268 thoughts on “Maybe someday when Brent grows up open thread”

  1. I put a decent chunk of money on the overs of the season win total of 85.5. I voted “hold” to at least give me some sort of chance without sacrificing too much of the Braves future.

  2. problem is no one in contention with money (i.e can even hope to sign tex) needs a 1B; we may not get much if we decide we must sell, so it may be the 2 draft choices for us, assuming we offer tex arbitration.

  3. I would think Ohman is almost worth what Fuentes would be worth (esp for AL teams as noted further). His whole career he has been about like he has been for us WHEN NOT PITCHING IN WRIGLEY. There is enough of a track record to establish that. Plus I have tended to notice mid level relievers changing leagues at the deadline seem to be better than they were before (Mahay last year, Reardon in 1992) because they are seeing new batters.

    Now, for an NL team that is more likely to face Cubs at Wrigley, maybe you want to think a little while.

    Ohman alone should be a type B (somebody that knows, what is the chance on the strength of this year on the 2 year average that he might be an A free agent?)

  4. Buy makes sense if we get something we need beyond this year. Liek Youkilis to cover first for 2 years or Kotchman or Nady (who I think is signed through 2009). NO buys that evaporate at the end of this year.

    Hold is good because if there is a sell off, I am afraid the casual fan base will let attendance drop enough to possibly scare Liberty on payroll. Although, maybe Liberty would be smart enough to see that 10 million extra will more than return itself on a team that is basically fairly good.

    Sell makes sense if we can’t close this gap. Also, if we get a phenomenal offer. Otherwise, offer arb and take the picks.

  5. bfan,

    NOBODY who makes a move for Teix will value the “we might be able to extend him” beyond the value of taking the unknown out of the clubhouse. That is, if LA Angels, if he likes Sciossia and the gang and the city then they will get a harder look. Otherwise, they might be summarily discarded.

    Highest bidder will (90%) get Teix. The 2 who might get him for a LITTLE less are us and Baltimore. But when I say LITTLE I mean like one year less, same per year or 10% of pay deferred over the 20 years after the contract. Contracts that are ALMOST the same in Average Annual Value.

  6. Francouer sucks.

    If:

    The Braves are smart they are looking to trade Tex or for that matter anything else of value to build around the core of Hudson, Jones, Escobar, Johnson, McCann, Reyes, Jurrjens. You know like an outfielder or two? Unfortunately Tex by himself aint gonna get much so you are going to have to sweeten the pot with a prospect. I know this is blasphemy but Morton or Escobar Schafer into the mix and see what you can get.

    The Braves are dumb they try to acquire a bat (when they need at least 2) and hope that Campillo and Reyes are for real, Glavine, Soriano come back and Francouer starts to hit.

    Unfortunately I think that they will stand pat just hoping that the influx back from the DL will boost the team. This will doom us to a remainder of the season tantalizingly close to contention but not really

  7. “Unfortunately Tex by himself aint gonna get much so you are going to have to sweeten the pot with a prospect. I know this is blasphemy but Morton or Escobar Schafer into the mix and see what you can get.”

    Why would trade your top outfield prospect and your current starting shortstop. That’s not blasphemy, but dumb.

    My question in regards to Youk, is how well would he hit in Atlanta? Also how would his temperment play in the docile, laidback clubhouse of Atlanta?

  8. Tony @ 14,

    How well did Sheffield’s personality play? I don’t see that being a problem. As for hitting in Atlanta, are his home/road splits that extreme?

    I think a lot depends on what happens in the next week or so. If the Braves are still 6 or 7 back by the end of the month, they will probably take what they can get for Tex.

  9. Youk is useful in that he plays 1st and third, but really does not hit enough for first. He also plays in an extremely batter friendly environment, and the Ted (gah what a stupid name) plays as a pitchers park and has since ’05. He probably would not hit as well here – say 390/420/810. Trading our young guys should be right out. If Tex or Tex plus (so so guy) can’t get a good return, play it out and take the picks.

  10. I wonder if Atlanta sees Youkilus the same way Billy Beane, Theo Epstein, et al do. The Greek god of walks has never really been something that Atlanta has gone crazy over.

  11. Youkilis at home vs. Youkilis on the road. I don’t see a big difference there.

    Youkilis has hit fifteen homers this year, or two less than Teixeira. Of course, he’s never been a home run threat before, and he’s just one short of the career high he set last year.

    This reminds me of my favorite Moneyball-quote-that-looks-suspicious-in-retrospect:

    “Teahen doesn’t project,” says Erik. “He’s a corner guy who doesn’t hit a lot of home runs.”
    Power is something that can be acquired,” says Billy quickly….
    Erik says, “I hate to say it but if you want to talk about another Jason Giambi, this guy could be it.”

    Lewis, Moneyball, 31-32.

  12. Mac,
    That was my exact thought the first time I read that passage. Yeah…“acquired.” Well put, Mr. Beane.

    FWIW, The Greek God of Walks is actually Jewish.

  13. Actually, per ESPN 3 Jewish All-Stars. Youkilis, Ian Kinsler and Ryan Braun. Since I believe that Kevin also fits, that is 3 Celtic first names.

  14. Cary,

    What a funny joke.

    Actually, Ohman to Rays makes sense. But, mainly they have young pitchers to trade, many of whom are worthy, but we really don’t need pitchers in bulk, just maybe 1 with real quality (David Price?).

  15. Ok so my point was that Youkilis can be the Greek God of Walks and be Jewish as well. They’re not mutually exclusive terms.

  16. I was talking to Alex yesterday, and we agreed that the Rays wouldn’t trade Price straight-up for anything that the Braves have. I assume that you’re joking.

