Medium term game thread: July 31, Cards at Braves

Okay, here is the situation… You don’t want to trade away anyone who’s going to be good down the line, like McCann or Jurrjens, obviously. And there’s no reason not to trade away anyone who’s going to be a free agent after the season. So the long term and the near term are easy.

The problem is the medium term. In particular, you’re talking about guys who would be on the team in 2009 like Gonzalez and Soriano, and to a lesser extent a player who might start to get expensive, Kelly Johnson. I am pretty optimistic most of the time, but without Hudson I can’t see the Braves as competitive in 2009. The idea of bringing in someone like Sabathia to “rebuild” is absurd; you don’t bring in expensive free agents as part of a rebuilding program, you bring them in to end one, to win once you’re ready to.

On the other hand, there are enough parts here that I’m really reluctant to tear down the structure. Moreover, there are real differences between being bad and being mediocre; a mediocre team will do much better at the gate. And it’s a lot better to build a champion from a 75 win base than a 60 win base; you might get better draft picks with the latter, but fifteen wins is a lot to make up.

I think that the best thing is to shop these guys, quietly, but you don’t have to deal them. I think you do have to deal Kotsay (for anything at all) and probably Ohman.

178 thoughts on “Medium term game thread: July 31, Cards at Braves”

  1. its being reported that we asked the Red Sox for a pitching prospect for Ohman and they said no

  2. Kotsay would be the type of free agent where we would get no draft picks if he walked, correct?

    Also, it looks like the Rays have acquired Jason Bay. So much for that, I guess. Maybe we can go after Dunn.

  3. I doubt Kotsay would make Type B, but he might. However, the Braves would be insane to offer him arbitration, because he’s making $7 million this year and would get a raise.

    Ohman will not clear waivers. Kotsay likely would, again because he’s making $7 million.

  4. Mac–you left unstated an interesting implication of your short/medium/long term analysis. What to do with Chipper?

    Given his age/injuries, your long term analysis suggests dealing him, presumably to an AL club that would DH him as a way of minimizing his exposure to injury (though as we know running to first base is problematic for him).

    Your medium term scenario suggests keeping him to keep attendance up in 09. Dealing him would obviously be running up the white flag for next year and fans would presumably stay home.

    As with all deals (e.g., the Gonzo discussion on the last thread), my position is that the decision would depend on what other teams would offer. An offer of, say, 2-3 top prospects (maybe top 5 on their team’s BA prospect list) would be hard to decline.

  5. Chipper is:

    A) On the DL, so he can’t be traded;
    B) A 10-and-5 man who says he won’t accept a trade, and who says he will retire rather than play elsewhere.

  6. I know that this is heresy on the Francoeur Sucks Blog, but I actually think there is the beginning of some improvement. He does not look quite as bad at the plate (last nights out with the bases loaded excepted) and he is over .300 the last 6 games. Maybe, just maybe…

  7. He is and he may or may not give such consent so it doesn’t take the possibility of trading him off the table. My guess is that there might be teams/situations/contract extensions that would make Chipper agree and others that he would not consent to.

    Wasn’t Griffey, traded earlier today, a 10/5 guy?

  8. I can’t see the team trading Chipper unless he asked them to. I’m open to trading the “middle groud guys” if the return is right, but I just can’t lump Chipper in with them.

  9. Being on the DL may prevent trading Chipper today, but it certainly doesn’t do so in the offseason. 10/5 is a legit issue.

    BTW, don’t get me wrong in raising the question–either he or Smoltz is my favorite Brave and I would hate to see him go.

  10. Griffey agreed to go to the White Sox. The Reds had to get his approval.

    Or so I thought. Maybe I didn’t see that.

    Yeah, I think he did, it’s on ESPN’s front page.

  11. Why in the world would we trade Chipper Jones? That is strait up stupid. If Hudson goes under the knife and we pick up a pitcher and a bat we will be fine.

    I know we tend to over react on this board a lot, but come-on!

  12. I’m a Braves fan. Chipper’s a great bat and better than adequate glove. He won’t be a full time player again as a position player, and it’s unlikely the Braves will compete again in his career. Hell, ask him. The worst (best?) that can happen is that he’ll say no.

