286 thoughts on “I do not believe this crap”

  1. We are officially the comic relief of Baseball when even a broken down 39 year old, way past his prime, turns us down.

  2. I dont blame Griffey, but who in the org is releasing this crap to SOURCES??? DOB and Bowman look like jackasses on this one. Someone should have to answer to the fans on this one

  3. As I’ve said ad nauseum, this franchise is going to hell in a handbasket and we’ll finish last before we finish first, again.

  4. Unbelievable is right. It has been a fascinating, terrible offseason (with some very notable exceptions, of course).

  5. Give Frank W. a raise!!! Losing Furcal and Griffey in this manner requires a certain skill than few at the GM level can ever hope to achieve. Bravo!

  6. He can cement his status in my book if he will only sign Francouer to a 10 year 300 million dollar contract, though he might screw that up to…

  7. “Mr. Wren says that my client sucks. However, this is the same man who has twice had free agents back out on him at the last minute; why should we believe anything he says?”

  8. DOB’s sources were supposedly close to Griffey, not the Braves. Not their fault this time, but I’m sure many will overlook that and blame them.

    And I do blame Griffey. He called Chipper and Frank Wren to lobby for an offer only to run back to the Mariners.

  9. blessing in disguise? i sure hope so. if griffey goes to the mariners and rejuvenates his career, i will be uber pissed.

  10. This is HI-larious. Media running around, talking like it was a done deal. “Sources close to Griffey”, etc. I just cracked up when I read the headline on mlbtraderumors.com.

    On the upside, maybe this means we go for Edmonds, who I prefer to Griffey anyways. I mean, getting “snubbed” by Burnett worked out fantastic for us. :-)

    As an aside, I saw some people blaming Wren for this somehow. That’s absurd. The FO never said anything on this, and losing out in what inevitably was more about sentiment than money or anything like that isn’t his fault. But I guess people like to blame someone whenever anything happens…

    ETA: I really hope we don’t end up with Garrett Anderson. That would kinda suck.

  11. Why is everyone so upset about this? We can get the same production from another outfielder at the league minimum. Junior might bring some extra fans to the park, but he isn’t going to make us a better team. I’m fine with this.

    At least Garret can field…

  12. I think we need Edmonds, Anderson and a 3rd outfield. Our entire CURRENT outfield is a pile of dogsh–.

    Oh wait…I think I just saw Gadfly flying in for the Francouer save…

  13. Mike Clay, this knucklehead front office is not going to sign Garrett Anderson or Jim Edmonds, either. They think players like Omar Infante, Martin Prado, Jeff Francouer, Brandon Jones, Matt Diaz or Tom Glavine are good players. They are utterly clueless.

  14. This is almost getting comical … for so many who say they want to play for Bobby Cox there have been some go the opposite way … seems as though these players tell Braves players one thing and then do something else … the Braves have definately had their share of turn arounds when it comes to players .. there are better options out there anyway especially with some players to use as trade bait .. good riddens .. Griffey would have probably gotten hurt again anyway .. it would have been the braves luck !! So its for the good since we will end up with a better option in the end.

  15. Frank Wren in High School:

    “Will you go to Prom with me?”

    (fill in the blank girl)

    “Ummm, you know, there’s a good chance. Let me think on it a few days and get back to you.”

    3 days later.

    “Frank, yeah…well, I’ve decided to go with Steve…but thanks anyway for the invite. You’re a GREAT guy!”

  16. “Why is everyone so upset about this?”

    It’s appearances. It makes the ball club look inept. And without the resources of the Yankees, an organization needs a certain amount of credibility to attract talent. Once that’s gone, things become a mess in a hurry. So again, it’s not that Griffey’s all that terrific or that Wren even messed this up personally…it’s appearances.

  17. I’m reminded of that great sportcenter commercial, where Kenny Mayne is trying out HR calls “It’s never iffy if it’s Griffey…..that blows.”. Takes on a whole new meaning now.

  18. I’m going to need to see our signees play enough games for the Braves to make it likely they’d wear our hat into the hall before I consider them official signings. Never mind the fact that we don’t look likely to sign any HoF’ers through FA unless they’re already 8-10 years past their prime.

  19. I realize we already have a lot of bullpen arms, but does anyone else think signing Juan Cruz and Will Ohman to cheap deals would be a really good way to spend a few million dollars?

    And seriously, explain to me what Frank Wren did incorrectly here?

  20. This reminds me of the Alabama head coaching job pre-Saban (post Dumbose). Every coach in the country (or so it seemed) used interest (or merely agent reported interest) by Alabama to coax a sweeter deal at his current school.

    Alabama ended the cycle by ponying up the dough to get the best guy available.

    So I guess it’s high time to bring in Manny.

  21. @20 – now how in the world could you possibly blame this on Wren. He didn’t leak anything. So now everytime a player doesn’t sign here it is his fault? I guess we can blame him for not getting Sabathia and Burnett too. Jeez.

    I am a little perturbed at Griffey through this though. Why in the world would you campaign on behalf of yourself to come to a team if you weren’t going to go there. It obviously wasn’t for monetary reasons – we were both supposedly offering close to the same. Just don’t get it.

  22. P.S. I know we’re not even going to kick the tires on Manny. With him turning his nose up at offers of $25 million a year, it’s probably just as well unless our new motto is budget smudget.

  23. It’s hard to blame Wren for the AJC making shit up about Griffey signing. Who knows what else the media fabricated or got tricked into?

    That said, I certainly see Jeff’s point about preserving our image and reputation. Whether its fair or not, people (including potential free agents) are laughing at us.

  24. It’s a fair response, however, drewdat. I’ll keep soft tossing them up there, though, if you’ll keep taking them deep.

  25. Will somebody please wake me when the season starts!!! This offseason has been like a bad episode of “As the World turns”(never seen it, but have an idea). I’m not saying it has been bad, just way too much drama!
    I know I wont win many points in here with what I am about to say, but here goes…(deep breath) lets go Frenchy!!! I am a new poster in here and I hope that doesnt get me banned.

  26. Inept? Huh? This isn’t Furcal guys, that wasn’t handled smoothly (mostly from the agency’s end,) but this isn’t anyone inside the Braves organization’s fault.

    Some people in the media report stuff from anonymous “sources” and everyone in here gets into a froth over it, and when it turns out to be untrue it is somehow Frank Wren’s fault??? The only people this makes look stupid are the media outlets that ran with the story, and me, because for the second time this year I now have to report to my dad that the free agent I told him we had signed actually went somewhere else.

    I was really looking forward to seeing my favorite player from the ’90s play on my favorite team, but I can’t blame him for wanting the bigger role that Seattle had to offer. At least we won’t have to worry about sneaking someone through waivers now.

  27. That’s the point right there as to what Smitty said. It’s the “Glenngary Glenn Ross” rule that you should always be closing.

    Frank Wren doesn’t deserve any coffee…cause you know what, coffee is for closers.

  28. @34: No one’s laughing at us… most people haven’t even noticed yet, they’re paying attention to the NBA trading deadline. An over-the-hill left fielder picking one middle market team over another isn’t going to be top billing. Let’s keep things in perspective here.

  29. But yeah, Griffey deserves some blame here…he’s not innocent. Verbal agreements are starting to mean nothing anymore.

  30. @36 – You can’t force anyone to sign. If he didn’t want to sign here, that was his choice. I can understand being upset if he was unwilling to make a fair offer or what not, but to blame him for someone WANTING to play somewhere else is a little rediculous. Would you rather Wren have offered Griffey 5Mil to play – then you would have just complained that he WAY overpaid b/c noone was offering anything close to that.

  31. @38: What should Frank have done? Thrown more money than he was worth at him? (which likely wouldn’t have worked, and certainly wouldn’t have been worth it…) I know, he could’ve hired Superman to reverse time and change the course of history so that Griffey could have been drafted and brought up in the Braves organization, and he wouldn’t have sentimental connections with Seattle… and then he could’ve had Bud Selig institute the DH in the NL, or maybe just move the Braves into the AL. Then all he has to do is commit playing time to a guy who batted .202 against LHP last year, and Griffey surely would’ve signed. Yeah, that’s not much to give up… clearly Frank’s fault.

  32. The thing that makes me scratch my head is Griffey was the one who was thought to get the Braves involved on wanting him and then after 5 days of thinking he would be a Brave, he turns his back!!! With or without Griffey, I still think the Braves will be just fine. It would have been nice with him though.

  33. @40: Unless I completely missed something, there wasn’t a verbal agreement here… except maybe for a verbal agreement between some idiot over at the AJC and his editor who will print anything that comes his way.

    Furcal had a verbal agreement. Griffey had some “reports” from “sources” that “suggested” that he was “leaning” towards signing with Atlanta.

    As for blaming Griffey, he was only doing what anyone in his position would. Make contacts and start negotiations with organizations that interest you, put the numbers on the table, narrow it down, and make your decision. Hard to see any fault there. As for why he chose Seattle, I’d imagine the chance to play everyday played a big role in that. If he’s only going to play one more season, this way he’s likely to pad his stats with 600 PAs instead of 300-400.

  34. Alex, Griffey never verbally agreed to anything. Show me a quote where he said he was coming to Atlanta.

    This sucks, but I am failing to see how this is Wren’s fault. “Closing the deal” is a big load of crap. Wren isn’t a used car salesman; you can’t strong-arm major league baseball players into signing with you. If you’re gonna blame Wren for this, then you have to blame him for every other FA signing elsewhere. The only difference here is that the AJC jumped the gun and posted garbage. That is, in no way, Wren’s fault.

    I was listening to the SportsCenter at the top of the hour deal on ESPN Radio today. You know what I didn’t hear? Anything about Griffey. You know why? Because he’s a 39 year old platoon left fielder that no one cares about right now. No one cares about Griffey right now and no one cares that Atlanta didn’t get him, so quit acting like the Atlanta Braves are “embarassed.”

  35. @43 – Gadfly man, I can’t have you agreeing with me – I’ll start to lose all credibility here (not that I had any to begin with).

  36. Part of being a high level GM (like Schuerholz was) Rob is the ability to close the deal with free agents.

    It’s the same as a Mark Richt or Nick Saban convincing a 4-star offensive lineman to come play football for 4 years in Athens or Tuscaloosa.

