Diamondbacks 6, Braves 1

ESPN – Braves vs. Diamondbacks – Box Score – August 10, 2008

Jeff Francoeur is a horrible, horrible player. Without him: 11 runs. With him: team’s only rally killed by bases-loaded double play. It doesn’t really matter, except that he’s so bad that eventually even the Braves would notice. You’d think.

Mike Hampton was useless, getting lifted after the fourth after allowing six runs. Oddly, he only allowed seven baserunners. He’s very efficient. The bullpen did a good job in their four innings of work — two shutout innings by Nunez, one by Tavarez, and one by Boyer, who collectively allowed one hit and one walk.

The Braves got their only run in the sixth on a sac fly by Infante. However, with the bases loaded and one out, the Out Machine came to the plate, and as he has done so very often Francoeur grounded into a double play to difuse the Braves’ only real threat. He is a horrible, horrible ballplayer, if I haven’t mentioned that, and was 0-4 with two strikeouts.

The Braves actually outhit their opponents, 7-6, and drew three walks to Arizona’s two. But, you know, Francoeur, who sucks. I mean it’s not all his fault, but he is driving me crazier. What is the point of playing him at all? I mean, if we’re trying to talk to improve drafting position or something, why not shut Jurrjens and Gonzalez down to keep them healthy?

144 thoughts on “Diamondbacks 6, Braves 1”

  1. I think it’s mainly Wren and Bobby don’t want to embarrass themselves by admitting they screwed up calling Jeffy back to Atlanta after a whole 3 games in the minors. So they keep running him out there rather than have to explain to the media and fans that they were wrong and Jeff needed weeks or months not days.

  2. Being the spokesmodel spokesman for a company with a giant neon sign over the 755 Club is a big asset that Brandon Jones just doesn’t have.

  3. Evidently the Delicate Genius has a policy. The Delicate Genius must not be disturbed in right field while he works through his issues. The Delicate Genius doesn’t enjoy spending time in Mississippi, and must return to Atlanta after a weekend series, progress be damned. Bobby and Wren are afraid of adversely affecting the Delicate Genius for fear of making him unhappy and thus making the squealing/fawning-idiot segment of the Braves’ fanbase equally unhappy.

  4. Suck doesn’t even begin to describe how miserably Francoeur performed today. He should spend the rest of the season in Mississippi, though I’m getting more and more convinced that he’s beyond repair.

  5. At the very least, sending him to Mississippi hides him and enables him to put up some numbers that may con a team into trading too much for him.

  6. And I think they should send him to Richmond, where he’ll be closer to Washington and their collection of failed Braves; Kasten might make Bowden trade for him.

  7. “At the very least, sending him to Mississippi hides him and enables him to put up some numbers that may con a team into trading too much for him.”

    The problem with that is the team most likely to be conned is the Braves. He’d just end up back in the majors for two years after the inevitable .300 BA over the last month of the AA season. It’s as if he finds a new bottom, a new low, with each passing game.

  8. Just dump him – I can’t stand guys who think they are too good to fix anything with their approach. That’s what infuriated me about Andruw the last couple years he was here.

  9. I don’t think he thinks he’s too good to fix his approach, he just can’t do it.

    If I were him I’d pester Chipper until he allowed me to stay at his ranch all winter coaching me into a different hitter.

  10. Parish,

    It doesn’t take emotion to see that he’s the worst player in major league baseball.

    If we have 40 million to spend, we should be able to get at least 1 MLB, stud OF.

    I’m ALL for Pat Burrell although we couldn’t expect him to duplicate his numbers outside of Howard J. Lamade Stadium, I mean his home park in Philly.

  11. If I had to guess, it would be that the Braves will bid heavily on a trade/extension for Holliday. Personally, I believe that this would be a very bad idea; no matter to what degree he’s a park creation, his numbers are certainly inflated. His career road numbers are .280 .345 .457.

  12. And answering a question of mine, Bill James says that the Braves’ pythagorean underperformance isn’t quite bad enough to make the list of the worst of all time. But hey, another year of this and…

  13. And Bill didn’t mention it, but one thing that a lot of these underperforming teams have in common is great managers — in addition to Bobby, there’s McGraw, Weaver, Torre, Davey Johnson, Fred Clarke, even Ned Hanlon for a couple of years. One team was managed by Paul Richards at the beginning of the run of futility and Al Lopez at the end.

  14. I think I might go after Dunn in the offseason. Then again, we already have enough lefties in the lineup. I think he’s the best OF available, though.

  15. Dunn hits lefthanded, and the Braves need righthanded power. (With the collapse of the Out Machine, their four biggest power threats are three lefthanded hitters and a switch hitter whose power is almost all lefty.) Also, they’ll bitch about his batting average.

  16. Go for Burrell. Right-handed and you can steal him from the Phillies and block him from signing with the Mets.

    Could you imagine what Joe Simpson would say about Adam Dunn, having a typical Adam Dunn year?