  13. That is the equivalent of getting Bay for Hanson and Lillibridge, I would think.

    Hanson > Niemann
    Brignac > Lillibridge

    Would you have traded Hanson and Lilli for Bay?

  14. @16–Sounds like you disagree w/ Mac’s view that it will be hard for the Braves to be competitive in 09. There are some $40m of expiring contracts so maybe you’re right. But if Mac’s right then the Chipper question, 10/5 notwithstanding, is legit b/c he may have only 1-3 seasons left.

  15. @21–yes, but the Rays probably wouldn’t have offered them for 2 months of Tex. Bay’s under control next year, isn’t he?

  16. @23 – oh yeah. Duh.

    Regardless, nice move for the Rays. Here’s to a Tampa/Milwaukee WS.

  17. I don’t know what we do with the 40 million next year if we decide to rebuild. Sign every 16 year-old in Latin America?

  18. I’m glad to see the Rays make a move. With the Braves out of it, I’m pulling for Tampa. I’m lukewarm on the Yankess and loathe the Red Sox (that “Nation” bit is grating) so I’d love for the low payroll, young Rays to edge the Sox or Yanks (or both if, say, the Twins took the WC) out of the playoffs.

  19. Smitty, all we need is one pitcher and one bat? Really? As I see it, we have Jurrjens and Campillo as quality, healthy starters next year. In the offense, we have Escobar, Chipper, Kotchman, McCann, and Johnson as quality hitters. We will need a lefty reliever to replace Ohman. Who knows whether Soriano, Gonzalez, or Smoltz will be healthy enough to close? You must be expecting really great things from Francoeur, Blanco, Brandon Jones, Chuck James, Jo-jo Reyes, and Charlie Morton if you see the Braves only being a pitcher and a bat away from being fine.

  20. You can find pitching and left fielders, you can’t find third basemen that hit 30+ hr drive in over 100 runs hit over .300. You can, but he is first ballot HOF and won’t be able to get him for the price that you are getting Chipper Jones.

  21. We couldn’t offer more than those 2 prospects for Bay? Are you kidding? I really wanted to get him.

  22. Saw this over at Primer, so I can’t take credit for it, although I wish I could:

    Will Jason change his first name to “Tampa”?

  23. Well, now they’re saying that the deal with Bay is not done, that Tampa Bay has declared either Niemann or Brignac unavailable.

  24. “Tim Hudson is likely headed for surgery after two doctors found the Atlanta Braves ace has major ligament damage in his pitching elbow….
    “I think I lost my mentor,” rookie pitcher Jair Jurrjens said. “I hope he can recover quick because we need him. I especially need a mentor next to me.”

    Now that’s depressing.

  25. I’d have to agree with Mac about trading players. It’s pretty close to what I wrote on my blog a couple of days ago.

    The biggest problem (and I may end up writing a post about this) is that there seem to be fewer impact players making it to free agency these days. Teams are more likely to sign extensions. Which means that the players who make it to free agency are even more expensive than they used to be.

    Who all got resigned before the upcoming offseason? Johan Santana, I know…

  26. I think it’s pretty clear that we’re not trading Ohman at this point. If we were, why would we wait until two minutes before deadline?

  27. Nobody offered anything worth more than a sandwich pick. I’m still worried that Ohman will go downhill down the stretch, like everyone else has.

  28. Ohman’s pretty likely to fall apart. He’s been used just as heavily as Boyer. At least he’s not coming off of arm surgery, but still…

  29. It depends upon who’s in the free agent class. The ranking system is done by Elias, so it is (a) secret and (b) nonsense, but the stat categories for relief pitchers are:

    RP: Total games (total relief appearances + 2 * total starts), IP (weighted slightly less than other categories), Wins + Saves, IP/H ratio, K/BB, ERA

  30. Bay to Tampa deal officially dead. Whatever the hold up was, it didn’t get through in time.

  31. Mac, what you have described is franchise pergatory. Not bad enough to trade for the future not good enough so that one or 2 players makes you a contender. Thats pretty much it in a nutshell.

