Braves 3, Mets 1

ESPN – Mets vs. Braves – Box Score – April 06, 2008

For a guy hitting .192, Mark Teixeira sure was all over the place today. Teixeira hit a two-out two-run homer in the eighth to give the Braves a 3-0 lead, then saved the game with a diving stop of a two-run double that he turned into the final out of the game.

John Smoltz started, but was limited to 78 pitches as the Braves wanted to be careful; he struck out six in five innings and gave up only two hits. He got in trouble with two walks in the first when the umpire decided that pitches down the middle were balls, but got out of that and didn’t walk anyone else. In the fourth, Kotsay made a nice play on a drive to the gap and doubled Delgado off first (Teixeira had a great stretch to secure the DP) and that was about as close as the Mets got.

Escobar drove in the game’s first run in the third with a double over the head of the left fielder, bringing Kotsay in from third. The Braves had another shot in the fourth, but McCann grounded into a double play with runners first and third. That was pretty much it until late. Boyer looked superb for the second time in a row pitching the sixth. Will Ohman got away with about twenty hanging breaking balls in the seventh, and Moylan got around a leadoff single in the eighth.

Chipper had a rare hitless day, but drew a two-out walk in the ninth, which Teixeira followed with a homer just over the rightfield wall. Soriano’s control completely deserted him in the ninth, as he walked the leadoff man, got the next two, then allowed a single and a walk. Teixeira made his great play to end the day.

151 thoughts on “Braves 3, Mets 1”

  1. From previous thread:

    Ben Sheets is a killer when healthy – he had an incredible line today. Barry Zito has become Russ Ortiz (when he left the Braves he pitched worse than Mark Redman).

  2. Smoltz is fine, he just was tired. Jurenovich corrected himself after the game. Probably lied to get more viewers.

  3. I know it’s early in the season, but I still feel pretty good about “sweeping” the mets already

  4. David Wright also made a great defensive play that saved Santana another run. I think it was in the 7th.

    Soriano just did not look that good to me. He earned that strikeout of Beltran, having to pitch around a bad call, but was saved by his defense for the other two outs.

  5. A great game! I think strategically and physical-control wise John is at the peak of his career. It must be weird to reach your mental peak as your durability is at its lowest. Can you imagine his current intelligence w/ his arm from 91?

  6. Responding to cthomas’s comment, I suppose that is how so many of the greats stay in the game. But you are right: if he has his stuff from ’91 (or, for that matter, from the Cy Young year in ’96), he’d certainly be a twenty game winner. That is, if the offense doesn’t let him down.

  7. Anytime the Braves sweep the mets its a great day! its also great that hampton avoided getting a paper cut reading his medical report or something

  8. Awesome game! Braves rule, Mets drool!

    I think Soriano will be fine. He obviously just got distracted by the choad in the ridiculously bright yellow Braves jersey behind home plate. That thing was a blazing sun of ugly, especially when he stood up at the end. Who wouldn’t be distracted?

  9. Man, I wish I hadn’t missed this game. I LOVE watching Smoltz pitch. I may watch it tonight if I get bored with the White Sox-Tigers game. I have a lot of friends who are Detroit fans and they’re getting ready to crap their pants…

  10. There is nothing about this season so far that doesn’t feel like last season. We owned the Mets last year too. It’s still nice to beat them though.

  11. i love the idea of soriano being lucky because somebody made a great play behind him. last time i checked, that’s how games are won…………. you cant strike everyone out and those guys get paid big money to hit………if the ball tex fielded is 18 inches either way, its either an easy out or foul. tex made a play……….thats why he wears a glove.

  12. i love the idea of soriano not walking people and not relying on luck to hold on to three-run leads…

  13. I’m not sure it makes much sense and maybe it’s only because it’s become such a distant memory overtaken by very bad ones, but for some reason I’m feeling better about this start than the better start last season.

    The lineup just seems right. The rotation much more reliable (smoltz healthy is a must of course) and even the bullpen is ok and at least it has upside, unlike Wickman last year.

  14. W-L RS-RA
    Atlanta 3 3 – 40 27
    Florida 3 3 – 21 40
    Washington 3 4 .5 30 29
    NY Mets 2 3 .5 30 21
    Philadelphia 2 4 1 27 35

    Wll the runs scored is a good sign

  15. Just got back in from the game. Beautiful day at the Ted.

    Smoltz and Santana both looked great. No errors all game. Some timely hitting and a BIG win for the Bravo’s. Always satisfying to beat the Mets, but this one was especially so.

  16. Overheard on Sportscenter: “The Pirates have allowed more runs than any team in baseball.”

    And we just lost 2 of 3 to them.

  17. Sorry.

    I realize that my last post sounds pessimistic after this awesome win. The run differential a few posts up reminded me that we should have better than a .500 record.

    Also, I am not concerned about Soriano, I am just pointing out that the outing was very below his typical performance. It makes me wonder if we would not have had a better Soriano today if he sat down after Francoeur made it a 6-run game last night.

  18. I didn’t see anything wrong with Sori except his control. He gave up like two well-hit balls, and only the last one was really smoked. The fly to Diaz was just a well-placed pop; it was only a tough play because the ball was set to land in short left field right on the foul line and Diaz was playing Delgado to pull, so he had to run a really long way. Delgado clearly didn’t get a very good swing on the ball. It almost felt like it was off the end of the bat and held up just long enough for Diaz to get there.

    If he throws strikes, he doesn’t have to give up the single on that 3-1 meatball, and he doesn’t have to serve up another one for Schneider to rip down the line.

