Three game homestand game thread: July 31, Dodgers at Braves

In case you’re wondering, I’m the one who hates the Dodgers the most. I am a traditionalist in many ways.

I don’t get Greg Norton. He sucks, and it’s not like we haven’t had some guys who sucked on the roster, or even in the lineup, playing right field day after soulcrushing day. But what I don’t get is why the loyalty to this guy. Is it really all about the $300,000 or so he’s still owed for the rest of the season? I mean, it’s a sunk cost at this point. And it’s not like Norton is a guy who’s been around for a long time, he’s barely been on the team for more than a year. I mean, the Hamster deserved more loyalty than Norton.

The Braves were 51-50 before yesterday’s game, if I’d realized that I would have posted this video then.

325 thoughts on “Three game homestand game thread: July 31, Dodgers at Braves”

  1. Yeah, cause it worked out so well with Teixeira.

    Worst case Rochy would be a helluva upgrade from Norton…

  2. @2. Tell me about it.

    Norton should do the honorable thing and quit. I’m certain Julio Franco at 85y/o can do better than Norton.

    The Braves want LaRoached for what? I get it, we need more speed. So with LaRoached that will at least cut down on the double plays we hit into.

  3. Hopefully we gave them back Luis Sumoza.

    Ethan, I know we were burned in the Tex deal, but remember the McGriff deal? Yeah. I would have loved to be in the Gonzalez sweepstakes, but there wasn’t a Gonzalez sweepstakes. The Pads aren’t giving up like the Pirates are. But I would have traded Freeman/Medlen/Rohrbough for him…because I think he would almost definitely get us to the playoffs this year. But it’s moot now.

  4. I don’t get this. Is he gonna be flipped for someone else? Is Kotchman going to be traded for relief? What is the point of this deal?

  5. LaRoche to us makes no sense; we have to LH 1b with basically the same hitting skills on the roster, neither of whom will be happy on the bench. This doesn’t advance anything, unless we are now flipping Kotchman for someone else useful.

  6. Yay Rochy – he’s a 2nd half player. Maybe we can then trade him in the offseason and obtain him again at next year’s deadline.

  7. It must mean Norton is gone, but what the hell are we doing with Kotchman and LaRoche? Norton has been worthless this season, but at least he profiled as a somewhat different player from Kotchman. If we were in the AL, this would make sense, but we can’t just DH Rochy.

  8. @10

    I have no clue. If it came to that, I’d rather have Kotchman as he’s under team control for 2(?) more years and LaRoche is a FA after this season. It’d be an awful lot to bet that Freeman is ready.

  9. LaRoche OPS in the NL this year is .760; Kotchman’s is .754. How does this trade advance the ball on anything?

  10. #3, it didn’t work out because of starting pitching injuries. Tex and Mahay gave us everything we wanted.

  11. Ugh, Kotchman is just as good and cheaper, better glove, better average, better with RISP.

  12. Good lord, Kotchman for LaRoche? I don’t know if that’s, uh, a good trade for us. I also don’t know why the Sox would do that. Did Kotch have options?

  13. Also, what are the Sox going to do with Kotchman? With them getting Martinez, they have so many corner infielders. I figured one of them would be traded, but not for ANOTHER corner infielder.

  14. @8

    I hear you and I’d have given up the same package for Gonzalez in a cocaine heartbeat. That wouldn’t have gotten Peavy this offseason however, and I doubt it’d get Adrian.

    To be honest, (this weird LaRoche trade nonwitstanding) I think McLouth was our big deadline acquisition. We just did it a few months early.

    Unless Boston just gave LaRoche away, I don’t see the point of this trade though

  15. I don’t use profanity much but this is one of those time. (I’m keeping it off the board though.)

    Why in the world do we want anything to do with Gross Laroche again? And isn’t he a free agent at the end of the season anyway?

    Only way I accept is if they are sending us cash to agree to take him. And by that I mean no players leaving Braves; Boston pays us to take him.

  16. WTF? Did his not covering first last night piss someone off that bad?

    I don’t get it…it has to be more.

  17. Where’s the guy who used to call him Huckleberry? Poor dude must be on suicide watch right about now.

  18. What are the cash terms? Rochey still had about $3M on his contract this year and the BoSox took it all on.

  19. Just when Kotchman is starting to hit a little, they trade him? For LaRoche? To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, “What the hell is going on here?”

    Maybe McLouth was lonely for his Pirates teammates.

  20. There’s gotta be something else in the deal. Otherwise it makes no sense. And we forfeit the game tonight with Norton in the field.

  21. Hold on guys, offensively speaking, a slumping LaRoche minus some power is about equal to a good-hitting streak Kotchman. I will miss seeing some of Kotch’s great picks at 1B, though, if this rumor turns out to be real.

    I wonder if this could be a cash play – The Sox could eat part of Rochey’s $3M and take on Kotch’s about $1M and make it wash for the Braves.

  22. Not so sure about this one–looks like a wash offensively (a bit more SLG from Laroche but less OBP) but a step backward defensively. Laroche is much more expensive but the Juice Sox or the Bucs are probably paying some of the difference.

