Cubs 7, Braves 2

ESPN – Braves vs. Cubs – Box Score – June 11, 2008

What’s the damned point?

Chipper was back in the lineup, and he went 1-3 before getting pulled with the score 7-0 and is hitting .419, and I might as well lead all the recaps with the Chipper Watch because there’s nothing else to pay attention to.

Jeff Bennett, starting for Jair Jurrjens, who twisted his ankle leaving Wrigley Field last night (this is getting ridiculous) got the first two men of the game and then completely imploded. It was 3-0 by the end of the first, due to a three-run homer. It was 5-0 after two. He gave up two runs without getting an out in the third before Bobby mercifully pulled him. I didn’t pay much attention after it went 5-0.

The Lost Boys (my new nickname for the guys who never pitch) did a good job in a pointless cause. Stockman got out of Bennett’s jam in the third; he had some trouble in the fourth but didn’t allow a run. Jeff Ridgway, just up to take Glavine’s roster spot, and probably on his way down when Charlie Morton comes up to pitch this weekend unless someone else gets hurt, went two, struck out two, and allowed one hit. Ring pitched a perfect inning. Bobby used Boyer to pitch the eighth because, well, why not?

The Braves got only four hits off of the immortal Ryan Dempster. Two were in the seventh, a double by Francoeur and a homer by Corky, which means Corky will stick around forever now. Brandon Jones, up for Anderson in a “deck chairs on the Titanic” move, struck out twice after entering the game late. He had good company as the Braves struck out nine times.

I hate this team.

87 thoughts on “Cubs 7, Braves 2”

  1. This is starting to feel like 2006. The Braves need to turn it around and fast.

    I say set the blue jerseys on fire.

  2. Don’t like the blue softball jerseys. Don’t like the Sunday clown outfits either.

    And the Mets averted a brutal loss tonight. I crack another beer.

  3. For some reason the game was blacked out on ESPN here in Wisconsin even though it wasn’t on WGN. Don’t think I missed much. Except I couldn’t believe the Dempster was 2-hitting the Bravos until he ran into the forces that are Frenchy and Corky. Unbelievable.

    In the game log there was a call for setting a fire under these guys. umm… remember, these are the Bobby Cox Braves. Not going to happen unless Bobby accidentally drops his cigar in some pine tar (that’s flammable, right?).

    Where are some McDowell antics? Is he too old for that now? Could Smoltz come out and throw BP lefthanded or something (or is he still working on his lefthanded submarine knuckler?)… anything?

  4. I think if I was a betting man I would have bet a large sum of money that the Braves would lose tonight – they didn’t disappoint. I get the feeling we’ll have a better game tomorrow.

    Why was Anderson sent down? He’s looked a lot better than Blanco lately (not saying much) and I don’t see Brandon Jones being the answer. Could it possibly be that they’re looking for someone to play right and give Frenchy a break? I would still rather keep Anderson and send Gotay down, but I guess we need 3 b/u infielders (Infante, Norton, and Gotay) and 3 b/u outfielders.

  5. I don’t know why Anderson was sent down. Of course, it doesn’t actually matter, as rotating between Anderson and Blanco and B Jones is, as Mac says, the baseball equivalent of rotating deck chairs on the titanic. In fact, the very fact that I’m speaking of Anderson, Blanco, and B Jones as central cogs in a major league lineup is indicative of just how bad things have gotten.

    Seriously folks, you can’t rag on Neyer too much for counting the Braves out. We’re talking about a AAA outfield and a starting rotation that after Hudson consists of Reyes, Campillo, Bennett, and… actually, who’s the 4th if Jurrjens doesn’t start? I think I’m nauseous.

  6. This team has gotten me so depressed that I pulled out my VHS documentary of the 1995 WS to bring back some happy memories.

  7. Like two weeks ago we were ahead of the Phils in the standings. Things can change fast.

    That’s meant to be encouraging, by the way.

  8. Of course the Phillies have a major league lineup and actually give a damn while I’m sure our boys are busy talking about tee times.

