Jordan Schafer

He’s kind of an up and down player. When he’s up, he’s way up, but when he’s down, he’s not even playing. Schafer had a very up spring, apparently winning the centerfield job, and if he stays up, he can be the rookie of the year.

Schafer was a third round pick of the Braves in 2005, taken from a Florida high school. He was overmatched in rookie ball that year, and the next year in A-ball, but he emerged in 2007. After beating up the Sally League for thirty games (repeating the level) he was promoted to Myrtle Beach, and didn’t let the Beach beat him, hitting for average and some power while playing a fine centerfield, and was appointed one of the top prospects in the game.

It came crashing down last season, when Schafer was suspended for 50 games for HGH. Now, human growth hormone doesn’t affect athletic performance, as is well documented, and Schafer denies ever using the stuff. In fact, it seems most likely that he was covering for a teammate. However, it subjects him to mandatory drug testing in the future. One slip, and he’s on suspension.

Schafer came back from the suspension fairly ably, hitting .269 .378 .471 in Mississippi, a tough park in a tough league. He was notably streaky, and had a huge platoon split, hitting just .196 with one homer against lefties while hitting .309 against righties. A lot of this is just luck — his BABIP was on the low side against lefthanders, while it was high (.388) against righthanders — but it’s a genuine concern on a team already vulnerable against lefthanded pitching. He did not have a big split in 2007.

Schafer gets high marks for his defense; I haven’t seen enough to judge, but a boost in centerfield defense, a major weak spot last year, could help the team immensely… Runs well, but a 64 percent career basestealer in the minors. Basically, he was wasting his time when he tried to steal… The comparisons to Grady Sizemore don’t really help him any. Maybe he’ll be that good, but the odds are against it. He does have all-star ability, and apparently the drive to take advantage of it. Remember when Ryan Langerhans was compared to Paul O’Neill?

Jordan Schafer Statistics (Minor Leagues) –

139 thoughts on “Jordan Schafer”

  1. Marc, I don’t believe in all that superstition stuff — the Braves did a great job losing last year at games neither of us attended, as I recall.

    Joelk, I gotta second your recommendation of “You Gotta Have Wa.” Terrific read. Whiting’s book about the rise of the Yakuza, “Tokyo Underworld,” is great too.

  2. (from the previous thread)

    Marc – they seem to lose when I showed up, too. Either you and I both screwed the Braves or else we have some mental block from beating the freaking Nats at their stadium.

    Though Mac has refused to acknowledge this (he’s open about his hatred of the red jersey), I am excited about wearing my brand new Braves replica “Sunday red” jersey I just purchased online. I feel like a kid – I have never bought a Baseball jersey before but after my wife surprised me last Fall with my first Georgia replica jersey ever, I realized I had to get a Braves one, too.

    I know…it’s dorky, but I am a dork for the Braves.

    Also from the previous thread: I am stunned the Rangers would cut a very useful player like Catalanatto for a guy who clearly couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn anymore in Andruw. WOW.


    My feeling is he is a serious ROY candidate. I loved what I saw and I think the mental lapses will be less so now that he’s being give a shot in the show.

  3. Well, Andruw has put up what were once typical Andruw numbers — .293/.328/.552 — this spring. With that, and if he can still play defense, you can’t blame the Rangers for keeping him.

  4. Well, I guess I am unaware of the full compliment of Rangers outfielders (outside of Josh Hamilton) but Catalanatto is pretty damned good.

    Look, if you can have a guy like Andruw on the cheap and then he actually produces again? It’s a steal. But I will wait and see him take actual Major League at bats before fully judging.

  5. My biggest concern for the Rangers is that Andruw Jones is now teammates with Kris Benson (!) I smell a powder keg.

    I mean, Andruw was a regular at the infamous Gold Club and Kris is married (is he still?) to Anna Benson…by July, I wouldn’t be shocked if Andruw and Anna are crossing the border together, Bonnie and Clyde style.

  6. until someone shows me this supposed Langerhans/O’Neill comparison that someone made, I refuse to believe it

  7. From the last thread, I’d just like to point out that Bob Horner played for the Yakult Swallows. That’s my favorite team name, ever. You’d think I’d go to a game or two of theirs, but I haven’t managed it. Seibu (onetime home of Dice-K and Little Matsui) is the closest team. But they play indoors (kinda) and use the DH.

  8. What makes you say Jordan was covering for a teammate on the HGH suspension? I’ve heard him deny it publicly, but didn’t know why. Not that I doubt you…just curious.

  9. Which of the following groups is most surprisingly still active?

    Jane’s Addiction to play City Stages –

    The music festival, scheduled for June 19-21 in Birmingham’s Linn Park, will feature groups like Jane’s Addiction, The Doobie Brothers and En Vogue.