    I’ll also say this: that Mets lineup isn’t really that scary with no Alou in it. Basically Reyes, Beltran, and Wright scare me, with Delgado and Church being solid contributers. But Angel Pagan? Brian Schneider? Common….

  19. Remember, Soriano had an abbreviated Spring Training, so going back-to-back days may still be a work in progress.

  20. ‘It’s all right. I just didn’t want to take a chance,” said Smoltz, who struck out six. “This is my first test. I didn’t fail it.

    “It kills me to not go back out there for the sixth and possibly the seventh but I’m proud that at least I was able to say it’s getting stiff, and not make it worse. … I’m a seven- and eight-inning guy and that’s what it’ll be this year, but for the first start, I’ll take this.”

    Braves manager Bobby Cox said he was confident Smoltz will make his next start.

    “It is an important game but it is [Smoltz’s] first game of the year,” Cox said. “We’ll see what happens. He’ll make his next start.”

  21. watching the CHW and Det game and Miller just gave us some very valuable info. If Det loses tonight they’ll be 0-6, but if they win the next 7 then there record will be 7-6. Wow, thats just back-breaking info there, I’m not sure how he came up with that.

    Gammons also just explained that teams have extended losing streaks so why does it matter if its at the first part of the season.

    This is some very good info, Morgan is almost speechless. Maybe he’s thinking or taking it all in

  22. Went to the game today as well. Solid crowd, great pitching and clutch hitting – can’t beat it. Highlight of the day had to be running into Schuerholz and my brother getting his autograph, as well as scoring signatures from Glavine, McCann, Diaz and more. Go Braves!

  23. Haha, this is per wikipedia, about Jon Miller. I thought it was pretty funny.

    ‘Miller livens up some of his broadcasts with a few Hawaiian and Japanese phrases spoken with impeccable pronunciation. It is notable that Miller pronounces non-Anglo-American names with the correct pronunciation. Many American broadcasters “Americanize” foreign players’ names. Miller will occasionally quote lines from Shakespeare plays during radio broadcasts.’

  24. No concern on Sori. He surely knows how important this game is. This being his first save, a Smoltzie start, a win over the Mets and Johan, they all add up. I think he only got a little too hyped up over the situation. He will be fine.

  25. …and Tex is awesome. If the Braves will only hand out one $20M+ per annum contract over the next five years, Tex will be the one to hand it to. It’s hard to find such a player to build the offense around. I would love to keep the Chipper / Tex combo forever.

  26. Agreed. There are few players worth $20 million a year, and even fewer who deserve long-term deals, but Tex is one of them. I’d gladly sign him 5yr/$90-100M right now. That trade with Texas is going to look really good if Salty keeps stumbling, and the Braves seem to have a knack for knowing which propsects aren’t as good as their hype. (Remember Andy Marte?)

    On the other hand, if Chipper gets hurt even once this year, he’ll probably never see another multi-year deal. At least we can now be fairly sure that Cooperstown awaits him.

  27. I keep hoping ownership will decide to make a signature, franchise-shaping signing, and it would make sense to do that with Teix.

  28. The thing is, I don’t think 5/$100 million comes all that close to getting it done. Probably something like 5/$120 million or 7/$140 million. I’d be in favor of either.

  29. I think Chipper has a MVP season in him this season…for the first time since I don’t know when (maybe since the Big Cat), Chipper has a big slugger batting behind him who also hits at a high average…and I think Boyer will be great this season as I predicted before…If Gonzo can return in full health, this bullpen will be so awesome…

  30. Boyer has added velocity, which is surprising to me, given the nature of his injury. He used to sit at 93 on his fastball, pre-injury. Now, he’s 95-96. He looks great. I just hope his shoulder holds up.

  31. Just rewatched the 1st on Turner South’s rebroadcast. I feel like there were 2 pitches each to Wright, Beltran and Delgado which appeared to be on the black and certainly could have been called strikes. Smoltz probably got one make-up call on strike one to Delgado which was off the plate.

  32. If our payroll is only going to be $90M – $100M, would you guys really give 20+ of that to Tex?

  33. I would say yes as well. However, I am sure it will be a back-loaded contract in consideration of Chipper’s retirement. Essentially, we are keeping Tex to replace Chipper as the anchor of our offense.

  34. The Metfan whining on WFAN has begun on cue.

    Willie sucks. Heilmann sucks. Reyes sucks. Beltran sucks. Castillo sucks. Omar sucks. Everybody sucks.

  35. How can the Giants’ management expect their team to be competitive? Their offense is so bad that I would be surprised if they score more than two runs. Poor Cain and Lincecum. Such great pitching talents being wasted by Brain Sebean.

  36. Tex is crucial to our franchise, and his agent knows that. That said, the market value for player salaries has stabilized, somewhat, so we are in a position to make a fair deal, from where I sit. It’s foolish on both sides to fail to come to an agreement.

  37. Day 1: Mets win opener. “We’re going all the way.”

    Day 2: Pedro hurt. Mets lose. “We’re in trouble.”

    Day 3: Mets bomb Fish. “That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

    Day 4: Braves blast Mets. “Why can’t we beat the Braves?”

    Day 5: Braves sweep Mets. “We’re doomed.”

  38. I can understand why Met fans might be a little peeved with Beltran after his 9th inning at bat. On a 1-2 count, he takes what looks to be strike three, only to have it called a ball by the ump. So what does he do with this merciful gift from the gods? He strikes out on the subsequent pitch….by taking all the way. And that’s with a runner on base. Pretty weak effort, there.

