553 thoughts on “Depressed game thread: Braves at Cubs, June 12”

  1. Untouchables: Tim Hudson, Brian McCann, Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar and Chipper Jones.

    Everyone else can just go if this doesn’t get turned around and quick.

  2. Assuming you mean everyone else on the major league roster, I tend to agree, although I wouldn’t really want to trade Brandon Jones, either.

    I’m not quite there yet, though. I can give the team another week or two before giving up on the season. I think.

  3. Dan,

    I would include Jair Jurrgens and Jo-Jo Reyes as essentially untouchable as well.

  4. We’re a game under .500 in June. Can we cut the trade talk for another month? Please?

  5. But for argument’s sake, Tex and Ohman are about the only guys who anyone would be interested in and we don’t want to hold on to. But we want to sign Tex next year and he’s played poorly thus far, so I’d be surprised to see us move him.

    So maybe we get a prospect or two for Ohman.

  6. Mac, by “tradeworthy” do you mean likely to bring back useful players or simply worth getting rid of?

  7. I think we’re 2 games under, mraver.

    As I said yesterday, looking at the numbers (games back, games left to play), it’s hard to conclude we’re out of it.

    Looking at the way we’ve played, though, and the fact that our guys, especially our pitchers, are dropping like flies, it’s hard to conclude we’re capable of making much of a run.

  8. #5, actually it’s 2 games under .500 and we’ve lost 5 in a row (6 of our last 7). We have more people going on the DL in the last week than wins. We’re on a 10 game road trip and our road record is 7-23 (.233 — worse than Jeff Francoeur!). And we’re entering the interleague part of the schedule where we have failed miserably the last few years. Not much reason for optimism, iow.

  9. Here’s your 25 man roster to work with:

    Acosta, Manny
    Bennett, Jeff
    Blanco, Gregor
    Boyer, Blaine
    Campillo, Jorge
    Carlyle, Buddy
    Escobar, Yunel
    Francoeur, Jeff
    Gotay, Rubén
    Hudson, Tim
    Infante, Omar
    Johnson, Kelly
    Jones, Brandon
    Jones, Chipper
    Jurrjens, Jair
    McCann, Brian
    Miller, Corky
    Norton, Greg
    Ohman, Will
    Reyes, Jo-Jo
    Ridgway, Jeff
    Ring, Royce
    Soriano, Rafael
    Stockman, Phil
    Teixeira, Mark

  10. Here’s my initial list:

    Corky Miller
    Jeff Francoeur
    Ruben Gotay
    Mark Teixiera
    Greg Norton
    Buddy Carlyle
    Omar Infante
    Jeff Bennett
    Will Ohman
    Jeff Ridgway
    Gregor Blanco
    Brandon Jones
    Jorge Campillo
    Manny Acosta
    Phil Stockman
    Royce Ring
    Rafael Soriano
    Blaine Boyer
    Jo-Jo Reyes
    Tim Hudson
    Yunel Escobar
    Kelly Johnson
    Jair Jurrgens
    Chipper Jones
    Brian McCann

  11. So, Mac, it’s just a straight ranking of worst players to best players? Or do you factor in that Teix could bring a good prospect in return?

  12. why do we want to keep Tex? Just because we sold the farm to get him a year ago? two wrongs dont make anything right

    We think that he’s struggling, but this is what he does. He’s really in line with his career numbers right now other than his slg% is down. The guy isnt worth the 18-20 that he’ll demand from one of the NY teams and maybe somehow Baltimore. There is no way he’ll give Atl a discount and there is no reason for us to spend that much on a guy who will continue to put up numbers like these, at least not with our payroll.

    I would rather go after Sabathia or wait on Peavy or Holliday

  13. I don’t disagree at all, Mac. He’s as easy to place on that end of the spectrum as Corky is on the other.

  14. Let me give it a quick try (from least to most worthy of getting rid of):

    1.Chipper Jones, 2. Brian McCann, 3. Yunel Escobar, 4. Kelly Johnson, 5. Tim Hudson, 6. Jair Jurrjens, 7. Jo-Jo Reyes, 8. Brandon Jones, 9. Mark Teixeira, 10. Rafael Soriano, 11. Will Ohman, 12. Jeff Francoeur, 13. Gregor Blanco, 14. Phil Stockman, 15. Blaine Boyer, 16. Manny Acosta, 17. Jeff Bennett, 18. Jeff Ridgeway, 19. Jorge Campillo, 20. Royce Ring, 21. Ruben Gotay, 22. Omar Infante, 23. Greg Norton, 24. Buddy Carlyle and 25. Corky Miller

  15. Not necessarily best to worst. Chipper is clearly the Braves’ best player, but I think there are several players who the team would be less likely to trade. Meanwhile, Teixeira is a very good player but since the Braves don’t control his future he’s trade bait.

  16. Here’s the top of my list (guys you don’t trade):
    Jones, Chipper
    Escobar, Yunel
    McCann, Brian
    Johnson, Kelly
    Hudson, Tim
    Jurrjens, Jair
    Reyes, Jo-Jo
    Soriano, Rafael
    Campillo, Jorge
    Stockman, Phil

    And here’s the bottom (guys you DO trade):
    Gotay, Rubén
    Norton, Greg
    Miller, Corky

    Everybody else I’m not sure on… Random trade theory/question. If you’ve given up on the season, and think you can convert him, would you trade Tex straight up for Salty to have him play 1st? I would assume Texas wouldn’t do it because they know they can’t sign him and know they probably won’t be making a run at their division (though they’ve got a better record than we do and are only a half game further back than we are).

  17. This team needs a serious reboot, starting with the rotation. This patchwork pitching staff is going to get us nowhere. We need 3 hall of fame caliber aces locked up long term and we need it now. And they need to be 26 years old.

  18. Ok I’ll take a stab at it…

    Corky Miller
    Jeff Ridgway
    Omar Infante
    Greg Norton
    Ruben Gotay
    Jeff Francoeur
    Buddy Carlyle
    Royce Ring
    Gregor Blanco
    Rafael Soriano
    Jorge Campillo
    Jeff Bennett
    Will Ohman
    Mark Teixeira
    Brandon Jones
    Blaine Boyer
    Manny Acosta
    Phil Stockman
    Kelly Johnson
    Jojo Reyes
    Jair Jurrjens
    Yunel Escobar
    Chipper Jones

    I’ve factored in contract status, how they’ve played this year, and youth. I’m biased towards keeping young players who maybe who haven’t shown their full potential yet and towards trading journeymen and expiring contracts even though they may be performing well this season. I’m also biased against Jeff Francoeur.

  19. I should qualify that I also don’t want to trade Acosta (just never use him to close), and want to hold on to Campillo and Stockman to see how they work out.

  20. Least to most;

    Don’t bother asking
    25) Chipper Jones
    24) Tim Hudson
    23) Brian McCann
    22) Yunel Escobar (what a jump he’s made since last year)
    21) Jair Jurrjens
    20) JoJo Reyes

    Blow me away with an offer
    19) Mark Teixeira (but gone for the right price)
    18) Kelly Johnson

    Trade bait
    17) Omar Infante (sad really, he’s by far the best bench player)
    16) Will Ohman (best value trade guy)
    15) Jorge Campillo
    14) Greg Norton (this is getting depressing)
    13) Rafael Soriano (this low thanks to injury concerns)

    Interested teams would hold out for the chances they’d end up on the waiver wire.
    12)Jeff Francouer
    11) Phil Stockman
    10) Royce Ring
    9) Jeff Ridgeway
    8) Buddy Carlye (tie)
    8) Jeff Bennett (they really are the same thing)
    6) Blaine Boyer
    5) Gregor Blanco
    4) Brandon Jones
    3) Manny Acosta
    2) Ruben Gotay
    1) Corky Miller

  21. Why not trade Chipper? Smoltz is done, Glavine is done, why hang on to the last painful relic of the glory years? He’s having an unbelievable year and I’m sure the Yankees would be thrilled to have him DH. I’m sure the Mets would love to have him play in the stadium he hits best in. I’m sure the Dodgers would love to have another former Brave. In fact, every team ever should want the guy and with the year he’s having, should be willing to pay a lot for the privilege of winning the world series riding on the shoulders of our best player.

