275 thoughts on “Don’s back”

  1. speaking of films: if you havent seen “the proposition”, go and rent it now. the story line is simple, yet interesting. the cinematography is amazing. it is the reason that the director, john hilcoat, was chosen to direct cormac mccarthy’s “the road”, which should be out some time in ’09. it will star viggo and charlize theron (in a small role). it should be top notch and get tons of oscar buzz.

  2. He’s certainly not Pete or Skip. I’m more interested to hear the new guy (from Brewer land, IIRC).

  3. Of course he’s not Skip or Pete. But he isn’t Chip or Lemke either. So he gets a yay from me.

    Really, can anyone stand Lemke’s voice? He’s a decent enough guy, but the voice…

  4. So, I feel like I have some cool news for some on here. I met a dude that is a sports talk radio host for ESPN Radio. He ended up hooking me up with an internship with the ESPN Radio affiliate in Tampa.

    Of course, the Super Bowl is in Tampa, so I got to help out ESPN Radio at Raymond James and the Tampa Convention Center where Radio Row is this year. Basically my job has been to find athletes and TV personalities and get them to come on ESPN Radio for an interview. If any of you guys knew me in person, you would know I am an off-the-charts extrovert, so this lined up pretty well for me.

    It took me a little while to get used to talking to professional athletes, but after I talked to Brady Quinn for a little while, I felt a little better. By the end of the day today, I had met so many guys: Brady Quinn, Jerome Bettis, Michael Irvin, Jonathan Ogden, Joe Theisman, Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen, Al Michaels, John Madden, Bob Costas, Jay Mariotti, Colin Cowherd, Jim Rome and a couple others I can’t think of right now.

    Some of them have interesting stories, and I noticed something interesting or just down-right peculiar about each person (like how Jim Rome is very short and walks with a big limp). Another intern (who is a bit more shy than me) noticed Al Michaels outside of the bathroom. He didn’t really want to go up and talk to someone like Al Michaels, and he was like, “Well, he’s going into the bathroom anyway.” So I said, “Well, I guess I need to go to the bathroom right now.” So in an effort to talk to Al Michaels, I forced myself to take a leak right next to him, which allowed me to strike up a conversation.

    The same intern spotted Jay Mariotti (he was good at finding the people; I pretty much had my head up my butt enjoying the surroundings). Once again, he didn’t want to talk to him, so I just walked up to him, introduced myself and ESPN Radio, and invited him to come on the show. He told me he was busy looking for Larry Fitzgerald’s dad for some reason, but told me to call him on his personal cell in about an hour and he would come in. I called him and he ended up doing a phone interview because he had already gone back to his hotel. Needless to say, I’ve saved his number in my phone. It’s kinda cool to go through your phonebook and see “Jay Mariotti”, even if he’s not the nicest fella in the world.

    I know some here don’t like Cowherd, but I am a huge Cowherd fan. He may bash SEC football left and right and say weird things about religion, but he’s a lot of fun and I like him a lot. He was just randomly at Radio Row even though he wasn’t doing his show from there, and so I just had to go up and say hello. I was told not to act like a little fan boy, but I totally acted like a little fanboy.

    So, it was a cool day, and I get to go back tomorrow and meet all sorts of other cool people.

  5. Who was calling the games when TBS switched to the garbage they had? It was skip and someone lame.

  6. Has anyone else used the State Farm commercial to successfully convinced their girlfriend/wife that LeBron James has switched to football? It’s pretty fun

  7. @5: Sadly I don’t live close enough to ATL to here the Lemmer broadcasts, so I can’t say with total authority, but I always was intrigued by his voice on post-game interviews. Growing up I always wondered if Mike Tyson and him had met a while back and decided to trade voices.

    Glad to see Don back… but I hope we aren’t counting on him to be anymore than a 5th starter/swing man at this point in his career.

  8. I really have liked Boog thusfar, and I guess Sutton isn’t bad, but I never thought of him as all that good. The Braves could have done worse I guess.

    It’s kind of like nobody will ever be as good as Pete & Skip, just like nobody will ever be as good as Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz. Just the way it works sometimes.

  9. So you were within strangling distance of Jay Mariotti and yet he still lives? That is what I call restraint.

  10. Greetings from Oahu…

    If we’re going to have a link to the good ol’ days, at this point, let it be Sutton instead of Glavine or Andruw.

    From the previous thread:
    Re: Marino
    I was at that Pitt/UGA Sugar Bowl game that sansho and Marc mentioned. There was a moment on that last play (a 4th & 10 with about 30 seconds left) when I was sure that Jimmy Payne was going to clobber Marino, but that release…

    Zip. TD. Hit this tight end in stride, erasing the blitz. My pal and I just looked at each other, just wordless, like, “Hey, this guy is good.”

    It was one of the 3 losses from the Herschel Era, but it was probably the least annoying of them. We got beat by a great player making a great play at a big moment. (Plus, Clemson won anyway; UGA wouldn’t have won the MNC as it turned out.)

    Re: Flicks
    Faves of all time: 1) Taxi Driver, 2) Annie Hall, the rest I’d have to think about the order, but it would probably include:

    “Sunset Blvd,” both “Godfathers,” “Fargo,” “Dr. Strangelove,” & “Chinatown.”

    Best flick I’ve seen this year is “Milk.” Gonna try to catch “The Wrestler” and/or “Slumdog” while I’m out here. We’ll see how that goes…

  11. Ububba, I liked The Wrestler more than I did Milk, but maybe that’s just me and I know we have a commenter around here that agrees with me.

    WHOOOOOOOO !!!!

    Oh and any list that doesn’t include Fast Times at Ridgemont High in the top five is not okay with me.

  12. To me, films like “American Graffiti,” “Fast Times at Ridgmont High” and “Dazed and Confused” are all terrific, but they can’t be put in my Top 10.

    BTW, “Dazed and Confused” might be the most accurate film I’ve ever seen, as it related to my own 12-14 years. Just dead-on. I even knew a Wooderson character.

  13. ububba, I had a roommate who when we would go out would refer to himself as Wooderson, so that should tell you how many times I have seen that movie.

    I know Fast Times & Dazed & Confused aren’t perhaps in the ‘best 10 movies I have seen’ but they are in my top 10 ‘best movies to watch that I could watch over and over and over’ if that were a list.

    Say hi to Benny Agbayani for me while you spend time in H-A-W-A-I-I.

  14. I gave up trying to pick five but the one I would have in there that most wouldn’t is “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover.”

    Beautiful film.

    @13, I thought the same thing.

  15. I’m glad Don’s back… as somebody pointed out, if we’re bringing back nostalgia this is a way of doing it without risking putting somebody detrimental on the field (and being on radio means no shots of he jheri curl sneaking up on you, or did he cut that a few years ago?).

    Mac, thanks for that link. I’d heard that the songsmith results could be quite amusing, but kept forgetting to check it out.

  16. Sure, it will never be the same without Skip and Pete, butI am really glad that Don’s back.

    Othewise, lots of great movies named here–Dr. Strangelove is a good as any–but let me add the The Road Warrior….In recent years I have enjoyed Sideways and About Schmidt….

  17. From the last thread, the Hong Kong police drama that The Departed is based on is called “Infernal Affairs,” and it really is terrific. “Internal Affairs” is a much more run-of-the-mill Richard Gere movie.

    Stephen, can I email you?

  18. Pete and Skip would never have been Pete and Skip had it not been for the Old Righthander. Ernie Johnson, despite Milo Hamilton claims to the contrary, is, was and ever shall be the voice of the Atlanta Braves.

  19. If the Braves land on their feet as well as the broadcast booth has, we’ll be in good shape.

    Just say no to Andruw and Glavine. Young and hungry, not old and fat.

    So, who do we want for our next manager? And when?

  20. I want Greg F’ing Maddux as our next manager.

    Or, as I’ve said before, the Braves should just work in a clause in the contract extension for Chipper to make him a player/manager for a year when he hits 38/39ish and then just make him manager after that (though I’m convinced Maddux knows more about the game than Chipper, Chipper does seem to be pretty aware of what’s going on).