  37. Well, I will say that DOB did handle it with class on his blog, even though the team is trying to blame him.

  38. DOB has a response up in the comments of his blog. Interesting stuff. I still blame Griffey for jerking us around, especially when it comes to calling Chipper. You shouldn’t use other players like that (especially one that happens to be my favorite).

    And there is no conceivable way that this is Frank Wren’s fault. I know it’s hard for some people to hear this, but everything bad is not his fault.

  39. @53 – Again, if you had two offers that were the same from 2 different companies, and you WANTED to be at one and not the other, would anything the recruit said at the other place even matter. I don’t think so. Nothing for Wren to do here. Blame him for the rest of the crap this offseason, but don’t blame him for this.

  40. Well Frank didn’t close the deal. He should have shut down the rumors, he could have, but didn’t. He does have some blame in this, not all, but some.

  41. I second Smitty. The bottomline is that it is not all Wren’s fault, but there’s a pattern of failure and he’s the King and the Braves are his Kingdom.

  42. Frank Wren also hasn’t yet solved global warming or stopped the financial meltdown. I totally blame him. He should have just closed the deal with global warming, you know. And stopped all the rumors about banks failing. Jerk.

  43. Haha, sorry Joshua… I’ll try to keep my support for your point of view on this one under wraps.

    @58: How was he supposed to shut down the rumors? He could’ve made a statement that said “we haven’t signed Griffey, so you guys shouldn’t say that we have,” but he shouldn’t have had to (and I bet the Braves FO released a statement that basically said that anyways)… we should’ve all been experienced enough to not celebrate until the line is signed.

  44. @38

    I said “looks inept” not “is inept.” There’s a difference there, though to the bystandard not so much. And either way, the effect is the same–nobody wants to work or play with the inept (or the person perceived to be inept).

    I’ll grant that Wren might not be responsible for this fiasco (and it is a fiasco whether or not Griffey would have added to the team). But what we are talking about remains the same. This team doesn’t look like the same, smooth operator that it did in the 90s and into the 00s, and that’s a problem.

  45. “And there is no conceivable way that this is Frank Wren’s fault. I know it’s hard for some people to hear this, but everything bad is not his fault.”

    Right. Just like Peavy was Kevin Towers’ fault and Furcal was Kinzer’s fault and Burnett’s was his wife’s fault and Smoltz was… Smoltz’s fault. Gimme a break with the excuses. The man can’t close a fucking deal.

  46. Again – Peavy didn’t want to come here, and neither did Burnett or Furcal. It seems to me that you guys are more pissed off at how players view the Braves now than you are at Wren. You appear to be mixing those up a bit.

    I’ll grant you Smoltz, but I won’t say that it wasn’t what was best for the team. We won’t know that until later.

  47. @50

    I agree, Rob. I’ve yet to see a quote from Griffey saying what his plans were. The media is so full of shit anymore that I barely ever believe anything I see.

    It’s pretty pathetic when an official news site says something happened and you can only be 50% confident that it really is true. Sigh…

  48. well, we werent going to offer $4.5m either. Lets face it some agents and players are using Wren for leverage

  49. Joshua,

    So you automatically believe what Wren and the Braves feed you through Peanut? Isn’t it the GM’s job to sell players on the organization?

  50. 61

    Well, first Wren could have said something like,

    “The Atlanta Braves don’t comment on potential free agent players.As we have learned in this witner we shouldn’t assume anything until a deal has been reached.”

    Instead he let the story build. JS wouldn’t have let the build up get this big.

  51. I’m not interested in allaying blame for this scenario because we’ll never have all the facts. Maybe Griffey’s the a-hole, maybe Wren’s the a-hole, maybe Dave O’Brien’s the a-hole. Who knows? The only fact is that we lost a decent option in left. So who’s next?

    Put me down for Edmonds over Garrett Anderson. I’d rather give up prospects for a Yankee than sign Garrett Anderson.

  52. @71 No, I believe that it was reported on several media outlets (i.e. SI and ESPN) that Burnett wanted to be closer to home and that Peavy didn’t want to play for the Braves if they gave up Esco. As for Furcal, it was VERY apparent what happened there, no explanation from the FO needed.

  53. The Braves are actually blaming the AJC for letting Junior Griffey get away? What’s next, blaming Canada?

  54. Wowie wow.

    Peanut says we’d rather give the youngsters a shot than bring in Anderson…hope that’s true.

    I’d still like Nick Swisher. Or Ohman.

  55. @75

    Yeah, they are. Wren let the hype get huge and when he couldn’t close the deal he had to find a scape-goat, thus DOB

  56. @72 – I remember reading just yesterday over on the Braves website that Wren was quoted as saying something like the following (sorry, the story is no longer there b/c of the new Griffy story): Griffy is still making a decision. He has strong ties to the Mariners so it will be a difficult one for him. We hope to know something more tomorrow.

    There was nothing in that statement that said he supported those comments made in the AJC. In fact, I think it was stating just what you wanted him to say – that there was no deal yet.

  57. While I am in disbelief like many of you here, let’s not go crazy. Forseeing a last place finish just because we’re losing out on half a platoon is a little off. There are many options still out there and some may even turn out to be better (Edmonds). Griffey would have been a fun guy to root for and the media jumping the gun kind of makes it sting, but I’m still optimistic about the season. Granted the OF is currently dreadful, but we the looks of an above average rotation, infield and bullpen. We certainly will be a better team than the one we saw in the second half last year.

  58. Joshua, if he did good, but on the “official website” he isn’t commented in the story talking about the AJC story.

    I’m not saying it is all his fault, but he does have some blame.

  59. Stu, I read that the Braves are floating the idea of platooning Schafer with Diaz. If they’re going to bring up Schafer now, they should just go ahead and play him everyday in CF. I really hope that’s just Peanut being an idiot and not the Braves, but who knows at this point.

  60. first off, everyone, including myself, has been very reactionary to frank wren’s decisions. give the man some credit. he has added 3 pitchers to a depleted starting rotation (probably soon to be 4) without selling the farm. plus, griffey was offered 2.5 mil+2 million in incentives from the mariners. that, to me, shouldnt be touched by us.
    frank wren thus far:

    1. failed to sign furcal (with furcal, there would have been no money to sign lowe).
    2. failed to sign burnett (signed lowe for less and he’s a better career pitcher).
    3. failed to sign smoltz (because he wanted more guaranteed money and most people on the blog agreed he wasnt worth the risk).
    4. traded for vazquez (without giving anything that would be worth losing).
    5. signed kawakami (for about 1 mil per year less than most people thought).
    6. failed to sign griffey (he probably couldnt match seattle’s 4.5 max offer).

    there are point/counterpoints to all his moves. let’s hope garrett anderson is not the answer and there’s some other diamond in the rough out there that wants to play for the braves.

  61. “I forsee a last place finish this year…”

    Perhaps, but it’s not like signing Griffey would have much altered that outcome. What’s most disturbing to me about the ‘non-deals’ this offseason is just how incompetent Wren would be for having closed the deals that he’s too incompetent to close anyway. If this was a business, our model would be something like the 27th-best in the league.

    I stand by the Willy Loman analogy. It’s almost as if capitalism passed right over the heads of our front office. Signing over-the-hill, injury-prone veterans is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing.

  62. But if the reason that Wren couldn’t offer more incentives to Griffey is that he’s planning to give $2 million to the desiccated remains of Tom Glavine?

  63. back to the trading block. anyone want blanco, soriano, anderson, prado, morton, reyes, campillo, carlyle,stockman or bennett? they are all cheap. dangle, dangle, dangle.

  64. when the dust settles, no one will be upset Griffey didnt come to ATL. However, none of us will be confident in any reports in the future until that player not only signs his term sheet, but the Braves have an official announcement and that player puts on a Braves jersey.

    Hell, just put Heyward in LF

  65. I just got up and have discovered that little Frank Wren got had again….In fact, by possibly the worst team in baseball….

    In a way its pretty funny and it shows just how low the Braves’ reputation has sunk.

    The real danger now is that Wren will ‘try to do something’–and once overpay some team by pissing away more good prospects….

  66. The more this goes on, the more I think Cruz might be a nice signing. We’d lose our 3rd round pick, which really isn’t a big deal, and chances are we could get him for cheap. That takes some pressure off Soriano and Moylan and just generally gives us a lot of flexibility in the bullpen.

  67. Mondesi’s interested, too, but he’s got a set of whitewalls on the other line… go ahead and fax the offer sheet.

  68. DOB did say “Trust me, he’s coming to the Braves.” Seems his sources are crap on this one. My guess on the source is none other than Chipper “I can say anything I want because I won an MVP award 10 YEARS AGO and earned the right” Jones. I’d put money on that.

    Want your proof? Look all over the reports of him signing with the Braves and the postmortem report by the AJC.

    “All signs are good,” third baseman Chipper Jones said early Wednesday.

    Jones had talked to Griffey daily for the past week and seemed confident he was coming to the Braves. “But I’m not going to smile until he’s signed,” Jones said, alluding to the previous times the Braves were jilted this winter.

  69. @82, Don’t forget to list our other pitcher.

    Re: Jr., 2.5M +2M in incentives? Enjoy the farewell tour, Mariner fans.

  70. I bet Wren was the guy in college who could talk to a chick at a bar. Impress her with his knowledge of fine wine and talks of seeing the sun set at the Grand Canyon. Then order one last drink before he and his new friend go up to his loft with a great view of some local monument. Only to spill the drink all over her and then butt heads with her as he tries to clean it up, knocking her out.

  71. @84 – Totally agree with you on Glavine. No sense in signing him. My only thought is that Bobby has told Wrent hat he REALLY wants a lefty for at least one spot in the rotation and that he wasn’t confident in JoJo. Personally, I’d much rather have JoJo out there than Glavine – even if he were to pitch worse. The idea of sending JoJo to the minors (where he has totally dominated the last couple of times down) is just bad. We need him up here to see if he is going to be a part of our future – we won’t find out anything more about him by sending him to the minors.

  72. “But if the reason that Wren couldn’t offer more incentives to Griffey is that he’s planning to give $2 million to the desiccated remains of Tom Glavine?”

