Kelly Johnson

The heir apparent to Andruw’s mantle as the really streaky guy who frustrates you and then at the end of the year you look and say, “Hey, he had a pretty good season”. KJ is helped in that he has never been declared the next Willie Mays.

Got off to a hot start, .326/.473/.593 in March and April, then slumped, hitting under .260 with only three homers over the next two months. He rallied for a strong July (.356/.427/.658), but faded in August and was putrid in September. Needless to say, if he could come close to what he does in his good months in his bad months, he’d be a superstar… Sharply cut his double-play rate, from 11 in 290 AB to 8 in 521. Stole nine bases in 14 attempts, neither a positive nor much of a negative.

The evidence that he needs to be platooned is… well, not missing, but not at all strong. He hit .278 with a .378 OBP against righthanders, .272 and .366 against lefties. However, fourteen of his sixteen homers came against righthanders, so he slugged .479 against them, only .405 against lefties. Basically, he was a middle-of-the-order hitter against righthanders, a leadoff or #2 type against lefties. Certainly, he hits lefthanders better than Martin Prado would… Hit better on the road than at home, as he did during his rookie season.

Wasn’t great at second base, but wasn’t bad either, his range factor and fielding percentages slightly below the norm but within margin of error. He’s never going to win a Gold Glove, but was probably a better second baseman than Escobar, with much better RF and FP.

Kelly Johnson Statistics –

177 thoughts on “Kelly Johnson”

  1. Anecdotally, he was pretty bad going to his right. Most of his errors seemed to be on plays where he had to backhand the ball. It would be good to see him improve that.
    I wonder if players like KJ are bound to be streaky early in their career. They take lot of close pitches, lots of groundballs. Even if they are slightly off, leads to a big drop in numbers, as umpires are not giving them the superstar call..

  2. #97 on the previous thread:

    ububba’s analysis of SEC rivals from a Georgia fan’s perspective is pretty much spot on for me as well.

    One thing he left out of the equation is 1 non SEC team – Georgia Tech.

    I actually hate them more than any team in the SEC because they come from the weak ACC conference, so they are not a “family member”, they are just that a–hole neighbor in the small, beat up, rat infested house down the street, and you always smartly tell your kids not to play near their yard. The family is mean.

    But I hate Georgia Tech more than any SEC team because of their fans. I have literally never met ONE nice Ga. Tech fan. For as much as I hate Florida, Tennessee, Auburn and LSU, I have friends in each of those fan bases. some of whom even like Georgia as well.

    But Tech fans are the most jealousm, mean spirited, nasty bunch of people I have ever seen. There isn’t aAJC Georgia Blog they won’t try and ruin with their bitterness about their nerdy fan base, their lack of hot women (because they are all in Athens), their ugly, horrible campus, their small, dirty stadium (and we have the hedges so it’s not even close) plus they hate when we come to their football stadium because there’s more Georgia fans there than Tech fans.

  3. re: Kelly Johnson

    The endless slump scared me last year and I think it’s why the organization doesn’t have 100% faith in the kid yet.

    I hope 2008 is the year that he turns into a star – I think Kelly’s capable.

  4. But Tech fans are the most jealousm, mean spirited, nasty bunch of people I have ever seen. There isn’t aAJC Georgia Blog they won’t try and ruin with their bitterness about their nerdy fan base, their lack of hot women (because they are all in Athens), their ugly, horrible campus, their small, dirty stadium (and we have the hedges so it’s not even close) plus they hate when we come to their football stadium because there’s more Georgia fans there than Tech fans.

    Angry much? As far as I can see, you seem to be the one pouring the angry, hate mongering, factless rhetoric.

    Coming back to KJ, the player he reminds me most of is Bobby Abreu. maybe lil less power and speed. I would be happy if he had a peak close to Abreu’s.

  5. Mark Teixeira is from Georgia Tech. Alex, surely that is one Tech player you can like?

    I am of the opinon that KJ will continue to improve, and blossom into an all-star.

  6. Godot-

    Years of Tech fans coming in and ruining Georgia blogs and other actions I have faced in person has led me to my anger.

    But fine, I was going off the deep end when talking about Tech fans. That’s not unfair.

  7. Kenny-

    I have no problem with Tech players. It’s their fans I loathe.

    I love Tex (obviously) and Calvin Johnson was a fun player to watch in college; sad for him that he had a horrible QB.

  8. Great description as the inheritor or the Andruw streaky guy. I followed KJ very closely last season and it was a roller coaster ride. Love his patient approach at the plate. He is the anti Jeff Francouer.

    Does anyone see Brent Lillibridge in the picture somewhere as a platoon partner? I know that he hasn’t played second but then Escobar hadn’t either. Personally I hope that bobby doesn’t platoon Johnson but as has been discussed here many times once Bobby puts the platoon tag on you it sticks forever.

  9. Johnny,

    Well Bobby keeps platooning Matt Diaz and while Diaz may prove it’s warranted that he can only hit lefthanders, my feeling is to give a guy every chance to be a regular, if he’s shown enough smart habits overall.

    But you;re right – a player can start to believe what a manager tells him, that he can only be a platoon player.

    I still believe Kelly can be a breakout star so I would like to see the Braves give him every chance. If he and Yunel succeed and we have Lillibridge – well, that’s a good problem to have. Then it gives you the freedom to trade somebody and fix another problem.

  10. The discussion about the SEC has been great, but one thing to add about the Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry is that the latter was actually a member of the SEC and left in 1964. They tried to get back in, but were voted down.

    Sore losers…

  11. I believe that Lillibridge will probably play in Atanta in 2008–but I would not be surprised to see him traded.

    I think that one reason why Wrenn picked up both Infante and Hernandez was to enable him to flip both Lillibridge and Schafer (or Hernandez) for starting pitching and/or a CF. Both of these players may well become Braves and the latter possibly a star, but at this stage they remain prospects. In fact, they may well be at peak value so if the circumstances are right they could be some of the key components of a trade for the likes of Blanton or Bedard.