  17. What if I vowed to give my firstborn to the Rays? I would do just about anything to get Price in a Braves uniform.

  18. Hey, we have Ethiopian Jews, why not Greek? But according to Wiki, Youkilis’ people are from Romania.

    And, of course, here’s the classic bit with Dennis Leary & Lenny Clarke stopping into a Sawx game when the subject of Youk came up…
    http://tinyurl.com/6bk7rb

  19. From ESPH’s All Star Blog

    2:52 p.m. ET
    A first-time All-Star got to Yankee Stadium tonight because of an adjustment in his approach at the plate.

    Pirates outfielder Nate McLouth finally got a full-time starting job this season, and while not having to worry about an 0-for-4 day resulting in a seat on the bench in the next contest has helped, McLouth has learned to be a little more focused on waiting for pitches that he can drive instead of pitches he can merely make contact with.

    “I think that you can put almost every pitch in play somehow,” McLouth said, “but there’s a difference between hitting the pitch you want to hit and hitting the pitch that the pitcher is trying to get you to hit.”

    Do we think maybe this is part of what we are trying to point out about Francoeur?

  20. “I think that you can put almost every pitch in play somehow,” McLouth said…

    Well, Francoeur has certainly disproved this.

  21. Ububba,
    Yeah I should have guessed that when it said his parents owned a jewelry shop- everybody knows Greeks only own restaurants :)

  22. Three Jewish all stars is great. Thank God Corky Miller isn’t Jewish (I hope).

  23. I couldn’t find that Youkilis clip a couple weeks ago, as – I thought, anyway – the Boston network had taken it down. Thanks ububba!

    On Corky: I went to wikipedia to see if there was anything there on his heritage – the thought of him being Jewish terrifies me, as a Jew – and there is a link to this article, http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/baseball/archive/2005/04/corky_miller_wh.shtml, which some might find amusing for reasons now only clear to us Braves fans.

  24. Adam,
    My pleasure.

    Marc,
    Miller is a fairly common Jewish name, actually.

    Headed to the game tonight. Couldn’t dump my tickets for a number that made me happy. A broker pal told me that it was a surprisingly “cold ticket.”

    So what the hell… I’ve never been to an all-star game. I only wish Bob Sheppard was well enough to do the call on the Yankee Stadium PA tonight.

    I’ll be rocking my *It’s Still 755 t-shirt. If ever there was a night to wear it…

    Go B-Mac, go Chipper & please don’t get hurt.

  25. Ububba,

    As a matter of fact, Norm Miller, who played for the Braves briefly but whose chief claim to fame is being a main character in Jim Bouton’s “Ball Four” is Jewish.

    Re the article: I think the thought of Corky being president is less terrifying than of him actually playing for the Braves. Of course, if he had to push the button, he would probably miss.

    Adam, if Corky was Jewish, he would be following in the footsteps of Moe Berg, who also couldn’t hit. Of course, Berg spoke seven or eight languages and was a spy for the US in WW II.

  26. ubbubba have a good time. I used to like to watch all star games. haven’t watched one in years.

    @24 Rocco Baldelli????

    @13 I guess I was trying to say you have to give something to get something. Usually you trade a guy like Tex for highly regarded prospects. We aint gonna get that for him at this point in the season.

  27. I linked it because of this quote:

    “When you are 1 for your last 47 (.021) in the past two seasons, it stands to reason that you probably don’t put a lot of stock in statistics. “I don’t (look at my stats),” he said.”

    I only wish someone in our organization would put some stock in statistics.

  28. There actually was a somewhat substantial Jewish population in Thessaloniki. Sephardic, as were many Jewish populations along the Mediterranean.

    Youkilis’s people ain’t from there, ‘course. But it’s a good nickname anyway, and at least he has a nickname — practically no one does anymore. Where have you gone, Al Hrabosky? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to your nickname…

  29. Corky Miller said “My uncle’s wife’s brother’s name was Clark and they called him Corky,” Miller responded when asked about the origins of his name.”

    Your uncle’s wife’s brother is your uncle you nitwit.

  30. Um… Not necessarily. Actually, your uncle’s wife’s brother, depending upon the relationships, could be your uncle, or could be your father, or could be no generally recognized relationship at all.

  31. Leave it to an Alabamian to know all the nuances of familial relation. I suppose I did neglect to consider that your “uncle’s wife’s brother” could be your father but how could he be of no relation? Your uncle’s wife is your aunt. An aunt’s siblings must also be aunts, uncles, or …YOUR FATHER.

  32. Mr. Swings I hate to tell you this, but Corky probably stated it correctly. If there is no blood relationship, he is not his uncle.

  33. Ok. In my family anyone that marries an uncle or an aunt is called an uncle or an aunt despite the lack of direct blood ties. I suppose we’re just overly generous with the uncle/aunt designation.

  34. MS@E, if your father’s brother marries a woman, then she’s your aunt, but she’s no blood relation. Generally speaking, you wouldn’t call her siblings your uncles and aunts.

  35. I was just about to say the same thing oldtimer. I settled for something immature. I made my bed…

    Anyway, UF lost two DBs to season-ending knee injuries. As if our secondary wasn’t bad already, now we have to rely on Will Hill to save our tails.

  36. “I only wish someone in our organization would put some stock in statistics.”

    Especially since Corky had a 1-39 season in his past, and a coupl of 0fers, in small numbers of at-bats.

    Is Frank Wren a sabremetric guy; an old-school guy; or something in between. Does the Braves organization have any smart, stats guys on the payroll?

  37. You don’t have to be a ‘sabermetrics-guy’ to recognize just how awful Corky Miller has been. Batting average ain’t new.

