Introducing the Bad Braves Bracket. Also, Game Thread: Sept. 3, Braves at Marlins

So, you see the poll on the right is not reaching any clear decision, plus I screwed it up by initially forgetting DANNY. Anyway, if you know how my mind works, it was probably inevitable that I’d have a 64-man Bad Braves Bracket. These players all played for the Braves from 1978 on, and they were all objectively below-average. But who was the worst? They’re divided up into regions: Starters, Relievers, Infielders (including catchers) and Outfielders.

1 Len Barker
2 Kyle Davies
3 Bob Walk
4 Albie Lopez
5 Tommy Boggs
6 Larry McWilliams
7 Mickey Mahler
8 Pete Smith
9 Shane Reynolds
10 Lance Cormier
11 Marty Clary
12 Jo-Jo Reyes
13 Rick Matula
14 Derek Lilliquist
15 Craig McMurtry
16 Jim Bouton

1 Dan Kolb
2 Bruce Sutter
3 Chris Reitsma
4 Joe Boever
5 Tyler Kali Yates
6 Dave Campbell
7 Ed Olwine
8 Justin Speier
9 Brad Clontz
10 Chris Resop
11 Stan Belinda
12 Adam Bernero
13 Manny Acosta
14 Joe Slusarski
15 Matt Whiteside
16 Charlie Kerfeld

1 Jeff Francoeur
2 Omar Moreno
3 Brad Komminsk
4 Barry Bonnell
5 Raul Mondesi
6 Terry Blocker
7 Greg Norton
8 Rowland Office
9 Reggie Sanders
10 Terry Harper
11 Ryan Langerhans
12 Mike Kelly
13 Albert Hall
14 Dave Gallagher
15 Danny Bautista
16 Brian Jordan (2.0) Rufino Linares

1 Corky Miller
2 Andres Thomas
3 Ken Oberkfell
4 Jerry Royster
5 Gerald Perry
6 Keith Lockhart
7 Jim Presley
8 Rico Brogna
9 Ken Caminiti
10 Scott Thorman
11 Wes Helms
12 Chris Woodward
13 Bret Boone
14 Henry Blanco
15 Robert Fick
16 Rafael Belliard

We’ll use the polls on the right and I’ll try to have one vote a day (except weekends).

95 thoughts on “Introducing the Bad Braves Bracket. Also, Game Thread: Sept. 3, Braves at Marlins”

  1. I refuse to participate unless I’m granted the ability to vote for Chip Caray.

    EDIT: Also—no Kim Jong-il?

  2. Damn,

    With that list, how did we ever win a game? Let alone 14 more or less consecutive division crowns.

    Digging that list out should be shown on the series “Worst Jobs in History”. Picking up each name is like picking up a half rotted corpse.

  3. Kim got cut for objective reasons — his good year with the team was good enough that his overall numbers were above average. He was 16-13 with a 3.70 ERA as a Brave!

  4. (from the previous thread)


    Chipper “caught it” for a few weeks but appears to be back on antibiotics.

    This doesn’t count the virus he once had from that ‘Hooters waitress’….hay yo!

    (Sorry, needed to make that joke and I wrote as Mac switched threads on me…back to our originally scheduled programming…)

  5. The perennial gold glover who hit 368 homers as a Brave and holds the Atlanta single-season records for homers and RBI? Alex, you need to get a hold on your hate.

  6. For my voting criteria, just seeing the candidate’s name should produce an audible grunt.

    And perhaps Jeffy deserves special recognition, like naming the award after him.

  7. I realize Russ Ortiz’s stats were actually not bad with the Braves but when he was pitching, I just couldn’t watch. I couldn’t bear it, just made me very uncomfortable.

  8. I don’t really like the inclusion of Brian Jordan 2.0. I don’t think you can only vote for part of a guy’s career with the Braves. Yes, he was awful the second time, but so were Terry Pendleton, Otis Nixon, and lotsa the other retread former Braves that JS inexplicably brought back.

