D-Backs 5, Braves 2

Atlanta Braves vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – Box Score – May 28, 2009 – ESPN

And the collapse continues… The game story blames KJ; he committed an error on what should have been a double play ball in the fourth, and the Diamondbacks went on to score four runs in the inning. On the other hand, Derek Lowe gave up five hits in the inning, including a double, so it wasn’t all KJ. At any rate, Lowe took the blame. It should also be noted that KJ scored both of the Braves’ runs first runs and drove in their other one. Lowe gave up ten hits on the game, though he didn’t walk anyone; he struck out just two. He could have had better luck, and KJ should have turned the double play, it’s just that when you allow a bunch of balls to get hit these things happen.

Scoring only two runs also happens when your 6-7-8 hitters (Jeffy, Hernandez, Schafer) go a collective 0-10 with six strikeouts. The top five hitters all had at least one hit. Chipper was still in the lineup, and in better form, doubling home KJ in the third to tie the game. Yunel, however, is still out. Buddy Carlyle was placed on the DL — apparently, extreme suckage is now an injury — and Jorge Campillo was activated. Campillo pitched the eighth, allowing one hit.

102 thoughts on “D-Backs 5, Braves 2”

  1. What does Matt Diaz have to do to earn a starting OF job? This is an organization that once allowed Dewayne Wise to win a job over Gary Matthews in spring training. A quarter of the season is gone. He’s got an OPS 200 points higher than any other OF on the team, and he’s the one in a platoon? I do understand that Diaz is better in a platoon, so would any other OF.

  2. I know this must get tiring, but it really is amazing. Right now Francoeur’s offensive winning percentage is .278. If you had him at every position in the batting order and played 162 games, you would be 45-117. That is your right-fielder (a hitting position) that is putting up those numbers, at basically the one-third mark of the season (we are past too small sample size). I am beginning to believe he will not make it back to Atlanta from this road trip; they will trade him, demote him or DFA him. It is almost cruel to keep running him out there.

    For those who ask about alternatives, pick a random OF from AAA, and they would perform better than that.

  3. I think on a team with *normal* offensive output it would probably be ok to have a number 8 hitter like Schafer but with ACHE having no power (although he does seem to be at least making contact better), Yunel out of the lineup and replaced by someone who is striking out a lot and seems to have no power, and our right field being the sucking vortex that it is, Schafer’s struggles are magnified. If we got a *real* power bat in RF and Yunel and Chipper both got healthy and started producing as they are capable would we be ok allowing Schafer to work through his problems and putting up with ACHE just being a singles/hitting for average guy (or platooned with Diaz)?

  4. 3

    That was well put. This team could hide Schaffer if they were getting at least average production from the other 7 spots.

  5. I am not on the Gadfly bus, but I have tried not to be as hard on Franceour as alot of folks on here, but its time to move on. ACHE needs to go away too. Chipper is too old and frail to be asked to carry this lineup. The lineup is so bad it is probably part of the reason Schaffer has struggled. If he had anyone on in front of him, maybe he could get some pitches to hit.

    The KJ play should have gotten one out easily. I doubt they would have gotten 2, but it would have helped limit the damage. Extra outs kill you. That said Lowe made some really poor pitches in the inning that were in the heart of the plate.

    This road trip has had a stink AJAX can’t take off. After the 4th inning yesterday I got that same since of doom that I have had after certain games the last couple of years. I think the wheels are comming off and we are going to look back at this one as to where the tide just did not turn, but took us under.

  6. If extreme suckage were an injury Stenchy would be placed on the 60 day DL.

    JC I’m with you. I don’t get it. I’m too lazy to look it up but just how long is the team going to let the Mondesi/Jordon redux experiment continue? Diaz ain’t Albert Pujols but he ain’t Jeff Francouer or Garret, punch and judy Anderson either.

  7. @3 – isn’t it pretty to think so? But remember in April, when ACHE was on the DL, Chipper and Yunel were healthy, and Frenchy was hitting .280 or so. And Schafer was still hurting the team in a real way because of his utter inability to hit with RISP.

    And the strikeouts aren’t helping. There was one inning (the fifth maybe?) in which McCann singled, ACHE singled, and the next three struck out with increasingly horrible swings. I don’t really have a point to make here, other than carrying a guy who hits .210 with 225 strikeouts would hurt the 1927 Yankees. It’s going to be really hard for these Braves.

