Rockies 5, Braves 1

Colorado Rockies vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – May 18, 2009 – ESPN

This team disgusts me. For one thing, why is it that the worst hitters are also bad defensive players? Francoeur, in the third inning, lollygagged on a routine hit to right, allowing a runner from first to get to third. That runner then scored the game’s first run on a groundout. After the Braves tied it up (on a bases-loaded GIDP from Kotchman, one of four GIDPs on the night), ACHE did his part, “gliding” after a flare that any other left fielder catches, then letting it pop off his glove and turn an out into a leadoff double. That runner then scored on a groundout/fielder’s choice to give the Rockies the lead. Derek Lowe was great; the team behind him, not so much. Lowe’s the one who gets charged the loss.

Any chance of a comeback died in the ninth, when Yunel ole’d a ball that should have been a double play (charged an error) and by the time Peter Moylan, who was brought in with runners on base even though he sucks with runners on base, had done his thing, three runs, two of them “unearned”, had scored.

Francoeur is awful, awful, awful. He was 0-3 and swings at anything. The Braves offense essentially gave up after Chipper grounded into a double play in the sixth.

146 thoughts on “Rockies 5, Braves 1”

  1. I cant believe this awful team is just one game under 500 … pitiful offense production .. FIRE PENDLETON !! FIRE SOMEBODY PLEASE !! Weak defensively in LF, 3B , 2b … no power at all from anybody !!!!! Unbelievable …. lowe is saying ‘what was I thinking ??’ didnt know the offense was this dang bad !!! Braves will probabaly just let year play out and hope young guys get here quick and dont regree like Shaefer … immediate future looks bleak .. Chipper starting to look aged and stiff !!!

  2. And here I thought this past offseason that the Braves’ corner outfield couldn’t get any worse….

  3. How bad does Francoeur have to suck before they run his worthless ass out of town? For Christ’s sake.

  4. This team’s lineup is strictly pop-gun, no matter the hitting coach. I’m not sure TP has a lot to do with it.

    And happy birthday, Nature Boy.

  5. Your birthday? That’s nothing, ric. (Sincerest birthday wishes to you regardless, but let me elaborate.) I went to Turner Field the day after I got married with my new bride and my parents — because we weren’t flying out to the Virgin Islands until the following day and my mom had not yet been to the stadium and was on her way back to Florida — and watched the debacle against the Mets two weeks ago. If you’re hoping this team will win for you on a special occasion, you’re liable to be disappointed.

    This team is power-deficient, played a pair of useless corner outfielders tonight and has no margin for error. My expectations have dropped and I have simply come to expect nights like this … even though I still get down about each loss and keep tuning every night hoping for something to change — or simply out of blind loyalty with which I am saddled for life.

  6. My birthday is April 8th. This year the Braves celebrated by blowing that huge lead against the Phillies.

    What was it? Seven runs I think.

  7. When I turned 10, I had one of those “picnic area” birthdays at Atlanta Fulton-County Stadium & got to see Davey Johnson hit a grand slam off Dock Ellis.

  8. #6

    How can you think TP has no culpability? Outside of the few players like Chipper and Mac who need little coaching (and use their dads when they do), the other hitters often look as if they have no plan, no ability to adjust and no idea how to hit in a given situation. I’ll grant the talent isn’t great, but you can’t lay it all on talent. I see other teams with supposedly lesser talent take better AB’s on a more consistent basis.

  9. Maybe now that Francoeur’s super important batting average is in the .240s the ax will come soon.

  10. Yunel’s been good, Kotchman has improved by leaps and bounds since escaping the Magic Kingdom, and Infante and Prado are far better hitters than we had any reason to expect. TP has done some good work. He’s also done some bad work, but I think Francoeur is a lost cause.

  11. For those who thought the Braves could have beaten Garland on Sunday, think again.

  12. Now, I’m usually a KJ supporter, but it’s time for him to start hitting. He had an 0-4 again tonight. For the umpeenth time, Bobby needs to get him out of the leadoff spot. It’s killing us.

  13. Yunel has an OBP about .380 now, and keeps hitting into double plays. Why not him for leadoff? Yunel-Kotchman-Chipper-McCann puts our four best hitters in a row; that’s the only arrangement that makes sense.

  14. Francoeur leads the team in RBI, so I’m not hopeful.

    He is easily the worst baseball player I’ve ever seen. Worse than Mondesi. Worse than Kolb. Worse than Brogna.

  15. “How can you think TP has no culpability? Outside of the few players like Chipper and Mac who need little coaching (and use their dads when they do), the other hitters often look as if they have no plan, no ability to adjust and no idea how to hit in a given situation. I’ll grant the talent isn’t great, but you can’t lay it all on talent. I see other teams with supposedly lesser talent take better AB’s on a more consistent basis.”

    It’s funny to see Infante and Prado seem to be able to hit, but they are on the bench. Guess TP is helping someone. Very interesting.

    At this point, I’m tired of complaining about the inconsistent KJ. Almost getting into Frenchy territory.