    “He needs to shorten his swing. His batting average is too low. His strikes out too much. He doesn’t protect the plate with two strikes. He doesn’t go the other way enough. He needs to choke-up on the bat. He needs to be more aggressive.”

  17. Well done Mac, I have been waiting for that tagline for a long long time. I hope at some point Delta will be wise enough to dump Jeffrey.

  18. Based on DOB’s writing in his article, I can tell he is sick of Jeffrey like us:

    “The Braves had a chance to make things interesting in the sixth inning after Jones scored on Omar Infante’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly, cutting the lead to 6-1. Mark Kotsay singled to re-load the bases, bringing up Jeff Francoeur.

    In an all-too-familiar story line, Francoeur grounded to Webb to start an inning-ending double play. Francoeur is a dismal 3-for-24 (.125) with bases loaded this season, with seven strikeouts and five double plays grounded into.

    All other Braves are a combined 32-for-97 (.330) with the bases loaded, with four double plays grounded into.

    “I tried to put it in play to the right side, and hit it right back at him,” Francoeur said of the 1-and-2 pitch he hit to start the 1-2-3 double-play.

    He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts to sink his overall average to .226, including .205 in 87 games since April 29, and 10-for-56 with no extra-base hits in his past 15 games.

    Francoeur struck out with two on to end the fourth inning, and has a .186 average with runners in scoring position, fifth-lowest among NL qualifiers.”

  19. I traded Francouer on OOTP 9 tonight to the Toronto Blue Jays for two young stud SP and a CF prospect.

    Funnily enough he was batting .232 with 9 HR and 28 RBI and a negative 7.8 VORP.

    I’m going with a Gregor Blanco/Matt Diaz platoon.

  20. Come on Dave…don’t hold back now. Those are just some plain scary stats.

    One would have to believe there are those in Braves management that realize the kid has major flaws in his offensive game, and marketing be damned, the team has to make a change. Whether that’s demotion or trade, something has to give. This is more than just a slump, it’s a disease, and unless he goes to the instructional league and completely breaks down his swing and rebuilds it, it is just going to compound the more he repeats it.

  21. Another great outing from Hanson…six scoreless innings, two hits allowed, one walk and TEN Ks!!!

  22. Rumor I heard on ESPN radio was that Manny really wants to go to the Yankees in the off season to stick it to the Red Sox 18 times a year. (Disclaimer) Again I don’t know if I buy it just heard it on the radio.

    If the Yanks sign Ramirez who goes? They just traded for Nady and have him for a year. Abreu’s got an option year. They still control Melky. Matsui comes back. Damon. And Giambi’s a free agent so the DH spot could potentially open.

  23. Burrell has not been a park creation this season. In fact, he has been great on the road and pedestrian at home:

    Home: .226/.347/.429
    Road: .312/.448/.688

    But strangely enough he WAS a park creation from 2005 to 2007, posting 127 OPS points higher at home. I’d be more concerned about getting a 32 year-old left fielder who was already bad in the field and streaky at the plate more than his home-road splits, though.

  24. Burrell is so inconsistent that I am not sure if I want to see the Braves to hand him the fat contract…

  25. I agree — Burrell will be looking for a long contract, and he’s not likely to be worth it towards the end. He’ll probably hit 30 HR and walk 100 times in ’09 regardless of where he plays, and those are bright and shiny things to be sure. But he’s also one of the slowest runners in the game, doesn’t hit for much of an average, and is a bad left fielder. Just say no to millstone contracts.

  26. KC–Hanson is flat out dealing…I think we will see him in Atlanta for at least some coffee before the end of 2008….

  27. I am not crazy about trying to do too much in one offseason, so I don’t think we should seek more than one outfielder and maybe one pitcher.

    That means we will need one corner outfielder to come out of our system. I know he seems hopeless right now, but Frenchy has the most potential. Clearly, something has to be done to rebuild his swing. I guess the Braves intend to handle that in the offseason. Surely, they know something needs to be done.

    Does anyone know if an immediate demotion would have any impact on Frenchy’s arb eligibility? My guess is no. How does arb work if he ends the year in AA?

  28. Manny in LF

    he’s opting out of his contract and atlanta seems the type of place he could deal with (lack of microscope)…

    he’s right-handed. power. and i think we could sign him for 3 years/54 mill

  29. Chris, the Yankees will sign Manny just to keep him away from anyone else. Of course, we can’t rule out the Mets.

  30. Stephen, I am thinking Hanson’s development this year may lead the Braves to trade one of Charlie and JoJo. A package of KJ, Morton, and Brandon Jones can get us a pretty big bat or a good SP.

  31. Parish, you still have hope in Frenchy? The kid is very talented, but he is not smart enough to utilize it.

  32. DOB wrote the following in his blog on AJC:

    “CharlieAlphaBravo, by that logic, regarding Pendleton, if Andruw’s slide in 2007 is to be laid at the hitting coach’s feet, then what does that say of the Dodgers’ hitting coach this year? He must be the worst in history.

    Also, did Pendleton do especially good coaching with Andruw during the 2005-06 seasons, when he hit 92 homers and drove in 257 runs? Then he did bad coaching with him in 2007?