    In place of Brian Jordan 2.0, may I suggest B.J. Surhoff?

  9. How in the hell did Len Barker pitch a perfect game? There are some random pitchers to have pitched no-hitters, but the pitchers who have pitched perfect games, while not exactly an accurate cross-section of the best pitchers in history, were generally great-to-excellent pitchers. And then there’s Len Barker. I suppose you could argue Kenny Rogers, but I recall him being much better back in the mid 90s.

  10. Also, I don’t mean to criticize. I’m sure it’s not easy to put a list such as this together and there are bound to be omissions. But that being said, no Mark Redman?

    EDIT: Incidentally, though, I agree with your No. 1 in all four categories.

  11. Lineup:

    Diaz 9, Prado 4, Chipper 5, McCann 2, Anderson 7, Escobar 6, LaRoche 3, Church 8, Hanson 1

  12. I really like this idea, and I think we should get to the voting forthwith. Hmm. One vote per game thread and we still won’t even get to the round of 16 before the season ends. I guess it’ll give us something to do to start the off-season.

  13. Pearl Harbor…hmmm…starter getting shelled in the first inning, nobody warming up….probably just leave Lowe out there to take his lumps I guess.

  14. @14,

    For that matter Don Larsen, who had a much worse career than Kenny Rogers.


    Thanks, Alex, I think.


    At one time, we did Bobby and Pearl Harbor. It was along the lines of “you have to give those Japanese credit. They were tough today.”

  15. Re: Jordan 2.0. I dunno. Here’s the case for him. Even his “good” years weren’t that good. I made a list, the most runs created below position by an outfielder for the Braves, 1978-2009. He’s the worst, 60 below, followed by Harper and Francoeur. He’s not that bad compared to all players — he’s actually right ahead of Brett Butler and right behind Otis Nixon.

    If I can be talked out of Jordan, Surhoff is a possibility, though actually his per-PA numbers aren’t much worse than Jordan’s. Blanco? Cito Gaston was terrible as a Brave.

  16. “We’ll just have to get them over the next four years.”

    “Bobby, are there any plans to call up the atomic bomb?”

    “Well, you have to take your time there. Our conventional bombs are doing a good job.”

  17. I have to agree on some of the Brian Jordan and Andruw sentiment. If we can have a Brian Jordan 2.0, why can’t we have a category for Jones’ last year in Atlanta? I’m also surprised that Mark Redman isn’t on the list. Whatever the case, this is a difficult list – so many really bad players to choose from, where do I start?

  18. Rowland Office? Say it ain’t so.

    And where’s Denny McLain?

    And no room for Hal “Pitchfork Fingers” King behind the plate?

  19. Okay, show of hands: Who wants Redman on there? He only made five starts. Everyone else had at least ten, except Bouton, who got a famous guy exception.

  20. Mac, looking at this list, I realize how old I am. This is pretty much a post-1980 set of players and limiting it to that era merely scratches the surface of bad Braves baseball in Atlanta.