    These choices are probably driven by a lack of knowledge of who is available that would be a good manager… but I like them.

  21. Congrats, Rob!
    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Please don’t go Big Time on us.
    I still think Erin Andrews should be your Holy Grail for introductions.

  22. If we can afford to there’s no reason not to sign any player to play left field on a 1 or 2 year deal. Literally any player.

  23. Well, Abreu is also a lefty, Smitty. The only right-handed FA is Manny, and that ain’t happening. If we get a righty (Dye, Ludwick, or Nady), he’ll have to come via trade.

  24. Bonds is lefty too, so those of you who were just about to argue in favor of signing him, don’t bother. I’d still do it for league minimum.

  25. 8 — Mac, what would we have to do to get that version to play when Chipper comes up to hit? That would be hilarious.

  26. To me, our biggest out field holes now are in this order.

    1. centerfield. Nobody with even reasonable projection of average ML production in the system.

    2. right field. Right field with even a 2007 Francouer is only slightly above average. But, what if he is 06 Francouer or , heaven forbid, 2008 Francouer?

    3. Left field. Diaz can get BA against lefties and righties and is a plus fielder. If his knee is solid, then we are at least “o.k.” there. Plus offensively by a slight amount against lefties, minus for left field against righties, but with Blanco a fair platoon partner.

    The reason for this analysis is to point out who we can pick up that can help the most. Swisher in center against lefties and in right against righties adds more to our offense than even the slightly better players and actually fills the biggest hole we have.

    Nady’s ability to play right field makes him next best.

    Abreu’s general athleticism and ability to play right filed badly (Dunn can’t even do that) makes him next best.

    Dunn is next.

    Then, my question is, if you can’t trade for Swisher or Nady, and if we really don’t have more than 7 million to play with, why not get Edmonds?

    After June 1, he almost produced as well as Dunn. He is still not worse fielding than a slight minus in center, slight plus in right and big plus in left. He could play left sometimes against righties (or move over to right if the sucking sound keeps coming from Francouer) and he can play center some.

    Edmonds should also leave enough money available to sign Ohman (important) and offer Glavine (important only for sentinmental / PR reasons).

    If we had gotten Kapler, and then got Edmonds, our outfield needs might have been solved.

  27. Cliff,
    In what world do you think Bobby would play Swisher in center and right? No way Francoeur gets platooned or benched, as much as it might make sense to do so.

  28. Shakespeare was thinking of Boras when he wrote, “First, kill all the lawyers except Stu.” (Do I have that right?)

  29. If Andruw could even get back to his 2007 numbers, his defensive value makes him a better option than anyone that we currently have.

    I still say use KJ to trade for Ludwick, sign O. Hudson, and let Andruw, Schafer, Blanco, and Anderson compete for the CF job.

    Defense is better, lineup is balanced, and is probably cost neutral when comparing most other options.

  30. Stu at 41,

    I believe if the new and improved Jeff Francoeur does like last year through about 50 games, that Bobby would then make a move. if he is 06 Francoeur or better, then, yes, Bobby will play him. But at least Swisher (or Nady or Abreu) provide, as a benefit, a back up that will cover for the “return of 08 Francoeur”.

  31. sign Bobby A for LF to a 1-2 year deal. I would love Dunn, but his defense makes us WAYYYY too suspect. Bobby A has proven he can hit lefties.

    Explore B. Roberts trade (with KJ, Reyes, Eric Campbell package? Is that too much?). Bat him lead-off and MAKE SURE that he signs a 3 year extension. yes, i know that he’s 31. but he’s a lead off guy. allows Escobar to bat 2. Roberts could also get us 30-40 steals (something that we’re sorely lacking). Then Chipper (who, actually, is also a Righty and feasts on Lefties), Bobby A, BMac and Frenchy. Nice lineup.

    our big right-handed bat is, well, according to Chipper (who knows a thing or two about hitting) is Frenchy. and let’s be honest here, Chipper knows more about baseball than any of us here, especially batting, so let’s trust him a bit. but who knows?

    i’m all for him being our next manager, as long as he gets Mad Dog as his pitching coach.

  32. Ethan at 43,

    You have a much better view of Orlando Hudson than I. His offense is unlikely to exceed KJ and neither is his defense.

    IF to make the team better, a reasonable “value for value” trade of KJ is made, then use Prado and if that doesn’t work use Diory. Then, take the 2 to 5 to 7 million extra you would have put on Hudson and sign Ohman and maybe Edmonds.

  33. WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW

    Diamondbacks sign Garland for 1 year, 6-8 Million.

    That’s it?

    Maybe we CAN sign Dunn for 1 year, 8 Million. If we can, then we HAVE to do it.

  34. Chris at 45,

    Check your facts. Chipper has had a significantly lower OPS against lefthanded piching over his career. During some periods, his BA is better, but his power suffers from some to a lot. Don Baylor worked long and hard successfully to help him get better against righthanders. Nevertheless, he is better the other way. Why else do managers always send in lefty relievers to face Chipper?

    Also, 3 arb years of KJ is worth more than 1 (last and therefore somewhat more expensive) arb year of Brian Roberts without adding anything else. If you extend Roberts at market, why didn’t you just sign Orlando Cabrera or O Hudson or Furcal. Market value extensions are still at market value. those do not add value to a player acquisiton. Bad idea.

    The whole concept of “lead off hitter” is overblown. Get on base. You will score runs.

    Although Chipper does get some points for being a straight shooter, he has been around Bobby Cox long enough that it wouldn’t be past him to over coat it to make Francoeur feel positive. By now Chipper knows that Chipper’s ability to go back to the post season this year probably depends on the return of 07 Frandoeur, so helping Francoeur be positive might be just the thing.

  35. I think the reason so many managers bring in lefties to face Chipper is that while he’s a very, very good right-handed hitter, he’s a HoF’er from the left.

    Great players are not great managers, usually. Chipper might be different, but history says otherwise …

  36. yeah Hankonly, I realize that the odds aren’t in favor of Chipper being a good manager (though apparently odds aren’t to bad for McCann when his day comes)… but there is that 9 time All-Star Joe Torre who has been relatively successful as a manager, so there’s hope.

    I think the key thing was/is that being a good ballplayer doesn’t mean you’re a smart ballplayer. Generally the catcher is the guy on the field who has to know more about what’s going on in the game, and that’s why apparently catcher’s are the guys who make better managers. That said, I think Chipper has become a pretty smart ballplayer and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think he could make that transition.

  37. Damn. That’s real chicken feed for a guy like Garland, even if he’s not particularly good any more. I like that deal, though Garland gives up a fair number of homers for a sinkerballer and they tend to fly out in that desert air. That could hurt. Still, way to take advantage and sign a guy whose value has probably sunk a bit too far.

  38. Stu,

    That’s incredible. I’ve never seen anything as beautiful.

    Btw, I think I just saw where the Euros chose Monty as their Ryder Cup captain. It’s on, baby!

  39. I’d love to bring in cabrera to play 2B, if he’s affordable. I really like brian roberts as well, but it would defeat the purpose to trade for a second baseman, if we will then be trading KJ for an OF. Roberts has had a pretty good OPS over the last four or five seasons and his runs and doubles totals are great. The reason I’d like cabrera is so that we have a backup option at SS when Escobar gets hurt, infante just isn’t an adequate shortstop.

  40. I’m guessing that Chip will still do the 20 or so (I don’t remember the exact number, it might be more) games on Peachtree TV with Joe, but that we are rid of him as far as radio goes.

    Edit: Unless of course Powell has to be absent for a game or two for some reason. I’m sure Chip is the first guy they’d call in a fill-in situation for a play-by-play man.