    Other acts appearing include Styx, REO Speedwagon, .38 Special, The Neville Brothers, Young Jeezy, Jonny Lang, Corey Smith, Guster, Matt Kearney, The Whigs, Indigo Girls and many others.

  10. I am just guessing about the covering for a teammate, but it fits all the facts and statements and that the Braves don’t seem to think Schafer was doping.

    I read the O’Neill comparison when Langerhans was a prospect. It may have been Peanut, or whoever had Peanut’s job at the time. At any rate, it seems to have been scrubbed. What you’ll find now are mostly references to the comparison by me and by Shanks.

  11. I guess they figured he wouldn’t have value if they said he was the next Darren Bragg.

  12. From Keith Law on

    Brian G (Santa Barbara): Number of Oreos you can eat in one sitting or Jeff Francour’s walk total in 2009?

    Keith Law: (1:06 PM ET ) Oreos.

  13. I don’t know if I can eat 20 Oreos anymore. Ginger snaps? No problem.

    If there’s money to be had & the band members don’t mind being onstage together, very little is surprising anymore on the concert circuit.

    Eg.—Motley Crue is still out there, playing bigger venues, and those guys don’t even talk to each other. But Live Nation has them wrapped up for many million $ because they still draw well at sheds & arenas. (And yes, each gig is a “Mullet Fantasia,” as Margaret Cho might say.)

    I get a kick out of those re-packaged ’70s-’80s tours like .38 Special opening for Styx, which leads to great bar arguments about “who was better?” FWIW, I’ll take “Rockin’ Into the Night” over “Mr. Roboto.”

    On that note, anybody remember Drivin’ n’ Cryin’? A friend from Athens visited the other night & we caught their singer Kevn Kinney at a bar on Houston Street & he was great. Had a blast. Forgot how many good songs they had.

  14. Favorite name: Nippon Ham Fighters for me. It just sounds like a non sequitur or a punch line or something

  15. I just typed out three different, completely inappropriate jokes related to the Yakult Swallows but thought better am choosing not to post them. One of them was hilarious, if I say so myself.

    (Mac, I will email them to you offline?)


    ububba…saw Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ several times in concert in Athens and Atlanta and even growing up in Savannah in 8th grade! Great band.

  16. Hell, I could eat more Oreo’s in a sitting than McCann has walks… that’s not much of an indicator question if asked to me.

  17. More oreos or more times Woody Paige says something asinine on “Around the Horn”?

  18. If you want a ‘swallows’ joke, keep it family-friendly and geeky at the same time: “Are those the African or European Swallows?”

    I could out-Oreo roid-era Bonds.

    Now that I think about it, I nominate Gingersnap as Francoeur’s new nickname.

  19. Jason C-

    That was the problem. There were three jokes in my head, all were wildly inappropriate, so I emailed them to Mac.

    A perfect nickname for Francouer:

    “The Terrible Two’s”

    See, he whines like a 2 year old and hits in the low 2’s….

  20. I promise that if Francoeur ever signs a contract over there, my post will be entitled “Francoeur Sucks, Yakult @*%@^@%^$%%@$@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [ERROR ERROR ERROR]”

    Well, you get the idea.

  21. How about these sheffield rumors? I’d love to have him back as a spare outfield part, but unfortunately I don’t really see where we’d play him. A platoon of him and Ganderson would be great, but that’s what we have Diaz for…

  22. #23

    Mac, that was excellent. Did you especially like #3 on my Yakult swallows joke list?

  23. The Pogues played Atlanta a few weeks ago — I found that pretty darned unlikely, but only because I assumed Shane MacGowan would surely be dead by now.

  24. The shoulder injury shot Sheffield’s throwing arm. He was a plus right fielder as a fielder (field and throw combined) during the “Braves Years” (just my opinion, not officially verified). Now, his wheels won’t hold up and his arm is shot.

    His shoulder injury has contributed to his hitting problems. it is POSSIBLE that he could get back to 260 / 360/ 520 (with a little better line if he was used in a platoon), but you better not count on it. And, Sheffield will be a clubhouse problem if he doesn’t play as much as he thinks he should.

    For the Braves, if Diaz went down for the season, Sheffield probably makes sense. Otherwise, even at $400,000, he doesn’t add enough to put up with the “detractions”.

  25. Mac,

    If you’re going to do it later, that’s cool, but I was wondering what you’re opening day lineup would be?

  26. My lineup would probably be pretty close to what we’ll see.

    2B KJ
    SS Escobar
    3B Chipper
    C McCann
    LF Anderson/Diaz
    1B Kotchman
    RF Francoeur
    CF Schafer

  27. #30

    That lineup scares me. Mark Bradley does a column talking up McCann for MVP this season, but with the Left field platoon as back-up to Brian, he won’t see a decent pitch, all season long.