  16. @15: Great points, which is why we should all be scratching our heads at the regular lineup. Some decent answers are right there on the roster. Prado is defensively deficient and Infante might have his struggles in the outfield, but when you see Francoeur and Anderson costing the team runs on defensive struggles and KJ continuing to flail, why not shake up the lineup?

    Unfortunately, Bobby can’t divorce what he wants a player to be from what he is. Yes, we all wanted Francoeur to be an all-star after his rookie season. It ain’t happening. He is mired in a 14-month slump and continues to make rookie mistakes. Yes, it would have been nice if Anderson was the answer in left; even though virtually none of us believed it would happen, we all hoped to be wrong. Hasn’t worked.

    Bobby’s biggest failure right now is confusion of hope with reality. He finally saw the light with Jo-Jo (and he’s doing the right thing by keeping him in the ‘pen, IMHO) and I hope he wakes up in regards to the deficiencies elsewhere in the lineup before it’s too late.

  17. My birthday was March 26, so it was a spring training game (if there was even one on that day.) I dunno, they probably lost that too.

  18. @11 JC please know that I respect you very much for your thoughtful analysis but but but how many RP did Mondesi have?

    Honestly guys. Unless that is y’all get some perverse entertainment value out of it, why argue with Gadfly? Unless y’all think Gadfly is Bobby in internet congnito extolling the virtues of a player that obviously has the pictures, the video, and for good measure the audio too.

    All the consternation at Gadfly’s misguided Frenchy fetish should really be directed at Bobby. He has the final say so on who plays and who doesn’t (conspiracy theories aside).

    Finally. They say that baseball is 75% pitching. Well that may be true but when your entire outfield and your 2b are under performing to the degree that they are you get shotty defense and your bullpen is hit and miss you get a ….. (drum roll) .500 team. The hell of it is that the Braves have done the hard part. They have 3 plus starters a decent 4th and options for the 5th starter. Plus arms at set up and closer. Frustrating.

  19. Well, the last two ballgames were absolutely atrocious for the Braves. Let’s hope this gets it out of their systems, and isn’t a sign of things to come.

  20. I’m usually a Kelly Johnson supporter too, but he needs to be dropped in the order. Maybe start against lefties instead for a game or two.

    Since it is KJ, he’ll probably go a tear sometime and bring his stats back up to respectable.

  21. This team is not worth getting upset about.

    Oh BTW, since the chipper HR on Friday, the braves have scored 2 runs. (24 innings).

    Bad teams have a hard time doing that. That just doesn’t happen to teams that are any good.

  22. To this team OPs is shorthand for Operations – something doctor’s do. Frenchy just looks like a player, and he’ll turn it around soon, really! And ACHE – he’s a .300 hitter just waiting to bust out, don’t you know?

    Is it too much to ask for 80 straight rain outs until we get some players who can hit?

  23. I would much rather see ACHE get released and we trade a starter for a power hitting LF than see Francoeur traded. I agree with Mac; Yunel-Kotchman-Larry-McCann as our first 4 hitters would serve us well, especially since Kotchman is more likely to hit a single or double and get on base than drive in a run. It’s the rest that freakin scares me. We NEED a LF with power, not one on the verge of collecting social security.

  24. According to Carroll Rogers on the AJC, tonight’s crowd was the smallest in Turner Field history.

    If people quit going, maybe that will spur ownership into doing something.

  25. As far as I concern, we can bring in Rangers’ hitting coach to replace TP and our offense would still suck. It’s the lack of talents.

    I have always wanted to have Yunel leading off with Kotchman batting second, but Bobby didn’t even bother to try that in spring training.

  26. I got an idea for a poll question. It is real simple

    700 runs for the Braves Offense

    Over???? or Under?????

  27. Yunel-Kotchman-Larry-McCann …Why can’t Cox see that? I mean w/o any question whatsoever these are the best 4 hitters on the team. We need to win every game possible before Chipper breaks a nail.

    Wait who am I kidding, I just the Braves finish ahead of the Nationals. BTW, Manny Acta you are on the clock.

  28. Our problems in leftfield and rightfield are basically the same. If not for Prado and Infante, we would have the same problem at second base too.

  29. If I had to take a guess, I’d say that Bobby is trying to spread the suckiness evenly throughout the lineup, instead of grouping it all in the 5-9 spots.

    What LF do we want that is actually attainable? Matt Holliday would be ideal; a right-handed bat on a team that is going to be out of contention fairly soon (at least sooner than Atlanta). Adam Dunn would be an intimidating presence, but he’s a lefty.

  30. Guys, if we trade much of value for a rental player, we are making a terrible move in a year that should be a rebuilding one.

    I just have the feeling that we aren’t going anywhere with Frenchy in right.

    Also, why not:
    ACHE / Diaz

  31. Odd request: does anyone know why the Astros traded Rusty Staub in 1969? (This will eventually be relevant to the discussion.) Who trades a 24-year-old All Star for Jesus Alou and Donn Clendennon?

  32. This is going to be my longest post ever…

    @24 Johnny,

    What took you so long in coming to this conclusion? I called Gadfly out for his trolling weeks and weeks ago, and no one listened, even after I explained to everyone what he’s all about. A social gadfly is someone who upsets the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or just being an irritant.