  8. Has anyone ever gone from playing every single day for a few years+ to being DFAd? Can’t we at least platoon him until then? Sit him down for a couple of games? At least try something?

  9. Someone mentioned on the game thread that he thought Anderson would get his first HR last night. Of course, that didn’t happen. I looked it up and saw he has 5 doubles and 21 singles in 94 at bats. Does anyone remember the last time ACHE hit a ball that was even remotely close to a HR? I’ve missed a few games, but I can’t even remember him hitting a ball to the warning track.

  10. c.shorter: Good question. You have hit the nail on something which is very frustrating: it seems that the Braves are off to the same robotic response as last season: just send him back out on the field and hope that he gets better.

    Remember, the three day stint at AA was almost too much for the front office to bear.

    They really ought to be able to try something with Frenchy, but they have bought so deeply into the hype about the ‘Natural’ that it seems to be against their religion….

  11. Pitcher Daniel Cabrerra had 34 starts for the orioles in 2007; 30 starts in 2008; got signed by the Nationals this year, and got DFAed this week, becuase he had pitched so poorly. 34 and 30 starts is a guy in the regular rotation (for 2007 and 2008), so yes, there is 1, right there.

    If cutting Jeff isn’t the solution, tieing up a roster spot by sitting him doesn’t seem the answer either; I am not sure how he gets better on the bench. I guess if he would graciously accept a trip to Gwinnett that would be one solution (assuming he doesn’t have to pass through waivers first-I just don’t know). At this point, I just cannot see how they can keep him on the roster.

    I just don’t think this is simply a mental thing with him. Here is the bottom line. MLB pitchers figured out with his early trigger (which is what gave him the bat speed to hit for power), you could fool him with stuff that broke outside; that is calendar year 2006. To cut down on his strike-outs (adjusting to what MLB pitchers figured out), he changed his stance to shorten his swing. That is Jeff 2009. As it turns out, the never developed strike zone judgment (just look at his minor league numbers) still weighs his performance down under the softer swing approach-he just isn’t as badly fooled as he was in the “swing when the pitcher starts his motion” approach. What was April of 2009? He can still ocasionally hit a mistake. In the randomness of baseball, there are going to be some weeks when hits fall, when bloops drop in; there are going to be some weeks when they do not. The fact that he went 3 for 4 in a game last week isn’t a sign he is fixed or there is a great hitter just waiting to break out; it is just a part of the randomness of luck and streaks. In the totality of his performance, where the more games you play, the less luck and one good or bad streak plays into things, you have what you have; a singles hitter who cannot walk and has no SB speed, playing a corner OF position which is traditionally and by all current statistical measures, one of the 3 hitting spots in the line-up, and that just doesn’t work.

  12. Put me down for play Diaz more often till he un-earns a spot (again). I understand the weak arm aspect of his defense hurting us in right, but platooning him with Ganderson in Left AND Francour in right is, IMHO, at least worth a shot at this point in what appears to be our increasingly futile season.

    We knew going in that this wasn’t going to be a team that dominates and we were really just “getting a shot” at the post season if things all broke our way. I’m not sure the Mets/Phils seasons could break more our way (both should’ve been better so far than they actually are), but we need a few of OUR variables to break our way too.

  13. @10 – Two things are missing from the April comparison… I was asking if we got a *real* power bat in RF; Jeffy hitting 280 is not the same thing. And in April we were suffering the McCann eye problem. I still think if a team has *normal* offensive production in the 1-7 spots and it is coupled with the good pitching we seem to have then carrying Schafer at 8 while he works things out is probably tolerable. For most of this season we seem to have had offensive problems at 1 (no one seems to hit lead off very well), 3 (when Chipper isn’t playing or is playing hurt), 4 (zero power no matter who we put there), 5 (when McCann can’t see or isn’t in the line up), 6-8 (self explanatory).

  14. @13 (re: Jeff’s 3 for 4 game)

    Does anybody remember the scene from “Little Big League” where the aging veteran hit a seeing eye single, and everyone got excited for him? Then, one of the coaches turned to the teenage manager and said something like “if we’re getting this excited for a single, doesn’t that mean there’s a a big problem.” The teenage manager agreed, and cut his former favorite player.