  21. This is everybody who made at least one start in the time period:

    1 Tom Glavine 518 3.41 276
    2 John Smoltz 466 3.26 329
    3 Greg Maddux 363 2.63 456
    4 Rick Mahler 218 4.00 -12
    5 Phil Niekro 215 3.43 84
    6 Steve Avery 201 3.83 30
    7 Kevin Millwood 160 3.73 66
    8 Zane Smith 128 4.06 -5
    9 Tim Hudson 120 3.78 49
    10 Pete Smith 113 4.10 -20
    11 Pascual Perez 96 3.92 -1
    12 Charlie Leibrandt 91 3.35 37
    13 Mike Hampton 85 4.10 10
    14 Horacio Ramirez 84 4.13 10
    15 Craig McMurtry 76 4.06 -9
    16 Tommy Boggs 75 4.15 -22
    17 Denny Neagle 71 3.43 41
    T18 Doyle Alexander 68 4.09 -9
    T18 Russ Ortiz 68 3.97 12
    20 Larry McWilliams 67 4.53 -30
    21 John Thomson 65 4.15 8
    22 Rick Camp 64 3.27 57
    23 David Palmer 63 4.18 -2
    24 Rick Matula 58 4.41 -19
    25 John Burkett 56 3.74 29
    26 Chuck James 55 4.48 -5
    27 Kent Mercker 54 3.41 39
    28 Steve Bedrosian 46 3.26 52
    29 Kyle Davies 45 6.15 -47
    30 Len Barker 44 4.64 -18
    31 Derek Lilliquist 41 4.59 -23
    32 Jason Marquis 40 4.45 -5
    33 Mickey Mahler 39 5.18 -26
    34 Eddie Solomon 38 4.16 0
    T35 Bob Walk 36 4.85 -24
    T35 Preston Hanna 36 4.45 -19
    T37 Odalis Perez 33 5.38 -23
    T37 Jorge Sosa 33 3.70 17
    T39 Jaret Wright 32 3.23 23
    T39 Marty Clary 32 4.48 -16
    T39 Jo-Jo Reyes 32 5.94 -29
    T42 Pete Falcone 31 3.89 0
    T42 Jair Jurrjens 31 3.68 15
    T42 Ken Dayley 31 4.48 -13
    45 Damian Moss 30 3.40 15
    T46 Shane Reynolds 29 5.43 -24
    T46 Joe Johnson 29 4.53 -12
    48 Terry Mulholland 28 4.52 1
    49 Jorge Campillo 25 3.91 9
    T50 Gaylord Perry 23 3.94 -7
    T50 Tony Brizzolara 23 5.06 -16
    T50 Charlie Puleo 23 3.88 6
    T50 Paul Byrd 23 4.46 -3
    T54 Buddy Carlyle 20 4.61 -5
    T54 Mike Bielecki 20 3.09 26
    56 Lance Cormier 18 5.73 -18
    57 Terrell Wade 17 3.89 5
    58 Kevin Coffman 16 5.46 -15
    T59 Jim Acker 15 3.71 11
    T59 Charlie Morton 15 6.15 -14
    T59 Andy Ashby 15 4.13 5
    T62 Jason Schmidt 13 6.45 -20
    T62 Dick Ruthven 13 4.11 0
    64 Bruce Chen 11 4.14 2
    65 Randy O’Neal 10 5.61 -7
    T66 German Jimenez 9 5.01 -8
    T66 John Montefusco 9 3.51 0
    68 Joe Cowley 8 4.47 -3
    69 Paul Marak 7 3.69 1
    T70 Adrian Devine 6 4.57 -6
    T70 Jamie Easterly 6 5.91 -16
    T70 Jeff Bennett 6 3.67 9
    T70 Steve Shields 6 5.47 -14
    T70 Armando Reynoso 6 5.81 -6
    T70 Tommy Greene 6 5.35 -7
    T70 Chris Brock 6 5.58 -5
    T70 Rick Behenna 6 4.58 -3
    T78 James Parr 5 4.84 -1
    T78 Travis Smith 5 6.00 -9
    T78 Jim Bouton 5 4.97 -3
    T78 Dennis Martinez 5 4.45 -3
    T78 Mark Redman 5 11.63 -18
    T83 Roman Colon 4 4.69 -2
    T83 Oscar Villarreal 4 3.90 8
    T83 Brad Woodall 4 6.50 -8
    T83 Albie Lopez 4 4.37 -1
    T87 Jason Shiell 3 8.62 -7
    T87 Anthony Lerew 3 8.31 -9
    T87 Jeff Dedmon 3 3.77 12
    T87 Gary Eave 3 2.81 2
    T87 Tony Castillo 3 4.56 -6
    T92 Jose Capellan 2 11.25 -6
    T92 Frank LaCorte 2 5.09 -2
    T92 Rusty Richards 2 6.97 -4
    T92 Kevin Blankenship 2 3.38 0
    T92 Dave Nied 2 1.17 6
    T97 Mark Grant 1 4.64 -4
    T97 Mike Payne 1 6.35 -2
    T97 Sergio Valdez 1 6.16 -11
    T97 Seth Greisinger 1 3.60 0
    T97 Matt Murray 1 6.75 -3
    T97 Jung Bong 1 5.29 -8
    T97 Cliff Speck 1 4.13 -1
    T97 Trey Hodges 1 4.77 -6
    T97 Bo McLaughlin 1 4.89 -4
    T97 John Ennis 1 4.50 0
    T97 Kevin Barry 1 6.83 -8