  9. is it time to start thinking of rebuilding?

    i mean, we have some parts that people want:

    Tex (Boston and NY Yankees seem to the most likely free agent destinations and Boston has some really nice young pieces that, knowing them and their desires to keep players away from the Bronx, might be willing to send our way)


    Glavine? (ha…i wonder if we could get some magic beans for him?)

    Chip (we’d need AT LEAST 3 MLB ready players and TWO would have to be considered borderline “can’t miss” types.)

    Frenchy? (ha)

    the problem is: we’re still relatively young and all the other positions and most of them are either not worth squat or are hurt…

    sad. i really hate this team…

    i’m glad ole Roy is putting together a monster 09 recruiting class, ’cause my summer’s starting to bum me out.

  10. You can say they’re playing like crap or made of tissue paper or whatever, but it’s just stupid to think these guys don’t care.

  11. People, we’re not trading Chipper Jones, Tim Hudson, Brian McCann, Yunel Escobar, or Kelly Johnson. I’m hearing it over and over, I’m tired of it, and trading these players is not going to help the Braves get better in the future.

    Realistic trading chips include Teixiera, Ohman, and Kotsay.

  12. Maybe it’s a good thing in a way that Jurrjens didn’t pitch tonight. He’s tired, he’s never pitched more than like 150 innings in a season, and it might be good to give his arm a break for a couple of weeks. He hasn’t been all that effective lately.

  13. This morning around 4:00 AM one of the local Imams awoke me with his prayer call. Now, a week ago I would have gotten up and gone to the computer and began to watch the Braves play the Cubs (probably about the 3rd inning). Based on recent trends, I thought about it, rolled back over and went back to sleep, missing the game. Probably the best decision I will make today….

  14. #17, braves14…

    I agree, those talking about trading Chipper and Hudson need to go cheer for the Mets or something. Get real.

    And with Tex, I don’t think he gets traded either, assuming we do fall further out of contention as the trading deadline approaches, I don’t see a team that is likely to be in contention that would need a 1B/DH to rent for a couple months and would sacrifice the prospects that a Tex would command, I’d rather just have the draft picks and leave it up to Roy Clark.

    However, I’m all for dealing Ohman (his arm will be shot by the end of the year anyway) or Kotsay for some spare parts.

  15. Though I wish Baltimore was dumb enough to trade us Nick Markakis though. Maybe we could package Teixiera and Francoeur for him. Perhaps they could throw Matt Weiters in too and it helps by all-GA players on the team I am pushing for.

  16. Again, not that it matters really, but why in the hell would we send Anderson back down? He was the only OF who was coming even remotely close to performing at any sort of a level, and we send him down so we can bring up a guy playing horribly at AAA, assumedly because he has more power? Hell, Anderson legitimately won the starting LF spot, as far as I was concerned. Better than Norfante. And I will bet better than Brandon Jones.

  17. And if someone, anyone, is stupid enough to give us something for Francoeur, not only should we do the deal, we should also send them a large bouquet of flowers along with him. I just don’t see anyone willing to do that at this point.

  18. Rob–I live in Sharjah which is in the United Arab Emirates. Happily enough, Sharjah is next door to Dubai, so you might think of it as ‘metro Dubai’.

    With respect to Braves Journal, I am 8 hours ahead of the East Coast and so I get in on the morning and late evening conversations….

  19. Glad to know you are working the late shift Stephen. I’m representing the West Coast branch of Braves Journal in San Francisco. Not only did the Braves get the shit kicked out of them tonight- but I’m crushing hard on this girl and prospects are somewhat grim! I feel like Frenchy w/ the bases loaded.

  20. Charles, as long as you don’t swing at the sliders down and away, I think you will be ok…just take it the other way and you will be fine…

    …wait, how does that apply to girls?

  21. Take it the other way?

    It happens every now and then on accident but I got slapped for that once!!!!

  22. Charles–don’t compare yourself here to Frenchy–unless your aim is to be a ‘free swinger’! Sometimes it is useful to take a pitch or two–because you start seeing better pitches….believe me it applies here…GOOD LUCK!

  23. Yeap, and it’s very tough for me to deal with all the losses in the morning as it affects my general mood for the rest of the day!