    Some people trust dictionaries, so here’s the definition of gadfly:

    a person who persistently annoys or provokes others with criticism, schemes, ideas, demands, requests, etc.

    Every single person here who has earnestly and honestly argued with him has completely wasted their time, as he announced his intention flagrantly and never once tried to hide or deny the fact that he’s here simply to stir the pot.

    That Francoeur sucks is one of the few things we can almost unanimously agree on, so he accomplishes his goal to maximum effect by defending Francoeur ad naseum. I’m convinced that if there was something else we had a collective understanding of, he’d try to poke holes in that too.

    I post to and read this board mostly because I appreciate the intellect, personality, and attitude of the site owner and frequent commenters. Any time any of you even reads Gadfly’s posts, let alone responds to them, I die a little inside. This site is rather unique on the web for maintaining the atmosphere that it does without devolving into typical internet babble like you see on other blogs.

    Gadfly serves no purpose and does not even foster worthwhile debate, because he’s unwilling to engage in any real discussions. He ignores everything any of us say. Even if he responds to specific arguments, he still ignores them, in that he readily and instantly dismisses them, and merely concocts some convoluted or overly simplistic methodology to undermine the premise.

    Not a single one of us would tolerate a person in real life behaving this way in any social setting. Part of what is nice about this blog is that most of us here would probably get along fairly well at a Braves game, a bar, or, I hate to say, a concert. Why we tolerate Gadfly’s antics on this site is beyond me.

    Every thread is hijacked needlessly and it isn’t Gadfly’s fault. It’s everyone else’s fault for refusing to respond in the thread the way you would face to face. Laugh it off as ridiculous and ignore him. I implore you all as I hate reading page after page of you guys smashing your heads against a brick wall to no avail. Do like Stu and I do and just ignore him until he goes away.

  33. McCann the Man. Just forget this season. Too many holes to fill.

    Besides, Matt Holliday can’t hit for power outside of Coors. I thought Beane would know better…

  34. kc, I’m sorry….I am a Detroit Lions fan, I seriously have nothing else to root for because as much as we all think the Braves are a lost cause, there are some franchises that are much worse off than ours…

  35. Can we just play with the six (infielders and pitcher) and agree to take outs for the outfielders? Oh wait, that’s what we’re already doing…

  36. Well said, Dix.

    One of these days I’ll learn to pass by the trolls. ;-)

    And in 3….2….1…..

  37. @34 and 41

    I’ve posted it multiple times now, but if we can take on the salary, Jermaine Dye would be the best fit.

    @39 Well said. Since I’ve moved from Atlanta, this has been my favorite place to come to shoot the s**t about the Braves. The BS you refer to drags the place down. Hopefully, more take your advice

  38. Fire Bobby Cox. And Terry Pendleton. NOW!

    This is unacceptable! Lowe on the mound and we score one fucking run!

  39. It’s no wonder this offense struggles when your cleanup hitter has ZERO homers and your team leader only has four.

  40. 45 – They’d have to take Ryne Reynoso for Dye, in my opinion.

    I just don’t think it is worth giving away more than a second tier prospect for a guy who might make us easier to watch, but won’t get us to the playoffs.

    Dye has to be worth more to other teams.

  41. hankonly, you can bring in whoever you want as manager and batting coach and the result will still be the same. Our offense just lacks talent.

    McCann the Man, you can look forward to watching the Stafford and Calvin Johnson combo!

  42. #16–and that would be me….

    Losses happen, but we are consistently underpowered. For those who thought that Wren did such a great job in the offseason, these types of defeats were entirely predictable. We knew at the end of last season that we needed two corner outfielders. All we did was add Garrett Anderson and I am afraid that sending Blanco to Gwinnett County and bringing up Schafer the Braves may have damaged the development and value (whatever value Blanco had) of both players….

  43. How can you think TP has no culpability?

    Because hitting coaches at the major league level make no difference. That’s my reason anyway.

    Can anybody think of a similar situation as the Francoeur mess at any time for any franchise? This is year five of him just sucking the life out of the team. Has anyone played this badly, everyday, for this long with no end in sight? It just goes on and on…

  44. For those who thought that Wren did such a great job in the offseason, these types of defeats were entirely predictable.

    I always wonder how some people were giving him high marks for this offseason. He was like a student who had two hours (the money he had to spend) to take a test with three questions (rotation, bullpen, outfield).

    He spent 1:58 on the first question answering it completely and let’s say correctly, he skipped the second question, and quickly wrote down a wrong answer for the third.

    How big does the curve have to be for that effort to get a high grade?

  45. If we want a comparison made, lets just write to Bill Simmons. I’m sure he knows what movie Francoeur is most like.


    Not only does he suck and have no idea about on base percentage, which actually is shown on the scoreboard at Turner Field, but also…

    RCMP have charged Francoeur with one count of sexual touching, one count of sexual exploitation and one count of sexual assault.

    Francoeur came to the attention of the Spiritwood RCMP owing to a complaint on December 3rd. Reportedly the complaint stated that the relationship stretched between September 1 and November 30, 2008.

    context? what context?

