90 thoughts on “Pete Smith vs. Shane Reynolds”

  1. I’d like to congratulate the illustrious sports columnists at the AJC for pressing the Panic Button on Georgia’s coaching staff in about 1/10th of the time they took to do likewise for Jeff Francoeur. (And in Jeff Schultz’ case, never.) Great work, guys.

  2. I’m surprised to see Pete Smith in this competition. Being a little below average in an Atlanta career, some of it during an era where the whole team was well below average, hardly makes a player among the worst.

    He was pretty good for a 4th or 5th starter, which is where he usually found himself in the rotation.

    I would definitely pick some lower seeded starters (like Cormier) as worse than Pete Smith.

  3. In my naivete I kept on thinking that Pete Smith was “on the verge” of being really good. He never was really good, but for his era, he was about as good as they got (at least for 3 or 4 years). I definitely know of a lot more deserving candidates that should go in the Braves’ “Hall of Shame”.

  4. Stu’s SEC rankings:

    1. Florida
    2. Bama
    3. LSU
    4. Arkansas
    5. South Carolina
    6. Auburn
    7. Tennessee
    8. Georgia
    9. Ole Miss
    10. Mississippi State
    11. Kentucky
    13. Vanderbilt

    I seriously dispute Mac’s contention that Colorado is the worst BCS team in the country. We certainly have a better defense than the Buffs, but our offense is so bad as to tip the scales in our favor.

    That said, my Saturday at West Point was a blast. I highly, highly recommend it if you ever have the opportunity. Just an incredible experience.

  5. Mac @4,

    But wouldn’t that also work for right fielders?

    Pete Smith is in the “jeff Francoeur school of candidates” for this prestigious award. That is, if you are absolutely awful, you aren’t around long. However, the “Wins BELOW Replacement Player” are larger the more that you play.

    Then, there is the puzzling issue of what one may decide to do to “adjust for the fact tha the Braves had nobody better.” You can decide that having a better player not playing is the manager’s fault. Contrarily, if the team didn’t or doesn’t have anybody better, then maybe that is kind of like “piling on”.

    It is hard to get excited about the worst Atlanta Braves.

    Oh that the “Teens” are like the “Nineties.”

  6. Understood about the SPs. As a matter of reference though, if Pete Smith (of 1990 or so) would have started in Derek Lowe’s spot this year he would have probably won 20 games. Of course if he would have started in Jurrjen’s spot, he would have lost 20 games.

  7. Sagarin has Colorado 87th. That’s actually ahead of several BCS schools. Vandy is 121st, which does appear to be the worst of any BCS school and is way behind the rest of the SEC. This may be the Vandiest Vandy team in a couple of decades.

  8. It’s a strange team. The defense is legitimately very good. The special teams aren’t great, other than at punter, but they’re adequate. The offense has more “talent” than I can ever remember. We have a veteran O-line and our running backs, in particular, look better than I’ve ever seen.

    But the passing game is SO bad, and the new no-huddle scheme is SUCH a poor fit, that the team is utterly hapless. The early line on the game with UGA this weekend is only 9.5 points—in other words, Georgia only needs a field goal and a touchdown to cover.

    If we can get our commits to stay firm despite this debacle of a season, I think this disaster will be relatively short-lived, but then again, I never would have imagined this team, with so many returning players, would be losing like it is. Such is the life of a Vanderbilt fan…

  9. Pardon this interruption here on college football journal but AJC just announced that Furman Bisher is retiring. Dang it. And I was such a huge fan of his inane drivel.

  10. So, ububba – has anyone in the New York media mentioned the foul ball?

    Angels v. Yankees – probably the most interesting matchup in terms of contrasting styles. Can’t wait to see which style prevails.

    How did the Red Sox get so bad all of sudden? Did they just get old before our eyes?

  11. First game that counts is on November 16th, Parish. Then we head west for a game at St. Mary’s before the Maui. I am very ready for basketball season.

  12. can anyone give me the average eras for starters 1-5 in the nl? i am just curious what an average starter labeled “ace”, #2, #3, #4, or #5 puts up. i cant find it anywhere.