    Charles, I really like Stephen’s idea on taking pitches.

  24. 1. This team is toast(too many injuries)

    2. Anyone who wants to trade Chipper is brain dead.

    3. Yes, we have tradeable parts but don’t expect much.

    4.Boobie should be encouraged to step down after the season(injuries aside, I think this is the main thing holding this team back. It’s time for a new identity in Atlanta. I, for one, hope they don’t try to find a Boobie clone.)’s gonna be a long season so let’s try to look on the bright side. At least we’ll get to see what some of these kids from the minors have to offer and next year is guaranteed to be different.
    6.I would not trade tex. anything that you could get for him will not be of high enough quality to fit a lon gterm plan.

    7. So… my question is, who replaces Boobie? i vote Freddie G. Since we are looking to the future I think this should be the next poll.

  25. Is Bobby the real problem? I don’t think he is helping things but I never thought he is the main issue. Wren just replaced JS and I am still holding out my conclusion on Wren. Replacing Bobby now or at the end of this year will only add to the existing chaos.

  26. KC–Don’t get down too much about the Braves, its a long season. I must admit that the last week has been hard to take.

    I also think that the Braves have the material to rebuild–as long as they hold on to key prospects….

  27. Wren is fine and Bobby is fine. Baseball is tough. If, and it’s a big if, Francoeur hit a little better with RISP, we weren’t quite so sloppy in the field, and Acosta didn’t implode we’d be right on top of the division. The fact we’ve been in so many 1 run games shows that we are not actually so far off. I’m not saying we’ll get there this year but there is no reason to jettison the management and go nuts trading folks. The thing about Francoeur to remember is that we aren’t paying him much of anything right now. There is no excuse for his situational hitting, but at least we are getting an adequate return on the money.

    I’d like to see us make a commitment to defense. There is no point in having a LF that can’t hit or field. Also, there HAS to be some pitcher out there who can give us something like a 4ish ERA and average 8 innings a start? I’d like us to shore up the backend with a low-upside guy (and thus not too pricey) that will at least put up some innings. We can win a few of his starts and save the bullpen a bet. I don’t know the numbers but I would wager we have to be in the league bottom in innings pitched by our starters. Next, dump Acosta. From there I’m not sure- what’s the next step? I’m rambling- it’s 2am and I’m cleaning my apt.

    With regard to my Frenchy approach to women- should I try to play it more like Chipper? Patience and always wait for the count in my favor? Or maybe more like Vlad and just golf anything in the zone :)

  28. Ok- I could be reading it wrong but I think we are currently 27th in the league in innings from our starters.

  29. Discussing Charles love life has become much more interesting than the Braves right now.
    Sadly, I am not kiddng.

    I like the idea of putting Anderson in LF and letting him be leadoff for a long stretch. We have nothing to lose, but Bobby refuses to do anything differently.
    He has been a blessing and a curse Cox. horrible in game manager, great with dealing with players though.

  30. On the radio, Pete said they replaced Anderson with B. Jones because “they wanted some power off the bench.”

    That’s just what he said, and he practically apologized for saying it himself.

  31. I think Greg Norton was the valet guy who parked my car last week at the hotel. He stumbled a bit reaching for the keys like a liner to left.

    Nice call on the Chipper .420!!!

    Oh love life update- found out my crush has never been to a baseball game. (She’s Austrian) Only downside is the only option I have is a Giants or A’s game and that just feels wrong. Please advise.

    Update: My apt now clean but Tilex fumes killing me.

  32. Hampton, who hasn’t made a Major League start since 2005, plans to throw a five-minute simulated game this weekend in Anaheim, and, if all goes well, he says the plan is to make a start for one of the club’s Minor League affiliates next week.

    Is it just me or is a 5 minute simulated game pretty short? Maybe it’s a typo, or maybe Bowman made a mental “slip” and indicates how long he things Hampton will really last.

    Anybody know anything about the “personal reasons” Bennett left the game for? I just assumed he was pulled because he was stinking it up, but Bowman says on the official site that he left for “undisclosed personal reasons”… like embarrassment? Anybody know?

