Cardinals 12, Worst Team in Baseball 3

ESPN – Cardinals vs. Braves – Box Score – July 28, 2008

Yes, it’s official. The Braves are now the worst team in baseball. Oh, sure, the record doesn’t reflect that, but give it time. Chipper is on the DL, and has no reason to hurry back. McCann is out for the next several days with his “mild” concussion. (There is no such thing as a “mild” concussion.) Oh, and word came down midgame that Tim Hudson is going to be in Birmingham tomorrow to see Dr. Andrews, and you know what that means. The team’s best remaining player, Mark Teixeira, is going to be traded, and the only question is where and for how much, and whether they’re stupid enough to believe Chad Tracy’s desert-inflated numbers. The only reason Ohman would have to be in Atlanta tomorrow is if he’s traded to the Cardinals. Kotsay, one of the team’s few remaining serviceable players, is probably also on the block. At this point, they should just pack Jair Jurrjens in bubble-wrap so he doesn’t hurt himself.

Charlie Morton, called up after Jo-Jo Reyes was sent down, had nothing at all and gave up eight runs in 3 2/3. Some of it was the now-usual horrible defense, but most of it was Morton not having any idea where the ball was headed. Royce Ring, who is now the worst pitcher in baseball, to go with Francoeur (who sucks), the worst player in baseball on the worst team in baseball, gave up three runs in the eighth just to make it ugly. The pitching, which had held the team in sort-of contention for several weeks, has utterly collapsed.

The offense is not much better. They had ten hits, but were shut down for the first several innings and poured it on late. Teixeira (in his last game as a Brave?) had two doubles. Escobar had a couple of hits, as did Infante. Quite seriously, when Teixeira is traded Infante might be the team’s best player, until McCann gets back at any rate. Why can’t Francoeur get hurt? Or Corky? Clint Sammons played catcher tonight and had a hit. He is no good, but he’s less no good than the Hamster.

182 thoughts on “Cardinals 12, Worst Team in Baseball 3”

  1. Does anyone else think its a stupid idea to trade Teixeira? The two draft picks would easily have a higher value than Chad Tracy and the pupu platter of leftovers Arizona would give us. We can at least draft well. Which means I’m totally psyched for the 2014 Atlanta Braves

    I guess this is a bad time to mention that Julio Teheran hasn’t pitched in a month…

  2. Skip said on the radio that Kotsay’s back was acting up. I think he’s got some John Thomson-itis.

  3. Well, at least I can spend the next few summers doing things other than following the Braves. So when I go to a Nats game I don’t have to be nervous about seeing the Braves score since we will pretty much know what it will be.

  4. Is this our rotation?
    Jurrjens
    Campillo
    Morton
    Reyes
    ?????

    And our lineup (after July 31)?
    Blanco
    Escobar
    Johnson
    Infante
    Kotsay
    Francoeur
    Sammons
    ??????

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Maybe Col. Kurtz can take over from Bobby

    …….the horror….the horror…

  5. I dont want two draft picks, I want two guys that can help us, so we arent a complete embaressment like we will be without Huddy, Chipper and Mac

  6. Seriously…we’re more than paying for the 14 straight titles this year. Has there been any team in recent memory who has had this much rotten luck?

  7. I really can’t get over this… this is seriously the lowest point of the franchise in over 20 years. There is NO hope right now…none. The Teixeira trade may go down as one of the most crippling moves (for ANY franchise) in the last 10 years, and there is no help coming immediately in the high minors. Jordan Schafer doesn’t look to be anywhere near his HGH level ability, Jason Heyward is still 5 years away, and Julio Teheran has an arm made of angel hair pasta…

  8. So much for all the stuff about pitching depth–we haven’t heard any mention of it from Cox or the FO for several weeks. Wonder if we can buy Reslop back from Japan …

    I’m taking my kid to the Ted this weekend for his first ML game and he’s going to see this motley squad. If they play like today I’ll probably get arrested for child abuse.

  9. @5–don’t forget Hampton–at the rate things are going he might be the #1 starter (yes, I hate the bit about #1 starter, #2 starter, etc–I’m using it here only for effect) by the end of the season–he’ll then sign with the Nats in the offseason and pitch a perfect game on opening day against the 09 Braves

    sorry, just couldn’t stop myself

  10. I’ve had six, count ’em, six concussions, and I have to respectfully disagree and say that there are indeed mild and severe concussions. I’ve had severe concussions that put me in the hospital, and I’ve had minor concussions that just caused me to hurl all day and I was over it in a couple days. I was back to running and exercising and playing sports and whatnot. I’ve gotten a CT scan on all of my concussions, so none of these were just bad headaches.

    But, anyway, we really suck right now. Wow. This… is bad. Real bad. Oh, and really injured too.

  11. Frank,

    That pitching depth is what has carried this team thus far. This was supposed to be the time that we used that depth to step in, not six weeks ago as has happened. No amount of pitching depth can survive this onslaught. Lets hope and pray they don’t rush Hanson in just because there’s no one else.

  12. I think it’s obvious that the season is now unofficially over. The team is just gonna suck for the rest of the year. However, the good news is that a bunch of payroll will be opened up next year. We will be signing a bunch of new players. And we’re damn sure gonna need it.

  13. I love teams who overvalue their prospects. If you’re not gonna trade us Jackson, Sherzer or Parker, why in the hell are you even in the freaking discussion? Do you think we’ll trade you Tex for Tracy and a lowly-rated Class A pitcher??? Either pony up or stop wasting our damn time!

  14. It’s hindsight, but we gave up way too much last year for Teix. Now we have to see if we can do the same to someone else. I doubt it.

  15. The thing about concussions is that, once you’ve had one, it’s more likely you’ll have another one. While the severity and extent of the brain damage may vary from concussion to concussion, your brain has been damaged — and it’s hard to apply the word “mild” to that situation. McCann may well be able to recover and continue to have a productive career. I hope to hell he can, because he’s truly one of the best players in baseball, and in his short career he’s shown that he has the ability to produce at a level to match the all-time greats.

    Rob, don’t get concussed no more, ok?