  22. Denny McLain only had 8 GS. I suppose he could qualify under the famous athlete who played a mean B-3 organ and was convicted of racketeering exemption.

  23. i cant vote because i keep getting sidetracked between who was actually the “worst”and the guys that i hated the most..looking up the numbers brings back too many bad memories and i’m afraid i’ll find someone worse than Chuck Tanners” helluva player Omar.

  24. Some non bad Braves thoughts generated by Mac’s list.

    The “games started” really dropped like a rock after Avery and Millwood.

    Jorge Campillo. i know he had shoulder injury and surgery (May or maybe earlier?), but is anybody hearing from or about him? If he is even “4.5 ERA 7 to 8 inning Jorge Campillo” again by next spring, then he would provide even more SP depth / trade bait.

  25. Thinking it over, it’s not fair to Jordan to hold him to different standards. When I was picking my 44 Greatest, I eliminated him because his second tour of duty was so bad. This time, I separated out his second stint. Not fair. So I’ll put someone else there. I’m leaning Rufino Linares.

    Doesn’t matter, Francoeur will steamroll whomever he faces.

  26. I’m putting a hand up for Mark Redman if for no other reason than because he pitching in the All Star game the year before the Braves signed him and we had to read the stories about how he prepared with the cut outs in his basement.

  27. From Mark Bradley:

    “I continue to believe Norton is on the roster because he has a lovely voice, perfect for bus ride singalongs.”


  28. seriously, the braves are 29-19 since dumping francoeur. what would it take to keep this core team next year, with a few tweeks (hudson in for vazquez, heyward for garret, conrad for norton). if the braves trade vazquez and let kelly walk, do they have enough money to sign laroche, soriano, and gonzalez? could you imagine what this team could do?





    sorry if i’m beating a dead horse, but i get SO DARN EXCITED!

  29. For anyone who cares, it’s amusing to see Spurrier use a 3 yards and a cloud of dust offense, and have success.

  30. Thoughts on the bad list. Pitchers: I always liked Tommy Boggs. Sure, he was always hurt and he never was any good, but somehow I always had hope.
    Relievers: I know everyone hates Kolb, but honest to God, I had a nauseous feeling just seeing Bruce Sutter’s name brought up in his Braves career. (If anyone ever desecrates his HOF Plaque I’ll probably be the leading suspect) Outfielders: Three guys on here I wouldn’t have listed. A)Barry Bonnell he actually had a good month and a half about 78 or 79. B) Rowland Office, I always thought he was cool, which the Braves didn’t have an abundance of in ’77. C) Terry Harper, he had some big hits for us in the last week of the ’82 season, plus he got screwed on that play at the bullpen fence. Infielders: Jerry Royster and Gerald Perry look like Ruth and Gehrig compared to Miller and Obie-None.

  31. @56 I’ve been listening to the game and was wondering if anyone else found it odd that the Braves can’t score from 2B.

  32. Shock horror.

    He shouldn’t have been in the game, he obviously didn’t have it when he walked Baker, looked ropy against Uggla and then gave up 3 straight doubles.

