to flourish there in his rookie season.

  125. by moving myers back to where he should have been in the first place and acquiring lidge, the phils just got a lot stronger. pretty good payoff for one move.

  126. Jurrjens is probably better than James. I would trade James and Devine for Coco Crisp. Brian Pena’s problem is that he isn’t much of a hitter and his arm is barley strong enough to get the ball back to the pitcher. That is why they are trying to move him from catcher.

  127. My point about Ted Williams was that he was criticized for his lack of clutchness based on an extremely small sample size that didn’t really prove anything. And, yes, he was injured going into the World Series.

    By the way, the point about Williams being drafted is similar to what happened to my dad. My dad tried to enlist after Pearl Harbor but they wouldn’t take him because he was supporting his mother. Eventually, as the need for men grew, the government developed a system that allowed soldiers to send money home. Later, my dad was drafted and ended up in the Pacific (being Jewish, he wanted to go to Europe for obvious reasons). I think this is what happened with Williams. The difference between Williams and a lot of other baseball players is that he did something other than just play baseball. He was a flight instructor and was preparing to go into combat in the Pacific when the war ended. And, of course,he flew combat missions in Korea and had to crash land his jet after being hit.

  128. So they aren’t going to use Lillibridge in CF and they aren’t going to use him at SS. Where exactly are they going to use him? It doesn’t seem like he really needs more time at Richmond. Unless they’re planning on trading KJ for pitching/CF and putting Brent at 2nd, I’m kind of puzzled on what the Braves plan to do with him.

  129. I think it would be neat to have Glavine back, but can anyone give one objective reason to believe that Glavine will be better in 2008 than Chuck James?

  130. you hate UNC with more of a passion that 1000 rising suns?

    that’s a pretty large inferiority complex you got there.

  131. Happy b-day, AAR.

    Does anyone think we could get Mark Kotsay? Mark Kotsay provides great defense, but is also an injury liability. I would love to have a “high character” clubhouse guy who can roam CF.

  132. Smitty,

    That’s a terrible trade idea. And this is coming from someone who’s proposed some terrible trade ideas. You don’t trade a valuable starter for a barely-adequate CF, much less a valuable starter and something else. Not in this market. Pitching’s too valuable.

  133. chris,

    How in the world would hating UNC be a sign that one has an inferiority complex? I guess maybe if one is an NC State alum. Or if one’s sense of self worth depends on 18 year-old basketball players.

    Hate King,

    And Mark Kotsay’s wife is apparently legendary. So that’d be something for the fans to rally around, I guess.

  134. Until he gets another pitch and can go past the 5th inning regularly, Chuck James isn’t that great of a pitcher. I’d take Glavine well before James at this point in their careers

  135. But James at least has the possibility of improving and trading a young and at least serviceable pitcher for a basically journeyman outfielder doesn’t seem like such a great idea.

  136. Smitty,

    You realize that Glavine will cost approximately 16 times what James will this season, right? And they provide roughly the same value?

    And I’ve been disappointed with Chuck, too, for his inability to go deep in games (which may be the result of not having the third pitch you allude to), but the statistics say he’s a valuable pitcher, one who should command much more than a defense-only CF on the trade market.

  137. OK Smitty, that’s one ;)

    Glavine did pitch 39 more innings that Chuck in 2007. But Glavine had a higher ERA, higher WHIP, and lower k/9 innings. And who’s more likely to decline in 2008? I believe Glavine is.

    I’m not trying to say how great James is or isn’t, I just don’t see Glavine having a better 2008 than James.

  138. released it’s winners for best defensive players. Take a look at who also got votes for first base. WTF!

  139. Unfortunately, while you would hope that stats such as “ERA”, “WHIP”, and “k/9 innings” would determine the comparative value of a pitcher to the team – in the case of Galvine it may boil down to “BITS” …………….. also known as who will put more “butts in the seats”.

  140. @166,

    If Glavine starts 17 home games and sells 1,000 extra tickets at $25.00 average that is $425,000, which is about Chuck James entire salary.

    Go to 10,000 extra tickets and a $40.00 average (which accounts for some net parking and concession money) and that only adds $6,000,000 (which is less than any estimate of contract I have seen).