    And now we circle back as to why we should have absolutely gone after and signed, Adam Dunn.

  28. The thing I don’t like about KJ and Escobar at the top of the order is that when KJ reaches base, bobby will take the bat out of escobar’s hands… it happened so much last year. Those are two of our better bats and I’d like to see the damage they could do in the middle of the order, getting to swing away in RBI situations… But this lineup does look pretty solid top to bottom. Also, with our bench depth and the possible emergence of Schafer, maybe we will see guys on base regularly when the top of the order rolls around late in games.

  29. 31,
    What would you think of Yunel Escobar batting behind McCann? I know he’s not a power threat but he’s an RBI threat and he seems to come through in the clutch.

  30. I like that lineup Mac, and if Schafer is as good as advertised maybe we could move him to the leadoff spot eventually and put KJ second or sixth in the lineup, depending on how Kotchman does as the two hole hitter.

  31. I strongly prefer a hitter such as Yunel behind McCann…at least B-Mac will see hittable pitches.

  32. Agreed Alex R, he’s probably our third best overall hitter, him or Johnson. And being righthanded it makes more sense to move him into the middle of the lineup.

  33. @33 – What would your lineup look like with A)McCann out of the lineup (for obvious reasons) and B) Chipper out of the lineup (for when he inevitably gets hurt)

  34. #27
    Shane MacGowan & Keith Richards outliving Joe Strummer & Joey Ramone. Wouldn’t have bet on that one.

    Didn’t catch The Pogues this St. Paddy’s Day—saw the last 3 years here—but I did get a text from a friend at the Atlanta show & he said it was great.

  35. Sorry, I guess I should have made myself clearer. I didn’t mean when both were out at the same time. I meant when McCann is off for his necessary day of rest, what would the lineup look like. And then what would it be if Chipper was out, but McCann was still in.

  36. Eh, a little better than the Royals. But not too much better.

    I also don’t care too much for KJ leading off. I think he’s most suited to do it until Schafer’s ready, but it never works out for him. I think he tries to change his approach when he leads off. And it does matter, too. Look at Marcus Giles. He went to the scrap heap as soon as he had to lead off, although that can’t be entirely attributed to his spot in the batting order.

    I’m not sure the other Pogues aren’t doing the old El Cid routine with Shane MacGowan. He looks bad…not that he ever looked good, but he looks bad.

  37. Not that I’m stating the HGH case one way or another, I haven’t spent enough time studying the subject… BUT if you’re going to make a claim like “human growth hormone doesn’t affect athletic performance” shouldn’t you at least back up this “well-documented” claim with more documentation than an online opinion piece by an economist? I have a lot of respect for JC when it comes to statistical analysis and economic matters, but he isn’t an MD, and you’ve got to go two more links deep before you find a peer-reviewed piece making similar (though much more guarded) claims… might make sense to link directly to that piece, IMO.

    Also, if Jordan Schafer was covering for a teammate he should be canonized immediately… what could his teammate possibly have had more to lose than Schafer? Jordan may very well have cost himself 20-30 games in the majors if not more in 2008, put him in a hole he had to dig out of this spring, and has set himself up for a career’s worth of increased drug tests and public scrutiny. Maybe Mark Jurich saved Jordan’s dog from drowning or something?

  38. @42 and 45

    From being up here in Kansas City, where we’re all enjoying the 6’3″ 220 Mark Teahen at 2B experiment, you judge.

    You guys think Dunn is bad defensively…

    CF- Coco Crisp -S
    SS- Mike Aviles -R
    LF- David DeJesus -L
    1B- Mike “OBP” Jacobs -L
    DH- Billy Butler -R
    3B- Alex Gordon -L
    RF- Jose “OBP 2.0” Guillen -R
    2B- Mark Teahen -L
    C- Miguel Olivo -R

    Also, speaking of abuse, word on the street is that Sidney Ponson is going to start the home opener…

    Still, I’ve got to say I’m really impressed with the renovations they’ve done to Kauffman stadium. It’s always had beautiful sightlines, but it really looks good. Of course they dropped a quarter of a billion doing it…

  39. @43: To be fair, Manatee CC is the school that gave us Danny Kolb (no kidding)… and they only threw their star pitcher Gus Schlosser for one inning… otherwise they would’ve never given up 4 runs.

  40. Why not bat the pitcher 8th and Frenchy 9th? NOt that Bobby would ever do it.

  41. I think the HGH thing was something along the lines of what Mac said. There’s never been any indication that he actually used the stuff; MLB’s wording has always been careful to say, “blah blah blah in connection to an investigation of HGH blah blah” rather than actually say that he used it. Schafer’s statements have been to the effect that he never used it but he was hanging around the wrong people and that he deserved his suspension. So I figure he knew something about it but didn’t cooperate with the investigation or something.

