171 thoughts on “I’m tired game thread: June 9, Pirates at Braves”

  1. Posted on previous thread:

    Didn’t see this posted anywhere on here but Norton will start at 1B tonight per DOB.

    Also, Karstens still slated to start Wednesday.

  2. Speaking of talent from the last thread, the Braves need to let Roy Clark do his thing, and then work out a deal whether it is over slot or not.

  3. Rumor is Clark wants to spend the money on Purke and was told no. I have to agree that if Wheeler and Matzek are gone, 7 becomes a pretty tough pick

  4. Someone brought up the value of “team chemistry” in the last thread. I’m always reminded of the team’s unifying hatred of the owner in “Major League.”
    But that pales in comparison to the real-life hatred the ’72-’74 WC Oakland Athletics had for Charles O. Finley.
    I always wanted to thank Charley personally for what he did for us, like advocating the DH and introducing M.C. Hammer.
    In some ways, he’s the patron saint of old guys that can’t play the field anymore.

  5. Ah, the late, great Billy Preston. That was one of my favorite radio songs when I was a kid, but I always got the lyrics confused. (I half-thought it was a Midas commercial.)

    I know that challenging times often make for great art, but you just don’t get radio-pop songs anymore with lyrics like, “I’m a soldier in the war on poverty.”

    Of course, that tune came out the same year as another one that asked, “Does your conscience bother you? Tell the truth…”

    From the previous thread…
    Anyone who’s ever read “The Bronx Zoo” knows that talent & drive will trump team chemistry every time.

    That team had the biggest asshole in the universe playing RF for a manager who was positively flammable. Neither guy was particularly liked by the rest of the team.

    But when you have players like of Munson, Nettles, Randolph, Lyle, etc., it’s no surprise how it ended up.

  6. By all accounts White/Minor are a step below the first names mentioned

  7. If the Pirates take Sanchez, and Matzek/Wheeler/Tate are gone, I don’t see why we wouldn’t take Crow though.

  8. I think Crow wants over slot too, but he has already sat out a year in an Independent league. I doubt he would sign for anything less than what Washington offered last year, and I am sure he wants more than that.

  9. I really don’t think Crow wants to spend another year on the bus. He’ll sign.

    edit – and if not, we get the pick back next year. Suits me.

  10. Stu – Purke is a HS. He may well go to college. Crow doesn’t have that option.

  11. I’m well aware of their respective leverage situations. But a price tag is a price tag; Crow won’t be cheap.

    As I’ve said before, though, I like the idea of hardballing an expensive guy and settling for next year’s No. 8.

    I would feel so conflicted if we took Mikie. I love him, but he’s not one of the 7 best pro prospects in this draft.

  12. Frenchy out per DOB

    Francoeur’s OUT of the lineup

    1. McLouth
    2. Escobar
    3. Chipper
    4. McCann
    5. Anderson
    6. Norton, 1B
    7. Diaz, RF
    8. Johnson
    9. Lowe

  13. But a price tag is a price tag; Crow won’t be cheap.

    I think a fair amount of that is posturing. He can ask for whatever he wants – another year in indy ball hurts Crow far worse than the team that picks him, and I don’t think that fact is lost on whoever chooses him.

  14. “Steve (Ohio):
    Keith, do you think Miller’s bonus demands are that firm? Do you think he would settle for less if Atlanta took him? Big gamble, I know, but don’t you have to think about taking that risk if the other options are Minor or White?

    Keith Law:
    He’s pretty firm at $4 million. Personally, I would just take him, offer him a half-million over slot, and tell him to take it or go to school and roll the dice with some idiot college coach throwing him 169 pitches the day after he threw an inning of relief.”

  15. “According to ESPN.com’s Keith Law, the Pirates have come to an agreement with Boston College catcher Tony Sanchez and will draft him when they select fourth tonight.” From MLBTR.

  16. Well, I’d love to have Crow. He’s clearly above White, Minor, and even Purke, IMO.

  17. I hope we get Wheeler but it is looking like Roy Clark will be forced to take White. Miller is my second choice behind Wheeler, but they won’t pay him.

  18. Braves 1-run record is now 11-8…3rd best mark in the NL.

    Yeah, it dont matter…but at least it isn’t 0-19.

  19. Latest

    1. Nationals: San Diego State righthander Stephen Strasburg.
    2. Mariners: North Carolina first baseman Dustin Ackley.
    3. Padres: Georgia HS outfielder Donavan Tate.
    4. Pirates: Boston College catcher Tony Sanchez.
    5. Orioles: California HS righthander Matt Hobgood.
    6. Giants: Georgia HS righthander Zack Wheeler.
    7. Braves: Vanderbilt lefthander Mike Minor.
    8. Reds: North Carolina righhander Alex White.