    It won’t get done because of direct revenue. MAYBE because of indirect revenue. That is, IF he had replaced the #5 starts last year the Braves make the postseason. IF that gets them in, then Glavine makes money sense.

    However, I still think the top two from spring performance out of Jurrjens, Reyes, James, and Hampton would be better than Glavine in the regular season. And, I still say you guys are underestimating the “he’s been there”, loyalty, etc. that Bobby Cox will have. If Glavine is on the staff at a 4.5 ERA he will be one of the first three postseason pitchers.

    Postseason is why Schilling (with all of his wierdness and loss of ability) is still worth more than Glavine or Maddux. His stuff and his makeup translate better.

  141. Before we can talk about who is more valuable in the playoffs, the Braves need all the help they can get to get in the playoffs. Glavine’s 200 IP will go a long way to that cause. Chuck James with two pitches, is still more valuable than the rest of those battling out for a rotation spot, unless Jar-Jar shows up ready.

  142. The Mariners just got 12 years at 300 million for their regional TV rights. As I remember, Time Warner sold off the Braves rights to its own Turner South for $20 million per year for 10 years just before the sale.

    If so, doesn’t it look like we got shorted about 5 or 10 million a year? And wouldn’t it be nice to have about 50% of that to add to payroll and 50% to scouting and draft?

    Speaking of which, did anybody feel they ever got numbers on what Josh Fields rejected. Either the Braves or Boras were idiots for not getting that deal done. The Braves could have gone slot with bonuses for performance at higher levels and it would have made sense for both sides. I know they offered slot, don’t know about bonuses.

    Now Fields is having to pay insurance out of his pocket AND prove himself this year at UGA (I guess that is good for the Buldogs). If he doesn’t bounce back, he won’t even get drafted where the Braves took him. If he does, he isn’t going to get more than an incentive laden deal should have gotten him, plus, he has to wait a year for payday.

    It hasn’t happened yet, but this may be the “egg on face” year for Boras (he has had a few minor slips). A-Rod won’t go in the room to talk for less than 30 million FOR 12 YEARS! Andruw Jones is going to get 20 million for 5 years guaranteed (and only one GM willing to answer would say he wanted him over Torii, mediocre at best offense, Hunter)! Fields!

  143. Stats schmats. Glavine is a gamer with tons of postseason experience. Chuck james is not a gamer. He can’t pitch past the 5th. Throw your WHIP, K/BB, blah blah blah out the window. If i want to win a baseball game and you said i could have Glavine or Chuck James on the mound, give me Glavine no matter how old he is.

  144. Smoltz

    Better keep Mahay if this is the plan. That rotation has a good chance of looking really old by June.

    Surely Wren would like to exact some revenge on the Orioles by stealing Bedard …

  145. @172,

    Oh, you mean like the last game of the season with the Mets playing for their playoff lives? Glavine being a “gamer” didn’t seem to help him.

    I like Tommy a lot but I don’t see how Chuck James could have pitched worse than Glavine did in that game.

  146. Gonzo should be back at the first of June. Im sure he’ll have some trouble with a few of his pitches, but the velocity should be back and he’s still very good.

    I’m kind of anxious to see what Hampton looks like in winter ball. This should give us some kind of an idea of what to look forward to. When does the winter season begin?

  147. everyone has bad games, that was Glavine’s worst career start. Anyone would have pitched better than him that night

  148. and we want THIS glavine that we justify his horrid starts by saying:

    Anyone would have pitched better than him that night

    in our rotation as a #3????????

  149. We are not going to have Hampton, James and Glavine all in a rotation. Why have three soft tossing lefties?

    I think it is time to sell on James, why his value is up.

  150. Glavine threw 200 innings.

    By that last game, he was gassed.

    In the Braves rotation, he wouldn’t have HAD to throw 200 innings. He was the only starter to throw 200 innings on the Mets staff. He would have been the THIRD starter to do that for the Braves.

    Furthermore, between James and Glavine, I don’t care about era or whip. I think in this particular case, the most telling stat is quality starts. Not very scientific, but hear me out.

    Pitchers don’t pitch in a vaccuum, they don’t pitch random innings at a consistent rate and to consistent stats. They pitch games. Tom Glavine had 23 quality starts, and Chuck James had 11. A quality start isn’t a whole hell of a lot to ask for. But it’s a chance to win. Tom went out and did the job 23 times out of 34. Only ELEVEN times out of 30 did Chuck give the Braves a chance to win. And he recorded 11 wins and 10 losses.