  32. Taking Teixera, Hampton, Glavine, Smoltz (ok maybe you sign Smoltz to an incentive laden deal) off the payroll should give the Braves enough flexibility to go out and get players for 2009.

  33. Whoops, now the Dodgers may have gotten in under the wire and struck a last-minute deal for Bay.

  34. @46

    I dunno, he has last year’s worth of relief appearances to offset it somewhat.

  35. Disappointing that we could not deal away more useful parts.

    Here’s hoping Kotsay has a hot August and someone wants him on their bench.

  36. Not anymore. Deadline’s passed, and those aren’t waiver guys.

    Unless Frank Wren is prescient and saw that Manny deal (which I guess is still unconfirmed) coming down the line 30 minutes late.

    I have a difficult time believing that it was done at 4:00, but with the lack of trades, I don’t mind.

  37. Well, “purgatory” may be a bit much. But if you’re a 75-win team and you add two five-win players (and a five-win player is a star), that makes you an 85-win team. I guess that’s a “contender”, and an 85-win team might actually win 91 or 92 games just due to luck.

    When we had Hudson, I thought adding two stars (say, two good outfielders, or one good outfielder and a starter) put us in good shape. Without Hudson, we’re three stars away.

    Here’s the core of the the team, the top 15 players for the 2009 team as currently constituted:

    Out Machine

    How many of those players have to be replaced? At least three (Anderson or Blanco; Francoeur; Reyes or Morton) and maybe as many as seven. How many internal replacements are available? Maybe Moylan. Maybe Brandon Jones. Maybe Hanson, but he really should not be rushed. That’s about it. The strength of the system is in the low minors.

  38. Taking Teixera, Hampton, Glavine, Smoltz (ok maybe you sign Smoltz to an incentive laden deal) off the payroll should give the Braves enough flexibility to go out and get players for 2009.

    All that money doesn’t help much if there’s no one to spend it on.

    From Cot’s, here’s a list of free agent starting pitchers (* means they have a 2009 option in their contract):
    Kris Benson PHI
    A.J. Burnett TOR (may opt out)
    Paul Byrd CLE
    Ryan Dempster CHC
    Jon Garland LAA
    Tom Glavine ATL
    Mike Hampton * ATL
    Rich Harden * CHC
    Orlando Hernandez NYM
    Jason Jennings TEX
    Randy Johnson ARZ
    John Lackey * LAA
    Esteban Loaiza CHW
    Braden Looper STL
    Derek Lowe LAD
    Pedro Martinez NYM
    Mike Mussina NYY
    Jamie Moyer PHI
    Mark Mulder * STL
    Carl Pavano NYY
    Brad Penny * LAD
    Odalis Perez WAS
    Oliver Perez NYM
    Andy Pettitte NYY
    Mark Prior SD
    Horatio Ramirez KC
    C.C. Sabathia MIL
    Ben Sheets MIL
    John Smoltz * ATL
    Julian Tavarez ATL
    Steve Trachsel BAL
    Brett Tomko SD
    Claudio Vargas MIL
    Randy Wolf HOU

    Once you get past Sabathia (and maybe Sheets), it’s a pretty uninspiring list.

  39. Manny Ramirez has been traded to the Dodgers in a three-team blockbuster, pending the approval of the commissioner’s office, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.

  40. (* means they have a 2009 option in their contract)

    Mike Hampton * ATL



    I can’t remember what Prior’s last injury was, but if we have all this money and can’t spend it anywhere else…

  41. To continue from my last post, here’s the outfielders:

    Bobby Abreu NYY
    Moises Alou NYM
    Garret Anderson * LAA
    Rocco Baldelli TB
    Willie Bloomquist SEA
    Emil Brown OAK
    Pat Burrell PHI
    Endy Chavez NYM
    Carl Crawford * TB
    Adam Dunn CIN
    Jim Edmonds CHC
    Cliff Floyd TB
    Brian Giles * SD
    Ken Griffey Jr. * CIN
    Vladimir Guerrero * LAA
    Raul Ibanez SEA
    Jacque Jones DET
    Mark Kotsay ATL
    Rob Mackowiak WAS
    Kevin Mench TOR
    Jason Michaels * CLE
    Craig Monroe MIN
    Jay Payton BAL
    Scott Podsednik COL
    Manny Ramirez * BOS
    Juan Rivera LAA
    Rondell White MIN

    Either Dunn or Ibanez is probably the best of that bunch.