  42. Cox never bats the pitcher anywhere in the lineup other than the ninth spot; even if it’d be justified. Babe Ruth would be batting ninth behind Corky Miller with Cox as the manager.

  43. For the record, Mac LOVES the Manatees!!!!

    (also for the record, when I first met Mac back in the Fall of 1993, we met at our dorm doing an NBA fantasy league and Mac’s team was THE MANATEES)

  44. @53 – You act like that’s not the norm. Almost every manager in the National League would do that (not a hitter like Babe Ruth, of course, which was an obvious exageration).

  45. Mac, Love the analysis of Schafer. Blunt and honest. The kid has had exactly one above average professional season. Hope the Braves penchant for defying the statistical analysis with their more subjective approach works.

    Dang I can only eat 3 or 4 Oreos at one sitting. Yikes.

  46. @47: Sorry, I didn’t realize that’s what it was. I figured it had just taken me to a specific article on JC’s blog, not a whole section devoted to HGH. However, if that section has “plenty of documentation” you really have to dig to find it. The first ten or so links are either non-HGH related, Jordan Schafer-related, or links to other posts by JC, which eventually link to an article on Slate, and study in the New England Journal of Medicine whose focus wasn’t primarily sports-focused.

    While I’ll agree that much of the media circus surrounding HGH is misleading and an obvious case of journalistic sensationalism, employing the same sort of tactics against it is counter-productive.

    A quick google search for “HGH athletic performance study” (without quotes)brings up a slough of headlines dotted with a predominance of the word “May.” Even the few articles that aren’t as qualified include quotes from respectable institutions that describe the study of HGH as in its early stages… a article quotes Charles Yesalis, Penn State professor of health and human development, who likens current HGH research to early stage research on synthetic testosterone which also failed to link its use to athletic performance.

    Pointing out the multiple studies that show inconclusive effects from HGH is important to counter the mainstream sports media’s ignorance of the nuanced debate, but you should be careful not to make the same error they’ve made by stating, as fact, something that is only educated conjecture.

  47. Bobby Cox would probably have Babe Ruth bunt Corky Miller to second (assuming Corky ever got on base). Gotta keep out of that double play.

  48. Clint Sammons with another hit and rbi today. Is it possible that the adjustments he has made with the help of TP have turned him into a hitter or is this just a fluke in a low sample amount of at bats?

  49. Abt the BABIP thing. Should depend on his % of line drives. AA is when you first start facing pitchers who can get their breaking balls over the plate consistently. So the lefty thing might not be an aberration.

    And as for Grady took him a while to figure things out too. When he was traded to the Indians, he was almost a throw in.

  50. Yeah… Bobby Cox is an idiot… that’s why he’s only won 2327 ML games, 15 division titles, 5 pennants, 4 BWAA Manager of the Year awards, 7 Sporting News Manager of the Year awards, and the 1995 World Series. Gosh, he’s such an old douche.

    You know who else sucks? Greg Maddux… I mean Warren Spahn won more games than him!?!

    Speaking of Spahn, Bobby probably would’ve batted him 9th… oh wait, so did/would every manager who ever managed not named LaRussa. There’s at most a handful of pitchers who put up numbers near Francoeur’s abyssmal 2008 campaign, and none of them play for the Braves.

    Sunday cannot come fast enough!

  51. @50

    Can you imagine the “damage to the Frency Braves relations” if Bobby did that…

    It would be awesome though

  52. So if I give HGH to my kid (pill form), will he grow taller and stronger and faster?

  53. @64: There’s one thing I do know, if you inject/dissolve hormones into something you change its chemical makeup. Whether or not that gives you a taller, stronger, faster kid is debatable, but it will do something.

    Sadly, my suspicion is that HGH would have much more noticeable effects if used earlier in the physical development process… which given the state of youth and high school sports scares the hell out of me.

  54. @65

    I’ve often thought that as well.

    The analogy that comes to mind: (that’s imperfect, but bear with me)

    If you have a car that is in neural and jack up the octane levels in the fuel, the results would probably be minimal; however, if you’re flooring it in 5th gear, boosting the octane level in the gas would have a completely different result.

    This is kind of how I view HGH, and you’re right Gadfly, the potential effects on the engine (kid) scares the hell out of me.

  55. I like this lineup:
    against lefties


    Against righties:
    Garret (no longer Ganderson) Anderson

    I hate back to back lefty hitters. Move them around and make the LOOGY’s either (1) pitch to one guy or (2) pitch to some righthaders.

    I am convinced Schafer is a Major League hitter against righties right now.

    I think Diaz will OPS near 900 against lefties as well.