  38. rob @ 60, my bed is made about once a week when the cleaning ladies come.
    i trimmed the lawn and painted my steps, very exciting,

  39. I am glad to hear that about those UF DB’s. It will be fun to watch Crompton burn the Gators deep.

  40. I still think the best line I’ve heard this year about the Gators was about Tebow and his mission: “Let’s win one for the clipper.” I probably read it on here.

  41. When I grew up in rural south Georgia, a common saying was, Thank God for Alabama.” Without ‘Bama, Georgia would have had the lowest national rating in everything good, like literacy, and the highest in everything bad, like teen pregnancy, uncle daddies and the like.

  42. I can say whatever I want about Alabama because I’m from the only city in the world with a monument to an insect.

  43. Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve watched this, that was the bench… gotcha. I was wondering where the big names were.

    I would have to say Mississippi is a touch worse than Bama. Just a little. It gives me some hope.

  44. Dave Winfield brought two caps — a Padre cap he wore, and a Yankee cap he had in his hand. If you’re gonna pander, that’s the way to do it.

    Gary Carter did the same thing.

  45. So, after assembling every living Hall of Famer they could find… the National Anthem’s being sung by Sheryl Crow? Isn’t that a bit like asking your girlfriend to marry you and giving her a cereal box decoder ring?

    Couldn’t they have gotten Hank Williams III?

  46. Do you think, when he’s among his friends or in private, Joe Buck has even a wit of humor?

    Also: now that Cliff Lee is the topic of conversation, I wonder if the Lee-Sizemore-Phillips for Colon trade bests the Liriano-Nathan-Bonser (or was it Baker?) for Pierzynski deal.

  47. When Joe Buck said we should look for The Boss out in the outfield, I thought they were talking about Springsteen… when really they just meant Hank and Hal’s daddy. Disappointing.

    Also, Adam, I’m gonna say no.

  48. I can say whatever I want about Alabama because I’m from the only city in the world with a monument to an insect.

    What about Dothan, Alabama? Or is that the city you’re referring to?

    http://tinyurl.com/6y48al

  49. Yeah, it’s Enterprise. Someone told me that the monument had been permanently defaced and is not currently on display which is a shame if it’s true. When I was there the weevil itself was on it’s third incarnation and was made of lead or some non precious metal to deter thieves but a guy who was down there recently said that the statue that holds the weevil had been damaged and taken down.

  50. Freaking upstairs neighbors. I was at a buddy of mine’s house, and at 1AM, the people upstairs decided their floor needed vacuuming. AT ONE IN THE MORNING! I had to be at work in the morning.

    Inflamed rotator cuff. I hope he’s ok with the 7 days he gets off. I dunno.

  51. Georgians have Alabamans, Alabamans have Mississippians, Virginians have W. Virginians, North Carolinians have South Carolinians, and everybody has Kentuckians, Praise God!

  52. Okay, now I’ve had two comments spammed.

    All I was saying is, apropos of Seat Painter’s comment that everyone has Kentuckians, that statement especially applies to Hunter Thompson.

    For some reason I can’t post a link to “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.” Well, Google it if you haven’t read it. It’s one of the best things ever.

  53. Well, now I just look really silly… but I guess that’s nothing new.

    I like this thing the NL is doing — I believe it’s known as having a one-run lead on the road. I think I read about it once.

  54. braves 14, that will happen every now and then when you have another catcher on the team who can actually do something halfway decent.

  55. Billy Effing Wagner… Not that the Braves will be impacted, but I’m still rooting for the NL.

  56. Mac, great Moneyball quote. I remember reading that and thinking, “well he’ll just grow into the power, that’s what he means.” Anyway, Beane is too smart to not know what was going on with Giambi, Tejada, etc.

    Anyway, I found the Yankees fans booing Papsmear very amsuing, especially after his dumbass comments about wanting to close ahead of Rivera. I also give the Yankee Stadium PA system credit for playing “Sunglasses at Night” when Corey Hart came up, I’m sorry but that never stops being funny to me. I’m hoping for “Never Surrender” one of these days.

  57. Always cheer for the NL

    Last time I was at Miller Park (Braves series) Corey Hart came up to some pop/pretending to be country song. Don’t know which one. Everyone else seemed to. Always thought he should come up to sunglasses at night.

    At one game a buddy of mine and I were chatting about what we’d play when we came up to hit or came out to close a game. He suggested “Mmmm Bop.” Classic. heh heh.

  58. Maybe Clint Hurdle is trying to demonstrate to Bobby what it would look like if Brian McCann actually got a day off.

    And Bobby could take his advice, if he had Russell Martin or Geovany Soto instead of Corky Miller.

  59. C. Shorter, funny. I’d say I agree with Hank III on the relative merits of pop country:

    They say that I’m ill-mannered
    that I’m gonna self-destruct
    But if you know what I’m thinkin’
    you’ll know that pop country really sucks

  60. Meanwhile, Aaron Cook just induced three straight bases-loaded groundouts, and Hanley Ramirez just made a fantastic play to preserve the tie.

    The AL offense just turned into the Atlanta Braves!

  61. Wow, Tejada! I thought he might’ve thrown that one away on the tough play. NL still alive.

  62. Aaron Cook and Tejada just saved our ears from at least 5 years of ESPN talking about Rivera getting the win in this All Star game. Thank You!!!

  63. The last time the NL won an all star game the starting pitcher was Smoltzie and McGriff and Chipper started at the corners. Mark Wohlers was an all-star. Think about that for a minute, how long it’s been. My goodness.

    Its the curse of Mark Whiten. Ever since he was traded to the AL, the NL hasn’t won an all-star game. That’s got to be it.