    You know, I wish I had so many people ready to make excuses for me every time I didn’t do my job well, to blame it on editors or someone instead of me.

    Sometimes, players just stink. Sometimes, they get old and beat up in a hurry. Sometimes, their butts fly straight back on almost every single swing, the way Andruw’s does these days, and it’s not his hitting coach now or last year’s fault that he continues to do it, because Andruw is a 30-year-old man and if he doesn’t listen to the coach, he doesn’t listen.

    And sometimes, a young player just doesn’t develop as soon as we thought he would. Sometimes, they don’t develop, period, and it’s not anyone fault but their own. Other teams develop a book on a young hitter or pitcher, and they start to exploit his weaknesses after he’s been in the league a while.

    If that player isn’t capable or is unwilling to make adjustments, if that player had so much success doing things one way, and isn’t comfortable enough to adapt and apply things he’s been taught and use them in the game itself, rather than just in batting practice, well, that’s not the hitting coach’s fault. Or the manager’s. Quite often it’s only the player’s fault. Maybe he just can’t do it. Maybe he just won’t.

    The coach or manager can’t go out there and stand behind him at the plate and yell for him to take this pitch or swing at that one, or tell him to keep his butt in or not fly open with his front side, or not drop his hands the way Francoeur has been told again and again to not do.

    And if benching for a game or two, or sending him to the minors, doesn’t do anything, well, it’s sometimes not as simple as saying, you’re out of here, like you might a player the team didn’t or doesn’t have big plans for. Sometimes, it’s not that easy.

    You have to have patience. Sometimes, that patience is rewarded. It has been many times for Cox since I’ve been on this beat.

    Sometimes, it is not rewarded. It hasn’t been with Cox vis-a-vis Francoeur this season. It hasn’t been with Torre vis-a-vis Andruw this year.

    Everyone wanted to make excuses for Andruw — it’s his knee, it’s his back, etc. Well, he had his knee ‘scoped, took a couple months off, and he’s stunk worse than ever since he got back. Now what? It has to be the new hitting coach? Or perhaps T.P.’s bad coaching from a year ago has poisoned him? Absurd.

    People want to say it’s Frenchy’s eye. It’s his foot. it’s hit hitting coach. Well, you know what? Maybe it’s just Frenchy. Maybe he’s not that good right now.

    Maybe he’s a kid with a ton of raw talent who can hit balls nearly 500 feet in BP, but in games he’s gonna have to make some changes, apply what he’s been taught in BP to the actual games.

    I wish just once in a while, people would stop trying to find excuses and point the finger at someone else, and instead just point it squarely on the player or players who aren’t living up to expectations.

    Usually, that’s a damn good place to start.”

    Wonderful stuff.

  33. If it’s not Pendleton’s fault that Jeff and Andruw sucked and it’s not his credit that Andruw had a few good years, then what the heck do we need him for? What use is a hitting coach that has no effect on the players that need him most?

  34. I don’t know that hitting coaches make a whole lot of difference at the major league level except at the margins. Sure, there are the mechanics of each player’s swing to pay attention to, but when you have 0.3 seconds to recognize and react, for the most part you are who you are.

  35. Hitting coaches are useless as a hitting instructor. They can all spot an odd hitch in a swing or something like that, but then it is up to the players, who is a fully grown adult, to make the changes, if they can.
    A hitting coach is just an assistant to the head coach with a special title.

    Good to see Hanson got his groove back. Has anyone here seen him pitch? What is he like/style?

  36. The problem is, if you think that Frenchy was “good” in 2006-07, then you can write off this year to an aberration and you give him a chance. I’m afraid that is what the Braves think. If, as many on here think, that Frenchy was never that good, then this year is just a more extreme example of what he really is.

    I don’t think Frenchy has potential. He is a bad baseball player. He has no baseball instincts and he seems to have quite a sense of entitlement. I suspect he wouldn’t be as bad next year as this year but even if he returned to say his 2007 form, he still wouldn’t be a good player. I’m no hitting expert, but, even when he was more productive, he never seemed to have any clue what he was doing at the plate.

    Leaving Frenchy in the lineup offends me even if the Braves are out of it. The guy is getting worse; I think it’s wrong to just pretend that everything is fine and keep running him out there. I don’t think managers should call players out publicly but it would be nice if Booby at least acknowledged that Frenchy wasn’t in the running for MVP this year. A little candor from the manager would be nice but it’s not something you will ever get from Cox which is why players like him I guess. Francouer should be in the minors if for no other reason than to send a signal that you have to earn your place on the team.

  37. hitting coaches exist for the same reason that first base coaches exist(well, i guess somebody has to tell the dummies to not get picked off) and for the same reason that managers wear uniforms……………..it has always been thus.

  38. On another depressing note, just saw Willy Aybar’s 3-run homer for the Rays. I still can’t believe we had to throw in a second player with him to get Jeff Ridgway.

    Not a winner for Wren.

  39. too bad Komminsk didnt get as much of a chance as Frenchy. he was on “going nowhere fast” teams as well.