  46. @48

    Would you give up Jo Jo for Dye?

    I think I would. With the Phillies pathetic pitching and Delgado being out, the division is open for the taking.

    Who knows when time will eventually catch up with Lowe/Chipper? If we’ll have Gonzalez or Soriano in the bullpen next year(or suitable replacements)? If the team will be healthy?

    There are just too many question marks that a team faces year to year to not seize an opportunity. Dye would be a substantial upgrade over an average player, and if it got Frenchy out of the lineup, the effect would be augmented that much more.

    What it boils down to, IMO, is that this team will not be able to consistently win with the offensive production that it currently has.

  47. I don’t think that trading is tne answer–because our team is more than a ‘player or two away’. Unless the other teams in our division collapse, the Braves will not get anywhere near the playoffs. The Braves need to concentrate on rebuilding–which includes finding a rightfielder….

  48. @56

    I don’t agree.

    The rotation is good and has depth. The bullpen isn’t perfect, but the backend is solid. The infield is legitimate and the bench is a strength.

    The only glaring weakness (this year) is the outfield. I really do think that if you replaced Frency with Dye and plugged him in the 4 hole, while you might not have a perfect team, you’d be as good as anyone in the NL (except maybe the Dodgers with Manny)

    That being the case, how could you not go for it?

  49. #18,
    Agree 100%, I’ve been calling for Yunel in the leadoff spot all season and Kotchman in the #2 spot is a good idea too. Not that I think the line-up is really that important, but if you’re going to go with a traditional line-up, Yunel, Kotchman, Chipper, Mac makes the most sense. After that you’ve got ACHE, KJ, Frenchy, and K’fer. Doesn’t really matter what order you bat them in. I guess ACHE 5th (ugh!), KJ 6th (ugh), Frenchy 7th (yuck), and K’fer 8th (eh) makes the most sense.

  50. #58,
    I sort of agree. Replace Frenchy with Dye and ACHE/Diaz with Willingham and some other left handed outfielder (even Brandon Jones, he’s hit .350 this month), and you’ve got something cooking. But Dye makes 11 million this year, so that’s an issue.

  51. @58: I can think of 12.5 million reasons why I would take a much longer look at this team before trading away quality talent for a rental like Dye. We’ve been down this road before, except that time was for a 1B named Teixeira.

    @39 & 44: Can someone explain what trolling is? From what I gather around here it involves sharing an opinion that might be different from other peoples… Where I’m from I call that expressing yourself… While we’re doing definitions, here’s a much better one for the term Gadfly: “used by Plato in the “Apology” to describe Socrates’ relationship of uncomfortable goad to the Athenian political scene, which he compared to a slow and dimwitted horse.”

    Now that we know what Gadfly means, how about Dix: The plural of 1) “a person, especially a man, regarded as mean or contemptible.” 2) “A penis.”

    I’d spend more time to point out how you’re misinterpreting me, but obviously you’re past the point of caring… and that feeling is mutual. There are usually enough people around here who actually take the time to consider opposing viewpoints, I’m not going to beg you to do the same.

  52. There is now a 3% approval rating for Francoeur, and a 97% disapproval rating with 97 votes cast. This is pretty telling.

  53. 55 – At this point, I think I value Reynoso more than Jo-Jo. That should answer your question.

  54. Crapola – Don’t tell me Angel Pagan just won this game for the Mets with 2 outs in the 11th!

  55. Mac, I usually consider you as one of the people I mentioned above that actually considers ideas before discarding them… but I have to say your reply to my last question this afternoon appears to have made without any actual consideration of the data I presented.

    In the previous thread (Sunday Game thread, two threads before this one) I laid out a pretty thorough analysis, which you appeared to not even glance at before dismissing as “baroque.”

    The analysis is rather long, so I won’t repeat it here, but it is at the very end of the Sunday Game thread for anyone that wants to see it. For brevity’s sake I’ll only reply to your objections: “Francoeur has ‘produced’ more runs because he has (a) played in virtually every game”… First off, you can remove the parentheses, because these are actually runs that were produced… while there are other people who could lay claim to producing parts of these runs, it is really hard to deny that a run was not produced during the scoring of an RP. Now to your actual objection: Since opportunities were controlled for, the amount of games played makes no impact on my analysis, other than to enlarge the sample size and thus increase the confidence in which we can assert that the result isn’t a statistical anomaly.

    Your second objection: “(b) normally has hit directly behind Chipper and McCann, so the majority of the time he comes up someone is on base.” Makes the exact same error. The analysis I quoted adjusts for RBI opportunities, that is the number of runners on base in every PA. The only thing it doesn’t adjust for is the speed and baserunning ability of those runners, but as you point out Chipper and McCann were a large proportion of Jeff’s RBI opportunities, and they weren’t exactly burning up the basepaths.

    Your conclusion was thus: “Francoeur drives, or drove, in runs because he had a fairly high batting averages and a lot of RBI opportunities. He barely scores any runs, because he is never on base. He makes a lot of outs. He hurts the team.”