    If we pick Minor over Matzek or Crow, someone will pay.


  20. No idea. Money I suppose – Matzek wanted Porcello money like everybody else.

  21. Saw that Porcello pitch in Detroit a few weeks ago. The kid’s a moose. He looked pretty good, too. Got ahead of people, nice poise. Just one run in 6 IP. (Zumaya tried to blow the win for him, but held on barely.)

    Not bad for a 20-year-old…

  22. I must admit my own conflict of interest regarding Minor, but I would take Matzek, Crow, or even Grant Green ahead of him.

  23. Re: chemistry

    • A talented team can transcend bad chemistry, but an average team cannot. One of Cox’s strengths over the years was mother-henning a team that was greater than the sum of the parts.

    In other words, of course Reggie’s A’s and Yanks didn’t need group hugs, they were twice as good as anybody in the American League.

    • Fin de cycle issues are unavoidable. Cox, Glavine, Smoltz, Leo and even Schuerholz are understandably holding on to yesterday. Wren (who better have one hand on his nuts right about now) is asserting his control and the old guys ain’t happy. (Although Chipper seems downright serene right now.)

    • “We’re on a roll!” – Baghdad Bobby.

    Question: whom do you wish to see manage the Braves next year?

    Preston supposedly made a pass at a bass player I know. Not sure that’s the way God planned it …

  24. Also, Finley’s various activities tended to bring the A’s together, just as Steinbrenner’s various activities tended to bring the Yankees together. The Yankees, in particular, weren’t actually that antagonistic towards each other, except where Reggie was concerned. And every time Billy Martin got too Billyish, Steinbrenner would fire him and bring in someone low-pressure. It worked very well for about five years.

  25. RE: Crow

    Saw him live multiple times and partied with him a few. Decent guy. Laid back and pretty chill, but knew he was BMOC.

    Kind of reminded of me of AJ Burnett, though I only ever saw the fastball top out at 96. Wicked slider. Other pitches were fringe average. Heard a lot about possible injuries though, even whispers at school. FWIW, he was definitely thought of as being a level below Scherzer at Mizzou. Still, ridiciulously good pitcher though

  26. Green would fit a need and he was expected to be the 2nd or 3rd player taken at one point.

    I have trouble believing he has dropped that far.

  27. If it has to be White or Minor, then draft Crow or Purke and go just a little over slot. If they don’t sign we get a compensation pick in a stronger draft.

  28. Parish,
    His powerless bat won’t play anywhere but SS, and there are serious questions about his glove there.

  29. Everything I’ve read from Roy Clark says that he’ll take the best player and that he thinks the players ranked 11-30 are pretty interchangeable.

    I like the idea to take Crow and use the fact that he’s missed one season already as leverage.

  30. What doesn’t get discussed much is that the Yankee players thought that Billy was a booze-sozzled clown, even in the “Bronx Zoo” era.

    As much as most of his teammates despised Reggie—and, save Fran Healy, they really did—they also thought that Billy’s treatment of Reggie pointlessly hurt the team.

    Batting him 6th, asking him to bunt, pulling him from a game in the middle of an inning—they were all stupid power moves that put Billy’s ego above the club.

  31. Padres took Tate, as predicted. Not really sure he’s suited to Petco, but they’ve got a few years to worry about that yet.

  32. PIT’s pick is the one that can do it for us…please take Sanchez!

  33. Awesome.. Don’t F this up for us Liberty – one of Crow/Wheeler/Matzek is guaranteed now.

  34. Wheeler so shocked to be drafted by the Giants that he had the cap ready in front of him.

  35. Matzek/Crow/Miller/Purke/Turner/Leake are all better picks than Minor or White IMHO.

  36. “Minor isn’t going to wow you” isn’t something I like to see about a #7 pick.

  37. This has ownership’s fingerprints all over it.

    That said, to quote the fellas of The Lonely Island, “I jizzed right in my pants!”

  38. Now I regret pulling against ATL late last season to get a better Draft position. Though, too be fair if we had been a little worse we could’ve had Wheeler. I blame Fr4nc000r for not sucking enough.

  39. This is where Glavine uses the pick as part of his grievance.

    “Listen, they picked Mike Minor over the other guys. They’re obviously strapped for cash! That’s why they had to cut me!”

  40. Well, if he’s good enough for Roy Clark, I’m on board.

    Besides, whose opinion do you value more: Clark’s or Callis/Law?

    Also, I’ve never really seen the team skimp on the draft before. I don’t know why we think they’d start doing it now.