  16. Someone will offer a reasonable amount of talent in return. The trick is getting the right pieces in the right places for it to help us in 2009. It seems like the Rangers just took the best available talent, regardless of position. The Braves are looking for specific pieces, and that can only hinder trade discussions.

  17. Haha, thanks Alex. I haven’t had a concussion in quite a while. I say quite a while because, quite honestly, I can’t remember when I got my last concussion. I have to rely on people like my mom to tell me the circumstances, how I responded, and what was done to help me at the time. My first, I actually remember, was when I was 8. I remember 3 specifically in my middle school years (I was accident prone), and I think my last one was late in high school. So I think I haven’t had one in about 4 years or so.

    You guys would laugh at me if you knew how I got some of them. They’re pretty dumb.

  18. Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Rob… that’s quite some company there. But, yikes, that’s a lot of times to be concussed.

    I was a better, more dedicated Braves fan as a kid, back when they weren’t expected to win at all. I don’t really want to test that, though… we’ll see how it goes.

  19. I’m not at all happy about the injury severity to Chipper and Hudson, but I am happy about the timing. I like that these injuries happened on this side of July 31st, and I think this solidifies our need to trade Teixera and Ohman. I, however, still fully advocate trading for Jason Bay.

    Wow, things are rough right now for this team. Smoltz, Hudson, Glavine, Hampton. Chipper, BMac. Soriano, Moylan. I can see half of those going down, but all of them?!?!

  20. The DBacks emptied out their system to get Haren, if they don’t want to give up Parker or Scherzer (and I don’t blame them), then no thank you. There isn’t much else there that I find all that appealing. Chad Tracy, Yusmeiro Petit or Billy Buckner and a lower level arm can’t possibly be the best the Braves can do for Tex. If it is, yikes.

  21. This sounds stupid (and probably is) but what if we traded Tex for Micah Owings plus prospects and converted Owings to first base.

  22. Just listening to a Jayson Stark blurb on SportsCenter, he reiterated that we actually want Conor Jackson, but that if we got the right mix of prospects along with him, we’d probably be willing to take Chad Tracy.

    Presumably he could then fill the first base hole for the rest of the year (because honestly, the rest of this year doesn’t really matter anyway at this point), and then in the offseason we could get a real first baseman. If they’re not willing to trade us any prospects who are worth a damn (which something posted earlier made it sound like), I say we tell them to stick it. Also, I really doubt that Arizona is the only team willing to trade for Tex at this point.

  23. reaganman, I’ve read crazier things on this blog than that. One thing is for sure, Owings hasn’t been pitching well lately. He just got his rotation spot back tonight, and pitched awful.

  24. I’m not sure if they’d trade us Owings for Tex straight up anyway. In fact, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t. Hell, I doubt they’d trade us Owings alone for Tex and Ohman. So whether or not it’s silly to move him to first base is kind of moot.

  25. If the D-Backs are really offering Tracy and two ex-prospects for Teixeira, either the Braves will laugh at them or the Braves like Chad Tracy much, much more than he deserves.

  26. With our luck this year, even if we had Cal Ripken Jr. and Lou Gehrig playing for us they’d both come down with freak injuries causing DL time…

  27. If Tracy is the main catch, I say forget the trade. Now, I’m a bit confused as to how the Angels would ignore Teixeira, unless they can land a couple of the Atkins/Holliday/Fuentes trio. Adenhart and Kotchman is probably a lot to ask, but it’s not that much when you consider that Teixeira would make the Angels the best team in the majors. If I’m LA, I pull the trigger on Teixeira or Holliday. I think it would be negligent on their part to allow this year–really, the best year they have to win the world series going forward–to go by without some kind of a move.

    Edit: Before folks freak out, I know that Adenhart and Kotchman isn’t going to happen. It’s not like the Angels ever make any reasonable moves to improve their hitting–signing Hunter and Matthews don’t count–or really, make a move at all. I’m just saying that LA is the best fit, in my mind. And that’s an organization that should be trying to win right now.

  28. It’s hindsight, but we gave up way too much last year for Teix.

    Gee ya think? A small minority of us said that at the time but of course were drowned out.

    I wish the Braves could make it work with the Angels. 1) Because the Angels have some nice prospects and 2) because I’d like to strengthen the Angels as much as possible for their playoff dates with the evil superpowers back east.

  29. What concerns me about the B-Mac injury is the fact that he also took a pretty good elbow to the head from Utley earlier in the game. Those kinds of things add up.

    And I love how Stark said that “the D-Backs would be willing to trade Chad Tracy”.

    *cough*douchebag*cough*

  30. I remember being shocked at how much the Braves had been willing to give up, but at the same time being very excited about the move. I think my position came down to, “Good if we make the playoffs this year or next, bad otherwise”.

    Doh!

  31. mraver, I think that’s the best point that DOB made is this blog today, that the Braves thought they were going to have Mahay for one postseason run and Tex for two postseason runs. Obviously that didn’t happen, but I think was worth the risk. It’s hard for me to fault teams for going for it, unless you’re the 2008 Houston Astros.

    That’s what I have never understood about the Angels, they never want to trade any of their prospects for hitting, and then they overpay for guys like Hunter and Matthews Jr. I’m sure glad they still have Brandon Wood around, I don’t know where they would be without him.

  32. I’m sure glad they still have Brandon Wood around, I don’t know where they would be without him.

    How about Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders? Think they are glad they didn’t toss them into a package last year? There were plenty of rumors.

    Moving good young players for rentals is a good way to shorten your run as a good team. The Angels like being good.

  33. info from Peanut…Wren and his top aides talked to at least six teams on Monday about Teixeira. One of those teams was the Diamondbacks. But with the D-Backs offering Chad Tracy instead of Conor Jackson, Wren seems more apt to deal with one of the AL contenders…

    so is it now safe to say that Tex will probably be traded to Ariz tomorrow

  34. Forgive me, that was Olney I was referring to as a ‘bag earlier. Mr. Stark, I beg your humble pardon.

  35. Robert, I was more referring to them not going after ARod, and wasting money on Hunter and Matthews Jr. I’ll point to Erick Aybar, Wood, and Kendry Morales as guys they have held onto for too long, and have had their value decreased. I think Santana is a case of nobody wanted him after his awful year and he’s bounced back.