    My point is, if a teenager can figure it out, why can’t anyone in ATL figure it out about Francoeur?

  15. I think we should just collectively refer to our OF as the WOE’s (Worst Outfield Ever). It works on multiple levels.

  16. Bobby Cox has become a parody of himself. Again, he talked about all the balls they hit hard. Aargh! I don’t understand how Bobby can keep saying this bullshit.

    The management just seem constantly in denial about this team; it’s as if they think this is still an elite team waiting to get hot. They’ve been waiting for four years. It’s just unbelievable that they keep running out two outfielders as bad as Schaefer and Francouer. Every year, they seem to count of the fact that “it’s still early” to avoid doing anything and seemingly expecting the team to get hot. Where is the sense of urgency? Schaefer is overmatched and has no business in the big leagues. In a way that bothers me more than Francouer because it might really affect his future; at least with Frenchy, we know he has no future so it doesn’t matter. And, if losing Omar (Albert Pujols) Infante is that devastating, this team has a lot of problems. What you are really saying is the key member of the team is a career journeyman.

    I also have some concern about Lowe. While he has generally been pitching well, he hasn’t been getting strikeouts and has been walking a lot of guys (although apparently not last night). It bit him in the ass last night and I don’t know how long he can get away with this; it’s certainly not the way an “ace” should pitch, especially since the Braves don’t exactly have an airtight defensive team.

  17. What an odd position for a team with a $100MM payroll. You could throw Cy Young, Spahn, Gibson, and Koufax out on the mound and this team would still lose because of this wretched offense.

    Man…if I had my way with this team… let’s just say it would look very, very different. What the hell is Frank Wren waiting for?

  18. @17 – I thought you were talking about Anderson. Unfortunately it applies to both.

  19. “We hit the ball really good early in the game,” Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said, “and later on Haren got really tough. … You can say `Well, we didn’t hit the ball tonight,’ but he was hard to hit at. A lot of teams wouldn’t have hit him tonight at all.”

    I agree–Haren was hard to hit at. Maybe the Braves should have rushed the mound and tried to punch him. But Francouer and Schaefer would have surely missed.

    How does Bobby keep saying this stuff? Does he practice before the games? If Bobby had been president after Pearl Harbor, instead of the “Day of Infamy” speech, it would have been, “those Japanese did a great job. We came close to shooting down planes a few times.”

  20. I think we should just collectively refer to our OF as the WOE’s (Worst Outfield Ever). It works on multiple levels.

    Done and done.

    Bobby Cox has become a parody of himself. Again, he talked about all the balls they hit hard. Aargh! I don’t understand how Bobby can keep saying this bullshit.

    It’s probably not easy. You understand he doesn’t mean what he says right? He can’t just stand up say that the team is be undermined because they don’t have an everyday major league outfielder on the roster.

  21. Robert,

    I understand that but he could at least stop insulting everyone’s intelligence (other than Jeffy’s) every night.

  22. 14 — Oh yeah, I had just read about Cabrera recently.

    What about an everyday player?

    At least sit Stenchy against righties. Please.

  23. I will admit, I was probably the last of the Francouer loyalists. Everyone else is correct, and I feel ashamed for feeling otherwise. He probably has the tools to get the job done, but never will. The time to cut him is ASAP. The lack of any production from the Right Field Spot is devistating. He needs to go somewhere like Texas with that great hitting instructor, or Boston and DH and be a 4th outfielder. A started OF with these three guys, leads you to last place, especially when Yunel is out.

    I ask forgiveness for supporting him so long! Perhaps we can sign Mike Hampton to play Right Field, he is most likely a better hitter?

  24. I like the WOEs….

    Looking at Frenchy’s numbers are depressing (but not as much as watching him play), but I discovered that he is on track to put up worse numbers than last season….

  25. On why Boston might be interested in Francoeur.

    I think it may be that they want Canizares and would take Francoeur to get it done. For them, Canizares gives them a very cheap shot to cover DH (he has 6 pre FA years left). If it works this year only, then they come out like gangbusters. If Canizares can cover his ML minimum years, then they really do well. If he is worth paying arb to, then they do even better.

    Barbaro has no value to us other than as a trade chip. So, Wren, get him traded.

  26. Frenchy needs to go down. Not traded, just down. And for an extended stay down in AA, then and only then, up to AAA. He’s still only 25.