  39. I have to say, I’m starting to like Kotsay pretty well. He seems to be involved in every game (in a positive way I mean).

  40. When I think Beltran I think when he took on that 3-2 pitch with two outs and bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th against the Cards in game 7 of the NLCS. I thought for sure they had that game won when he came up to bat.

  41. He’s probably been better than adequate so far. (Emphasis on so far.) If he can keep this up, I’ll be happy to be wrong about him.

  42. I really like Tex, but have great difficulty concluding that we should spend 20% – 25% of our payroll on any player. I think I would have to know that our payroll would increase enough to accomodate his raise. Otherwise, the huge contract costs us multiple players we have to let go on the back end of their arbitrtion years. Think losing Soriano, KJ, and Francoeur to keep Tex. Is that worth it?

    Looking at the farm system, we are weak at the corner infield positions, but we could have Heyward move to first, as the outfield is already crowded with young player and projects to include several other top prospects. Heyward at first does not help before 2010, probably 2011. We would likely need a “bridge” player if we let Tex go.

    What we may lack in the minors is the Bona Fide ace. With Hanson, Locke, Rohrbough, and others we will likely have what we need to fill out a rotation in a few years, but will we have a guy to anchor it? Julio Teheran seems the most likely candidate, but he’s only 17 (cue Winger).

    It couldn’t hurt to have more than one ace (see Braves, 90’s) and this organization has successfully built on starting pitching. If we’re going to spend huge dollars on a single player, would we be better off spending it on an ace starting pitcher?

  43. Andruw is hitting a mighty .136, no homer and one RBI. He is onto a slow start once again…

  44. #52, Phillip, I aagree, he’s certainly groeing on me. Does look okay at the plate as well.

  45. As much as I love Andruw’s range as a centerfielder, his throwing accuracy has gotten pretty bad in recent years, and that’s exactly the strength of Kotsay.

  46. A great win for the Braves…the best of the new season.

    I am not worried about Soriano; in fact, I think that games like last night’s will make him a better closer.

    With respect to Tex, I agree with Parish: it would nice to keep him, but there is a limit the Braves can give to one player. Sut is right, if Tex has a good (not even a great year) 20 million a year will not get it done. Right now I am just happy he is in a Braves uniform….

  47. Stephen, the team needs to start thinking about the post-Chipper era. Can Frenchy or Heyward be the anchor of the offense like Chipper is? Nobody knows, but we sure know that Tex is that kind of player right now. Tex is not the kind of player who “would be nice to have”. The guy is a MVP caliber player and is a true keeper.

    The salary of the game has inflated so much, and the team’s payroll has not been adjusted to the change of the market and eventually HAS to change to remain competitive. If the team is not ready to hand out the big contract to Tex, how can we expect the team to keep Frenchy, McCann, or KJ when they reach FA? If the team continues to let top talents leaving through FA and infuse young and cheap talents to replace them, we will only see a trend of continuing mediocrity.

    Handing out huge contracts is not a problem, the Braves have done it before with Maddux, Glavine, Chipper, and Andruw during their prime. The key is to hand it out to the RIGHT players who provide minimum risks because they are paid so much. I think Tex is definitely the right player for the Braves to hand out that huge contract.

  48. My way of looking at it is, Tex is without a doubt able to be Chipper’s successor in the lineup. Chipper is going to retire soon. While Chipper’s salary off the books isn’t going to equal Tex’s new salary on the books, Chipper’s + Hampton’s should.

    The only reason the team seems to be in salary cap hell right now is because 80% of the team’s payroll is locked into 6 players. (And another 5% goes to the tandem of Ohman and Infante)

    Chipper and Hampton (statistically) make up about 30% of our payroll (give or take, depending on how much you believe we’ve saved up to account for Hampton). By that association, Chipper makes 30% of our payroll (through no fault of his own). When he retires, If Tex is only making 25% of our payroll (which should increase as the market does, ideally), the team is in no worse positioning salary wise.

  49. Sign Tex for whatever he wants, 5-6 years. He is HOF caliber, you cannot let a player like that leave for no return. Texas was dumb not to lock him up, i hope we dont do the same.

  50. I am not against a big contract for Tex, but there is a limit on how much any one player is worth for a team. The Braves have certainly handed out big contracts and I hope they can with Tex, but some of those were prior to the hard times which came with the bubble collapse. I am not sure that anybody really knows what Liberty Media will allow, but after watching the Braves in the offseason, they hardly seemed more prosperous than they did with the salary cap….

  51. Let me add that Texas could not lock him up (Tex did not want to stay) and I am sure the Braves will have a better chance to do so….

  52. I have to agree on the Tex love and need for signing him. My hesitation is like everyone else though – paying so much of the budget to one player. That’s a good point above, Bill K. Though I agree with a previous poster they we may want to look to sign an ace pitcher in the near future and can we afford both that and a huge Tex contract while keeping the rest of the team competitive?

    Regardless, one must love a Braves sweep of the Mets today. Nicely done, guys.

  53. I’m going to have to disagree with rubber-stamping the contract demands of the #1 Scott Boras Kool-Aid drinker, especially since we’re already teetering on an imbalance between the respective state of the arms and the bats.

    This lineup minus Tex and Kotsay plus Schafer and an okay first baseman is still very solid — and while I think we have enough pitching to get through this year, we will need to spend some bucks for more in the offseason. Signing Tex at the expense of adding pitching (and at his salary demands, that’s what it would be IMO) is a one-way ticket to Rangerland.

