Braves 4, Pirates 3

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves – Box Score – June 09, 2009 – ESPN

Hey, a one-run, come-from-behind win. We didn’t see a lot of that last year.

The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first on a couple of singles and a sac fly. The Braves came back to tie with a two-out rally in the third, Chipper driving in the run with an infield single. But sparked by the usual lackadaisical defense from Anderson — it’s almost like he wishes he was in Anaheim or something — and McLouth’s rather more organic poor defense, the Pirates got two runs in the next inning to re-take the lead. The Braves got three straight hits to lead off the fifth, McCann driving home Escobar with a single to make it 3-2, but ACHE grounded into a double play to end the rally.

Diaz (who started in right field, against a righthander, yet) singled to lead off the sixth. KJ bunted, well enought that reached first with a single. Blanco pinch-bunted — I hate the pinch-bunt, Lowe couldn’t do that? — and it was second and third, one out. McLouth was walked, and Yunel came through with his third hit of the night, a two-run single. Chipper grounded into a double play to end it, but we’ll cut him some slack.

He’s having problems on defense, though. Bobby brought in Gonzalez to pitch the eighth, and Chipper screwed up a grounder that could have brought the tying run to the plate could have put the tying run on base — should have, except that Yunel made a quick throw to first on the deflection, and the umpire missed the call and called the hitter out. In the ninth, Soriano (despite pitching two innings last night) was brought in to close, and was dominant. With two out, Chipper mishandled another ball into a two-base error, but Soriano buckled down and got the strikeout to end it.

As mentioned, Diaz started in right; Jeffy came in for defense in the ninth. Norton started at first, with Prado coming in for defense in the ninth. Norton was 0-4, and if they have such a low opinion of his defense, it’s increasingly bizarre that they’d rather keep him around than Canizares. However, it was Norton’s first start of the season, and in fact his first appearance as anything but a pinch-hitter this year, and I’ll cut him a little slack.

144 thoughts on “Braves 4, Pirates 3”

  1. Norton doesn’t want to play that much anyway, I believe his quote from last year was “Bench me or Cut Me”.

  2. The sentence: “could have brought the tying run to the plate”

    should read: “could have put the tying run on base”

    We were up 4-3.

  3. Just looked at the standings, and WOW, do the Nats ever suck. Every team has at least 10 more wins than they do. That is beyond rediculous.

  4. Probably won’t work long term but trading some minor leaguers for a team’s best player right before you play them seems to be a winning strategy.

  5. I almost feel foolish for suggesting we trade Soriano for Swisher, but I still think it’d be a good deal for us, long term. Especially if we’re just going to let Soriano walk after this year.

    Assuming the Yankees would take that deal…but Rivera has to retire some time.

  6. Is it so wrong to have fantasies of Soriano starting? I know, I know, but… *Salivates*

  7. Mac, are you going to offer any analysis on the draft? Or is that something you don’t bother delving into?

  8. David O’Brien

    June 9th, 2009
    10:15 pm
    Charlie Morton IS pitching tomorrow. Pirates trying to be tricky, announcing that after tonight’s game.

  9. Charlie is pitching tomorrow? I am sure he will pitch a shutout against us.

    Weldon, with both Gonzo and Sori being FAs after this season, the Braves are doing themselves a favor by giving both of them save opportunities. Their value at the trade deadline will be a lot higher with the “saves” attached to their names.

  10. Switching them up made game sense — Gonzo faced two lefties in the eighth, including Adam.

  11. In respect of the draft, I have two points:

    – I hate the Giants
    – We didn’t draft the most talented player available due to money issue

    I feel like we have wasted our high pick and is quite disappointed. I am fine with Mike Minor as a prospect, but not with him at the #7 spot. However, I guess that’s the reality of our team.

  12. sansho1, it makes sense from both the game and trade value points of view, which I think is great.

  13. Brian Jordan plays air guitar left-handed, even though I’m almost positive he threw and hit righty.

    The things you learn from the SportsSouth newsfeed…

  14. KC–#11–Yes, it will be the same old story: Morton will be one of those pitchers who shut the Braves out–because they have not seen him before….

  15. Gotta love JoJo:

    Reyes hurt again

    Braves pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes’ first rehab start was painfully brief. The left-hander re-injured his right hamstring while covering first base Tuesday on the first batter he faced for Class AAA Gwinnett.