    Give the Braves 12 more chances to win last year, and they would have won the east. Glavine’s last game would have meant nothing if he was a Brave. It would have all been sewn up.

    Maybe next year is the year Glavine falls off the map. But Chuck James did not show me ANYTHING at ANY POINT in the year last year, that made me think he’s finally getting it.

  151. I just hope that if Glavine is signed, the Braves will package James and a few other people for a right-handed starter that we can all agree won’t suck.

  152. Well, Sam, according to DOB (via Frank Wren), that won’t be happenihg. I’m with you, though, on wanting to add another good starter via trade, though I wouldn’t complain if it were a lefty like, say, Erik Bedard.

  153. Glavine’s last two games were not memorable for excellence. I don’t understand how we can argue that we need him because he’s an innings-eater and then say he won’t need to eat innings in the Braves’ rotation.

    Along with the dollars we didn’t spend on Andruw, I think, and it’s just my opinion, that the dollars we will spend on an old Tom Glavine could be better used elsewhere.

  154. I agree with trading Chucky, we have Chucky 2.0 is Reyes, who I think will be a better pitcher. Glavine is worth 5-8 mil a year IMO, and if Chucky can get us a decent CF, then I’m all for it….

  155. Coop,

    Huh? I have no idea. I found it puzzling that he was apparently not mentioned in the discussion re: backup SS, though.

    If I had to guess, I’d say we’re trading yet another young SS to the Royals this offseason.

  156. Stu,

    Well, that’s no good! We’d be stuck in the same rut we were last year if we don’t get a third starter that doesn’t have a high risk of imploding completely.

  157. The light we’ve shone on Chuck James is painful, but necessary. He’s a big part of the mix, whichever way Wren goes.
    I just can’t get past the 32 HR’s in 160 innings.

  158. When Lillibridge is brought up it will as a regular starter, not a backup. It is more beenficial to give him more development time than to have him on the bench to play once every ten games. If they aren’t going to use him in center, or in a trade they will leave him in Richmond.

  159. If the Braves are going to get a backup shortstop, they’re going to do it in a trade, unless they’re dumb enough to sign Neifi Perez or Alex Gonzalez.

    Either that, or they’re just blowing smoke and they’re going to insert Lillibridge on the bench. Really, I think they have to. He can’t be stuck in Richmond forever, and he’d be better than anyone I’ve mentioned.

  160. We need pitching depth and I don’t like the idea of getting rid of James. Here is what I see next year as a best case scenario:

    Hampton puts together 4 to 5 quality starts and we trade him and most of his salary for a very good pitching prospect. Jurrjens comes in as the 5th starter with Reyes waiting when someone gets hurt.

    More likely scenario
    Hampton (for a few starts, then he’s replaced due to injury by Jurrjens)

    Reyes will be called up several times during the year, since given the age and injury tendencies of the 5 starters above, injuries will happen.

    Either way, we go into the year in much better shape than last year with our starting pitchers.

  161. I just looked up Joe Blanton. He turns 27 in December, was 14-10 with right at a 4 ERA. His K to BB ratio was about 3.5; his WHIP, 1.22, and his K/9, 5.25. He also pitched 230 innings.

    I’d much rather have someone like this than Tommy. Somebody above, and I apologize for not looking to find out who it was, suggested Kotsay as a stop-gap CF. What kind of a package would it take to get the two of them?

  162. I expect Brent will tear it up in spring training and force the Braves to carry him as at least a utility infielder. Since Chipper will miss at least 50 games forcing Escobar to 3rd and Bobby will want to platoon somebody with Kelly Johnson, there should be plenty of at bats for Brent.

    James is fine as a 4th or 5th starter. He just hasn’t shown that he’ll make the next step to become a true #3 or better. If he can be traded for somebody better, that would be great. Otherwise, there’s no reason to give up on him yet because he still has a better resume than Reyes, Bennett, Carlyle, or Jurjens.

  163. Alex Gonzalez would make a fine backup SS, IMO, but he’s likely to command too much money for a backup (on the Braves).