  41. I just dont see why the Braves would pay FA prices to a 2B to then have to turn around and trade KJ for an OF’r. The prices for OF’s are ridiculous and there are plenty still available. I just dont see the justification in paying a 2b $7-10 mil, when both Johnson and Prado are somewhat capable. I also dont see how KJ could bring us someone better than Abreu/Dunn and at a lower cost

  42. def. wouldnt give up much to bring in Nady or Roberts, at least nothing more than the two picks that we could get in FA for them

  43. What sort of ballplayer does Heyward project to be? What current/former player is he comparable too?

    Jim Callis: (2:08 PM ET ) I think he’ll be an all-star. He’s a big lefthanded hitter who often draws comparisons to the likes of Willie McCovey and Dave Parker.

    Love the Cobra comparison; however I could do without the whole cocaine-derailed-three-years-in-my-prime-costing-me-any-shot-to-get-in-the-HOF thing.

  44. I know I’m getting in on this a little late, but I’m sitting in the Hilton Pittsburgh at the confluence of the 3 rivers watching a snowstorm with nothing to do.

    1. The Big Lebowski
    2. China Town
    3. The one with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman about the French Penal system
    4. Fargo
    5. Dr. Zhivago
    Also liked The Cook, The Thief, His Wife her Lover.

  45. Questions of decline and defense make Abreu and Dunn less attractive, so I understand the idea of trading a 2B if it could bring in a guy like Ludwick (who was much better than either Abreu or Dunn last year). I’m not sure if replacing KJ with Prado or Hudson makes it a net win, though. Plus, KJ is a personal favorite, so I don’t want to see him go.

  46. CJ, I saw that Callis quote too, and would have pasted if you hadn’t. Translation: “Despite the fact that he’s in single-A, and bearing in mind that I am paid to do this for a living, I think he’ll be a borderline Hall of Famer.”

  47. This is awesome. I haven’t heard any good Gene Mauch-once-told-me anecdotes lately. Still, if this means i dont’ have to hear “the Lemmer”TM I’m all for it. / / /

  48. @46, 59, and 65

    Here was my original post on the topic:

    I’ve jumped around on potential options a bit, but I think Ludwick of St. Louis might make the most sense. Granted he’s likely to have some regression from this, but he should still be MUCH better than anything we have, his free agent timetable should coincide with Heyward’s ascension, and he’s a legit 4 hitter behind Chipper (something that neither Nady nor Swisher is)

    Obviously this is variant on the price for him, but I wouldn’t balk at sending KJ in a deal. They are both first time arb eligible so money wouldn’t be an issue, and IMO, Lucwick brings more to the table.

    The main problem that jumps out then is the hole at 2nd base. Which is funny because (arguably) the best free agent left on the market is a second baseman. As Neyer puts, 2 years @ 20 MM might get it done. Especially when the only other alternative is the Natspos.

    The rosterbation would then look like this.

    1. Husdon – 2B – S
    2. Escobar – SS – R
    3. C. Jones – 3B – S
    4. Lukwick – LF – R
    5. McCann – C – L
    6. Kotchman – 1B – L
    7. Francoeur- RF – R
    8. AJ/Blanco/Schafer/Anderson – CF – L/S/S/L

    One thing to note is that the defense at every position except RF (and possibly 3B and C) would be spectacular. The lineup would be balanced. Also, according to Stu’s figures, the payroll would be probably around 95 MM.

    There it is.

    I still think that solves most of the issues that the team has better than anything else I’ve seen. Additionally, Hudson’s price might have dropped even further than what Neyer was speculating. Also, as I indirectly pointed out, Ludwick brings a defensive presence that neither Abreu nor Dunn have.

  49. Anyone planning trips to Orlando for ST this year?

    Also, saw on DOB’s blog that we may only have about $3 Mil left to play with…..

  50. from what Ive heard St Louis wants pitching for Ludwick or Ankiel. Unless they want Reyes Boyer or Morton for one of those guys I dont see it happening. Trading KJ for someone better than Dunn or Abreu and keeping cost the same is going to be very difficult

  51. Ethan at 68,

    My question is once you trade KJ for Ludwick, why do you need (or more pointedly, want) Orlando Hudson?. Really, his defense is not what it used to be. The numbers have been plastered all over DOB’s blog. And, that decline is consisstent with long term review of fielding skills as compared to aging. Range starts dropping in the late 20’s and keeps on dropping.

    Assuming you have 7 million to spend, then relying on Prado and bringing up Diory costs $400,000. You put 2 or 3 million in front of Ohman and have him done. Then, you have an extra 3 to get an Edmonds (June 1 to season end he matched Dunn’s numbers. Take a look. And, Edmonds is a vastly superior defensive player to Dunn or Abreu) or to use as bonus money to buy out somebody’s arb or to hold for the trade deadline.

    The problem is that the increased value (projectable Win Shares, maybe?) for adding Hudson is so small that you really don’t need to spend 7 million (or more) to achieve that. Like 10 plays or 3 runs at 2nd and 5 runs at bat (maybe). That is less than 1 win. I think Ohman would get you more than that.

  52. Papillon.

    And leave Escobar and KJ undisturbed for a year and see if they develop into an elite middle-infield combo. Those are priceless.

  53. joelk,
    The McQueen/Hoffman film is “Papillon.” Love that one, too.

    Now that I’ve got Dustin Hoffman on the brain…From my previous list, “All the President’s Men” would also make it. Great detective story.

    Congrats, Rob. Sounds like a buncha fun.

    jjbag,
    This week, everyone here has Troy Polamalu on the brain.

    Re: Billy Powell
    And yeah, I might have to break out some classic Skynyrd on the iPod today. Probably haven’t cued up “Free Bird” in a couple decades. As much as I’ve always tried to escape it, it’s part of the music of my life.

  54. @73

    Maybe Hudson won’t produce to the highest level of potential that people might project KJ at. However, he’s had an OPS of .800+ the past two seasons and his defense at his worst equates to KJ at his best.

    The real reason that you try to make the trade however, is to get Ludwick. A legit right-handed slugger who plays plus defense in left and could hit in the 4 hole is worth significantly more than the difference between Hudson and Johnson.

    I guess my main point is that I think that Ludwick + Hudson > Johnson + Edmonds (even if it potentially keeps you from signing Ohman. whom we may not get anyway)

  55. Ethan even if St Louis would make the trade of KJ-Ludwick, I’d still rather put Prado at 2nd for $400K than Hudson there for $7-8 mil

  56. Prado has been consistently brutal at second. There is a reason Mac gave him an entry in the glossary


    Prado: Martin Prado has mastered the ability to make horrible plays on defense without being charged with errors — routine ground balls he waves at, “tough” plays that he botches for no reason, the old reliable bad relay on the double play. This leads to the term “Prado”, which is both a noun and a verb: Prado, n. “an egregious misplay that is not scored an error for some reason.” Prado, v. “To commit a Prado”. (Added May 6, 2008)

  57. @77,

    And my point is that Ohman plus Edmonds plus mid season pick up (plus Prado / Diory at 2nd) > Hudson.

    You get about the same offense out of Prado, but defense drops off. If you don’t like Prado’s performance, you put Diory or Infante out there.

    Look at it this way. Would you trade (with equal money) Ohman, Edmonds, a 2nd tier mid season pick up (say like Nady and Damaso Marte were last year) and waste a 40 man option year on Diory FOR Hudson? That is a steep price for a 34 year old 2b (a place where age related drop offs are notable).

  58. yeah I dont want Prado there, but I really dont want Hudson and his contract at all. Leaving Johnson alone (no platoon) and getting a reasonable FA for LF seems like the most logical thing to do.

  59. At one time, my lust for Jim Edmonds was exceeded only by that for Hannah Storm.

    But for some reason, I haven’t noticed him in the last year or two. Have his skills faded as much as Abreu’s?

    If not, we have our answer for CF.

  60. Here’s the thing. On a budget you want to avoid players who cost more than they are worth based on the production they provide. Free agents typically fall into that category unless they are either injured the year before, or getting old and thus willing to take short term deals.