    The only thing that we could wish for is that he goes all Mark DeRosa on us and gets better with the change of scenery.

  27. Thanks Ububba, Having coached baseball at the high school level here in NJ, you would think I know better!

    I dont know why I held out hope so long, guess im an optimist!

    But I have freshman that make better choices at the plate!

  28. its bad enough our OF cant hit, that stink playing their positions as well.
    I am beginning hate every regular player on this team but McCann.

  29. The box score gives Kotchman credit for the other (non Chipper) RBI and Mac’s recap says it was Kelly. What happened? I went to bed while it was still 5-1.

  30. “It’s probably not easy. You understand he doesn’t mean what he says right?”

    I’m not convinced that he doesn’t believe it. I mean, I hope he doesn’t, but Cox is also the one filling out the lineup card, and he seems to have some serious sway in roster design–being one of those who refuses to move on with Francoeur or play Diaz or get ACHE out of the lineup or do anything even remotely interesting with that outfield. It’s not simply a case of being saddled with a bad roster; it’s also a case of being one of the architects of it, and he very well may believe his guys are good. They aren’t, and at some point you begin to believe your own bullshit.

  31. njbf – since ububba has absolved you, please tell me that you aren’t aka ‘gadfly’. Hell you wouldn’t admit if you were, who am I kidding.

    who would have thought that I’d one day dream that our outfield from left to right would some time this season be Diaz, Blanco, DeRosa? Holy cow. Holy buffalo. Holy ox. Holy insert bovine type here.

    Anyone here AGAINST trading a pitcher not named Hanson to the Indians for Mark DeRosa?

  32. I agree with Adam M. Bobby is trying to be positive, but sometimes you can be too positive. Wren needs to have a chat with him asap.

    Bobby, PLEASE for now, Diaz every day. Diaz in right against righthanders. Francoeur on bench. Diaz in left against lefthanders. Ganderson on bench.

  33. Johnny at 40,

    I suppose you meant “minor league pitcher.”

    I would probably not trade the guys with fairly high ceilings for DeRosa (Rohrbaugh, Locke, Morton). DeRosa’s versatility would be big (cover for Chipper when Chipper is ailing, play right for Frenchy, play second for Curly, Larry (the other Larry) or Moe. But, DeRosa at this stage is only a slight improvement over internal options everywhere except right.

    So, the real question is, will somebody move Francoeur (AAA on option, waive, trade, whatever)? Assuming that is yes, then DeRosa is a good option.

    I don’t know how others would value him. He is one and done. And, he wouldn’t make the difference up that is needed to put this team in postseason. And, I don’t know wht the Indians need. If it is pitching, then we might aught to make the deal.

  34. @44 Yeah. Minor league pitcher.

    Getting him and putting him in RF is addition by subtraction. And yeah his ability to play most of the defensive positions without embarrassing himself is a bonus.

    But its just a pipe dream, really. The Indians probably think DeRosa is worth Hanson at this point in the season and the Braves probably think that Morton is worth Grady Sizemore.

  35. An amusing thought: Everyone on this blog has more value to the Braves than Francoeur does.

  36. Where are all those AAAA players I’ve heard about over the last few years? They’d look good in Atlanta now.

  37. Oh snap, dude has Aubrey Huff as an option in the poll in that AJC article. I wonder if he was reading my posts?!?!?! That’d be so cool.

  38. I thought the article from Bradley about Wren was reassuring. Frenchy, ACHE and Schafer are all under-performing what we thought they could produce. I believed Frenchy would have an OBP around .320 and mix in a lot of doubles. I didn’t think Schafer would strike out as much as Ryan Howard (maybe that one was dumb) and I thought ACHE would hit .280. We were all wrong about the outfield, not just Wren. Although it seems like ACHE isn’t all he was cracked up to be in the field – that was the main excuse for settling for him.

    But let’s not forget how awful Ibanez really has been in the field…here’s the gif to prove it:
    Burrell and Dunn hadn’t been much better defensively. It wouldn’t look as stupid if Wren’s gambles hadn’t flamed out so spectacularly.

  39. Wren: “The offensive players who were available this winter would have been hard to put into a National League outfield on an everyday basis.”

    Um, Frank, one of them is playing both LF & RF on an NL East team on an everyday basis.