    It was his Reyes’ first rehab game since being placed on the disabled list after straining the hamstring May 20 against Colorado. He was hurt in his first relief appearance after losing his rotation spot.

  16. The Braves have just selected Princeton pitcher David Hale with their second (third round) pick….Since he is coming out of the Ivy League, lets hope he is another Ron Darling…..

  17. Stephen, we will see. I have predicted a four-game win streak since our lost last Saturday, and we are three-quarter to that now. Overall, I am predicting the team will stick around .500 until we get another bat.

  18. I love the implication in that article that, if he had graduated last year, he would have opted for a job in finance instead of baseball, with no comments from the player to back that up.

  19. one guy from Vandy and one from Princeton. Looks like they want smart baseball guys instead of the really tooled ones

  20. I love this Hale guy. I absolutely recommend this article. It’s extremely pretentious and more than a little homoerotic (note the superfulous anal sex reference). The pitcher sounds like a champ, though.

    An excerpt:

    There is a certain geography to his very person: a mountain in a square chin, a quivering isthmus between a pleading upper lip and an overzealous Roman nose. He takes my hand in his . . .

  21. RE: the Nationals’ level of suck, consider that they have all of five more wins than Roy Halladay.

  22. Thanks for the link, JoeyT. That has to be one of the worst things I’ve ever read.

    Good to know how low the bottom can actually go…

  23. Anybody who spends more than two seconds of time moaning about who we took with the No. 7 pick in the draft is seriously wasting their time and giving themselves a needless ulcer. I’m not saying that the draft doesn’t matter, but need I remind you that the best prospect in our farm system as of last week was drafted in the 22nd round? Maybe those players everybody was whining about (Matzek and whoever else…I really don’t even care what their names are frankly) aren’t going to sign. Maybe they’re going to college. If so, wasting the pick when you know for a fact that you can’t sign him because you know you get a new one next year is pretty damn silly. You’re wasting your pick this year essentially for nothing. You have no idea what next year will bring. These are high school players! How can you possibly know who the hell they are or what they can do? In any case, it’s certainly not a sign that the franchise is going to hell in a handbasket. If you want signs of that, there are plenty better ones than that they didn’t draft exactly who you wanted them to, for reasons you’re not even freaking aware of. For the love of God, get a grip!

    Oh, and nice win.

  24. Case in point, I just looked at a Baseball America list of the Top 10 prospects in our system at the start of the year. Exactly one was a first-round pick. (Jason Heyward, obviously). Three were in double-digit rounds. (Hanson and Rohrbough were 22nd, Medlen was 10th).

  25. Agreed. Because it’s possible to hit a home run in Round 22, a team should feel free to waste its high-first-round selections.

  26. So picking someone who you know you can get in your system is wasting the pick, picking someone who you know (or are pretty sure) will not sign and will go to college is not.

    EDIT: Mike Piazza was a 62nd round pick and it ended up not. Marcus Giles’ career did not go down in flames because he was a 53rd round pick.

  27. Re: Link @ #26
    That guy needs to look up the definition of “overwrought.”

    He thinks he’s Faulkner, but he made my head hurt in just 3 paragraphs.

  28. No one has a clue about the MLB draft. For every Tim Lincecum there are at least 10 Van Poppel’s.

    People can get pissed that we’re “wasting” early picks. But nobody has any real idea. The numbers are staggering in support of this.

    And I’ll throw this out again: I defy anyone to try to argue that Keith Law and his ilk are better at this/have anywhere close the track record of Roy Clark and his staff.

    Getting pissed about the draft is a waste of time until at least two years down the road.

  29. jjbag,
    Not at all, actually.

    There’s been some talk in DevilsLand about his being homesick for Western Canada.

    In fact, I was in Toronto this past March and, while absorbing the psycho-hockey newspaper coverage up there, I noticed a relatively in-depth story about Sutter & his deep Alberta connections.

    He was a star for some of those great Islander teams, but he was never terribly comfy in the NYC area. He’s always been a great hockey guy, but he loves air & wide-open spaces, not cars & sprawling suburbia.

    Of course, that whole story could be a convenient cover if he takes the open Calgary job. But if he does, that’s fine, too.

    The Devs are more about the GM & his player assemblage than any coach. Because of Lamoriello’s particular vision, there’s a definite “Devils type” (think John Madden or Jay Pandolfo).