    Take KJ and Orlando Hudson as comparison points. Chances are slim that Hudson provides better on field production than KJ, but the chances are zero that Hudson costs less than KJ. They both play the same position, and KJ is on the team already. KJ then has almost infinitely more value to the Braves than Hudson does. It makes no sense.

    I applied the same thinking in hating the idea of trading Escobar and signing Furcal to replace him.

    Keep the guys who are giving you more than you’re paying for. Only take the value hit on free agents when you have a hole in the lineup you can’t address any other way than via free agency.

  61. 69 — Alex, was that Andruw Jones or Adam Jones? Were you kidding around? Can’t always tell in this electronic medium. Wonder what Callis read it as.

  62. More from Callis, and interesting: “Kyle (OH): Pie, Reimold, or A. Jones?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:49 PM ET ) Jones.”

    He likes Andruw better than Felix Pie? Hmm…

    Not sure whether your tongue was up against your cheek, but thats a Orioles question, and AJones is Adam Jones.

  63. @81

    1. Hudson just turned 32 this past December

    2. If you have Ludwick in left, why do you need Edmonds?
    a. is old/fragile and was so bad he got cut from San Diego last season
    b. can’t really play center any more and thus wouldn’t have a position

    3. A Nady/Marte type trade would be completely independent from this and neither scenario would be a precursor nor preclude that type of deal from happening

    @84

    If you could get Ludwick without giving up KJ, I’m all for it. I just think it would take something on that level. The idea isnt’ to sign Hudson over KJ for its own sake. The point is that Ludwick fills the LF hole better than any free agent could and Hudson give comparable production to KJ at second.

  64. hankonly,

    Edmonds has had several injuries. He was signed last year on a relatively cheap contract by somebody (Padres?) and sucked up big time with like a 500 OPS thrugh mid may. He was released.

    Cubs picked him up and he played well the rest of the year. Basically, OPS’d over 900 and played center most of the time he was playing (platooned with Reed Johnson).

    Edmonds is still a credible, though not good, center fielder. Projecting him to left or right with the lesser lights that populate those zones, and he goes to probably a slight plus.

    Minuses. At his age, he can get hurt and be unavailable or have a major ability drop at any time. He has struggled against lefties for the past 3 years.

    Pluses, he is still far better defensively than Abreu or Dunn and almost their equal against righties. He can probbly be had chepa. IF Andruw almost makes it back, then he can platoon there or in left or in right.

    Personally, I have never lusted after him. But if his wife is half as hot as Jamie Kotsay, I will lust after her.

  65. AAR,
    I recently bought a DVD of “Presidents Men” with the updated Deep-Throat-Revealed extra disc. Has lots of inner Wash Post stuff that you’d probably love.

    Hudson would be a defensive upgrade at 2B, but ultimately I don’t think it would make sense for this team. I can put up with KJ’s deficiencies this year with one caveat: He’s gotta improve at least a little at the plate.

  66. Ethan at 81,

    I don’t know if the Braves routinely keep a reserve for mid season acquistions. But, if they don’t, then if signing Hudson maxes payroll, then you can’t add payroll in season. Am I wrong?

    I like KJ. I would like to get Ludwick. I would make that deal (but not with any appreciable sweetener). I just don’t see how paying 7 million or more for Hudson is a good thing.

    And, Edmonds is still playing center. He is a challenged, though credible, major league centerfielder. And, after he left the Pads, he was almost Dunn’s equal offensively (certainly so against righties, not as well against lefties).

    And, the Cards are looking for pitching anyway.

    Why not offer Reyes and Locke?

  67. Ohh… ADAM Jones. Haven’t thought of him since the Bedard trade. Well, I’m dumb. Thanks for clearing that up, guys.

    Ububba, that’s really interesting… I think I got here right before the article that outed Felt as Deep Throat, and it was kinda weird that it was in a publication other than ours. But, without question, as a whole, one of the best stories ever. The book of All the President’s Men still reads like a trashy summer novel, only better-written, and it’s all true.

  68. I’m not sure Hudson replacing KJ and shipping KJ for Ludwick is better than signing Abreu outright and not losing anyone.

  69. Would the Cards be at all interested in Soriano? Is anyone interested in Soriano?

    edit: Besides, didn’t the Cards fix their infield problem? I don’t remember who they got, but I don’t think they need a second baseman anymore.

  70. I’m pretty skeptical of Edmonds, despite his turnaround from last year.

    Given Garland’s tiny deal (1 year, $8+ mil guaranteed) I’m starting to really wonder just how cheap Adam Dunn could be.

  71. @92

    That would definitely be simpler.

    I just think Ludwick fits perfectly in our lineup. Righty, plus defender, 30+ HR/legit 4 hole hitter, first year arb.

    Abreu is a good player, but he is none of these things.

  72. mraver at 94,

    I think this may be part of Wren’s game. Wait them out and see.

    It appeared at the end of last year that the number of “defensively challenged, offensively impressive” players was going to create a “glut.”

    I also think they see the Cardinals as so over loaded in good to very good outfielders (Ludwick, Ankiel, Rasmus, Duncan is back this year) and so lacking in pitching that they think they can get a deal there. Maybe thy see the deal from the Yankees. However, I see no motivation for the Yankees to move Swisher (who is the one to get).

    Actually, the Cardinals also have two good upper level minor league guys that are right handed hitting outfielders. Ivanhoa and Barden. They could be the “throw in” we seek in exchange for a request for a throw in.

  73. Trouble with Ludwick is his injury history: he can’t stay in the lineup. That’s why he took so long to have a breakout year. Abreu, for all his faults, plays 150 games every single year, without fail, and always gets on base. His on-base percentage next is very likely to be 30 to 50 points higher than Ludwick’s, since Ludwick’s insane BABIP indicates his BA and OBP will probably go down next year.

    Moreover, KJ > Orlando Hudson, which is why trading KJ < a good idea.

  74. Lemke was considered for the job but it was speculated that he preferred a job working in Elton John’s booth.

  75. The problem with Abreu is that he’s not likely to be better than our in-house option, Matt Diaz. What the Braves need is not an OK LF, but a real upgrade. Ludwick, at last year’s production at least, is that. Jermaine Dye is an upgrade. Maggs (in my dreams) would be that. But Abreu isn’t, and I’m really not sure that Dunn will be either (in part because of their left-handedness and in part because of decline/defense issues).

  76. @99

    Mark Lemke is an absolute butcher on the mic and I’m always happy to see him insulted but I prefer those insults to at least make sense.

  77. #100

    I tend to agree. I’d rather play Diaz everyday than Abreu. Probably close to the same production for less $

  78. 93 – nobody is interested in Sori unless he proves himself to be healthy. Of course, if he is healthy, the Braves would keep him.

    IMO, signing Abreu will be a big upgrade (and a better one than Dunn) to the outfield and is less of a risk because of his past consistency. Ludwick is a fine addition only if the Cards are willing to take our non-top 10 prospects.

    I never consider moving KJ to leftfield is a smart idea.

  79. For the cost. In ’06 and ’07 Diaz had an .839 OPS and a .865 OPS.

    Abreu had an .814 OPS and an .842 OPS the last 2 years and is approaching the twilight of his career.

    Granted, Abreu’s gotten more PA’s and more against lefties than Diaz against righties, but the production wasn’t much different for the cost.

  80. Diaz’s production is not a reflection of how he will play if he plays full time. You will need a left-hand bat to platoon with him…unless you are willing to give him one more chance…and I am not sure about that given our current status in CF and RF.

    Be Dunn or Adreu or Swisher, but our internal options are not adequate. We have many options, but none of them is bright…

  81. I don’t see much problems with Schafer’s 2008’s stats either. His two major weaknesses remain the same: Ks and hitting against lefties. I really hope he will spend some time at AAA.

  82. If you don’t think Diaz is a good option, then Abreu at this point in his career isn’t a good option either.

    I wouldn’t be opposed to an Abreu/Diaz platoon, heh.