  40. Some on this blog put way too much stock into the abilities of hitting and pitching coaches to influence performance. This isn’t football where a scheme or a game plan or understanding an opponents tendencies can make a player better than he actually is. For all intents and purposes an mlb hitting/pitching coach is there to be a counselor. TP may be telling Frenchy ‘well you were hitting when you held your hands this way, blah blah’ but even if Francouer makes the adjustment, he still has to hit an object going anywhere from 75 to 100 mph in less than 2 seconds.

    Marc, I agree. I simply do not understand why Bobby continues to run Francouer out there. The damn game is hard enough when its 9 v 9 but even harder when its only 8 v 9. Its enough to make me start believing all the conspiracy theories running around out there.

    Francouer is the classic example of that outstanding athelete that sucks as a base ball player but continues to get more chances just because he runs fast, hits towering BP homers and throws BBs from the outfield. And well maybe he has the GOOD pictures.

  41. Brad Komminsk was at least good in the minors. Jeffy never was.

    Pendleton gets grief because of his public statements about aggressiveness and going the other way. He seems to promote the hit-like-I-did approach. For this, he deserves grief. In private, he may not act like this.

    Andruw WAS an excellent hitter, something Jeffy never will approach. Let’s please stop the comparisons. Andruw fell off a Harley, Jeffy’s fallen off a tricycle. TP’s advice to both seems to be counter to what is exactly going on: that is the problem. There is no disputing that the main determinant of the success of any player is the natural talent of the player. It is the role of the coach to improve it. How much a coach can do, I don’t know.

    I do think that TP will be gone after the season. I believe that one of the reasons teams hire coaches is to fire them. Humans have trouble understanding random fluctuations. Blaming a coach is a cheap way to tell fans, “we’re working to fix the problem.”

  42. In looking at the new tag line, I realize that we are at a crossroads somewhat like in Vietnam.

    We must destroy the Frenchman in order to save the Braves.

    Does anybody have any idea how to get through to management on this? Call for Brandon Jones and Josh Anderson? Take signs to the ballpark? What will it take?

    Francoeur needs a complete approach and swing reformation. [use of that reference makes me wonder: Is Bobby being our Torquemada, inflicting suffering on many in order to seek his vision of the truth?]

  43. Two things I don’t get from this thread: Frenchy wasn’t an especially good ballplayer in 06-07, but he wasn’t a particularly awful one, either. His defense was really good, and his bat, while below average for his position, was clearly above that of a replacement-level RF. So it’s not like he wasn’t providing value to the team. Not the value people often liked to attribute to him, but definitely value. Moreover, WAAAAAAY more value than he has this year. I would LOVE to have last years’ production rather than this years’, and I don’t see why more people aren’t on board with that.

    Secondly, why do people NOT want to play him in games that don’t matter? He’s awful right now. I’d be pissed if we were playing him in games that might actually affect our playoff chances rather than ones that are just for fun. I don’t know if more ABs will help Frenchy realize just how bad he is (which I believe is crucial to him deciding that he needs to do something to change to improve), but I don’t think it’ll hurt. I dunno, maybe I’m wrong there. I imagine once Brandon Jones is up next month he’ll see less playing time.

  44. I haven’t seen evidence of Frenchy refusing to listen to coaching – I just don’t think anything has helped. It relates to his mental approach and his bat speed. I think his mental approach can be corrected with time (I disagree with those who say he’s too dumb – playing baseball isn’t brain surgery), but his bat speed is the biggest concern.

    I’m not smart enough to know whether or not his bat speed can be corrected, but that’s what we’re paying our scouts and coaches for. Evaluations have to be made but they can’t be based on his “star” status. While the Frenchy 06/07 was mediocre at best, if we can get him to that level, he could at least be a useful trading chip. If not, we may as well release him now – I know many here want that to be done. However, I think Braves management and Cox are a lot more patient than that (mostly to their detriment, but sometimes to the good).

  45. been out of the loop for several days, what was Dr Andrews diagnosis of Soriano’s elbow? Any updates on how Huddy’s TJ surgery went?

    btw, Frenchy is the worst everyday player in MLB. I’ve never seen someone struggle to make contact like he does. His range is down and his throws are usually high. He’s just bad, real bad

  46. They should have Francoeur do the reverse Ankiel. The guy has a strong arm but he can’t hit worth a crap. Let him go back down to the minors and convert him into a closer. At least as a pitcher he wouldn’t have to think or understand the game both of which he has shown an inability to do well. He could just throw whatever McCann calls.

  47. Francoeur makes me hate baseball.

    If the Yanks go after Manny, Nady becomes expendable. He’s the ideal Francoeur replacement, IMO (one year, league-average at worst). We could still go after a legit bopper for LF.

    Yeah, we obviously gave up way more talent than we received in that deal with the Rays—but everyone, including Wren, knew that at the time the trade went down. That was simply a matter of cutting ties to a player the organization didn’t want anything else to do with off the field. And I’m OK with that.