    Sign Cameron and then try to trade Schafer, Lillibridge, Reyes, Thorman and maybe Lyman for Blanton. If Beane went for it, the Braves would be set for 2008….

  12. Will Johnson finally get the everyday job he deserves? Or will Cox start the platoon stuff again? The Braves should probably trade Prado now before Bobby is tempted.

  13. I’m optimistic Johnson will continue to progress this year up to one of the top 2B in the league.

  14. Kelly is a future player traded when he becomes arbitration eligible to save money, but he should be very good at 2B for another year or so. I see Lillibridge starting at AAA then getting called up to play a utility role when Chipper goes on the DL in May.

  15. count me in as hoping kelly gets a fair shake at the everyday job.

    godot — it did seem that his errors came as he was going to his right. at the beginning of the year i got nervous every time he had to go right. but, overall, i thought he did a good job at 2B…if he continues to work on his fielding like he did coming into last year, then there’s reason to believe he’ll continue to improve.

  16. The difference between KJ and AJ is that KJ is much more patient and appears likely to improve. I would think he would become less streaky as he matures since he is so patient. Andruw was almost bound to be streaky given his unwillingness to take any slider low and away.

    I see no reason to think that KJ won’t improve his defense substantially at second base. He did have trouble going to his right but that’s a fixable problem.

  17. There’s also the difference that KJ is a second baseman and AJ is an outfielder. I’d happily put up with the kind of streaks Johnson endures if it means he will, at year’s end, be one of the more productive hitters at his position. It gets a little more complicated when the guy you depend on to anchor the middle of the lineup shuts down for six weeks in the middle of the summer (or all summer, as was the case in 2007).

    I was vocal last year in my disdain for Bobby’s platoon of KJ. This year, I think my head will explode if Prado takes away his at bats.

  18. If we can get non-2006 Andruw production out of a second baseman, I’ll marry his ugly sister if necessary.

    I like KJ. I can’t really explain why. It just seems like he comes to play every day, and doesn’t mind that he’s not the “baby Brave” that comes to everyone’s mind (usually Bmac or Frenchy).

    I’ll take Memorial Day in the Chipper DL sweepstakes.

    On another note, I saw Francoeur at McCormick and Schmick’s at CNN Center right before the Peach Bowl (he did the invocation before the game). He looks a lot bigger in person. He also didn’t seem to have a problem with people coming up to him.

  19. “Sign Cameron and then try to trade Schafer, Lillibridge, Reyes, Thorman and maybe Lyman for Blanton. If Beane went for it, the Braves would be set for 2008….”

    Some will disagree with me, but Blanton isnt worth that package. I wouldnt give them more than Reyes, Lillibridge, and a low ball prospect. If the Braves have the payroll I dont see any reason in not going after Cameron.

  20. Yeah Blanton is definitely not a 5 or 6 for 1 type of player. He’s not an ace, but he would be better than anyone else we could slot in at 4 and 5.

    Now for Kelly, looks like a player with a lot of hitting skills that just need some refinement. Has patience, but not great plate discipline, meaning he recognizes balls and strikes, but too often lets strikes go by.

    He has very good loft on his swing and when he his hot he looks like an elite hitter. Needs to find more consistency, but is already a top 5 MLB second basemen offensively. Needs to lessen his slumps but I agree with someone else who said he is a future all-star, but as long as Utley is healthy and producing it will be hard for KJ to be the starter.

  21. Some will disagree with me, but Blanton isnt worth that package.

    I don’t think very many will disagree with you. You only include Schafer in a deal for an ace, not a middle-of-the-rotation innings eater. Not that we could’t use Blanton, but we don’t need him at that cost. My opinion, anyway.

    I’m a big KJ fan and was, along with Adam M, one of the most vocal against his platooning last year.

    I sorta think you’re right about Infante freeing up Lillibridge for a trade, but I’d be surprised if Gorkys was acquired in order to trade Schafer. I think the team just wanted to increase their odds of having a long-term CF solution somewhere in the minors. That said, as I’ve made abundantly clear, I’d part with both Schafer and Lillibridge and more to get Bedard. :)

  22. @2: I couldn’t agree more. What an obnoxious bunch of losers those Georgia Tech fans are. You’ll NEVER see a Georgia fan go off on a whiny, self-indulgent, mean-spirited rant on a blog.

  23. @20,

    “he did the invocation before the game. ”

    Can’t these guys just stick to playing baseball and being rich? Do they have to go public with their religion and politics? Give me the days of Babe Ruth and whorehouses.

  24. If Gorkys and Schafer are that good defensively, I would love to have both of them for the long haul. Frenchy, Schafer, and Gorkys would be one awesome defensive group. Plus Schafer, Gorkys, and Lillibridge will give us a ton of speed. Speed might be overrated, but I want to see what its like to have that much speed on our roster

  25. #27 – If people believe in something they can share that with others. If you want players to just stick with playing baseball and being rich, should they stop visting sick and dying kids in the hospital and giving to charities?

  26. #25

    Kirk – I accept both yours and Godot’s criticism and you’re absolutely right to criticize for my rant this morning.

    That being said, I can’t go and look at ONE Georgia blog (ever – and I am sure other UGA fans on here can testify to this) without a ton of Ga. tech fans coming in and just saying a lot of really nasty and mean spirited things, without any basis or provocation.

    I full admit I have lot any ability for objectivity when it comes to Tech. Believe me, I take that as a strike against Teixeira overall, but again, it’s their fan base that continues to engage in some seriously horrible attacks regularly.

    It’s just built up a lot over time.