  41. So what’s the story on Minor? The only game I followed him in he gave up 6 runs in 4.1 innings and took the loss to a team that’s couldn’t hit much over the season. At the time I had no idea he was even considered for a first round pick. Has he always been that highly thought of or did he turn it on at the end of the season?

  42. From BP’s live chat

    “Kevin Goldstein (3:48:21 PM PT): The Braves take Minor. It’s indefensible. You don’t want to take a high school kid, that’s cool. You think he’s better than Alex White, who I’m not even that high on, and you’re nuts.

    Number 7 picks who profile as No. 4 starters make no sense. “

  43. Well thats a boring pick. I was looking at all this stuff at work today and was actually kinda excited watching Wheeler’s scouting video. Oh well, only time will tell.

  44. I don’t know if the pick was indefensible, but I do know that he watches poker on television. That is truly indefensible.

  45. I did find where he was SEC freshman of the year after going 9-1 with a 3.09 ERA and 88 strike outs.

    What’s interesting is his sophomore year he went 7-3 with a 4.28 ERA struck out 101.

    His junior year he went 6-6 with a 3.90 ERA struck out 114.

    So his strikeouts went up along with his ERA after his freshman year.

  46. Mike Minor – definitely has a good chance to be a #4 starter in the Majors. Solid chance.

    Go Braves! Way to use that high pick to gather an impact talent. Weak.

    Hope this means money will be spent in the international market or at the trade deadline (especially).

    (Then the Nats take a college reliever with pick #10. Garbage. Just garbage. Could’ve had the best righty and lefty pitchers in the draft! At least I’ll get to see Strasburg..)

    Disappointing draft.

  47. Yup, he sure was.
    I would hate him if he wasn’t a Brave, I just dislike him since he is one.

  48. Feels like a panic pick after the guy they targeted was taken. Speaking euphemistically, the selection is “curious.” I hope he proves me wrong.

  49. Don’t know how you could panic when this draft order has been pretty well established for 24 hours or so.

  50. Hey Stu, Chip just said he didn’t know Vanderbilt had a quality baseball program. And he said it “VAN-derbilt”, all incredulously, as if to say how do they play baseball with those slide rules hanging off their belts. Thought you should know that.

  51. :roll:

    Cut him some slack…it’s not like Vanderbilt has produced any notable prospects lately…


  52. If ACHE had even bothered to run and catch the fly ball this wouldn’t have happened.

  53. I’m not unhappy with the Minor pick. He knows how to pitch and he’s got a couple of different breaking pitches so he’s not just fastball/changeup. I wouldn’t worry about him turning into a Chuck James.

  54. Chuck James is actually a successful draft pick. We got him in the 20th round, and he won 11 games two years in a row. That’s quite good for a lower-round guy. The problem with Minor is that we picked him with our first pick, 7th overall, with Matzek and Crow still on the board.

  55. And James would have been higher had he not jumped off a roof and broke his left wrist.

  56. Oh I know, I’m not comparing them as draft picks. I’m just saying he’s got more potential than your average soft-tossing lefty. Of course that’s still not exactly what you’d like at no. 7 overall.

  57. Thanks for the tip, sansho. Strangely, it doesn’t even make me mad. Just further evidence why that guy shouldn’t have his job.

    Goldstein is exaggerating to make a point. Minor, IMO, profiles as a 3 with some 2 upside; still not what you want with the #7 pick, but he does have some promise. And I disagree that White would have been a better pick; they’re similar bets to be successful, IMO, and Mikie is left-handed.

    Minor will be a solid pitcher. He’s got a little more velocity than Chuck James or Jeremy Sowers, to whom he’s frequently compared. His best pitch is that changeup, which is truly excellent. His breaking pitch is only OK, but he just recently started throwing it.

    He’s a warrior, too. Quiet kid from a tiny town (Chapel Hill, TN) who’s not a vocal leader but will work hard.

    In short, from this VU fan’s perspective, he’s closer to Sowers than to Price on the spectrum, but he’s got clearly-better stuff than Sowers and should be a legit middle-of-the-rotation guy.

    I’m giddy to have a VU player to cheer for in a Braves uni; just wish Liberty would’ve allowed us to go after someone with ace upside, which Mikie simply doesn’t have at the MLB level.