  54. #37

    I am with Stu, again. Pony up the cash for Teixeira. Look at his age, his output, his affect on the NETIRE lineup, and throw in Gold Glove calibre defense at first.

    The fact remains, paying out the butt for Teixeira, maybe “tough” financially, but well worth it – and it makes the entire lineup above and below him, better. The confidence a GOOD #4 hitter (ahem, Andruw) can have on a lineup is signifigant.

    The Braves need to factor in the ending of Mike Hampton’s contract (finally) as another impetus for ponying up for Tex.


    I normally am against an “I told you so” but considering how most of Bravesjournal is in love with Andruw, I would say that .208 average is pretty telling. And I am of course on an island about this (fine with me) but I am thrilled we’re not playing $15 million for that garbage.

    And I am not buying either that it gets much better. Him showing up to Dodger camp out of shape was a telltale sign.


    Sansho1, Nobody hates Scott BorASS more than me. The thought of giving complete financial demands over to a client of his is stomach churning. He is the most vile man in Baseball.

    But Mark Teixeira is the one guy I think is worth every penny and as I stated, he makes the entire 1-9 lineup, better, so you have to factor that in financially.

    This maybe the only time ever where I am not offended by insane BorASS financial demands.

  55. Re: Braves ‘sweep’ of Mets

    This is a huge (mini) series win on several levels.

    First, it washes off the negative stigma of a 1-3 start to the frakking Nationals and Pirates.

    At the end of the day, not one sane person believes the Nats and Pirataes will have anywhere close to of as good of a record as the Braves will by the end of 2008 (playoffs or no playoffs), but ‘wasting’ 3 early season losses to 2 (likely) horrible National League teams stung badly.

    Coming off of that and beating the hated division rival and NL favorite Mets in both games, was enormous.

    Second, it’s a confidence booster. The team can officially tell itself that they are as good as anyone in the NL, they can play with or beat anyone, and the first few games were not indiciative of this team.

    Third, it sends a message to the Mets and Phillies (and Rob Neyer) that we’re just as good so watch out.

  56. Alex, I don’t think Teixeira makes anyone else a better hitter (with the possible exception of some protection for Chipper, if you’re into that sort of thing), so I don’t factor that in.

  57. sansho,

    Well, we’ll agree to disagree. To me, it’s a mental/confidence thing to the younger hitters on top and below when they see two great bombers/studs always carrying their weight at 3-4 spots.

    I think it helps guys like Frenchy and McCann, or even a guy further down like Diaz.

    But let me also say how freaking fantastic Yunel is turning out to be. Having him tear it up at the top spot is additionally huge.

  58. The Braves are losing a tremendous amount of payroll the next 2 years, Hampton, Smoltz and Chipper, lock up proven great players before they leave.
    Texas COULD have signed him, its all about the money, they chose not to offer him the big bucks and let him walk. Players go where the cash is, why not?

  59. Not so sure Chipper is gone in the next 2 years. I agree that Smoltz will likely retire this year or next. Hampton is 100% gone.

    I imagine at this point, all of Bravesjournal and the entire organization will offer for FREE to pack his moving van, for him. Just as long as we don’t have to give him another penny, ever again.

    I think this last injury has dried up any of my sympathy. I said he really did want to be ‘out there pitching’ and even I am not so sure anymore.

    Is he made of glass?

  60. I think Chipper’s got one more contract to go, and we still owe Hampton a $6 million buyout. Considering we amortized and shared cost on his contract anyway, I’m not sure he’ll cost us any less next year (even though he’ll surely be gone).

    Some raises will be given out in ’09 (assuming these players remain Braves):

    Soriano — from $2.4M to $6.1M
    McCann — $0.8M to $3.5M
    Diaz — $1.225M to arbitration???
    Francoeur — $0.46M to ~$4.5M???
    KJ — $0.43M to ~$2M???

    That’s something like $12-$13 million in raises. We might drop $1-$2 million by jettisoning bench and bullpen players making over the minimum. Glavine retiring would be another $8 million, but we’ll have to replace him. Smoltz also retiring would absorb the pay hike to be given to Tex. We would be left with the absolute best lineup in baseball and a completely shambolic rotation.

  61. Money is certainly a factor in resigning Tex, but what about Bobby’s impending departure? Could a change in managers be a dealbreaker?

  62. Yeah, not 100% on Chipper, but the others are done, Glavine will be toast as well. There will be other raises as the team is young, i just cant stomach the fact of losing a player of his caliber who is just coming into his prime.
    I don’t write the checks though.

  63. Chipper has said recently that he wants to play until he’s 40 and he wants to remain a Brave. I don’t think we’ll be ready to stand in his way if he can play ~140 games this year.

  64. Keeping Tex is probably tied now to making the postseason. That would give Liberty an extra $10 million or more in projected revenue increases that don’t come in without the postseason.

    Signing Tex is only about 8 a year over where we are now with him. Not a big amount.

    However, if the Yankees young pitchers do fairly well this year (and therefore, they don’t feel the need to go after CC), Tex ould be their #1 target. They don’t have anybody coming back in the organization that is a credible first baseman.

    Mets have like a 14 mill option on Delgado with a 6 mill buyout. Basically, keeping Delgado will only cost 8 mill. If Delgado is o.k., then I don’t think they will be in that game. They will be in the CC sweepstakes.

    What does the blog think about us punting Tex in favor of big money on CC?