    Final note? Burn the Blue Jerseys!

    Other than by putting on their new alternate blue jerseys, the only way the Braves have more easily guaranteed a loss is by creating a lineup that doesn’t include Jones. Entering Wednesday, they had lost each of the seven games that he hadn’t started.

    Before donning the blue jerseys yet again on Wednesday night, the Braves had won just two of the previous 11 games they’d played while wearing them. One of those wins came in a game when Peter Moylan blew out his right elbow and was lost for the season.

    As for Glavine, both of the games he’s exited on the way to the disabled list have been ones during which the alternate jerseys were worn. And Smoltz’s final start came while wearing the alternate blue.

  33. Charles–Since the game is not the main prority, I might go with the Giants. You will doubtless have more fun than Giants’ fans–giving you yet another reason. Stay in the NL and Good Luck!

  34. I can’t prove it, but I think a few of the injuries to our pitchers may have been avoided by a better conditioning program and stressing mechanics a little more (this obviously doesn’t apply to Smoltz, Hampton and Glavine). The thing is, it’s hard to blame a pitching coach for not teaching players to walk down the stairs.

  35. One thing they may try to do with Hampton is just toss him directly into a ML game when he’s healthy enough to pitch. The theory there being that if he pitches too many minor league rehab games, he’ll just get hurt. :-)

    It’s not actually that bad of an idea when you think about it. Let him throw some side sessions or something to make sure he’s comfortable with his pitches, then just throw him out there and see what happens.

  36. Can we use a double-negative switcheroo to break the bad luck?
    Can we throw Hampton out there in a blue jersey and see if the apocolypse comes?

  37. Re: Anderson,
    At the beginning of the radio broadcast, Pete said it happened like this:
    (a) They wanted to fill Glav’s roster spot with another bat, so they called up B. Jones;
    (b) It became apparent that Jurrjens was too hurt to play, so they decided they needed another pitcher (Ridgway); so
    (c) It was between Anderson and Blanco, and they sent Anderson down, presumably because Bobby hearts Blanco.

    I’m not exactly sure why they couldn’t have just sent Jones right back down instead, but it wasn’t exactly the straight Jones-for-Anderson swap it seems like. (FWIW, Jones is slumping, but he does have more power than Anderson. I’d rather have Jones in Atlanta.)

    PS: Jones’ first K last night was a called third strike on a 3-2 pitch that was about 6 inches off the outside corner. His line should’ve been 0-1, with a BB and a K.

  38. Well for the lack of anything else to do I watched most of last nights game. Gasp!

    I could handle this better if the team didn’t have so much potential.

    I won’t go into next season mode until it is fully clear that we are out of it. Which may happen this week but hey can’t a guy be a little optimistic?

  39. I sure hope that the Braves don’t do a Davies on Charlie Morton. The kid has had exactly 1/3 of a good season in the minors. Bring him along slowly.

    This season thus far can be summed up as our shit happens year.

  40. You know, we need to start some sort of a prediction game on this site… Have people seen the ‘beat the streak’ game on mlb? We could do that, but instead of picking someone to get a hit each night, you have to pick a Brave to go 0-whatever on the night (min. 1AB, no pitchers, only can pick a player once in a calendar week).

    The other idea I had was a ‘guess the next player to go on the DL’ game – winner is whoever guesses the player, then tiebreakers are correct date and correct injury. (I’m guessing Blanco, June 15th, frostbite)

  41. It’s basically reached the point where they need Morton as a spark. If he can be great for awhile that could get them back into it. I don’t know that the chance of screwing him up is worth it.

    I should point out that he doesn’t have a lot of time left in the minors anyway, because it took so long for him to blossom.

  42. I could handle this better if the team didn’t have so much potential.

    This team, with the number of guys on the DL, doesn’t have all that much potential. It’s hard for me to be too disappointed in them for getting killed right now—there just isn’t much out there.

    Now, on the other hand, all those 1-run losses to the Nats and Pirates early in the season, when most of our guys were healthy…

    I sure hope that the Braves don’t do a Davies on Charlie Morton.