    We’ve had 11 coaches in the past 12 seasons—all winning, playoff campaigns—so there’s plenty of proof Lamoriello is the key.

  30. @32 Nick, you just spent more than two second writing that post!

    FYI, if the team can’t sign the pick, the team gets a compensation in the following year’s draft at the same spot. That’s why the Nats got two picks in the top ten this year.

    FFYI, Piazza, Giles, Hanson, and Rohrbough were all draft-and-follow signees, which do not exist anymore.

  31. That article on Hale is the most pretentious and gayest I’ve ever read. The author comes off as some sort of stalker, who knows lots of 25 cent words, but isn’t sure whether he needs to put the word “slider” in parenthesis, as if it’s not a real word. I think that guy should join the Frenchy fan club and send Francine fancy letters about the burden of coming from the south, or how he applies the categorical imperative to his at-bat approach.

  32. ububba, that’s very interesting. I’m not sure there is a sport where a head coach matters less than in hockey. Especially as of late, it really seems most are pretty interchangeable. Maybe I’ve just had too much of the Tony Granato experience lately.

  33. I hear you on the Granato bit & I wonder how much Roy would’ve brought to the Avs.

    As it relates to coaching, I think each situation is different. Hockey certainly has some deep strategic details: Do we put a checking line on their #1 line? Or match up with our #1 guys? How much do you play your 4th line?

    And yes, certain coaches have particular philosophies (eg.-how much defensive responsibility you require from your forwards, how much you let D men pinch, etc.).

    But it seems to me that a lot of NHL coaching is rooted in a feeling for the team and the ability to movitate.

  34. Agreed. Because it’s possible to hit a home run in Round 22, a team should feel free to waste its high-first-round selections.

    Stu, as usual, absolutely killing an argument that no one ever made. Some things never change.

    The point is that the error bars on a MLB draft pick are so large that getting all worked up about your team’s pick – and basing it on the relatively little information a lay person is going to have – is pretty silly.

  35. The idea that the draft does not matter is not worthy of refutation.

    It is probably too early to assess this draft and KC maybe right that we are witnessing a change in drafting philosophy.

    Minor looks like a supplemental pick and Hale–well a Princeton man–I would rather not comment except to say that he ought be very good–because the Braves could have had several wonderful players that were still available.

    More to the point, the organization has lots of pitching and very few quality position players in the lower minors. Maybe the idea is to stockpile pitching for trades….

  36. Ethan, I hope you’re sitting down, because I actually agree with you about not getting riled up about the draft. I wouldn’t know any of these guys except for Strasburg or the ASU guys like Leake if they walked through the door right now.

    The goal of scouting and player development is to develop major leaguers, whether they play for your team or not. I’ll certainly defer to Roy Clark and the scouting department, whom I believe are as responsible as JS, Cox, or any player for the 14 straight division titles.
    Maybe Minor is the #3 or #4 starter for the Braves in three or four years, maybe he’s trade bait for a bat or something of need in three or four years. Who knows ?
    It’s certainly nothing that I’m going to lose any sleep over.

  37. Stephen, I think the change of philosophy is probably a better debate than the Minor pick. With a high pick, we should have drafted a position player because that’s what we lack in the farm system in terms of depth. But since there is no top position player talents worthy of the #7 pick, I agree that we should pick a pitcher instead…but we end up picking Minor…

    Then you would think they will draft a positional player with the second pick, but they ended up drafting a reliever. I just don’t get it, but I am keeping my faith in Roy Clark.

  38. KC–There is another possibility: namely, the Braves don’t have the financial resources to wage a competitive draft. Both of these players will be easy signings and I can only hope that the Braves will use the money saved to sign some players over the slot.

    The Braves have often done better in later rounds and I hope that they now have the cash available to sign players who teams have allowed to ‘fall’.

    It should be an intersting draft day tomorrow….

  39. jj3bagger, even Strasburg has his risk. Just because all prospects have high risks doesn’t mean we should not be serious about it. In fact, this is why baseball draft and following prospects are so fascinating. If you are not paying much attention on that part of the game, you are missing out on lots of fun.

  40. Stephen, the second pick is what bothers me. Even with the lack of resources, I am sure the team can find a positional player to draft over a reliever?! Or Hale has to be pretty DAMN good.

  41. KC–well put in #51….The second pick mystifies me–except that our Princetonian is actually from the state of Georgia. More important, picks #107 David Renfroe and #108 Todd Glaesmann are precisely the kind of position players that we need….Hale had better get the job done….