  58. I’d like to share a story. I got home at about 6:45 EST this evening. I opened up my browser and immediately went to mlb.com. I had heard on the radio that the first 3 were Strasburg, Ackley, and Tate. I was happy to hear that Tate went to the Padres because that moves one of the pitchers down that they could’ve taken. I had previously read that the Pirates will draft Sanchez. So I figured we had a pretty good chance of grabbing a super-high upside arm. Back to 6:45 and mlb.com. I open the draft tracker. I saw that 5 and 6 were Hobgood and Wheeler. I almost peed my pants with excitement when I put 2 and 2 together and realized that Matzek was still available. I thought to myself, “No way we pass on an opportunity THIS great.”. The thought of Matzek in our farm was thrilling to me. Absolutely thrilling. Then all the hype I had built up came crashing down into reality when I hit “f5” (refresh). Mike Minor. So completely unexciting. Just, eh. I don’t care. We had the opportunity to have arguably the best HS arm in the draft. And we settle for Mike Minor because we’re cheap. Sad. Very sad.

  59. Not an exciting pick, and there are obviously better HS arms I wish we’d gambled on but I’m happy we didn’t pick either Crow or Matzek. They interviewed Matzek on MLBTV right after the Rockies picked him. Complete douchebag. Baines asked him if he was bummed about having to give up hitting to pitch for the Rockies and he says, “Well, Oregon has guaranteed me time at 1B too and I’m excited about that.”

  60. I’d actually rather see Francouer in the line-up than ACHE. As he was strolling down the line on the dp, he must have been thinking, “I think I’ll drive my Bentley tomorrow.”

  61. I like Greg (and his permanent ‘stache) but I believe he’s officially lost it.

  62. Until the Braves can get two league-average corner outfielders, they ain’t gonna be better than .500, even with solid starting pitching and infield hitting.

  63. If somebody can get me an address for Garret Anderson’s home, I will drive to Atlanta and take a dump on his lawn tonight.

    I think I hate him worse than I hate Francoeur. At least Stenchy wants to be here.

  64. I just realized the Braves don’t pick again until the third. This draft has been kinda boring…

  65. PWHjort,

    Funny story. I found out via iPhone as I was waiting in line at Best Buy. I shook my head and let out a very audile “pfft”, which drew a very strange look from the emo douche working the register.

    Even if they were sticking to slot, there were better options than Minor. It’s a terrible pick.

  66. Even Chip doesn’t get why Bobby doesn’t just use Lowe to bunt instead of pinch-bunting.

  67. Between the pennywise personnel moves in the offseason and the draft, it’s getting very hard to root for this team. That this organization seriously thought Anderson/Francouer would get it done and proceeded to stick with that this far into the season speaks either to willfulness or cynicism in the FO. Coupled with this draft choice, I just don’t believe they are committed to winning in any meaningful way. That or are they crippled by a lack of vision/creativity/skill. It’s just depressing.

  68. well Brandon Jones Dh’d today and went 2-4 and is hitting .306, Barbaro who could play 1st or take Norton’s role went 2-4 and is hitting .344

  69. @ 134: Wow.
    How can we not use Prado’s groin thing as an excuse to at least give Barbaro a shot?

  70. I just woke up and found out tht we picked Minor.

    None of us are privy to the scouting reports that the Braves have so the best thing on draft day (which is usually the case) is to reserve judgement.

    That said, I don’t see the reason why you would use the #7 pick on a guy who is probably a #3 starter….

    At least I can be happy for Minor and Vandy….

  71. Knee/groin/whatever. I think Joe might’ve mentioned the groin after Prado’s late hit last night.

  72. Prado was going to pinch-hit earlier but was pulled back, so I think he’s available.

    Though, Norton does appear pretty useless (small sample size and no playing time notwithstanding).

  73. Prado was apparently complaining of a knee problem before last night’s game. I assumed that his knee, combined with the length of the previous game, forced Bobby to give Norton a glove tonight.

    I wouldn’t mind Barbaro. He was sports-human of the year not too long ago, so he can’t be that bad.

  74. I know Barbaro is fast, but how can he hit and catch with no hands? Also, I thought they had to put him down?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  75. so what is Norton’s use on the team at this point also. They let him hit, but then was replaced defensively by an injured Prado. That cant be good, right?

  76. I do wish we’d give Norton more time in the OF. It’s understandable that he can’t possibly get any rhythm hitting when he rarely plays. I do think he could be a valuable bat off the bench.

  77. Why isn’t this guy the closer? Didn’t Norton say last year, that he wasn’t interesting in playing the outfield or the field on an everyday basis?

  78. I don’t think he should play everyday. Just a couple of times a week to take PAs away from ACHE and Stenchy. He’s got a lot more discipline than both of them.

  79. You won’t find a bigger Chipper Jones fan anywhere, but he’s been absolutely foul with the glove this year.

  80. Norton is the PH. Prado is the backup 1B/3B. Checking the splits, Prado/Kotchman make a pretty decent 1B option. The question is what happens in the OF when Infante comes off the DL. You assume that Blanco will be sent down when Kotchman is activated. You also assume Infante will play ahead of Francoeur.

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