    Yes, we’re entering ‘head-explode’ territory here. It’s like Wren picks all the moves I hate and somehow they begin to cancel each other out, only I can’t celebrate because the less bad is only made impossible by the really bad. Or something.

  73. More quotes by Chipper and about Chipper’s role:

    “Chipper elaborated on the role he’s played in this whole whirlwind negotiation”

    “A conversation with Chipper Jones 15 minutes ago only underscored that belief. “All signs are good,” said Chipper, who’s talked to Griffey daily for the past week. “But I’m not going to smile until he’s signed.” (For the record, Chipper smiled as he said that.)”

    “Chipper was asked today whether he thought Griffey was struggling with his decision. “I think he feels like he owes Seattle their due respect,” he said. “He said he’d talk to the guys out there.””

    And lastly, “Griffey’s negotiations with the Braves were moving at a steady pace until Tuesday afternoon, when the veteran outfielder learned of a report in The Atlanta-Journal Constitution which indicated he’d already decided to play in Atlanta.”

    So, has Chipper earned the right to have diarrhea of the mouth when he really doesn’t know the score? He needs to hit the ball, catch the ball, and field the ball, and leave the important stuff to the grownups.

  74. Who would have ever thought we’d be looking back at the halcyon days when Brian Jordan and Raul Mondesi were our corner outfielders?

  75. DOB’s taking a beating, especially on his own blog.

    I kind of feel bad. He is, by far, one of the better beat writers out there. I’ve never seen anything like the kind of access he gives with that blog. It’ll be a shame if this all gets pinned on him. It’s his job to run with the kind of info that he got. And, I re-read the article he wrote; he/Moore just referenced a “friend’ of Griffey. If anything, Moore should be taking the heat for this.

    That, I’m fine with.

    Griffey’s reason’s are his own, but outside of nostalgia, I don’t really see what he or Seattle is gaining out of this.

    Whatever. So be it. I’ll just chime in with the chorus and pray they don’t go after Anderson.

    This shit does get old though.

  76. This is about money and nothing else.

    The Braves were said to be after Bobby Abreu, but some reports had said that Frank Wren would have to stretch just to get $5MM guaranteed to Abreu. The Braves are dealing with the possibility of having to pay the asswipe Francoeur $3.95MM while trying to sign Glavine and Griffey cheaply. Griffey can earn up to $4.5MM with the Mariners this year so to me, it just looks like the Braves weren’t able to give Griffey the money he wanted.

    This bitching between the Braves and the AJC just seems like much ado about nothing if you ask me.

  77. Other than nostalgia, it’s asinine to sign with Seattle. They will be the Nats of the AL. For all of our “embarrassments”, our team should still be competitive because our pitching staff (and despite our outfield).

    I don’t even see Seattle being remotely competitive. The Angels and A’s will eliminate them by June 1st.

  78. I guess the Braves must be coming up short in the money department since the pictures surfaced of our “Game show host” looking owner from Liberty Media who’s been spending all his money to pay out Howard Stern in Sirius.

  79. One legit argument for going to Seattle is the DH. He may simply believe that, at this point, he’ll perform much better if he doesn’t have to play defense. Of course, if that’s the case, why did he call the Braves?

  80. I have to admit that I fell for the stuff that was written on the AJC (and was looking forward to him coming), but all along Griffey coming to Atlanta didn’t really make sense. He is a a hero in Seattle and he promised he would retire there. The DH is also better for him than playing in the OF and platooning.

    Although Wren has fallen on some bad times this offseason I still think we are a better team for not signing Peavy or Burnett at the expense of Escobar +++, and not signing Furcal as a budget buster. I guess what I’m saying is that Wren didn’t blow it by losing out on the deals above – he blew it by going for a few of them in the first place. I think going for the Griffey deal was a good idea and he didn’t have too much to lose. It’s still disappointing, but I don’t blame Wren this time.

    I still blame Wren for letting Smoltz go only to most likely keep a lesser pitcher (at this point in his career) in Glavine. Hopefully Wren will come up with a better deal than Griffey and things will work out as they have in us getting Lowe, Vazquez and Kawakami. At this point though, I’m not too sure. I’m afraid we’ll either have to lose someone we can’t afford to lose or get someone (like Garrett Anderson) who we don’t really need. We’ll see, but I just don’t see us doing better than Griffey in the long run – even though he admittedly wasn’t a “can’t miss” proposition.

  81. Maybe another possibility is that Griffey wasn’t really willing to play in a platoon. Once that was reported more widely he backed away for a chance to play everyday as DH in Seattle?

  82. #96 / #98 – Chipper “I can say anything I want because I won an MVP award 10 YEARS AGO and earned the right” Jones.

    This is an odd statement. Why are you mad at Chipper? Also, I think you may have been under a rock the last decade if all you can remember is Chipper’s MVP season. The man has done nothing but earn respect in a baseball uniform. Plus, he’s the face of the franchise. Of course he’s going to be the first one beat writers go to for a quote.

    “…leave the important stuff to grownups.” – huh? what? Griffey called Chipper.

  83. @108,

    It’s pretty obvious Chipper was a major source on this, flat wrong, story.

    Nothing to be mad about. It’s not like DOB kept Jr from signing the deal.

  84. How many times does Frank Wren have to haphazardly let somebody he’s after slip through his fingers before people on here start to get a clue that it’s his ineptitude that is the thread connecting all of these situations? He just coincidentally lost four players that he basically had in the bag in one offseason by sheer coincidence through no fault of his own? That’s almost a statistical impossibility. The man is clearly incompetent. In every single one of these situations, there is something he could have done to better the situation. In all of them, he just let it progress, doing precisely squat, and let the situation spiral out of control.

    The job is about results. And he’s not getting them. And it is causing the team to be portrayed in a bad light across the league. Hell, people are now just openly using him to get more money from the place they actually want to go. It has become a complete farce. Four of these clusterf**** (not to mention the John Smoltz situation) in one offseason is unacceptable, on any level. Someone has to be held accountable for it, and that someone is Fran Wren. Frankly, I would seriously consider firing him now, but if this season ends without us making the playoffs, he definitely needs to be gone so that perhaps we can have an offseason not hampered by pathetic incompetence next time. Because that’s just what happens when Frank Wren is your GM: pathetic incompetence. Bad things just seem to materialize out of thin air through no fault of anybody’s.

    If Frank Wren were actually as unlucky as some people are claiming, and not just pathetically awful at his job, he would be dead long ago, victim of some tragic freak accident. Death would stalk him at every turn. Meteors would fall from the sky and land on his head. Lightning would come out of clear blue sky and strike him while he’s walking by the lake. But he’s not dead. He’s alive. And here. He apparently is capable of driving to and from work every day without something getting in his eye, causing him to lose control of his car and drive it through the front window of a Waffle House. So no…I think I’m gonna go with the most likely explanation: pathetic incompetence.

  85. Nick, you’re right. Our team won’t look any different from last year. Wren essentially did nothing this offseason.

    Seriously, though, this does kinda suck. But it is what it is. I thought it was kind of a dubious story all along, and it looks even worse now that DOB says that the story was all based off of Terrence Moore’s source.

  86. Oh, and blaming one of the best beat writers in the business, who was only doing his job, for causing this to happen to cover up for your own idiocy and for the fact that you weren’t doing your job? It’s mind-boggling, and frankly, insulting. I’m not buying it for a second, and the fact that so many people are angers and saddens me on a level I can’t even begin to describe. May God help these people and the Braves front office if they get DOB fired or demoted.

  87. My Baseball Prospectus arrived today. PECOTA thinks that Heyward would, right now, hit .270/.334/.416 in the majors. I wouldn’t call him up just yet, but it’s interesting.

  88. Nick –
    Your babbling on and on has no merit. To say that Frank Wren has not got any results is assinine to say the least. He has rebuilt a rotation that looked pathetic at the end of the year last year – not an easy task on any level. And lets not forget that Jurrjens trade last year (and I don’t want to hear about how that was set up by JS unless you have some evidence to that idea). He also has done an extremely good job of not trading away any of our top prospects this winter just to get deals done. So why don’t we just wait until the end of the year to judge the job of Frank Wren this offseason. That is, of course, why they make them play the games (or they would have already declared the Yankees World Series Champions).

  89. I say we just pick up Orlando Hudson, send KJ to the outfield. Give Schafer a shot down the road along with Brandon Jones.

  90. The Heyward idea is interesting, but then I remember that he’s 19.

    The Garret Anderson idea is underwhelming. A platoon with him in LF would be like having a left-handed Francouer in his “good” years. Sadly, that might be the best we can do at this point.

    DOB’s latest update blog reminds me of a story that Jason Robards (as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee) tells in “All the President’s Men.”

    http://tinyurl.com/cgxmpy

    “Once when I was reporting, LBJ’s top guy gave me the word they were looking for a successor to J. Edgar Hoover. I wrote it and the day it appeared LBJ called a press conference and appointed Hoover head of the FBI for life…

    “And when he was done, he turned to his top guy and LBJ said, ‘Call Ben Bradlee and tell him fuck you.’ I took a lot of static for that—everyone said, ‘You did it, Bradlee, you screwed up—you stuck us with Hoover forever.’

    “I screwed up, but I wasn’t wrong.”

  91. Schafer needs at least half a season at AAA and he also has to get better at hitting lefthanders….

  92. Mac, that’s fascinating about Heyward. I’m not sure Bill PECOTA does quite as good of a job translating minor league stats into major league stats as it does predicting players who have had a few years under their belt, but nevertheless, that’s pretty interesting info.

    I’ll echo the sentiments of many others in saying that I think DOB is in the upper tier of baseball beat writers, and he makes it a helluva lot easier to follow the Braves year round than with most other teams.

    In the end, I’m not going to lose any sleep over Griffey. It would have been cool to him as a future HOFer, but Edmonds or Anderson will probably do just as good as Griffey would have, which is not anything exciting.

  93. Honestly, we don’t know what we’re going to look like this year. Who knows? McCann could have a power season and hit 50 homeruns, Francouer might even hit .250+, etc.

    We just don’t know how our club is going to do until spring training starts.