  42. kc, don’t misunderstand my point. The draft is extremely important. I particularly find the scouting and player development part of the game fascinating. There are so many different places you can get talent from these days, internationally, high school, D1, D2, D3, JUCO, ,my point was, I’m not going to get too emotional one way or another on whether the Braves take Minor, Matzek, Leake, whoever, when I don’t have nearly enough information on anybody to make an informed opinion. I’m not saying the Braves are beyond criticism, but I’m certainly not going to be the one to deliver it.

  43. @54 I am not too emotional about it either. However, we got Heyward at spot 13 and I had my expectation when we are picking 7th. It’s not the end of the world, that’s for sure.

  44. I hope we have better luck with Hale than we had with Paul Bacot–the one player the Braves picked who had gone to my high school (Lakeside in Atlanta). Bacot was a second round pick in 2003 and had some success and then disappeared….

  45. I was just screening through the stats of all Braves players and found out that Frenchy is having an even worse season than last year. Amazing. As for KJ, he has been regressing since 2007 and he is slowly approaching Frenchy’s level of suckness.

    Of course, Ganderson is playing right at Frenchy’s level of suckness with a .650 OPS. Ganderson really needs to go. At least Frenchy can play better defense than him…

  46. If we ever get to a point that we are trading Javy and Sori away, I believe we will get some very good prospects back.

    I still think we should sign Gonzo to an extension now.

  47. I am not ready for the end of July firesale just yet. I wonder what we could get for KJ? He needs to start playing like ‘Chase’ Johnson very soon.

    The Frenchy problem, of course, is of another magnitude….

  48. Soriano really does have outstanding numbers–I just hope that he can stay healthy….

  49. Looking at billjamesonline’s baserunning numbers. Last season, Escobar was -25, this year he’s -6. The numbers represent bases advanced above (or, in this case, below) average. Jeffy’s at -5 for the year, but he’s been slightly below average for most of his career. Kelly is at -1, but he’s been +25 and +15 for the past two seasons. Garret Anderson is only at -2, and has been positive for most of his career. I have been surprised by how well he runs the bases considering how slow he is in the outfield.

  50. Marcus Giles always showed up near the top of those rankings. I believe the baserunning numbers a lot more than I do the various defensive metrics. Give me integers and concrete game situations, and I’m a happy dude.

    Also, I have no opinion about the draft. I say this from a position of ignorance, not philosophical defiance.

    Good day.

  51. So Morton vs Jurrjens tonight…boy, is this board gonna implode if Morton throws a gem.

    let’s get 4 in a row

  52. Stu, as usual, absolutely killing an argument that no one ever made. Some things never change.

    The point is that the error bars on a MLB draft pick are so large that getting all worked up about your team’s pick – and basing it on the relatively little information a lay person is going to have – is pretty silly.

    Not sure where the “as usual” and “Some things never change” comments come from, Bob, but you’re right that I attacked without reading carefully. Sorry about that, Nick.

    Anyway, I’m not really worked up about the pick at all—you will not find a bigger Mikie Minor fan—I just wish we’d taken a guy with more than “solid” upside, and I hate the fact that we can’t spend money.

  53. what happens if we dont sign minor? do we get a pick in next years draft? Is that a possibility?

  54. Yeah, we’d get the 8th pick in next year’s draft, csg, but Minor’s a guy you can sign for slot money. If the Braves were planning on using the lowball-and-then-take-next-year’s-pick-if-it-fails strategy, they’d have taken one of the higher-upside guys with a bigger price tag. Minor will probably sign quickly.

  55. I think that one of the reasons for both of the Braves’ picks involves the ability to sign each.

  56. Mac,
    Have you considered doing some Garret Anderson videos? You know, kinda like the Mike Hampton ones? You could just act inhumanly disinterested while performing various tasks.

  57. After sleeping on it, I retract the bleh from yesterday’s post.

    Therefore: “Welcome Mike Minor!”

  58. I love the idea that Bobby Cox could potentially be managing a guy from Vanderbilt and a guy from Princeton. Those conversations would be priceless. And Chip Carey could mock his UGA education even more–although, in truth, I suspect UGA is the one embarrassed about having him as an alum.