    I think the Angels are a good organization, don’t get me wrong, but I’d be pissed after a while being an Angels fan and them seemingly always being a bat away from being the best team in the league, and then watch the Red Sox win titles. Arte Moreno seems to be okay with it though.

  36. update….11:06pm: Buster Olney heard from sources that the Braves are leaning toward the D’Backs. He believes a deal could be structured around Tracy and a non-Scherzer pitching prospect. Will Carroll believes the Braves have two solid offers and a third on the way, and Tex could be traded by tomorrow.

  37. From the Mr.Bowman’s mail bag.
    While Francoeur might be the citizen and personality that every team would love to possess, he currently isn’t the player that was previously envisioned. Still at just 24 years old and one year removed from receiving a Gold Glove, Francoeur might be coveted by other teams. This is why the Braves have to at least explore the possibility of trading him. It’s simply part of the business. Still once this is done, you find that general manager Frank Wren still has roughly $40 million to work with during the offseason.

    You’ve already known about the big payroll though.

    Why can’t Francoeur get hurt?
    Bad money drives out good. I strongly suggest trade Mr.ugly.

    I found a few lines printed in the lower right corner of a workbook-“Luck Favors The Prepared” while I pack up my things. 14 straight division title? just gave up hope earlier. Hope the organization and the fans don’t dwell on the past. Time to change. I overhear next draft pick players will be one of the poorest crop. I wish the Braves wouldn’t do a rash act because don’t expect too much things from medicore prospects.

  38. I already hate Tracy. He’ll fit right in.

    In other news, and in one of the most shocking happenings of the 2008 season, Andruw Jones just pinch hit singled in a run. The earth is still here, though many Dodgers fans, surely fearing that Torre will now bench Kemp for Jones for at least 10 games, are not. Good luck and good night.

  39. By the way, am I the only one who thinks I have spent more time obsessing about the whereabouts of Mark Teixeira the last two Julys than he has ??

  40. I’d say Stark and Olney have you beat, but yes, it’s possible. He’s probably thinking about the money that’s coming and how great his life already is.

  41. Why not just keep Tex and resign him? They will have the money to do it. I do not understand.

  42. The Braves won’t sign anyone who won’t give them a discount, and he won’t give them a discount. It’s their philosophy, which works well when you’re a strong franchise, not so well when you’re mediocre.

  43. The latest from Peanut courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors:

    11:29pm: MLB.com’s Mark Bowman checks in. His source says the Yankees, Rays, and Angels are more likely to acquire Teixeira than the D’Backs. Frank Wren isn’t having the Tracy over Jackson idea.

  44. But they will have at least $40 million to work with. Plus Liberty Media has said they would raise the payroll too. Not disagreeing with you Mac it just doesn’t make sense to get draft picks or trade for someone like Chad Tracy.

  45. Although I like the idea of Schuerholz (one of the three best traders of recent times, with Beane and Jocketty) standing over Wren and slapping him upside the head whenever he’s about to make a dumb trade.

    Ric, they could always bid on him as a free agent. They’re going to finish in the bottom half, so they wouldn’t lose a first-rounder.

  46. Interesting that the Yankees are still referenced. I wonder if they’d turn around and include Nady as part of the deal for Teixeira—that could make sense. Something like Nady/Kennedy or Nady/Cabrera, maybe. Or maybe just Cabrera/Kennedy. None of those are really outstanding, but all would represent more than the value of the two picks, and any of those guys would immediately have a starting spot on the Braves.

  47. When in doubt, get the Yankees involved, although I have no idea what would come of that one. Hope it’s not Melky Cabrera at the top of the list.

  48. @52. Good for Wren for sticking to his guns. If you can’t get a decent player and/or prospects, I’d rather keep him and take the draft picks. Jon Daniels in Texas is looking like a genius right now.

  49. So, are there going to be any college kids posting songs on Youtube about our forthcoming players?

    …..

  50. If the Braves somehow got CoJack, Owings, and Scherzer, I’ll volunteer to write a song.

  51. I’m still holding out hope for the Teix-and-Ohman-to-the-Rays-for-David-Price announcement, jj3bagger.

  52. Re 61

    Dear God I hope not! I’ve already suffered though a half season of Whiskey Falls after the “Teixeira song” last year. If those buttfuckers from the Barn show up on my TV again this year, I might have to stop watching the team on tv.

  53. DOB says that this homestand won’t be all bad, because Jewel is gonna sing the National Anthem on Thursday…….ummm?…

    What a cruel, cruel world…..

  54. “Jeffy sucks…..and we got Chad Tracy”….

    (sung to the tune of the “Mark Teixiera song”…or whatever that abortion was called)

  55. Thank God for that.

    As far as our philosophy, especially if Hudson is out for most of the year next year, I think we can’t be spending over half of our newfound spending money on one player. I think we have to let him go. However, overall, the philosophy that people who want to play for us have to allow us to screw them over before we’ll agree to sign them, and the team’s philosophical dislike of free agency in general, is an incredibly inane and stupid one, and it is one that will begin to classify this as a second-class organization before long, I’m afraid, and that’s if it hasn’t already started to happen.

  56. I saw Jewel at an Elton John tribute show in Anaheim a few years ago. (She sang “Your Song,” perhaps my least favorite EJ/Taupin hit.)

    But, she looked great & I told a female co-worker who was sitting next to me: “Give me a bottle of Jewel’s sweat & I’ll start a religion.”

    Her response: “So, you want another beer, right?”

  57. “Jeffy grips the bat & stares alone into the distance….he knows that somewhere there’s a pitch he has to take…..”

    (sung to the tune of Synchronicity II)

  58. Don’t trade Tex–unless a quality player is involved. I am beginning to think that means both Adenheart and Brandon Wood should be off the table. I don’t follow other farms systems very much, but I do remember when Wood was regarded as the #1 prospect in all of baseball. Now, he is beginning to remind me of Andy Marte.