    Also don’t see the point in creating another hole to fill for next year–I don’t think they can count on Freeman taking the job.

  23. Someone on DOB’s blog (consider the source, i know) says we’re also including “Kimbel” … better not be Craig Kimbrel.

  24. Why not just platoon Kotch w/ Barbaro and do even better offensively, improve the bench, dispose of norton, and not take the hit on defense?

    I really hope this isn’t true.

  25. To be fair to Norton, from what I hear, Jason Schmidt is throwing 84 MPH fastballs right now those would probably be right in Greg’s wheelhouse.

  26. This is like biazarro world. Why not get Andruw back too? As a matter of fact, Marcus Giles is not doing anything these days. There has to be more to do this, I’m praying.

  27. To be fair to Norton, from what I hear, Jason Schmidt is throwing 84 MPH fastballs right now those would probably be right in Greg’s wheelhouse.

    Yeah right. I honest-to-God think I could get Greg Norton out right now.

  28. The MLBTR link goes to a chat. If you engage the chatbox you will see the link to yet another site

  29. The anticipation!!!

    Rolen to the BoSox too?
    I cant believe we sent anyone good if we got Laroche.

  30. This from Bowman on Twitter:
    If Braves complete deal for LaRoche and it appears they’re very close to doing so, Kotchman won’t necessarily be included in three-way trade

  31. Heading to the game tonight — I might regret saying this, but Jason Schmidt is exactly who this team, with its short bench and somewhat scrubby lineup, needs to see. You’d have a hard time coming up with a matchup of more dissimilar futures than Hanson vs Schmidt. This way to the glue factory, Mr. Schmidt….

    Edit: If it turns out to be Kotchman for LaRoche — well, that’s pretty weird, but I always liked LaRoche. And he can bolster a lineup when he’s hot better than Kotchman can.

  32. If we did it, that’s a very strange trade. I hope we either got another piece (something small, obv) or gave up something other than Kotch…that seems too much.

  33. ESPN reporting it too. Kotchman for LaRoche. Interesting trade. Don’t know how I feel yet.

  34. Well then. So long as there aren’t any other players involved, I’m fine with LaRoche for Kotch. Bat him higher in the order and take a gamble that Rochey heats up back in Atlanta. Not sure what the year-end implications are, but it seems low-risk.

  35. @54 – “This way to the glue factory, Mr. Schmidt….”….haha.

    Stood behind the bullpen this Spring out in Arizona and saw Schmidt trying his hardest to the get the number of a girl who was talking to him from the other side of the fence. Not that this distinguishes him from any other major leaguer, but it gave me a chuckle.

  36. @54. You know Schmidt will probably have his most dominant outing in 8 years.



  37. I like it. It makes our weakest link Diaz-Church-RF, and that’s okay in my book.

    Norton going 0-4 should finally get Cox to realize his mediocrity.

  38. Looks like ol’ Frank has a little bit of Dayton in him after all.

  39. I can kind of understand dealing Kotchman when he’s on a hot streak, but I’ve got a real bad feeling about this, and I like LaRoche more than the average Braves fan.

  40. DOB says Barbaro to get the call and start at 1st tonight. Norton DFA? So it’s not all bad.

  41. I just can not understand this move for any reason and why they would want to have anything to do with LaGross.

    It surely can’t be straight up right? There has to be something coming with LaGross right?

    Just when I was starting to warm up to Frank Wren he pulls off the dumbest trade I’ve seen since the Pirates acquired Matt Morris at the trading deadline despite being multiple games out for three prospects.

  42. @66

    I know, I know. Last time I was this sure we were going to hammer someone was a Scott Erickson start in ’05 for the Dodgers. Then he gave up 2 runs in 6 innings. It was the last decent start of his career….

  43. Daniel, how do you reckon this makes 1B a non weakness? Kotch and Laroche were within a point or two in OPS+ and Adam will not be confused with Casey defensively, I assure you. LaRoche is an FA at years end and costs more now, while Kotch was controlled for 2 more years and is 4 years younger.

  44. Stu, why is this a horrific deal in your opinion? I agree with most people here that the deal makes no sense since we’re looking at two almost identical players, but even if you give Kotch the edge on defense, it’s hardly “horrific”.

  45. “Meanwhile, sources tell ESPN’s Peter Gammons that Boston has spun off first baseman Adam LaRoche in a trade to his former team, the Atlanta Braves. LaRoche will return to Atlanta in exchange for first baseman Casey Kotchman. The Red Sox reportedly view Kotchman as a better fit in a bench role, and the Braves are looking for more offense in LaRoche. He would have filled only a very limited role had LaRoche remained in Boston after the acquisition of Martinez.”

    Wow…Kotchman goes to the bench. Ouch.

  46. I see that whole “Marlins are no longer pursuing Nick Johnson” thing was entirely untrue.

  47. Why bother? We created a hole in the 2010 roster for no good reason. Now we’re looking at a 1 year stop gap at first base next season.