    Let’s face it–none of us know what the hell we are talking about. I don’t pay much attention to prospective draftees and, obviously, each team has a different philosophy. It’s also much harder to project baseball players than other sports. The only thing that would bother me is if the team is truly making drafting decisions based on signability rather than talent.

  59. “I feel good,” Francoeur said. “I feel comfortable, just not getting consistent results. I’m starting to swing the bat better. Last night, I had some nice walks. I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable.”

    No jury in the world would convict if you ran this guy over with your car.

  60. I may have missed this a week ago, but can somebody post the reason Jason Heyward was assigned to Danville 1 June?

  61. Brief NBA break:
    Can a Hawks fan please tell me if Mike Woodson can coach?
    He has a big legacy here with Indiana basketball fans. He hung around the NBA for about a dozen years because he could shoot. But we didn’t see him enough as a coach unil this season’s playoffs.
    What do you think?

  62. mikemc, he’s been injured

    How can Francoeur say these two statements back to back? ” I’m starting to swing the bat better. Last night, I had some nice walks.”

    Swinging the bat better and walking? Im happy about the walks trust me, but say that after you get two or three hits in a row or hit a long hr, but not after walks. Just say something like, “Im seeing the ball better, or Im being more selective.”

  63. @80 I’m not a huge Woodson fan, but I’d rather have him than a few of the guys I’ve watched in the playoffs (Mike Bown, for instance, despite his COY). I find Woody stubborn to alter his substitution patterns to in-game situations. I also think he slows down an offense that should be running constantly (thus, his need for an older, slower PG). Plus, his refusal to play young guards, especially Law, leaves the Hawks in an awkward position this summer with Bibby, who they should probably let go but now have no developed PG to take his place.

    All that said, it’s hard to argue with Woody’s results these past few years: every year the Hawks have improved significantly in the win column. And I’m excited about the NBA again. So there’s that.

  64. #32 Hear hear!

    This baseball draft analysis kind of reminds of the people who follow college football recruiting. You can only properly evaluate it several years down the road.

  65. “Francoeur said. “I feel comfortable, just not getting consistent results. I’m starting to swing the bat better. Last night, I had some nice walks.”

    One of which was intentional, after Blanco stole second.

  66. @81 He’s simply an idiot. Everything that comes out of that guy’s mouth suggests as much. He’s just… stupid. And I wish he would go away.

  67. This baseball draft analysis kind of reminds of the people who follow college football recruiting. You can only properly evaluate it several years down the road.

    Well… except in the case of Jason Heyward, for example, who was a brilliant pick at the time and who has continued to zoom up prospect lists ever since by hitting the hell out of the ball virtually every chance he’s gotten.

    There’s no question that we’ll have a much fuller sense of this draft, particularly of the later picks, in a few years, when they’ve had a chance to prove themselves or wash out trying. The draft class was problematic because there were so few “sure things,” but the Braves’ draft strategy was problematic because they were unwilling to spend above slot for better talent.

    It’s up to Minor to prove that he has major league talent in short-season and full-season ball over the next few years. But he pretty clearly wasn’t the BPA.

  68. but the Braves’ draft strategy was problematic because they were unwilling to spend above slot for better talent.

    This is the key point. You can’t judge the draft based on a results-oriented analysis until several years down the road, but on a process-oriented basis, you can legitimately, IMO, worry about the unwillingness (inability?) to spend money.

  69. I think I’m more ashamed of Chip Carey than of Odell Thurman, Quincy Carter and Tony Cole combined. I became physically ill when his name was tossed around as a possible replacement for Munson.

  70. #87 & #88

    I agree that evaluation of the process itself is fair game.

    Question for the forum, was Francoeur considered a “can’t miss” guy? I don’t follow amateur or minor league baseball at all, but the local media here in Atlanta (for what they know) certainly spoke of him in those terms, as did some national media types if I recall. Obviously he was over hyped by them, and prematurely anointed the savior, but were there red flags with this guy 5-6 years ago, and if so, were they simply passed off as part of any young player’s maturation process?

  71. There really isn’t such a thing as a “can’t miss” player because a lot of can’t-miss players do miss. That’s why a system needs lots of high-end prospects instead of just a couple–if you have a lot, the chances are some will pan out. Everything that people are saying now about Hanson and Heyward was being said about Betemit and Marte a few years ago.