    Again the number of RBI opportunities was controlled for, so that argument holds no weight. I’m not sure how you would hold having a high batting average against someone… I know sabermetrics operates under the theory that OBP is more important than AVG and that theory generally holds true, but that doesn’t mean you can stretch it to knock a guy because of a high batting average. You are correct that the difference partly stems from his high average, and from his propensity to put the ball in play with runners in scoring position, rather than take a walk.

    In brief, I showed that Jeff’s 2007 run production, the actual runs he played a part in, was better than Garrett Atkins’ 2007 run production, despite Atkins’ much higher OPS (.853 to .782,) OW% (.612 to .524,) and RC (6.5 to 5.4.) I compared him with all 34 100+ RBI guys in 2007, but Atkins proved to be the closest comparison, so I’ll only mention him here.

    Now unless anyone can show me where I have erred in my analysis, or raise any substantive objections to my methodology, I see absolutely no basis to conclude that Jeff’s 2007 was nothing short of a solid everyday-caliber Major Leaguer performance… at least as solid as Garrett Atkins’.

  56. Why can I not edit?

    Nevermind, Gameday said “In Play, Run(s)” for a long time before they actually got it right.

    Now Beltran may have coughed it up for them.

  57. @63: Yes, it is very telling… it says that a lot of people around here don’t like Francoeur… I could’ve told you that, but if I had you probably wouldn’t have believed me.

  58. Peanut has a short fluff piece about how the Braves are counting on Francoeur.

    I take this as a code meaning the Braves don’t plan on liberating us of this worthless out-maker until the ASB at minimum. So, looks like we’ll not be contending yet again. Once again, thanks Jeffy.

    I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that the Braves have sucked ever since he has been our everyday RF. Don’t forget that the Braves kinda sucked in August and September of ’05. (And the October Debacle)

  59. #58–The outfield is a pretty big weakness to have to address during the season.

    The rotation is good, but I am less impressed with the infield because KJ’s slumps are costly and Chipper’s tendency to miss a decent number of games due to injury.

    I think that the team can be improved during the season–but not at the expense of trading away prospects who may be more valuable in the long run–which is what makes it very difficult….

  60. #71–This is depressing, but not surprising. Not to beat a dead horse this morning, but in looking back on the offseason I am beginning to think that the reason the Braves did not do more to get a bat is that they were counting on Frenchy for offense….

  61. Guys, all these have been way too predictable…no offense, frenchy keeps sucking, issue with the bullpen, Kotchman is having a decent season…

    The only thing I got wrong is Kelly. I honestly thought Kelly would have a good season (he still has a chance of doing that), but I was also wrong about Infante/Prado (which I thought they would suck). So I guess that evens out. I am wrong on Ganderson as well. I thought he would be more useful than he has been, and whoever said he can still play decent defense must be out of their mind.

    I honestly never expected this team to contend. We are not one bat short, we are TWO bats short. I have been saying that since last October. There is no way we can bring in two legit power bats in the middle of the season, and it would be too late even if we do.

  62. I thought Ganderson would be a little better too, i am now so off of KJ we ca dump him too.
    Maybe K and Jo-Jo for Dye, is that too much? I don’t think so they way they are playing.

  63. oldtimer, I doubt the White Sox would fall for that. I wouldn’t mind if we add Frenchy to that package!

  64. I also thought that Anderson would be more productive, but I can’t say that I am all that surprised by the rest. KJ will get hot again and maybe Schafer will develop, but this was always going to be an underpowered team. The questions was to what extent….

    That said, the rotation is stronger and we have excellent prospects; our chances in 2010 should be much better–especially if we can collect a couple of good bats….

  65. with so much pitching, the braves have some trading options. with the pitching that’s signed and hudson coming back, it’s just a fact that we cant keep everybody. if bobby was to put the right team on the field (diaz in left, infante platooning in center), and get rid of franceour, this could be a really good team. once again, all of the braves problems stem from right field.

    people that should not be on the roster: anderson, francoeur, carlyle, and bennett. bobby’s loyalty is a shame….

  66. Chipper’s sun is setting. The Frenchman’s 15 minutes are over. Stick a fork in Anderson.

    Yunel will continue to improve, but even Ozzie Smith made errors. KJ will hit, and KJ will slump. McCann may be the best offensive catcher in the Bigs, but catching exacts a heavy toll. Shaffer is a baby. Be patient with him. Kotchman will do for now.

    The rotation is fine, as is the back end of the pen.

    Replace Anderson and Jeffie with slightly less than league average players with pop and the Braves contend in the East.

    It’s a long season.

  67. It’s a long season, that’s almost a quarter of the way done. And the Braves have not shown any indication that they are willing to make the changes necessary to contend.

  68. Based on history (Mondesi, Jordan, etc.), we’re about to the point where the Braves will let Anderson go. That’s my hope, at least…

    I just wish Cox wouldn’t insist on batting him cleanup. But I suppose that’s his “give the vet every chance to turn it around” in action.

  69. Mondesi had twice as many plate appearances as Anderson before he was let go. The Braves held onto Jordan for another year.