  22. Yeah, I agree that McCann is the most untouchable player on the roster. If they’re rebuilding, or reloading – as I would call it, so as not to engender comparisons to Florida – Schafer and Freeman and Heyward are also untouchable.

    For those inclined, is there a list of the Braves’ top pitching prospects (including the recent draft, if that’s possible)? How deep is organizational pitching depth? I figure most of it is low-minors stuff, except for possibly Morton.

  23. BTW-I think Frenchie has virtually no trade value, and I would keep him, simply because he is a replacement level player that Atlanta values because of his “home-town success” background, that presumably has some fan appeal and therefor value to the team. That value to Atlanta is worth zero to any other franchise, so no one is going to pay us even what he is worth to us.

  24. Chipper is a ten-and-five man and can’t be traded without his consent. I don’t think he would consent right now, and at any rate it lowers his value.

  25. Maybe I misunderstood the question, but wouldn’t Teixeira have to rank as the most trade-worthy? Who would trade for Corky Miller or Ruben Gotay? They should rank as least tradeable because No One Would Want Them. It seems like folks are ranking players based on merit and not trade-value.

  26. I agree-trade value is young player several years away from free agency that a team can control for a while at a below-market price, which is exactly what a rebuilding team wants to hold onto, not trade.

  27. Our only MLB potential starters at AAA are Morton (here, now); Reyes (here now); and James (you make the call). The only MLB potential guy at AA is Hanson, who has only been at AA for 3 starts now.

    Trading away Feliz; Harrison; and Davies last summer has kind of wiped us out on the MLB potential starters category, above A.

  28. Team would be better off with an empty roster spot:

    1) Corky

    Easily replaceable/interchangeable with someone else already in the system:

    2) Gotay
    3) Carlyle
    4) Ridgway
    5) Norton

    Valuable players, but they could bring something in a trade:

    6) Ohman
    7) Teixeira

    Somewhat valuable role-players who aren’t as easily replaceable but wouldn’t destroy the organization to lose:

    8) Infante
    9) Ring
    10) Boyer
    11) Stockman
    12) Blanco
    13) Bennett
    14) Acosta

    (See comments below):

    15) Campillo
    16) Soriano

    Cheap, young guys who could be building blocks:

    17) B. Jones
    18) Francoeur
    19) Reyes

    Pretty much untouchable:

    20) Hudson
    21) Jurrjens
    22) KJ
    23) Escobar

    Literally untouchable:

    24) Chipper
    25) McCann


    *You might think I’m overrating Bennett and Ring. I think Bennett, last night notwithstanding, has proven to be very versatile and valuable. I really like him, actually. Ring, well, he’s more valuable to the Braves than Ridgway and less valuable than Ohman in a trade, and he kills lefties, so I think that’s about right.

    *Soriano’s the hardest to place for me. He’s pretty much useless to us right now and will be expensive next year, but nobody would give up enough for a sore-armed expensive reliever to make it worth trading his potential value. Sort of like the problem the A’s have with Rich Harden, I guess. Campillo’s hard to place, too—I have no idea how good he is.

  29. I’ve just enjoyed watching baseball and never ask for something from the Braves until last season. But finally I’ve realized tradeworthy is Jeff Francoeur. Absolutely. I have a terrible headache because of him. Oh, have mercy on me.

  30. You keep Chipper like the Padres kept Tony Gywnn or the Orioles kept Cal Ripken. And if for no other reason b/c he carried the damn team in 1999, which probably took some years off his career.

    My untouchables besides Chipper:

    McCann- Not only is he a good hitter, but he’s tough

    Escobar- Excellent hitter, who will only get better and add power. One of the best plate approaches in baseball.

    Hudson- Only proven pitcher and still not that old.

    Jurrens- Talented, tough and young

    JoJo-Lefty, talented and young

    Brandon Jones- Give him a chance

    JFrancouer- Still too young to give up on this year. Unless it is for a highly touted prospect.

    Watch out for Zambrano and head hunting today. Should be interesting.

  31. But finally I’ve realized tradeworthy is Jeff Francoeur. Absolutely. I have a terrible headache because of him. Oh, have mercy on me.

    Line of the year.

  32. Guys I have no problem trading and we could get something decent back: Ohman, Tex, Infante, Campillo (sell while his value is high), Rafael Soriano, Mike Gonzalez.

    Guys I have no problem trading and we wouldn’t get much back: Corky Miller, Buddy, Royce Ring, Francouer, Ruben Gotay.

    Guys I inexplicably like (but probably shouldn’t): Acosta, Boyer, Gregor Blanco, Jeff Bennett (yesterday aside, he’s been a valuable long reliever).

    Sample too small: Phil Stockman

    Blow me away with an offer: Kelly Johnson

    Untouchables: Tim Hudson (good contract, good pitcher), Esco, McCann, Chipper, JoJo, Jair

    It’s sad that only five guys on a team this young are untouchable. If I was a Phillies fan, I’d probably have ten untouchables.

  33. I really do think we’ll spend some money on at least one SP this offseason. The pitching prospects, except for Morton, are all at least 2 years away. We will not go Hudson-Jurrjens-Reyes-Morton-James next year, not when we have at least $35 million to spend.

  34. Line of the year:

    J Smoltz (L, 3-1) 7.0 5 1 1 0 10 0 105-68 0.78

    J Lannan (W, 1-2) 7.0 5 0 0 3 4 0 95-59 3.42

    Braves lose 6-0 to Washington…
    *Chipper went 0-4 to lower his average to .430 that game.

  35. whats with all the love for Brandon Jones? What am I missing? They guy hasnt impressed with his numbers in AAA. He doesnt appear to have all that much power. He seems to be another below average MLB outfielder in our farm system. He apparently has a problem with his K rate and I’m sure he’ll struggle at this level. I dont really understand why Anderson was sent down to make room for this guy.

    This team really needs to go hard after Sabathia this offseason and possible extend Huddy’s contract. Give us Sabathia, Huddy, Jair, Jo Jo (if he continues to develop) and that’ll be something very good for a long time. If Smoltz is able to come back, thats even better. We need a an ace on our roster more than a .280 30-35HR clean up hitter

  36. Valuable players, but they could bring something in a trade:

    6) Ohman
    7) Teixeira

    The problem we have is that this category is so small, and this team needs to be totally rebuilt. We could get a pretty good haul for Tex, maybe something useful for Ohman, and then….

    We need so much pitching in the organization that just two trades probably won’t do it.

    No ranking for me, but the untouchables are McCann, Kelly, Yunel, and JJ. Everybody else is a possibility. You’ve got to give something to get something.

  37. Holy cow. Lincecum has 13 quality starts in a row (his only non-quality start this year was his first one where he only went 4 innings). And couldn’t we have gotten Volquez instead of Mahay in the Tex deal? if we’d done THAT it might’ve been worth it.

  38. We need so much pitching in the organization that just two trades probably won’t do it.

    I dunno. We really do have some promising arms down in the low minors. We’re one not-old frontline starter away from being fairly set in the pitching department, IMO.

    The disconcerting thing to me is the lack of promising corner outfielders in the system, including at the major-league level.

    Jones looked pretty good last year. My love of him may be more based on hope than on realism, though. He’d be great to platoon with Diaz, IMO.

  39. Don’t read too much into a couple months’ stats, csg. Jones isn’t star material, but he’s capable of being a .280/.350/.475-type hitter, which isn’t bad and is a whole lot more than what we’ve been getting from the outfield corners.