  94. Nick–

    I agree with you completely. It seems obvious that Wren is not a guy that can get things done. Braves fans need to face the facts, though. The days of being in the running to sign big free agents are gone. We have Wren because Shuerholtz got tired of having to settle for the Lowes instead of the Sabathias. The problem there is Wren can’t even sign the Furcals and Griffeys instead of the Manny Ramirezs. Another problem is Our God-awful coaching. When is the last time Terry Pendleton(look, I know he’s a great guy) fixed a swing?
    Francoeur is lost forever. Kotchman could hit before he got advice! Mccann only hits because he’s a natural at it. It looks hopeless.

  95. We signed Francoeur. $3.375 million, which is, of course, absurd. From Peanut’s article:

    Realizing the importance of Francoeur bouncing back from a disappointing 2008 season, during which he hit .239 with 11 home runs, a .294 on-base percentage and a .359 slugging percentage, the Braves weren’t excited about the possibility that his psyche would be shaken by the arguments they’d have presented during the arbitration hearing.

    Now we are surrending dollars to protect the psyche of our players? This is insane. And bad business. The front office is like the wishy-washy parent who can’t discipline their kid. He’s a brat and needs some tough love, like unconditional release tough. Sending him to the minors for two games was a lame attempt at a grounding. Stop rewarding bad behavior.

  96. Blaming a beat writer for prematurely reporting a story is a lame reason, and almost certainly not the real reason he signed for the Mariners.

    If it was, then I’d be shocked he’d been able to survive for so long in professional sports being so sensitive.

  97. If an agreement hadn’t been reached, he would have missed at least two days worth of Spring Training workouts.

    Realizing the importance of Francoeur bouncing back from a disappointing 2008 season, during which he hit .239 with 11 home runs, a .294 on-base percentage and a .359 slugging percentage, the Braves weren’t excited about the possibility that his psyche would be shaken by the arguments they’d have presented during the arbitration hearing.

    Thanks to some late-night negotiating on Wednesday, Francoeur now can focus on the adjustments he’s made with the hope of finding more consistency than he’s displayed during the early portion of his career.

    http://tinyurl.com/cgc5n8

    Oh brother.

  98. Dan–You are our best Frenchy news source!

    At this point, I am ready for the Brandon Jones/Diaz platoon….

  99. According to DOB the headline was an editorial decision at AJC, and Moore had a source who was a friend of Griffey who The Kid had told he had chosen Atlanta. In the comments somebody from Seattle said that reports from Seattle outlets had the swing vote on the head of Willy Mays, who Griffey talked to prior to making the decision, apparently convincing him his legacy would be better served to go back to where he started.

    Frenchy signing… do we think it was worth it to the Braves to just KNOW how much they were having to pay him so they can know what’s available for the next FA we try to sign?

  100. People need to get a grip. It’s no one’s fault but Griffey’s. He apparently had told Chipper that he was going to sign here. He played the Braves, probably to get an extra year our of Seattle because he didn’t want to be a platoon player and he would rather play everyday for a terrible team than be a role player for a potential contender. I think this says more about Griffey than about Wren or the AJC. I have no respect for Griffey anymore; Furcal I could understand because he is in the prime of his career and didn’t want to play second base. But this is absurd. Blaming Wren for this is simply letting emotions run amok. People are making judgments about Wren being incompetent that know absolutely nothing about what is going on or what is involved in being a GM. As far as I’m concerned, this is on Griffey; he is the one that approached the Braves. I don’t know whether or not he had actual interest or not but he clearly used them to get a better deal in Seattle. I suspect if Griffey was younger and was going to play every day, he would have come here.

  101. @108, it was a reference to a post on the previous entry that Chipper has earned the right to speak up. You never earn the right to hurt your team, which I believe was a major contributing factor in Griffey’s decision. DOB of course is going to throw someone else’s source (Moore’s) under the bus to protect his own (Chipper).

    Fortunately, Griffey is the player that will make a major impact, he’s an older star that I would have loved to see in Atlanta, but the “source” could screw up the signing of someone the Braves really need in the future.

  102. Mark Bradley

    Francoeur has set this as his spring mission: “I’m going at it as if I have to win the right-field job. I’ve been working my [rear] off.”

    “as if”, so he knows it’s his.

    I’m a bit surprised this didn’t go to a hearing. Here’s a lesson for agents of Braves players: aim high and the Braves will meet you half way. This might have been the smart move in the short run ($600K is peanuts in baseball), but I think it sends out a bad signal in the long run. Unless they thought Jeffy was going to win on the popularity card (and I don’t think that would have been enough) the Braves had this case in the bag. Now every agent knows to submit a high bid and wait for the half-way compromise.

  103. Three questions:

    1. How are you doing, Mac?
    2. Re Junior, who cares?
    3. Re outfield bat, what now?

  104. The National League East looks formidable, but the Braves should be competitive with the Phillies, Mets and Marlins.

    Just ask right fielder Jeff Francoeur.

    “The way I look at it, A) I’m not going to suck and B) We have pitchers who will throw 200 innings,” Francoeur says.

    http://tinyurl.com/at35o5

    Let not your heart be troubled.

  105. @134

    I know Teahen’s available from KC, but he seems more and more like just a guy. His primary position is third though and could back up Chipper. Royals are hard up for a 2B and Prado straight up would probably do it.

    Don’t want Anderson

    I understand the Jim Edmonds wishing from a statistical viewpoint. I hate him more than any other player in baseball though. He is the biggest douchebag I’ve ever met.

  106. Losing Griffey Jr. is not nearly as bad as the chance that we might have had for Abreu–had not Wren been careless with the payroll In any event, I am not big on either Edmonds or Anderson–but I am afraid that Wren will now overpay for Swisher.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Brandon Jones/Diaz get a chance….

  107. If the Royals clear Teahen’s salary, they’ll probably just sign Orlando Hudson. They’d probably want something other than Prado for Teahen.

  108. As far as I’m concerned, this is all Griffey. If he seriously was influenced by media reports to go somewhere else, what the hell does that say about him? He was the one that contacted the Braves; it had been assumed all along that he was going back to Seattle. It appears to me that, whether for negotiation purposes or to stroke his ego, he wanted to find another team that wanted him. He apparently told his friend (and maybe Chipper) that the was coming. It would be ridiculous for him to change his mind just because of a story in the paper. I think he was coming here but then decided he didn’t like the idea of being a role player and would rather be the big man in Seattle (albeit a not very good player any more) on a bad team than be a platoon player on a potentially good (probably not great) Braves team. If the stories about Willie Mays talking to Junior about his “legacy” are true, it’s just more bizaare. What is his legacy in Seattle other than that was where he was a great player and they made the playoffs a couple of years? The team never made the World Series (in fact, their best year came after both Junior and A-Rod left). Not to take anything away from Junior, but he thrived in an enormous hitter’s park (the Kingdome) during a huge offensive era; he was never nearly as good after he left that environment–granted, largely because of injuries. He has been an average player at best for the last several years, albeit productive against right-handed pitchers. Frankly, Junior seems more comfortable in a place where there isn’t much pressure to win. Griffey seems a guy more concerned with his ego and his status than with winning (or, for that matter, his family). With the Mariners losing anyway, Junior won’t be booed when he is hitting .150 against lefties. And, for the Mariners’ part, this is clearly about finding a way to put a few extra asses in the seats in a bad economy with a horrible team; it makes no sense at all from a baseball standpoint.

    I don’t see anything that Wren did wrong here. Was he supposed to not respond to Griffey’s overture? The “leaks” apparently came from Griffey himself and DOB really had no choice but to report what he thought was reliable information. This stuff about teams walking over Wren to get better deals–is he the only GM that ever happens to? As a matter of fact, didn’t A-Rod essentially do that to JS?

  109. I dont want Brandon Jones as a solution to any of our problems. He hit .260 and slugged .405 in AAA last year. In 106AB’s against righties he posted a .306 OBP and a .397 slg% for Atlanta. The kid needs to have another successful season in AAA before the Braves consider him

  110. Stu, do you really believe Teahen would put up better numbers than Diaz? I mean the guy posted a .311 OBP against RH and a .314OBP against LH. If he showed a lot of power that would be one thing, but he only had 15hr’s in 572AB’s. Im thinking its Nady, Swisher, or Edmonds on the radar

  111. One of the great things about this blog is its’ lack of censorship. Still, when the FCC comes to audit our comments, many will be found wanting when it comes to the indiscriminate use of the “good old Anglo-Saxon verb” (as Patrick Moynihan so aptly called it – man, I miss that guy).

    So, a few of us UNC fans and Kentucky fans (congrats, Stu) came up with a solution:

    Whenever you’re tempted to use the word, just substitute “Duke”. As in:

    Duke you.

    Duke off.

    Shut the Duke up.

    Hey, it works for us!

  112. I agree with you Marc – it’s the fault of Griffey, but while Wren may have no fault in this particular episode (of course he should respond to Griffey’s overture), he is quickly becoming a seeming patsy to other teams. It happens all the time with many teams, but it seems Wren is gaining a reputation after this offseason – one that doesn’t bode well for his future as Braves GM.

    This doesn’t really make or break the team, but I admit I was looking forward to Jr playing in Atlanta, even if only as a platoon player. It’s just been a depressing offseason (though I do give the FO credit for the re-tooled rotation and holding onto prospects.)

  113. The other day I jokingly called for Keith Law to become GM of the Braves.

    Then I looked at his resume: Harvard undergrad with an MBA from Carnegie Mellon.

    Add that to his very clear baseball insights and I think we have a serious candidate for the job when we replace the unsuccessful Wren.

  114. Per DOB

    We wrote it, because that’s what the close friend told our Terry Moore, who goes back a long way with them (Moore is from Cincy, like Griffey).

    Reading between the lines, I wonder if Sr. was the source.

    Heard Chipper on the radio. Though he was very hesitant to say so explicitly, I got the impression that he believes Griffey was using the Braves as a bargaining chip. That would fit with Griffey not talking to the Braves after the story ran in the AJC. No one is that sensitive to media reports.

    I think there is a decent chance Griffey planted the story. It’s probably for the best that the Braves didn’t end up with him.

  115. I had thought the source might have been Sr.

    I’d like to hear some more candid commentary from Braves players or Bobby. Is the Chipper interview online anywhere?