    So, the Braves will have $40+ million to spend, and nothing worth spending it on.

  42. Looks like Boston may be getting Bay anyway. They may have re-involved the Pirates when they told the Marlins to go pound sand and started negotiating with the Dodgers.

  43. There is a strategy that would work, or would have worked a few years ago. That’s the strategy the Braves employed in 2003, which is basically the outscore-your-opponents philosophy. (That’s nonsensical, since that’s how you win, by outscoring your opponents, but you know what I mean — a great offense and pitchers who just show up.)

    But the cost of reliably mediocre pitching has skyrocketed since then. The Braves could probably get three top hitters (say one big star and two medium stars) to staff the outfield, but they couldn’t afford that and two or three guys to start 30 games each and not kill them.

  44. Maybe Abreu is the best of the outfielders. Still and all, not a good looking group of players.

    Unless LA turns down Manny’s option. That being said, I don’t know if even Bobby Cox could handle Manny.

  45. I hadn’t heard Abreu’s name pop up. Is he a lock to reup with NYY?

    Burrell is good. Rivera would also be a guy I’d look at.

    Is Baldelli coming back this year? He’s been a Braves target before, though he reminds of Francoeur.

  46. Alright, looks like this three-way thing actually happened. Reportedly, the Dodgers get Manny Ramirez and the Red Sox get Jason Bay. Meanwhile, the Pirates get Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen from Boston and Bryan Morris and Andy LaRoche from L.A. Pretty nice haul for them.

  47. From

    3:39pm: Bob Nightengale has the Bucs getting Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss from the Red Sox and Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris from the Dodgers, correcting what looks like a typo in the Rosenthal report.

    Robothal had Damien Moss going to the Pirates. LOL, wonder if he could get us Bay?

  48. I think I’m gonna wait an hour and see if any major media outlets are reporting this as fact.

  49. The Sox really tired of Manny’s act.

    They paid a lot to make the switch to Bay. Are they saving the money, too?

  50. Yeah they did alright. They did really well, in fact.

    I’m guessing that the Braves were not going to land Bay by throwing the pu pu platter at Pittsburgh. Huntington is smart, really really smart.

  51. @56 – I almost think you are going too literal with what a 5-win player does for a team. Seriously, we don’t need a certain number of those players to win – just look at the Marlins – how many do they have? It all comes down to how you play as a team and how you handle the pressure situations. The big problem with our team is, we don’t do well in the close games – we couldn’t handle the pressure this year. You just need players with confidence and ability – you don’t need 5 STARS.

  52. I think this deal saves them money. My guess is Boston makes a run at one of the elite pitchers on the market this offseason.

  53. If we were to assign a win number to each player on our team, I think we would see that this team’s record is not the sum of its parts. I think Joshua is on to something there.

  54. “My guess is Boston makes a run at one of the elite pitchers on the market this offseason.”

    Which means we won’t get any of them.

    If we force ourselves to be competitive in one jump next year, we will probably damage our long term prospects for the chance to just get into the post season next year.

    This still looks like a two year project to me.

  55. How did Ohman not get traded? Isn’t always the middle relievers that go during the final hour of the trade deadline?

    That was the one thing I was looking forward to today. Nothing against him personally obviously.

  56. Mac,

    I thik the deadline has the whole internet (or at least the servers on bseball related sites) solwed down. ESPN has been very slow this p.m.

  57. I’ve been having little glitches the past couple of days… database connection error, then yesterday it just stop loading comments after a certain number and didn’t provide the comment field. Hadn’t seen that one before.

  58. Yeah, the site’s been goofy the last hour or so…

    Kinda interesting that Joe Torre will now be Manny Ramirez’s manager.