    Nonetheless, I apologize for ranting here about it. Specifically, to both Godot and Kirk because you guys were offended – my bad.

    Back to Baseball…

    I agree that Joe Blanton would be a good addition to the Braves and I think he’s a quality starter, but he’s no Bedard or Haren. Those 2 guys (or Johann Santana) are absolutely worth Jordan Schafer. Blanton isn’t.

  27. #27 – “Give me the days of Babe Ruth and whorehouses.”

    That’s one way of longing for the “good ole days” that I don’t think I’ve heard before.

  28. @ 27, I couldn’t agree less. A player’s religion shouldn’t determine whether we keep him or not, but I’ll take great players with character like Smoltz and Murphy over Prima Donnas like Bonds any day.

  29. Come on, Marc, you go public with your politics all the time on this forum. Why is it OK for you & not Smurph? My understanding is that he was invited by the organizers—the Chick-fil-A higher-ups, who are all Christian, by the way—so it’s not like he was even being aggressive with what he’s doing.

  30. CSG, I don’t want to violate the policy here, but I kind of agree with Marc — I think there’s a way to do what you believe quietly and sincerely, or loudly and annoyingly. For example, I have no doubt that Curt Schilling is sincere in his faith, but it would be hard to imagine someone being more self-serving about it.

    On the other hand, a look down the list of the previous winners of the Roberto Clemente award, including Dale Murphy, shows that there are a number of baseball players who are both good citizens and good human beings, who don’t do good because of the spotlight but do it because they believe it’s right.

    Some players just like to shove their politics in their fans’ faces, like John Rocker. Others have deep convictions they don’t have to yell in order to believe. That’s the distinction I’d draw.

  31. I’m sorry, I know this will offend people, but I find Frenchy incredibly cloying and annoying. I didn’t find Murphy that way and I have no problem with Smoltz but Francouer’s “Leave It to Beaver” persona drives me bananas.

  32. AAR,
    It doesn’t have to be quiet to be sincere. That’s not to say that loud or open is always appropriate, but I think the distinction you draw between acceptable and unacceptable public pronouncements is bogus.

  33. #34- AAR, its also fine that you feel that way, however, some people are more vocal than others. Just because Smoltz and Frenchy decide to share what they personally believe in, doesnt mean that other people should say that they just need to be quiet and only play baseball and enjoy being rich. Thats ridiculous. If Frenchy was invited, I dont know if he was or not, then whats the problem…

  34. Are you seriously annoyed that Francoeur gave a prayer at an event when the organizers invited him to? If that is the case, you may need to check your own sensitivity.

  35. I’ve found it interesting that the Braves have made Jeff Francouer the face of the franchise. But what do I know about marketing? He can lead as many invocations as he is invited to do as far as I am concerned.

    Blanton would be a good pick up but not at the cost suggested. Bedard yes. Blanton no.

    Apparently the O’s are about to trade Brian Roberts to the Cubs. Just thought I’d throw that in there since we had Adam LaRoche on the table for him and Hayden Somebody last season.

    I am a big Kelly Johnson fan too. And I don’t know why. Gosh if he could suck just a little less during his bad streaks and continue to tear it up during his good streaks we COULD talk about him and Chase Utley in the same breath.

  36. IF we are going to keep talking about pitchers we are never going to get, then let’s go big.

    I think Santana would be a nice pick up.

  37. Any chance Peter Moylan gets to close this season? I remember Bobby Cox talking about giving both him and Rafael Soriano a chance to win the closer job, but Cox has seemingly coronated Soriano the closer without any fair competition.

  38. I for one think KJ’s season next year could go a whole bunch of different ways. For on thing, he could just be a streaky dude, and last year will be about par for the course. OTOH, between having to learn a new position and having your full first year in the majors as a starter at that new position, kid had a lot to worry about besides the bat. I think he’s got room to bring up his strikeout rate a bit, which would be nice, but at the same time, I don’t really see him having the Chase Utley-type power everyone seems to be projecting. 20, yeah, sure, maybe. But not the 30+ of Utley; in the same number of ABs last year, Utley had 75 XBH to KJ’s 52. Now, 52 is fine, and if he keeps that rate up, he’ll be a fantastic MLB player. But he’s just not in Utley’s range at this point.

    I’m cautiously optimistic that maybe he can become a bit less streaky and K a little bit less next year.

    As for the defense, from what I saw myself and listening to Skip and Pete on the radio, his problem is backhanding the ball. If he can get in front of a ball (he moves to his right just fine), he fields it, but he has a tendency to let balls under his glove on the backhand side. Perhaps having Tex around to gobble up stuff to his left will allow KJ to cheat more towards 2B, shielding this weakness a bit.

  39. I steadfastly refuse to get drawn into any type of religious war on here. I think the bbottomline is this – we bhave different religions and backgrounds on BravesJournal and we all need to respect one another.

    We all also have different political affiliations. Mac and I are fighting daily about politics – offline.

    But in here, I think we should keep the arguments to the Braves and to sports in general.

    I feel as though religion is under the same “taboo” Blog topic that politics is under.

    Again – just my 2 cents.

  40. Dan, I just hope Bobby doenst overuse Moylan like he did Yates last year. Moylan could get the closers role, but only after Soriano falters and Gonzo doesnt come back on time.

    Has there been any updates on Hampton??

  41. Take a young player.

    Put him in a position he’s never played before.

    Jerk him in and out of the lineup. Replace him as the batting order as soon as anybody with one or two testicles shows up.

    Move him from leadoff to back end and back again.

    Sounds very much like Cox was doing his best to MAKE him streaky …

    This whole fin d’cycle act is really getting strange. Glavine? Javy?!

    Put KJ in the lineup, solidify his spot in the batting order and leave him the hell alone. Do that, and you’ll have a very good player for a long time.