  65. I don’t need to say a whole lot more about signing Tex. AlexR and company have taken care of the details. Now the Braves just need to get it done. We just have not had a player go to free agency that was actually worth signing in so long. I hope the front office remembers how to sign free agent contracts.

    Also, this weekend was a bit of a fresh start for this team. We got our rotation back and healthy. I don’t count Hampton as part of the rotation. I like to pretend he isn’t even on the roster. This way if he shows up one day and does something good, it will be a bonus. The only area I still hold concern is the bullpen. Does anyone know the latest with Gonzalez?

  66. I don’t think the Braves are liable to Hampton’s buyout. My understanding is that the Rockies are liable for that buyout. At least I have confirmed that with

  67. I was driving home from ATL yesterday (couldn’t go to the game, unfortunately) so I got to hear Skip and Pete on the radio for the entire broadcast. My favorite Skip line of the day:

    “Stepping to the plate is Angel Pagan, who has tremendous running ability. But, you can’t steal first…that’s always been his problem.”

    Man, I really miss hearing that guy on TV.

  68. Cliff,
    I’ll take the peak-physical-specimen-switch-hitting-slugger 1B over the hefty SP with a lotta miles on his throwing arm’s odometer.

    According to Cot’s, Colorado funded the buyout of Hampton’s contract. I know all that happens is money changing hands, with the recipient being the one to redistribute it, but I seriously doubt we arranged the finances in such a way as to owe Hampton any money that would otherwise be spent on payroll when he leaves.

    Also, not a ton of money, but keep in mind that we’ll shave $3.5 million off this year’s payroll via Smoltz (from $14 million to $12 million) and CF (from $2 million for Kotsay to league minimum for Schafer). Further, I calculate this year’s payroll to be around $83 million, leaving a good bit of room for add-ons, if the $90-100 million figure is to be believed.

  69. I certainly enjoyed the sweep but it’s pretty funny to see people making plans for NEXT SEASON when we are six games into this one. The series was important from the Braves perspective to avoid being 1-5 and it is certainly important to beat Santana, but in the long-run, it’s way too early to attach any importance to this. Unless people think the Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals are going to meet in the World Series. Bobby Cox always said it takes at least 40 or 50 games to evaluate a team and I think that’s true. I see no reason to think this won’t be a close race all season. The starting pitching has been pretty good but we need more innings. And it’s sort of silly to write Andruw off after six games or to fall in love with Kotsay because of a couple of good at bats on Saturday or a couple of good plays.

    I can’t see Tex resigning here. Saying that the market has stabilized ignores the fact that both the Yankees and Mets are likely to need first basement next year. And I don’t think Liberty wants to pony up that kind of money. And, no matter how good, I don’t see paying a huge proportion of the payroll to one guy, if for no other reason, the possibility of injuries.

  70. From “Mets Blog”

    “After watching opening day, I was thinking about this team possibly winning 100. Now I feel like they would have to get lucky to make the playoffs.”

    After six games? Only a Mets fan could be this insane.

  71. I wish the Braves could resign Tex, because I think he could anchor our offense through 2015, even when Chipper retires. However, I believe that he’ll be wearing pinstripes next year, as Hank Steinbrenner will probably want to ‘announce his presence with authority’ as the Yank’s new head honcho.

    So, with that in mind, I am just going to sit back, watch him rake this year, pray for continued health for Smoltz et al., and enjoy the ride.

  72. Wow, weird thread here, reading it all at once. We go from being really excited about the win, to somehow thinking about what our team will look like in 2012. Hey, umm… it’s baseball season right now…

  73. Rob,

    I think it’s only human nature to think about the future. Especially when something that is as fundamental as a possible Tex extension is involved. That’s why I’m going to try and not worry about it and enjoy the moment.

  74. Tell me again what’s wrong with that Kotsay guy?

    So far, I’d rather have him (in any situation – defense, offense. on base … ) than his predecessor.

  75. I’m not looking forward to next season. As a fan, I just dread the fact that we may let Tex slip away. I’m fully into this season. The discussion being had right now is no different than the ongoing discussion we had all last season about Andruw.
    Kotsay = mediocre. He may prove to be adequate, but he is nothing special. Andruw has the ability to be special. Granted he especially sucked in recent years.

  76. “Mets Blog” is painful (but funny). How do Mets fans survive 162 games without jumping off one of the many bridges in NY? And they spend most of their time trashing each other.

  77. fantasy questions –

    would you bench Renteria and his 6 games this week (3@BOS, 3@CWS) to start Ankiel and 7 games.

    would you bench Posada and 7 games, but day to day and start Doumit at Pittsburgh

  78. Kotsay vs Andruw

    Pro’s for Kotsay –
    excellent throwing arm and accuracy
    higher avg. and obp
    hustles on every play
    can put the ball in play to all sides of the field

    Con’s –
    injury prone
    not as much power
    might not be able to get to some of the balls Andruw could.

    I think it was worth the move to get Kotsay

  79. I’m sorry, I’m not the biggest Andruw fan around, but there is no way that Mark Kotsay is in the same league. Hopefully, he will be a decent stop-gap at less money but, let’s not kid ourselves about this.

  80. I agree with Stu on Sabathia — he’s too likely to break down. There’s no one guy out there in the ’09 free agent class who’s a likely savior. But I’ll be keeping an eye on Penny, Harden, and Sheets among others.

