Reds 2, Braves 1


Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds – Box Score – August 01, 2010 – ESPN.

Does anything show up the ridiculousness of pitcher “wins” more than what happened to Tommy Hanson (now 8-8 on the season) today? He was outstanding, striking out five and walking just one in 7 1/3, throwing 66 strikes in 92 pitches. But in the fifth inning, he allowed a one-out single, followed by a two-out “triple” that was a soft fly ball down the line to right. Heyward screwed up on the play, trying to make a diving catch that he couldn’t, misplaying a double that probably would not have scored a run (with a catcher running, even with two out) into the triple. Then Alex Gonzalez, defensive shortstop, misplayed an absolutely routine ball allowing a second run to score.

Ballgame, because of the Braves’ terrible work with runners on base. They had only one hit with runners in scoring position, that an infield single by Omar in the first that only moved Conrad to third base with one out. McCann popped up to blow that chance. Their only run came on a solo homer by Gonzalez in the second. After the fourth inning, the third time in the game that the Braves stranded two men, I wrote, “We’re going to lose”. And we did.

The Braves had only four hits, but drew seven walks and had a HBP. Eleven men were stranded, five times two in one inning. Heyward doubled with two out in the ninth, and was, of course, stranded. It’s going to happen with a high-walk, low-power offense sometimes, but you have to execute better than this. Hanson has pitched brilliantly in each of his last two starts, but the defense and offense have let him down both times and he’s 0-2. He just doesn’t know how to get the other guys to be competent win.

192 thoughts on “Reds 2, Braves 1”

  1. If you can’t hit with runners in scoring position or win on the road, you aren’t going very far in the postseason (if you even get there). Hopefully Frank Wren can pull some waiver wire magic out of his ass and do what he failed to do yesterday in the coming weeks by acquiring an outfielder or first baseman who can actually hit.

  2. Let’s go Nats . . .

    To add insult to injury, tomorrow the Braves get a resurgent Santana. I smell a tough-luck loss for Hudson. Several members of the team have talked about enduring this roadtrip so they can get back home where they thrive, but the way the offense is playing right now, it doesn’t matter where they hold the games.

  3. The Braves aren’t as bad as their awful April and they’re certainly not as good as their remarkable May. Or, perhaps, they’re both, which puts them somewhere in the middle, and so makes them middling.

  4. Chip and Joe said Medlen might not make his next scheduled start? Was listening to the post show and not really paying attention, but I thought I heard them say that Medlen might miss his game vs the Mets and that Minor could be called up to pitch instead.

    I dunno how much validity there is there (or if I even heard correctly), but damn do I feel sorry for KK.

  5. @6 Melky was the one really behind 9/11. He talked Lebron into The Decision. He eats babies.

  6. He’s also pregnant with Francoeur’s spawn, who when born will bring about the coming of Gozer.

  7. The Braves were doing it with mirrors early and they began thinking they were better than they really were. This team has lots of holes.

    At the same time no one in the NL is really a powerhouse and most of the teams other than the Padres have struggled on the road. Even the Nationals are a completely different team at home. The Phillies are struggling to win a game in Washington.

    The way the Braves have played is depressing but teams go through lulls. It’s the nature of the game. And while you can argue about the Gonzalez trade it’s sort of unfair to blame him for the slump because Escobar was not setting the world on fire.

  8. Mac: You should do an all-Braves Whipping Boy Team. The one Braves fans would have to watch play everyday if they were damned to spend eternity in hell.

  9. Corky Miller C
    Scott Thorman 1B
    Keith Lockhart 2B
    Rey Sanchez SS
    Vinny Castillo 3B
    Nate McLouth OF
    Melky Cabrera OF
    Jeff Francoeur OF
    Chris Woodward PH
    Ozzie Guillen Backup IF

    Mike Hampton P
    Jorge Sosa RP
    Chris Reitsma RP
    Dan Kolb CL

    About right?