  40. I cannot understand the love for Brandon Jones either, unless the last name gets bonus love in Atlanta. A guy old for his league (closer to 25 than 24, in AAA), with a .711 OPS and 2 HRs in over 200 AB’s? if this is our saviour, we are in Royals territory.

  41. Who called him our savior?

    Have you seen our OF lately? We’re in much worse than Royals territory out there.

  42. 24 is old for AAA? Geez…. I say for a guy who was just drafted in 2004 and was listed as the top outfield prospect the Braves, it’s time to see what BJones can do. And 24 is very young, which is why I can’t give up on JFrancouer. Anyway, obviously there is talent there….

    By the way, Ryan Ludwick is 30 y/o.

  43. I dunno. We really do have some promising arms down in the low minors. We’re one not-old frontline starter away from being fairly set in the pitching department, IMO.

    The rate of attrition from the low minors to the majors is obscene. We need two starts and half a bullpen. Unless you are very lucky (I’m looking at you Philadelphia), it takes 7-8 starters to make it through the year.

    Brandon Jones might be an ok ML outfielder. Even if he is, that leaves us two short.

  44. dont misunderstand me, I would love for him to put up a .280/.350/.450-500 type line. I just dont know if thats possible because of how much better the pitching is at this level. His last year, to give him credit, were better than I thought. This year’s stats are down across the board.

    I think I wouldnt have minded the callup more if Blanco had been sent down to make room for him. Blanco’s line the last 30 days: 16-84 .190/.327/.262 and Anderson’s line (smaller sample) 7-22 .318/.375/.409

  45. Charles, to echo comments on the previous thread… if you’re taking a girl to a game and don’t care about the teams then you should definitely go to SF. It’s a great park and the A’s coliseum (whatever they call it) is a concrete box.

  46. Yeah, Robert, and I wouldn’t count on all (or many) of those low-minors starters panning out, but what I’m saying is that, assuming Morton is at least decent, our current staff looks pretty good to me if we could add one more frontline pitcher. Guys like James, Carlyle, Campillo, Bennett, and whoever else are fine (maybe better than fine, considering the average ML 5th starter) as depth. Hudson/New Guy/JJ/Jo-Jo/Morton, with the above-mentioned depth, would be a fine rotation for the next few years, I’d think. And we already have more than enough arms to make for a reasonable bullpen, don’t we? They’ve been pretty good so far, even with all the injuries.

    And I of course agree with you about the OF. That situation appears dire.

  47. We maintain an old AAA team; if Hayward advances at a level a year, he will be 22 in Richmond. Frenchie was 21 in AA when he was called up to MLB (for good); McCann was 21 in AA when he was called up to MLB (for good); Kelly Johnson was 23 in Richmond when he was called up here (for good); Chipper was 21 when he was called up to MLB (for good); Salty was 22 when he was called up to MLB (for good). The only guy who is a position player here who wasn’t up for good by 24 was Yunel, and the cuban defector thing kind of impedes the progress, there. In this organization, if you are in AAA at 24, you are behind. it isn’t as if Brandon was blocked by 3 superstars in the OF; the organization has made their statement of what they think of his potential at the MLB level.

  48. Tony, you have Francoeur as untouchable and not Kelly Johnson? Are you really serious?

    Dix, the Braves aren’t trading Chipper, nor should they.

  49. Hudson/New Guy/JJ/Jo-Jo/Morton, with the above-mentioned depth, would be a fine rotation for the next few years, I’d think.

    Yeah, I’m a little more pessimistic I guess. JJ’s never made it through a full season. Reyes has never really been effective at this level. Morton is a complete question mark at this level. You can say those guys look like they should be able to do the job but so did Chuck and Kyle Davies and countless others. Chances are at least one will fail and/or get hurt. The other guys you mention are 7th and 8th starter types. I still see a lot of need on the pitching staff. Pitching depth is the most important thing in baseball.

  50. untouchable: Chipper, Hudson, KJ, Escobar, Jurrjens, Reyes, McCann.

    guy we’d get something for: Texieria – late season desperation hits Boston when Ortiz is still hurt or something like that.

    I can’t think of anyone that tradeable. Ok I’ll get booed off the blog for this one but how about Morton? His value is very high now. It would be nice to have an outfielder that can hit for crying out loud.

  51. and not to pile on, but Furcal was 22 (and we thought he was 20), when he came up from AA to MLB for good; Marcus Giles came up to MLB for a large portion of the year (244 AB’s) when he was 23, from AAA; Andy Marte came up to MLB from AAA during the season (not a september call-up) when he was 21.

    In this organization, if you are 24 years old in June and playing in Richmond, and you get a call up when 2/3rds of the starting OF goes on the DL, but only after another guy from AAA (Anderson) gets a shot, you are NOT highly thought of by the organization.

  52. Dan,

    I am not giving up on Francouer, I believe the talent is still there. Plus, he is still only 24. Leaving KJ out was a mistake. Forgot about him.

    By the way, Gregor Blanco is 5 for his last 50.

  53. If we win today, what are the odds we try to wear the 1948 jerseys the rest of the trip?

  54. Most top players don’t play AAA at all, or play there very briefly. But again, 24 is not old for AAA; Jones was one of the younger players in the International League. The players at AAA who are actual prospects are mostly 24 or 25, because younger players can’t handle AAA (which in some respects is harder than the majors, particularly for hitters) and older players would be out of options.

    The year Kelly Johnson was hurt, he was going to be at AAA, and he was 24.

  55. “Soriano could miss up to six weeks with a broken left hand he sustained after being hit by a pitch in the second inning of Wednesday’s 7-2 win over the Braves (32-34). ”


  56. 2008 AAA International League Batting Leaders for Age – Baseball-Reference.com

    See? Only 21 players younger than 24 have batted in the IL this year. And looking at the league stats, the Braves do not, in any way “maintain an old AAA team”. The average age of the R-Braves’ hitters is 26.8. This is far below the median. Only Syracuse is younger, and that’s only 26.7; Buffalo is also 26.8.

    This has been another episode of “Mac looks things up.” Tune in again!

  57. Bfan,

    A lot of people on here didn’t see anything special about Escobar last year either.


    Why are you happy Soriano is out 6 weeks? I hate to see anyone get hurt. Imagine if Chipper or BMac went down for 6 weeks. With that being said, Soriano is asking for trouble leaning over the plate like he does. Also be careful Braves hitters with Zambrano going today.

    The only person on the team who would go toe to toe with Zambrano in a fight…would be maybe Mike Hampton and Eddie Perez. Damn we have a soft squad.

  58. same lineup as yesterday

    Yunel, KJ, Chipper, Tex, Mac, Frenchy, Norton, Blanco

    I dont understand Bobby’s reasoning for the Jones/Anderson lineup swap. He wants Brandon in LF for the interleague games, so Norton can play 1st, and Tex the DH?? I guess that does give us a little bit extra defensively, but Anderson would’ve done the same

  59. Don’t most teams use AAA as a holding place for spare parts?

    because younger players can’t handle AAA (which in some respects is harder than the majors, particularly for hitters) and older players would be out of options.

    Please explain.

  60. Can someone help me out on this? What is the logic behind putting Norton at First so that Tex can DH. Wouldn’t we be better off defensively if Tex stayed at First and Norton was the DH?

  61. I always thought AAA was were all the older has-beens, never-weres and rehabing major leaguers played and that AA was the real top level of minor league competition.

  62. Can someone help me out on this? What is the logic behind putting Norton at First so that Tex can DH. Wouldn’t we be better off defensively if Tex stayed at First and Norton was the DH?

    Just to give Tex a day off without actually giving him a day off.

    I always thought AAA was were all the older has-beens, never-weres and rehabing major leaguers played and that AA was the real top level of minor league competition.