  116. Stu,

    Even if they dumped Teahen, they wouldn’t have the cash for Hudson. They’re 4 MM over payroll. Wal-Mart has cut Dayton off. Hudson would have to take around a 2.5MM for the Royals to take him .

    The bigger issue with Teahen is that there is no place for him on the team. The outfield is set with Crisp, DeJesus, and Guillen. Gordon is entrenched at 3rd and Jacobs (for good or ill*) at 1st. They are really hard on for a second baseman. There’s a collective panic in town (well founded) as right now Willie Bloomquist is #1 on the depth chart.

    I think Prado would get it done. Especially when you factor in the fact he’s an ex-brave

    Again, I don’t know if he’s that much better than Diaz, but it’s an option.

    *for ill

  117. This is a little old, but did anyone see this from Keith Law?

    “The obvious weakness is the lack of infield prospects, but I think there’s a bigger organizational weakness: their excessive loyalty to certain players. Jeff Francoeur should have been non-tendered, and instead they’re taking him to arbitration, even though he’s about the worst “everyday” player in the game and seems to blame everyone but himself for his horrendous play. Tom Glavine is a damn charity case. He’d be their eighth- or ninth-best starting option if they sign him, assuming he can pick up a ball without hurting something. If I was Frank and he rejected my $1 million offer, my answer to their counteroffer with would end with “… and the horse you rode in on.” Yet Atlanta is the team that can’t say no to players with some sort of tie to the organization. They stood firm with San Diego in the Jake Peavy discussions; I wish they’d do the same with their own mediocre players and avoid a situation where Tommy Hanson is ready to come up in June but can’t because it might hurt Lil’ Tommy Glavine’s feelings.”

    Now he gets it.

  118. Here is the link to the podcast. Check out the automated transcript.

    ” Although a merit it the dollar — smart on whose board he did it. You know bomb bomb.

  119. “The way I look at it, A) I’m not going to suck and B) We have pitchers who will throw 200 innings,” Francoeur says.

    Hey, at least he admits it…and claims he will be better.

  120. “It’s probably for the best that the Braves didn’t end up with him.”

    Thank you JC! Finally, somebody says is. I could care less what kind of person Griffey is, or how he acted. If you guys hate that they’re out to make a buck then blame the system, but for now, let’s at least take stock of the fact that signing Griffey was a bad move in the first place. With his defense and likely time missed, he would have added very little to our win percentage.

    And for those of you who think Wren has done a good job, or has actually improved the team, then perhaps you are forgetting that last year–with basically a .500 team–the Braves had Teixeira and Hudson to start the year. Now they are minus those two but have replaced Hudson with Lowe and Teixeira with Kotchman while adding two other decent, dependable arms. This as a .500 team again.

  121. To me, the real story–and the real way to judge Wren–is his bizarre infatuation and crippling loyalty to guys like Francoeur and Glavine. I’m not saying I’m upset with all the moves–I liked the Vazquez deal and I like Kenshin as well as Lowe–with Jurrjens and Hanson they should field a solid-to-good rotation by the AS Break. But the fact that the team’s undeniable priority of signing or acquiring one or two real bats in the outfield is still unmet, and that one of the reasons why is that they’re paying guys like Francoeur and Glavine anything at all, really pisses me off. It makes me wonder about the overall plan and what exactly are the goals.

  122. There are three stories this morning about Jeffy’s improvement…on the morning after he agreed to terms. Mark Bradley, Ken Rosenthal, and now the AP/Gwinnett Daily Post. Here is my favorite quote:

    ‘It’s going to be about relaxing and letting his ability take over,’ the hitting coach said. ‘We all know he has the natural talent and ability to get it done. But mentally, he’s going to have to relax and just let the fight come to him instead of going out and starting the fight. If he does that, and I believe he will, he’ll do some positive things, some very positive things for us.’

    Wasn’t letting his “ability take over” the problem? This sounds like Homer Simpson’s test-taking strategy of hiding under a pile of coats and hoping everything works out just right.

  123. so can anyone explain why the Braves want to keep Frenchy happy? They knew he wouldnt win his arb case, but they didnt want to hurt his feelings. How sweet, but that just cost you half of what Ohman is asking for. An extra $500,000 to not hurt Frenchys feelings, what a joke

  124. I’m not gonna get into a huge rant again, but let me just say that Wren agreeing to terms with Francouer has not helped me come off my opinion of last night. It’s truly asinine. Our offer should have been exactly what he made last year, and then we should have refused to make a deal before arb unless he accepted that offer. Screw Jeffy’s feelings. I hope he can handle me booing him loudly every time I’m at Turner Field this year without curling up into a little ball.

  125. IF the handling of Francoeur is coming from Wren, then he does have a problem. You don’t say publicly or allow to get out publicly thorugh a mouthpiece like Peanut that you raised your offer to avoid hard feelings. In fact, the Braves need to convince Francoeur that THEY HAVE hard feelings and why those are justified and how he IS IN competition for his spot in right field.

    Does anybody have a link to e-mail complaints to the FO? Maybe if they started getting 50 or 100 a day about this they would wise up.

  126. Another thing,

    The Braves settlement with Francoeur is (I am pretty sure) over their 3rd year, first time arb eligible settlement with any other player ever.

    It is specifically larger than KJ’s last offer to the Braves. For clubhouse harmony, they owed it ot KJ to fight at the hearing and, if the idiot arbitrator got it wrong, then blame it on him.

  127. I can’t believe we gave even an inch to Francoeur.

    Any chance the AJC will be totally cleared of any wrongdoing on the Griffey story, and Peanut will have to print a retraction in the form of, “DOB Silences His Critics”?

  128. @154 – What was Griffey’s motivation for planting a story? A little more in incentives? I just don’t see it.

    What I see in Chipper’s comment is immaturatey in implying Griffey hung them out to dry after realizing maybe he had a part in screwing this deal up (which he possibly did by being so vocal about his Griffey joining the Braves).

    What I honestly think is Griffey had a change of heart after speaking to Willy Mays and Hank Aaron. He can play one last year where he started his career, retire a Seattle Mariner, and everyone goes home happy. It’s no different than what Glavine is doing with us. I wish he were here, but I wish him well and look forward to his HOF induction ceremony in 6 years or so.

  129. Griffey certainly hasn’t had many victory laps this decade. He’s entitled to go to the one place where he’ll be cheered no matter what he does, of course, but in doing so he foregoes a team where he’d play a bit more meaningful baseball — and, of course, be closer to his family. But, you know, whatever. We need a real outfielder. We still do.

  130. @177

    Don’t worry, Dix. It’ll be more than drowned out by the high-pitched shriek of teenage girls.

    Edit: But incidentally, if I can’t boo Francoeur, who can I boo? He needs to know that the actual baseball fans in the crowd are tired of his crap. He should just thank his lucky stars he doesn’t play in Philadelphia. He would be getting bags of piss thrown at him at this point.

  131. Mac,

    I sort of expect this sort of Wren-bashing from the peanut gallery, but a quick, rational assessment of what occurred here should prevent this sort of knee-jerk, over the top emotionl reaction in cooler heads.

    Griffey called the Braves and asked if they might be interested.

    The Braves said “sure, it’s not like Brandon Jones is banging down the door.”

    Someone from Griffey’s inner circle called TERRENCE MOORE and said KGJ had chose Atlanta.

    The AJC ran with Moore’s sources.

    Griffey backed off of the Moore story immediately.

    Harold Reynolds and Willie Mays kumbahyahed Griffey back out to the PacNW.

    Where in that exchange, exactly, do you see Frank Wren or the Braves doing something wrong?

  132. What was Griffey’s motivation for planting a story?

    Where is the logic in assuming anyone planted a story. Terrence Moore reported a story incorrectly. This is not shocking to anyone who knows that Terrence Moore is a terrible reporter. (And an even worse analyst.)

    You seem to be assuming there had to be malfeasence on one side or the other. I see nothing in this story to suggest as much. This is NOT analogous to L’Affair Furcal. This is just a free agent mulling over his options and a reporter (or two) jumping the gun on their scoop. This is the AJC’s problem, not the Braves.

  133. Nick,

    I’m just anti-booing your own team in general. If anyone deserved a boo, I can see Francoeur making a case for being that guy. He might convince himself we’re saying Frank-ooooooor or something though.

    My alternative to booing would be far more awesome and have a much greater impact. Of course, it would also require unanimous participation by everyone in the crowd, but it’d be awesome. Whenever Francoeur bats everyone should fall silent and turn their backs to him.

    Sam @185

    Unfortunately the AJC’s problem reflects badly on the Braves and it becomes the Braves’ problem.

  134. Unfortunately the AJC’s problem reflects badly on the Braves and it becomes the Braves’ problem.

    How does this transition of problems occur, exactly? I could see Chipper running off a little too much at the mouth being a problem for the franchise, but I really have no idea how poor journalism at the AJC reflects poorly on the Braves. Does the back pages of the Post or the ass-hats that write columns for the LATimes’ sports sections reflect poorly on the Yankees and Dodgers respectively?

    There’s just a lot of yelping here that is completely out of proportion to the events on the ground. All of the people who have already embedded themselves in an anti-Wren fetal ball are whinging away as expected, but I think those sort of hystronics should be reserved from the comments and not the initial article. That’s just me. Someone show me where Frank Wren did anything whatsoever wrong in this exchange and I’ll gladly acknowledge my error.

  135. Heard Bowman this morning denying that all the “journalists” involved had anything to repent.

    Gak.

    Nothing is ever their fault. No matter what they do, no matter the unintended consequences of their actions, nothing is ever their fault.

    Just a little human humility would be nice every now and then …

  136. It doesn’t have an actual reflection on the Braves, but the ACJ reports on the Braves and if in doing so they embarass themselves they drag the Braves through the mud inadvertently.

    Not everyone is as thoughtful as we are about this stuff, and few people care enough about the Braves to actually think about who’s at fault here.

    Casual observer sees this and shakes their head or chuckles and their perception of the Braves shifts farther towards ‘joke’

  137. That Seattle/Lowe mock story is really funny. Let Seattle fans have a laugh somewhere else; they get enough laughter from their own team.