    Not a bad point, but Morton is 24 and Davies was 21 when he was called up. Morton’s had 3 more years of minor league instruction; if he’s got the talent—and I believe he does—he should be fine.

  43. Ridgeway should’ve been a spark after his very strong performance, but like Joe said not one single player even told him good job when he entered the dugout either inning. Morton will pitch 7 strong, we’ll be down 2-0, and no one will even notice who he is. This team is a joke

  44. Brandon Jones Trade Showcase?
    We don’t know for sure, but David O’Brien suggests the Braves may have called up left fielder Brandon Jones to showcase him for a trade. Bobby Cox’s explanation for demoting Josh Anderson in favor of Jones didn’t seem to make sense.

    Jones, 24, was hitting .263/.335/.379 in 190 ABs at Triple A Richmond. Jones was not able to win the Braves’ fourth outfielder job out of Spring Training. Baseball America rated him as the Braves’ fourth best prospect, suggesting he’s the team’s future left fielder.

  45. Charles,

    In my experience, the Chipper approach always works better with women. Patience is a virtue; free-swinging like Frenchy doesn’t work. Good luck!

    AJC suggests that Jones was called up to showcase him for a trade.

    It looks like there might be a good chance that both Smoltz and Glavine have thrown their last pitches and can go into the Hall together. Now, just need to get Mad Dog to retire.

    The Braves best lineup at this point obviously has Francouer hitting third and Corky Miller cleanup, right? :)

    I have become sort of fatalistic about the Braves. What will happen will happen. But panicking and trading everyone in sight isn’t the answer. They have a core of good players; trading Teixera isn’t going to bring much. But next year is going to be a lot different for better or worse.

  46. Maddux has already indicated that he isn’t interested in pitching beyond this year. Personally, I’d like for him to hook up with a good team and pitch through 2009. Ideally, I want him to get thirteen more wins and retire tied with Spahn as the liveball era leader. He can still pitch, but the Padres’ offense is so bad that he can’t get any wins.

  47. Now, just need to get Mad Dog to retire.

    The best way to ensure this would be for the Braves to trade for him, at which point he would immediately become seriously injured in some way.

  48. Let’s look at the rest of the season realistically.

    The Good

    This morning, June 12th, we are 32-34, 6.5 games out, tied for 3rd with the Mets. We have 96 games left to play, and there’s plenty of season left to make a run. Our infield offense is one of the best in the league (with a .419 hitting 3B), we have the best offensive catcher, and our pitching staff is in the top 3 in ERA. Those are the positives.

    The Bad
    Injuries have decimated the roster. Our outfield would have a hard time cracking the starting line-up in most other organizations AAA team. We’re down to our 9th different starting pitcher (if I’ve counted correctly-10 when Morton comes up).

    The Ugly
    7-23 on the road, 3-17 in one-run games.

    So, where are we? I am assuming that we need to win about 89-90 games to have a shot at the Wild Card. That means we need to go about 57-39 the rest of the way to hit 89 wins. That means the Braves have to play .594 ball the rest of the way, which is 114 percentage points better than their current pace.

    I just don’t see this club as being capable of playing close to .600 ball for the rest of the year. The outfield is awful, and injuries have gutted the rotation. Cox’s (over)handling of Acosta and Boyer have put the ‘pen into Meltdown Mode, and can Ohman be far behind?. I hate to say it, but as currently constructed, the Braves look like toast to me.

    So, where do we go from here? Is it worth it to try to pick up the pieces necessary to play .600 ball? Well, to my untrained eye, the Braves need:

    A lead-off hitter. (Yesco just looks so much better in the two hole, and KJ looks so much better further down the order). Anderson might have been able to do this, but he’s been Devine’d back to AAA for some reason.

    TWO outfielders who can hit for power. I can’t endorse Frenchy with his ‘One 3HR – 8 RBI every two months’ as one of them. If we had a LF and a CF who had average power, he would be tolerable as an 8th place hitter. There is no help in the minors.

    One SP with Ace-type stuff to complement Hudson. One SP with league average stuff to relieve the stress on the pen. Hampton MIGHT be able to give us league average stuff, but do you want to count on it? I didn’t think so. Glavine, when healthy, has been OK, but he needs to consistently go 6-7 innings, not the 5 he’s been averaging.