  164. Quality Starts 2006

    Quality Starts 2007

    Glavine last 4 years

    2003 183IP 4.52ERA 1.48WHIP
    2004 212IP 3.6ERA 1.29WHIP
    2005 211IP 3.53ERA 1.36WHIP
    2006 198IP 3.82ERA 1.33WHIP
    2007 200IP 4.45ERA 1.41WHIP

    If we can get him for less than 8-10 mil thats a bargain. Look at Carlos Silva, they’re thinking he’ll get 4-5yrs at 11-13 mil per year. Glavine has never pitched less than 183IP in any season and he’s been in the top 5 for NL quality starts the last two years. Ill take him

  165. “Hampton puts together 4 to 5 quality starts and we trade him and most of his salary for a very good pitching prospect.”

    highly doubtful…wish it would happen. I just hope we can get 4 or 5 good starts from him this year

  166. I would love to get Blanton from Oakland also, could he be had without inluding James in the deal? Doubt it, but we should try

  167. Problem with preferring Blanton to Glavine is, Blanton costs talent.

    In a market where Carlos Silva will draw 40 mill over 4 years, trading for Blanton might costs Chuck James, Lillibridge, and Brandon Jones.

  168. I’d rather have Glavine for the reason mentioned above: Glavine costs money, which we have, and Blanton costs talent, which we don’t want to give up.

  169. from fox sports

    Some of the whispers heard in the lobby of the Hyatt Grand Cypress had teams with a quality pitcher on their rosters, like the San Diego Padres with Jake Peavy, for example, letting other teams know that those pitchers are available. Part of the reason is scarcity of quality pitching on the free agent market. Regardless of the motives, the teams’ sincerity for actually following through on trading away their best pitchers is being called into question. So far, the Twins have not let it be known that Johan Santana is available. —

    Peavy would be huge…

  170. I don’t understand the love for Brandon Jones. Small MLB sample size notwithstanding, during which he didn’t exactly light it up, he looks to be a MLB regular corner outfielder at best.

    With Gorkys and Schafer in the wings and Diaz and Frenchy in the corners, I’d seriously consider including this guy in a trade for a young major league arm like Blanton or, in my dreams, Bedard.

  171. Yeah I’m willing to trade B. Jones too. But you just listed the reasons he isn’t worth much, and if dealt for anything of value, would have to be packaged with more talented players. I see his trade value as being a throw in, not a center-piece.

    Personally, I think Jones has more value as Diaz platoon partner than he has as a throw-in.

  172. People are making having 3 left-handed pitchers in the rotation a big deal. That’s why I put Glavine between Smoltz and Hudson to balance it out.

    James and Hampton would be back to back but really aren’t that similar. James throws fastball-changeup, and Hampton relies on a sinker.

    If we have 3 more effective pitchers in our rotation (granted that’s asking a lot of Hampton) then I don’t care that they’re left-handed.

  173. Yeah, I agree with braves14. Plus look at how the Braves struggled vs lefties this year and imagine what they could do to other teams like the Phillies with those lefty starters.

  174. anyone who thinks that John Blake is not the best recruiter in the US just need look no further than marvin austin’s own words

    “Coach Blake is the best recruiter out there.” –Inside Carolina, March 10, 2007.

    Do you need more?


    we’re ALL wrong…the best recruiter in the NCAA is Larry Porter. Google him. You’ll need to.

    And to say Mack Brown is a better recruiter than Blake is assinine. Based on talent, who has recruited more? Mack? Both suck as far as coaching goes, but Blake’s players have 1 NC as do Mack’s players.

    Carrol? In the glorified NFL that is USC?
    I could recruit better than 90% of the coaches to that school.

    Zook? Ok, that’s a great example, but the OSU has pointed some fingers as to his practices and it’s only a matter of time before someone says something.

    Norton and Kevin Steele? That’s laughable. Their SCHOOLS recruit. They do not.

    As for the Braves rotation…I think we sign Silva AND Glavine and put Silva between Glavine and Hampton/Reyes and we trade James/Blanco/B. Jones for some OF help.