    Yes, very few actual prospects at AAA. Owners of AAA teams complain about this constantly.

  63. Dan, my perception too. But Mac looked some stuff up.

    For the Braves it seems like it has been promote top prospects directly from AA .

    If anyone gets Sports Illustrated read the great article on Chipper Jones. It left me with little doubt that in the end he’ll be the greatest Atlanta Brave.

  64. Just to give Tex a day off without actually giving him a day off.

    If anyone gets pseudo time off, it should be Chipper and McCann

  65. It wasn’t always like that…I remember the Richmond Braves having major league talent quite often.

    I repeat Blanco is 5 for his last 50. Would it have killed Bobby to start BJ today?

  66. AAA and age of getting to MLB-Wislon betemit was 23 when he was called up for good; Willie Aybar was called up for good by LA and kept up by Atlanta when he was 23. jeff Blauser was 22 when he was called up for good.

    Maybe 24 isn’t old for AAA, but i repeat: in this organization, if you are not up in the show by 24, you are behind, and in fact, way behind. And with Jones, he was blocked by exactly no one of importance or consequence.

    You know who comes up to the Braves as a position player when they are 24? Scott Thormond. Gregor Blanco. People who you replace with someone good, as soon as you can.

  67. I would like to see Mr. Morton pitch in the major leagues before I have full confidence to pencil him in for anything.

    But I’m on the same wavelength of something like Huddy/Jurrjens/New Arm/Morton/Reyes (Campillo if we must). Not off-the-charts, but with a decent upside and, crucially, mostly young.

    No idea if it’ll work out this way, but I like Bennett as Mr. Elastic/Ramiro Mendoza/Long Man.

  68. I think you’re off the mark a bit, bfan. Most, if not all, of the guys you’re listing who were called up at the young age were called up because they were to get immediate playing time. As bad as Diaz looks now, he looked like a potential everyday LF for the last couple of years—they weren’t going to bring Jones up to just play occasionally or, at best, platoon.

    I see Jones more like an Adam LaRoche (who was 24 when he first played in the majors)—nobody expects him to be an All-Star, but he can be a productive hitter in the big leagues. Until then, you give him as many ABs in the minor leagues as possible and don’t call him up until he’s actually needed.

    If Diaz had started the season on the DL, Jones would almost certainly have been our regular LF. Because Jones was slumping when Diaz got hurt, though, Anderson was called up instead. I’m pretty sure the organization is high on Jones.

  69. I don’t understand the love for Brandon Jones. Blanco and Anderson aren’t really big leaguers, but they’ve shown more than B. Jones.

    My keepers:


    If Chipper wants to stay, he can. If he’d rather win, we can send him to a contender of his choice and take what we can get.

    Make sure you get value for the productive relievers, Tex and Frenchy (??) and what you can for the rest.

  70. AAA is easier than the majors in nearly all respects. But for a certain class of player — let’s call this player a “Francoeur” — it can be more difficult. AAA pitchers are, for the most part, the guys who didn’t make the big leagues, mixed up with guys who are being held in reserve for the big club. These guys aren’t generally as good as major league pitchers (though the difference between ordinary major league pitchers and most AAA pitchers is not really that great).

    However, a lot of AAA pitchers are guys who “know how to pitch” — they don’t have major league fastballs, but they either have really good junk or really good control. For the Francoeur-class hitter, who relies upon his talent and doesn’t really know what he’s doing, a smart AAA pitcher is a lot more dangerous than an ordinary major leaguer.

    You ever notice how often a veteran minor leaguer — say, Jorge Campillo — comes up and is lights-out for several appearances before the league catches up to his tricks?

    I would disagree with Bfan’s statement to the degree that the Braves don’t really use AAA any differently than most organizations. They don’t do a very good job of finding minor league and borderline major league veterans to stock Richmond, but this is a failure of execution not conception. Unless a potential star player is actually blocked at the major league level, he doesn’t play long in AAA, if he does at all.

  71. Did I miss something? When was BJones in the major leagues? Oh i see…he had 19 at bats last year. So from that sample, he is not a major leaguer. Good grief.

  72. I don’t necessarily love Brandon Jones, but I’d like to see him get some serious playing time in LF to see what he can do. Especially based on who the Braves have been using there.

  73. Coop, you’re crazy if you think B-Jones hasn’t shown more than Anderson or Blanco. Jones hit 19 homers last year. Anderson has hit 16 in his entire career. Blanco has hit all of 30 (major and minor). Jones’ career minor league on-base percentage is higher than Anderson’s career minor league slugging percentage and within a few points of Blanco’s.

  74. FWIW, the list of guys our previous young prospects were called up to replace included Terry Pendleton (Chipper), Ken Oberkfell (Blauser), Keith Lockhart (Giles), Brayan Pena (McCann), Raul Mondesi (Francoeur), Brian Jordan (KJ), and Walt Weiss (Furcal).

    Again, these guys were called up to play as everyday players. Matt Diaz, coming into the season at least, looked a WHOLE lot better than any of the previous scrubs. It’s understandable to me that they would not promote Jones right away.

  75. I don’t necessarily love Brandon Jones, but I’d like to see him get some serious playing time in LF to see what he can do. Especially based on who the Braves have been using there.

    This sums up my long-winded, rambling “analysis” rather nicely. He doesn’t appear to be anything great, but he sure does look a whole lot better than our other options.

  76. Tony, you’re right about BJones’ ML playing time. I was also looking at his stellar stats in AAA this year.

  77. The geniuses at CSS aren’t running a repeat of a football game from last fall instead of the Braves today. No, they’re running a women’s basketball game from last night.

  78. Brandon Jones got a cup of coffee at the end of last season–it reminded me of Andy Marte’s cup of coffee…

  79. For some reason, I have a good feeling about today. I don’t know, maybe its the day game.

  80. If we don’t trade Chipper he’s just going to get hurt and then we wont have him anyway.

  81. It’s on WGN. They’ve got it in B & W. Everyone’s wearing ’40s garb…announcers, photographers, concession guys, etc.

  82. 81–I’m not happy Soriano got his hand broken, but I’m glad a Cub got plunked after Lilly’s pitch at McCann’s ear. It’s one thing to hit a guy on his a$$ like Dempster hit McCann but head hunting is BS.

    Fortunately I’ve been away most of the past week and haven’t seen much of the last 5 miserable games.

  83. Yeah, Phillip, I know… It’s a shame, really. I was looking forward to not watching this game, but I am working tonight and have the afternoon off. It’s this or nap, and I don’t want to have trouble sleeping tonight.

  84. Wait, are they really going to show the whole game in black and white? You have to be kidding me. Why not shrink the picture to 3×5 while you’re at it?

  85. Hey, if the players are going to wear throwbacks, the umpires should as well. Black wool suits, fedoras, and outside chest protectors. I mean, it’s only fair.

  86. I like our throwback uniforms better than the red jerseys…they are also going to have 1948 camera angles–so Mac you will almost get your wish….

  87. do I really have to watch this crap in black and white and with these stupid tv angles, no replays

    this sucks

  88. hah…I’ve got both broadcasts again, so it’s not bothering me so much.

    Again, be careful what you which for, the color broadcast on Ptv is featuring the dreaded Chip Caray on the mic.

    :cry: :cry: :cry:

  89. good thing that foxsports and sportssouth are showing fishing and the 2006 poker tourney

    Im watching the US open now, I didnt buy a HD tv and pay for HD services to watch a baseball game in black and white (2 innings or not, this is stupid)

  90. It would be nice if they let fans come to Wrigley by paying the 1948 price for a ticket….the limits of nostalgia…

  91. Hey, why not go all out and feature the attitudes of 1948 too?

    “Bob, Jackie Robinson did well last season for the Dodgers, but I really don’t think baseball is ready for more than one Negro player per team.”