    A closer who won’t look great one night and be out for a week with elbow issues. Gonzalez might be able to do that, but it will take him some time to get back into the swing of things.

    So – even if Hampton and Gonzalez are able to contribute effectively, I believe the Braves still need an Ace and two outfielders with power (one of whom needs to be able to hit lead-off). I think keeping either Francoeur or Blanco in the starting line-up is alright, as long as someone else carries their load for them. Kotsay? Ummm, he missed most of last year with a back problem, which seems to be an issue this year. He’s not the answer to playing .600 ball, even if his wife is hot.

    That’s a lot of holes to fill, and there’s no guarantee that it will work. What if Chipper goes down for 3 weeks? Suppose the T. Hudson of 2005 shows back up? We will have finished killing off our minor leagues for nothing.

    So if we can’t win this year, we need to look to the future.

    Tex will not be part of that future, as I don’t see the Braves ponying up the cash necessary to keep him. So, trade him? I’d say no. He won’t command the type or number of prospects we gave up for him, as he’s a FA at the end of the year. Bank the draft picks.

    Hudson – He would command a decent return. But he’s also the foundation of the staff for the next three years or so. Keep him.

    Ohman – Has shown he can pitch well in a Non-Wrigley Field environment. He’s a leftie, and teams in contention are usually ALWAYS looking for relief help. Most likely to be traded.

    Francoeur – Who’d want him? Is he, at this point, even playing at Replacement Level? Keep him and send him to AAA, hoping he can recover some confidence/figure it out.

    KJ/Escobar/Chipper/McCann – Untouchable.

    Reyes/Jurrjens/Morton-I think 2 of these three will become solid starters. Hold onto them, unless you get an offer you can’t refuse.

    Everyone else – Available.

    So, there you are, Seat Painter’s thoughts on 2008 and what to do about it. Remember, if I’m wrong, I’ll double your money back!

  49. Charles, I feel your pain. I am very interested in a guy who is in my major, and we had lunch three weeks ago, but no word since :( Patience is not working in my case, but a free swinging woman is not attractive in my opinion, so i will have to deal.

    I don’t even know what to say about the Braves anymore… I guess for now I can root for Chipper and pray that someone jerks a knot into the collective rear ends of everyone else on the team.

  50. I think we’d only need one LF with power (which is doable), Seat Painter, but you’re right about needing an ace-type. Given the underperformance of our would-be major-league-ready prospects (Jones and Lillibridge), it will be pretty tough to get anything resembling an ace on the open market, unless some team out there still likes Francoeur. Even then, the Braves sadly wouldn’t trade him.

  51. Seriously, should I just change the name to “Chipper Journal” and make it mostly about him? Because there’s nothing much else left to talk about.

  52. Would “Chipper Journal” doom him like “Braves Journal” has doomed the team?

    If not, I’m all for the idea. Just refuse to comment on anything the rest of the guys are doing (not including comments, of course) unless/until we move within 3 games of first or sweep a road series or something.

    You could always try William Hung videos, Mac.

  53. VERY SMALL SAMPLE, but Kyle Davies has about a 1.50 ERA in 3 starts (18 innings) for the Royals this year, and he was dominant in AAA this year. Was 7 and 2/3rds innings of Octavio Dotal really worth Kyle Davies? Would you like to have that trade undone, today?

  54. Would you like to have that trade undone, today?

    Most here probably already know my answer to that question, which, incidentally, is the same as my answer on the day the trade was made.

  55. Damn Phil Collins!

    It’s depressing to watch the team struggle, just as it’s depressing to watch players struggle (I was so glad for Matt when he got the full time gig and hate to see him struggling with it so), or go down with injury.

    That said, I still think that if Tex continues to pick up his pace a bit we can still stay in the race. I think we’ll be in an ugly spot by the end of this road trip, but I also think we’ve got enough of a team that we’ve got a chance to pull ourselves up after our annual June Swoon.

    Not that I think we will, so much as I think we can, and watching Chipper rake will have to be enough for now.