  138. Can we please make a run at Edmonds. just as effective (if not a little more) than Griffey against righties. Much better fielder. He could cover (not too well) center, and easily cover either left or RIGHT.

    Also, I still think Prado and a pitcher to the Cards could get a real outfielder (and, we need a real outfielder and, we have too many pitchers to hold all of them anyway).

  139. what a bunch of babies! who really thinks a washed-up Griffey would make much difference? before anyone calls Jeffy a whiner again, they should re-read this sob party.

  140. @169, JC says: “Wasn’t letting his ‘ability take over’ the problem?”

    Where do you get that idea? Jeff’s problems last year were the result of A) radical changes in physique, and B) mental inconsistencies most likely brought on by pressure, and compacted by failure. According to Jeff and McCann A has been addressed, Jeff has increased flexibility, and dropped the excess weight.

    Anyone who think Francoeur doesn’t have the athletic ability to play baseball at a high level is nuts. Whether or not he has the mental and emotional fortitude we’ll find out over the next couple of months.

  141. Casual observer probably doesn’t even know the Braves were in on this, and they hadn’t thought about Junior at all until they saw “Griffey signs 1-year deal with Mariners” going across the ESPN ticker late yesterday. I’m not sure how many of you actually realize this but, outside of the ‘Braves Bubble’, this is a really, really minor story.

  142. Athletic ability is not required to play baseball. Who was a better baseball player, Kirby Puckett or Bo Jackson? Now, who would win a decathlon between those two? The ability to play baseball, for a position player, is first and foremost about the ability to hit the damned baseball, and Jeffy doesn’t have that.

  143. I agree. It goes with the Andruw Jones story too; I don’t believe his supposed weight had anything to do with his hitting. I really don’t. Maybe it hurt his defense, I don’t know what kind of defense Jones played for the Dodgers in 2008, but I just don’t believe it had a big effect of his ability to hit a baseball.

  144. Bill James had an interesting aside once, musing about the notion that baseball players should look a certain way, when there were a number of extraordinary baseball players built like Kirby Puckett and Yogi Berra. Maybe THAT’s an ideal baseball shape, he wondered. Who’s to say that a baseball player shouldn’t be dumpy and rotund, rather than tall and ripped?

  145. If I didn’t think Griffey was the only chance we had at having an outfielder with a pulse, perhaps I wouldn’t be as upset. But it’s pretty clear that we’re now just going to “let the kids have a chance,” which means that unless Schafer blossoms during spring training, we are going to have the exact same outfield as last year until at least the end of May. He’s not going after anyone else. He could’ve signed Bobby Abreu for $5 million for one year and didn’t do it. He could’ve signed Pat Burrell to whatever it was he signed for and didn’t do it. He basically just sat on his freaking hands. And now we’re stuck with the most laughable outfield in baseball again.

    This was going to happen anyway, but then Griffey basically fell into his lap. And rather than immediately take advantage of his good fortune and snap him up, he made him an offer similar to the Mariners, and then waited, and then waited, and then waited, and then it became so drawn-out that news reports started to come out, and then it gave Griffey a chance to go back to the Mariners and ask for a little bit more, and then it gave Griffey a chance to go talk to Harold Reynolds, Willie Mays (although I’m still not exactly sure what the hell he had to do with any of this) and Hank Aaron (who by the way, does he still work for us? Nice pep talk, Hank)…and on and on and on, and Frank was just sitting there on his ass with the same offer that he gave a week ago. Perhaps it would be better if the local media were constantly at his throat, as that seems to be the only way he ever gets anything done. Watch him sign Glavine and extend Chipper’s contract all in the next week after this episode.

  146. @196: If Bo Jackson hadn’t gotten hurt the resounding answer to that question would likely be Bo. As for Jeff’s ability to hit a baseball I’d say .300/.336/.549 in his first 257 ML ABs proves he possesses that ability, whether or not he’ll be able to regain that form is a question of his mental and emotional abilities. We’ll see.

    @195: While we’re throwing around myopic statlines, here’s a few others:

    .293/.338/.444 (would you expect any other outfielder on the Braves to surpass these numbers in a full season this year?)
    .247/.325/.390 (probably should’ve given up on Dale Murphy after one bad year at 25…)
    .177/.237/.335 (Ron Gant clearly was washed up by age 24 too…)
    And while we’re talking about Puckett, here’s his line at age 24:
    .296/.320/.336… not as bad as Jeff’s ’08, but not as good as Jeff’s ’07 either.

  147. @197, 198: There have been many ballplayers that fit the mold AAR and Mac talk about, but each player is different.

    In Jeff’s case, he clearly wasn’t helped by the additional weight and musculature he added last year. It cost him a step or two in the field and on the basepaths, and possibly slowed his reaction time at the plate. Kirby Puckett might be able to succeed with his physique, but Jeff Francoeur isn’t Kirby Puckett. He’s an athlete, not a classic ballplayer.

    However, I still think the #1 most important factor in Jeff’s slump last year was mental, later compacted by emotional issues. It appears he’s addressed the physical issues, the next few months will tell us if he’s overcome the mental/emotional ones.

  148. One of the other players James mentioned in that comment was Honus Wagner, who wasn’t fat, but wasn’t exactly an Adonis — his legs were short and bent, and he had a big barrel chest. Only the greatest shortstop of all time. Lots of the best players ever were on the small side, and many of the rest only of average height. “Athleticism” is overrated if you don’t learn what you can hit.

  149. As for Jeff’s ability to hit a baseball I’d say .300/.336/.549 in his first 257 ML ABs proves he possesses that ability

    And you’d be wrong. Francoeur has an ability to hit fastballs over the plate. He has limited abilities to hit fastballs off the plate and no ability to hit breaking pitches. It took the league about 30 games to figure that out and they’ve been killing him with the knowledge ever since. What you need to realize is that after his debut month, when pitchers tested the new kid with fastballs over the plate and he proved he could hit them, Francoeur has hit pretty much like last year. The first 30 games was the fluke, not the next two years.

  150. @200

    What you really want to do is compare a corner outfielder from the late 2000’s to a middle infielder, catcher and center fielder from the 80s. That would be the height of intellectual honesty. Especially if the middle infielder was demoted after that horrendous line and converted to a less strenous defensive position so he could concentrate on developing his hitting, or if the catcher were moved to center field for expressly the same purpose.

  151. @169, JC says: “Wasn’t letting his ‘ability take over’ the problem?”

    Where do you get that idea?

    From his consistent craptastic play in the minor and major leagues. Combine this with the “he needs to stay aggressive” program.

    Jeff’s problems last year were the result of A) radical changes in physique, and B) mental inconsistencies most likely brought on by pressure, and compacted by failure. According to Jeff and McCann A has been addressed, Jeff has increased flexibility, and dropped the excess weight.

    I thought it was a vision problem that would be solved with a contact, or was it the new batting stance with a toe-tap, or was it that Leo Mazzone was mean to him…sorry that must have been left over from the Haracio Ramirez talking points.

    Jeffy’s performance last year was within the realm of what we could have expected from past performance. My view is that bad luck and a bad attitude exacerbated a horrible plate-approach that should have been corrected a long time ago. The Joe Simpson hypothesis of bulking up causes siffness that hurts hitting, (as demonstrated by the 1980s Oakland A’s) doesn’t convince me.

  152. I agree with Sam completely.

    All those first 257 ABs show us is that he can hit a fastball he knows is coming. The remainder of his at bats show he can’t recognize other pitches, can’t differentiate between strikes and non-strikes, and that pitchers know the first two facts.

  153. As to why people on this blog still bother to reply to Gadfly is beyond me. If one choses to believe the world is flat, then let his world be flat.

  154. Just Wondering, how many World Series banners would the Braves have if not for the Performance Enhancing Drug Era? 3,4? How many more Cy Youngs would Glavine, Smoltz and/or Maddux have? 2,3? How many more MVP awards would Chipper have? 2?

    For all of the players that came through the Braves system that had questionable physiques (That really did not contribute significantly to the Braves’ success, in fact, the opposite is probably true in most cases), their team was built on players who were truly skilled. Chipper as much proved that point in the past 3 years with his continued improvement at the plate in spite of hitting 36 years old last year. These past three years were probably the first 3 semi-clean years since the early 90s (with the exception of the rendom HGH user).

    It’s just nice to speculate on what SHOULD have been.

  155. Javy Lopez played a major role on those ballclubs.

    So did Dave Justice and he may have been using.

    Ron Gant too.

    I’m positive we benefited from players using PEDs.

    Chipper may not be innocent either, we just don’t know. He was always awesome but so was A-Rod and so was Bonds. Chipper hitting has gotten better and that’s probably due to experience. His power has diminished though, maybe that’s just age, maybe not. Who knows. I don’t think the Braves’ are so innocent that casting stones is safe and you can’t blame PEDs for all the titles we didn’t win. We still had Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz and should have beaten all the teams we lost to regardless.

    Maybe Chipper stopped using in 2003 like A-Rod and that’s when the injuries started keeping him off the field.

  156. I truly believe that a healthy Matt Diaz is going to make a big difference in our lineup.

    And, yes, I’m being serious.

  157. Just Wondering, how many World Series banners would the Braves have if not for the Performance Enhancing Drug Era?

    As I doubt PEDs contributed significantly to Kirby Puckett’s theatrics, and as I doubt an absence of PEDs would have kept Jeff Reardon out of the game(s), and as I doubt PEDs had a damned thing to do with Rafeal Belliard booting a routine double play ball, and as I’m virtually certain eliminating PEDs wouldn’t have changed the starter-heavy, reliever-short, carry a third string catcher into the WS instead of a DH rosters of our post season teams over the years, I doubt the PED “era” played much of a role in the Braves lack of WS hardware.

  158. You know, the Internet is a strange place. I don’t reply and I’m accused to dodging critics. When I respond, people complain. In the future, I guess I’ll just blow raspberries.

  159. 1992 Blue Jays
    1993 Phillies
    1996 Yankees
    1999 Yankees
    2000 Cardinals
    2001 Diamondbacks
    2002 Giants

    Cy Young
    Randy Johnson 2000-2002 (Maddux 2000, Glavine 2001, Smoltz 2002)

    All of those may have been influenced by PEDs.