  64. AAR, I’ve seen the Shack Shakers a number of times. Pretty good show if you like the psychocountryfriedbillythang. But even though it’s part of their name, I’m not sure they’ve earned the status of “legendary” yet. I mean, that singer is no David Yow.

  65. CSG, thx for the correction. I guess that’s why he didn’t throw it away.

    Url, the psychocountryfriedbillythang sounds pretty good to me, though I wouldn’t say I have much experience. I really dig SCOTS’s Dirt Track Date, and that’s about all I got unless you count the Cramps’ Bad Music for Bad People. Do the Shakers have a record you’d recommend?

  66. If the NL somehow wins this (which they won’t), Aaron Cook should be the MVP (which also won’t happen).

  67. Nobody wants to hop on my “Curse of Hard Hittin Mark Whiten” train ?? Very sad.

  68. 129 — although on the umpteenth time i saw it, it looked like martin may have ticked his foot at the beginning of the slide.

  69. AAR, I can’t recommend one as good as those two records. :-)

    For me, that whole genre is better seen live than heard on record. Or, to put it another way, it’s really hard to capture that sound and visual experience on a recording. I should mention the Flat Duo Jets here, huh? I really like some of their early recordings but it’s not the same as having seen them live.

    The truly legendary Ronnie Dawson put out a really good one a while back, Reelin’ and a Rockin’. It’s even in mono.

    Hope that helps…

  70. I agree with Flat Duo Jets analysis-Dexter Romweber has to be seen to be believed (although Go Go Harlem Baby is a very good album).

    I just recently discovered that the long defunct Atlanta band the Tombstones released some of their material on CD a few years ago; the CD is appropriately entitled Twang From the Grave. :)

  71. Been really digging a band called The Cops, punk/post-punk from Seattle, and a British rock band called the Young Knives. And I’ve been really getting into Martin Newell’s various projects, the Cleaners from Venus, the Brotherhood of Lizards, and the album he did with Andy Partridge. Insanely good British pop music.

  72. Word.

    I like what I’ve heard of the Young Knives, which is just a track or two. I’ll have to check the rest out tomorrow. Can I just say, I love hearing new music, thanks!

  73. Geez – Uggla.

    3 errors. 2 blown chances at the plate in extras.

    You can’t be more of a goat.

  74. This is Martin’s 9th inning in this game. If that was McCann, I would be going nuts. I am so thankful McCann wasn’t the second catcher out.

    Dan Uggla is going to have nightmares about this game for the rest of his life. I’m amazed at how the NL pitchers (so far) have been able to overcome the bad defense behind them.

    The stolen bases in this game have gotten out of hand. Seriously, I’m a Braves fan. I don’t recognize any type of advancing the runner except for failed bunts.

  75. This game is getting funny. Selig may be regretting the whole “this game counts” rubbish we’ve had to put up with for the last few years. Seriously, how many innings is the game going to last? I feel like the Braves and Astros should be playing…

    I’m pleasantly surprised at how close the NL has been able to keep it. I just assumed when it was tied at 2 that the NL would choke again.

    I’m glad McCann’s not in and hasn’t played, but I’m wondering how McCann feels about it. 14 innings (so far) and no action at all. I’m not sure he remembers what an off day is like.

  76. Am I correct that if McCann doesn’t play tonight, that would give him half of his off days this year during the all star break ??

  77. AAR, the one that you can actually catch me at most days is woodvillefm “at” y@h00, etc.

  78. JJ3, not quite, but close…

    The season began on March 30, 108 days ago. Since then, the Braves have played 95 games, and McCann has appeared in 89, 83 of them starts.

    By comparison, Martin has played in 93 of his team’s games, starting 82 at catcher. He’s also started 5 games at short and 1 at DH.

  79. Another Alex R, I think you mean 5 at 3B for Martin, but if McCann would have got the day off tonight, that would have given him three days off, compared to six games completely off, that’s what I was referring to.
    Anyway, it illustrates the point of how useless Corky Miller is.

  80. I’m torn. Now that Lidge is in, I would kind of like to see this one go six more innings.

    But, B-Mac is in a little early.

  81. Whoops, I meant 3b, yeah. It’s time for bed. I wish this game weren’t so damned good.

    But it looks like Brad Lidge is deciding to self-destruct again.

  82. Well, the NL East was pretty suspect in this game.

    Billy Wagner
    Dan Uggla
    Brad Lidge

    Not to mention, as soon as B-Mac got in, the NL lost.

  83. If that stings Lidge, like it should… well, okey-dokey then. Still hate to see the NL lose though.

  84. Still, Major League Baseball has the only All-Star game that works as a decent (though certainly not perfect) approximation of the regular gameplay.

    The NBA and NHL All-Star games are so defense optional that they are a joke.

    The Pro Bowl is the most egregious failure of them all and should be deep-sixed. It’s seriously a complete waste of time.

  85. Figures Wagner and Lidge blew the game for the NL… hopefully it caries over to the second half

  86. Hart didn’t have a good game for sure, but compared to Uggla everyone else looked pretty damn decent.

  87. Cary, what are you talking about ??? I have had the over on the Pro Bowl the last six years. Just kidding.

  88. From McCann, “You’d be stupid not to take advantage of it; [Chipper is] there as much as you need. He’s more than willing to help out whenever you’re in a little bit of a slump.”

    Is that McCann’s way of saying, “Frenchy is stupid.”?