  56. But, Mac, I love The Cure and Morrissey. Seems inappropriate for a team which I, like you, hate so much. (PS: Morrissey by himself or The Smiths?)

  57. Stu, to his credit, was always against the trade. Personally, I don’t think Davies had any chance of being good for the Braves, or any trade value to speak of.

  58. On what your answer would be, when you have a team of older arms (as we did last year), with few pitching prospects of any quality above AA (we had already made the Texas trade, so harrison and Feliz were gone), even if you think Davies will always be a AAA pitcher, do you heave a servicable piece of potential at 8 innings of replacement level pitching? Given’s Dotel’s injury history, was anybody surprised when he broke down and was gone?

  59. way to go, Stu.

    The “all-in” strategy, while very exciting last year, sure doesn’t look too goo, today.

  60. Charles and bfan,
    You guys have both mentioned this mythical 8-innings-per-start league-average guy. Nobody in baseball averages 8 innings per start anymore. I think Roy Halladay, with 7.7 IP/GS, is about the best (and I think it’s by a fairly wide margin). Averaging 6 2/3 makes you a legitimate workhorse.

  61. Not much point crying over deals that have already been done. Davies didn’t seem like he was comfortable in a high-pressure environment.

    Just to add a point to what Seat Painter said, while the staff ERA is good now, it’s not likely to stay there with Smoltz and, probably, Glavine out. It’s been a bit of mirrors anyway with the rotation.

    I can’t see the Braves just giving up on the season unless they totally collapse (not a farfetched possibility at the moment). But, deadling deals these days are hard. As for selling, given the premium on young talent, you almost never get close to present value.

    What worries me about the Braves is that, while they do have a core of good, young players and, potentially, some good young pitchers, I don’t see what they can do in the next year or two to really improve the team significantly other than hope for Jurrjens, Reyes, or someone else to break out. The outfield seems hopeless and there are no quick solutions in sight. Without Smoltz, they really have no ace. I hope that Wren has a plan; JS really never had to address so many holes at the same time.

  62. Charles,
    I’m guessing you know that taking a gal on a baseball date is outfitted with potential hurdles.

    However, if you’re gonna do one park over the other, it’s a no brainer: The Giants park is nice & picturesque (if cold), while Oakland is a football stadium—a bit of a dump, really.

    A Potential Parade of Mope/Melancholia:
    Leonard Cohen
    Vic Chesnutt
    Morrissey/The Smiths
    The Cure
    Joy Division
    Nick Drake
    Elliott Smith

  63. Everyone wanted a better bullpen, and Dotel was pitching well. Him getting hurt immediately after was unfortunate, but it doesn’t make the deal a bad idea. I mean, he was supposed to give us solid relief and then a draft pick or two when he left in the off-season. Didn’t quite work out that way. :-)

  64. Him getting hurt immediately after was unfortunate, but it doesn’t make the deal a bad idea.

    One of the things that made the deal a bad idea was the virtual certainty that he was going to get hurt, though.

    I have no idea why this is being rehashed again.

  65. Re hashing the Texiera and Dotel deals as good or bad is non sensical. They are done. The Braves at that time and at the beginning of this season were in WIN NOW mode. What will be intresting going forward is what attitude the team will take now that injuries have felled Glavine, Smoltz et al.

    The new core has potential. McCann (easily the best of the baby Braves), Escobar, KJ, Jurrjens, Reyes(I think), Chipper, Hudson, Boyer (if he still has an arm left). But I’m not sure if there is enough there to do what has been done in the past which is get some quality extra pieces to complement the core. You’d think that the organization would be able to grow a couple of outfielders for Christ’s sake!

    So I’m all for Chipper’s Journal. BTW if anyone gets Sports Illustrated there is a great article about a terrific, under appreciated, fully accountable, supreme professional third baseman in it. After reading it, if you don’t come away with some level of respect for Chipper Jones then your definition of what it takes to be a stand up good man is way different than mine.

  66. On Morton, sorry for the double post. I understand that he has little to prove in AAA but I sure hope that if he indeed has potential that the Braves are more patient with him than they were with Davies.

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