  56. Reunited with Hillenmeyer, Williams, and Bennett. Boy, our Chicago-area recruiting ought to be strong over the next few years.

  57. @68: That late round pick is a third this year (and I assume a mid third since Denver missed the playoffs.) Also, the Broncos get the 18th overall pick this year, and Chicago’s 1st rounder in 2010.

    In as many words: this is, without a doubt, the WORST deal in the history of the Denver Broncos organization.

    At the end of the year this team was a few defensive pieces away from being division favorites (in the weak AFC West) next year, and they had one of the best run offenses ever, which ran smoothly this year despite having to work with a patchwork backfield. They’ve now completely destroyed the offensive machine that Shanahan had running for a decade and a half, while doing very little to address the piss poor defense.

    I was on the fence when they fired Shanahan, but figured as long as they kept the offense intact (i.e. Cutler and the key offensive coaching staff,) and brought in a respectable defensive mind to run the team it would work out… Shanahan wasn’t getting it done from a personnel standpoint on defense, but something could have been done to reduce his power in that realm.




  58. @67: I like those lineups too, there really is a lot of flexibility in this group (which can be a sign of both good and bad.) The only changes I would maybe make would be to flip Diaz with McCann, and flip Francoeur with Kotchman. That is unless Diaz and Francoeur bounce back to better than 2007 levels from the start. I might also swith KJ and Francoeur in your v.RHP lineup to keep from lining up 3 lefties in a row.

    I am intrigued with moving Escobar into the middle of the lineup, but I’d give Diaz a shot to prove ’06-’07 wasn’t a fluke first.

  59. Billy-jay – Have you ever been on one of those super-crowded Japanese trains? I saw a video today – Yikes!

  60. An interview with JC is up at Chop-n-Change — and, since he’s effectively retired from blogging, this is a scoop!

    I like Mac’s idea of putting Kotchman further up in the lineup; if he can hit well enough (get on base well enough) to hit in the first 5 spots in the lineup, our lineup will score runs. If not, we’ll struggle.

    I was thinking about an optimum lineup a few days ago, as I hit upon a blog post about Tangotiger, MGL, and Andy Dolphin’s lineup analysis in The Book, which states that your best hitters, ranked by on-base ability, should be seeded throughout the lineup as follows: #1, #4, #2, #5, #3, #6, #7, #8, #9.

    That leads me to something like:

    Yunel Escobar
    Brian McCann
    Casey Kotchman
    Chipper Jones
    Kelly Johnson
    Jordan Schafer
    Left field
    Jeff Francoeur

  61. As a Packer fan, I can say that I’m still not scared of the Bears. Their defense isn’t getting any younger and Cutler is going to be forced to throw to a group of inexperienced-to-bad receivers behind a swiss cheese line. Not to mention Cutler is a crybaby punk. No offense, Vandy alums, but his behavior throughout all this has been laughably juvenile.

    But uhh..the Braves…well, actually, I had a discussion the other day about who the better baseball player was between Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson. What do y’all think?

  62. @42

    I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of opportunities for both McCann and Chipper to be out of the line up simultaneously this year..


  63. Cutler’s no punk, but he’s certainly handled this situation about as immaturely as possible. Heck of a QB, though.

    (No need to apologize; I can’t figure why any VU alum would be offended by someone’s opinion of Jay Cutler. FWIW, I doubt you’d find too many VU peeps who don’t think Jay has acted like a baby, though I could be mistaken.)

  64. I’d be pissed if I were Cutler too. Chicago is a great place for him if he can put up the same numbers as he did last season

  65. Cutler will not put up the same #s he did last year, since he now has almost no talent around him.

  66. Loving the interviews, AAR.

    Interesting lineup, particularly the distribution of power.

    Edit: And yeah, Kevn Kinney is an amazing songwriter. Those early DNC records hold up really well. I’ll never forget seeing them and the Hoodoo Gurus at UAH back in the day. The current incarnation ain’t to shabby either.

  67. url,
    Yeah, I liked DnC better when they were less metallic, especially when they were a trio.

    The other night, Kinney was playing with Anton Fier on drums. He had a band called Madison Square Gardeners opening—that kid’s a really good songwriter, too.

    BTW, Kinney’s a Braves fan. Says it comes from the fact that he’s from Milwaukee & he lived there before the Brewers ever showed up. He used to trade baseball cards with Johnny Ramone, who was also a total baseball geek.

  68. @16 (and 14):

    Yeah, that’s pretty much why they’re my favorite team name.


    It’s cool if you think their name is the Ham Fighters, but it’s just that the company that sponsors them is Nippon Ham. Much less interesting.

  69. Yeah, Fier’s pretty versatile. Kinney plays this place National Underground every Monday night, apparently. Gonna hafta check it out again.