  48. I don’t want him to play because he doesn’t deserve to play. They play to win the game, whether the games “mean anything” or not. They mean something to the fans that are paying money for the tickets.

  49. csg,

    Nady is controlled for next year by the Yankees at cheap cost. Besides, before this year, Nady has been like 280 / 320 / 450 for his career.

    Blanco’s arm in centerfield leaves much to be desired. He is better than Damon and Pierre, but beyond that, it isn’t too pretty.

    I think Cameron ended up on a one year contract, but I am not sure. He may require drftpick compensation as a Type B.

  50. Going back a ways… the problem is that while the Braves have a lot of money to spend, everyone wants long contracts. Paying $20 million to a 32-year-old Burrell or a 29-year-old Dunn is one thing. But in four or five years, that can be a crippling contract.

  51. Cliff,
    See 53 re: Nady’s possible availability. Also, do you realize how much of an improvement league-average (Nady’s career numbers prior to this season) would be in RF? Also, he could form a pretty nice platoon with Brandon Jones.

  52. My calculation of money coming off contract next year is a little less than a lot of what I have been seeing.

    Teix money: subtract 12.5, add back 4 for Kotchman.

    Glavine: 8

    Smoltz: 14

    Hampton: 8 (that is the way the Braves have said they are accounting for it).

    Kotsay: 2

    That is 40 million.

    Arb and scheduled increases for: Francoeur, Diaz, KJ, McCann, Soriano, Infante: subtract 10.

    So, we have 30 million to play with on FA’s for next year, IF we don’t get a payroll bump. That probably won’t cover both of our most pressing needs (#1 starter and big RH bat for the outfield). AND, it doesn’t provide a penny toward #3 starter and an extra outfielder.

    Liberty needs to pony up (or Braves need to get lucky somewhwere with Schafer, Hanson, Morton, B. Jones, Flowers, somebody) if Braves are to be competitive in 2009.

  53. Stu,

    The real problem in analyzing it from improvement over Francoeur is you have to get Francoeur out of the way first?

    The “short term solution thing” is why I thought we needed to pull the trigger on B. Giles. It looks like SD would have just withdrawn him, but I would have made them do it.

  54. In counting toward arbitration, do you not count both (1) the 4 years from draft (or 5 years from 18 draft) AND (2) up to 3 option years if the player is on 40 man but not on 25 man roster?

  55. Cliff, we also lose Ohman’s contract (only $1.6M), and do you really think Kotchman’s raise will be that significant?

    Also, for some reason (this may be wrong), I had in mind that our payroll had a ceiling of $90 million for this year. We didn’t spend all that in constructing the roster, even with Teixeira. If that’s true, and accounting for the above minor changes, it’s more like $35M, with even a small uptick in that ceiling leading to $40M in available funds. I agree that the money goes quickly when you’re trying to fill holes with major stars, though.

  56. But, Mac, is major league service time based on 25 man roster (not games played and not games on 40 man roster)?

    My question was directed at whether the advantage of having the “cheap play years” coincide more closely with the “peak years” for performance might tend toward drafting 3 year college players.

  57. It’s based on the 25-man, though DL time also counts. Also, a “year” for service-time purposes is not quite a full season — I think it’s about 140 games. I speculated at the time that one reason Francoeur’s people wanted to limit his minor league stint was so he wouldn’t lose service time.

  58. I doubt the Yankees will bother with Manny. They have too many DH’s as it is (Posada and Giambi, plus occasional Matsui), and Matsui, Cabrera, Damon, and Abreu as OF’s

  59. Hudson’s insurance policy- I believe that it was said in JS’s book (Built to Win) that the Braves got an insurance policy to cover up to half of Hudson’s contract, and so that would also constitute 13 mil coming off the books.

  60. desert,

    Hudson will be owed 13 million next year. Half of that is 6.5. Half of half of this year is 3.25. I am not sure where you get the 13 million from.

    Difference between Teixeira the rest of this year and Kotchman: about 3.

    So maybe we have 6 to 10 in unused money on this year and maybe we have 3.25 more for next year. Still, I don’t see more in FA than 1 top bat and 1 top pitcher. We have to either (i) add payroll or (ii) delete payroll by getting rid of people, to get more than 2 top players.

    And, the only big payroll left (assuming who we have been pointing out we were losing) is Chipper. And we can’t get the performance out of anyone else to justify losing even 130 game Chipper.

  61. I believe desert is interpreting the Build To Fall Apart statement as saying that up to half the value of the contract would be honored. I don’t know if that’s true.

  62. I don’t believe that you can, but you can activate him and then immediately option him to the minors.

    If you sent a major leaguer who was hurt to the minors, the union would surely file a grievance and would surely win.

  63. Cliff,

    I had interpreted it to be half of Hudson’s entire contract, as Mac said in 73. But you could easily be right… the economics of baseball insurance is just among one of the many things that I simply do not understand.

  64. And, baseball insurance is contract by contract because it is not part of the usual regulated system but part of the “Lloyd’s offshore gambling risk” school.