    Headed to Yankee Stadium. I imagine that everyone there applauds the Manny deal.

    Hello, Tex…

  59. @75, 77

    I think the clutch thing is just something that fluctuates somewhat. I guess we could just release all of our players and start over, hoping we get some clutch ones this time, though.

    There’s not really a good solution for underperforming relative to runs scored/allowed, other than hoping it starts breaking even next year, which it usually does (reverse is true for Florida).

    I would say bad luck has been the biggest factor in our underperformance so far, with the bullpen playing a part. Injuries have kept us from outscoring the opponents at a ridiculous rate, enough to where we couldn’t help but be a .500 team.

    Obviously, we’ve had guys that have hit poorly with baserunners on this year, but RISP average isn’t repeatable for a vast majority of hitters, if I recall correctly. There’s just not an easy fix other than hoping luck swings the other way next year (which it should somewhat) and we’re at least average with men on.

    Obviously, though, it just wasn’t our year.

    The Pythagorean record is supposed to be a better predictor than the actual record, though, so maybe we won’t be that far off (of course, that takes into account performances by Smoltz, Tex, and Hudson)?

  60. Someone earlier in the thread described the Braves pretty well. Roster purgatory. That’s why I want to blow it up except for a select few guys, McCann, Jurrjens, Chipper etc. Sometimes no matter what you try to do with a given mixture of guys it’s not going to work.

    I don’t think this group is ever going to win anything and we needed to start over. I’d have taken another spare part for Kotsay and Ohman if for no other reason than to inject something new into the equation.

    We either need to be worse or a whole lot better. 8-8 is the worst place to be in the NFL.

  61. I agree with Chief…blow the roster up.

    Horrible trade for Boston…they just conceited any shot at the World Series this year.

    All of

  62. I agree with Chief…blow the roster up.

    Horrible trade for Boston…they just conceited any shot at the World Series this year.


  63. Now that the Dodgers have Manny, I wonder how the D-backs are viewing their refusal to trade Connor Jackson for tex.

    Suck it Arizona!

  64. @89 – no doubt. I wasn’t saying that was the main cause for our demise, just that you can’t just load up on STARS and expect to win – or that you HAVE to load up on stars to win. We have a couple STAR players, the rest just need to be above average and play well – some people handle different situations better than others – we just didn’t this year. When some struggle, others have to pick up the slack.

  65. I think Boston got screwed, but I doubt this will preclude them from winning the World Series. Boston is loaded, and the drop in offense from Ramirez to Bay isn’t that great. Plus, they’re getting Ortiz back. And I’d have to say Bay will be a better defender than Manny.

    What gets me is what they gave up. They gave up two prospects (both not great but still), Manny’s contract, and they get back Bay. Pittsburgh is who really came out. They pick up 4 pretty good players for Bay. I also like the deal for LA. LaRoche and the other guy for a free Manny. Manny’s offense should go down playing at Chavez-Ravine though.

    Fun day today for baseball fans.

  66. Oh, and blowing up the Braves will get us nowhere. Plus, what do you blow up? You trade young talent like Reyes, Escobar, Johnson, Francoeur for other young talent that is a couple years away from maybe being decent? As Mac said, it’s the medium guys, but we don’t have that many of them.

    We’ve got money to spend, and as others have said, I’m not quite convinced there are good players to spend it on.

  67. Putting Pierre and Andruw on waivers will get them nowhere. No one wants either of those guys and their contracts. Pierre just became a really expensive pinch-runner, it seems.

  68. If I were Torre, I’d probably play Andruw in center with Kemp and Manny in the corners, and hope it all adds up to above-average. I think it would be hard to win the division without at least one guy who can play defense on the field.

  69. And I could probably stay up to recap this latest abomination, but I see no reason to. So, morning recap again.

    I still can’t believe they held onto Ohman. I hope he doesn’t get hurt.

  70. Does this all mean Mazzone is coming back? Please? At least he keeps pitchers healthy. Mostly.

  71. Why on earth Ohman is still around is beyond me, unless they plan on extending him, which I’m not a big fan of overpaying for middle relievers, but that’s just me.