    He’s got some “clutch” about him, too.

  42. 46 — i can agree that consistent production out of a young player who is inconsistently utilized is tough to find.

  43. Alex R.,
    I agree that we should keep the religion discussions out of here. Sometimes I admit that I put too much stock in a player’s religion, and others are offended by everything having to do with religion. I still go back to MLK’s statement that religion or skin color shouldn’t matter, but the content of one’s character. I’m very thankful that the Braves have had some guys with strong character through the years and they’ve gotten rid of some like Rocker who are the antithesis of that.

  44. People get too worked up about KJ being out of the lineup now and then. Second base is a demanding position to play which is why so many guys burn out early. Mac calls it Brent Gates disease, I like calling it the Carlos Febles syndrome. (Although looking at it now Febles was never as good as Gates although I remember him that way) I’m fine with another 125-130 starts again this year with Prado getting some time against lefties.

  45. More information on this dispute can be seen in The Complete Alex R/Mac Thomason Emails on Barack Obama and Rudy Giuliani, in six volumes, from Holt in 2009.

  46. I may not always appreciate athlete’s publicly conveying their religious or political beliefs, but I could never fault them for it.

    Free speech is free speech, a public figure shouldn’t have to curtail what he says just because a lot of people may hear it.

    I remember when Michael Jordan was in his basketball prime reading articles lamenting the fact that he wasn’t more outspoken about his political views because he had the opportunity to be so influential.

    Any time a public figure is saying or doing something positive that is a good thing and will have a good influence, at least one someone with whom the message resonates.

  47. Who gets more “off-days” in 2008: Yunel Escobar or Kelly Johnson?

    I believe we all know the answer.

  48. @46 I would concur but I’m not sure about the cause effect order. Was KJ jerked around because he was inconsistent or inconsistent because he was jerked around? Hmmmm

    Mraver good points but my point was that if KJ could make those bad streaks less bad then he’d be like Chase without Citizens little league field to help him. Anyway we are agreed that he is a good player shoot potentially a great one.

  49. If the only batting order switch KJ has to face is him and Yunel switching between 1 and 2 depending on handedness of the pitcher, I would be happy.

    Ofcourse, Matty is going to see time at #1 against lefties when he is hot. And whoever our CF is going to see some time at #1 when he gets hot, and KJ hits one of his cold streaks. Both aint bad, but once Bobby makes a change, he takes a long long time to switch back to the correct order

  50. I didn’t care for the 2b platoon at first but in hindsight there’s little doubt it was much more productive than strictly playing KJ would have been. It also got Escobar needed at bats that allowed him to prove his ability to hit minor league pitching. That ultimately led to the Renteria trade. A platoon with Prado or Infante, however, is totally unwarranted.

  51. Although I agree that he can disappear for substantial periods, put me in the KJ Fan category, mostly because I have a belief that he will improve.

    I do not like the way he moves at 2B. Ain’t great going into the hole. He does not turn the DP well if a runner is anywhere near him. In those situations, his throws are often extremely weak or innaccurate.

    Still, he’s not really killing us out there & that is something that can be improved with work. I see a genuine upside with him. He may never be a star, but he can be one of those “winning ballplayers” that you love to have on your team. That’s the upside I see, anyway.

    I left Tech out simply because they left “the family” on their own accord. Come to think of it, doing a brief study on Clemson & Tech people could be fun.

    Re: Frenchy
    Generally, I don’t really care about a player’s faith or lack of it. (By “generally,” I mean as long as they don’t say something bigoted and/or hateful.) Some players can be publicly relgious, just like some fans can become annoyed with them. To each his own.

    Personally, I wish that Frenchy would hit the cut-off man a few more times.

  52. Mac, I’d love to read that book too.

    Being an athlete shouldn’t disqualify you from being open about your faith. If Jeff Francouer was a normal Joe and he gave the invocation, no one would care. But because he plays baseball, he’s using his popularity and it’s negative. I’ll leave it that because I know this is a “no religion” forum.

    On another note, this may be because I don’t go to an SEC school and I suppose I’m not saturated in the argument in that dynamic, but I don’t find myself not looking other SEC schools the way some of you guys do. Of course, it may also have to do with my age and lack of time seeing stupid crap others teams and their fans do. I love the Florida-Florida State rivalry, but I don’t hate their fans even though I grew up in Tallahassee, and my Dad is one of the most annoying FSU fans alive. Maybe that’s where I get my annoying-ness for being a Florida fan. But when I look at Tennessee, Georgia, LSU, Alabama, etc., I just see teams that my team plays and schools that my team competes with for conference championships. Even team has their douche bag fans (as AAR said, some teams more than others), but there are plenty of fun, good fans of each school to not make a blanket generalization that, for instance, Georgia fans are morons (that’s what some say). I dunno, I guess I just can’t see it. What am I missing?

  53. I don’t know what the heck I was trying to write, but I meant to say “I don’t find myself looking at other SEC schools the way some of you guys do.” Maybe someone was talking to me, and that snuck through…

    Oh, and every* instead of even.

  54. I can honestly say that I dont’ know a single LSU fan (of anything) or Kentucky basketball fan whose company I enjoy.

  55. #69-

    Can’t say I disagree. But I still think I have met more likeable Ohio State fans than Georgia Tech fans.


    I was very clear in speaking in generalities over our arguments about politics.

    By mentioning specific political names, you are doing the VERY thing you have asked this forum not to – that brings politics into it.

    let me be clear – I don’t care who supports who in this forum, that’s your own business and should be private.

    You & I will continue to argue about politics, but I was clear that it should be left to email.

  56. Alex, Mac wasn’t advocating or anything (though anyone who’s spent any time here knows which of those two candidates he’d be more likely to favor), just cracking a joke. I don’t think he crossed his own line.