  13. #23, the difference between starters is of course vague. There isn’t any precise definition. I’d say a rough approximation would be something like:

    #1 – 3.33 or less
    #2 – 3.34 to 3.99
    #3 – 4.00 to 4.25
    #4 – 4.25 to 4.50
    #5 – 4.51 to 4.99

  14. Man, I guess I forgot that Shane Reynolds was actually part of the rotation for the entire season and got 29 starts. I remembered him as a guy who got about 15 starts because of an injury to someone, but I guess I was wrong.

  15. @23: I think that’s a great question.

    I don’t have the data for 2009, so I used the data from the NL in 2008. If I set a minimum cut-off of 13 games started and 73 innings pitched, that gives me 80 pitchers, which is exactly 5 per team. Breaking those pitchers up into 5 groups of 16 pitchers each based on ERA, and then getting the average ERA for that group based on total earned runs and total innings pitched, here are the averages:

    #1: 3.01
    #2: 3.75
    #3: 4.23
    #4: 4.89
    #5: 5.84

  16. The ERA isn’t the whole determination, innings count, too. A #1 should give the team 220+ innings before the playoffs. Drop about 20 innings for each spot down so that a #5 is giving you @150-60 innings at and ERA of league average +50-75 points.

    So the Atlanta rotation this year had a #1 in Vasquez, three 2s in JJ, Hanson and Huddy, a 3/4 in Lowe, and a clear 4 in Kawakami. That’s real good.

  17. kehrsam,

    by the numbers proposed by Ron E. and The Flying Bernard, I think you understated it.

    JJ and JV both BARELY missed 220 innings. and were well under 3.00. Thus both (by these numbers) earned a #1 for their efforts.

    Hanson didn’t get the innings, but if he missed a start it was only 1. He averaged barely over 6 innings per start and still stayed under 3.00 ERA. So, he probably deserves at least a 2, but he is fringy to 1.

    Hudson was solidly in the 2’s and the only thing keeping KK out of 2 territory was a few missed starts and a slightly less than 6 innings per start average. Still, solidly at a #3.

    Lowe was a 4 to 5 (but with the innings, gets 4) under Ron E.’s process and was clearly a 4 under The Flying Bernard’s numbers.

    So, that’s 2 #1’s, 2 #2’s, 1 #3, and 1 #4, as I count them.

  18. Back to the last thread, I think Florida and Alabama are on par with each other, but Bama is a little better right now. Both teams can still lose before Atlanta and will have a shot at the NC. I hat both Alabama and Florida.

    Bama has a tougher schedule from here on out:

    Florida- Arkansas, MSU, UGA, Vandy, USC, FIU, FSU. Only Arkansas will give them a scare.

    Bama- USC, Tenn, LSU, MSU, UTC, Auburn. I think UT and Auburn could play Bama close. Hell, if you put UT D and Auburn’s O together, you would have an awesome team.

    Florida has some issues at wide out and they don’t have a kicker. The National Title will be settled in Atlanta on December 5. The winner gets the consolation prize of beating Texas.

    My Barber’s SEC Rankings

    Ole Miss

  19. FlaBravesFan at 24,

    Apparetnly Tribune has a corporate wholly owned subsidiary that is the Cubs (I think the “Major League Baseball convention” on team naming would be “Chicago National League Baseball Club, Inc.”)

    ESPN has the story. The bankruptcy just gives Tribune cover on the value of the Cubs for the sale. Probably they didn’t file earlier so that they had greater flexibility on setting expenses and setting ticket prices, etc. (Tribune is already in Chapter 11).

    Now, they REALLY need to complete this sale before arb season opens or else they may have a real pain in the behind getting Bankruptcy Judge and / or U. S. Trustee and / or Creditor’s Committee approval for whatever they do.

  20. Mac has an interesting point at 33,

    TECHNICALLY, the Cubs can “accept or reject executory (not fully completed) contracts.” I don’t know how MLB and the collective bargaining agreement handle that. But, I bet the NEXT CBA has provisions guaranteeing payment of player contracts out of the MLB revenue stream in event of team default.

    Also, if Cubs owe salary to another team on a trade, then that could be in jeopardy (no wonder they wanted to move Bradley fast).