  72. Not much this front office does makes sense. They really don’t seem to have a plan, to me.

  73. I would spend money to resign/extend a middle reliever if I thought he was special. The only middle reliever I’ve ever thought was worth it was Remlinger. Most of the time, if a guy was good enough to keep, he’d be a closer.

  74. Really, Chief? Really? You don’t agree with the front office? Wow, news to us.

  75. Why on earth Ohman is still around is beyond me, unless they plan on extending him…

    Or unless the Braves truly thought the sandwhich draft pick was better than the trade offers from other teams.

  76. So the Dodgers grabbed another Boras client.

    I just don’t know what to say. Somewhere Branch Rickey is flat spinnin’ …

  77. I can’t stand this team. It’s not the giving up the double to Pujols that’s the problem, it’s letting the lousy players in front of him get on base. And yes, I will recap in the morning. I think this team is giving me clinical depression; I have no energy to deal with it.

  78. –I’m not a big fan of overpaying for middle relievers, but that’s just me.

    So you are for having a bunch of crappy middle guys?

  79. @96 Boston just made a no-brainer move. They’re going to save a ton of money next year and probably spend it on a pitcher. Bay is younger, much cheaper, and will produce about 80% of Manny did, if not moreso. As for the prospects, they gave up two guys who were basically blocked. This was the best they could do if they were gonna deal Manny. They’re still a top-3 team and will probably be the best team in baseball next season, if not beyond.

    The only stupid team out of all of this is LA, because they’re run by a moron. I cannot wait to see Kemp losing playing time to Andruw and Pierre. Watch the Dodgers miss the playoffs… watch.

    Also: the three vets in LA’s outfield combine for more than Tampa’s payroll. Nice work Coletti. You’re a genius.

  80. I think the Braves will offer arb to Ohman and if he takes it, the Braves will be fine on a one year commitment. They will not do a multi year with as much uncertainty and as many arms as are in the system.

    Mac’s right that, basically, if htey have been in MLB long enough to earn free agency and they haven’t been good enough to start or be seen as a CLOSER tm, then there is too high of a likelihood that they will drop off to commit.

    In fact, I think Mac hit on something earlier. That is, with the cost and risk of pitching, you really need to build a team like the Big Red Machine. Tons of offense and a lot of at least so so pitching.

    In fact, for an NL team, somebody at the bottom (really would be more effective if they were in the middle) is going to be bold enough to go 12 relievers and no starters and radically improve their team. The studies show that it is lots easier to be a better than half ass pitcher pitching against a hitter once or twice per series than 3 to 4 times in a single game.

  81. Is there a reason that I “do nothave permission to edit (the above comment”?

    I was just going to fix my mistyping, really, that is all.

  82. The depressing part of that hit is that Hampton is clearly a better hitter than at least three or four other players in this lineup- and maybe five, if Johnson is slumping.

  83. I don’t know why anyone here would be bagging on Infante. He’s been very good for us this year. Well, he has for the whole month and a half he’s been healthy at least.

    I should add, as he gets another hit, that his peripherals back up the solid performance; his K-rate is practically 10%.

  84. Infante was a solid pick up. I think Wren has done a good job.

    He stole Jurjens. Infante and Ohman have been terrific. Campillio has been outstanding.

    It is not Wren’s fault that Sorriano, Smoltz, Glavine, Kotsay, Diaz, Hudson, all got hurt.

    Francoeur really let the team down. KJ wasn’t the leadoff hitter we hoped he would be. Keeping Corky Miller was a mistake, but him on the team isn’t really the reason we are where we are.

    I vote we try and convert Sorriano to a starter. Try and get Ryan Dempster and/or Jason Jennings and make a move on Pat Burrell. Isn’t Furcal a free agent? If so I would try and get him to play second base and move Kelly Johnson for some pitching. That would give us a great order.

    (Someone to Play Center Field)

    Jo Jo

    Better than what we got.

  85. Furcal is injured all the time now, and for his price…we might as well keep Kelly and just sign a pitcher

  86. Furcal and Escobar on the same team is a horrible allocation of resources. Those are two of the best arms in baseball and you’ve got one of them at 2b. Bleh.