  40. ububba,

    Surely you don’t think anybody sane could have projected Ibanez being this good offensively or defensively?

  41. Some recent stuff says Nady can hit now and is re-habbing to hit. however, he won’t even start throwing for 3 weeks. I guess that means he isn’t viable as an outfielder until the deadline (if not later).

    Ububba, just curious, how bad has Godzilla’s defense been in the past couple of years? Specifically, how would you compare him to Ganderson, offensively and defensively. Same with Damon.

    I could see the Yankees doing a partial to major salary dump on one of these two if Nady comes back hitting.

  42. Ibanez is slugging 170 points better than his career best at age 37. And Pat Burrell has been totally useless so far this year. It was kind of a crap shoot as far as getting older outfielders who can’t field, and I would bet that most of us thought Burrell was better and the Phils were stupid for giving Ibanez that much money right before the market fell out. It’s just one of those things.

    Sounds like a trade is not eminent. But we need to stop playing Frenchy against RHP. It’s just stupid to keep running him out there.

  43. I like how Wren is talking about OF defense, yet has no problem running an absolute statue in ACHE out there everyday. Give me a break.

  44. I like Ibanez, but that field is perfect for him.

    edit, just checked his splits, he is just on fire.

  45. I agree that it is too easy to second guess what should have ben done in the OF, but it is also easy to say that with 3 risks in the OF (whether Anderson had any skill or desire left; whether Schaeffer could hit MLB pitching; whether Jeffie could re-make himself in one off-season), some plan “B” work should have been done by Wren, in case 2 of the 3 gambles didn’t work (and unlucky us, all 3 gambles flopped).

  46. Cliff,
    I was talking about Dunn, really. He’s a lousy OF, but I don’t think we can worry about that so much right now.

    Re: Godzilla
    In short, Matsui’s defense has been bad & he hasn’t played a lotta OF in the past couple years. Really, his only upside defensively is that he doesn’t have the noodle arm that Damon & Ganderson share.

    When Matsui first came to the Yanks, he seemed to have pretty good instincts out in LF & he actually filled in decently in CF. He made some mistakes, but from what I saw they were overcharging balls, things like that.

    But the next couple years out there, he had a slew of really weird misplays including a few dropped balls. Almost overnight, he became a crap defensive outfielder.

    All the injuries in recent years have relegated him to DH status. He’s expensive, but he can still hit. I’d say Matsui, even with the injuries, is still better than Ganderson.

  47. Frank Wren was on 680 The Fan this morning on ATL talk radio. He is delusional…he said there were at least 6 games that the Braves could’ve won…but that they “just are swinging the bats” right now. You’ve got to be effin kidding me.

    He also said that if the right player was available, that they had payroll flexibility. But he said it in enigmatic terms: getting “creative” with salaries and trades. So whatever that means.

    He also lamented the injury bug…and how the loss of Omar Infante really hurt the team.

    I can’t stand Frank Wren. He belongs running the Myrtle Beach pelicans.

    Also, 680 The Fan yesterday was talking about how Frenchy now has “rabbit ears” and is listening to all of the talking heads rip him. He has even approached some of the local press personalities about it. They said this was definitely the signal that Frenchy was “done”. Struggling is one thing, but listening to folks heap crap on you is a whole nother level.

  48. If Matt Diaz would have won the job last year when given the chance, I would be on the Diaz bandwagon…but honestly he is not the answer.

  49. 62 — If the question is who would you rather have in the lineup between Diaz and Frenchy or Diaz and Ganderson, then, yes, Diaz is the answer. But, you are correct, he’s not going to make the Braves a contender by himself.

  50. We don’t have The Answer in the outfield. At least not an apprarent big league ready Answer at this point in time.

    Everything is not Frank Wren’s fault…but taking a gamble on all three OF spots entering the year is bush league. I don’t care how much improved our rotation is.

    Our situation is just pathetic.

    And if Wren can’t go out and make a big trade happen…then I’m all for getting rid of the Derek Lowes and bringing in some young talent for a run in 2 or 3 years.

  51. “…but taking a gamble on all three OF spots entering the year is bush league. I don’t care how much improved our rotation is.”