  92. it was a dribbler hit between 1B, 2B, and the pitcher. All 3 went for it and no one covered 1st, wouldnt of got him anyways

  93. Another hit by Chipper….and of course he’s stranded.

    Texiera is Francouer of ’06

  94. The pitcher couldn’t make the play on a dribbler and it died before it got to second.

    I was just thinking… 1948… Cubs… Tribune Company… Hey, DEWEY BEATS TRUMAN!

  95. Seriously, this is horseshit. Show it in black and white with bad graphics if you want, but your refusal to use proper camera angles is making it impossible to follow the game.

  96. Legend has it that for a few magical weeks in the summer of 1941, you could walk into just about any bar in the country and ask “He get one?” and have everyone in the place know exactly what you were talking about — and, of course, for 56 straight games, receive the answer “yes.”

    I think we should resurrect “He get one?”

  97. I would trade Chipper to the Cubs in exchange for erasing this broadcast from my memory.

  98. I don’t know whether to take that last pitch as a good sign or as a sign of the impending apocalypse.

  99. I would give Chip Caray to the Cubs. They don’t have to give anything or anyone back.

  100. for those in black and white land, know that Chip just described Blanco’s soft flyout to the left fielder as “another shot to left field”

  101. 1940s camera angles also favor Frenchy because we cannot see the pitches he swings at as well…I guess the hype could be worse.

  102. That’s why Frenchy is my untouchable list. Just too young to give up on and the talent is there

  103. Fucking christ. I know we’ve been talking about this for years but something really really really really really really really really needs to be done about Chip.

    I mean the organization has to know how terrible he is, right? Is it just because we wouldn’t want to piss off Skip? I mean, it’s not like thispoint of view is unique to bravesjournal or even braves fans…this is the guy that has inspired New York Times rants…and takes the number 1 spot in Maxim’s ‘worst announcers in baseball’ (number 2 overall for worst in all of sports)…

    This is his 5th game in the past 8 days…something has to be done about this…he’s ruining my life, one mindbogglingly stupid call at a time.

  104. For those of you wishing you could see this: You can’t see it. There is no centerfield camera. They’re showing every pitch from somewhere over the home dugout. The other angles are from behind the plate or to the side. And even on my widescreen TV you can barely see the ball.

  105. For those of you wishing you could see this: You can’t see it. There is no centerfield camera. They’re showing every pitch from somewhere over the home dugout. The other angles are from behind the plate or to the side. And even on my widescreen TV you can barely see the ball.

    All true. I’m watching a little box on my computer. It’s like a rumor of a game. Even so, I could unmistakably make out the fork sticking out of Jim Edmonds back.

  106. I was hoping Jim wouldn’t let us down.
    And thanks for the description of how terrible the camera angles are, Mac. I redact my statement.

  107. Here is what you’re missing on WGN:
    – I actually like the minimalist look, but it’s probably not for everybody.

    – This is the abhorrent camera angle to which Mac was referring. Thank God for Peachtree TV and a mute button.

  108. I love the anachronistic irony of that first shot, Jason. A Japanese guy playing in Wrigley field in 1948.

  109. I understand that it’s completely annoying… but those pics look kinda cool. Maybe I should have “worked” from home today to see it.

  110. Things on the radio waves aren’t much better. Ron Santo was a terrific third baseman, but he’s a horrible broadcaster. Probably a good drinking buddy, however, as he has plenty of stories to tell.

  111. Stu — Hah, that never crossed my mind until you mentioned it. I think the country would have had a collective heart attack.

  112. @160,

    I’ve heard some baseless positing that Chipper could be moved to first in an effort to keep him as healthy as possible. Considering that his defense the past few years has been better than people tend to give him credit for, I’m not sure that’s a good idea — nor do I really think we’d do it.

  113. If we trade Tex, we will have to get another 1B because Thorman and Kala can’t do the job. However, Tyler Flowers and Freddie Freeman will have potential in a couple of years….

  114. black and white retro camera angles and Cubs homers >>>>>>>>> Chip Caray (a Cubs homer) in the broadcast booth

  115. On the day I put Jeff Francouer on my untouchable list…..he is trying to make me look smart, like Esco did last year.

  116. I would love for Francoeur to make you look smart even more than I’ve loved being wrong about Escobar, Tony.

  117. Stu — I wouldn’t think so, but then again, I never would have expected him to volunteer to shift to left, either.

    If he WERE to shift to first (again, very unlikely), we could try to get Bavasi to take Frenchy in exchange for Adrian Beltre and cash to subsidize the $12MM he’s owed next year. I mean, he gave us Soriano for Horacio, so nothing’s completely out of the question.

  118. Tony, if you can work your magic on Francoeur to make him as good a hitter as Yunel Escobar, I’ll take up a collection of every Braves fan I know and cut you a check.

  119. Nice job upping Z’s pitch count and clearing the pitcher’s spot in the order by Blanco there.

  120. I hope you mean a collection from every Braves fan you know, AAR. Otherwise, that’s terribly creepy.

  121. Douglass–Hang n’ there–even though I know its difficult: Chip really sucks and he is irritating….

  122. I hope you guys are ready for an Acosta appearance in this game. I’m pretty sure I’m not, even though I know it’s coming.

  123. One nice thing about the black and white coverage was that the omitted the mlb.com tv ads which run incessantly between innings….

  124. These Direct car insurance commercials make me want to listen to Chip Caray explaining the problem with maple bats….. for eternity.

  125. It is something different.

    So is Greg Norton, Everyday LF. Would you consider that fine?

  126. If it were for one day like the black and white old school stuuf, sure. He made a nice catch out there last night

  127. That figures…Chipper hits into a DP. Damn. I know it’s hot in Atlanta, but do we really need Adam Dunn to cool off the fans in Atlanta? Please no more mention of Adam Dunn. I would rather bring back Rico Brogna…

  128. That broadcast was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m not even kidding.

  129. I would be fine with Adam Dunn, if he weren’t going to cost us two or three of the few remaining legitimate prospects we have left. Sure, he strikes out a ton, but he’s remarkably productive when he doesn’t. I’d put up with the strikeouts for a .400 OBP in our cleanup spot.

  130. I don’t want to trade any key prospects for Dunn or anybody else. We need to keep what few elite prospects that we have….

  131. Let me remind you it’s 2-0 courtesy of Jeff Francouer.

    This has bullpen blow up or leaving Huddy in one pitch too long written all over it. Isn’t that his normal pattern? Please justonce….

    Damn bottom of the sixth already?

  132. An idea for next year.

    Not a lot in the first base category but what about moving a solid good hitting older second baseman to play first on a reasonable two year contract? They’d get to extend their career since they can still hit while not fielding as difficult a position.

    Particularly I’m looking at
    Ray Durham .302 average .385 on base .420 slugging (but only 2 HR’s)
    Jeff Kent .248 average with 8 hr’s 29 rbi .283 OB and .410 slugging
    Mark Grudzielanek .293 .346 .394

    I realize these aren’t great options but then neither is Scottie Thorman

  133. jea,
    Compared with Teix’s 129 career OPS+. They’re the same age. Dunn should be a relative bargain, because not many people think of him on that level.

    Stu has a new obsession.

  134. A strikeout is, in most situations, no more damaging than any other out — and I’d rather have a guy strike out with a runner on first and no out than ground into a double play.

    And when the guy who strikes out often ALSO draws a hell of a lot of walks and has posted an OPS+ of 114 or better every year of his career and has hit 40+ homers each of the last four years? Yes, please.

    (Also, according to B-R, Dunn’s nickname is Big Donkey; can you just imagine Pete and Skip doing radio with that little tidbit?)

  135. Chip has now gushed about the magic of Wrigley and the Cubs in 16 of th 16 innings he’s announced this series.

    Somebody kill me please.

  136. Chip: “Man, did you see Ramirez get down when Escobar came across his line of sight to throw to first.”

    uhhh, Chip, it’s called a slide. It happens literally 100% of the time on that play.