  70. Hey, Earl, thanks so much for the compliment on the interviews! Anyone you want me to get?

    I want to love the Feelies, and their guitar work’s absolutely incredible, but I always find the singer’s Lou Reed impression really, really distracting.

    My goodness, I just checked out Fier’s wikipedia — he was in the Feelies and the Voidoids, and played with Pere Ubu, Bill Laswell, John Zorn, and Jack Bruce, and now he’s playing with Kevn Kinney… that’s one of the coolest rock resumes I’ve heard in a while.

    Almost as cool as trading baseball cards with Johnny Ramone.

  71. Fier played with Bob Mould, too, in his post-Husker Du/pre-Sugar period. Pretty good trio with Tony Maimone on bass. I always thought it shoulda been called Husker Ubu.

  72. Re@74
    Fine interview, Alex.
    Still waiting for that Erin Andrews interview.
    (Bet you are, too!)

    About JC’s interview, he talks a bit about attendance. I’m having trouble understanding how much influence good/bad attendance has on a ballclub’s finances at the MLB level.

    In “The Yankee Years”, Tom Verducci makes much of the notion that the Evil Empire’s ability to grab top free agaents was greatly hampered by the revenues from MLB Internet ventures and the luxury tax. He contends a small or mid-market team could use these moneys to sign players through their 20’s (think Hafner, Sabbathia, Holladay…Braun would be next.)
    Did Bud accidently do something smart by getting all teams to share online revenues?

  73. Kevin Lee at 92,

    There are many studies of affect of team performance on revenue (regular season). Basically, it gradually increases from 70 win territory to 85 or so. then it increases at a little faster rate to about 96 wins (likley to playofs, assured of playoffs, get it). After that (96 wins or so) little affect on in season revenue.

    But, there are significant revenue “kickers” from postseason appearances. For each level farther you advance, they increase. These are cause by increased direct post season revenue on games and such, increased merchandise sales, and increased season ticket sales.

    I don’t know how to get the numbers exactly, but I think I know enough about the way it has been estimated by knowledgeable people (of which JC is definitely one) to believe they have a sufficient handle for forecasting.

  74. I love Drivin’ n Cryin’. First show I ever went to at a club was DNC at 13-13 in Charlotte on my 18th birthday. Just amazing.

    Last month, I saw a chalk-board list of events in the area in a hotel lobby. At the very bottom read “Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ @ Cowboys.” Cowboys is a local club in Kennesaw, GA. I couldn’t help be reminded of the Puppet Show w/ Spinal Tap sign. The good news is that in Atlanta they still play DNC on the radio. Kevn Kinney’s first solo record is one of my all-time favorites.

  75. Cliff@92
    Thanks for your insight!
    I looking to see if the clubs use gate receipts to pay players. Would higher attendance mean better players?
    During a Reds broadcast at the trade deadline when Barry Larkin was due for his last contract, then Reds GM Jim Bowden said if their attendance was up, they could afford Larkin.
    Bob Costas called him on making a connection and he backed off. Think what you will of Bowden. You couldn’t think less of him than I do.

  76. I don’t recall being particularly amused by the “Power Rankings” last year… but these pre-season ones have a few good lines:

    Some of my favorites:

    2. Boston Red Sox (95-67) – Pedroia begins defense of MVP season by growing dreadlocks, complaining of suffocating Boston fishbowl.

    4. Philadelphia Phillies (92-70) – Jamie Moyer comes clean, admits he was one who “might have dropped” Liberty Bell.

    6. Los Angeles Angels (100-62) – Management tells Vlad it gets joke, he can stop running like Fred Sanford now.

    7. New York Mets (89-73) – Minaya has just about enough, slaps restraining order on Pedro Martinez.

    12. Milwaukee Brewers (90-72) – Prince Fielder comes off vegetarian fare, celebrates by eating two racing sausages and Craig Counsell.

    14. Atlanta Braves (72-90) – GM Frank Wren, wondering where the hell Furcal is, fines shortstop for missing all of camp.

    And probably the best of the lot?

    20. Texas Rangers (79-83) – Annoyed by whole thing, Nolan Ryan kicks crap out of entire pitching staff, starts home opener himself.

  77. Stu,

    I agree, both sides really acted terribly.

    He did great at Vandy with little talent around him


    Probably not worth the read unless you’re bored at work (I skimmed)… but I love the end of the season.

    Sept. 30: Final day of the season, Yankees and Red Sox tied for wild- card lead.

    Sheets is brilliant, shutting down a collection of Royals backups. But John Smoltz is even better at Fenway Park, stifling the Blue Jays with a complete-game shutout.

    This is the only way I hope to see the Sox in the playoffs… if it gets John another shot and he’s the guy who brought them there.