    Here is a question-how important is the AA pitcher we got for Josh Anderson, and could we not have mitigated the gamble of all 3 OF’s not working out by keeping a guy on the roster that had a proven level of ability as an outfielder in MLB (not as a great player or even a good one, but at least a hitter with an average OPS). I assume if he plays CF, he also has the ability to play LF and RF, so he could have been the ready-to-go fill in if any of the 3 guys who job the OF jobs coming out of spring training didn’t work out. So there was an easy and cheap insurance policy for us, and I assume that if we didn’t need the insurance policy, we could alwys have flipped him for a AA pitcher-right?

  52. David Delluchi just DFA’d perhaps he would be a better option than anyone we have as well?!

    This is so sad

    We have the pitching and the infield, we just cant put it all together

  53. I don’t want to play anymore odds in the OF…we are currently 0-for-3 trying to beat the odds this year in that department.

  54. Picking up some other team’s cast offs, a journeyman or calling up another minor leaguer is folly with respect to helping this team. That’s just more hoping to catch lightning in a bottle, and we’ve already been burned x3 with that this year. This team needs a legitimate stud corner OF who can hit for power, drive in runs and provide some depth to a thin lineup — basically the anti-Francoeur. Players of this calibre are hard to find, and are obviously expensive in terms of cost and player assets. However, that’s what this team need first and foremost, followed by a competent CF who is actually ready to play MLB.

  55. What about trying to match up with the Rays (nee Devil) now that they have lost Akinori Iwamura for the season. With Bartlett on the 15 day DL all they have left our old friend Willy Aybar so that he’s no longer the super sub they were using him as. With the Braves over load of second basemen they could match up potentially.

    Maybe try for someone like Matt Joyce.
    http://tampabay.rays.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=459964
    He’s got pretty solid minor league numbers.
    http://www.thebaseballcube.com/Players/J/Matt-Joyce.shtml

    Here’s the video of Chris Coghlan taking out Iwamura.
    http://tampabay.rays.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090525&content_id=4943434&vkey=news_tb&fext=.jsp&c_id=tb

  56. I’d thought about the Rays, but there’s a good chance that they’re going to move Ben Zobrist back to the infield — he’s started the last two games at shortstop.

  57. Matt Joyce? what would we want with all of those walks and HRs? We wouldn’t want the other guys in the OF to feel all insecure and such.

  58. Even with Zobrist at short and Aybar at second right now with Bartlett on the DL they have one player to back up all 4 infield positions until they call somebody up. Granted I don’t see Longoria or Pena taking to many days off.

    And with Pat the Bat on the DL both Aybar and Zobrist are actually listed as their starting DH’s as well. They also only have one back up outfielder on the roster right now in Gabe Kapler. They have 8 guys on the DL right now.

  59. Just think if Francouer was just hitting .205 with maybe 10 homers…then we could deal with that. Nevermind, he did something like that a couple of years ago…and they were nothing but solo shots. What a mess.

  60. Rays also have Reid Brignac. They don’t need middle infielders unless they go down one more.

  61. Hanan,

    We are NOT getting a far above average proven power hitting outfielder. It is not happening.

    We need a move or two just to get us competent and do it in a way that doesn’t compromise the future or block guys that are the future.

  62. At this point, Schafer is not going to get better. he may get worse. he may be permanently scarred already. he needs to go down even if we have to bring up Blanco.

    I don’t know how Barton would be in center, but he can’t be much worse than Blanco, can he?

    Schafer needs to be in Gwinett or Mississippi working on hitting high and tight stuff. Chipper’s sessions have taken him from looking terrible to looking bad.

  63. Cliff,

    I realize that, but that doesn’t change the situation. My point is that incremental improvements are not going to impact this teams W-L record significantly. I’m not really sure what that accomplishes other than exorcising Francoeur from our daily lives, which is admittedly, a pleasant thought.

  64. From a long time ago in this thread – I had thought the same thing about Barbaro + Francoeur to the BoSox.

  65. Maybe the Jaramillo pixie dust lasts only a month
    Andruw – month of May
    .244 .347 .390

  66. Hanan,

    Here is what an incremental move helps.

    The attendance at the Ted is going to drop off the table once interleague is over if we are 6 or 7 games out. When that happens, EITHER (1) Liberty Media says “sell” or (2) Liberty Media cuts 2010 payroll budget. Either of those further drop attendance and result in further budget cuts.

    Being credible and moving forward are important perceptions.