  70. JC, please don’t mess with my hope. It’s all I’ve got!

    But, while Jordan may have been kept around, IIRC he spent a lot of time on the DL, and almost no time on the field… I’d be all right with Anderson spending the rest of the season on the DL due to “inability to play baseball”.

  71. Last night, I did some goofing off with Chernoff faces, which make faces according to differing quantitative characteristics.

    Here are the ” rel=”nofollow”>2009 Braves batters through May 17:

    Height (AVG), Width (Iso-Power), Mouth shape (Walk rate)

    1 McCann
    2 Kotchman
    3 Johnson
    4 Escobar
    5 C Jones
    6 Diaz
    7 Schafer
    8 Francoeur
    9 Infante
    10 Anderson
    11 Ross
    12 Prado
    13 Norton
    14 B Jones
    15 Sammons

    Just for kicks.

  72. I think Anderson will be around for awhile…It would be nice to see the return of Brandon Jones….

  73. As has been pointed out, the biggest issue with Dye would be the additional salary. He’s a free agent next year, dude’s 35, and he’s not the player Teixeira was. You wouldn’t expect the cost (in prospects) to be prohibitively high, especially if the Sox fall out of contention.

    As far as taking on Dye’s salary, we can speculate based upon season ticket sales, but really, who knows?

    What I do know is that in a division where the Mets lose 3-2 games in 11 innings with 5 errors, have Ryan Church/Angel Pagan at 1st and left, have Redding/Hernandez as their 4th and 5th starters, and the Phillies starters ERA is over 5.oo…well, you gotta go for it.

  74. Eighty-seventh!

    I agree that Dye would make us a legit contender. That salary looks tough to accomodate, though.

    Any chance the Cards would still be interested in KJ-for-Ludwick?

  75. Hate to say it, but the Braves need a change in leadership; that includes manager, GM, and president. JS and Bobby had a great run, but, IMO, it’s harder to restore lost glory than to attain in the first time; even the great football coaches have generally not been as successful after their first run. After 2006, JS said it was just a “bump in the road” but the bump has become Mount Everest. Wren might be a decent GM in the proper context (I discount his experience in Baltimore with the moronic Angeloses)but this isn’t it. Thinking that Garrett Anderson and Jeff Francouer were better options tnan Adam Dunn suggests arteriosclerosis is setting in in the FO’s analysis. The Braves’ way worked in the 90s, but times change; the Braves are sort of like IBM in the 80s that refuse to accept that new thinking is needed.

  76. sdp…losing to Jason Marquis was quite embarrassing…at least from my point of view.

  77. Marc, if Dunn and Ganderson cost the same amount, I am sure Wren would go for Dunn.

  78. Well, with the Liberty running the show, will the Braves ever be an organization like they were back in the 90’s, with the ability to go out and spend problems to death?

    I think we all know the answer to that, and we’ll need to accept the fact that Atlanta will have to become the Tampa Bay Rays North if they want to compete instead of the NYY/Boston Red Sox South.

  79. #39
    It’s easy, just PgDn.

    As for TP, I’ll agree with Mac & Robert in that 1) Frenchy is too far gone to be a productive major-league hitter at this point, 2) hitting coaches are overrated.

    I don’t think any hitting coach can rescue this bunch. Our lineup has no overall power. More than anything, that’s the problem. TP can’t turn Casey Kotchman into Frank Howard.

    On another note, if we want league-average in RF, what about a platoon with Frenchy & Ryan Church? He’s been in Manuel’s doghouse all year & after last night’s baserunning debacle, I wonder if he’s played himself off the team.

    A Met/Brave trade is pretty rare these days & he ain’t great—but it would be a modest upgrade.

  80. I said Wren’s offseason was a B+ and I stand behind it. Those who expected him to build a contender in one season from where we were last Fall are being unrealistic.

    The guy rebuilt the pitching rotation pretty nicely, without sacrificing the Braves’ future plans. The left fielders out there seemed less than ideal, and I don’t think anyone should believe ACHE was called in to solve all our offensive woes. He’s a place holder that might contribute.

    Wren’s grade goes down in my book if KK becomes useless. He needs to be an average MLB pitcher and I think he can.

  81. Church would be a good platoon option, although I’m not sure he’d be much better than Brandon Jones with the bat. Defensively, that’s a different story, but it would, as always, depend on the cost to acquire him.

    That said, I don’t think we’ll ever see Stenchy in a platoon. Not on this team, anyway. I think he’s our everyday RF or he’s not on the team.

  82. The main problem with ACHE, in my opinion, is that Bobby plays him every day. Diaz should see absolutely every AB against lefties. I think an ACHE/Diaz straight platoon would be fine in LF if we added a major league RF.

  83. Bowman

    There’s some thought that while hitting in front of rookie center fielder Jordan Schafer and the pitcher, the 25-year-old right fielder isn’t seeing the same pitches that he did when he was batting closer to the middle of the order.

    That’s one theory. Another is that he’s just not that good. I can’t believe he’s still getting talking points issued on his behalf.

    Now, the batting-order theory is ridiculous on its face, but let’s look into it. When he’s batted 4th and 6th, he’s posted OPS of 1.083 in 9PAs and 0.782 in 57 PAs. In 5th he’s hit a whopping .624 in 62 PAs. Who’s been batting behind him in the 4-7slots?