  10. I’m assuming you are under the age of 30 Dan. The 80s were not a pleasant time and that’s a very aughts heavy lineup.

  11. Phillies just took a 6-4 lead in the 11th.

    Looks like the lead will be sliced to 2.5 games.

  12. #13 – I agree. Teams get hot. Teams get cold. This team isn’t blessed with that one guy that can carry a team offensively.

    I’d love for us to be better offensively but pitching is the key ingredient to getting to the post season.

  13. 1B- Fick
    2B- Lockhart
    SS- Yunel
    3B- Castilla
    LF- B.Jordan/Mondesi platoon
    CF- Melky
    RF- Francoeur
    C – Olsen
    SP- Jong-Il
    SP- Hampton
    SP- JoJo
    SP- Carlyle

    That bad enough for you?

  14. Also, if Mike Hampton is your only starter I assume every game in hell is called after the second inning when his elbow explodes after high-fiving an infielder.

  15. I’m assuming you are under the age of 30 Dan.

    That and BravesJournal has only been around since 1998.

  16. @19 It’s very hellish, but again was no one here a child in the 1980s! It was the black plague of Braves baseball! They never played a day game because of the darkness that descended before every game. 1 in every 6 Braves fan died before the age of ten!

    I feel very old.

  17. Hey, speaking of Hampton we could sign him to platoon with Ankiel. It would be the pitcher-converted-to-outfielder platoon.

  18. I don’t think I’ve ever known a grown man with a body as fragile as Mike Hampton’s. Not without having some kind of extremely rare disease anyway.

  19. I’m not that old. Though Melky has aged me.

    Biggest question is first base. Could also be Brogna or Hessman. From what I can tell, Hessman is one of only two Braves (with Kolb being the other) I never said anything nice about. And Reitsma has to be there over Wickman.

  20. Brogna was worse than Fick…I dunno if Hessman played enough for the Braves to be a BJWB.

  21. @34 Mac got it right. ’05-’06 Frency was much better than the 4 outfielders on his list.

  22. Is it actually a foregone conclusion that the Braves call Freeman up in September just because the rosters expand?

    I seem to recall many times expecting reinforcements in September, and the Braves just keep trucking with 25, maybe 26.

  23. Hessman tossed me his batting gloves on the last home game of the 2000 season at AA Greenville. He was nice.


  24. 36,
    Everyone seems to think he’s getting the call. I seriously doubt they’ll call him up before the minor league season is done. His development is far from over, and he needs to play every day for now.

  25. @41, I don’t recognize the accomplishments of PED abusers. Brogna was a natural disaster.

  26. For an all-BJWB team you’d really need to have some visceral experience of watching them play.

    Even with all the sabermetrics available there still isn’t a way to quantify hate.

  27. I showed up at the ballpark for a business man’s special in 2004, and this is the lineup that awaited me:

    1B – Adam LaRoche
    2B – Jesse Garcia
    3B – Mike Hessman
    SS – Mark DeRosa
    LF – Damon Hollins
    CF – Andruw Jones
    RF – Dewayne Wise
    C – Johnny Estrada
    P – Mike Hampton

    Talk about picking the wrong game to go to (although, incredibly, that infield turned a 5-4-3 triple play).

  28. @42 I still say this is no time to start blaming players when we have a magical treadmill.

    Someone was obviously the Melky of working out during this roadtrip. I like that the works literally and metaphorically.

  29. Ok, I followed the all-Mac Hates team link and I read about Jason Shiell’s wife posting on the site, but most of the Mrs. Shiell links didn’t work. What is the story there?

  30. The Braves went through a phase where playing first-base was like drumming for spinal tap.

  31. I actually did an entry on that lineup, Basil. And the name of the post was…


    Of course it was.

    Shiell’s wife posted once in comments about how he was a hard-working, talented guy, yada yada. Nothing much, really.