  48. per post from DOB blog, Bill Shanks said that the Braves would have considered non-tendering Kotchman in the off season. Not a happy camper in the clubhouse

  49. We now have the worst Braves infield defense since the late 1980’s.
    The pitchers must be thrilled!

  50. It’d have been nice to get the Red Sox to throw in Saito in the deal. I’d definitely feel better about it anyway

  51. @87 – I remember Joe saying once that Casey kept to himself and just read when on team flights and in the clubhouse, implying that he didn’t converse much with the rest of the team.

    Joe also somehow made reading seem like a bad thing.

  52. #87 is that what DOB said, or is that what a poster said. DOB has vehemently disagreed with Shanks’s reporting on clubhouse chemistry all year.

  53. Color me baffled and perplexed and confused. Kotchman had a good July, but horrible June. Adam had a great June, but horrible July. Unless they were going to dump Kotchman I don’t get it… I mean sure Chipper has a hunting buddy back on the team but that hardly seems a good reason to make the trade.

  54. There has to be some personality/Bobby/square peg issue here for them to acquire about the same player, for more money, and an expiring contract. I’m sure we’ll learn more here. Interestingly, both Kotchman and LaRoche both seem to suffer from ADD, yet another similarity.

  55. Yes, and Barbaro will play first base tonight. I’m not sure what the roster situation is, if that means that Norton is released (hopefully so), or if they have an extra spot until LaRoche wanders in, or if someone is going on the DL.

  56. Horrific is not too strong. This serves no purpose, makes us weaker defensively, does not strengthen the offense, and opens a hole in ’10, and costs more this season. Stupid non-move.

  57. Canizares here by game-time is another bonus to having your AAA up the road in Gwinnett; he would not have been able to get here from Richmond.

    Maybe we finally decided Kotchman’s limited power was never going to work at Turner Field. If so, this is pretty good, straight up for us, as LaRoche is a little better this year, and for next year, we will offer LaRoche arbitration (1 year); if he takes it, we have the position covered until Freddie is ready. If he doesn’t, we do have to scamble for a one year (half-year?) fix, and LaRoche should get the the level “B” free agent and we get a sandwich pick.

  58. And to add insult to injury.

    The Marlins just got Nick Johnson for a double AA pitcher that’s not a top 10 prospect and we trade a major leaguer and superior player for La Gross.

    Nick Johnson .810 OPS
    Casey Kotchman .764 OPS
    LaGross .772 OPS
    Jorge Cantu .785 OPS

    Maybe we can flip LaGross for Jorge Cantu or Ross Gload and get something out of this.

  59. LaRoche’s numbers are down this year, but that appears to me to be mostly a BABIP fluke. He’s always been a .270-range hitter, and if he returns to that level he’s better than Kotchman. If not… Well, we’ll see. I don’t know what this means for 2010, though.

  60. Did anyone really want Kotchman starting next year anyways? Nothing ventured, nothing gained?

    LaRoche is traditionally a second-half hitter for whatever it’s worth. Also in a contract year. I feel like it’s a decent bet that we see significantly better offensive production from Lurch.

  61. @90 I was thinking the same thing. Now I guess Garrett will never smile. His lockermate and friend is gone. Maybe he and Yunel can become buddies, so Yunel will not have to sit beside the bench coach the whole game.

    Chipper and LaRoche are very good friends. Aren’t they hunting buddies or some dumb shit?

  62. Maybe somebody can recap the events of the last 3 years for me…
    It seems we traded Laroche to the Pirates for a lefty closer.
    Then we find out his successor couldn’t cuy it in MLB.
    So we trade half of the best farm system in baseball for one year of the best 1st baseman in baseball.
    We then trade that 1st baseman for Casey Kotchman.
    After one year of Casey, we trade him to get Laroche back, at a vastly greater salary, in his FA year.
    So we traded half of the best farm system in baseball to rent out Laroche?
    Is that it?

  63. I don’t mind the deal for this year, but as Stu and Mac say, what about 2010. I guess worst case, you just offer him arbitration. I don’t really see a lot of bigger offers coming to him in the offseason.

  64. Nationals are even covering Johnson’s salary. The prospect the Marlins gave up is 5-9 with a 4.11 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 75K and 43BB in 114 IP

    We couldn’t give up James Parr or something like that for two months of Johnson??

  65. Well, we have Mahay and Marek too. Plus we didn’t pay our 1Bs what LaRoche got paid. And, you know, Salty, Feliz, and Andrus are gone. So be it.

  66. Halladay to the Angels. Maybe.
    Gonzalez and Bell to the Dodgers. Possibly.

    Holy shnikes.

  67. Francoeur traded and LaRoche back.

    In other news, neighbors report a single gunshot heard from landogarner’s house.

  68. Roachey has shed 50+ points of SLG this season – BABIP doesn’t account for that.

  69. Why in the world would we offer LaGross arbitration? It would be for $7 mil or way more than he’s worth and he’d take it.

  70. I’m guessing some of the pitchers complained that the defense was getting too good on the infield, not enough balls going through. And we do not have a hole at first for next year, the hole is at third.