  83. braves14, I don’t oppose that either, but Abreu hits lefties pretty well. I am only thinking about an one-year commitment on Abreu, so the risk is not too great.

  84. Stu, saw your ‘Dores tonight in Columbia. They’re not as bad as their record would seem to indicate, but their passing is flat out lazy. At least Taylor seems to be a beast. I was really surprised to find out he was a freshman.

  85. Schafer needs at least half a year at AAA…

    I just hope that we have enough cash left to get a quality bat….I don’t want to see us trade KJ and for that matter I have never really understood the attraction of Ludwick or Ankiel. Abreau would be a different matter….

  86. Ludwick would be an one-year rental like Drew was, right?

    I can’t handle another Wainwright type of trade…

  87. The attraction for Ludwick is that he was one of the elite hitters in the league last year.

    Adjusted OPS+, NL 2008

    Pujols, 190
    Chipper, 174
    Berkman, 159
    Ludwick, 150
    H. Ramirez, 146

    Weighted OBA (one of my new favorite stats), NL 2008
    Pujols, .458
    Chipper, .446
    Berkman, .419
    Holliday, .406
    Ludwick, .405

    By the way, Chipper is awesome.

  88. I am also afraid of Ludwick’s injuries and I think that he just has a ‘career year’. Sure, if we could get him at a discount, but I don’t want to trade KJ or a significant prospect….

  89. #111, then you haven’t seen very many people play.

    Curry’s good, but:

    a.) look at his competition
    b.) he’s got a great shot (like his dad), but he’s slow and it’s going to HARD for him to get off his own shot in the NBA.

  90. Thanks Stephen. That’s awfully funny. It takes quite a genius to cook something like that!

    If the Cards will take JoJo and a low ranking position prospect for Ludwick, I will make the deal.

  91. KC–Yeah. I would do that deal as well–but I doubt that they would go for it….

  92. Well, it’s a gamble on both side. If the Cards believe Ludwick can duplicate his 2008 season, I don’t think they would be interested in trading him away.

  93. kc, there’s not a chance in hell Ludwick ever duplicates his ’08 season. As in ever again, I’m not sure over two years he’ll ever be able to duplicate his ’08 year again. Anyway, I’ve already stated that if the Braves trade KJ for Ludwick, please call me to ensure all sharp objects are kept away from me.

  94. Until he again plays more games per season than Ludwick, all the above negatives apply to Chipper as well; and Ludwick is a heck of a lot cheaper, loyalty aside.

  95. …well…except for the consistency. You know what you will get from Chipper if the man can play, but you don’t have as good an idea on what you will get from Ludwick in 2009 because of his inconsistent track record.

  96. you know.. maybe the answer has been in our face the whole time – cant schaffer platoon with Diaz ? They sort of equal each other out. Maybe there is a lightning in a bottle guy that you can get on the cheap to make it till june or so. Edmunds is just that kind of guy, and if he doesn’t get injured, then you have a plus. between Aj / Diaz / Frenchy / Edmonds you have 2 average outfielders :)

  97. On Ludwick,

    Yes, probably 08 is a fluke. Otherwise, if the Cardinals did not at least think it could be, why would they consider trading him?

    However, several “projectors” have him about 850 to 900 OPS next year. That is significantly better than either Nady or Swisher’s career averages. His cost for salary is a little less than Swisher, way less than Nady. His fielding is a little better than Nady, a little worse than Swisher. Ludwick has an unusual, though probably fortunate, reverse career split (100 or so OPS points). In other words, he hits righties better than lefties. There is a good chance that his regression against righties could be offset by acquiring skill in hitting lefties (many right handed hitters slowly get better against lefties because as they grew up they didn’t see many).

    The injury thing for a position player is not as big of a concern as for a pitcher. Position players who have the same TYPE of accident (muscle pulls, maybe) over and over tend to repeat that. If it is a broken bone problem, then maybe there is a genetic problem. But if you have this accident one time and another type the next time, that is not nearly so repeatable or predictable. The injury thing is also a reason Ludwick might be dangled.

    Clearly, the Cardinals need pitching worse than a 2B. Although I agree that their 2B solution isn’t much of one, they aren’t looking at KJ now, anyway.

    I think we are in a “who blinks first” mode with Cards and Yanks. maybe we will dangle something at Abreu or Dunn a little later.

  98. @120

    Talk to LeBron and Chris Paul about Curry’s NBA ability. Curry played with those two and other NBA players during LeBron’s summer camp. Each one came away impressed.

  99. #132–Lets not rush Schafer; we should acquire a player who we anticipate will be a starter for all of 2009. Anything that Schafer does beyond that is a bonus….

  100. Doh! What are we thinking? We can end the Abreu debate one way or the other right now by asking a knowledgeable poster who sees nearly every game he plays.

    So, ububba – do you want Abreu in a Braves uni or not?

  101. Stu, saw your ‘Dores tonight in Columbia. They’re not as bad as their record would seem to indicate, but their passing is flat out lazy. At least Taylor seems to be a beast. I was really surprised to find out he was a freshman.

    No, we’re as bad as our record is. Now, there’s a lot to be excited about for next season and (hopefully) the end of this one, and we’ve never had a more talented group, but we’re not real good right now.

    Injuries don’t help—we lost a starter, our biggest glue guy, for the year with a blown ACL, and both AJ and one of our super-freshmen, Goulbourne, have been hobbled—but it’s mostly just the youth. There are no seniors and only two juniors on the team. Everyone is coming back next year, and we’re adding a kid who’s likely to be a Burger Boy. The passing actually hasn’t been much of a weakness this year, but it’s something different every night.

    As for Taylor, yeah, he’s great. There’s no doubt in my mind he’d have been a 5-star / Burger Boy had he been playing AAU ball instead of for the Swedish national team during his summers in high school.

    Ludwick would be an one-year rental like Drew was, right?

    This is the first year of Ludwick’s arb-eligibility. He’s under team control through 2011. He’d be a great get, IMO, even taking the injury thing into consideration.

    That said, I would not want to trade KJ for him.

  102. Smitty @ 111,

    I was at the game too. When Curry let that full-court shot fly, I looked over at my friend and said “That’s In” (as I had done the whole game anytime Curry let one fly) and sure enough…

    Kid was amazing. He makes it look so effortless. Granted our Mocs aren’t the best competition for him but I agree that is the best college player I’ve seen live. (God Shammgod is a close second hehe).

  103. Ludwick is a first year arbitration guy so we’d have him under control for 3 years.

    I agree that he probably won’t put up the numbers he did last year, but, as Cliff said, if he puts up and OPS of .850-.900, he is significantly better than any option that we currently have.

    kc’s got it right though, it all depends on who the Cards would ask for.

  104. God Shammgod is the best athlete name in history.

    Followed closely by the brothers Mapp – Scientific and Majestic.

  105. Ludwick would be a nice add to the roster, but I don’t see us getting him without giving up a legit prospect (G. Hernandez? Locke? Medlen doesn’t seem like enough.) and one of Jo Jo Reyes or Charlie Morton.

    I’d also project him to get closer to 400 ABs than 600 because of injury stuff.

  106. i’m still recovering from seeing the tarheels rip the seminoles hearts out last night…….we’re having some friends over for the game on sunday and the wife was searching her cookbooks for something unique. we decided on Cuban sandwiches made with a smoked pork loin with black beans and rice. since the smoker will be going anyway, i showed her the bacon explosion recipe. she seems to think it will be the crown jewel of football foods……….i’ll let you know.

  107. one of my good friends Jason Standridge was just picked up by the marlins. good for him..I bet thats better than playing in Japan

  108. I had to throw my own personal favorite sports name into the ring. Discovered this guy when he was a sophomore in high school:

    Yourhighness Morgan, LB – FAU

  109. My concern about Ludwick is that while he showed some power in the low minors, he never batted .300 or had as high an on base percentage as he had last year.