    However, if all of Hudson’s remaining guaranteed money is insured, then I would feel greatly relieved.

  65. I do not understand the Braves. The difference between Teix and Kotchman for the balance of this year exceeds Dunn’s salary for the rest of the year. If you pick him up, you get to offer arb. If he takes it, that is one of the two outfielders you need. If he doesn’t, that is 2 draft picks.

    Why? Why? Why?

  66. I don’t think he did get through waivers. Arizona would have been one of the first contending teams eligible to snag him. The trade prevented the Reds from pulling him back.

  67. I assume he’s just a rental. I believe they said that’s all Teixeira was going to be for them.

    PS: Isn’t there a rule that says if you offer a player arbitration and he declines, you can’t negotiate a contract with him until, like, the season starts? I may be confusing this with another rule, but if that’s true, then that would be one explanation, Cliff.

  68. I do not understand the Braves.

    This is one of those things we just don’t have enough insight to understand. Specifically, is this front office smart enough to understand that a crap-fielding, .233 batting, strikeout machine outfielder is actually a really good player? I’m not so sure they would get that.

  69. As I suspected, I was confused. The rule is that a team can’t negotiate with the player until May 1 if it doesn’t offer him arbitration. Which makes a whole lot more sense than what I previously put out there.

  70. I think the Braves could pick somebody off this blog and they might hit better than Francoeur has this month.

  71. ole Mendoza is approaching Francoeur and his .286 OBP

    just comparing his drop off to Andruw’s

    2006 .262 .363 .531
    2007 .222 .311 .413

    2007 .293 .338 .449
    2008 .226 .286 .347

    however Andruw in 2007 hit 26Hr’s and also had 96 RBI

  72. JC,

    If a player is offered for waivers, then the offereing team offers to same league in reverse order of record. That is, lowest record gets first pick. There is no way Arizona got a shot at Dunn without the Braves having an earlier shot.

    Once offered for waivers, before a TRADE can be completed, I believe that ALL teams other than the “tradee” must have NOT entered a waiver claim. If ther are competing waiver claims, worst record bidder wins.

    Then, offereing team can “withdraw” a player from waivers or complete wiavers or make a trade with the claiming team.

    The Braves had a shot at paying 3 mill or so and risking offering arb to get 2 picks. And, we would have gotten first crack at an extension with Dunn and we would have gotten somebody to close a gaping hole for the rest of this, albeit unimportant, year.

    What would have actually happened is that Cinci would have withdrawn waivers. And sometimes, the Braves organization has been “gentlemanly” in not messing up other people’s waiver deals if there was no direct impact on the Braves. However, they have to be aggressive to get ther from here.

    The non involvement with Dunn tells me that the Braves will not pursue a top flight outfield bat in the offseason because they only want highly athletic good fielding players with low strikeout rates.

  73. Mac,

    Wondering what is up with the edit feature? 4 times out of 5 lately I am getting a message that says I do not have permission to edit.

  74. Are you logged in as a user? If you get fill-in-your-information boxes (Name – Email – URL) then you aren’t logged in, and Edit will only function for a few minutes.

  75. Did I suggest that he didn’t pass by the Braves? I meant that he was claimed on waivers by Arizona and that he did not clear waivers. Teams that make a claim can trade players who pass through waivers or those who are not on the 40-man.

    Why would the Braves pick him up? He’s a free agent after this year, and the Reds wouldn’t be willing to give him up for something valued less than the two picks.

  76. I’ve been in Mets-land (well, Upstate NY, where my Brother In Law and such are Mets fans anyway) for two + weeks. I think when I left Hudson was just a question mark and not a certainty, and we were still theoretically in it… and then it all went to hell (Hudson, Tex, Skip, take your pick). My access was so spotty up there I’m not even sure if I remember correctly that I commented on Kotchmania (think it was about all we could hope to get for Tex now, and hopefully lets us move to fill offensive black-holes, even if Kotchman isn’t nearly Tex he should be passable). I’m reduced to rooting for a Chipper batting title, and an all Florida World Series now… and I guess the requisite remnants of the delusional hope that we put it together and pull a Colorado…

    I don’t think Dunn was the answer for us, so I’m not overly concerned about us not making that deal… I’m also not really optimistic that the pieces we need to fill will be available in the off season.

    *sigh*… GO CHIPPER!

  77. Rays-Brewers would be awesome. I wouldn’t mind Rays-Fish. Both of those are of course nightmare scenarios for Fox.

    Allow me to recommend: 1) the Mets bullpen meltdown from today. Sure they are doing this daily, but today was an especially inspired effort. Two three-run rallies keyed by Luis Rivas and Doug Mieianiaenaidjkewicz? Count me in. 2) 45 year old Jamie Moyer teaching us the value of hustle and kicking some umpire ass. link

  78. Bowman:

    If the Braves are supposedly going to be big spenders in the offseason, I was wondering who the big-name free agents are going to be.
    –Chris L., Fountain Inn, SC

    Braves general manager Frank Wren’s wish list will include two frontline starting pitchers and a power-hitting outfielder. CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets headline the list of frontline starters that could be available. Take one step down and the likes of Andy Pettitte, Jon Garland or Brad Penny could find themselves on Wren’s radar.