    If we keep Tex and get the picks, at least next year’s draft ought to be fun for Braves’ fans. Unforunately, it hardly makes up for 2008 and probably 2009….I don’t mean to write off next year, but it does look like the wheels have come off…

    By the way–those who think that this is the low point of the last 20 years should revisit the 1988 Braves….

  59. He’s not a FA until after 2009, Mac.

    He’s probably looking at a pretty big arbitration number next year though. Not that it matters to the Yankees, although it certainly did to the Pirates.

    I’m actually kind of looking forward to watching the kids play the next two months. A welcome respite from the last two and a half years of veteran-driven mediocrity.

  60. If the D-Backs insist on keeping Jackson, Parker and Scherzer out, they have nothing else for us. Chad Tracy is nothing more than a warm body to play out the string this year, but Mac indicated that more is owed to him after this year so the D-Backs can keep him unless we have a flip deal in place to move Tracy elsewhere.

    I wonder if the Rockies would be interested in Tex since Helton is injured. It wouldn’t take much to top Arizona’s prospectless offer. That could make things interesting for Arizona, eh? (perhaps they shouldn’t print playoff tickets just yet)

  61. Cary, I don’t think the Rockies are really that heartbroken that Helton is hurt. Their infield with Atkins at 1st and Ian Stewart at 3rd is better at this point. Helton has been on a rapid decline since the beginning of last year.

  62. That would be frickin sweet though if the Rockies swooped in and got Tex after the DBacks kept low balling us and won the division.

  63. wow, just looked at next years potential F/A’s. It is really bad, i think I would rather push and sign Tex and Ohman and then lug the holes with the FA crap that will be out there.
    We could be in trouble for a long time here with this squad.
    I really do not want to trade for prospects, I want players. Way to many holes to fill on this team and losing them for A level prospects does nothing for the team in the next 3-5 years.

  64. Sorry couldn’t resist: Link

    Can college football season get here already? Another month of Kotsay hitting clean up?

  65. I think that the Braves would be more likely to try to improve through trade than free agency. That was Schuerholz’s philosophy and I expect Wren to follow suit.

  66. Two things. Info on Peanut and I think I found out who Jake is.

    “Also yesterday, a high-level source within the Pirates emphatically rejected an account on MLB.com — reported by no other outlet — that the Pirates and Braves had agreed to a Bay-for-four-prospects trade, only to have it vetoed by the Pirates’ ownership. No aspect of it was accurate, the source said, and ownership, while informed of pending trades, has not vetoed any since team president Frank Coonelly took over last summer.” — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 29, 2008

    So, does MLB.com have liars working for them? Is Bowman’s story a fabrication?

    Or, are the Pittsburgh Pirates so out of it one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing and their response has now tarnished a writer’s good name?

    Or, perhaps this is nothing more than a Post-Gazette Pirates beat writer trying to protect his own credibility since he got beat to the draw, if Bowman is accurate? And, did the Post-Gazette beat writer contact a valid source within the Pirates who would even have direct knowledge? I mean, “high-level source” within the Pirates could mean anything.

    It’s MLB.com’s turn to respond to their credibility beatdown.

  67. Mac, your right that Wren will try to improve through trades, the sad part is, we will have money to spend next year and there are not many good players to target.
    Sabathia and Sheets would both be high on my list, as well as Tex and another reliever.
    A couple one year scrub outfielders until we develop one(hold the laughter) or trade/FA for one the next year.
    Wow, 09 may be worse than 08, a chilling thought.

  68. ahhhhhhhhhhh………….so its back to the days when every win is an upset and cause for celebration……… nothing to do but look at the box scores and think, well at least this guy got a couple hits, or, this guy threw a couple decent innings.

  69. It was much easier being a Braves fan when you just knew they were going to suck from the outset. These past two seasons of teasing have been rough.

    ‘Gave up too much for Texieria’ I hate it when folks say that. Salty isn’t doing much, Andrus has a .291 BA in AA ball with no power, Harrison is back at Oklahoma sporting a 3 something era. They might end up being superstars, not likely but maybe. You have to give something to get something. The Braves figured they had a two year window to contend and they went for the big bat. I applaud the move. That it hasn’t worked out is just plain bad luck.

    Wren’s challenge now is to leverage Tex into some players that can make meaningful contributions for the next 3 or 4 seasons. I agree Chad Tracy ain’t it. Getting stud prospects is probably out of the question too but the Braves need a lot of players all of the sudden so I’m prepared to be underwhelmed with what we get but as long as we are filling a need I know that Wren and company at least have a plan.

  70. If Huddy needs TJ surgery, the only players in the organization that you can project to be truly above average at the major league level in ’09 are McCann, Jurrjens, and Chipper when he’s healthy. And that raises the question, is Chipper going to want to stick around for the rebuilding?

  71. the Braves have never had a star like Chipper start and finish their career in a Braves uni, so i expect he will finish making his fortune as a DH somewhere. no wait !!………. i guess Glavine will do the start/finish thing. in fact, he probably already has.

  72. Smoltz started with the Tigers and Niekro is very technical, but then, so is Glavine.

  73. come to think of it, they could pull a Minnie Minoso stunt and suit Bad Henry up for a game this year…….not that he would ever be part of something like that. even though it would improve the outfield.

  74. what do you have against clint sammons? he’s your AAA catcher and next season will be backup. Last night he was the only good story.

  75. Cary…you told me the tide had finally turned and that more & more people were no longer defending Bobby on here so I thought it safe to air my criticisms, and I read the posts after mine yesterday to see a bunch of people (well, at least 2 people who never like anything I say…big deal) attacking my viewpoint. Even if you like Cox, I don’t see how anyone can say it’s not time for him to hang his spikes up and hand the job off to ya younger manager?

    I’ll use an actual EXAMPLE of why Bobby Cox can’t manage a bullpen – last game before the All Star break, roadie in San Diego against the lowly Padres. We’re up 9-2 and the most overworked reliever in Baseball, Blaine Boyer, is trotted out in the 8th up 7 runs on the Pods.