  137. Exactly Stu. I was surprised that Dunn’s career numbers were that good. I don’t care about strikeouts if you hit 40 homeruns and are on base 38% of the time.

  138. Yeah, but you can’t get too down on a defensive lapse by Esco at this point. He’s been the best defensive shortstop in baseball this year so far…made all kinds of play others wouldn’t. He was due for a blunder, and at least he got 1 out. (I guess that was a bit of a Prado, huh?)

  139. He had a blunder yesterday too, Douglass, and there’s no chance I’d call him the best defensive SS in baseball.

  140. Dunn would look mighty nice in the 4-5-or 6 spot in this lineup. But (even after suggesting it prior to the recent rash of injuries) it probably doesn’t make sense to give up prospects for him.

    Sansho1 has stated that he wasn’t a fan of Dunn’s style of play (3 outcomes… K, BB, or HR). Fair enough. But that OBP is pretty handy.

    The way the Braves seem to have/produce a ton of hackers, I wonder if he isn’t the type of guy the organization would go after.

  141. Escobar should have tagged second — actually I think he still could have after bobbling it. At any event, it’s yet another data point on how stupid the unearned run rule is — Hudson hasn’t allowed a hard hit-ball this inning and he’s been charged one run with another one on base.

  142. Of all the complaining we’re doing about our outfield at least we’re not stuck with Jim Edmonds and his .207 average with 2 hr’s. Why are the Cub’s playing him regularly anyway?

  143. I don’t know if they’d have turned two regardless. The ball was just to the left of the second base bag and Fukudome runs fairly well. Even if Escobar fields it cleanly and Kelly is waiting at second, it’s a very difficult turn. If anything, I’m just happy Yuni recovered in time to get the out at first.

  144. I thought the same thing Mac…think he gave up on that lead runner prematurely.

  145. At least Hudson can’t lose the game. With the exception of Frenchy’s HR our bats have been silent….

  146. Hmmm Bethany…what do you have against Escobar? And how many shortstops do you consider better than him. Apparently he is pretty low on your list.

  147. Re: escobar’s defense.

    Well he leads the league in + / – (Mac posted this stat earlier this week)

    And trails only Tejada in RZR (revised zone rating), but has made nearly twice as many plays OOZ (out of zone) plays as Tejada, making his number the more impressive one.


    there’s a link for the RZR…don’t have one on the + / – but it’s in a thread earlier this week.

  148. With respect to Dunn, if Wren traded for him at mid-season, we might lose as much as we did when we traded for Tex. Wren trading near the deadline scares me….

  149. I hate Escobar. Off the top of my head, I’d consider Khalil Greene better defensively, and after a look at the stats, the “numbers” seem to be in Greene’s favor.

  150. Dude, Zambrano’s probably a better hitter than any of the guys on the Cubs’ bench.

  151. LOL…what numbers are you reading?

    With all due respect, Bethany, you’re an idiot.

  152. Yeah Bethany you probably haven’t been watching Braves games this year if you Hate escobar

  153. Second and Third with nobody out…we really must score…and now Frenchy gets a walk!

  154. Hey, Douglass, come on now. I don’t think Esco is the best defensive shortstop in baseball, even if he’s leading in +/-. He’s made some bonehead plays — perfectly natural for a guy who’s playing his first full season in the major leagues. But Bethany, really, you “hate” Escobar? Seriously?

    Ububba, what’s the over-under on when Wagner’s teammates turn on him to the press like he routinely turns on them?

  155. Oh please, get your heads of of his ass.

    I hate Francour, and that sentiment has been expressed many times here. And I watch every Braves game.

  156. Bethany, errors aren’t the best way to measure a player’s defensive performance, because a player with no range will have fewer chances to make errors.

    Among the things you may want to measure instead are how good a guy is at making plays other people don’t make — which +/- does; how big a guy’s range is — which UZR or RZR does; and what effect that has on runs scored by the bad guys — which FRAA does.

  157. I wouldnt say Escobar is the “best in baseball”…that wasn’t what I said in the first place. I said he “has been” the best SS in baseball “this year”….and the numbers say he has been, regardless of what any of our anecdotal observations have led us to believe.

    I agree with you AAR, I can think of a few who I’d trust over the long haul defensively. But the numbers are a reflection of what has happened on the field this year. And Escobar has been superb this year, which is my point.

    Also, the reason Escobar does so well in those categories isn’t because he never makes a mistake, it’s because he makes so many plays that other players don’t make.

    Anyway, Khalil Greene, LOL

  158. Shortstop leaderboard (from Bill James Online):

    Rank Player +/-
    1 Yunel Escobar +17
    2 Orlando Cabrera +10
    3 J.J. Hardy +6
    4 Troy Tulowitzki +6
    5 Cristian Guzman +5
    6 Erick Aybar +5
    7 Hanley Ramirez +4
    8 Chin-Lung Hu +4
    9 Omar Vizquel +4
    10 Maicer Izturis +3

  159. Also, they intentionally walked Jeff Francoeur, which is one of the dumber things you could do, even considering that we’re going to screw this up anyway.

  160. My dislike of him comes from my respect for Renteria. Yes, his defense was heavily declining, but he was a veteran hitter and a perfect #2 hitter. The Braves lack of players like him is part of the reason they can’t get over the hump.

    Escobar is a hotshot, I can’t stand all of his antics: the jumping, the writing in the dirt, the bat twirls and flips. Because he tries to take the ball the other way (not a bad trait), he leans into the plate and acts like his head is going to get taken off on any high pitch. I just don’t like the kid. At all. And it doesn’t help that his offense has been much more inconsistent this year.

  161. I’ll be honest, I don’t think Escobar is the best defensive SS in the game either — but top ten, certainly. I don’t think he’s bad at all, but I’ll be very surprised if he’s still right up there come the end of the year. Based on what I’ve seen from him thus far, he has a flair for making the outstanding play at the expense of the occasional lapse in concentration on the routine.

  162. Escobar has made 7 more plays out of zone than Greene in 58 less innings played.

  163. Also, they intentionally walked Jeff Francoeur, which is one of the dumber things you could do, even considering that we’re going to screw this up anyway.

    Gotta disagree with you there. Francoeur’s the offensive star of the day, Eyre’s a lefty, and Norton, Blanco, Pitcher are due up (with the probable pinch-hitter being Omar Infante). I’d walk Francoeur there, too.

  164. I cannot believe the Braves are going to blow a bases loaded and no one out situation in a one run game.

    Blanco is starting to regress. Willie Harris II.

  165. Bethany, I understand your dislike of hotdogging, but otherwise Escobar and Renteria are pretty similar hitters — right down to their opposite-field line-drives — but Esco’s got much better defense.

  166. you can blame us not scoring there on Tex’ tortise ass. i’m 58 yrs old and i could’ve scored on that. probably be needing the oxygen tent after, but dammit, i coulda scored.

  167. I don’t see why the Braves not scoring is hard to believe. LOB seems to be one of the big stories of the season…

  168. Wait, Dan, after everything that’s happened, are you seriously going to say you cannot believe the Braves are going to screw this up?

    I know they’ve been awful lately, but you gotta think you should score at least one run on luck with the bases loaded and no outs.

  169. Well, Alex, I would argue that Renteria was still a better hitter and a better clubhouse presence, but I did not mean to cause a big debate. I throw the word “hate” around too liberally, apparently.

  170. Is there anyone who doesn’t think we are going to lose this game?

  171. Man…that inning was an embarassment.

    That hurts.

    For the record, Chip is, again, openly rooting for the Cubs. He sounds nothing short of ecstatic the Braves didn’t get anything there.

  172. Did we really leave Infante in to face a nasty righty? Someone, help me to understand this.

  173. The Wagner save was ridiculous–he got squeezed on what should have been a called third strike, and the next pitch Young hit a double.