  67. @5: How would people being on base help Schafer get pitches to hit? Generally you get pitched around when there are runners on and the pitcher is up next, unless of course the bases are loaded… and when Schafer does come up with men on base he’s been worse than I ever thought possible. With a line of .093/.245/.093! in 53 PA, if there’s an opposite of a clutch hitter, Jordan is making a case for that label.

    Jordan needs to either be able to handle the leadoff spot, or he needs to go down to Gwinnett to work on his development. His time in the majors isn’t helping him, or the team.

  68. @31 “Frenchy needs to go down. Not traded, just down. And for an extended stay down in AA, then and only then, up to AAA. He’s still only 25.”

    uh, remember how Jeffy feels about going down. He don’t do dat. He get really, really mad and pout. He’s 25 . . . physically.

  69. uh, remember how Jeffy feels about going down. He don’t do dat.

    Well it was against the law in this state until quite recently…

  70. And, as to how much impact.

    IF Edmunds was ready to go a little below his Cubs level from last year and platooning with Frenchy that would raise outfield OPS at that spot 300 points 3 out of 4 days. Averaged over 9 lineup spots every day that comes out to 25 point ops rise. Just for 1 small move.

    In 2/3 of a season, that should equal about 40 or so runs (somebody on here probably knws the “real” factor). That should equal 4 wins. That is the difference between 81 and 85, which gives you a shot and keeps the people coming in. And, it doesn’t block Heyward or represent a long term commitment.

    Probably similar impact, maybe greater, from Swisher.

    With the righthanded guys, it only works that good if they can play center (or 3rd, like DeRosa).

    The big thing is, whatever the impact the acquisition has, it is TWICE AS LARGE if you move now as if you move at the deadline. So a modest improvement on June 1 exceeds a massive improvement on July 30. (Counting out the fact that we aren’t going to make a massive move anyway). Two modest improvements are WAY more now than one massive improvement.

    We are at Suckitude City in the outfield.
    IF our infield gets it going like it can, all we need is mediocre across the board and with this pitching, we are in it. And 2 mediocres won’t cost what 1 superior costs in talent or salary.

  71. @51: How’s that NL East team doing? No one cares about outfield defense when your team has no chance in hell of finishing anywhere but 5th.

    @57: There just weren’t many plan B’s out there that didn’t involve trading the farm, or moving Kelly Johnson.

    @64: Your talk on “The Answer” for the outfield gave me an idea… Allen Iverson is a free agent now, right? Or does he have to wait until the playoffs are over to sign? Even if he can’t hit the outfield assists alone would be worth it.

  72. @83: I don’t think it is possible to understand how Liberty Media is going to act. They’re in a pretty unique position. Does anyone know of any other organization that was bought and held purely as a short-term asset?

    They got the team in a tax shelter move, and they’re not planning on holding it in the long-term. I don’t think they’ll make a panic sell just because the Braves perform where just about everyone thought they’d perform this year, and I’m not sure a sale would be a bad thing anyways (I see no reason to think it would affect attendance.) As I said, it is hard to predict, but I really don’t see them bailing when the future of the team looks so much brighter than the present.

    Attendance has been pretty steady since 2001, but it looks like it has already dropped off precipitously from 31K a game last year down to 24K a game so far this year, though I expect that is happening all over the league in this economy. At that level the bandwagon fans appear to be minimal, so I don’t expect attendance would drop much lower if we fell as far out of contention as you suggest… and I don’t see much reason to think we’ll drop that far out anyways. This division is pretty weak, and I really don’t see the Mets and/or Phillies finishing all that far above .500 either.

  73. Economy + poor product + football town = crappy attendance. And MARTA building a subway that somehow doesn’t go to the gdmf ballpark doesn’t help

  74. @89,

    Gadfly, I’ve seen Dunn in the outfield. He’s no Roberto Clemente but his defense is certainly NOT the reason the Nats are last. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that his offense more than offsets his lack of range in the outfield; he would be a huge upgrade over the Black Hole the Braves have in RF. To say no one cares about it is absurd; they aren’t putting people out there with no chance–oh, that’s only the Braves that put outfielders out there that have no skills whatsoever.

    Re Wren: (1) Obviously, he is trying to keep his powder dry. He doesn’t want to look too desperate to make a deal. So I will cut him some slack on these comments. He clearly recognizes that this team can go nowhere unless they pick up some offense.