    The PADRE announcers (who I had in my car because XM airs the home team announcers) were asking what the hell Bobby was doing.

    That being said…my 2 cents on the proposed Diamondback deal is if that’s the best Frank Wren can do, then just hold onto Tex and get a 1st round draft pick this offseason when someone else signs him. That’s a horrific package the D’backs are offering.

    It also further exposes how weak the market is. I am frankly surprised how weak it is – what about the Angels and Rays? I am surprised they aren’t after Tex.

  76. Alex, in the specific case of Boyer, I agree that Bobby horribly mismanaged him. In the general case of the bullpen, I am not so sure. When Soriano and Moylan went down, Bobby was left with a bullpen with no serious closer candidates and a dearth of talent. Will Ohman was quite genuinely the best pitcher he had out there, and Boyer by far his most talented righthander. Remember, for much of this season, the Braves were using a mopup man as their ninth-inning reliever and two swingmen as their other righthanded relief. Bobby and McDowell, somehow, had this bunch able to keep the team in contention, sort-of, until July, and the reason they weren’t really in contention was the offense.

    Personally, I would much, much rather that the Braves burn out relievers than burn out starters. In the particular case of Boyer, he was used far too heavily when he wasn’t even pitching that well. In general, it’s better that he be ruined than Jurrjens, or even Reyes or Campillo.

  77. I ran some numbers, and assuming Smoltz retires, the Braves will free up $50.5 Million after this season. Smoltz’s option for next season is worth ~$13M and Chipper’s is about the same due to his ASG election. The $50.5M number represents 49% of this season’s payroll.
    Hampton – $15M (the Rockies are pitching in the $6M buyout of his $20M(!) 2009 option as part of the trade, so I assume the Braves will let him go)
    Smoltz – $13M
    Glavine – $8M
    Tex – $12.5M
    Kotsay – $3M (A’s paid $5M of his $8M salary this season)

  78. @89,

    You could suit up Hank now and at 74 he would still be better than Francouer. At the least, he wouldn’t swing at pitches over his head.

    It doesn’t make any difference what we think about Bobby. The front office likes him and that’s what matters. He ain’t going nowhere. And managers don’t win or lose games–talent does.

    I agree with the idea that we shouldn’t trade Tex for a bucket of balls. If we can’t get something decent, just hold on and take the draft picks. But, after basically saying he is going to be traded, I fear the momentum is for trading him no matter what. Alex, I’m not sure why you are surprised at how weak the market is. Why should you give up much for two months of Tex when his agent is Boras? It doesn’t surprise me at all. There is no reason for the Rays to give up significant prospects; their season is already a success no matter what happens the rest of the way and they figure to be good for several years. If I were them, I would pass unless the Braves were willing to give Tex away. And the Angels don’t really care that much about the playoffs–they are happy finishing first.

  79. MLB Trade Rumors is saying the Angels are back in it, and the Braves’ asking price is a first baseman, a starting pitcher, and a power-hitting outfielder. Based on all these reports, though, I don’t know how realistic that is, especially considering the Angels are 11.5 games in first in their division. (Though I think they could use a bat like Teix. Hopefully they do too.)

  80. i agree with mac about the bullpen. these guys are pitchers and get paid to pitch. i didnt notice anyone being dragged kicking and screaming out to the mound. you dont worry about wearing out your favorite hammer…………just drive the GD nail.

  81. The Angles know their offense sucks. Tex might actually be enough to make them the post-season favorites.

  82. So, what you’re saying, jea, is that we’re shipping Teix to the Angels for Casey Kotchman, Ervin Santana, and Vladimir Guerrero. I’m in favor of that.

  83. This team isn’t contending next year with a rotation of Jurrjens, Campillo, Reyes, Morton, and James. They shouldn’t even think about trading Tex for a rental first baseman like Tracy. They can get some scrub to play first next year or give Thorman a last chance. Getting a high caliber starting pitching prospect for Tex and/or Ohman (or Kotsay, Infante, or Norton) makes a lot of sense. This team is more likely to spend money on a position player than a starter like Sabathia, so they should trade for starting pitching while they have leverage.

  84. would you trade Soriano for salary relief + a prospect. His elbow is shot and now that he cn pitch for a day or two, would you move him to free up an extra $6 mil for next year also? Gonzo can close, Moylan can setup, or do you keep him and hope that we can add the right pieces. Another thought, he wanted to be a starter before, should we test his elbow and arm strength this offseason and try to convert him?

  85. One of the worst Cox 2008 bullpen management blunders that I can remember was the series in Washington where Cox let Acosta hit for himself after pitching two innings so he could come in and pitch the next inning. Washington came back to win that game. I’m sure there are others, but this was the most egregious.

    Cox did abuse Boyer, no doubt about that.

  86. You can only trade for players the other team wants to trade. I don’t see anyone offering a top pitching prospect for Tex and certainly not for Ohman. Let’s face it, the best trade asset the Braves would have, potentially, (assuming they don’t trade one of their young core) would be Chipper. No, I’m not advocating it and he probably wouldn’t accept it anyway but he could, I think, bring a lot from an AL team. At this point, he probably needs to be a DH anyway.

    No matter how well or poorly Bobby managed the bullpen, it wouldn’t have mattered if the Braves had hit. The mismanagement was largely a function of playing a lot of close games and not scoring many runs. It’s a lot easier to manage when you have some runs up on the board. I have problems with Bobby’s general approach–playing for one run in the first inning, for example, and you can always find examples of egregious moves that arguably cost games– but if the team had hit, all of this would be water under the bridge.

  87. I think you continue to underestimate the market for Teix, Marc. I’ll be surprised if we don’t get either a good, young 1B or a strong pitching prospect (maybe both) in return.

  88. I agree about Chipper, Marc. If we’re not going to be competitive in the near future, and he made the first move to say he’d waive his no-trade clause (ala Murph), then we could have a real chance to build around BMac, Jurrjens, Heyward, Hanson et al. Obviously it’s his call, but I wouldn’t begrudge him a chance at a ring (with an AL team).