  71. Didn’t Kotchman win the new bete noire poll here? Now everybody loves him. Make up your minds! Laroche has shown in his career that he is a much more powerful hitter than Kotchman. This could be a fairly cheap offensive upgrade, probably the best the Braves could do without giving up important prospects. Wren will worry about who plays first next year in November. At worst, Prado or Canizares could play there for half the year until Freeman proves he can hit at AAA.

  72. Mark Bowman is an idiot. First he reports the Braves are not making moves, then he says Kotchman is not in on any moves.

  73. I wasn’t a big Kotchman fan, but I hate this trade. Laroche is a lolligagger and a worse first baseman.

  74. LaRoche’s career 1st half split: .252/.326/.447
    2009 YTD: .248/.326/.446

    Seems to be the same as always.

    Plus, I don’t believe LaRoche will be arb eligible anymore. This is his sixth full season in the bigs, so he’s a FA at the end of this year.

    As for him being more expensive this year, what does that matter? We’re not shoehorning his more expensive salary into an existing budget — we’re expanding the budget. Once you begin the season, your initial budget is, in effect, sunk cost, so why worry about that now?

    Edit: That goes double if the Red Sox included cash. Which, really, they ought to….

  75. Mac, forgive me but could you explain the math in 124? I must be laboring under a wrong idea or two – not the first time.

  76. Sansho: We can still offer him arbitration if we want to gamble for prospects ala Jason Varitek this offseason

  77. 1. This is not a play to win move.

    LaDouche was so annoying when he was here. You guys remember the lolly gag play to the first base bag and the runner beat it out. Geez, we are the damn pirates practically. The whole LaDuche putting out McLouth’s jersey after he was traded was lame.

    Kotch must not have been a clubhouse guy and wren is tinkering with the almighty team culture.

    Can somebody string together the trades for mike gonzales, Tex, Kotch back to Laroche? How did all of this net out?

    Renting tex really set us back.

  78. Remember how Bobby use to love to platoon Laroche? Could we see a Barbaro/ Roche platoon? hmmm…

    Did we pick Julio Franco up too?

  79. Is Adam back in the dog house and take the Frechy post at whipping boy like in the old days?

  80. i like this trade. i wanted this 2 weeks ago. it extends our lineup and gives some flexibility in the 4 spot. laroche has been a beast in the 2nd half.

    dob’s blog (not dob) is reporting that ck was a douche in the clubhouse. have you guys ever heard that mentioned?

  81. Simple.

    Ignoring the contributions of the players over the last 2 years, and looking only at a snapshot of the roster just before and just after the Laroche trades…

    We traded a lot of awesome prospects for Gonzalez.

  82. LaRoche was a beast his last half-season here: .323/.387/.655

    But I don’t recall the timing of the lollygag play, so I don’t know if he begins with a probationary period in the doghouse or not.

  83. Yup.

    2010: Chipper to 1B, Prado to 3B.

    Let’s the blog-o-talk begin…

    Also, I agree that if LaRoche can get hot, he can be very valuable for the 2nd half. If not, we’ll see a buncha K’s, GIDP’s & ADD.

  84. Ross is paid too much to play 20% of games. Should be catching more (McCann @ 1st) or playing some first.

    152- Give Conrad some credit

  85. Man, I don’t see why everyone is so down on this trade. I certainly did NOT want to see KrotchRocket in a Braves uni next year. Laroche is an upgrade offensively, period.

    Next Year: Chipper to 1st, Prado to 3rd (KJ or Infante at 2nd)

  86. Just a thougt on “LaRoche II”:

    MAYBE Chipper thinks he can upgrade LaRoche’s hitting. Outisdeof the hunting buddy / friend / business partner conflict of interest, if he told me that he could upgrade LaRoche, I would believe.

    Also, I haven’t checked, but Doesn’t Rochy have a lot worse platoon split problem than Kotchman? If Barbaro stays up, then a platoon, that makes some sense.

  87. @ 141 – Nah, Rochey is a better hitter than Kotch, even when Kotch was streaking. And you have to think that putting him back in comfortable surroundings (Chipper and Nate) will only help things. He’s not in the same league as Kotch defensively, and that could be a problem.

    Also, Wren doesn’t have to “play to win” here. We’ve got all the pitching we need, especially with Huddy set to return (though I’m hoping someone will tie up Will Ohman and keep him in Atlanta when the Dodgers leave town). We’ve got a better lineup with Rochey hitting higher in the order than Kotch (esp. if he’s platooned), with Infante back soon, and with Norton gone. I like it. Let’s worry in November about who plays 1B in 2010.

  88. 147: I can’t believe someone brings this up again.

    I don’t recall dix saying he was tired before

  89. Kotchman sucked offensively most of the time. Rochy will be okay. I can live with it. Also, he is loved in the clubhouse for whatever that means.

  90. Chipper or McCann to first will never die. Every year someone brings it up, it’ll be debated and then it won’t happen.

    Thank God a catcher is required or someone would seriously suggesting moving Chipper Jones and McCann to first base simultaneously.