    In terms of outfielders, the Braves could go after Adam Dunn, Raul Ibanez, Bobby Abreu or Pat Burrell. If Vladimir Guerrero’s option isn’t exercised, he might also find himself on Wren’s radar.


  79. Some more on Hanson from BP

    “Hanson got off to a ridiculous start at High-A Myrtle Beach this year, then hit a few bumps following a mid-May promotion to Double-A. Those bumps are now well behind him, and on Sunday Hanson struck out 10 over six shutout innings, his third straight double-digit strikeout performance. Since giving up six runs over five innings on June 18, he has a 1.52 ERA in seven starts, allowing just 22 hits in 41 1/3 frames and punching out 58. As if Hanson’s three-pitch combination of a 90-95 mph fastball, a well above-average curve, and plus changeup wasn’t terrifying enough, he’s now added a slider under the tutelage of pitching coach Derek Botelho, and that is flashing as a plus pitch as well. He projects as a number-two starter at this point, and should see the big leagues sometime in 2009.”

  80. I don’t think that the models in Men’s Health are quite as young or thin as these divers. The 14-year-old looks 12 and everyone else looks 14. They wear tiny swimsuits and after they dive they all go hang out in a whirlpool. You tell me.

  81. Since being promoted to Richmond, James Parr has pitched 32 innings, walking 6, striking out 26, and allowing 3 homers. He’s pitched better than his 4.78 ERA shows. I think he could get a start before the season is over.

  82. Omar Infante: as good as his season stats or as bad as his career stats?

    I can’t figure out if he’s at least somewhat for real or not. Though I do doubt he’s a legit .300 hitter.

  83. Bowman all but said the Braves are shopping Johnson and may giving the job to Infante/Prado next year.

    Nothing said about the entitled Jeffy

  84. Two thoughts:

    1) The line “Wren’s Radar” should be the title of this site! That is just too funny sounding.

    Other’s who have been on Wren’s radar: Corky Miller, Julian Taveras and Chris Resop.

    2) Did anyone see gymnastics at all lastnght? The uniforms they had on were like giving everyone an anatomy lesson. Geez, someone should get arrested for those.

  85. The “Women’s” gymnastics is, of course, also disturbingly kiddie-pornish, but not the Men’s, which just settles for “disturbingly boring”.

  86. I don’t know braves14. I read Bowman’s thoughts and I personally do not know how exactly to interpret it.

    With the way Omar Infante and Martin Prado are hitting, will the Braves trade Kelly Johnson for maybe pitching depth?
    –Gabe T., Macon, Ga.

    Knowing that Skip would consider this weeklong period of mourning to be excessive, it’s time to move back to the game and right now, there is certainly reason to wonder if Johnson is the long-term answer at second base. He leads National League second basemen with 11 errors and his bat hasn’t been productive enough to compensate for his defensive weaknesses.

    Once regarded as a player who could provide some power and get on base consistently, Johnson has instead proven to be a selective hitter, who strikes out far too often without the equal compensation of power.

    Right now, it’s trendy to consider Infante or Prado for the second-base job next year. But Prado has been regarded as an inconsistent defender during his Minor League career and we don’t know how he or Infante would fare when given the chance to play on an everyday basis.

    If nothing else, the recent success enjoyed by Infante and Prado should at least provide Johnson some motivation to continue improving both offensively and defensively.


    Sounds like they’re considering it but they don’t really care much for the potantial replacements. The fact that Johnson would bring so much more back in a trade than Prado and Infante would and that other teams ask more about Kelly Johnson kind of says something, doesn’t it?

  87. Francoeur doesn’t even deserve to be in the “delenda est” phrase. That phrase is reserved for players with half a brain who at times show signs of life; characteristics that Francoeur doesn’t possess.

    Trade this !@#$% to the Natspos already!

  88. The Reds have designated catcher Dave Ross, 31, for assignment and will need to trade him, release him or send him to the minors by August 20.

    If we didn’t already have Clint Sammons, whom I like, to back up McCann, I’d say to go after him.

    Ross is an average offensive catcher with some power and a good arm behind the plate. I just think it’s interesting that the Reds would basically cut him.

    (It also turns out he’s from Bainbridge, GA, but he’s also a Florida Gator)

  89. I remember seeing Dave Ross play when I was in middle school. He’s one of the few Gators I remember from around that time. I guess that may have been around the time Brad Wilkerson played there.


    Let’s not forget that Ryan Langerhans was one of the first players to receive the “delenda est” treatment. Ya know, when he was 3-44 with a line of .068/.192/.091. Frenchy may be bad, but he hasn’t been that bad.