  89. Nothing says Tex will be the only player coming from Atlanta in the deal either. Ohman could be a part of it too or somebody else on the roster and/or in the Braves farm system if that is what it takes to get a top level prospect back.

  90. I say the White Sox jump into the mix, they get Tex and Ohman and we get some high level prospects in return and we then lose 100 games next year with Jeffy batting cleanup.

  91. We are selling Tex with a weak hand. If we can get a decent young hitter whether he is an outfielder or 1b we are way ahead of two draft picks.

    On Bobby. He was doing what managers are supposed to do and play your best players to win games. A reliever like Boyer has to be ready every day to pitch. Its that simple. For anyone to say that this lost season is his fault is utter nonsense. Players win or lose games not managers. I don’t agree with everything that Bobby does when it comes to game managment, lineup construction and tactics but again he isn’t why we are done.

  92. Stu,

    None of the reports I hear suggest that the Braves are going to come anywhere close to what you want. If they do, I will be happy and the first to acknowledge that I am wrong. The logical team to make a big move would be the Angels because they are a very good team that just needs one hitter and has a legit shot at winning the World Series but they don’t seem interested.

  93. If we can package Ohman and Tex, we might get a nice goody bag from one of the AL teams. Tampa will help drvie the price up too. I bet a deal doesn’t go down til early Thursday morning.

  94. Robert,

    I read that guy’s column & got a kick out of his lede:

    “Programs that don’t schedule tough non-conference opponents are cowards.

    “That’s a statement of fact, not an opinion.”

    Check, please…

  95. Yea but if Francoeur was on the Yankees and they sent him to the minors or benched him he wouldnt be able to cry about it out loud or complain. If I’m the Yankee’s I’d be willing to stash a guy like Francoeur on my roster and see what happens with him. You could even DH for him.

  96. Players win or lose games not managers. I don’t agree with everything that Bobby does when it comes to game managment, lineup construction and tactics but again he isn’t why we are done.

    Managers decide which players play. They aren’t on the field getting the job done, but they either put the best players on the field and in the best situation to win, or they don’t. Bobby’s ability to do that has eroded over the years. He’s not the manager he was 10 years ago. That shouldn’t be a controversial statement.

  97. So we know Ohman is definitely gone. Tex is gone. Kotsay is more than likely gone. No Chipper, McCann or Hudson. The Nationals will have some competition after all. This is exciting!!

    Jeff Francouer is pathetic.

  98. @91,

    Yeah, mention 1) bunting, 2) Francoeuer’s lineup spot, 3) KJ/Prado platoon, 4) Corky Miller’s roster spot, 5) Joey Devine’s roster spot.. wait, 6) etc., etc. and you’ll have plenty of folks ready to gripe along with you. Why would you expect unanimity?

  99. I have to agree that it’s time for Cox to retire. I can give you many reasons why (bullpen mgmt, excessive loyalty, …), but the bottom line is that I think a team’s desire to win is often reflective of the manager. I think Cox’s drive to win has waned over the last few years and his players reflect that. The Braves have definitely had their share of injuries this year and I don’t think the best manager in baseball could make this team a World Series winner, but even with the injuries, the Braves have lost a whole lot more games than they should have.

    Manager is just one of many changes that should be made next year and the years ahead to make this organization successful again. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that Pendleton was the heir apparent at one time and if he gets it, I don’t think he’ll be any more successful than Cox has been over the last few years – probably worse.

  100. Tony, you left out some other notes. Ring, Miller, Gotay, Norton, and Bobby are all useless. (Norton is useful of the bench, but should never start) Boyer’s arm is shot, Jair has already pitched more innings than he ever has, Morton is garbage, Esco and KJ are slumping….hey at least we have a useful Blanco who’s nothing more than a 4th OF….good times ahead!!

  101. I think it’s way to soon to call Morton garbage. The transition takes some time and there are going to be rough spots.

  102. Count me as one of those who thinks we should hold onto Tex unless a team ponies up worthy compensation for him. If the Angels want to win the AL West and get crushed in the playoffs, that’s their perogative. I would prefer taking two 1st round picks and signing two ‘above slot’ players who may fall because of signability issues.

  103. When a team flops as badly as the Braves are this year, there’s plenty of blame to go around as well as just bad luck. Injuries have obviously been a major reason for the team’s lack of success (Moylan, Soriano, Diaz, Hampton, Glavine, Smoltz, Hudson, Chipper, etc, etc). There’s nobody really to blame for them although it does seem like there has been an unusual number of pitchers getting injured since Leo left.

    There’s nobody to blame for players like Francoeur and Johnson underperforming than the players themselves. I’m not sure what Pendleton could say to Jeff that would make him take a fastball at eye height. The guy seems totally uncoachable much like Andruw.

    The roster was put together with some questionable choices such as keeping Corky Miller, keeping Resop over Yates, trading away Devine for Kotsay when the team already had several light hitting CF to keep the spot warm until Shaeffer was ready, and throwing away Brayan Pena.

    And yes Bobby has probably cost the team a few wins by making poor lineups, poor choices about who to bring in in relief, pinch running for Teixeira or McCann late in games that ended up going to extra innings, running his best relievers into the ground, etc.

  104. I’d pull the trigger with the Angels for Kotchman/Adenhart for Tex and Ohman. For the Diamondbacks, needs to have either Parker or Jackson in the deal. If we could get the Rays involved…their farm system is sick.

  105. As fans of a team who for many years cared more about winning divisions than winning championships, we should all sympathize with Angels fans.

  106. The Rays don’t still have that jackass Chuck LaMar as their GM, do they? I would assume that the new ownership group would’ve booted his ass. However, if they didn’t, we can forget doing a deal with them.

  107. Agreed Ethan. Tampa has the best farm sys in baseball. I hope they want Ohmna…or somehow get in a 3-way deal for Tex.

    Parker or Jackson from Dbacks or no trade. Chad Tracy…that’s laughable.

    Is anyone really excited about Blanco? I think at best he is a 4th outfielder. At best. Bobby should reconsider about coming back next year. This is not Penn State or Florida State where b/c you have had success in the past, you can coach as long as you want. Even though you are clearly past your best days.