  91. Let the White Sox have Peavy–I remain happy the Braves didn’t make a mistake by sending Escobar and others to the Padres. Also glad the Furcal FA deal fell through.

  92. @ whoever

    I edited my post when I got too tired to think it through.

    Today was just a waste of effort by everyone involved. That includes each and every one of us on this board. Boo!


  93. Rochey vs. LHP: 2009 .223/.250/.393, Career .248/.306/.438
    Kotch vs. LHP: 2009 .267/.327/.333, Career .282/.339/.387

  94. Hey, we needed some more power & we got some. It’s not thrilling, but let’s hope LaRoche will be a better-than-decent 6th or 7th guy in the order & hit some big HRs.

  95. He does give us more power and that is something we need bad. I wish we would have picked up another reliever, but when Hudson gets back we will get another one.

    I like this deal. Shows we are trying to make a run and the team might start hitting even better.

  96. @157 – The Chipper to 1st won’t die because it is probably the right move to make. Considering Prado’s emergence (and he seems a much better defender at 3rd), it might be what is best for the team.

  97. The more I think about it since LaRoche will be batting 7 or 8th, it’s not that bad, just a little shocking.

  98. Laroche was the Braves’ main distributor of PEDs. Maybe someone will finish the year with double digit homers.

  99. why weren’t we either in on Johnson, or dealing Kotch plus for Willingham as his replacement is what I’d like to know.

  100. So the Marlins improved at first and we at best tread water at first. After they just took two of three from us.

    We’ve still got an hour to become sellers right?

    Definitely my least optimistic day as a Braves fan.

  101. I liked LaRoche when he was here and was sad to see him go. That said, WTF?

  102. Favorite Quote so far:

    “Welcome back Adam, we’re the best baseball family in the world. I hope you try harder this go around.”

    I hope he tries harder this time too.

  103. Well we have made moves at all of the possitions that we needed to up grade. I will give Wren that.

  104. This is a lot of hate for Adam LaRoche. I mean, he’s not better than Kotchman, per se, but he’s not worse either. Drop some OBP, add some SLG. Not sure I’d do that trade personally, but jeez, the LaRoche hatred is brutal here.

  105. LaRoche isn’t a huge downgrade in defense, is he? I kind of remember him being pretty solid at first.

  106. Not a huge downgrade if he’s actually paying attention to the game. Then he’s only a moderate downgrade.

  107. No hate for LaRoche here – just think this was a pointless move when therre were other, good ones that could have been made. More Fail! for Wren than dislike for Adam.

  108. LaRoche is a fine ballplayer. The headscratching part of this deal is that he and Kotchman are practically the same guy with Kotchman in a better contract. It makes little sense.

  109. Spike, batting average is an element in slugging percentage. The formula for BA is H/AB. For slugging, it can be written as H+2B+(2*3B)+(3*HR)/AB. You’re thinking of isolated power, probably, which is basically slugging minus batting average. Cap’n Ritalin’s isolated power this year is .198, against a career .217 line — which is within normal variation.

  110. The Nick Johnson trade just blew us out of the water. Better player, nothing in return, and the Nats covered most of the salary. Only problme is injury risk (but only for 60 days).

    Right now, this doesn’t look like Wren’s best set off moves / non moves (except that I don’t understand trading multiple pieces for a pitcher on the D/L with fairly good, not great, park neutralized stats. Kenny, what were you thinking / smoking / breathing in.)

  111. I always liked Laroche, even when he sucked. I don’t hate the deal either, I just can’t see much point to it.

    We avoided messing with 2011, though now I’m worried that in addressing 1B for 2010, we’re gonna screw with 2011.

  112. I understand and like having a good glove at first, but it really isn’t as important as having a good glove at, say, short stop.

    Roche is solid with the glove. People remember the lolly gag play, but he has made a ton of really good ones too.

  113. @185 – Well, with cash coming the Braves direction (I haven’t seen the details yet) it’s not clear who has the better financial terms for the remainder of the year. And no one here, I suspect, expected Kotch to be our 1B next year.

  114. Financial terms for the rest of this year only matter in relation to a potential August waiver deal. I’d rather have gotten a prospect; Liberty obviously prefers the cash. Guessing they wouldn’t have added payroll, so the cash was likely non-negotiable.

  115. Jeff (what an unfortunate name), I agree 100%. All of this talking about the hole at 1B in 2010 leads nowhere since we would have gotten rid of Kotch after the season anyway.

    The only explanation I have for this trade is that there must have been a clubhouse issue with Kotch.

  116. If LaRoche hits for some power, say 10-15 HR the rest of the way, this deal will work well for the Braves. Otherwise it’s a wash and who cares.

  117. LaRoche didn’t lolleygag, he just has ADD. He can’t focus all the time out there.

    And his numbers are crappy this year but we just got past the all star break. Kothc wasn’t going to keep going as hot as he was. History shows there’s a decent chance here we got LaRoche for his best two months of the season.

    It’s not a great move, and it’s probably a push. But it’s not a terrible move by any stretch.

    I’d rather have a stopgap at 1st next year than have Casey Kotchman. He sucks.