  90. I think Clint Sammons’ main value lies in not being Corky Miller. I’d claim Ross if we could.

  91. Clint will eventually hit like Corky and every one on here will eventually hate him like we hate Cocky.

  92. Ross went to high school in Tallahassee and once eliminated FSU from the regionals with a homer. while playing for Auburn

  93. I don’t think there will be another Corky; Sammons will not hit THAT BADLY and apparently he has defensive skills.

    I love the way the Richmond Braves used Corky as a 1B, ostensibly to find another place in the lineup for his valuable bat…

  94. Ross would be a decent addition but is probably too expensive for a backup catcher. He makes $2.5m this year and has an option for $3.5m next year.

    He looks like a good fit for the Marlins or maybe the Padres, though they might also find him too expensive.

  95. Yeah, I saw. What a disgrace. Maybe they could start a promotion–the lucky strikeout inning. “If Francouer strikes out the 3rd inning some lucky fan will win Delta tickets to Copenhagen …”

  96. That’s why Jeffy’s going to be the right fielder until someone hits him over the head with a baseball bat (if it was someone like Frenchy, however, he would miss.) What worries is if next season he hits a few home runs early, hits in the .250-.260 range and drives in a few runs–the Braves will think he is making progress and will waste the year with him. He won’t be bad enough for the Braves to drop him but he won’t be good.

  97. Truthfully, Ross would be a perfect fit in Boston. A) They need a catcher to spell a declining Varitek this year, B) They could use a solid veteran next year to hold the fort while they sort through younger long-term options, and C) money is not an issue, so paying a starter or backup catcher $3.5 mil or thereabouts is no biggie.

  98. “Check out how the Braves are promoting tonight’s game on MLB.com.”

    This borders on shocking to me. The Braves as an organization, in their great run, struck me as an organization that did the little things right. This organization seems either clue-less or in disarray. How can the marketing department not have any coordination with the front-office? Or does the front office believe that the worst regular in the NL is an attraction?

  99. Who cares who the picture is? The depressing part of the ad to me is that it’s basically resigned to the fact that nobody wants to watch the Braves anymore this season, so, hey, at least come watch the Cubs!

    They’ll probably attract more fans (teenage girls, etc.) to the gates with the Francoeur ad than they would with any other player.

  100. Well, we aren’t in a pennant race, while the Cubs are, so there is more of an attraction with the Cubs. But we have a HOF 3B; the best catcher in baseball; an exciting ROY candidate at pitcher; a better than average middle infield, and they use the name and image of the worst player in the league?

  101. Its a sad statement of my life when I am actually happy about watching a Braves game that doesnt matter. I’ve seen a grand total of 6 this year, thanks TBS…….

  102. I just moved from south Georgia to the Daytona Beach area and get no Braves TV reception whatsoever. I can’t find a local Braves radio station, FM or AM. The condo the company’s putting me up in doesn’t have southern exposure, so I can’t even listen to the Braves on XM radio unless I sit in the car.

    Thankfully, by next season, I will have discovered some solution for the problem of filling my nights. Thank you, God, for letting Al Gore invent the internet.

  103. Coop, I live about 40 miles south of you, and we get no Braves at all. If you have brighthouse, you get screwed out of FSN as well. I feel for ya man.

  104. Thanks, Alzheimers. Right back at you. At least it’s not far to go to catch a spring training game.

  105. Marketing has nothing to do with the quality of the team. They probably don’t even consider that. Francouer is an attractive personality, like it or not. And, frankly, I’m not going to get too bent out of shape over the promo for the internet. It’s probably some sort of standard procedure where they rotate pictures or something.

  106. Somewhere in a box at home I’ve got a baseball card of Dale Murphy and Bob Horner as a “dynamic duo.” If the internet promo’s were indeed random, what would be the chances of getting one with *both* Frenchy and Corky? That be one sweet dynamic duo.

  107. Marc,

    It isn’t that marketing is solely tied to performance. If the public wants to see someone, then they pay with their tickets.

    The problem is, that this is an official site of the Braves and rather than try to wean the public’s attention off of Francoeur by offering substitutes, they are still selling a defective product because either (a) the public doesn’t understand it is defective (they are slightly excused for this) or (b) the management doesn’t understand it is a defective product (no excuse).

    Wierdly analogous to Microsoft and its software changes. When they went from DOS to Windows, the error rates increased. Every time they change Windows versions, the error rates increase. The public complains and prefers the “old” software. But Microsoft convinces them that the new is better.

    In other words, even if the public is sold on the Francoeur product, the Braves need to be weaning them off because OUTFIELD 2009 doesn’t need a version of Francoeur.

  108. Cliff,

    Agree with you about Microsoft. It sucks! And, I have Vista which sucks even more (blame my wife). But that’s a little different because there are transaction costs for people to leave Windows; thus, Microsoft can get away with it. IN other words, you have to DO something to avoid Windows, whereas with sports all you have to do to show disapproval is NOT do something, ie, don’t go to the game. I don’t think the fact that Frenchy is in some promo is going to make much difference in how people perceive him because, after all, there are only so many teenage girls in Atlanta. The majority of people that buy the tickets aren’t complete fools–if the guy continues to hit .233..286/.300 or something, and the team is losing, those people will stop buying tickets.

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