  174. Ugh! Twice the Braves struck out with the bats on their shoulder. This truly sucks!

  175. That’s it? no acknowledgment that you were proven wrong about Escobar’s defense?

  176. But the sad thing is that the unbelievable becomes believable when it is this team.

  177. What were Chip and Joe saying about how the Braves offense looked different earlier in the game? This is the same crap we’ve been seeing. Why call up Brandon Jones and not start him or at least use him as a pinch hitter vs a right handed reliever who dominates righties?

  178. Renteria was a better hitter in 2007 than Escobar has been this year, but that was also his second-best season and a bit of a fluke. His career OPS+ is 97, and he’s only had an OPS+ over 100 5 times in his 13-year career, twice with the Braves. He played over his head when he was with us.

    It was great — we got some of his best performance ever — but that wasn’t who Renteria historically was as a hitter. Yunel’s career OPS+ is 114.

  179. And you’ve reached the lowest common denominator. I guess that’s as close as to admitting you were wrong as you’re capable of?

  180. Bethany is the trash-talkingest female I’ve ever seen.


  181. I checked, and the Braves have hit .277 .301 .369 with the bases loaded this year (entering this game, so it’s obviously a little lower now). That is slightly worse than the .273 .350 .425 they’ve hit overall. You would expect the batting average to be significantly higher with the bases loaded for two reasons:

    1. As the low OBP indicates, pitchers are reluctant to walk batters in this situation and so they throw more strikes.
    2. With less than two out there is a chance at a sac fly, which isn’t counted in BA, turning outs into non-ABs.

    Well, that was terrible defense.

  182. what the hell is KJ doing, he’s gotten extremely lazy. this team just watches the other team play

  183. OMG…Boyer again. He will make it to July, but so far so good.

    Bethany hates Escobar and Francouer. Very interesting and I will leave it at that.

    I still have hope for Frenchy…anyone who is the closest to John Smoltz on the team, then I think they will be OK.

    We have no bullpen pitcher who can get Lee out…thank goodness who did not homer.

    C’mon Boyer!!!

  184. You didn’t prove me wrong, and you’ve behaved like a 15 year old, so I’m afraid a pat on the back is all you’re getting.

  185. Also, .277/.301/.369? Bases loaded should be the ideal hitting situation. They have nowhere to put you. If you breathe on the ball you have a pretty good chance of scoring. How do we screw the pooch so consistently?

  186. Bethany,
    Good thing you’re not a Mets fan. Jose Reyes would’ve had you putting your head in the oven.

    The Met fans have had an uneasy relationship with Wagner. As irrational as it may be, it goes back to a Yankees game where he melted down like a popsicle. They’ve never trusted him, even though he’s been one of the better modern one-inning save artists.

    Some fans like him because he calls out his teammates. The press likes him because a) he shoots his mouth off, b) he will face the press when he has a bad game, c) he will face the press when any of his teammates won’t—that’s happened more than once.

  187. Ring to face Fukudome would be the right call here, no way they dont score. When was the last time Atl fans got this loud and vocal also?

  188. When was the last time Atl fans got this loud and vocal also?

    When they were cheering on the best team in the National League?

  189. Ububba, I understand the press would like him, and would portray him positively, because he gives them good copy. But when will his teammates openly turn on him, after calling them out and then going out and giving up the game multiple times in a row?

  190. We have 3 LOOGYs and are bringing none of them in to face Fukudome in a 1-run game in the 8th with 2 men on base.

  191. OMG…I hope Huddy has left the ballpark already.

    Atlanta fans got that loud back in ’91….

  192. Boyer survives, and I almost do.

    I’d rather have Yunel than Reyes, but I’d rather have Fukodome than Frenchy; and I don’t like anybody very much. Blehh!

  193. On a positive note: No Chip on TV until next Tuesday.

    Gonna be a great weekend! (even if we go winless!)

    (I’m being forced to readjust how I measure success these days.)

  194. So I see it now…Boyer is the 8th inning man. So regardless if it is a lefty he will stay in.

  195. AAR,
    The Latin guys already don’t like him. He’s replaced LoDuca for that honor.

    That clubhouse is a tinderbox anyway, so I’m not sure how much spark it needs. FWIW, Wagner got out to a great start, but now he’s entered the fray in the “blame game.”

    Wagner’s kind of like a low-brow Schilling in that his teammates kind of hate him for his big mouth, but they really need him for his big arm.

    Speaking of the Mets…they’ve coughed up another one. Up 4-0 with Santana, they lose 5-4.

  196. Mets are now 9-5 in games Santana starts. Pretty good, but he’s definitely beatable.

    We can only hope he doesn’t kick it into his trademark ‘second half of the season’ gear this year.

  197. Wagner wasn’t like in Philly…not liked in NY…and if you are going to open your mouth, you need to back it up.

    Make them pay Mac

  198. No one up in the bullpen? So Boyer’s gonna pitch the 9th too? That’s, um, asinine.

    Pete speculates Soriano will be back on the DL tomorrow. Terrific.

  199. LoDuca was very outspoken about the press only talking to the players who spoke English after games. I believe he might’ve specifically called out Delgado, who *does* speak English but pretends he doesn’t when the heat is on after a loss. It’s sometrhing like that. There’s so much unrest in the Mets clubhouse it’s hard to keep track of who’s mad at who.

  200. Damn…Terry Pendleton it’s time to go. Not b/c you are not a good person, but it’s time for a different voice. This is ridiculous.

  201. If you squint a little it kind of makes sense. Acosta is terrible. Stockman and Ridgway pitched two innings last night. Campillo’s already gone. Ohman is not an option in Wrigley. That leaves Ring and Carlyle.

  202. seriously, we arent going to have Soriano this year or next. He’ll get cut on before the season is over.

  203. No Soriano.

    If the Braves don’t blow this (very possible), it will be a one-run road win.

  204. Mac, honestly it just happened to work out that way today. I’m at work and bored.

    Haven’t been watching any games lately.

  205. There probably is no other, better option in the ‘pen, but I can’t help but believe Boyer’s reappearance for the ninth is tantamount to simply throwing the game away.

  206. Poor Boyer…at least he is still throwing hard. But he will not make it ti July. Soriano have the operation….

    Gonzalez…who knows what he will be when he gets back.

  207. Well I officially give up. Wake me up when this team has a new manager and hitting coach.

  208. 0-8, 6 Ks, 1 GIDP with runners in scoring position today. Somehow, it all makes sense.

  209. Let’s just get it over with and have the former Brave jack it out for the win.

  210. Why is Soriano on the active roster if he can’t pitch? Why can’t the Braves figure out what’s wrong with him?

  211. As for Soriano, I figure he has some sort of tear that doesn’t show up in the MRI (when the elbow is held stable). They pretty much have to do an arthroscope at this point to find up what’s wrong.

  212. I don’t understand why the Braves have waited so long to do something like that to Soriano. It’s obvious he’s not right.

  213. Okay, I have to go back to work. My prediction is that we will leave two men on in the tenth and Bobby will decide to end things by bringing out Acosta for the bottom of the inning.

  214. I thought Gonzalez was coming back this week. The AJC, Cox and the Bowman all said as much.

    But O’Brien yesterday said something about “a week or two” in regards to him, so who the hell knows? It’s like with Smoltz and Soriano, delay after delay after delay.

  215. So, we get to extend our extra innings record to like 0-8 today while extending our 1 run away game losing streak to 20.

  216. somebody remind me to never watch another game on WGN no matter who the cubs are playing. after the homer call,its turned off now.

  217. Escobar’s homer last Monday against the Marlins was in the bottom of the 10th. We have one 1 extra inning game.

  218. barrycuda, keep in mind the biggest Cubs homer is on peachtree calling the game ‘for’ the braves.