  110. Yeah, I think we need to make a distinction between American-born and foreign names.

    I mean, in some cultures a name like, say, “Stu” probably means “fellates wildebeests” or something …

  111. I don’t think we need to make such a distinction. I like those names because they sound awesome, kind of like “Stu”.

  112. Best Braves name ever is Wonderful Terrific Monds III.

    Best baseball name ever is Rusty Kuntz.

  113. See… that name reminded me of the episode of the Insomniac w/ Dave Attell show on comedy central where he visited the Atlanta club (Clairmont Lounge?) where some “performer” was crushing beer cans with her chest.

  114. That would be Blondie at the Clermont Lounge on Ponce de Leon. Nice lady, especially when she reads her poetry.

    Abreu?
    He would be an upgrade in RF or LF. As RF doesn’t seem to be an “official concern,” that’s out. As for LF, he’d be fine, too, but I just don’t see it happening for a couple reasons: Cost & the fact that he’s 35.

    He’s a comedy show in the OF & he’s certainly one of those guys who, when you watch him play, seems to be less than his numbers, but they’re still good. We don’t have an OF right now who’s as good as he is, but, again, I just don’t see Atlanta acquiring him.

    Re: Hoop Talent
    Most impressive guy I ever saw in person was LSU’s Chris Jackson (aka Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf), but I saw Dominique & Barkley a lot, too, so…

    Re: Hoop Names
    I have 2: Bruno Kongowoin & Anicet Lavodrama.

    Both played for Houston Baptist in the ’80s and both played for the Central African Republic Olympic team in 1988.

  115. I was Upper Section half-court, same side as the Bench. About 10 rows up.

    Yeah, how’d you like the unicyclist at halftime? Pretty amazing stuff.

  116. I am in that episode of Insomniac, fwiw. The guys I ride bikes with just happened to be there.

  117. RE: Hoop talent

    During my senior year of high school in Kansas City, we went to play in a tournament in St. Louis. The tournament wasn’t great, (lost in quarters) but we stuck around and watched this junior from Popular Bluff named Tyler Hansbrough completely dominate everyone.

    It made me realize/hate the fact that some people are just are just genetic freaks

  118. I’m hopping on the acquire bobby abreu bandwagon. He’s been remarkably consistent, nothing wrong with 20 HR power. His average against LHP isn’t bad, he’s an on base machine, he still steels bases, doesn’t miss games and he hits very well with runners in scoring position(.315). If he could really be had for 5 million then we should jump on it.
    Conceivably, Dunn has a similar price tag. Dunn is also an on base machine but with terrible defense (as opposed to Abreu’s mere pretty bad defense) and gross RISP numbers(.225). I think watching Dunn would drive us crazy in the way that Andruw Jones and Jeff Francouer have in years past.
    I think signing Abreu might be something like the Renteria acquisition. We’d be bringing in a veteran professional who was maligned by his prior big market’s douchebaggery, while we’d be entirely happy with his approach to the game and overall solidity.

  119. I see we have assiduously avoided the Schultz story in today’s AJC about Glavine and Wren having oatmeal together and singing kumbaya and how this time it’s different than with Smoltz.

    Hurl.

    Is it because we want it to go away or because everyone but me knows that come Opening Day, Glavine and Andruw will be on the roster?

  120. I’ve always been partial to Grant Balfour as the ultimate baseball name. I think there needs to be distinction between run of the mill oddball names and names that actually comment on a player’s ability at the sport he plays. For the former I’m partial to Urban Shocker and in the latter I like Chief Bender due to the fact that he possibly invented the slider.

  121. 176
    How about buffalo bills second string quarterback JP Losman? I don’t know how if you’ve ever seen him play, but being a buffalo fan, the name is all too fitting.

  122. That’ s pretty rough. I remember when he came out of Tulane thinking that I’d be hesitant to draft him for fear that the name might be a self fulfulling prophecy.

  123. In the bills first loss of the season (against the superbowl bound cardinals, at arizona) Trent Edwards, who will be a great QB within the next two years, was knocked out with a concussion on the first play from scrimmage (he still completed a 12 yard pass). Then it was Losman’s time to shine, he really just didn’t look confident at all or like he wanted to be out there, he was just moping around the field… he is truly aweful, I wouldn’t even utter his name for the rest of the season, I just referred to him as “the second string quarterback.”

  124. I saw Kenyon Martin play pre-injuries at Cincinnatti and he was an incredibly rare athlete. So was Larry Johnson at UNLV. Carmelo was great at Cuse.

    Drazen Petrovic was out of this world for a couple of years there in Jersey.

    But not to cop out…the best player I ever saw in person was Michael Jordan. I’ve never seen entire defenses designed to guard a single man…and not even slow him down a little.

  125. Prado will be traded for Swisher, I can feel it.

    And the Andruw Jones story is good news. Stop living in the past, Andruw is done.

  126. DOB took Ludwick out of the equation, so I guess we don’t need to worry about trading for the guy anymore.

    I agree with Dan, I think the Braves will end up with Swisher.

  127. I agree that the Jones story is good news. The only way he would be worth the risk for a major league contract is if we had two solid, established outfielders and a 3rd that was on his way. At this point we have none of those and even if we got someone like Ludwick or Swisher (whom I’m still not sold on), we still have two gaping holes in the OF. Andruw as a fill-in and 4th outfielder – great. Relying on Andruw to get to where he was 3 yrs ago – stupid.

    As far as Glavine goes, I would love to see him back as a 5th starter – and only a 5th starter. This gives us more time to develop Hanson and allows Campillo or Reyes to be used as trade bait. If he gets injured, we still have one of the 3 above and Morton to fall back on. It may not be highly likely, but I think the opportunity for Glavine to have a good year is worth the risk. Again, only if he’s not a centerpiece of our rotation like last year.

    There is one thing with the $6-7 million figure that Peanut keeps throwing around. I understood a few months ago that the salaries of Glavine and Smoltz were not included in the final figure being thrown around. Has this changed, or did I miss something?

  128. td, I think nobody really has a solid idea on how much money the Braves have left the spend. Peanut says $6-7M, and DOB says $5-9M. They are all guessing.

  129. Ludwick is this year’s Rocco Baldelli: a rumor that started really early on, died around the Winter Meetings and won’t be let-go of by some people until the regular season starts.

  130. @191

    Guilty. I figured it probably wasn’t happen, I just thought it could be the best solution. Give me a little break though; for a baseball fan, this is the worst time of the year.

    That being said. I’d be relatively happy with Swisher. He’d be the best defensive left fielder outside Crawford and could spot start in center. He’s reasonably signed for the next 3 years and thus could be flipped should the talent in the minors warrant it. It’d the definition of a buy low move, which sometimes are among the best. However, there is a reason that you are buying low. Just have to hope he rebounds.

    I don’t know about everyone else here, but I’d be happy with his 2007 line of: .262 .381 .455

    That doesn’t seem too unrealistic.

  131. I’d be happy with an everyday outfielder who can OPS .800+. I mean, look at our outfield last year:

    Josh Anderson: .765 (Better than I thought, actually, though obviously sample size is an issue)
    Gregor Blanco: .675
    Jeffy: .653
    Mark Kotsay: .758
    Omar Infante: .755 (.769 as a left fielder)
    Greg Norton: .788 (.768 as a left fielder)

  132. I don’t live in metro atlanta, but are people high on signing glavine? Nothing posted on this board would give me that impression. Also, I pray there’s a better option that swisher out there. I just can’t get behind bringing in a guy who has batted under 237 twice, I love those walk totals, but for crying out loud….

  133. I am re-joining this tread late, but the best college basketball player I have seen was Pete Maravich–who I watched play Vandy 3 times…He wasn’t too shabby as an Atlanta Hawk either.

    For what it is worth, if Andruw wants more than a minor league contract, then I hope he plays somewhere other than Atlanta in 2009….