  79. Well, the common thread will be Earl Bennett, who I’d suggest you target in your fantasy leagues. That dude’s gonna have a big year.

  80. Stu,

    Lol, that is why I said “little’ tallent. Bennett really was the only person he had.

    I still say they got screwed in that Florida game.

  81. OMG, that Florida / Vandy officiating was hideous.

    Thought you guys got the short end of it against Georgia two years ago, as well.

  82. IF Shaefer is in then how about this lineup against Leftys ?? If shaefer is truly bad against leftys …

    KJ – 2b
    Escobar – ss
    C JOnes -3b
    McCann – c
    Diaz – rf
    G. Anderson – lf
    Francour – cf
    Kotchman or Prado-1b

  83. Infante would be a better replacement in CF than Frenchy. And good lord, no more Prado at first.

  84. #98 – no offense, but I hope it us in the playoffs and John watching from his couch. He left because he wanted to win and I understand that, but I pull for no team except the Braves. Now the Braves and the Red Sox against each other would be fine, but I would hope that he gets shelled against us

  85. @98,

    No offense to Smoltz, but the idea that he is going to ever pitch another complete game shutout is, IMO, pure fantasy. The guy has a bad arm and is 41.

  86. I love Smoltzie too, despite that sickening Red Sox uniform he now wears, but yeah, when he comes back and pitches, I think he’ll be very effective, but NO WAY he pitches a CG for the Sox.

    Terry Francona is smarter then to allow that to try and happen.

  87. csg, I wasn’t saying I hoped they would make it to the playoffs instead of us… just that the only way I’d want to see them in the playoffs at ALL is if it is a John Smoltz show. I’m certainly not pulling for them.

    I don’t expect him to pitch any complete games either… though I’d be happy as a clam to see him come back for 25 starts and end the season in the Cy Young hunt with 20+ wins and an ERA of 1.05… as long as he’s not beating up on us to get there.

  88. Mets are close to signing Sheffield and say they’ll give him significant time in LF and RF. Murphy and Church would be better options wouldnt they? You think Sheffield could catch up to a Hanson fastball? Scouts say his bat has slowed significantly

  89. Frankly, I thought Smoltz acted like a spoiled brat with respect to the Braves and then he shit on them in the press. I have no particular feeling toward him one way or the other. I don’t wish him poorly but I really couldn’t care less if he succeeds or not. Let’s see how he likes Boston when he has a bad game.

  90. @109: To be fair, Sheffield’s bat from his heyday could’ve slowed significantly and still caught up to a Kenny Powers fastball… that said, Sheffield appears to be a shell of the player he used to be in all facets of the game, and I can’t wait to see him assume the Mets role as their next hyped up failure.

  91. Yes Marc, I do recall your heated opinion on the Smoltz matters.

    I’m not expecting Sheffield to be anything special for whomever gets him… but I’d rather it not be a division rival on the off chance he catches fire.

  92. Sheffield is done. I hope the Mets waste a few hundred AB’s to figure that out.

  93. More embarassing? Losing to the Manatee Community College team? or not being able to beat the team that just lost to MCC in 9 innings?

  94. Look at that disparity in price between Yanks and Braves though… Yanks have more seats in the new park than Turner Field does… And was it just me or did the Johnny Damon quote sound like a royal jackass?

    “It’s tough. New York can withstand it,” he said. “Coming to this plush building, I think it’s definitely something that people want to see. I mean, those are great seats. It’s going to be tough for a family to afford but, you know, but we’ll let the people upstairs worry about that.”

  95. And as I run away from the office after what was, by Wednesday, a very long week…. SI is reporting Shef has agreed to the Mets.

  96. It’s not a bad move for the Mets. Let’s face it, they need some insurance in case the whole “Murphy” thing doesn’t work out in LF (which I always thought was a questionable proposition in the first place). I’m not sure if Sheff’s got anything left, but if he does, that could be a very nice addition.

    On a side-note, the current tag-line is my favorite in a while.

  97. Greetings from El Salvador…

    Four tacos & 2 local brews @ the Intercontinental Hotel: $11.

    Not bad, even if I did have to discuss last week’s USA-El Salvador soccer match with the bar man. (A 2-2 draw, greatly depressing the locals who blew a 2-0 lead.)

    Citi Field Carcinogen
    I like the worst-case scenario for Sheffield at Shea, er, Bailout Field: He doesn’t hit, but still poisons the water.

    FWIW, I think Murphy will hit just fine. He just doesn’t have a legit position.

    BTW, Johnny Damon really is an idiot.

  98. I think I am happy about Jordon Schaffer making the opening day roster. I just have one question though, does this automatically mean Cox has to use KJ in the leadoff spot? Has that ship not sailed to the port of really good ideas in theory, but don’t work AT ALL!!!!!!!!