  57. My best friend, my old roommate, and my old youth pastor were all OSU fans and with the exception of my old roommates at times, they are all good guys. This couple I go to school with are LSU fans (they go all out; stupid purple crocks and everything), and they’re good folks.


    Does anyone really have an issue with you and Mac supporting Obama and Giuliani (or vice versa)?

  58. No, Rob, I don’t think anyone does – I think we are all grown up enough in here (despite the occassional evidence to the contrary like my diatribe this morning against Tech fans) to accept this blog probably has supporters from every single major current candidate for President. That’s a cool thing in fact because it shows what a diverse universe Bravesjournal is.

    For the record, I am a registered independdent, I am somewhat anti being pigeon-holed to either political party, and in fact I have 3 different candidates I am considering voting for.

  59. Hey, me too.

    I’m down to two. But I live in California – which couldn’t be more of a lock for the Democrats – so thanks to the electoral system my vote doesn’t really count. I’ll just sit back and see who the good people of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania decide should be my President this time.

  60. I am just grateful we have so many different people with a chance to be president, which means my vote will actually mean something in Virginia on February 12th.

  61. opening day is in d.c. we should celebrate democracy (and minor league wackiness) by being able to vote on the lineup.

  62. csg-

    I assume this means they have to part with Jose Reyes?

    If the Mets somehow get away without putting a gaping hole in their lineup, it screws the Braves big time.

  63. The Mets WILL get another pitcher. I am not sure any Mets package that does not include Reyes should get Santana, unless the Yanks and BoSox have pulled all of their impact prospects off the table.

    I also heard Bedard may go to the M’s.

  64. Olney didn’t mention Reyes.

    Deolis Guerra (P)
    Carlos Gomez (OF)
    Kevin Mulvey (P)
    Phil Humber (P)

    perhaps also part of the discussion: Fernando Martinez

  65. I have to admit, the thought of Santana to the Mets is making me feel rather ill.

    I hope to hell they have to break up half their roster to do it, because that negates anything we have done.

  66. Wow the Twins should seriously call Boston and the Steinbrenners, because that Mets offer is way short.

  67. No way I would do that without F-Mart if I am the Twins. Those arms look like they may be back of the rotation guys and Gomez is a speedy strikeout guy.

    I think any package that includes just one of Hughes, Chamberlain, Ellsbury, or Buchholz (maybe even Lester) would beat any pile of prospects the Mets can scrape together.

  68. That’s a quantity versus quality trade. None of those guys the Mets are offering are anything close to a “sure thing.”

    If I am the Twins, Santana stays unless I get at least one “sure thing” impact big leaguer. The Mets do not have any of those that are not already on their big league roster.

  69. Rob,
    I think if you’d matriculated at an SEC school, been in that culture day to day, gone to games home & away (like many of us), you’d get a distinct feeling for the other schools & their fans.

    I mean, I’ll never forget stumbling around the Landing in Jax back in ’81 & getting cussed out by a really elderly fellow wearing all kinds of orange. It was out of nowhere. (He became strangely unhinged by the red-&-black #34 button I was wearing.) That was my very first encounter with a Bull Gator. Although it shouldn’t, I’m afraid it’s colored my take on that bunch ever since.

    But it’s like that for most conferences that really love football. I’m in an office with grads from Ohio St & Purdue and they definitely have contrasting opinions of each other’s school.

  70. In some ways, the Mets getting Santana might be good for the NL and maybe for the Braves. It would force teams to start opening their wallets to be competitive like the AL teams do. But, in the short run, it obviously hurts the Braves.

    I don’t care what a player’s religion or politics are but I would prefer they keep it quiet. Francouer doesn’t do that as he made his politics pretty clear at the White House. And I would say this if his positons were on the other side too. I’m not saying Francouer doesn’t have a right to pray in public or whatever, just that I find it annoying.

  71. I’m down to two, but there are four candidates I wouldn’t defect to Canada over if they get elected. Unfortunately, one of the two I really support has no shot at anything except a Vice Presidency.

    Aside from Robert’s plight, I love our country and I’m glad we have free elections and democracy. I think we can all agree with that.

    Go Braves.

  72. Just saw on MLB trade rumors where Bill Hall, CF for the Brewers, may be available. He’s a Nettleton Mississippi native so I’ve followed him and he seems like a decent player. Hit .270 with 35 HR’s in ’06 but only .254 with 14 HR’s last year. Just turned 28.

    So what does the Braves Journal think of him? Decent option or not?

  73. 95 i saw hall play a few times in milwaukee. he looked rough in CF at the beginning of the year. he was obviously still learning. by the end of the year he was taking better lines and, in general, playing better.

    i’m not sure if he’s really a CF yet… but he’s passable. it’d be worthwhile if he could put up numbers at the plate like he did in 06.

    i bet they’d be asking a bit for him… didn’t they extend him recently?

  74. see how i referenced myself in post 95? maybe because i’m writing a paragraph of my paper on self-awareness in neoclassical poetry (ugh). i meant to refer it to 92.

  75. Isn’t Bill Hall a natural shortstop converted to CF recently? I remember hearing, like Murphy3Ever said, that he was rough in center. He can hit, though…

  76. I was trying to find some silver lining about Santana to the Mets. If the Mets get Santana without giving up too much, that’s going to be tough. Maybe it would inspire Wren to take a shot at Bedard.

  77. If the Twinkies take that package their GM is on crack. And whoever said it is right, there is absolutely nothing good about the Mets getting Santana.

    Bill Hall is a converted short stop or third baseman. Not sure how he is defensively but I would pass especially if the Brewers wanted any of our young pitching talent.