    Now, if you wanted to put Furcal in RF, say….

  87. I’ll add that I do really like the idea of getting Burrell. I mean, we’re going to need SOME production out of LF next year, and Burrell’s not a bad guy to have as your 3rd-best hitter.

  88. I was talking more about Simpson’s insistence on finding Infante an everyday spot in 2009 and constantly calling him “a player” about ten dozen times this season, even while he was on the DL.

    I’m not saying Infante is having a bad season or is a bad bench player or anything like that.

    Did Wren really steal Jurrjens? I was under the impression that trade was done by Schuerholz and Wren pulled the trigger after the World Series.

    Fianlly…Jason Jennings? Why?

  89. Despite all the grief we gave him and I’ll give him credit for trying, Hampton is done. He seriously should consider being a PH OF.

  90. I’m not sure Hampton is still a MLB-caliber pitcher after the layoff. I think the Braves’ FO assumed he would be, but looking back at how long it’s been since he pitched a meaningful game, his age, and historical aging trends, I’m not sure that’s necessarily the case.

    I’m sure he’s still rusty, but there’s no guarantee he gets any better. His peak could have sailed by in 2006. Last year could have been his graceful decline.

  91. Kotchman’s grounding out is going to get old if he doesn’t figure out how to start walking again. Hopefully he can work that out by the end of the year.

  92. Hampton is an able man even though he is injury prone. Personally I hate injury prone. I bet no one likes it. But I’m curious about him after this season because of Hudson and Smoltz. You know Ben Sheets also injury prone. In addition, I think all proven pitchers have a risk of injuries though.

    I’m watching Angels game on TV. They swept RedSox then now is leading Yanks. Fun.

  93. Oh, baby.

    That’s a mighty fine Sammich.

    Nice night for Sammons. Maybe not as nice for Corkster.

  94. Wow – Sammons looks like he will surpass Corky in hits and RBIS for the year – in one game. I ask again, why is Corky still on this team?

  95. Smitty, Soriano can’t even be a reliever much less a starter. Furcal? I’d rather have KJ.

  96. Just saw this in the article on the MLB site about Huddy needing TJ surgery.

    “Hampton probably has every answer that I can dream of having,” Hudson said.

    That’s probably quite true.

  97. Corky – 54 ABs, 5 hits, 3 RBIs, 1 HR (26 games)
    Sammons – 7 ABs, 3 hits, 3 RBIs, 1 HR (4 games)

  98. Attaboy Kotsay, Frank Wren needs new shoes.

    Productive out by Kotchman, but dammit, you’re hitting cleanup with a man in scoring position. Gotta beat the Angel out of him.

  99. The Angels have the best record in baseball. If Kotchman can bring that with him, I’d take it.

  100. @142–if you’ve watched the pen lately, you should hope the offense continues–no lead is safe with that crowd–at least for tonight, we might be glad the Braves didn’t deal Ohman

  101. I dunno if we have enough offensive talent without Chipper and McCann to play for one run too often. Infante is on a nice run, though, so it worked well there.

    I’m not sure a single run means as much to us, as well, with our haggard pitching staff.

  102. It’s going to take Hampton some time to get things going. I’ll take 5IP 4ER right now.

  103. Heh, Skip on the radio after announcing the attendance (some 40.000 I think) “… about 20.000 of them disguised as empty seats.”

  104. Brave save opportunity for whoever comes in. I’m thinking Gonzalez.

    Yep, anybody else is too risky.

  105. Can you make an out catching the ball standing in the dugout? I’m guessing yes, but that’s weird.

  106. And even if Boyer and Ohman aren’t in the game, I bet they are warming up (or have warmed up today).

  107. I think they’ll throw a simulated inning here after the game, just to stay fresh.

  108. I don’t think you can leave the field of play and make an out? I think that’s why you always see catchers leaning over the dugout steps even when it would probably be easier just to go down them.

  109. I mean that seriously too. I’m not sure what the rule is… but I’d probably rather my catcher not mess with the steps.