    4th: Kotchman (1), Prado (1)
    5th: Diaz (7), BJones (3), Johnson (2), Kotchman (1),Prado (1)
    6th: Kotchman (6), Diaz (3), Prado(2), Schafer(2), Ross (1)
    7th: Schafer (6)

    Yeah, this theory makes a lot of sense. Kotchman, Diaz, and Prado are real intimidating. And if they are pitching around him, why isn’t he walking more? In the 7th slot he has a grand total of 0 walks.

  84. Two things:

    1) Schafer doesn’t need to be anywhere near the top of the order.

    2) I agree with Ethan at 55. I really think if we get one really good bat or two solid hitters, we can win the division. Plus, what we need is corner outfielders, you would think that wouldn’t be too hard.

  85. JC,

    Does Bowman want Frenchy hitting in front of Chipper?

    Okay, I say do it. Lets move Chipper down to 4th for a week and Frenchy to 3rd. If he still sucks after a week AAA he goes.

  86. I have no idea what he really wants, but if he’s being fed excuses, this isn’t close to ending. Remember the Horacio Ramirez excuse list?

  87. Frenchy can bat in front of Hank and he would still suck.

    Ok, I have a theory for myself too. I think I can do a much better job at work if I have a smarter group of colleagues working with me!!!

  88. Kinda surprised we didn’t see Chief around here last night or this morning. Maybe if we lose again tonight.

  89. Here’s a good poll idea.

    If MLB were to change the rules for Francoeur, so that he got more than three strikes before being struck out, how many would he need before he could be come a useful outfielder?

    I say if he was allowed 5 strikes before being called out on a 6th he’d get his OBP up to acceptible levels, but it wouldn’t help his batting avg or power numbers, so he’d still be useless.

    Would Francoeur be useless even with unlimited strikes? I think maybe.

  90. Jeff Francoeur is almost like Danny Bonaduce, someone whose fame far exceeds his talent. Francouer is somehow treated, not just by the Braves but around baseball in general as an established player, if not a star. It’s bizaare. Anyone else with his accomplishments (or lack thereof)would be a fringe player and no one would pay any attention to him. But those few months in 2005 have created a reputation for Frenchy far in excess of anything he has actually done. It’s just crazy. Francouer may be the first post-modern ballplayer; all image and no substance.

  91. I think Jeff’s main problem is that his parents didn’t give him the proper genes to become a great baseball player.

    Why should he be punished by sitting on the bench for that?

  92. Hey, a hitter worse than Jeffy!

    At least he’s got a career OPS of .927 to justify some hope… What are we basing Frenchy’s continued playing time upon?

    Delta Airlines?

  93. Delta should announce that they’ll give out free miles if Francoeur’s OPS hits .747 again this season. They won’t be risking anything.

  94. If Delta execs knew about OPS, I doubt they’d have put their eggs in the Stenchy basket in the first place.

  95. I believe Glavine is a smart enough guy that his choice of words here regarding his shoulder and comeback wasn’t accidental (and WAS funny, in a very dry way):

    ““It’s just that last little bit that’s left that they weren’t able to fix. How well does that hold up? That’s the million-dollar question.””

  96. Norton can play RF decently well, right? He’s always hit right-handed pitching.

    It’s just that I can’t see the team putting Frenchy in a platoon, much less Frenchy accepting it with grace.

  97. Well, I flew Delta to Florida recently. The plane didn’t crash, so ipso facto, Delta is better than Frenchy.

  98. hey my wife is on a Delta flight as we speak. let’s cut the Delta insults for about an hour if you would please.

  99. The Mets drop the ball all over the field, but they can hit. Their pitching numbers are good relative to the league, but they only have one starter who scares me.

    I’d imagine they lead the league in bonehead baserunning. Of course, Atlanta is probably second.

  100. Effing Calipari and Kentucky.

    I wonder how much they’re paying him…I mean, how much his Mom’s new job at Kentucky pays.

  101. A Modest (??Indecent??) Proposal: Let’s see if Texas will give us Andruw for JoJo.

  102. Who would Andruw replace? platoon with Schaefer? Platoon with or replace Francouer? Ganderson? I’m not opposed to this plan as JoJo isn’t really in a position to be too much help to us… and Andruw seems to have at least some of his skills back (even in a part time role he’d lead our team in HR).

  103. Well if Delta bashsing is in–there has to be a moment for those of us who have flown the ‘Friendly Skies’.

  104. WHY OH WHY does Yahoo have to post a baseball story EVERY SINGLE DAY that starts with ‘A rare occurrence happened today…’ or ‘First time in x years…’, or ‘Never since xxxx has this happened in baseball…’?

    We get it. Somebody touching third doesn’t happen too often, neither does getting thrown out after two pitches, and these are interesting events, but how do you manage to find some obscure thing that has not occurred in a while, plaster it on your front page, and make a huge deal out of it EVERY DAY?

    It amazes me. And makes me worry for America’s intelligence.