  89. I think it indicates that McCann and Chipper have an elevated understanding of hitting that Frenchy just doesn’t have. I’ll give an example. I’ve been trying to teach myself the programing language Perl. I have very little background in programming. I know the basics and can do a few tricks, but not having that instinct that comes from working with computer languages, I can’t pick things up as well as someone who’s learning Perl, but has knowledge of other languages. I am frustrated after reading books on the subject and understanding every word, yet I still can’t do what I want to do.

    Jeff’s understanding is lacking at such a fundamental level makes it impossible for him to gain much from Chipper. He and McCann can talk mechanics, pitch identification, etc. that Frenchy just isn’t going to get. He might mimic some stuff (see the useless toe-tap he added to his approach), but because he doesn’t understand the purpose behind it, it is not really having the same effect.

    It might be an IQ issue, but I think it has more to do with Francoeur getting by on pure natural ability for so much of his life that he’s missed out on things that people with less talent have to learn.

    I’ll give another example. I occasionally meet people who have attended Harvard (or other elite institutions) who are absolutely useless. The reason for this isn’t that these people aren’t intelligent, but that they are so used to being the best that their arrogance prevents them from furthering their knowledge. It’s hubris, and because they went to Harvard everyone’s first instinct is to treat them as a typical Harvard graduates (who excel at most things), which feeds their own skewed self-perception and prevents them from putting their talents to use properly.

  90. I rise in defense of my fellow Kentuckians.

    Truth be told, hillbillies are superior to rednecks.

    Our appliances may be on the porch, but at least they’re clean.

  91. This will probably be the first and last time that Jeff Francouer is mentioned in the same comment as Harvard graduates.

  92. Marietta, June, 2012: “Released by the Kansas City Royals in spring training, former major leaguer Jeff Francoeur now works for a construction business started up by three recent Harvard graduates.”

  93. Wouldn’t those just be mountainbillies?

    By the way, I meant no ill will by starting off the state-specific insults last night. Besides, I like Alabama just fine. As everyone knows, Mississippi is the worst, and it’s not really all that close.

  94. Tennessee seems relatively progressive by comparision. And, at least, we didn’t need the National Guard to integrate the schools. (;

  95. Nina Simone said it best:

    “…and everybody knows about Mississippi….GODDAMN!”

  96. I think JC may have just unknowingly dubbed me the Frenchy of software development… too much intuition from early nerdy days, not enough formal training.

  97. JC, thanks for spending the time to write that. I absolutely agree with you on what you said. That’s why I don’t see Frenchy will develop into a superstar unless he changes his attitude…which I don’t see that happening after seeing how he reacted to his demotion…

  98. I feel frustrated the NL can’t win this thing. The AL lineups were skewed because the starters were, at least for the Americans, not as good as the backups. The Nationals’ starters were better and this meant that the Americans had an advantage for the second half of the game. Watching Ryan Ludwick and Christian Guzman and even Corey Hart out there was disconcerting. But the fact remains: the AL has the superior interleague record and owns the All-Star game. The jokes from my AL-sympathetic friends will continue, even if the gap is closing.

  99. I’m not sure losing 4-3 in 15 innings proves that much except that these are the kinds of games the NL used to win when it was the superior league in the 70s and 80s. In two of the last three years, the NL had the lead late and the bullpen couldn’t hold leads. Nevertheless, the AL does seem simply better. But the All-Star game means much less than the interleauge results–the drubbing the AL gives to the NL is rapidly making the World Series rather anticlimactic, especially with the way the AL has crushed the NL in the Series in recent years. No matter who wins the NL this year, they will be heavy underdogs in the WS. It makes no sense to me that, in an era of a common draft, free agency, etc, that one league should be that much better.

  100. the leagues play two different types of games. There is no managing in the AL. Its just fill out your lineup card and sit there and watch (not really, but it seems that way). Seriously, I hate the DH, but either both leagues should implement it or it should go away. Our extra hitters come in the names of Norton, Lillibridge, and Gotay where AL teams have Hafner, Ortiz, Thome, Giambi….however, it seems most of the NL teams are getting the aces from the AL. I would love to see a team like Mil. throw Sabathia and Sheets out there to start a WS

  101. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney:

    The asking price for Xavier Nady is considered to be extraordinarily high right now, and rival executives have a sense that the Pirates are not going to lower their demands for the corner outfielder before the trade deadline. Nady will be arbitration-eligible this winter.

  102. I really wanted to see the game keep going just to see who was going to come out and pitch for the AL. Because “this time it counts” there were a couple of guys that pitched that had just thrown full outings on Sunday. That’s not going to make people happy. Maybe if it kept on going then it would have given Lincecum enough time to recover from his dehydration and get out there for the NL.

    Hart fielded the ball ok, but not great… which may have contributed to the unAll-Starlike throw. I’m not even sure if he has a good arm, anyway. Any decent throw will get Morneau on that play.

    Ububba… at what point did you pack it in and head home?

  103. All –

    There was an article in the WSJ over the weekend about the AL’s superiority to the NL. It is worth a read if you can gain access.

    The AL has won the interleague record, the All-Star game and most of the World Series for nearly two decades. The article attributes the dominance to better players, stadium deals from ’89 on resulting in larger payrolls, and the A’s Moneyball approach which it says the AL adopted and the NL did not. I think the dominance might have more to do with the Yankees outspending any NL team by about $90M, and the competitive response to that.

    Schuerholz and Gillick are the only current executives quoted in the article.

  104. #207 –

    The WSJ article says the better players, mainly better sluggers, are coming into the AL because of the DH rule.