    BUT, no creditor (don’t know if that would include contracting party)can be less than fully paid IF the net worth is greater than the debt.

  21. hank,
    Lotsa talk about it, still. In fact, they’re talking about it on WFAN right now.

    I was actually at the game, in a seat (200 level in RF near the foul pole) that had a pair of overhead monitors tuned to the TV feed. The play happened on the other side of the field from us, so it didn’t seem like a big deal at first, but when the TBS feed showed the replay, there were audible gasps in my section. Lots of “WTF?” and “How the hell did the ump miss that?”

    However, as I mentioned before, they never showed the replay on the big stadium screen & the Yankee radio announcers never mentioned it. Most people in the stadium had no idea how bad the call really was.

    After the fact, most Yankee fans realize they got another all-time Jeffrey Maier-like break. Some schmucks are trying to alibi the thing away, like it wasn’t a big deal, but it was. Doesn’t mean the Yanks wouldn’t have won the game or series anyway—seems like the Twins were ready to run themselves out of any inning where they had baserunners—but there’s no doubt that it was an awful call that helped kill the Twins.

    BTW, I agree that the Yanks-Angels is the most interesting possible ALCS. (I’m kinda over the Sawx-Yanks squareoffs at this point.) This is a series with 2 very different teams and the only series where Yankee fans exhibit a genuine & palpable fear factor. Should be fun.

    Re: Who’s #1?
    The beauty of the SEC title game is that you actually determine the conference champ on the field. To me, the national-ranking stuff remains a goofy proposition.

    Who’s better? Bama or Florida? It’s not an interesting question to me until they square off in Atlanta. And, as long as Tebow can still remember his name, that should be another classic.

    Re: The Beauty of Cough Syrup
    Spent much of the weekend sick, guzzling the ol’ DM. At a certain point, I was watching a DVR’d version of the UGA-Tennessee game in a genuine daze. When I realized that special teams was the only phase of the game that decided to show up in K-Town, I guzzled another hefty shot & snoozed off again.

    Congrats Smitty, but I gotta say, “Rocky Top” sounds even worse on Robo.

  22. Smitty, tell your barber that there’s no way Ole Miss should be 4th with South Carolina 9th.

  23. I go with Soriano. He is under option until 2014 at $18 million per year. They can boot Fukudome after 2011.

  24. why wouldnt they just drop their whole OF? what protection do the players have in this and what is the downside for filing for the cubs?

  25. Speaking of Ryan Church – what do we have here? He looked solid when he was in and has had some success in the past.

    Where does he fit in next year?

  26. I said Soriano was a given… You can’t just do this haphazardly, the judge has to approve. And he may not. And they have to get out of bankruptcy quickly.

  27. I’d keep Church, if his price was reasonable. He’s an average 4th OF, and if he could be paid that way, I’d like to keep him around.

  28. If the Braves think Schafer and Heyward need more time in AAA, then they keep Church and he plays RF until one of those 2 proves ready. If they think one of them is ready to start on opening day, then they see if anybody wants to trade for Church and if not, they non-tender him. I would expect Heyward to be the opening day RF, so Church likely won’t be a Brave come the arbitration deadline.

  29. I think Church will depend a lot on how well the hunt for the mythical “right handed power back” goes

  30. Ron
    E. at 44,

    I am perplexed as to what to do with the “not yet otherwise free agent arb eligibles” Kelly Johnson and Ryan Church (most of the others you offer and don’t think twice. Now as to the “post 6 year guys” don’t offer them except maybe Gonzo).

    If the free agent market keeps tumbling going into and through this offseason, then KJ and Church might be like Marcus Giles. You may not be able to get anybody to take them at an arb salary.

    However, if I understand it correctly, then if you offer arb to a less than 6 guy, you can release him at the end of spring training and the only thing you owe them is 1/6 of annual salary. If so, then I think you tender both of them and see who you can successfully move and cut the other at the end of spring training if you haven’t figured out how to use them.

    A $500,000 or so insurance policy on “if Prado gets hurt” or “if Diaz or McLouth gets hurt” isn’t a bad use of part of a mid market to slightly above payroll.