    Oh yeah, great win last night! (see, that’s just not interesting…)

  81. I wonder if the lack of discussion about the game is because it wasn’t on TBS yesterday!
    (Heavy Sigh)

  82. Pro’s:

    costs much less
    doesn’t smile after wildly flailing at pitches 4 feet outside

  83. I’m glad I got to catch it on Sports South. It’s worth it to see Smoltzie try to stare down the ump after that series of ridiculous calls in the 1st. I didn’t realize how much I missed Smoltz arguing with himself on the mound.

  84. I’m with Seat Painter. I’m working on the assumption that Tex is gone after this year, probably playing in the new Yankee Stadium in ’09.

    Would love to keep him for baseball reasons. Would love for Liberty to surprise me. But I’ll not hold my breath on that Xmas present & I’ll just enjoy his season. Hopefully, it’ll end with him raising a team trophy.

    RE: Kotsay
    He’s been very good so far and, playing for his next contract somewhere, he should be.

  85. NOOOO!, If Tex signs in NY us NYC area people will never get away from what could have been.

    I hate the fact i have to order Extra Innings this year to watch the Braves. I do like getting all those extra game though.
    So happy the season started.

  86. I think we should do whatever it takes within reason to kep Tex, he could be the Chipper of the next 7-8 years

  87. oldtimer,

    I don’t like it, but I’ve gotten used to the Pinstripers poaching our talent. I don’t think we’ll be able to match their offer, whatever it is, so I’m not going to sweat it now.

    I bought the Extra Innings package and, yes, for my $159 I’m already watching weird West-Coast games. But I had to bite the bullet and spend. I’m not going to miss the Braves this year. Not happening.

  88. @ 95 I was at work yesterday so I wasn’t really available for discussion.

    I would really like to keep Teixeira, but if we can’t I think we’ll still be ok for a couple years as we can shift one of our middle infielders over to third and have Chipper play first while we wait for Heyward. This has the added benefit of reducing stress on Chipper and helping him stay healthier.

    But looking at the next couple years, we’re really going to need to find some starting pitching as we don’t really have an ace anywhere in our system and FA pitching is overly expensive these days.

  89. no ace? look at Jurjens, he’s ace type caliber for the next several years….then round it out with Morton, James and Reyes, could be a decent rotation for years to come….

  90. ummmmmmm

    hanson’s gotta be in that staff…

    he’s our only possible #1 outside of tehran in the minors

  91. Jurrjens has always been projected as a third starter, not an ace. Don’t let two spring training starts and one game where he pitched 5.1 innings and gave up two earned runs fool you.

    Morton has been around for a while and has done nothing outside of that one five inning game in the Arizona fall league. Reyes keeps walking people.

    Tommy Hanson is probably the only real shot at young, homegrown #1 starter in the minors right now.

  92. i’ll give you that as of NOW Dan…after this year though it is highly likely i think that one of the 5 lefties in the Rome (i think?) rotation will project as a number 1/2, Locke looks like a damn good pick out of that bunch. also, that doesn’t even give mention to Rohrbrough, who’s knucklecurve looks as good or better than AJ Burnett’s on tape IMO. he has a true out pitch that some have mentioned Hanson doesnt even have…

  93. Tough to be an ace without an out pitch, for sure. Doesn’t Hanson have a wicked change-up, though?

  94. What was the line that someone posted here the other day? 13K and 0 BB in 5 IP for Hanson? That’s damned good, for not having an out pitch!

  95. I’ve been offered John Smoltz in a fantasy baseball trade — any updates on the tightness he experienced in his shoulder?

  96. Sorry if I had the names wrong, but the point was that I think our minors look good for our rotation for the future seasons. Also, dont we have several CF and OF prospects and IF prospects for trading chips for stop gaps? All I’m saying is that I would do what it takes to keep Tex around, even if meant having to trade some regulars.

  97. Re: Kotsay
    He’s growing on me too. I know it’s only been a couple of games, but maybe he can be one of “those Yankees.” You know, guys like Brosius, Tino, O’Neal. Guys who weren’t world beaters, but always seemed to get a big hit or make a big play when needed. Mabye Kotsay can be that guy for us.

    Re: Teixeira
    He’s gone after this year so enjoy it while it lasts. Like it or not, Frenchy is going to be the face of the post-Chipper Braves. Besides, as great as Tex is, I have to agree that any money spent should be spent on pitching.

  98. per mlb rumors….

    Giants Interested In Nick Johnson?
    Henry Schulman at The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Giants GM Brian Sabean is seeking a left-handed hitting 1B to complement the aging Rich Aurilia, and lists Nick Johnson and the Braves’ Scott Thorman as points of interest.

    Is this a good time/place to start a Thorman for Lincecum trade? Smitty, where is your barber on this one?

  99. good thinking #111……strip the team tex has around him in order to keep him…..THAT will make him want to stay.

  100. I think we should be looking to spend on pitching. That having been said — I’d probably rather spend on Tex than on C.C. for the aforementioned mileage on his arm.

    Sansho1’s keeping an eye on Penny, Harden, and Sheets. I really like Harden and Sheets… but they’re big risks. If they put together full seasons then their next contracts probably won’t come with enough of an injury risk discount.

    Maybe we should have sold the farm for Bedard (Stu would second that)?

    The real key (like I’m imparting wisdom here — everyone knows this) would be to develop starting pitching… which we haven’t really done in a little while. Maybe some of the guys in the minors that have been mentioned will surprise.

  101. I am choosing to be hopeful regarding Tex. I don’t think everyone should just assume he’s gone. As we have said, there will be some guys shed from this current payroll.