  105. @127: We missed the boat with Andruw… I was really hoping we would’ve signed him back in March, as he fit everything we needed except he wasn’t a sure thing… of course at the price we could’ve gotten him for he didn’t need to be a sure thing. He can play all 3 OF positions and has the RH power bat that we were looking for all season. If they had added him to the mix instead of Garrett, he could give Diaz, Schafer and Francoeur as much time off/benching as they needed/deserved… if we eventually decided we needed to platoon Diaz more often then you could either use Norton or call up Brandon Jones in place of Schafer’s spot, and plug Andruw back in CF.

    I still think we Garrett will get hot for a month or two, and be worth the $2.5 million, but Andruw was always my clear first choice.

  106. @92: Haven’t we been over this Adam Dunn nonsense enough already? He didn’t fit the budget, and he doesn’t fit the future of this team. Frank Wren made the decision that we needed to bolster the starting rotation, because it was clear that what we had last year wasn’t going to hack it… To make those investments he had to rely on a rejuvenated OF of Francoeur, Schafer/Josh Anderson, and Diaz/whoever he could get on the cheap in LF.

    @89, on Jermaine Dye: I’m of the opinion that we need to see if one bat is really all we need before we go out and make another Teixeiran-type move… Even if the White Sox fall out of contention Dye is very likely to draw heavy interest from a long list of teams, which will drive his trade price way up… Plus there’s the financial cost, which even for two months would be a good chunk of change. I really don’t see this team as being one bat away from a World Series title, and I don’t care to mortgage more of our future for another first round loss. The Tex move made some sense because it looked like he could really make us a legit World Series contender… this team appears to need a power bat, a leadoff man, and 2 or 3 more bullpen arms. If someone within the organization doesn’t step up by July to fill 3 or 4 of these 5 holes, I think the proper move would be to play the year out, maybe even deal a valuable piece like Rafael Soriano, and position ourselves for a legitimate run next year.

  107. @66: I still haven’t seen anyone venture a shot at showing how/if/why my statistical analysis of Francoeur’s 2007 production was flawed… do I take this to mean that you can’t? Or just that you’d prefer to live in your own reality where the unquestionable value of OPS, or RC, or OW%, in arbiting every possible measure of past success is still intact?

    @73: The reason the Braves didn’t do more to bring a bat in was that they didn’t have the money to bring in any real impact player outside of the Griffey-Anderson-Andruw flier list. The presence of Francoeur, Diaz, Schafer, and Josh Anderson allowed them to rely on in-house options in the OF more than the presence of Jo-Jo, Morton, Buddy Carlyle, and Jorge Campillo allowed them to rely on starting pitching. If they had signed an Adam Dunn we’d all be bitching about how they were rushing young arms to the Majors, or why they thought they could rely on Tom Glavine. Sadly, we just didn’t have enough resources to address all of our needs.

  108. I think someone hacked the site and messed with the code. The post counter is all jacked up. It just skipped from 133 to 137.

  109. Gosh, you guys are just hilarious! Now I know why I keep coming back here…

    Sorry, did I say something “controversial” again? Maybe I should just bash Bobby Cox… or maybe bitch about how we didn’t spend enough money in the offseason… If only we had added Ted Williams, Rollie Fingers, and Christy Mathewson we’d be rolling to the division title!

  110. Damn, when I read Dix’s beautiful post @39 I really thought that it was one of those Wizard of Oz moments, and with the curtain pulled back Superfly would simply have to take his act somewhere else.

    Clearly no such luck. It reminds me of this time when I was backpacking up above the arctic circle. Clouds of mosquitos. If I moved at a good clip I could stay ahead of them, and it was really a brilliant breathtaking landscape. The hitch: I was with a girlfriend whose pace was just slow enough to allow us to be devoured. I managed to remain a gentleman. Barely.

  111. From Rob Neyer:

    “There’s something touchingly human about stories like this. Francoeur and the people around him think he’s going to hit, even though he hasn’t ever hit, really, except for three magical months four years ago. . . That said, if you’re a fan of the Braves or the A’s or the Mets or a dozen other clubs behaving similarly, you might wish your general manager was just a tiny bit less human.”

  112. Dix’s “beautiful post @39″… Oh yeah, a slanderous strawman of a hit-piece… very beautiful.

    “Gadfly serves no purpose and does not even foster worthwhile debate, because he’s unwilling to engage in any real discussions.”

    Show me one time, one time, when I was dismissive of any idea without providing a solid logical foundation? There might be a few times when I acknowledged a differing opinion, and then stated mine, but I’ve never asserted my opinions as facts. The only reason I haven’t fostered more “worthwhile debate” is because of the rampant shouting down so many of you guys take part in. I can’t have worthwhile debate with “Francoeur sucks,” because the speaker of that phrase has obviously made up their mind. I can, however, point out how ludicrous the phrase is to the open-minded commenters out there, and for their benefit I have done so.

    I do agree with Dix on one thing: why is it that we keep talking about Francoeur anyways? There are so many problems with this team right now, and almost as many things going right, maybe we should give some attention to other players instead of following Delta’s lead and focusing on a player that is neither a savior, nor a villain…

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