    I actually think Church is the kind of player we need if we think we are going to contend this year. Hits righties and fields well enough in right to be a starter on a good team. Fields center passably. Big problem is he has never hit lefties and our next two minor league outfielders (Heyward and Schaffer) are both lefties as well.

  31. Ethan,

    John Riggins is too old.

    Herschel Walker might be o.k. He certainly can get his wild child personality going and whoop some butt with his MMA moves.

  32. I voted for Reynolds, but i was surprised it was such a landslide. Smith had one great year (’92) for the Braves, and a bunch of bad ones. I actually thought that Reynolds was lousier than his record (well a plus 5 era is lousy), but I was surprised he had a winning record. Still, I think Braves fans thought he might be good, so he gets the vote.

  33. Whatever technical reason the Cubs might have to not honor an existing contract would pale against the holy hell the MLBPA would unleash if they reneged on a single one. I don’t think it’s a real possibility.

  34. I’d hate to lose Roy Clark, but there is a time a guy has to move on.

    I wonder if it won’t turn out to be a good thing. That last draft was suspect and I’m still sore about Kody Johnson.

  35. We may give Joe grief for some of the subjects he beats into the ground, but he is sooo much better than Chip Caray.

  36. Awww, I was sure Lidge was going to give up a three-run shot to Tulowitzki right there. Phillies win. Phuck ’em.


  37. @64 True. What’s funny is that nobody will ever remember that, because nobody ever remembers the DS. What are folks betting here, Yanks-Phils?

  38. Pete Smith was one of the original young guns consisting of Smoltz, Glavine, Avery and Smith.

    Smoltz and Glavine lived up to the hype while Avery blew his shoulder out but was one hell of a lefty in his day. Pete Smith stuck around for eleven years but never equaled up to his first round draft status.

    Shane Reynolds was a much more consistent starting pitcher during thirteen years in the big leagues, with an overall record of 114-96 and 4.09 ERA.

    Ninety-two percent voting for Reynolds and eight percent for Smith? You guys got this all wrong. Pete gets my vote.

  39. Shane Reynolds did a lot of things in the majors, but he never did jack for us. He was just atrocious in a Braves uniform. Pete Smith didn’t do much as a Brave, but he had that one miraculous stretch run.

    This is like asking us to vote on Rico Brogna vs. Sid Bream. Neither one hit very much in a Braves uniform, but one was forgettable, and the other was… memorable.

  40. Right, Shane Reynolds pitched one season in Atlanta and went 11-9 with an ERA of 5.43, hardly atrocious but very pedestrian numbers from a fifth starter. Strangely enough, the team was 18-11 during his starts in 2003 mainly due to run support of 6.50 per game.

  41. coach…mules have nothing on you. it’s a contest for the WORST BRAVE! THEY CANT BE A BRAVE IF THEY’RE NOT IN A BRAVE UNIFORM! end caps… and back to a peaceful tone.

  42. Who picks up the tab for all the carpet, wall, and ceiling cleaning for these post-game clubhouse celebrations?


  44. Nah, Fukudome is way more valuable than Church. He gives the Cubs an entry to the Japanese market!

  45. I gotta agree with Coach. Pete Smith was a first round pick who was a bust. Shane Reynolds was a one-year rental who didn’t totally kill us. I think Smith was more of a failure from an expectations standpoint.

  46. Considering how few draftees ever have significant careers, Pete Smith’s 663 innings of 93 ERA+ in Atlanta is far from a bust.

  47. Good thing Ryan Howard is overrated. I can only imagine how much damage he’d do if he lived up to his hype.

  48. #46, the only guy I wouldn’t offer arb to would be Anderson. Gonzo and Soriano will want a multi year contract since they know what it’s like to blow out their arm, and Laroche has already stated he wants a multi year deal.

    #57, I’m willing to give Roy Clark a pass on the 2009 draft. I don’t think the budget was especially high.

  49. #73 – thats easy to second guess.

    Howard vs Biemel

    3 for 10 with a 2B, 3B, HR, and 5 RBI


    and Street is holding lefties to a .167/.225/.265/.490 line

  50. 83—I actually first-guessed it. I wasn’t aware of those career numbers you cite, but everyone knows lefties tend to have a lot more success against Howard than righties do. I was only surprised Howard didn’t homer.

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