    But the only thing you can do is make your best evaluation and draft the best player you think is available. He might or might not pan out; a player drafted for “signability” might end up being better than a more highly touted player. But, if you are consistently relying on things like that, it won’t work in the long-run. Maybe Minor will work out, but you have to wonder who the Braves would have taken if money wasn’t a factor.

  72. Maybe Minor will work out, but you have to wonder who the Braves would have taken if money wasn’t a factor.

    Matzek, I assume. We were said to be “all over him” or something like that earlier in the process.

  73. “Question for the forum, was Francoeur considered a “can’t miss” guy?”

    I kind of feel like he had that aura when he was drafted, but I was reading about his lack of pitch selection (too few walks) as a red flag very early in his minor league career, so I guess it is fair to say that on draft night he was can’t miss (and that he only dropped to the Braves because other teams drafting ahead of us thought he would go to Clemson), but that his flaws were exposed fairly quickly once he got into organized baseball.

  74. Francoeur was a super-tools guy. The questions were about his discipline. Hermida was the local kid with discipline but not quite the raw athleticism.

    Anyway, I don’t remember anyone outside the Braves hype machine labeling Francoeur a can’t-miss.

  75. Stu…I seem to remember, at various times, the local talk radio outlets, the AJC, and people like Gammons, Rosenthal, Stark, etc. I can’t cite specific articles, or if they used the phrase “can’t miss”, but the hype I was referring to wasn’t coming directly from the Braves. Indirectly? I’m sure, they are in the business of sales, but whatever they were dishing out to the media, there were plenty of takers there to perpetuate it.

  76. Any hype from Gammons, Rosenthal, and Stark—stuff like that SI article—would have come in 2005 after the half-season of awesomeness, not when he was drafted or was still a prospect.

    And I consider the local talk radio outlets and the AJC part of the Braves hype machine, generally speaking.

  77. Any hype from Gammons, Rosenthal, and Stark would have come in 2005 after the half-season of awesomeness, not when he was drafted or was still a prospect.

    That’s not necessarily true. For example, Hanson has been hyped by the national media many times, especially after his minor league season and the AFL performance. I don’t think it was a coincidence ESPN aired his spring training opener. I’m certain I remember discussions about the looming greatness of Jeff Francoeur before he played a major league game.

  78. That’s not necessarily true. For example, Hanson has been hyped by the national media many times, especially after his minor league season and the AFL performance. I don’t think it was a coincidence ESPN aired his spring training opener. I’m certain I remember discussions about the looming greatness of Jeff Francoeur before he played a major league game.

    Francoeur never came close to putting up the minor league numbers that Hanson did, so there’s no reason the mainstream guys would have taken notice like they did with Hanson. He was considered a top prospect, but not a can’t-miss. (Maybe this is a semantics thing? Maybe we have different interpretations of what implies “can’t-miss”?) The only discussions about his looming greatness which I remember were coming from the aforementioned hype machine.

  79. Agree…I think we may be splitting hairs. As I said, i’m not sure if “can’t miss” was ever used, but there was a great deal of hype, as there is with many prospects. You are correct regarding the performance numbers, but Francoeur benefitted then (and still does) from being a local hero, 2 sport star and matinee idol type. I think it’s fair to say his “persona” is still carrying him a lot further than his abilities, and I think that was partially the case pre-MLB.

  80. @80 Woodson’s an OK enough coach, and I’m glad the Hawks brass gave him and the team time to really work together (at least enough to be at “regular playoff participant” status).

    With that being said, the team plays too much hot-potato offense, they often refuse to play to their strengths (speed, primarily), J-Smoove still acts like a dope, and the team frequently checks out on the road. Given the talent disparity and matchups, the Hawks should have beat the Heat in four/five and maybe take one from the Cavs.

  81. Nevermind, I see it has already started. The Braves took a SS named Mycal Jones from Miami Dade CC in the 4th and are about to make their 5th round selection.

  82. I feel like the organization isn’t paying enough attention to the importance of pitching in a minor league system.

  83. Man, the catcher I played with in high school just got drafted. I pitched to that guy!

  84. #80

    Woodson is difficult to assess. He has presided over a complete teardown/rebuild of the franchise, and most of the team is still very young. They have progressed each year of his tenure, and made it (barely) into the second round of the playoffs this year where they were clearly overmatched against Cleveland.