    All joking aside, KJ sucks at leadoff. Although the braves have no true leadoff hitter now, they are better off with ANYONE but KJ up there.

    BTW, I have a new idea for the glossary:
    Escoboner (n) an error in the field or judgement where a Braves player makes a throw that sails 10 foot over the intended base when they would have been better off just holding the ball or throwing to a cutoff man.

  99. Final roster decisions were made today

    Schafer is the CF
    Bullpen: Gonzo, Soriano, Moylan, Boyer, Carlyle, Campillo, Bennett, O’Flaherty

  100. Oh, and David Ross is starting the year on the DL, so Clint Sammons also made the team.

  101. Stu,
    My roommate Luke Hammond thinks be might remember you- he wants me to try and get on touch with you- email me at clarkenewton @ gmail . Com

    He’s interested to know what you think of the cutler trade

  102. As the resident “Daniel Murphy is my next door neighbor here in Jacksonvile FLA guy”, I’m pissed the Mets signed Sheffield to be honest.

    Daniel actually allows me not to wish Citi Field would implode.

  103. i know i’m late on this, but if i’m a Bronco fan, i’m walking around with a big smile these days………………not only did they get a pretty decent QB and 2 first round picks, they got rid of a guy who is even more of a whiny crybaby than a certain RF we all know and love…. as soon as he found out the new coach didnt think the sun rises and sets on his golden ass, we learned a lot about Mr. Cutler.

  104. I think the Broncos mightve accepted that offer even if they werent trying to trade him. Thats a pretty nice compensation for someone who wouldnt show up to play anyways

  105. Agreed on Cutler. He’ll do what he did at Vandy. Put up decent numbers and never play in the postseason.

  106. Wait? A quarterback with an ego? Stop the presses!

    Cutler had every right to be personally offended by McDaniels’ inquiries into Cassell, and even more so with the way he went about it. Then, after the whole issue arose it became a “he said, he said” sort of situation, and its hard to know who’s telling the truth. As a lifelong Broncos fan it worries me that McDaniels wasn’t able to get off his ass, and meet with the future of the franchise face to face without taking that as another opportunity to play a power trip. Obviously Jay wasn’t free from blame, but it certainly cuts both ways, and I hope Josh learns from this situation… if he doesn’t he won’t last long in this league.

    Now that the actual details of the deal came out it looks slightly better than it did when first announced (the Broncos giving up a 5th instead of a 3rd, and receiving a 3rd this year.) That said, we still aren’t anywhere near as close to competing as we were 3 months ago when Shanahan got canned. If the draft goes well I think we can reload quickly, but this team was a minor defensive overhaul away from being serious Super Bowl contenders… and now all we’ve done is start over on offense, and continue a minor patchwork job on defense.

    In the long run if we draft well the deal works out, but we basically traded away any shot at Super Bowl contention next year, and that blows. Also, you’ve got to realize that the trade made Chicago a prohibitive favorite to win their division next year, which would make next year’s pick even later than the 18th pick they sent us this year… I would’ve rather got a couple picks this year, and an impact defensive player, or dealt him to Detroit for the chance to draft Matt Stafford, but we didn’t get fleeced… which was my worry after we basically threw away all leverage when we let the situation get out of hand.

    As for “never playing in the postseason”: Jay was one win away from making the postseason this year, and that was despite a 2008 Braves-like injury riddled backfield and a defense with more holes than Swiss cheese. In that wide open NFC North, he’ll make the playoffs next year (and probably lose.)

  107. Rob Cope I actually should designate myself as ‘at my last house I lived next to Daniel Murphy’. His folks live over by St. Luke’s hospital off Belfort Road.

    We moved to 210 over by Cimarrone Golf Club.

  108. As a Chargers fan (childhood in San Diego – Dad in aerospace), I’m enjoying the cluster in Denver. But I save my truly negative impulses for the Orks of Oakland, so I feel bad for an historically well-run franchise.

    But, Gadfly, I gotta tell ya – that new coach of yours is not ready for prime time. What a tool. He’s clearly trying to be Belichik (sp?) without having earned it.

    I predict a short, brutish tenure.

    Also, I predict Shanahan will show up in Chicago if the Bears struggle.

  109. Gadfly, as someone who could care less about the situation, the employer has the right to look into any player available to see how they would fit on his team. They dont owe Cutler a dang thing and he isnt in a situation to demand answers either, now Cutler and the fan base have the right to be mad and thats fair but he needs to grow up and learn how to communicate better. Cutler is receiving his check, a nice one at that, if the team thinks its in their best interest to trade him then so be it, but they dont owe him an explanation or anything to that matter. If they volintarily offer it to him that may ease the situation a little, but Cutler has no right to miss team meetings and workouts

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