  78. I know its kinda late, but I’ve been in class all day and I want to throw something in about the Tech-UGA stuff. I go to Tech, and I went to a UGA game last year at Sanford Stadium wearing my Tech stuff. My brother went to South Carolina and went to the UGA game last year wearing his South Carolina stuff. In both instances, we encountered the meanest, most loud-mouthed fans we have ever seen. We had people yelling obscenities at us the entire game and had food, beer, etc. thrown at us during the game.

    Then I went to the Tech-UGA game this past year, and there was a lot of UGA fans at that game, as you may recall. There was some jawing back and forth at some times, but I saw no instances of food, beer or anything being thrown at/on any UGA fan. And when time expired and UGA won, the UGA fans started throwing oranges on the field.

    Now I don’t know what you consider an ‘a-hole fan’, but in my mind, that is exactly what I saw during those games.

    That is all.

  79. Maybe the Mets getting Johan Santana (if they do) is a good thing. It might force the Braves to do something to counter it. They did supposedly make a strong offer for Dan Haren.

  80. When I went to the UGA-GT game at Sanford in 1998, I didn’t wear any Georgia Tech stuff because I was worried that I was going to draw negative attention. I’m kind of glad I didn’t because of the… well, “fortunate” break that GT got late in the game.

  81. Bill Hall was a guy I liked a lot, then he hit 30 homers and became overrated in a hurry. If he can be had for a reasonable price, I like him — he’s a gamer, plays multiple positions, has some pop, and seems to do a number of things pretty well. That said, he had a bad year last year. That may have driven down his price, but it’s definitely also a data point for predicting performance, especially considering we’re only looking for a one-year rental.

    And he’s much much better than Kotsay and Patterson.

  82. Sam & Mike,

    I agree with ububba’s sentiments.

    Since I have had no prior issues with you guys, I will again apologize for the harshness of my early morning ‘diatribe’.

    That being said, I will in turn add that every experience I have had with a Tech fan (and it includes me being pleasant and non confrontational when meeting said person) has been uncomfortable.

    I also am not sure if either of you are ‘readers’ the AJC Blogs, but the Tech fans regularly “invade” the Georgia blogs basically to post nasty insults, etc.

    (yes, the Georgia fans in response do this now to the Tech blogs)

    But it’s gotten to where I can’t even stomach half the comments I am reading.

    So remember that people do cut it both ways.


    There is NO silver lining to the Mets getting Santana because I will then be forced to listen to my brother, a Mets fan, drone on and one about how much better he thinks the Mets are than the Braves.

  83. Mike, Alex, Stu, Sam

    But you must confess, there is nothing betting than going to someones house and beating the hell out of them and cheering wearing your teams stuff.

  84. Smitty,

    In 1995, I went to a 4 game set at the old Vet in Philadelphia with my dad, decked in FULL Braves regalia – during a Braves-Phillies series.

    My dad was nice about it but he wasn’t very appreciative of the attention we got at each game.

    It probably didn’t help that the Braves swept that series.

  85. Dix,

    I believe Kevin Elster did that when he was part of the 86 Mets.

    That’s classic rivalry stuff ;-)

  86. Personally, my favorite thing is attending a big road win & hearing the home fans grumbling on their way out of the venue. You tend to get a better show when you’re not decked out in the opponent’s gear.

    Confrontation doesn’t interest me, especially if you win, because the losers know they lost. They don’t need to be reminded. For me, it’s more fun to mentally catalog the moment.

  87. No way should that package be able to land Santana. I’m with ububba in disbelieving.

    I will say that the first thing that popped into my mind upon seeing the rumor was, “Does this mean Wren would get in the Bedard sweepstakes???” If it meant us getting Bedard, I’d be glad for the Mets to get Santana.

  88. Thats a no brainer. We’d maintain what advantages over the Mets we currently enjoy, but would leap that much closer to the other teams that we are obviously chasing in our quest for the WS title.

    I’d rather be the one to raise though, as opposed to the one having to make the call.

    Let us go get Bedard and force the Mets to find a way to keep pace.

  89. Alex,

    Your brother is a Mets fan? Clearly, you cannot allow your son to spend any time with his uncle. :)

    I went to the first game of the 1993 NLCS in Philly. I was surprised but it wasn’t too bad even though the Phillies won.

    For what it’s worth, the daughter of a friend who is in the band at Auburn says that the UGA fans were worse than LSU which surprised her.

  90. Marc,

    “Jake R.” also has a Grandfather who’s Mets fan – my dad – but his father is a Braves fan so Jake will understand very early on where his loyalties lie. Seeing as I’m the one who pays for his bills ;-)

    As for your friend’s daughter, well, all I can say is that all fanbases have rowdy, mean and angry fans. But as far as the SEC, the one fanbase I have heard complained about the most in fact is LSU.

    I have not only heard this from other SEC fanbases (including rivals of Georgia), but other fanbases that have dealt with those fans.

    I do have an LSU buddy so I know some I do like.

  91. Athens was the first site in which the ESPN folks deemed it necessary to put plexiglass between the crowd and the Gameday crew as a precaution several years ago. I have despaired for the human race on more than one occasion at Sanford Stadium.

  92. RE: Santana to the NY Mets for spare change.

    I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

  93. I can’t believe we can’t do better than the deal described above. Santana to the Mets seals our doom for at least five years.

    Wren simply cannot let this happen as posited.

    Oh, and Stu, I think you’d enjoy this UK fan’s company (except when we’re losing to UofL, of course … )

  94. sansho1-

    I am sure ububba and a few others on here would agree that Athens, Georgia is one of the prettiest places to walk around on a nice Fall day – especially gameday.

    And if I had a nickel for everytime Herbstreit and Corso picked against us…

  95. The Twins should have their organization shut down if the package listed above is all it takes for the mets to get Johann.

  96. sansho1,
    I hear you.