    Regarding the earlier comments about Cox, he’s already stated he’s re-thinking possible retirement and may manage another year or two (whether that’s a good or a bad thing).

    My sense is this: if we make the playoffs, and it’s a fun year, the fans are re-energized, etc., Cox likely stays, a world effort is put in to keep Texieira, Hampton, Glavine and a few others come off the payrool, and we keep in tact a contending team for next year.

    If we’re going to LOSE Tex, I can live with the Yankees. The thought of him going to the Mets is rather sickening and Wren needs to step up his game to prevent that from happening.

  102. A big key to this team will be whether Chuck James and someone in the farm progresses as well, or maybe even a rising performance from Jeff Bennett.

    If James and Bennett or one of those two and a Richmond starter have really good seasons (whether those seasons are in Richmond or Atlanta or both), it will allow the Braves to let Hampton and Glavine go, and still have Smoltz & Hudson at the top next year, with an improved Jurjjens and James and someone else.

    While getting a Rich Harden sounds tantalizing, I’d rather hope that we see Jurrjens and James step up & mature in the 3-4 spots and save all the extra cash on Tex.

  103. A few comments:

    Tex is one of the few players out there who is “worth it” for a long-term deal. Problem is, everyone knows this and many teams (most prominently the Yankees) need a 1B. This will drive the price for Tex through the roof. If we can get him for what the Mets paid for Santana, do it. 7 years/$20M is fine by me.

    But that’s not going to happen, since the Yanks are going to offer 7 (maybe 8)/$25 and a no-trade clause to boot. The Yankees will out-spend us on Tex for the simple reason that they CAN out-spend us on Tex. And that’s actually what I’m hoping for, since my guess is that if he doesn’t end up with the Yanks he’ll end up with the Mets.

    Tex is worth spending out the ass for. But the Braves can’t keep up with the Yankees.

    As for the future of this team, well, let’s just say that KJ/Mac/Frenchy are really going to have to carry this team if it’s going to be in contention a few years from now, especially after Chipper finally leaves (I say closer to 3-4 more years. I think it’ll be an injury with him, because HoF talent traditionally ages well, and he’s definitely got that).

    With the lack of impact starting pitching in the high minors and a rotation loaded with guys set to leave/retire/get a new contract, the Braves are going to be DESPERATE for some starting pitching as soon as 2009 and definitely by 2010. That means FAs, and that means big bucks. We’re frankly living on borrowed time here payroll-wise, having veterans like Smoltz and Chipper around for well below their market value.

    For the most part, our team is still designed like it was in the 90’s, with a lot of big-name veteran pitching anchoring the rotation. If a Hanson or a Rhorbaugh doesn’t turn into a #1 pretty soon, we’re going to have to face the reality of the starting pitching market.

    I can only hope that a Jake Peavy or someone like him comes available in trade at some point, and that we’re able to trade half the farm (the bit that doens’t include Heyward) for a legit ace that we can lock up long-term.

  104. Well, if we don’t get Teixeira, I’d love to break the bank on Jake Peavy.

    Not only is he one of the best starting pitchers in Baseball, but he’s a lifelong Braves fan who bonded big time with Chipper during the World Baseball Classic.

    My guess is if Peavy was on the open market, he’d love an offer from the Braves.

    As for Teixeira, let me say what I simply won’t say about anyone else…this is the ONE guy I’d match the Yankees on if needbe.

    And the fact is, if the money is super close, say the Yanks are ahead by a few million total, it might be close enough to say to Tex that the Braves were willing to go above & beyond to keep him and while BorASS is his agent, he and his wife would ultimately prefer Atlanta over NY. He’s made that pretty clear.

    (but yes, I realize he’s also very clear he intends to get a fat contract).

    The ONE team that could spark Tex’s interest ahead of the Braves might be the Orioles (since he’s a Maryland native) but since we have a playoff level team in tact and they are one of the worst teams in Baseball (not to mention the easier path to the Fall Classic in the NL) so unless the Orioles add a ton of talent, I just don’t see him taking the $ to go there, and re-experience what he just went through with the Rangers.

    As far as the no Trade clause situation, hopefully with Schuerholz not the GM anymore (not that I am a Wren fan) that won’t be an issue. Teixeira is a guy worth giving that too.

    It’s like Stu and ububba have said…this guy can anchor the lineup and the infield for many years and well past Chipper’s exit.

  105. I didnt say strip the team, just take a more proactive approach, like trading Renty for a good young arm. We traded from a point of strength, and I think that should be the model we take. Its not like I said lets have fire sale, and build a team around Tex and Frenchy….just trade useful pieces when we have a capable replacement….

  106. I am liking Kotsay so far!

    My barber says that a Thorman/Prado deal with the Reds in all but done. When Infante is back the deal will become offical:

    Reds get: Thorman and Prado

    Braves get: a new batting cage, a bucket of baseballs, a Johnny Bench autographed poster, a base, and the second season of WKRP with a special commentary from Lonnie Anderson.

  107. I’d do that deal Smitty, as long as they take Joe Morgan as team janitor…..get that guy off the air waves

  108. I think mraver’s comments are correct. Everyone is throwing Liberty’s money around but what reason do we have to think that Liberty is going to be into free agents any more than TW was? A trade makes more sense but it almost has to be someone like Hudson, whose value had declined somewhat. Even if Peavey, for example, came available in trade, it he is still at the top of his game, it would take an arm and a leg to sign him. And if you don’t sign him long-term, it makes no sense to give up the prospects you would have to to get him.