    Charlie Morton keep your head up.

    I never understood why Yates wasn’t kept.

  108. @128
    LaMar hasn’t been there since like 2005. Andrew Friedman, their former Director of Baseball Development has been their GM since.

  109. Hudson’s diagnosis has a real impact on what I would pursue in trades right now.

    And yes, if Hudson is injured, I make Soriano available too. But we can also trade him in the off season or next year. If the players are not out there that we want, then hold.

    The same goes for free agency. If this is at least a two year project to be competitive again, we do not have to erode all of our payroll flexibility in the upcoming offseason.

  110. The Yates for Redmond deal is looking pretty good for the Braves, even moreso in light of the season’s developments.

  111. Yetes wasn’t kept because he had trade value that the other out-of-options relievers did not have. In hindsight, it would have been better to lose Resop on waivers, but at the time, trading Yates looked like the right thing to do.

  112. As Parish notes, we also got a legit back-end-of-the-rotation prospect, which is a lot to get for a right-handed middle reliever.

  113. Tampa probably isn’t going to give much for half a season for Tex. Their window is large and they know they will have one of the three best rotations in baseball next season, if not the best, with Garza a year older and Price entering it (most likely). More importantly, they’re incredibly smart and won’t overvalue two months of great-hitting first baseman. I imagine their policy is to hold, as usual. It’s just not time to make a move like that.

    The Angels, meanwhile, are a little more interesting, because while they have a phenomenal young rotation–all five guys are in their primes, younger than 30–they have a weak hitting, aging lineup. They’re built to win 3-1 and 4-2, but every year they get hammered in the playoffs (except 2002). It may be that their management thinks none of the AL East teams can do that to them this year, and they may be right. But Boston has three really good starters fronting a solid-to-great lineup–and one that just got Ortiz back. In the playoffs, the Red Sox are still the team to beat, unless the Angels lands Tex or Holliday.

  114. Mark Bowman:

    After accounting for all of their high-priced, expiring contracts (including Teixeira’s current $12.5 million salary), you also have to account for the raises Brian McCann, Rafael Soriano, Jeff Francoeur and Kelly Johnson could receive next year. Still once this is done, you find that general manager Frank Wren still has roughly $40 million to work with during the offseason.

    http://tinyurl.com/6hqjg6

    40 million? The Braves have a lot of money and trade pieces to fix their rotation now and during this upcoming offseason for 2009.

  115. I agree w/ trading Soriano but other teams might still be leery of his health.

    The Yates trade seemed to get a decent return (maybe better than decent for Yates, actually) but I don’t think keeping Reslop ever looked like the right thing to do.

  116. Also, Bwman is kind of dumb. McCann, Soriano, and Infante are under contract and are certain to get raises (McCann, from $800K to $3.5M; Soriano, from $2.9M to $6.1M; and Infante, from $1.4M to $2M). Also, Diaz and Gonzalez are due arbitration raises.

    Still, we should have roughly $40M to work with. It’s why I’ve been one of the few clamoring for the team to sign Teix to a big contract.

  117. Yeah, Frank, I have no idea why anyone would want Soriano at this point. Maybe a team like the Yankees with money to spare, but it would have to be a strict salary dump—the Braves couldn’t get any real prospect for him, I wouldn’t think. Not sure I’d want to do that.

  118. Interesting. I never knew why Yates wasn’t a Brave this year. Thanks for the info.

    Slumps by Tex(early on), Francouer(all year), nothing from Diaz when he was healthy. No power from the outfield. A high school senior as back-up catcher. Bobby Cox managing, all doomed Atlanta this year. Injuries happen. The Braves knew the history of Kotsay, Chipper, etc. Tommy and Johnny are both at the end. But the pitching was not the problem, until lately.

  119. He’s a Gold Glover. He’s driven in a bunch of runs in the past. He’ll get at least twice as much as he should.

    What would be awesome is if the Braves just totally insulted him and offered the league minimum for whatever his service time will be. They’d obviously lose, and Francoeur would get whatever he asks for, but it would be worth the extra couple of million, IMO, just to send him that message.

  120. I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that Diaz will get an arbitration raise–in fact, I think it is quite possible that the Braves will decline to offer him arbitration.

  121. I think the Braves will have to eat some salary to dump Soriano. He’s not that good, and he’s got a mysterious injury. HoRam has out-pitched him this season and he was cut to start the year.

    I’m curious if the Braves and Jeffy will go through with arbitration. They haven’t been able to get together on a salary for some time. Jeffy will probably ask for $5 million.

  122. In Ken Rosenthal’s latest article, he says that the Angles are actually interested in Tex, and would also be interested in an expanded deal involving Ohman or Gonzalez (I’m guessing that would be Ohman, though). He says they won’t trade either Ervin Santana or Joe Saunders, but that they would be willing to trade Kotchman, Juan Rivera and another prospect. If that’s the case, I’d be willing to accept that deal right now for the inclusion of Kotchman alone.

  123. A couple more trade thoughts:

    I kind of favor Tex to the Angels if they will trade us Brandon Wood. He has stagnated and seems to need a change of scenery. I’d go for Adenhart in the deal, too.

    If the D-Rays want Ohman, what about Ruggiano? He is better than anyone we have in the outfield right now but is not going to play in Tampa. I would also consider a lowers minors pitcher like Nick Barnese.

  124. In any case, that Tex and Ohman for Kotchman, Rivera and prospect deal is better than what the D-Backs are offering which he confirms is Tracy and the cavlacade of crappy prospects Mac was talking about last night. He did say they might be willing to part with Owings, but I’m guessing we’d have to include Ohman in the deal for that to happen.

  125. Bowman has written a couple of times though that the team officials he has talked to have insisted Gonzalez and Soriano are going no where and having both of them in the bullpen next season for around only ten million is a bargin.

  126. For those who are interested, the crappy prospects mentioned were Billy Buckner, Gerardo Parra and Jamie D’Antona. Apparently they’re still not willing to pony up with either Sherzer or Parker, so I still say screw them.