  219. Extra innings. Yippee.

    LoDuca was the guy the press went to the last couple years when the other players wouldn’t talk.

    That was fine until LoDuca had a mini-explosion after a game. His rant had a tad more of racial edge than Wagner’s. After a couple days, he backed off those statements, but it was clear that he was no clubhouse favorite at that point.

    Not that it really mattered to his teammates, but LoDuca had some off-field issues as well, related to women, gambling & steroids.

    Predictably, LoDuca was a fan favorite because he’d lose his temper a lot. Of course, now we have a better idea of why.

  220. The whole mindset of this teams is garbage. No leaders as far as everyday players go.

    3 easy outs for Wood, and the Braves will obviously lose in the bottom half b/c the Cubs had the top of their line-up coming up.

    Frank Wren, be a real GM. Bring in your own people. TP has been hitting coach too long.

  221. I think with Omar back Ruben Gotay and his .200 average with one extra base hit (double) an lack of ability to play short stop has, have expended their usefulness and should be designated for an extra outfielder or catcher or something.

  222. Gregor Blanco is now 6 for his last 55….

    Like I said earlier, I hope Huddy has left the ballpark.

    Are you freaking kidding me?? Acosta is in the game? Are the Cubs paying Bobby Cox??

  223. So do you think Wren will clean house if we miss the playoffs this year? or is ole Johnny still running things?

  224. And in a shocking twist, Acosta actually pitches competently! Which no doubt means he’ll be left in to lose the game in the 11th.

  225. There is no way in hell we are going to win this game. The only question is: Who will be the goat this time?

  226. major league hitting coaches are only there to answer questions or help when a player asks for it……..maybe they can make a rookie listen them, (or maybe not)but other than that, these guys have their own plans when they walk to the plate. for example, when Chipper is struggling, he calls his dad. its really one of the symbolic jobs that teams love so much. left over from the ancient days when coaches made more money than most players. nobody is going to replace TP and make any difference.

  227. Does anyone think theres a chance of getting Matt Murton from the Cubs? He seems to be the odd man out for this outfield, and he would definitely solve that problem for us.

  228. Honestly I don’t get why TP gets to keep his job…

    I bet you JS is still running the show..

    Looking ahead to the Angels series:

    Garland, Santana and Saunders.

    Good luck with that…

  229. …and he would definitely solve that problem for us.

    I like Murton and would welcome him at the right price, but he’s honestly not that much better than Matt Diaz and he certainly wouldn’t solve our power outage problem.

  230. Maybe it’s just me, but these threads seem to be a lot bigger now than when the Braves were rolling merrily along.

    Also, I’ve found a great way of dealing with this kind of (late and close) game: when the other guys are batting, just do some household chore that prevents you from listening to the game (I vacuumed!) so that when you’re done, either the Braves won’t have lost, and you’ll be happy, or they will have, and you’ll be like, “Well, at least I got something productive done instead of hearing/seeing those meatheads blow another one!”

  231. Why don’t we make a list of the 25-man roster, by who most deserves and who least deserves to be this game’s goat?

    1. Bobby Cox (Blaine Boyer)
    2. Rafael Soriano
    3. Yunel Escobar
    4. Chipper Jones
    5. Gregor Blanco
    6. Greg Norton
    7. Mark Teixeira
    8. Tim Hudson

  232. Well, not innocent. Yunel botched a few plays, including that shoulda-been double play that led to the Cubs’ first run (and went 0-4); Soriano still isn’t healthy, or he could have shut them down in the 9th; Chipper went 1-5 and hit into a rally-killing double play, as well as striking out with Kelly on 2nd in the 9th; Blanco went 1-5, as well as striking out with the bases loaded; and, of course, Hudson didn’t pitch a complete game shutout.

  233. Again, the bat is on the shoulder–I can’t believe that I have stayed up for this crap…

  234. its amazing how many breaking balls right down the middle our guys have taken today for 3rd strikes

  235. Wow. Another called third strike with men on base. Pretty sure it will be less than 2 weeks before I give up on this team. Pretty sure it will be less than 2 hours, actually.

  236. this is just to let you know i was about to wish some extreme misfortune on Tex. but i didnt……………he doesnt give a damn so why should i?

  237. Wonder if Tex is gonna throw away those sweatbands later?

    Wonder what uniforms we’ll be wearing tomorrow?


  238. AAR, Tex just made it from #7 to #1 on the goat of the day list I guess. But relax, Tex, Acosta will win that race in the bottom half.

  239. i really enjoyed watching Frenchy hack away at a fastball up in his eyes that that…………….disgraceful…………

  240. Honestly, can’t Bobby at least be creative in the way he blows games instead of watching the exact same scenarios play out over and over with the same bad players doing the same bad things?

  241. far inside and not that high….Fukudome’s a lefty though…

    It was a borderlihe Wild Pitch, but was scored a passed ball….McCann barely got the mit on it though, as he was lined up outside.

  242. Hard to believe this team was in the thick of the race at 10 p.m. last Friday.

  243. I think we should volunteer to let the Nationals finish in fourth. People might think it’s sportsmanlike, but the joke’s on them, because we’re headed that way anyway.

  244. Honestly, can’t Bobby at least be creative in the way he blows games instead of watching the exact same scenarios play out over and over with the same bad players doing the same bad things?

    Nope, Cox will keep using Acosta over and over again. Uncle, uncle!

    Now the Cubs can show the Braves how to score with no one out and the bases loaded.

  245. Now let’s see how a team capable of executing when it matters performs with the bases loaded and nobody out.

  246. How many outs will Ridgway get? Zero, one, or two? (Obviously not three.) I’ll say two, then he walks in the winning run.

  247. “Here you go, Jeff. All you have to do is get out of a bases-loaded, no one out situation in the bottom of the eleventh of a tie game. Go get ’em!”

    Is Ring dead?

  248. The problem is — who do you replace Acosta with? Who’s left to call up without being recklessly rushed up, thus torpedoing his chances of ever being effective in Atlanta? (See Devine, Joey.)

  249. I wish to revise my tradeable list and move Corky down a spot and Ridgway to the top.

  250. I’d rather lose by finally plunking one of those SOBs than in any other way, really.

  251. Look at it on the bright side, I don’t think that there are any other ways to lose.

  252. so no Ring, no Stockman, no Carlyle, no Brandon Jones, but we get Acosta, Boyer, Blanco, Norton, and the rookie Ridgeway

  253. Here we were, all complaining about the Braves losing in the same old way, and EUREKA! There it is.

    The losing streak will definitely reach 10. No chance to win until Huddy starts next week. It’s June ’06 all over again.

  254. Stockman pitched 2 innings yesterday, so that one, I can understand.

    What I still cannot understand is leaving Omar Infante in to face Manny Corpas in the 8th or whenever it was.

  255. and Anderson was sent down for someone who they wont let play, and Blanco is still our everyday CF

  256. Oh, come on, lay off of Ridgway, guys. He came in to a bases loaded, no out situation in the bottom of the 11th inning after pitching 2 very good innings yesterday.

    This one’s on the offense and Bobby.

  257. Apologies, Tim….that’s the second win in a row that was blown for you.

    Bring on the Halos (and watch our losing streak grow)

  258. I dont blame Ridgeway, I blame our offense for not being able to do anything. In this series we can get runners to 3rd with no outs and then we cant get a ball in play. Hey look we’ve lost 21 straight 1 run road games.

  259. Geez…now interleague starts again. Bring on Garland, Santana, and Sauders…our offense is smoking…

  260. 7-24….7 and f’ing 24 on the road.

    I repeat: season is lost. Trade Tex for Prospex.

  261. There’s just not enough solid baseball players on this team, and Tex has played like a douche all season.

  262. who would be a good new manager for the Bravos..ya know….someone who can get his players to ohh idunno….PLAY BASEBALL!!!

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