  105. I did a little work on an article about quality differences in the leagues since 1901. I dropped it because I didn’t think it was methodologically sustainable, at least as far as I was capable of carrying it. But in summary, quality differences between the NL and AL are surprisingly persistent over time; when one league becomes demonstably superior, it tends to stay that way not for just a few years, but for decades. The NL was the stronger league for maybe forty years after integration. Once it gained superiority around 1910, the AL was almost always stronger until the Second World War. There are some points when they come together, but as a general thing, this is true.

  106. I just want to compliment JC on his description of Jeff Francoeur. I definitely get the impression that Jeff just doesn’t have an understanding of the game of baseball. He doesn’t understand what pitchers are trying to do to him to get him out or how he could respond effectively to get on base. He’s trying a lot of different things people are advising him but since he doesn’t really understand the point behind it all none of it is working for him. Unfortunately he’s no longer in AA where he could get by on just swinging hard at every pitch and counting on mediocre pitching prospects grooving him fastballs every at bast.

  107. In my estimation, one of Frenchy’s biggest problems is that he has no real sense of his own strengths and weaknesses.

    Some limited players are able to achieve success within their limits. Dan Uggla’s famous for a swing-from-his-shoetops approach, and his play in extras last night indicates he may not be as smart as your average bear in baseball IQ. But he’s a heck of a hitter, and if Frenchy could give Uggla’s production, he’d be at least league-average.

    If Jeff could recognize his own weaknesses — like the fact that, even if he thinks he’s a bad-ball hitter, he’s actually not, and the fact that he basically cannot hit breaking balls — he might be able to rest on his strengths.

    For example, if a pitcher is famous for trying to groove a first-pitch fastball, that’s when he could go up there sitting dead-red on a fastball. If a pitcher has filthy breaking stuff, then the moment he reads that a ball is spinning downward, he should just check his swing or lay off.

    He’s not a smart hitter, but he could be a guess hitter. He has enough natural ability to put a charge into the ball if he guesses right, but doesn’t have enough natural ability to adjust to a pitch if he doesn’t already have it in mind.

  108. AAR, it almost sounds like you’re describing Frenchy from the last couple of years (even if he didn’t really have the type of pitch recognition you’re calling for). He could hit a fastball that got a lot of the plate and some other mistakes. If he could get back to that form then he’d certainly be more useful than he is now… even if still making a ton of outs along the way.

  109. I saw the WSJ article on AL superiority but didn’t find it’s explanations convincing.

  110. Tennessee seems relatively progressive by comparision. And, at least, we didn’t need the National Guard to integrate the schools.

    This is relevant in 2008…how exactly?

  111. c.shorter,
    I was there from first pitch to last and shared the thought that many Braves fans uttered: “Uggla never plays like this against Atlanta.” Hard to have a worse game than he did. (The Marlins made all 4 NL errors last night.)

    And yes, I’m a little beat today.

  112. Glad to hear you were there for the whole game… and that you had a good one to see. Even if we’d prefer a different final score.

  113. Trust me—by the 4th hour there, the remaining fans were getting delirious. (BTW, the bleachers stayed packed the whole time.) People just wanted it to end.

    I was rooting for the NL, of course, but at that point I could’ve rooted for anyone to hit a HR—Barry Bonds, Osama Bin Laden, anybody.

    But yeah, along with the Uggla Ugliness, there was some genuine all-star play last night, especially those OF throws from Ichiro & McLouth.

    And it was cool to see the HoFers in person, too.

  114. The average AL team outspends the average NL team by $14M. Take the Yankees out of the equation and the disparity is $5.6M. Maybe that’s the difference in salary between an every day DH and a bench player or extra bullpen arm. I bet if you take the Red Sox out of the equation, payrolls are more or less equal.

    So, the AL has the two biggest spenders on the block. Those teams won 7 of the last 9 World Series titles claimed by the AL. Discounting those championships, the Leagues have split the remaining 10 Fall Classics since 1991.

    To me, this is the big difference between the Leagues.

  115. @218:

    It was meant as a joke. Sorry to offend.

    The point about Frenchy is that he is an athlete, not a baseball player. Baseball requires specific skills that are not necessarily athletic in nature but involve temperament and adaptability. That’s why guys that throw 100 miles an hour don’t necessarily become great pitchers. Frenchy has no baseball instinct as far as I can see. That doesn’t mean he can’t hit the ball 9 miles at times but his ability to adjust and adapt seems limited.

    Re the All Star Game–unfortunately, the fact that the AL gets home field in the World Series is unlikely to affect the Braves.

  116. Saw a stat in SI this week that the DH has the highest average salary among positions—almost $7M per.

    The lowest was catcher—around $2M per.

  117. That’s why the DH will be with us in the AL for ever. The union would never agree to abolish it but the NL is unlikely to ever adopt it.

  118. That’s ridiculous. Unlike each position, DH is something any hitter can do. Willie Harris DHed a game for the Braves last season.

    How do you pay guys who hit 3-5 times per game in most games, and sit on the bench do absolutely nothing the rest of the time, the most money?

  119. Why does a doctor who specializes in one organ make more than a general practitioner? The ability to hit and the ability to field are not particularly related. There are a limited number of guys who can really hit, and any number of guys who can really field.

  120. Players definitely get paid more for offense than defense. Power is definitely the premium. It seems more likely you would have a slugger at DH and they would get paid handsomely.

  121. I saw on ESPN this morning that Lidge threw 100 pitches before even going out there. Steve Phillips made that excuse for him as to why he was worn out when he went out there. He was saying that it could affect the rest of the Phillies’ season.

  122. In the AL, the DH is often the most important player on the team, eg, David Ortiz with the Red Sox. In general, good hitters get paid much more than good fielders. Players don’t get paid a lot because they can do two things ok, they get paid a lot because they can do one thing (hitting) really well.