    And that’s why I’m guessing it would be Ohman and not Gonzalez, Dan. Trading Gonzalez doesn’t make any sense if we’re gonna try and win next year.

  127. @147 – Soriano not that good??? Have you seen him pitch at all? The guy is a stud reliever and we’d be stupid to dump him – injury or not.

  128. For playing everyday, and his “great defense” alone Francouer will get nothing less that 3 mil….or 2 mil. He will definitely get a nice raise.

    And I am for keeping both Soriano and Gonzalez next year. They are solid relievers, with is almost extinct.

    Wouldn’t it be funny if the Braves acquired Ervin Santana and he changed his name back to his birth name of Johan….

  129. Owings this season:

    6-9, 104.2IP, 5.93ERA, 87K, 41BB, 1.39WHIP

    Gee, how generous of the D-Backs. Nearly 26-years-old and no upside Micah Owings for Teixeira? That’s probably a worse return than Chad Tracy.

  130. “6-9, 104.2IP, 5.93ERA, 87K, 41BB, 1.39WHIP”

    I say acquire Ownings and do the Rick Ankiel experiment w/o the HGH and stick him in right field. They say he is a great offensive player…right?

  131. what’s the point in trading for Rivera–he’s a FA at the end of the year isn’t he? he might be a reasonable target to sign during the offseason

  132. Well, since the point is to trade for Kotchman, we can go ahead and take Rivera with him and them maybe it’ll make it easier to sign him in the offseason.

  133. I hate when I see the Angels involved in any rumor. It never fails that they are always in the discussion, and they never do anything.

  134. “I hate when I see the Angels involved in any rumor. It never fails that they are always in the discussion, and they never do anything.”

    Their owner is on record as a firm believer in building from within.

    The cheating NBA ref only got 15 months? I guess that’s about right…

  135. The thought of giving that much money to Soriano next year makes my stomach turn. If we could push him off to someone else, we should. He’s not only injury prone, but he wasn’t really that good when he was in this year, and had moments of epic failure last year as well. Not to say that doesn’t happen to all relievers, I just don’t think he’s worth 6 million.

    If a Tex trade doesn’t happen today I’m going to go insane.

  136. @166 – You do mean he with the .86 WHIP last year w/ a strikeout per inning pitched and a .181 BAA. And pitching even BETTER this year (other than walks) when he pitches? Yeah, I think we have too many of those guys lying around. Get rid of him.

  137. Kotchman would be better than Tracy. He’d probably be a league avg or slightly better 1B and is under team control for 3 more years I think, but they’d be arb years so he’d get more expensive. Probably not a bad target since there are other pressing needs in the offseason and b/c there’s not much 1B help on the farm over the next couple of years.

    Re Soriano–I think he’s ok when healthy but his health makes his $6m salary a big risk. That’s why I favor dealing him. Of course that requires some other team to take his risky elbow and $6m salary.

  138. While I agree that 6 million is a bit much for ANY reliever – he is a closer and closers have been getting upwards of 10 million. He is comparatively cheap. Keep him (if he can stay healthy).

  139. Yeah keep Soriano, better yet put him on the DL for the rest of the season and save his arm for next year.

  140. Save his arm for next year? The dude’s had two TJ surgeries. If he can’t handle even a half season at this point, why the heck are we shelling out $6M per to keep him?

    The only reason we’re getting a pitcher of his caliber for $6M is because he’s so injury prone. With his stats, he’s in the top-tier category for closers, which means he’s a $10M+ man. Do we really want another “good deal” that is going to become a bad deal because he’s on the DL and not on the field? I think I’ve had enough. Let’s shell out money for people who will be here in July or August.

  141. Rob,
    Soriano’s already under contract for next season—the shelling out for him has already been determined.

    If we somehow manage Kotchman and Adenhart, I might throw a party.

  142. @173 – and if we were to pick up Bay from the Pirates – we would be a better team this year, as well as next.

  143. The report that the Dodgers are still eyeing Teixeira makes me happiest. They have 3 guys—Kemp, Loney, and LaRoche—that I’d want more than just about anyone not named Conor Jackson who’s been mentioned, and at least one of those three would presumably have to be included in a deal. We might actually be able to get one of the first two and LaRoche because they’ve soured on him.

    Probably won’t happen, but the Dodgers are the team with the potential return that intrigues me most in all of these rumors.

  144. Joshua, I don’t care what his stats read, I only saw him look solid in one outing this year. Before his first injury he barely got out of several jams, and afterward he was just as shaky.

  145. I’d still trade Teix + KJ + Francoeur for Wang + Cano + Nady. The Yankees won’t need Wang next year when they have Sheets, Sabathia, Mussina, Chamberlain, Hughes. And Wang is hurt this year so he’s worthless for their playoff run. Plus they’ll just sign Teix to an extension. Its a win for both sides, Francoeur needs a Steinbrenner in his ear keeping him motivated.

  146. We can still sign Tex even after we trade him..Tex is a hired gun that will go to the highest bidder. If we’re the highest bidder, we win.

  147. I dunno; when I’ve watched, Sori’s stuff has continued to look pretty filthy. The main concern with me is what concerned me the moment we acquired him — injuries. Some guys are fragile, and he appears to be one of them. But the money’s paid, so unless someone else wants him a whole lot and makes it worth our while, he’s ours for the next couple years.

  148. Seriously, Leeds, what good would Yates have done us this year?

    Not much, admittedly, when you get right down to it. But having him in the bullpen instead of Resop might have helped win a few games early, and having another arm that Bobby could have trusted might have helped keep the pitching together longer.

    That being said, the injuries that have hit the rotation would have doomed this season no matter what. And the crummy outfield also would have doomed this season no matter what. So a relief pitcher doesn’t make or break the season.

    All I was saying, though, is that looking back at the end of spring training, with 20/20 hindsight, makes it crystal clear that Chris Resop sucks. And I think we can all agree on that.

  149. Yeah, Resop should never have been a part of the club.

    I still think Phil Stockman should have been the guy and would have stuck with the Yates trade.

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