    As far as I can see, Liberty plans to operate the Braves about like TW did, as sort of a mid-market team (albeit with a slightly higher payroll) and develop players internally. They want the team to be competitive (and hopefullu steal a title)but they aren’t burning to win the World Series if it means spending real jack. They will hope that the guys in the minors develop and, if the right situation comes along, they will trade for a pitcher. But I think the notion of going after Sabbathia is pure fantasy (even if we put aside the question of whether they should–his recent performances raise some question as to what he has left).

    But, really, whether or not we think Tex will come back or not, there is nothing we can do about it, so I agree with Ububba–enjoy him while he is here. He will either be back or he won’t.

  109. Well look at the basea we have, they are goo, but one more really good one would solidify our infield.

  110. We are getting wayyyy ahead of ourselves. Lets worry about this year. If we win the WS, that may entice Tex to stay aboard, so let’s start there.

    And I like what I’ve seen from Kotsay as well, but the comparisons to Andruw need to stop until at least mid-season. The season is just a week old people.

  111. Braves have played six games out of 162. They’re currently tied for first in the NL East. And everyone is worried about the offseason and the 2009 season?

  112. Yes, it’s totally ridiculous to have discussions about the future. Nobody talk about anything interesting. Just keep repeating how glad you are to have beaten the Mets to get back to .500 on the season. Maybe mentioning slight concern about the weather forecast in Denver is OK, but be careful.

  113. proposition – lets talk about the current year whenever you want and lets talk about the future whenever you want. If you dont like the subject being discussed then change it or come back later. Just a thought

  114. I’ll re-mention something I posted a few weeks ago.

    To give you an idea of what kinds of revenues the Yankees will be getting from their new stadium, consider this:

    The Yanks will have about 4,400 “premium seats” in the new place, priced $100 to $700 per game. If they sell all those corporate seats for all 81 games, that adds up to about $1.5 mil per game, over $121 mil per regular season. That’s just ticket sales.

    Yes, they are paying for much of the stadium, but they have other ridiculous revenue streams, too, namely the YES Network.

    If they want Tex bad enough, they can blow him away with an offer that no team can touch.

  115. Stu,

    I can’t believe how glad I am to have beaten the Mets to get back to .500 on the season. I have slight concern about the weather forecast in Denver.

    How’s that?


  116. I hear it is a new base. Not sure where we will use it. Maybe they wiil rotate it. My barber heard that if we thrown in the Lockhart/Jordan/Willie Harris photos of Bobby Cox we can have a new one of those things that pitchers clean their cleats out with.

  117. Isn’t it illegal for the Reds to make side negotiations with the individual players on the Braves who are in possession of the photos?

  118. Seat Painter,
    That was OK, I guess, but your tone suggests you might be thinking about 2009, and that’s just wrong.

    Your realism disgusts me. Take it elsewhere.

  119. Ignore Ubbuba, the Yankees can’t compete with a new base. Besides, the Yankees don’t play any games in SEC country like the Braves do. Teix is clearly an SEC caliber baseball player. Nevermind that he played for GA Tech, he probably just didn’t want to be the third best 1B on an SEC team at the time.

  120. Then you ought to be worrying about the weather on Mars, where the Braves will be playing road games against Florida by then.

  121. here’s one reason why the small market teams dont get better or get more talent

    Boras Demands For Alvarez, Hosmer Leaked?
    Kiley McDaniel reports rumors of Scott Boras’ asking price for ’08 draftees Pedro Alvarez and Eric Hosmer. He’s hearing a $9.5MM big league deal for Alvarez and a $7MM bonus for Hosmer – steep demands.

    Hosmer, a high school first baseman, has been compared to Casey Kotchman by Baseball America. He’s a top ten pick. Alvarez, one of the top talents in the draft, plays third base for Vanderbilt but may end up at first. He figures to go within the first four picks (Rays, Pirates, Royals, Orioles) for sure.

    By the way, the Reds have the seventh pick, and BA’s Jim Callis thinks they’ll go for a pitcher. He names Shooter Hunt, Tanner Scheppers, and Tim Melville as the main candidates.

  122. Ububba, don’t frighten us like that. A team with a $300M+ payroll is going to be almost impossible to contend with, even if they throw away a lot of that money.

    Dan, to quote Criswell, we talk about the future because that’s where we’ll spend the rest of our lives. We had better hope that Wren et al think this seriously about the long-term or we’ll end up like the Giants, with a team full of scraps when our stars are gone. And what fun will that be?

    (And I agree with Stu; sign Tex long-term- 7yrs/$140M is fine- and accept a temporary imbalance in the team’s salary structure. The rotation will be rough, but I think we’ve got enough innings eaters to tide us over in 2009 until hopefully our prospects like Rohrbaugh are ready.)

  123. Aha! Maybe Cincy can make the base a 1st base, so Tex will have a new sack to cover. let’s see the Yankees compete with THAT!

    YES, new stadium, and revenue streams my ass!

  124. Actually, I think the Braves have the base Teix played at during his years at Tech. He’s apparently very nostalgic about that base and I don’t think a new base would be a good selling point in our negotiations.

  125. Well, flip the base then for a new watercooler for the dugout. Who doesn’t like a new cooler?

  126. You’re right. Comparing Kotsay to Andruw at this early date is ludicrous.

    I mean, Kotsay hasn’t had time to hit into countless double plays to kill promising innings. Nor has he gone to the plate wearing a sign that says “Throw me a slider, stupid.”

    Nor has he put on fifty pounds over the winter to impress the new team and its’ fans.

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