    It’s also fair to say he’s never had a real point guard. Mike Bibby is leaps and bounds over what they had for the first part of his tenure, but he can’t defend and is really a shoot first type point man. The Hawks “star player” Joe Johnson, is really more of a complimentary player than a star, though he is certainly good. However, he’s a quiet type and doesn’t seem willing to take over a game or team. Woodson has also been saddled with the talented but enigmatic Josh Smith, who’s performance cannot be predicted from one night to the next. Smith is athletic, but has no basketball acumen, seems uncoachable and is mostly just immature.

    Woodson’s tenure also mostly coincides with the tenure of Billy Knight as the GM, who by all accounts is an idiot. He famously passed on Chris Paul for the mediocre Marvin Williams, and also drafted Sheldon Williams 5th overall when most draft boards had him around 20. Sheldon Williams is now a back ender, if in the league at all, and Marvin Williams is nothing more than a role player with a jump shot.

    Given these considerations, most believe Woodson has done a pretty good job. My chief complaint with his coaching is a lack of an offensive identity, and the team seems to have trouble staying motivated, and often doesn’t show up.

  85. Frenchy was hyped by the Braves to Braves fans and media as the next Dale Murphy. Then, when Moneyball came out, he was supposed to be the proof that Moneyball was wrong. He had lofty expectations heaped on him. Prior to his first big-league at-bat (which no one was expecting) he received a standing ovation from the crowd. This wasn’t done for McCann or any of the other call-ups who preceded him. Why? Because the organization had been talking him up for so long, people knew who he was.

    But, outside Atlanta Francouer was just a high-upside prospect who hadn’t matured enough to judge. The guy in Atlanta’s system that everyone loved, whom many people did say was a “can’t miss”, was Andy Marte. He’s in Gwinnett now, playing for the other team and doing a Wes Timmons term in Triple-A.

  86. All right, folks…I’ll leave it to ya’ll to keep this winning streak going. The wife and I are heading to the hospital in the next few hours for the birth of our first child.

    I don’t want her to be born in another playoff-less year for the Braves. You hear that Bobby and Frank!?!

  87. Well, if there are financial limitations on team in acquiring talent, maybe TPTB decided to save a few bucks in a subpar draft, and spend it in the international market later.

  88. In the 8th-the Braves select Kyle Rose another righty OF. He’s from Northwest Shoals CC.

  89. this is all good news I guess, could be worse. per DOB

    Jordan Schafer has a deep bone bruise on his left hand. Expected to rest for two weeks.

    Brandon Jones has some minor patella tendinitis in his knee, not restricted from playing.

    Jason Heyward has a strained oblique, and has stayed with the Myrtle Beach club throughout his rehab, contrary to some reports. He’s expected to be back playing as soon as this weekend.

  90. If this is your first, Tiger, you’re about to experience the best thing that will ever happen to you.

    Bueno suerte, el Tigre!

  91. @80: Woodson

    As is the case with most Kentucky grads, I have great respect for IU Basketball and, as such, have wanted Woodson to succeed.

    But he can be a hard man to root for. Their offensive sets seemed designed for the Big Ten, and too often devolve into last-second heaves from Johnson or Marvin.

    At various times over the last few years, I would have sworn he has lost the team as they’ll go two or three games without attempting to rebound or defend. But he always seems to reel them back in.

    It’s kinda academic, anyway. The ownership group is in financial and legal disarray and nothing that costs money is going to change very much.

    There’s been progress, but at a glacial pace.

    This year will tell the tale.

  92. FWIW, former flirt AJ Burnett getting skewered today in YankeeLand for his inability to beat Boston this year (0-2 with a 12.00 ERA). He also got smacked by the Phils.

    Welcome to life in the big city, AJ.

    Congrats & good luck, Mr. & Ms. Tiger.

  93. Not sure if anyone cares about the names at this point but I’ll keep updating JIC.

    9th-Matthew Weaver R/R SS-Burlington CC
    10th-Aaron Northcraft RHP-Mater Dei HS (Ca)
    11th-Christopher Masters LHP-W. Carolina
    12th-Christopher Lovett R/R SS Columbia State CC
    13th-Jordan Kreke R/R 3B-E. Illinois

    That’s 3 Right-handed SS. Could their be some truth to the Red Sox rumor involving a mystery SS (maybe Escobar)?

    Only 1 HS kid by my count so far.