  118. Speed?? From what I remember, Adam LaRoche challanges Brian McCann as the slowest creature on planet earth!

  119. LaRoche is the slowest runner ever. But, he’s a good guy, maybe can regain the pop he had in Atlanta, and Kotchman sucked.

  120. The trade is a wash at worst. I’m not going to cry over Casey Kotchman.

    Nick Johnson would have been nice.

  121. alright, im over it.
    Bum better hit a dozen HR’s for us.

    Now, time for Norton to walk.

  122. The only explanation I have for this trade is that there must have been a clubhouse issue with Kotch.

    Maybe he contracted that “nibbler’s fever” PWHjort was talking about. I can see where that could make you unpopular in the showers.

  123. @203 I wouldn’t have mind seeing Gonzo traded. His act is getting stale. At least he stopped that stupid rocking.

  124. I say if Gonzalez pitches himself into a reasonable contract he’s a candidate to get locked up long term. He’s had some rough moments this year but this guy has a long history of being a very effective reliever. Not many lefties out there that can come out of the bullpen and throw heat like him.

  125. Mike Gonzlaez has an MLB high of 54 innings in 1 year. By contrast, in 6 seasons, KRod’s lowest IP has been 67, and he has been above 80 innings a few times. I wouldn’t touch Mike Gonzalez’s tender left arm with a contract that was 1 day longer than 1 year; he is just too big of a risk, as shown by his track record. I don’t worry about his skill level; I worry about his health.

  126. was Laroche’s lollygag really any worse than Casey’s soft toss to 1st? Both allowed the runner to reach

  127. @208 In my opinion, it’s not wise to lock up any reliever long-term. Remember Billy Koch, BJ Ryan, etc. As the Angels have proven this year when they didn’t waste all that money on FROD.

  128. It’s kind of a ‘meh’ trade. I’d rather have had Nick Johnson, but LaRoche will probably be an upgrade over Krotch the rest of the way. Krotch sux, so nothing is lost for 2010. And the money’s a wash, so why not?

    I think what’s getting lost in all of this is Mac’s choice of clip. It’s tough to beat Edward in his prime. Nice work, Mac, even if it *is* a day late.

  129. @214, those were long term big money guys. I qualified the longer term thing by saying if he pitched himself into a reasonable contract, it might be worth it.

    Still, bfan’s point re: injuries and Bobby’s complete inability to manage a bullpen are serious factors to consider.

    My only point was consistently good lefty relievers are really difficult to find. Can’t unearth a Chris Hammond every year, and would hate to be stuck with another Tom Martin.

  130. Mclouth

    Wren said Prado might play tomorrow, Yunel might miss whole series

  131. On a serious note, I forgot which moron AJC writer reported this (either Bisher or Bradley), but apparently Casey was completely uninterested in interacting with anyone on the team except ACHE.

  132. The one hope that this at least meant a DFA for Norton also fails.

    Carroll Rogers

    July 31st, 2009
    6:15 pm

    nobody was optioned. Canizares is here for Kotchman’s spot. Adam LaRoche hasn’t been activated yet

  133. I see Bill Hahn made it into the first segment on Pardon the Interruption today with Wilbon calling for him to be suspended. At the very least he should never be allowed to ump another Brave’s game.

    This reminds me of when that ref in the NBA threw out Duncan for laughing on the bench. NBA suspended him, will MLB do the same?

  134. That was Shanks, PWHjort. Must have been ordered by someone in the organization, but it seems kind of weird for the org. to feel the need to cut him as he’s leaving. It’s not as if they had to justify trading a first baseman who can’t hit ten homers in your ballpark.

    Kotchman seemed to me to be a person of unusually low intelligence. Maybe that was because he was quiet, but he seemed like a neanderthal in all of his interviews. That might have had something to do with it. Could have just been shy after coming up in his dad’s organization.

  135. No, before Shanks’ little spin job today, there had been reports that the two ex-Angels basically hung out only with each other. Remember, Kotchman’s known Anderson most of his life.

  136. Jason,
    I know it’s a Ginger-vs-Mary-Ann conversation, but you think that’s EVH in his prime?

    IMO, his prime was before the 1984 album.

    Go back & listen to those first 3 VH records—“Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love,” “D.O.A.,” “Beautiful Girls,” etc.

    Nothing against Van Hagar, but…

  137. Kotchman seemed to me to be a person of unusually low intelligence. Maybe that was because he was quiet, but he seemed like a neanderthal in all of his interviews.

    Uh, I dunno. All of Maddux’s interviews were almost unlistenable. Yet, he’s the smartest man in baseball, if not in America.

  138. ok, the only good thing about this trade is that we got one-half of the winners of the Burt and Ernie look-alike contest. Now we have the Burt half, if we can somehow trade for Johnny Estrada, we’ll have Ernie back too.

  139. This is the dumbest trade ever. Why did we trade Kotchman for Laroche? Because he played exceptionally well when he played for us the first time, I guess. Oh wait.