  123. It’s not just because he’s the most important player on the team. DH is the last refuge for an aging, expensive slugger — think of all the people the Yankees have had to put there in recent years, like Giambi and Bernie Williams. Age is correlated with increasing salary — because after a certain age you’re no longer cost-controlled — and with decreasing mobility in the field. Once your legs go, assuming you still have any value at all, you will be paid far more than a young player who is still cost-controlled (and who can still play the field).

  124. A word picture of this blog, by Wordle. I thought “sucks” might be prominent, but it’s “McCann”. I guess that’s pretty accurate. Also notice the proximity of “Francoeur” to “failure”, “nothing”, and “screwed”.

  125. I think Tex will bring better value by an in-season trade than waiting for the compensatory draft picks.

    I still have faith in the Braves’ ability to draft and develop, but I think we could use some outfielders real soon!

  126. Yeah, the thing about the “average salary” for the DH has always struck me as a dubious argument. Are you telling me that David Ortiz would simply not be employed if it wasn’t for the DH? Or that people wouldn’t swallow the defense of Jim Thome or Frank Thomas? No, these players would still have jobs and have high salaries; they’d just be getting pulled for defensive subs and such late in games from time to time. The real players who benefit from the DH are mediocre LFs and 1Bs who would otherwise be in AAA. Heck, if you want evidence, just look at how teams act during interleague play. Ortiz sits maybe once a series.

    The other thing about the DH is that, like as not, you get some scrub hitting there rather than an aging bopper. Aside from the guys I listed above, name 5 DHs that are, well, DHs. As in, “play full-time for their team primarily as the DH”. There’s like, what, Milton Bradly? And even he’s got 25% of his games in the OF. I guess Hafner, but he’s been hurt and sucks now.

    So not only are DHs only DHs becuase the DH exists, there aren’t very many of them to begin with. And it’s not like they’re an extra roster spot or anything; take away the DH and all you get is a different type of player on the roster (in some cases; in others, like the Angles or the current incarnation of the Blue Jays, there’s probably no difference in the roster at all!).

    The only real argument I could see for keeping the DH around is that, on the margin, it probably extends the careers of some players. This means that, on the margin, there are fewer players still arbitration- (or pre-arbitration-) eligible. And that may increase the overall average salary of the league. But even then, you’re benefiting the few players who have already made lots of money at the expense of the marginal ones who may be kept from making the bigs by the DH. I find it weird how the Players’ Union looks out for the interest of its stars at the expense of the majority of its membership (the group in the arb/pre-arb years or making a couple million a year on two or three year contracts), but it have been pretty consistent in that respect. I guess this is just another example.

  127. Chipper’s in there.

    A better question is “Where’s Chip?” His absence on that thing is a sign that I haven’t bitched about him enough this year, despite my best efforts. I’ll have to step up my game for the upcoming peachtree-tv games.

  128. Hampton hurt again. He had to leave his start in the second inning after injuring his quad. Man is this guy cursed or what.

  129. I’m pretty sure that if he doesn’t pitch this year we’ll get at least some insurance on him.

  130. While I was rooting for Hampton to make it back and pitch a few games, I never seriously thought he would. It was one of those “I’ll believe it when I see it” deals. I feel bad for the guy. I’m sure he’s not trying to get hurt. It’s got to be in the back of his mind, though, every time he pitches. One little tweak and I’m sure he’s thinking, “oh great, here we go again.”

    Was he on something that is causing his body to fall apart?

  131. Wow what was with all the Mississippi bashing earlier? If you notice when Hurricane Katrina hit we weren’t running around looting and murdering people like another state to to our southwest, we pulled together and everything remained calm.

  132. “Wow what was with all the Mississippi bashing earlier? If you notice when Hurricane Katrina hit we weren’t running around looting and murdering people like another state to to our southwest, we pulled together and everything remained calm.”

    get your facts straight. i’m from new orleans and i will take offense to an ignorant statement.
    the mississippi bashing earlier was all in good fun, but calling out a state during one of the worst natural disasters in history is quite distasteful. i bet you’re not even from an area affected by katrina. you might be from mississippi, but being from northern mississippi, you would have had as much contact with katrina as..say….north dakota. louisiana has its many problems. you should pick another one besides a sensitive subject you know nothing about. i was in new orleans days after katrina hit and i can tell you that it was a very safe place. much safer than normal.

    http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/1195.html

  133. Hampton is awesome. He should just pack it and not try again this year. Maybe he can try again after two years of rest.

  134. who had quad in the Hampton injury pool? I had hangnail

    246–Freeman has looked great this year–he homered in a game I went to last week–I think he’s the only legit position player prospect on the team besides Hayward

  135. Hampton tweaks groin.

    http://tinyurl.com/5pzzrl

    I blame the Braves. They just kept on pushing him. He wasn’t supposed to have a rehab start today, the last one was to be the last one and he’d be in the Atlanta Braves’ rotation after the all-star break. But the Braves pushed their luck and made him have another rehab start today…with predictable results.

    More Charlie Morton. Oh goodie.

  136. Looks like we jumped the gun… whoever had quad in the pool has to give their winnings to whoever had groin. I’ve thought of a way for Hampton to redeem himself somewhat to the Braves fans: IF he makes it back and is productive (we won’t discuss how huge this if is) if he re-signs a minor league contract for league minimum the next 2-3 years… So he won’t tie up the organization’s money, but can re-hab in the minors as needed, and rebuild his value, while giving something productive to the Braves organization. I know it’s a ridiculous proposal… but if you’re Mike Hampton wouldn’t you want to do SOMETHING to feel better about how this all went down?