    I was at the game where the moron fratboy tossed the fifth of bourbon out of the upper deck onto the fans below.

    No, the judge was not amused.

    By my last couple years in Athens, I had pefected exits from the stadium & the area. One year, a buddy of mine had a scooter & we’d ride it to the Tate Center, lock it up & after the game we’d be back on Willow & Elizabeth Street in 15 minutes listening to the post-game.

  97. @121

    is that because of the girls?

    Re: Santana

    The supposed Mets package is no where near what the Yankees and Sox have offered. Those offers are on the table still, if the Twins decide to trade Santana they’ll just call up the Yanks or Sox and say “we accept” and that will be that.

    The Twins aren’t going to take an inferior offer from the Mets with the Sox and Yanks offers still out there.

  98. Dix,

    Considering Carl Pohlad, the Twins owners, is a billionaire, yet still one of the cheapest SOB’s in sports, NOTHING they will do surprises me.

    They basically gave Luis Castillo away – maybe they just see the Mets as the way to pipeline Latin All Stars?

    But yeah – I don’t even see HOW the Twins could remotely entertain the Mets offer vis a vis the Yanks and Sawx.

    the only explanation is that Minny has to play NY and Boston in the AL – but still – it’s not like we’re talking about Cleveland or Detroit and the same division.

    Common sense, people.

  99. If the Twins are seriously considering the Mets offer then the only explanation is Kevin McHale has taken over the Twins’ offices.

  100. Let’s not forget that the Mets are, after all, the Mets. They have Brian Schneider at catcher. They have a disintegrating Carlos Delgado at first base. They have Luis Castillo at second. Their leftfielder, Moises Alou, is three years older than Jim Edmonds, and one of these days he’s going to start hitting his age. Their ace, Pedro Martinez, gives them 15 starts a year.

    And if they decide to bet the farm on Santana, they’ll be giving up the cream of their thin farm system AND Jose Reyes. Sure, Santana will be awful, but realistically we’d only face him a couple times a year. Meanwhile, the rest of their lineup gets older, crappier, and more brittle.

    I mean, God knows I don’t want him in the division, but I’m just looking on the bright side.

  101. AAR,

    Somehow, your emails always managed to make me feel better. I appreciate that quality in you.

    By the way – AAR, Marc, other DC Braves fans – I did have lunch today with my buddy at the Nats, the guy in charge of sales there (no worries – I bought lunch) and he assured me he will hook me up whenever I want for tickets.

    But did say that it might cost me another lunch or two ;-)

  102. BTW, there’s very little chatter up here about any impending Mets-Twins deal. Nobody believes it, not the fans or the sports-radio people.

    There was some talk about it this morning on WFAN—both hosts are big Mets fans—but quickly dismissed because the Yanks’ offer remains more impressive.

    Sorry, as long as the Mets are hanging onto Reyes, I just don’t see it either.

    A funny aside: These 2 hosts (one very young, one much older) were discussing all-time “Met killers.” The young guy mentioned Pat Burrell (41 lifetime HRs vs NYM) & the older host mentioned Richie Allen (he had some great anecdotes).

    But they both agreed on the one player who, for the totality of his career, has killed the Mets the most: Tom Glavine.

  103. You’re welcome, Alex, and hey, I’d be happy to chip in on another lunch!

    By the way, I guess Reyes isn’t part of the prospective deal after all. But it’s not like it’s going to happen, so I’m not too worried.

  104. Etiquette question:

    When addressing a letter to a married couple comprised of two doctors do you address the letter Dear Dr. and Dr. X or Dear Dr. and Mrs. X?

  105. I would say the first thing, because officially, a person is Mrs. Husband’s name.

    I think.

    I’d go with the first thing.

  106. #121

    Fifteen autumns of my own in Athens compels me to agree with them. I just had to stop going to rivalry football games to keep from sullying that perspective. As ububba mentioned, the problem begins and ends with the fratboys, as most any college town restaurant vet will tell you….

  107. ububba-

    Completely agree. They’d be shredding the best part of their lineup and they would still have major question marks throughout the rest of their rotation, though would be set at the top spot.


    No need to chip in on lunch – this guy is one of my favorite people here in DC and are lunches and happy hours are always entertaining. Lots of great stories.

    We actually worked together in Tampa in 2000 and he’s in fact a big Gator fan originally from Chicago.

    Interestingly, despite growing up in Big 10 country, but going to college and moving to SEC country, he was all over how bad the Big 10 is at lunch. He acknowledged Michigan played their tails off to win one for Lloyd Carr, but agrees with me that the SEC has every advantage and a far deeper roster of teams.

  108. I’m disgusted at’s report that the Mets are becoming the favorites for Santana. I wonder if the Braves could jump in as part of a 3 team deal to help the Yankees or Red Sox get this done. You could have Coco Crisp coming to Atlanta with one or two Atlanta prospects combined with a bunch of Red Sox prospects going to Minnesota and Santana joining Boston. In reality that’s probably too complicated to happen at this point, but it would be ruin the Braves’ mostly excellent offseason if the Mets landed Santana.

  109. If the Mets trade Reyes, they can get whoever else they want in return and it’ll be a good trade for the Brvaes. Reyes is the catalyst for their team/offense. Santana could possibly win them 20-22 games, but guess what, any other pitcher would give them about 10-12. Therefore, they are gaining only about 10 games with Santana. Reyes is way too valuable for that team so please trade him for Santana. Then we’ll hope for the Yanks or Boston to outbid them after this year

  110. If the Mets trade Reyes, they can get whoever else they want in return and it’ll be a good trade for the Brvaes. Reyes is the catalyst for their team/offense.

    .354 OBP and an NL-leading 21 caught stealings in 2007.

    I think Jose Reyes might be just a little bit overrated.