  140. because Kotchman isnt that great and Laroche has a career line of .295/.356/.544/.899 after the break. Im guessing Laroche might be a type B FA and we can net a draft pick also

    do we really think Kotchman will outperfom Laroche from here on out this season? Its not like we won or lost anything by this deal, it simply provides us with a little more upside and got rid of someone who the beat writers think didnt want to be here. Big deal, lets play

    Barbaro needs a big night to ensure Norton gets cut tomorrow

  141. Latest:

    David O’Brien
    July 31st, 2009
    6:02 pm

    Just back from talking to players and front-office guys about the deal.

    As it turns out, Braves and Pirates were talking about a LaRoche trade before he got dealt to Red Sox. They were pretty close to getting it done, and LaRoche knew about it at the time and thought he might be coming back to Atlanta.

    But this deal with Red Sox didn’t come up until yesterday, when Sox realized they might get the Martinez trade done. They asked Braves if they might still be interested in trading for LaRoche.

    It’s a “cash-neutral” trade, by the way, meaning Braves aren’t paying any more than they would’ve if they had kept Kotchman. Difference in salaries paid by Red Sox for remainder of season.

    Braves did it counting on LaRoche to have one of his typical second-half performances, which they believe to be a reasonable assumption given that he’s done it year after year. And they really like the team chemistry on this squad, and said they wouldn’t have brought in a guy unless they were certain he’d not disrupt that. With LaRoche, they’re certain.

  142. Greg Norton is done. Greg Norton can no longer play baseball at the major league level. Greg Norton does not deserve the 25th spot on the bench. With that said…

    Lay the hell off of Greg Norton. Dude found his mom murdered by his father’s hand when he 16. That buys you a lifetime get out of jail free card. “Norton is no longer a good player” is fine. “Norton shouldn’t be on the roster” is okay. But the more bashing tones…

    Mother. Murdered. Found body. Never give Greg Norton shit, man. Never.

  143. i dont see why people are upset about this trade. sure, it is mostly a lateral move, but laroche is marginally better than kotchman. he definitely has more home run power. not to mention, laroche is hilarious. even if they were identical in talent, the entertainment factor is worth it. i, for one, welcome adam back. besides, kotchman sucks.

  144. So we traded, Salty, Andrus,Harrison, Neftali Feliz and Beau Jones for Laroche?


  145. So we traded, Salty, Andrus,Harrison, Neftali Feliz and Beau Jones for Laroche?


    I think we need to package Gonzalez and Marek to the Rangers for the four guys we gave them. Then it’s officially a do-over. Good luck with that.

    I don’t mind this deal, the team definitely needed more power. Like everyone else, I’ll be interested to see who playing first on opening day next year.

  146. @237

    Or, we traded Edgar Renteria, Charlie Morton, and Jeff Locke for Jair Jurrjens and Nate McLouth…

  147. Hannah Montana sings Best of both Worlds, not Miley Cyrus. I have two daughters.

    Not to ruin it for you JC, but Miley Cyrus is Hannah Montana. I know, I know, I was shocked when I first found out too.

  148. The bad KJ is back already!!!

    Jason and Freddie, the path is all clear for you two to play in the major league next season.

    EDIT: I am surprised why so many people don’t understand this trade. I knew for sure that Wren will be looking for ways to dump Kotchman to make room for Freeman next season.

  149. The Wren quote I believe was 20 homeruns Chip, not 15.

    Hannah Montana sings Best of both Worlds……I have two daughters.

    Well hell, I knew that and I have no daughters or kids. It is kind of hard to escape her and that boy band (Jones brothers?) that Disney both push.

  150. Hudson had some cramps in his groin during warmups and was scratched. Braves’ doctors will evaluate him tomorrow. He must have had sex last night.

  151. @246–the could have always nontendered Kotchman to make way for Freeman so I don’t think this trade has much to do with clearing the way for Freeman

    Although I’m a big Freeman fan, I also think it’s a mistake to assume he’ll be ready to start next season as an everyday MLB 1B. I hope the FO will be as patient with Freeman (and Heyward) as it was with Hanson this year–I’d rather start his FA clock later rather than sooner.

    edit–Heyward doesn’t turn 20 for another week or so and Freeman doesn’t turn 20 until Sept. Give these guys some time.

  152. Smoltz is officially done. He’ll probably shift to Masterson’s relief spot then inevitably retirement.

  153. Frank, you don’t get anything back for nontendering Kotchman. What Wren is thinking is that he is getting more homerun with similar defense for the rest of the season. They can offer arbitration to Adam to buy one more year of time for Freeman if that’s needed (or we get draft picks if Adam signs elsewhere). Furthermore, Kotchman’s value is declining every single day with his lack of power. It’s better to get something back now rather than to non-tendering Kotchman. Non-tendering a player is really a last option which nobody wants to happen.

    EDIT: I don’t like to rush prospects either, but I am certain we will see both Heyward and Freeman in Atlanta by June the latest.

  154. No one should consider offering arb to LaRoche–since arb allows for no more than a 20% pay cut it would guarantee a $5m+ salary for LaRoche. No arb, no compensatory draft picks.