  134. Thanks Jay–Its hard for me to get too excited about Swisher until I look around at our current outfield….

  135. 194 – Nightmare…absolutely nightmare…and some people think our internal options are adequate…

  136. I still like Dunn the best. Actually, I like Manny the best. But since we aren’t going to go for him, Dunn is the one.

  137. I think we are all waiting to see the Braves get one of these bats….It would be petty cool if Wren could execute a deal like JS was able to and suddenly bring in some players than are not on anybody’s radar….

  138. Its like last year. We can handle a Josh Anderson, Jordan Schafer, or Gregor Blanco in CF. If we do that we need big bats for LF and RF. Swisher really sounds like our only option if we still have close to a $3m offer to Ohman. Going off DOB’s comments of having $9 mil, I dont see how Abreu or Dunn would come for $6m

  139. Urlhix, Im with you. This I didnt like though

    per Stark, Adam Dunn would like Manny to sign earlier, as he’s waiting to see what the Dodgers (his preferred team) do. The Nationals have been Dunn’s most aggressive suitor, the Orioles have mild interest, and the Braves have backed off.

  140. soooooo if Swisher gets traded to ATL is he going to be batting 4th? I don’t understand why all the Swisher talk if he won’t solve the clean-up hitter problem.
    [insert Frenchy batting 4th joke here]

  141. We need Swisher. He can play center passably and OPS 840 or so (comparable to Abreu, but with less OBP and more SLG). He also reduces our dependence on Francoeur rebounding.

    Because, we could bring up Schafer to cover center after June 10 and maybe let Swisher play center against lefties and right against righties.

    Then, Diaz (supplemented by either B. Jones or Anderson if Diaz can’t hold on to BA 300 / OBP 340 against righties) can take left and, overall, we wouldn’t be too bad.

    And, if a slightly better version of 07 Francoeur shows up (say, 290 / 340 / 460), then you keep Schafer down all year and make him hit every lefthander you can.

  142. @206

    I agree that Swisher would be a good addition, but you have a point in that he doesn’t really solve the cleanup hitter issue. I guess McCann would be serviceable, but it’d be nice to get a 30+ HR guy to put there

  143. There is nobody available which can solve our cleanup hitter issue. So you just go out and get the best player you can afford.

    At the same time, I am thinking…why the Yankees need to trade Swisher? It’s not like they need to move salary…

  144. Dusty,

    That girl tossing the bowls was awesome! I was sitting about 15 rows behind Curry whe he shot that 75 footer.

  145. #207–Move Schafer when he is ready….He has not even had a full year at AA, so I think that idea that might be ready by-mid June is overally optimistic….

  146. At the same time, I am thinking…why the Yankees need to trade Swisher? It’s not like they need to move salary…

    I was talking with AAR about this a couple of days ago. They don’t really need to move him, but when you look at what they might need, I think it’s bullpen arms and good prospects.

    Would Boyer + Gorkys get it done? I’d do that in a heartbeat, and I think it would at least grab the Yanks’ attention.

  147. And, if a slightly better version of 07 Francoeur shows up (say, 290 / 340 / 460),

    …I’ll be sleeping with Scarlett Johansson that very evening!

  148. Spike, I think the best part, the piece that really “makes” that video, is him screaming “I know my rights” and kicking his legs in the air.

  149. BTW Hankonly I did see that piece in the AJC yesterday… twas a strange fluff piece and I really didn’t get a good sense out of what to take away from it (except that Glavine and Wren both get their fiber).

  150. A question for out of market braves fans. Does anybody have the MLB internet package where you can watch out of market games? If so, I’m wondering if you can only watch the games live or if they are available to stream later on. I usually work untill 10 or 11, and am wondering if I should pony up and make this investment.

  151. @221 the games are archived and are available all season. It usually takes about an hour after the final pitch for it to be accessible for viewing.

    The only games you don’t get are nationally televised Fox games on Saturdays (not sure about TBS games).

  152. that’s outstanding, I’ll have to do that up. I just moved to Massachusetts recently from upstate NY. Not only do I still lack the ability to watch braves games, there’s no decent sports bar nearby that has MLB extra innings and I don’t even have the ability to choose between two games (mets and yankees). At least with mets games available I could watch 18 braves games a year and root against the mets every night.

  153. You won’t get Braves games live if they’re playing away games in whatever market you are in. I’m not sure about the archived games.

  154. Yes that’s true…Braves @ Boston you would not get, but I assume that would be available on MASN regionally for you.

  155. Don’t wanna be a killjoy, but I’m not convinced the lawnmower-drunk video is genuine.

    If it is, however, it should become a reality show.

  156. So where are we, really?

    Escobar
    KJ
    Chipper
    Big Gaping Hole
    McCann
    Diaz
    Kotchman
    Francouer

    The problem (one of ’em) is that with our roster, we really need our 1B to hit cleanup so we can plug in one of our singles / doubles hitters in CF. Really didn’t replace Teix and plugging in Kotchman doesn’t address the need.

    Can we trade Casey and find a slugging 1B? Nothing against Kotchman, but we desperately need some pop from 1B.

  157. Don’t wanna be a killjoy, but I’m not convinced the lawnmower-drunk video is genuine.

    I am quite sure it’s a fake. This way I get to enjoy mocking someone I perceive to be beneath my class without feeling guilty. Really, it works on all levels.

  158. The home run power will be a problem, but insert a pretty good hitter into the Big Gaping Hole slot and you’d have a lineup that could sport a .375 OBP (Francoeur excluded) and lead the league in doubles. It’s not a useless lineup by any means.

  159. Escobar
    KJ
    Chipper
    Big Gaping Hole
    McCann
    Diaz
    Kotchman
    Francouer

    Or as I would put it:

    Escobar
    KJ
    Chipper
    Big Gaping Hole
    McCann
    Guy Who Didn’t Really Play in 2008
    Big Gaping Hole
    Big Gaping Hole
    Pitcher

    Add Swisher and you still have no better than the 10th-best offense in the NL. I maintain it’s useless until we add two actual, major-league caliber outfielders.

  160. 10th-best? Escobar is a better-than-average SS, KJ is a better-than-average 2b, even with the diminished PT Chipper is a far better-than-average 3b, and McCann is the second-best catcher in all of baseball. Swisher would be a more or less average left fielder, if we got him. That just leaves 1b, where Kotch could be either very below-average or more or less average; RF, where Frenchy is guaranteed to suck but it’s unclear how much; and CF, where some combination of Anderson, Blanco, and possibly a late-season Schafer probably wouldn’t be too far below average.

    That’s not #1, but it’s not #10.

  161. If we had a good-hitting RF, Diaz would suffice in LF.

    If we had a power-hitting LF, Francouer … uh, never mind.

  162. Can Diaz walk, talk & chew gum yet?

    Ithaca,
    I did the Extra Innings cable package for the 1st half of last season, then at mid-season I moved to another cable area & went with the MLB.com package for the rest of it.

    Gotta say, I’m leaning toward the mlb.com package this season. If your computer/connection is fast, it’s tough to beat and, if it matters, less expensive. Also, if you travel & wanna watch the Braves, it’s the answer.

    Re: The Swish
    Lotta Swisher talk in NYC, asking if and how well he can play CF. The answer seems to be, no, only in a pinch. He’s the classic 1B/corner OF.

    #228
    It’s the old George Jones story put to life.

    Re: Basketball players
    I only included the guys I saw play in college.

    I saw Maravich play at The Omni twice—once for the Hawks vs the Knicks (ATL got killed & he didn’t do anything special except get lit up by Earl Monroe) and once for the New Orleans Jazz vs the Hawks (he scored 46 points & the Jazz had their first-ever road win).

    Saw Jordan at The Omni twice. Scored 41 & 40 points, but got swatted by the Hawks both times & got outplayed both times by ‘Nique, who had 57 & 50.

    In the first game, however, about 3 of Jordan’s moves ended up in that “Come Fly with Me” highlight tape. I’ll never forget that dunk he threw down on Tree Rollins.