  160. Today I hit what I’m calling “The beauty of shuffle” as my ipod, just before I pulled into work, went from random music to an mp3 of the call on Sid’s Slide… made me smile all over again. I believe it was somebody here who posted a link to that mp3 a year or two ago and I’ve stumbled across it a few times before in iTunes, but shuffle on the iPod has never managed to find it amongst the rest. I don’t hear “Braves win, Braves win, Braves win” nearly often enough lately.

  161. All of those may have been influenced by PEDs.

    Of course. The only clean team in baseball was clearly the Atlanta Braves, home of golden, moral, upstanding young men who would never behave in such dubious ways. But every team that beat them along the way? Those guys must have been juicing.

    Please.

  162. The reason we respond to Gadfly is that, while we might disagree with his analyses and even find them exasperating, he is civil in stating his positions and clearly sincere. I don’t see why we should excommunicate someone that is not being a jerk or snarky. I will continue to respond to him as long as he is respectful of others. This is a blog; it’s called dialogue. If someone does not want to respond to him, don’t. It’s not as if he is defending Osama bin Laden.

  163. If you are going to start worrying about which series the Braves lost due to PEDs and so forth, you are just going to drive yourself crazy. Even if true, so what? One thing that no one mentions is that, at least in the 90s, the Braves played some damn good teams in the playoffs and World Series. And I agree with Sam that it’s pretty naive to think that everyone except the Braves were using PEDs. I agree with the comment that the Braves were starter-heavy, reliever short, and, in addition, offensively-challenged and, maybe most importantly, bench-lacking in those years. In reality, the Braves were probably a few plays away from winning at least two more World Series.

  164. @219,

    Well, Charles, it’s true that OBL has never struck out on a pitch over his head. :)

  165. Marc,

    I’m not worrying about which series they lost, just wondering. It’s not an obsession, but thank you for caring about my mental health.

    I didn’t say the Braves were choir boys either.

  166. I just like to thank Ken Griffey, Jr. for cementing his legacy as the greatest ballplayer never to play in a World Series.

    Would he have made it as a Brave? Sue me for hoping so.

    Griffey pulled the same “I’d love to hear an offer from Atlanta” line of BS that Barry Bonds used in his last two contracts.

    I’m having trouble faulting Frank Wren for making an offer. If his officed leaked bad info to DOB, that’s another matter.

    The underscore of this thread is not about the “swing and a miss” on Griffey; it’s the sad realization that they had to settle with baseball’s worst ballplayer rather than send him into histrionics during arbitration.

  167. In reality, the Braves were probably a few plays away from winning at least two more World Series.

    Well, we know Leyritz was a juicer…

    We also know that had Rafeal Belliard turned a routine double play on the batter immediately preceding Leyritz’ HR, Leyritz would have led off the next inning, trailing by more than the single run he would have represented.

    The Braves of the ’90s didn’t lose WS’s because of PEDs. They lost WS because 1) the roster construction that let them dominate the regular season was a weakness in the post-season, 2) the strategic changes required to win in the expanded post-season format(s) were in opposition to the strategies Bobby Cox was comfortable with, and 3) because they just got unlucky at the wrong times.

    Accept it. Move on.

  168. I wonder how many World Series we’d have won if Otis Nixon and David Justice hadn’t been on crack… or how many fewer NL East titles we’d have won if Darryl Strawberry wasn’t.

  169. The Indians just released Andy Marte. For a system so weak at 3B should we pick him up?

    How does that even work? Would we simply have to put him on the 40-man and drop someone else?

    I know he’s been an absolute bust, but doesn’t there have to be some talent there?

  170. Maybe Jeff is really a headcase. The front office figures they’re going to move him eventually and the best way to do that is to increase his trade value. Pay him a few extra dollars and tell him right field is his. Now go get ’em, Jeff. Make Kansas City drool.

  171. I am dumbfounded.

    Why? There is very little evidence in the public record to believe the Braves don’t consider 2006 and 2007 to be “successful” seasons. Most of the regulars here understand otherwise, but the Braves don’t seem to be evaluating on the same scale. Splitting the difference is not a surprise.

  172. It’s like Frank Wren is playing OOTP with scouting on. How can he really not see Francoeur for what he is?

  173. The Indians have (I think) 72 hours to make a move with Marte, trading or selling him to another team. If they can’t, he can opt for free agency. If he doesn’t take it, he would go through waivers, and if nobody picks him up there, he can be assigned to the AAA roster.

  174. I wonder what the odds in Vegas would be that Francoeur’s first walk of the season comes before his first strikeout.

  175. I know [Marte]’s been an absolute bust, but doesn’t there have to be some talent there?

    Speaking of Braves personell associated with PEDs, the ‘roid rumors have been dogging Marte since his last season in Atlanta’s system. He cratered as a player exactly when they started testing (as did Marcus Giles, for the record.) I don’t see a lot of reason to take a flier on him.

  176. You know, the Internet is a strange place. I don’t reply and I’m accused to dodging critics. When I respond, people complain. In the future, I guess I’ll just blow raspberries.

    There’s only one man that dares to give me the raspberry: Lone Star!

  177. Sam”s feeling especially upbeat today.

    Either you lost a lot of money on the Braves in the 90s, or we need to get you outside a little more.

    You’re bringing me down with all the neagtivity.

  178. It’s like Frank Wren is playing OOTP with scouting on. How can he really not see Francoeur for what he is?

    He’s not a commenter on an internet blog. He has more things to consider than the obvious facts. As a GM, Wren has to surmise not only Francoeur’s true level of ability (something I think he understands better than you give him credit for) but also his impact on marketing (not an insignficant consideration post-Smoltzgate) as well as his replacements/replacement costs. Internally it’s either Francoeur for one more try (at a relatively painless cost, all things considered) or Brandon Jones or Jason Perry. I harp on Francoeur’s shortcomings as much as anyone, but Jason Perry hasn’t played him out of a position yet.

    Alternately you could sign Garret Anderson and assign Francoeur, but that’s money and an old mediocrity that’s not globally assured to better Francoeur in 2009 anyway.

    As bad as Francoeur has been, as bad as he is likely to be, I tend to agree with Wren’s decision that cutting him loose THIS YEAR would be worse than trying him out one more time.

  179. Either you lost a lot of money on the Braves in the 90s, or we need to get you outside a little more.

    Never lost (or won) a cent on baseball. Can’t fathom the mind that would think baseball is a bettable game. Way too many variables. With that said, I did cut my teeth on this whole “internet debates about baseball” thing back in the meat of Braves’ dynasty, so I have a lot of this just memorized by now.

  180. @234

    I understand your point and I can’t really disagree. It’s just that this is 2009! I’m an idiot and even I can see that Francoeur is terrible, terrible, ball player. Do the Braves have no one who is telling them this? I’ve always gotten the impression that the Braves mgmt. brooks no dissent so I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone has to get in line with the front office groupthink about Francoeur. I’ve been annoyed at Wren sometimes but in general I think he’s made some decent moves which is why I just can’t grasp this Francoeur situation.

  181. When I was in Vegas I bet on some baseball games, eh. It’s no where near as fun as betting on football.

  182. Sam, it’s a good question, but I’m not sure I buy that. How do the Braves measure Francoeur’s total monetary impact on the team, on and off the field? Does his personal popularity — measured in personal memorabilia, and marginal asses in seats and marginal Nielsen share, say — outweigh his contributions to our losing record last year? It’s pretty axiomatic that winning teams are more popular than losing teams. And there are several hundred players in baseball who were better than Jeff last year and cost less than him.

  183. My odds on that would currently be 50:1.

    Also, I’m pretty sure whatever talent Andy Marte had has long since been dragged down by reality. I really wouldn’t waste my time or a roster spot on him. Plus, that would be picking up a player for no other reason that that he used to play for us, which I continue to think is just silly. Think about it, if Andy Marte hadn’t once-upon-a-time been the biggest “can’t miss” prospect in our farm system, would you even think about picking him up? If this were the former top prospect in the Astros organization (or whoever), would his DFAing even have been a blip on your radar? If the answer is no, why would we even consider it?

  184. The fans have mostly moved on from John Smoltz; is it really possible that the Braves would see any appreciable loss in revenue if they dropped Francoeur? Sure, 3.3M + incentives (I wonder what those may be) isn’t huge money in terms of an MLB payroll but the Braves are apparently running up against budget constraints so for them it is a significant figure. $3.3M plus the $5M that the Braves supposedly have left gets any one of Burrell, Dunn, or Abreu. It could also cover a fair part of Swisher’s contract.

  185. It’s pretty axiomatic that winning teams are more popular than losing teams. And there are several hundred players in baseball who were better than Jeff last year and cost less than him.

    And how many of those hundreds were available to the Atlanta Braves this winter? By “available” I mean reasonably accessible. Carlos Beltran was not available. Manny Ramirez is not available.

    The Braves went into the 2008 off-season with gaping wounds both in the rotation and in the outfield. They had a limited (though not small) budget to fill some of the gaps. They solved the rotation problem rather nicely, IMHO. But that took resources away from the OF problem. They don’t have internal options that will notably outplay Jeff Francoeur in 2009. I’m sorry, but they just don’t. Gregor Blanco would be *worse.* Jason Perry would be *worse.* They apparently didn’t have the funds or desirability to draw in Abreu or Burrell or Dunn (or Griffey.) Even if they succeed in getting Garret Anderson he’s really no more than a platoon partner and the Braves have need of that on BOTH corners. So what do you do? Do you go with raw, fed-up emotion and cut your best – albeit atrocious – internal option? Or do you arb out one more year of his potential, try to back fill LF and CF this year, and re-assess RF in 2010 (when Hanson will almost certainly be ready for a full time position and both Hudson/Vasquez could be valuable trade chits in the acquistion of a REAL RF?)

    I suspect from my phrasing of the question you know my answer already.

  186. $3.3M plus the $5M that the Braves supposedly have left gets any one of Burrell, Dunn, or Abreu. It could also cover a fair part of Swisher’s contract.

    1) You assume Burrell, Dunn or Abreu were just out there for the money. This offseason should disabuse you of the notion that any free agent Atlanta will pay will come running.