  94. Speaking of bad writing, here’s a paragraph from Rick Reilly’s latest:

    We are not a collection of legal briefs, appellate rulings and city ordinances. We are people. We are grandfathers and sisters and uncles and girlfriends, all woven into the fabric of this wonderful thing called sports. And if once in a while we want to do something nice for each other — and not want anything for ourselves — is that so wrong?

    Yeah, they’re paying him $17 million.

  95. Tiger224 – congratulations! Get ready for the greatest experience a man can have.

    ‘Then, when Moneyball came out, he was supposed to be the proof that Moneyball was wrong.’

    JC you make it sound like someone in the Braves FO purposely touted Francouer and promoted him after a just ok minor league stint to prove the superiority of the ‘scouting method’ over sabermetrics.

    But you have to wonder don’t you? Andy Marte was can’t miss all the way. Every pundit, publication, sabermatrician or guy that read all that stuff and understood it thought the same way. Well at least Benchy (one can only hope) was an MLB average player for 232 (70 games 2005, 2007 season) games. Marte has never made it. However the Braves recent trend in judging their own minor league talent has been decidedly mixed. For every McCann, Escobar there is a Benchy, James, Davies, KJ, Brandon Jones. However it may be unfair to throw pitchers in that mix.

  96. Well we were on the same team, I meant to say he used to catch me. But I did face a guy who was drafted in the third round out of Clemson, and I did get him out. So yea, hopefully they make the bigs so I can say stuff like that and it will seem cool.

  97. The local fishwrap reports that Zeke Spruill is headed for the DL in Rome. The injury was not specified, but I wonder if it’s related to his having a rocky time in some recent outings.

  98. 14th Cody Harrilchak L/L CF Elon U.
    15th Bennett Pickar R/R C Eaton HS (Co)
    16th Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg R/R 1B Nova Southeastern U
    17th Jace Whitmer R/R C Kennesaw St.

  99. @68 – Apology accepted, Stu. We finally got one of your Vandy guys in the system. I look forward to seeing how it works out.

    As far as Woodson goes, I’m really not a fan. In fact, there have been times where it’s seemed like Mike Bibby was coaching this team more than Mike Woodson.

    The team had no resiliency whatsoever. If things were going wrong, they were pretty much guaranteed to lose.

    His constant whining about Josh Smith and his refusal to actually do anything about it is becoming really annoying. It’s pretty obvious that what Josh Smith needs is a good kick in the ass, and Woodson refuses to give him one and just pouts about how uncontrollable he is. It’s mindless!

    His in-game coaching is bizarre at best. There is no offensive system whatsoever. There are no sets they can run if they get into trouble. I’m not even sure he ever draws up any plays at all, other than iso for Joe Johnson every once in awhile. He basically has the team go out there and do whatever.

    Defensively, his coaching is flat-out awful. Every team in the league knows how to tear us apart. No matter what happens or how bad the matchup will be for us, we switch. And every team in the league knows how to manipulate the switch to get the best possible matchup or shot. And then when Dwyane Wade or LeBron James or whoever scores 50 points because he’s matched up on Zaza Pachulia all game, Woodson basically shrugs his shoulders. Also, he never double-teams anybody. Somebody could be hitting every single shot and be unstoppable on that day and we’ll just let him do it. This happened with the aforementioned players in the playoffs multiple times.

    So yeah, I really don’t think he’s very good at all, personally. Pretty much every person I’ve met who has some experience coaching basketball thinks he’s a horrible coach, which also tells me something.

    I’m pretty sure that this year we reached the absolute peak of what we can do with Woodson and this team.

  100. Marc Schneider
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.)
    Seat Painter
    Stephen in the UAE

    Thank you all for your well wishes. They are much appreciated. She’ll be delivered at some point in the next day or two at Northside Hospital (also called The Baby Factory of GA). I’m a transplanted Atlantan, originally from SC…but I’m proud to say that my little girl will have a natural reason to pull hard for my beloved Braves, as she’ll be from the big city of hotlanta.

    Cheers to all and let’s keep winning!

  101. Tiger…we had a great experience at Northside 2 years ago. Best of luck to you and the family.


  102. That is not what I meant to imply. Frenchy was not promoted to make that point. He was promoted out of desperation and he played himself into a job. The expectation was that he would be coming to the majors soon, and that he would be the 5-tool great-make-up guy with the Good Face. When he succeeded, everyone forgot that he had some more developing to do. My point was that he was never considered a “can’t miss” prospect. A good prospect yes, but nothing to get too excited over.

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