  175. I just don’t think saying “stats schmats” and that Glavine is a “gamer” adds much, especially when you dismiss how he pitched in the biggest game of the year. Tired or not, if you are going to say he’s a gamer, you have to look at the disaster in the last game, not even getting out of the first inning. If that adjective means anything, it must mean that he pitches well in big games and we all know that his record is up and down in those kinds of games. Obviously, his knowledge of pitching and overall career far surpass James and it’s extremely unlikely that James will even come close to having that kind of career. But, you can’t, on the one hand, dismiss the stats because Glavine’s a gamer and then also dismiss what he did in the last game.

  176. “If we have 3 more effective pitchers in our rotation (granted that’s asking a lot of Hampton) then I don’t care that they’re left-handed.”

    Ill take 5 lefties if they’re effective..
    give me a rotation of Santana, Bedard, Sabathia, Kazmir, and Hamels.

  177. Sad to say, considering our glorious 15-year run, but if we have Glavine (or anyone) on the mound on the season’s last day with a chance to tie for a playoff spot, I’ll take it.

    Not to sound like an older fellow who’s been a little too close to these things in the past, but let me tell you something you may not know: Almost all big-time schools who emphasize winning college football games have questionable recruiting practices. That’s how it’s done.

    You get caught, you pay; but until then, the payoff is so good that these schools have become spectacular in the art of appearing clean. It’s like those “dirty tricks” campaigns in politics. You do the dirty deeds, deny it all & hope nobody talks to the press.

    Recruiting is a nasty, ugly, petty, soul-destroying exercise that compromises your school’s (hopefully) good academic name to reward these kids (who know nothing other than having their clueless, entitled asses kissed) so that they can make millions of dollars for your school.

    That’s what big-time college athletics is and that’s why I just like to watch the games, root for my alma mater & stay the hell away from the inner workings.

    And I’m no Pac 10 guy, but you can’t really call out the USC coach for the level of player he gets. (Yes, OK, his methods may be another story.) Year-in, year-out, their players are as good as anyone. And BTW, few people could do better than Carroll has in his tenure there. You should never have to apologize for winning.

  178. “Schafer, James, and Lillibridge for Peavy”

    it would probably have to be more like Schafer, Heyward, James, and Lillibridge. They still might not take that offer

  179. Jake Peavy For Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera?
    This is barely a rumor, but I have been getting emails about it. Buster Olney said today in his blog that trade talk has run rampant at the GM meetings, even stretching towards deals with little chance of happening.

    Olney says the Padres and Yankees briefly discussed a trade that would send Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera to the Padres for ace Jake Peavy. He also said that trade “almost certainly won’t happen.” Peavy makes $6MM in 2008 and $8MM in 2009, with another possible $3MM in incentives over those two years. Peavy expects to be traded before reaching free agency – he knows the Padres won’t pony up $18MM a year. You have to figure Kevin Towers will at least listen.

    Even though it’s highly unlikely, would this be a fair trade?

  180. If Glavine was too tired to pitch well for the Mets on the last day of the season, won’t he wear out in the playoffs too? If we’re going to let him rest, then he loses the IP advantage he has over James. He still seems like the best value available for the Braves though. I think we’ll need him AND James and have JJ and Jo-Jo battle for the 5th slot. I just don’t have confidence that Hampton will do anything. Of course Wren should look into some trading possiblities, but I don’t think we can afford another Teixeira-style package.

  181. Recruiting is a nasty, ugly, petty, soul-destroying exercise that compromises your school’s (hopefully) good academic name to reward these kids (who know nothing other than having their clueless, entitled asses kissed) so that they can make millions of dollars for your school.

    please put a * to make this football.

    basketball recruiting CAN be nasty, but it’s pretty tame compared to football.

    how about:

    B. Jones, James, Lillibridge AND Locke for Peavy?

    Would they do it?

  182. I can’t imagine that getting it done.

    It seems like someone would give up the farm for Peavy.

    I don’t see Melky and Hughes getting it done, either..

  183. might as well send the pads a note asking if they;ll just give us peavy……………………pretty please?

  184. For Peavy, I’d offer

    Chuck James
    Plus one of: K. Johnson, Escobar, Lillibridge
    Plus one of: Reyes, Jurrjens, Hanson
    Plus one of: G. Hernandez, B. Jones, Cody Johnson

    Who would they pick? James, Kelly, Jurrjens, B. Jones? I don’t know if that even gets it done.

    I just wouldn’t include Heyward, Rohrburg, and Shaeffer. Just my personal preference.

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