  110. Peanut says:

    “Our infield is pretty well stocked with guys who we feel are above-average Major Leaguers,” Wren said. “Our outfield is a work in progress.”

    Looks like we also were in on Bay and Hermedia til the end.

  111. Espn is saying that Ozzie Guillen has pulled all his players off the field, umps are in the stands, and Ozzie is screaming at a fan. They just went to commercial, but said they’ll report whats happening when they return

  112. What I meant about not understanding why Ohman is still around is that every year I always read a million articles about every single contending team wanting to add a bullpen arm or two, and this year nobody gets traded at the deadline except for Arthur Rhodes. Nobody would give up anything of value for Ohman or anybody else ?? Why the Rockies didn’t trade Fuentes makes even less sense to me than Ohman. I think teams are falling in love with these compensation picks a little too much, in my opinion.

    After tonight, I wish DOB or somebody would just flat out ask Wren “Why is Corky Miller still on this roster ?” just to see what the answer even would be.

  113. Also, that sound you just heard was Mark Kotsay clearing waivers, please feel free to trade him anytime.

  114. csg, any update on that White Sox situation? I don’t see anything on or anything.

  115. And the thing about ole Corky is that other well-run organizations have given Corky a roster spot. He’s played for both Minnesota and Boston. Now, Boston, being the smart organization they are, optioned Corky down to AAA after only one game to bring up a younger, better catcher. But there’s gotta be a reason he’s getting work, and obviously it’s not something we can see with our fan-eyes and stats.

  116. From Terrence Moore-

    “These also are the same Braves officials who threatened to trigger a fire sale after they sent slugger Mark Teixeira on Tuesday to the highest bidder.”

    Did they ever actually threaten to have a fire sale?

  117. This is what happened. Terrence kept calling Frank Wren and Frank said, “If you don’t quite calling us, we’re going to get rid of all of our black players, never promote TP to manager, and not try to beat Chicago’s offer for Ken Griffey Jr. We know how much you love that guy.” And as far as he’s concerned, that’s a fire sale.

    Too far? Sorry.

  118. Hey guys, just got in from work 1:11 Am

    Clint Sammons =Johnny Bench?
    Good thing we waited till August to give him playing time,
    3 hits tonight = 300% more than Corkys’ lifetime numbers.

  119. If Clint Sammons isn’t kept and Corky DFAd when McCann comes back, I can’t be held responsible for my actions. It should have happened months ago. Now that we actually know that Sammons is capable of hitting Major League pitching…well, I was about to say there is no reason for Miller to be on this team, but then there never was in the first place. Anyway, please…I beg of you, Wren. For the love of all that is holy, keep Sammons up and DFA Miller when McCann comes back. Hell, Sammons may actually prove himself to be more useful than his Richmond numbers would indicate and we might even be able to get something for him in a trade. You never know.

    But one thing we do know is that there is absolutely nothing good that can come from sending Sammons back to Richmond. Nothing. If you really like Miller in your organization and want to groom him to be a manager or a coach or something (that’s truly the only logical reason I can possibly fathom as to why he retains a spot on this team), I guarantee you that he’ll clear waivers and we’ll be able to send him back to Richmond where he can re-assume the Crash Davis role that he had down there before this year and we can keep him in the organization. And if, by some infinitesimal chance, some dumbass GM claims him, well, then the joke is well and truly on him.

  120. Yes, the Manny trade was extremely popular in The Bronx tonight.

    I can’t think of another player in my lifetime that has slaughtered Yankee pitching like that guy. At some point, I’ll go through my stacks of scorebooks & add up the HRs I’ve seen him hit (with Cle & Bos) in that Stadium—it’s about 15 years worth.

    It’s a different dynamic now between the Yanks & Sawx for sure.

  121. sox just got YOUNGER and, at this point, MORE TALENTED, without giving up too many prospects.

    they also got the $$$$ to go after TEX as a Free Agent, so they can move Ortiz/Youk for pitching in the offseason.

    OR, they could sign Sheets AND Sabathia just for kicks.

    wish we could have Stolen Epstein as our GM when he was out of baseball…man sure knows what the hell he is doing.

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