    (2) I think he is also wary of doing another Teixera (although there is no one out there like that. I would imagine there will be a deal eventually but I think he will be very careful not to screw it up this time even if it costs the season this year.

    But the problem I see is that there aren’t great options out there right now and Heyward is really not close to being ready unless they do another Jeffy and rush him, which I really don’t think they will do this time.

    I don’t really think struggling in the big leagues should really scar Schaefer permanently. It’s not like he is returning from combat with PTSD. If his confidence is so frail that it can’t withstand some adversity, he’s got big problems anyway. But it was a mistake to put a kid in there everyday based on spring training and then ignore his obvious inability to hit. Just waht kind of an organization is this anyway–we are looking like the Pirates a little.

  75. Everyone’s favorite douchebag strikes again. He and that team were made for each other.

    Money line:

    “Out of all the managers I have had, he is the best I have had by far,” Teixeira said.

    Reminded he played for future Hall of Famer Bobby Cox in Atlanta and World Series champion Mike Scioscia in Los Angeles, Teixeira said, “[Girardi] is No. 1.”

  76. Tex has $180 million reasons to like Girardi–or anyone else the Yankees bring in.

  77. @88: First off, here’s Jim Edmonds’ line away from Wrigley Field last year: .232/.335/.405, Brandon Jones can do that, and is probably a better defender at this point. Here’s Jim’s career numbers at Turner Field: .200/.308/.360, I’ll pass.

    The reason the Braves are in a holding pattern is to gauge whether a move is really worth it. While you’re right that a move now impacts an extra 30-40 games than a move after the ASB, it also costs more financially, and if it turns out that it doesn’t make the team a contender then you’ve wasted money and prospects (see: Dotel, Octavio or Teixera, Mark/Mahay, Ron.) Unless a great deal falls into our laps we’ll sit on our laurels until July, and then decide whether we’re buyers or sellers.

    Sadly, but honestly, I see this team much more cut out to sell. Soriano could fetch a couple valuable pieces for next year, Francoeur could possibly be moved in a salary dump to pick up a high-risk, low-level prospect, or more likely “future considerations,” and even Norton might fetch a PTBNL for a team that needs another bat off the bench. These moves would help reload for next year, and clear space to give Brandon Jones, Gregor Blanco, Brian Barton, and some of our minor league bullpen arms enough playing time to see if they can fit into our plans for next season.

  78. @96,

    Gadfly,

    I don’t think it’s fair to use Edmond’s numbers at Turner Field against him; some of those years were facing Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux, et al. There are probably a lot of good hitters with weak numbers at Turner Field. And it’s not like he plays that many games in Atlanta.

  79. @91&93: I didn’t mean to say the Nats suck because of Adam Dunn’s defense, I meant that the Nats don’t have to take Dunn’s defense into account, because they have no aspirations to compete. They hope his bat will put butts in seats, and his face will sell jerseys. Dunn’s offensive contributions outweigh his defensive liabilities more often than not, but on a contending team the defense is harder to hide.

    @93 on Schafer: It isn’t so much that he’ll be scarred, its just clear that there are still things he needs to work on, and he’s not getting the chance to do that when he’s hitting in front of the pitcher. It was a good idea to start, but at some point you’ve got to let him sink or swim.

    @92: Atlanta’s a football town? Hmm, its been a while since I lived there, but it never seemed like a one sport kind of town. If anything I’m much more impressed by the basketball fanbase than any other sport. I think Atlanta just doesn’t obsess about things the same way they do in Boston, NY, or Chicago. I also think that 14 straight division titles spoiled us, and wore out the bandwagoners.

  80. Atlanta’s a football town? Hmm, its been a while since I lived there, but it never seemed like a one sport kind of town. If anything I’m much more impressed by the basketball fanbase than any other sport.

    Yeah, it’s definitely been a while since you lived here.

    2008-9 Hawks Attendance: 686,688 (20th of 30)

  81. @101: The Falcons were 23rd out of 32, so I guess you haven’t been paying much attention either if that’s how you’re measuring a fanbase. The Braves were 14th of 30.

    The Hawks playoff crowds have impressed me in the way they support the team, not in how many fans come out, or how often they show up. Braves crowds have rarely been able to accomplish this, but Turner Field doesn’t facilitate the same level of excitement as a basketball arena.

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