  111. this is on under the Santana to the Mets offer. Check out the post from Mets fans and Braves fans going at it. Its quite entertaining…

    If I had a way to give a trophy out for the best/worst post. This guy earns idiot of the year. Here is the post –

    “Mets bullpen VS Braves pen: Wagner >>> Soriano; Sanchez > Gonzalaz; Heilman >> Moylan; Joe Smith > Manny Acosta; My five year old neighbor > Joey Devine
    How can you possibly say the braves have a better pen. That’s like saying glavine is a better number three starter than Oliver Perez… oops, I guess you got that one wrong too!
    So let’s look at the two rotations now: Hudson > Pedro; Maine > Smoltz; Perez >> Glavine; Duque > James; Pelfrey/ Mulvey = a healthy Hampton.
    The only advantage the Braves have there is the presence of a true ace. If the Mets got Santana, the Mets would have a 25 game lead over the braves by mid May. So stop being such obstinate people who can only provide arguments by making fun of somebody’s writing skills.

    Posted by: C-Gouds’ UltimateBaseball | January 10, 2008 at 02:45 PM “

  112. I honestly think everyone should avoid mlbtraderumors. They really don’t know what they’re talking about over there.

    Reyes is certainly overrated, but then he’s a Met, so that’s only natural. He’s a very good player, his stolen base percentages are good, and he’s supposedly only 25 years old this year. He’s also the only good middle infielder the Mets have developed since Edgardo Alfonzo. If they trade him, they’re going to be stuck without a replacement. Ruben Gotay had similar averages last year, but he’s not that good really, and isn’t close with the glove.

  113. The packages I’m reading that the M’s and Reds are supposedly offering for Bedard are absolutely huge: the Braves could never match them, nor would they want to.

    Reds: Bailey, Cueto, Votto and Encarnacion

    Mariners: Jones, Triunfel and Sherrill

    Whichever GM ‘wins’ that one should immediately get the award for worst GM of the year, because neither ‘win now’ mentality will lead that team to win now, while Bedard is already on record about wanting to test the market in a couple years. Brian Sabean and Ed Wade will be off the hook for a few months.

  114. dan – reyes had a near 400 obp all year until september when he slumped miserably. also he may have led the league in CS’s he also crushed the league in sbs

  115. reyes had a near 400 obp all year until september when he slumped miserably.

    You can say this for probably any player. Take out the player’s worst month and of course their stats will look better.

    LaRoche hit .272/.345/.458 in 2007, while the average NL 1B hit .284/.365/.481. He was above average for his position in ’06, though. And if we cut him a break for his first month in Pittsburgh, we see that he hit .296/.361/.492 thereafter. LaRoche turned 28 in November, so he may still be in his prime.

    Also for Reyes in 2007, his worst month came during the Mets’ “shinking ship September”.

  116. Wagner may be overrated (because most closers are), and he may say some dumb stuff to the fans in Philly… but he was a nice guy when I met him in Atlanta.

    My wife (then fiancee) and I drove down to Atlanta from Virginia for a game. She got me tickets for graduation (masters, UVa). Wagner was just finishing up his warm up when we arrived and some kid was asking for his ball. I yelled that we had just driven down from Charlottesville (he lives just outside of it) and so he threw the ball to me. Sorry, kid. After a 45 minute chat with somebody in the Braves bullpen, he came back and signed it for me as we made brief small talk about C-ville/UVa. Nice guy.

    We lost to the Phils that day. My wife randomly picks a day to get tickets and we go down to see Horacio Freaking Ramirez pitch. Seriously, what are the chances?! (I guess 1 in 5) Oh well. It was a good trip… I hadn’t been to Tuner Field before (had been to Fulton Co. as a kid). It’s fun to watch the Braves games on tv and still be able to pick out the vendor’s voice that was yelling all game in our section.

    Good times… makes me want the spring to get here even faster. Hurry up Spring Training!

  117. check this out

    George Washington beat SLU tonight 49-20. That score looks like a girl’s high school game. The 20 points is the lowest in the shot-clock era, 1986

  118. The posts on MLBTradeRumors are fine, but the comments are complete trash. It’s rare when anyone of even average intelligence posts in the comments section.

  119. Does anybody remember last season when Wagner closed out the Braves in the 9th and Chip said, “Billy Wagner, the Alpaca farmer, just sent the Braves Alpacin’!”


    All this Mets talk just reminded me of that. Sorry for the aside.

  120. Hence, “emeritus”. I always thought he was about the most overrated player in baseball, especially after the Dodgers traded him and he morphed into Johnny Bench (according to the LA papers).

  121. Saint Louis Billikens

    B Eberhardt 18 3
    L. Meyer 30 4
    D. Polk 21 0
    K. Lisch 34 2
    T. Liddell 36 2

    D. Brown 12 0
    A Mitchell 4 1
    P Eckerle 19 3
    P. Jacks 2 0
    M Relphorde 2 0
    A. Knollmeyer 4 0
    B. Husak 18 5

  122. Alex R….

    I can count on one hand the amount of UGA fans I know that I’d consider “nice” and intelligent, so I guess we’re in similar boats.

    As for the poll, it has to be Reyes. He’s talked up so much by Mets fans that he’s become insanely overrated.

  123. LoDuca had a pretty good offensive year in ’06 & he kinda sucked in ’07. I always found him annoying because he always played to the Shea crowd as Mr. Hothead.

    There’s an element of NY fandom that goes for that act because they think it means he cares as much as they do.

    If there’s anything “good” about Reyes, from a Braves’ fan perspective, it’s that he may be the most hated player in the NL & his opponents really enjoy beating him.

    That dancing handshake stuff he does makes people crazy, even some of his teammates, especially when he does it outside the dugout.

  124. #174

    Stop by sometime and we can discuss the new translation of War and Peace. I’ll bake you a pie.

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