    2) Nick Swisher costs prospects. Prospects are more valuable to a team in Atlanta’s situation than any money would be.

  187. @224,

    bwarrend,

    I wasn’t trying to attack you (or your mental health). I was just generally indicating that the steroid discussion and who juiced and who didn’t is getting boring. Who knows? Who even knows what effect, if any, they had? IMO, the Braves lost, primarily, because they couldn’t hit good pitching and just weren’t as good as the other teams.

  188. Sam Hutcheson,

    I appreciate your telling and cogent analysis. Mostly, I agree on Frncoeur as to keeping him (for now), but I don’t like the coddling (LF and CF are up for grabs, we paid more to make sure he’s happy, we know he will bounce back).

    IF the Braves can pick up Jim Edmonds for 5 million and IF they can DFA Francoeur at cost of $ 550,000 up to end of spring training and IF the 2.8 left on Francoeur’s contract makes the difference in getting Edmonds or not, they need to cut Francoeur and get Edmonds.

  189. I continue to believe that over the course of a year, winning and being relevant is worth far more to the Box Office than baseball’s version of Celebutards.

    The only defensible reason to promote popular, but mediocre players or wizened heroes is if the FO thinks there’s no chance of winning.

    Hey, wait a minute …

  190. Lots of teams seem to be in roster crunches at certain positions. Braves with pitchers, Cardinals, Nats, and Yankees with outfielders, Nats with 1B’s. Do you guys think that it is different from most years?

    I have a theory. The “increasing value of young talent” is causing teams to (1) hold guys down in the minors longer to make the pre-FA years come in closer to the prime statistical aging curve and (2) to hold onto them longer in the hope they might be good enough, despite evidence to the contrary, because the cost differential is so severe (on having to replace externally with FA’s).

  191. I still believe the Cardinals will move a good outfielder for a decent 2B and a pitcher some time between now and end of spring training. I hope Wren makes sure Mozeliak knows that Wren is listening.

  192. IMO, the Braves lost, primarily, because they couldn’t hit good pitching and just weren’t as good as the other teams.

    A point lost on history, I think. People forget that the Braves of the 90s really had no business competing prior to 1994/5. 1991-3 was just absurdly early for that rebuilt to start going to the WS every year, and even then the 92-93 Blue Jays were clearly the better team in both of those series. The only WS that I personally chalk up to “should have won but didn’t” is 1996. By ’99 the Yankees dynasty was in full swing and the Braves dynasty was in a clear downswing.

  193. Braves with pitchers, Cardinals, Nats, and Yankees with outfielders, Nats with 1B’s. Do you guys think that it is different from most years?

    It’s not uncommon for teams to go through gluts at a position. Talent will sort itself out through trades (except in regards to the Nationals – Jim Bowden’s never met a marginal corner OF/IF that he wouldn’t acquire and then refuse to trade for reasonable value.)

  194. Sam, since they cost significantly more than Francoeur, Carlos Beltran and Manny Ramirez don’t fall into the category we’re talking about, which is major leaguers who make a salary around Francoeur’s $3 million and are better than Francoeur. No matter how you define “available,” whether you’re talking about people who were free agents this offseason or who were on the trading block, there were quite a few options.

    Burrell, Abreu, and Griffey fall into this category. So does Jim Edmonds. Hell, so does Willie Harris. So does Josh Willingham, who was available for very little; so does Swisher; for that matter, so does Ray Durham, who may retire despite the fact that he can outhit Francoeur and probably wouldn’t be much worse in the field than Francoeur was in 2008.

    So does Brandon Jones. Based on his performance in 2008, though it’s undoubtedly unsustainable, so does Martin Prado. With the same caveats, so do Omar Infante and Greg Norton. So does Skip Schumaker. So does Ryan Ludwick. So does Rick Ankiel. So does Juan Rivera. So does Mark DeRosa.

    And on, and on.

  195. Marc,

    It’s all good. I didn’t take it as an attack. Just trying to lighten the mood after the last couple of days.

  196. Actually, AAR, I would add 2 more Cardinals outfielders as likely to be able to outproduce Francoeur this year. Stavinhoa and Barton (they have an unusual glut).

    Agree with you Sam on the “World Series Non Chokes”. We should have won in 1991 ONLY because the Twins were so bad and we got to 3 – 2 and went to extra innnings 2 times without winning. The only substandard finishes were 1996 and 1997. Later the decline had begun.

  197. Burrell, Abreu, Griffey

    Pursued. Signed elsewhere. Not available.

    Jim Edmonds.

    Wouldn’t mind him or Anderson as a corner OF platoon vet.

    Willie Harris, Josh Willingham, Swisher

    Willie Harris had a fluke year last year. All three would cost prospects.

    Ray Durham

    There’s no way I’d spend money on Ray Durham.

  198. Not to change the subject (okay, to change the subject):

    I was telling a friend about the greatest comedy sketch of all time — that being, of course, the Upright Citizens Brigade’s “Ass Pennies”, and I discover that none other than AAR has written about it:

    http://tinyurl.com/apu6s9

    Here’s the sketch to brighten up a lousy day:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9JkHtLp8C8

    Hope you don’t mind the plug, Alex. That was just too great a coincidence. Good taste by you!

  199. I just made the rookie mistake of trying to post two links…trying again:

    Not to change the subject (okay, to change the subject):

    I was telling a friend about the greatest comedy sketch of all time — that being, of course, the Upright Citizens Brigade’s “Ass Pennies”, and I discover that none other than AAR has written about it:

    http://tinyurl.com/apu6s9

  200. Who actually believes the Braves prefer internal options now, and who believes we’re saying it to prevent upping the asking price on trades.

    I still think we’ll get someone, but it will be late in Spring Training when teams like the Yankees realise they have 9 people for 5 slots. I’d also start offering the Cards a deal based around Prado for Ankiel.

  201. @262

    To say that they were persued and signed elsewhere is at least a little disingenuous. If they Braves weren’t hamstringing themselves by paying one of the worst baseball player in the leagues $3.3m they could have ponied up adequate cash to sign one of those guys. We were beat to Dunn and Griffey by the Nationals and Mariners respectively, two teams whose chances for contention thi season are significantly lower than Atlanta’s. Instead, The Braves chose to placate a negative asset by avoiding arbitration and overpaying him rather than cutting him or sending him to AAA.

  202. I read over at DOB that Marte was traded to the Rays after he was designated. Haven’t seen any other source, though.

  203. I’ve been sticking $30 in pennies up my ass for the past 11 years! That’s 3,000 pennies a day; 21,000 pennies a week; 1,092,000 pennies a year! To date that’s 12,012,000 pennies, 8 times the population of Nebraska. Those pennies were in my ass! You think you’re better than me? Oh, you’re not better than me. You handle my ass pennies every day. You pick up my ass pennies for good luck. You throw my ass pennies in fountains and make wishes on them. You give my ass pennies to your little daughter to buy gumballs with.

    You handle my ass pennies every day! All of you! You all handle my ass pennies! Oh, I laugh at you before you can laugh at me. Because your pennies have been in my ass. You hear me? Your pennies have been in my ass!”

  204. UCB is teh awesome but their best sketch was “Fecal Jesus” followed closely by “Guardian Hockey player”.

  205. I like the skit where Frank Wren says “Mr. Furcal’s agent, we have ourselves a deal.” Mr. Furcal’s agent (played by the John Lovitz’s liar character) replies; “Uh yeah, that’s the ticket. Mr. Furcal is going to be a Brave by tomorrow, or my name isn’t Tony Flanagan. If you don’t hear from us, don’t worry, we’re just… trying to figure out how many ass pennies that would come to…yeah, that’s the ticket.”

  206. and in a classic miss on talent, i was crazed with anger when the Braves moved Marte for Renteria. So very good in AA; so very awful at every level above that.

  207. Hey, Sansho, thanks for the shoutout!

    I’m pleased with that column except in one respect, where I noted (arguably accurately at the time, but now it’s hopelessly anachronistic) that Amy Poehler had been mostly disappointing on SNL. Her hair was blonder, and she had the Weekend Update gig, but for the most part I don’t think they had quite figured out how to use her particular wackiness. Soon afterwards, however, they rectified that, and she blossomed into one of the finest female cast members they’ve ever had.

  208. I read this today on yahoo sports.
    But there was clearly some bitterness over the turn of events, some of it directed at media outlets that reported Griffey had decided to play for Atlanta. Pitcher Tim Hudson got into a heated argument in the clubhouse with a newspaper reporter, claiming his story angered Griffey and led him to back out of dealings with the Braves. A team official had to step in and lead Hudson to a back room. This is DOB and boy he is butt hurt today.

  209. @203 (been busy): I’ll admit you can’t judge a player entirely on his first 70 games, but Jeff’s 2007 line (.293/.338/.444) also works to show he can hit… and I watched most of those games, he hit all sorts of pitches. He may not be the best batsmen ever to play the game, but when he’s locked in he certainly has the capability to hit in the major leagues.

    @204: Check your facts before you embarass yourself. Gant (who played the majority of his career in the 90s) was a 3B, not a middle infielder, for most of the year I quoted, but he did play 14 games in the outfield. Murphy hadn’t caught for two years during the year I mentioned. Moreover, I wasn’t comparing Francoeur’s stats to theirs, I was comparing the relative trajectory of their early careers. Players have down years, it happens.

    @234: Gosh, I’m really not trying to pick on you Sam, but 2007 was a successful season for Jeff. You can jimmy up some stats to portray it as average, but in the end Jeff produced 170 runs in 162 games plus provided us with 162 games of gold glove defense in RF. Certainly room for improvement, but success all the same.

  210. flair, DOB talked about that today. Apparently Huddy was pissed that DOB and Bowman were speculating on the players to be released, such as Blanco and Lerew

    He’s now saying we could have a Glavine press conference tomorrow. Maybe Glavine will say he’s going to Washington.

  211. @278

    One wouldn’t have to “jimmy up” any stats. The most important stat in baseball tells the story: .338 OBP.

  212. I’m really not trying to pick on you Sam..

    Whew. I guess I can sleep soundly now. Jeff Francoeur’s career, by month:

    edit: Table formatted for crap.

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