  163. McCann is only slow because he rotates the earth under himself instead of running over the surface of it like the rest of us.

  164. OK, you know you’re on vacation & out of touch when you see a CNN headline that reads, “Haggard Explains Sexual Orientation,” and you think, “What! Merle Haggard’s gay!”

    I am so out of it.

  165. So, finished my week at Radio Row with ESPN Radio. What a blast! I’ve most definitely met more NFL players and celebrities than I probably will for the rest of my life. As far as TV and radio people, the highlights had to have been meeting Colin Cowherd, Kenny Mayne, and Kevin James. Athletes and coaches, it’d have to be Tony Dungy and James Shields. They were both class acts, especially Dungy. His whole staff were really warm and cordial. I put some pictures I took today up on Facebook, so if you’re Facebook friends with me, look them up. If you’re not, search for Rob Copenhaver in the Clearwater Christian network.

    In light of the great time I had listening and talking to Kenny Mayne, I looked up some his SportsCenter quotes and I realize he has to be my favorite SportsCenter anchor.

    I wanna ask you guys who your favorite SportsCenter anchor is to see where people on here sit.

  166. ububba…………..retire, move to wakulla county and you’ll have lots of moments like that.

  167. Adam, I think you’re 1) underestimating how good an Esco/KJ top of the lineup is likely to be, and 2) treating Diaz and Kotchman as though 2008 defines them, and 2007 never happened.

  168. KJ and Esco arent the reason why we havent been good. Frenchy, Bobby, bad trade deadline decisions, and injuries are the reasons

  169. I liked Patrick and Kilborn way back when. Also liked Rich Eisen a lot, until he went into self-imposed exile on the NFL network. It’s been years since I watched the show, though.

  170. Who has aged worse? Rich Eisen or Holly Rowe? Holly looks for all the world like Princess Fiona at night …

  171. I got to talk to Rich Eisen a couple times, and he has aged pretty bad. He’s balder, fatter, and just doesn’t seem to be taking care of himself. Dan Patrick was really funny when I talked to him, and he’s a lot taller than I thought he would be.

    Kilborn was a bit before my time I think. I don’t remember a whole lot of him.

  172. Holly Rowe is horrible….whatever happened to Jill Arrington? Her and Erin Andrews would make an awesome team

    I still remember Holly Rowe calling a players actions on the sideline “cute” one time. Her halftime interviews with coaches walking off the field are terrible. Seriously, get her off of TV.

  173. Stuart Scott was our local sports anchor here in Orlando before he went to espn and his eye got all googly…..

    I dont understand the Olberman hate, I used to stay up late in middle school to watch him and Patrick.

  174. Patrick and Olberman were quite the team.

    Kenny Mayne was probably my favorite, though. Loved his catch phrases and dry humor. He came to UVa while I was there and gave a pretty uplifting talk about his family (he has daughters with health problems, but can’t remember what right now) and choosing perspective, etc. Seems to be a good guy. Espn.com promoting his video series on the front page is a little much, though.

    I haven’t had cable in a while. If I did… I’d prefer ESPN news. Sportscenter drives me nuts with its “who’s now?” and related crap.

  175. I kinda can’t stand Sports Center anymore, to be honest. It’s loaded with self-promotion—brand, brand, brand.

    “Hey, here’s a take from our national radio guys—who’s gonna win the Super Bowl, Mike?”

    “Here’s the head waiter from the Times Square ESPN Zone sitting in the Budweiser Hot Seat.”

    “It’s college basketball season…put in your earplugs because here’s Dick Vita…” Click.

    I do my best to get my sports info elsewhere. But, when I was watching more regularly, I’d have to say Olbermann & Patrick. It felt like it was their show & the adults were in charge. A little sardonic humor seems to fit “the toy department.”

    I still watch Keith and, FWIW, he’s the only TV presenter I know of who is a member of SABR.

    Finally saw “Slumdog Millionaire” last night. Really good flick, a fantastical joyride, a little sentimental with a happy ending. Liked “Milk” a little better, I think. But I’d heartily recommend both.

    Re: KJ/Esco
    Here’s to healthy, productive & consistent seasons from both.

  176. very nice Stu…I wish your numbers for Frenchy and KJ were right also. It would make keeping Ohman and getting that bat a little easier

  177. ‘Sup, Knight.

    Dick Vitale was lobbying for Bama or Georgia to hire him during the UT-Florida game.

  178. Well then, it seems as though he’s got his advance men on the case. As a beleaguered UGA hoops buff of many years (they’re second only to the Braves in my heart), I have to admit to being a little star-struck at the notion.

    I don’t know that I could fully advocate our hiring him — at the same time, I’m sure there would be many moments when I’d enjoy having him in our corner. He’d win more than we have, that’s almost certain. He cares about education, and works to benefit the school that employs him, not just on the basketball floor. He’s also an egomaniacal, troglodytic prick who humiliates anybody who crosses him (whether they crossed him intentionally or not). There’s no easy answer to the conundrum of Bobby Knight — at least, not to me….

  179. I’d love to see it too. Even though it would be a total disaster in the end, the roller coaster ride of Knight at the helm would be pretty fun from a local standpoint.

  180. In regards to the earlier discussion, my current favorite ESPN broadcaster is Neil Everett. Reminds me a lot of the Dan/Keith era, in style.

  181. The only reason why trading for swisher instead of signing abreu or dunn makes sense to me is that swisher is an experienced first baseman as well as an outfielder. I suppose against left handed pitchers we would use swisher at first, Diaz in left and sit kotchman, which would be a formidable lineup for sure.

  182. Unless something happens to change the lineup in a rather big way, I think the only way the Braves contend is with solid starting pitching, great work from the bullpen, and a middle-of-the-road lineup.

    On that note, PECOTA forecasts are out (sorta). Highlights include Matt Weiters being the best catcher in baseball (well ahead of McCann and Mauer, whose overall production is projected to be virtually identical), and Chipper Jones winning another batting title (Weiters has the highest projected BA in the AL; PECOTA really loves this kid). Vazquez is projected to do quite well, Lowe and Jurrjens solid, and Hanson’s projected to have a mediocre 130 innings. (There’s no projection for Kawakami.)

  183. Okay… When did the edit functionality change to where it cuts you off if you don’t hit the “submit” button before the 5 minutes thing expires? I had a whole extra 3-4 paragraphs I was going to add, but then the dialogue disappeared…. So now you’re never going to see it! Nya!

  184. I, too, have mixed feelings on Coach Knight. I’ve always liked to watch his IU teams play, but the guy has always been an extreme contradiction for all the reasons detailed.

    In the short term, Knight would fill Stegeman. But he wouldn’t be there long & wouldn’t be able to recruit the top talent any more than previous guys. Even in his glory days at IU, according to the Feinstein book, he really didn’t like recruiting, felt it was beneath him.

    It would make UGA hoops interesting for awhile. He’d have a team that played defense & he’d probably squeeze something extra out of his roster, but I can’t imagine that it would have any genuine lasting effect.

    I’d prefer to find a hungry, young, dynamic coach. But I can also understand how UGA people would consider Knight & say, “Why not?”

    FWIW, I’ll go Pittsburgh 23, Arizona 20 in overtime. MVP: Willie Parker

  185. I definitely don’t want Knight at Bama. I know he’s a good coach, but for how long? The Bama b-ball team will take a few years to re-build (UGAs may be longer) and at 69, I don’t think he’s the guy to do it. I’m also on the side of those who put him up there with Scott Boras on likeability and character.

    Too bad Moore won’t get an assistant. I still say that TR Dunn is the best choice. My second choice is Mike Anderson. I wouldn’t mind it if Tubby Smith went to Georgia.

  186. I as well have mixed feelings about Knight – I can’t decide if I would rather see him come back and get embarrassed or simply be successfully sued into oblivion by one of the many people he has abused over the years.

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