    At what point do you think to yourself, you know what, I have a million pitchers in the pen because rosters expanded…there’s no harm in burning a few to get out of an inning.

  33. Medlen is about to have his name associated with a verb for blowing a lead and/or completely blowing the game. As in, “It looks like he really Medlened that one. I’m shocked the manager kept him in while he kept getting hammered.”

  34. I’m always fascinated when announcers switch to the passive voice, or erase the manager’s agency when discussing, passively, that manager’s stupidity.

    Medlen clearly didn’t have it from the first at bat of the inning, and Sutton was all over it. But he never mentioned Cox, just talked about Medlen being out there as if he was there in a vacuum. In the radio narrative, Cox only existed to pull Medlen, who, they reminded us constantly, was working his third straight game and couldn’t locate his pitches. Somebody remind me who makes the decisions in the Braves dugout?

    EDIT: Folks here have been saying it all year: the bullpen hasn’t been managed well and it will bite us before it’s all said and done. Well, the last two nights the bullpen has blown it. It happens, but there’s no room for error right now, and I doubt it’s gonna stop happening.

  35. Bobby Cox is an absolute f*^king moron. I could tell Medlen
    was tired last night. He’s hardly ever thrown two days in a row
    this year, let along three.

  36. 28 seasons as a big-league manager and he still hasn’t learned you can’t send the same reliever out there three, four days in succession. Assuming the result holds, blowing what should have been a sweep is on Cox, and no one else.

  37. At what point do you think to yourself, you know what, I have a million pitchers in the pen because rosters expanded…there’s no harm in burning a few to get out of an inning.

    Have you seen the guys we added for roster expansion? Those aren’t options. If the starters are consistently done after five, you are going to have problems.

  38. 2 runs are on Chipper. He catches the pop up and it’s 4-3 heading to the 7th.

    Edit: #77 When option 1 is giving up lots of doubles, I don’t care what option 2 is, I’m taking it.

  39. Bobby’s Homer! So, Robert, were you manager of the Braves are you telling me that after watching
    Medlen pitch last night, and knowing that he has never pitched in the majors three days in a row, you would
    have brought him out and then you would have sat on your hands and watched him get pounded to the tune
    of four earned runs? Really?

  40. @85: And even if they are the same, at least you rest the arms of guys who can get it done, so they actually can be effective when they pitch. And sending Medlen out there after he was shelled last night is grounds for commitment to an asylum in some cultures.

  41. Cox is the fattest waste of space. Why is ATL paying this guy to sit on his lard azz all game and continue to make decisions that are detrimental to this team?

  42. #83 – Well there wasn’t really a right answer to get through the last four innings. The good pitchers are tired and the bad pitchers are, well, bad.

    This is why some teams add an extra arm or two at the deadline. We added Buddy Carlyle.

  43. I really hate Tony LaRussa. But if he were managing this team we’d be in the lead for the wild card. Maybe even threatening the Phillies.

  44. Glad I went to the UTC game tonight. At least football season is here so I can just forget about this abomination of a baseball team.

    The ‘core’ of this team is not good enough to win a championship. Chipper is too old. Yunel is a head case. Low is too old. Hanson is too young. It is not fair to hope Heyward is the savior next year. The team is below average defensively, and the bullpen only has 3.5 arms they can count on, and two of them are free agents next year.

    If the braves don’t go out and find an elite bat for the 3 or 4 hole they are going to struggle again next year. (time to move chipper down in the order)

    If they braves don’t find a true closer (sorry Gonzo and Soriano are not closers, great setup men, but not elite closers) and some more reliable relievers next year they are going to be in trouble.

    If they count on Chipper to continue to be ‘good Chipper’ they are going to be in trouble.

    If the defense does not get better next year we are in trouble.

    I just don’t see this team competing anytime soon. Wren spent too much money and thus lost too much flexibility on Lowe and Chipper’s extention.

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