  155. ububba,
    I said *Edward* in his prime. Not Van Halen in their prime. That would be about 1979. And I am well aware of the early stuff, as I’ve had all 6 Roth albums since, oh, about the onset of puberty. Then I bought all the Hagar stuff too.

    In the Hagar/Roth, Ginger/Mary Ann arguments, I give the same answer: Both of them. Count it.

  156. Kotchman had less homeruns as A Brave than either Scott Thorman or Robert Fick—Fick in four less games. I actually like this trade, LaRoche is a huge upgrade.

  157. Frank, I am sure that’s what Wren is thinking. Whether you like it or not is another matter. Quite frankly, I am natural to the deal. If Adam is anything good this season, I will actually like this deal. We have seen enough of Kotchman to know he will be nothing special.

  158. @259–I’m ok with the notion that LaRoche is an offensive upgrade over Kotchman, though I think this belief depends on LaRoche having his traditional hot second half. However, I don’t buy the “clearing the path for Freeman” bit–I think it is premature to go with Freeman.

  159. Chip is stupid! What’s new!

    It’s time to destroy Schmidt mid-80s stuffs.

    Frank, it’s going to happen. You can bet on it.

  160. So is he going to walk three guys to get to Garret this time? Two was embarrassing enough last time through the order.

    Edit: Guess not.

  161. Frank, it’s going to happen. You can bet on it.

    LaRoche’s hot second half? Freeman starting next year as the regular 1B? Both?

    I hope for the former–a .900 OPS would be great–but not for the latter.

    edit–It doesn’t have the alliteration, but wonder what Wickman’s Chips would look like? Maybe I could try out. :-)

  162. Joe praises the National’s acquisition of Nyjer Morgan as “terrific.”

    Considering he’s playing a solid centerfield and hitting .404/.429/.515 in 106 PAs, that’s pretty spot on. I’m guessing you think it may not last…

  163. @266 First one, history has shown that second half is when Rochy finally “wakes” up.

    Freeman will be our starting first baseman by June next year the latest.

  164. Oh, gotta love Raffy!

    @270 That’s exactly what I have been thinking since inning number 1.

  165. Well I’m glad to see that our recent bout of offense is out of our system so we can get shutdown by the corpse of Jason Schmidt.

  166. His minor league numbers are ok–why’s he been so bad in ATL? Not expecting a star but not expecting this level of awful. Conrad isn’t a long term SS but there’s no reason he can’t be the emergency backup.

  167. Well, Diory will be down once Infante is back. At least we can count on that.

    Oh, finally one got out of the park….damn…

  168. Schmidt reminds me of Billy Chapel during the last three innings of “For Love of the Game”

  169. @285 You are right. We shouldn’t be surprised. A lineup with Diory and KJ deems to suck.

  170. Who’s the last franchise to lose to a position player as a pitcher?

    Exactly. Don’t be surprised.

  171. #288

    That’s for his mother’s maiden name. Sutton and Powell were talking about how long Martin’s name is. One of the names is Coltrane, after the jazz musician.

    Full name: Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin Jr.

  172. Wow, where’d our offense go?

    Without Prado and Esco, I don’t expect much. Still, getting shut down by Jason Schmidt is a bit hard to swallow.

  173. What this allows us to do is to have a legitimate (sorta) cleanup hitter.


    Not bad. Not bad at all.

    Not the Phillies. But not bad.

  174. My final thoughts on the LaRoche acquisition:

    While Casey Kotchman was available for the next couple of seasons at a decent price through arbitration, the Braves could not afford to have him in their lineup on an everyday basis in the long-run given his low level of offensive production. You might get away with a Casey Kotchman as your 1B in the AL, but in the NL, it’s almost a black hole. Defensively, Kotchman was brilliant, but you can’t justify his everyday roster spot based on defensive merits. LaRoche is an equally talented fielder.

    LaRoche is an overall offensive upgrade and he’ll help but I don’t see him as a panacea for our often needy offense.

  175. Are the pitchers in AAA Little Leagures? How else could Diory have hit .355 there?

    Edit: Oh look, it’s Emperor Norton!

  176. Odds against back to back hits by Diory and Norton–batting .135 and .118 respectively–very remote.

  177. serious, we get one hit through six and then start a rally with Diory and Norton? Someone write a book

  178. Thanks, KJ. Two hits from batters hitting .282 (combined), and we’re going to waste them.

  179. Sherrill’s career OPS against vs LHB is .501.

    Thank god he pitches in the NL West.

  180. Not with that high-strike call he couldn’t anyway. It wasn’t even framed well.

  181. Braves got to quit looking for close calls, they never get them. If the pitch is close, swing the bat

  182. The three principal offensive positions, left field, first base, and right field, hitting 5-6-7 in the order, are a collective 0-12 with four strikeouts tonight. Good God.

  183. I’d rather live in Baltimore than LA.

    That, my friends, is madness. Keep Jeremy away from sharp objects.

  184. Mac add KJ and we are 0-15 with 5 K’s, or really just say the team is 3-28 with 8 K’s in a game where their starter came in 1-1 with a 7.88 ERA

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