  137. i’m just glad the all-star nonsense is over. glad the AL won(even though i hate the DH too). its impossible for me to root for the NL because its roster is full of guys that kill the Braves. same for the world series. i’ve even caught myself rooting for the Yanks in the series. especially when they were playing the Dodgers…………..my alternative for the stupid homerun derby would be to put Bud Seligs’ dumbass in a dunking booth over a pool filled with beer at 2nd base (hey, hes from milwaukee) let the players throw from home to see who has the most accurate arm. it would be more entertaining than the derby and have just as much to do with baseball.

  138. It’s time for Hampton to push it whether he feels like it or not. If he’s scared of getting hurt worse, then he needs to retire.

    I do not believe there is much insurance for Hampton. The individual policy the team had ran out two years ago. Then the Braves, through their normal PR chicanery, claimed that they did have some of his salary covered by insurance. My guess is that they have some limited overall roster insurance, and he goes towards some of that. But that means less funds go to cover the costs of other injuries.

  139. MRaver is right about the union looking out for the stars and ignoring the little guys. The DH probably hurts the marginal players because there is not as much need for pinch hitters and defensive players in the AL.

    However, I do think that lots of fans–especially in the AL–like the DH and do not want to eliminate it. And while I don’t particularly like the AL brand of ball, I’m beginning to believe that it makes little sense to have two sets of rules and to maintain the NL as really the only league anywhere without the DH.

  140. And while I don’t particularly like the AL brand of ball, I’m beginning to believe that it makes little sense to have two sets of rules and to maintain the NL as really the only league anywhere without the DH.

    Well, then, the terrorists have won, Marc.

  141. F that. If the two leagues absolutely must have the same set of rules, than the AL can ditch the DH and play real baseball again.

    The NL is also not the only league without the DH. The Central League of Japan has no DH too and the pitcher must hit.

  142. This has become a psychological syndrome. They ought to revise the term to “Hamptochondriac.”

    Hamptochondriac (Hamp-toh-kon-dree-ak) noun
    1. An otherwise seemingly healthy individual who is felled my mysterious obscure injuries any time he is on the verge of total recovery.
    2. Anyone who misses work for three months due to a “strained left pectoral muscle.”
    3. An individual riding out the end of a $121 million contract, but avoiding pitching at all costs.

  143. It can’t be coincidence that Hampton’s injuries always seem to come right when he’s on the brink of returning. He is either faking, or such a mental case that he should not be playing.

  144. I’m surprised Dan thinks we should have waited until Hampton was pitching in the bigs to find out that he wouldn’t get through the 2nd inning. Seems like it hurts the team a lot less with him getting hurt before being the SP in a game and on the 25-man roster.

    In addition to Freeman and Heyward, Cody Johnson is a “legit prospect” in the sense that he’s got the tools to play at the ML level. OTOH, he’s not really “legit” in the sense that his play to this point hasn’t really looked like that of a major leaguer. My view of him is that he’s the hitting equivalent of a “live arm” kind of guy who has a great FB but not a lot else. He has done nothing performance-wise to instill confidence, but at the same time still ha a lot of upside.

    Overall, I feel like the Braves are going to end up with more “star” potential on the hitting side this year than they did last year. Heyward and Schafer will still be on the list, and Freeman and Flowers have both emerged as guys who have legit upside as ML players. Pitching-wise, Hanson’s stock is up a lot, Rhorhbaugh finally looks healthy, and Locke seem to be making the adjustment to full-season ball quite well. Oh, and since shifting to the rotation, Kris Medlen has been excellent for AA Mississippi.

    It’s scary to think how good the Braves’ minor league system would be if they still had Andrus, Feliz, and Max Ramirez. I mean, those three might all be top-20 guys by the end of the year.

  145. #262 – I was wondering when my ridiculous ramblings would get a response :D

    #263 – It reminds me of the title of that book on the Braves put out pre-91… talking about Ted Turner… “We could’ve lost without you” (or something like that). Sadly that’s how Tex has turned out it seems, he’s been better at 1st than our options last year, but we’re still not close enough to the top of our division to matter. In the long run we would’ve been better off to keep the prospects it seems… though it was tough to know it at the time.

  146. Mraver, kudos on some great posts this morning. I have enjoyed reading them.

    I am not a subscriber to Baseball America, but I heard that Freddie Freeman got an “honorable mention” on their mid-season Top 25 prospects list. If this is true, it would be quite remarkable, and one could be almost certain that he would be a top 50 prospect.

    Freeman has really been every bit as good as Heyward (who is the #5 prospect by BA’s reckoning) this year and is a month younger.

    As for the others, Hanson, Teheran, Hernandez, and Schafer should all remain highly regarded, with Flowers Medlen, Rohrbough and Locke on the rise.

    Feliz will be top 20 (#13 now). Max Ramirez will be way up there, as will Andrus.

    We can lament the trade of these guys for our rental Tex, but we should celebrate that the organization that put all of these guys in one farm system is largely intact.

  147. Freeman is not quite as good as Heyward. Heyward’s walk rate is very impressive and he also plays higher up on the defensive spectrum and has base stealer speed. I think it is fair to say that Freeman is ALMOST as good of a first base prospect as Heyward is in right.

    I know the Braves have said no to Heyward in center, but looking at the speed numbers (stolen bases) isn’t it worth a try?

    mraver,

    I would characterize Cody Johnson’s performance as a legit prospect. However, he is a prospect with a serious flaw. That is, he strikes out too much. He has been heavily affected by that and gradually improving and then when he stepped up a level he went down and then has slowly climbed again. So, he could make it and be really good or flame out and never make it. (Thorman and Kala both performed similarly, but probably with a slightly higher walk rate).

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