  32. Although most of you probably don’t remember, the 70s were arguably worse than the 80s. That was the era of Ted Turner managing, 16 game losing streaks, and losing 23-5 to the Big Red Machine. I would think someone like Roland Office or Rod Gilbreath or Brian Asselstine would have to be on that team.

    In some ways this is an amazing team. When Wren put this team together, I think they were counting on several things: (1) some kind of rebound year from Chipper; (2)McLouth being at least a competent CF and leadoff man; (3) Yunel being a signficant, if not dominant, offensive force; (4) Glaus providing right-handed power; (5) Heyward providing some contribution; and (6) Lowe pitching better than he did last year. Number 5 has certainly worked out. Glaus has provided power at times but he did nothing in Julyso it’s sort of hard to rate that. But the other things have gone completely south. Yet, they have been in first place since the end of May. How have they done this? When the Dodgers won the World Series in 1988, people talked about that being possibly the worst lineup to take the field in a World Series. The Braves, if they got there, wouldn’t be much better.

    Bobby just has to get some credit for this, regardless of how much we bitch about his silly moves at times. He certainly isn’t getting much help from Frank Wren or Liberty Media.

  33. @45 That’s one hell of a lineup. Basil, it’s like an historical moment that you will never forget.

  34. @50 Agreed about the lineup. Who remembers the 70s?

    More generally since we’ve settled into being a mid-market team there’s been a lot more hopeful acquisitions and moves from the front-office. Some of those flyers have to pan out now for the team to have success.

  35. So we sported lineups like that and still won division titles? Wow. The Gods certainly were shining upon us.

  36. It could be worse. There are people who have to wake up and be Pirates fans everyday.

  37. Anyone think Freeman is an upgrade over Hinski?

    Not saying he isn’t, but not really sure he is.

  38. These Braves are no juggernaut, but when they play well they can beat anyone. After the last few years it’s a welcome change. Their pitching in particular is quite strong. Right now they’re missing the key hit or key defensive play that kept them winning through May and June. There’s no reason (aside from possible further injuries) to think that their luck won’t turn again.

    Overall, after growing up watching great Braves teams go to the playoffs only to lose to outfits like this, it’s a little exciting to potentially be on the other side of the equation. They just have to get to the playoffs, preferably while they’re playing well.

  39. 45, 49- The Braves lost that game 7-3 despite a two-run pinch-hit HR by Julio Franco. Speaking of which, does anyone know what he’s doing these days? I’m sure he’d be a better hitter at 48/ 51/ older than dirt than Bad Glaus, McLouth, Melky, etc.

  40. What happens when half the Phillies roster isn’t on the DL?

    If we don’t crush the Mets… I don’t know what I’m going to do.

  41. We tend to handle those idiots from Flushing pretty well when they come to Turner. Plus, they suck.

  42. It’s funny how different the fallout from this one would have been had Yunel been the one making the E-6. Lack of focus, wasting his talent, given up on the team, the clubhouse hates him, maybe Sam H would have stopped by to insinuate he has a drug problem. Those were the days.

    Now all we are left with is ‘Yeah, he kind of sucks’.

    Anyway, lets at least try to kick the Mets around a little. This is getting ugly.

  43. It would have been harder to forgive Yunel because he wouldn’t have hit a home run to put us ahead in the first place.

  44. Robert, it’s time to move on. At least that’s what I am told when I was making fun on Frenchy :P

  45. Whoever says Alex Gonzalez “kind of sucks” is sadly mistaken. Even with Gonzalez’s struggles and Yunel’s “resurgence”, Gonzalez’s OPS is still 130 points higher, and his Atlanta OPS is 76 points higher than Yunel’s Atlanta OPS. In Toronto, Yunel has eaten a grounder as well in the same amount of chances Gonzalez has. Gonzalez has also turned more DPs than Yunel has in the same amount of time.

    Oh, and how many HRs did Yunel hit for us this year? Gonzalez out-paced him in one AB. I’m not saying Gonzalez is a plus-hitting shortstop, but spending your time clammering for Yunel isn’t going to get you anywhere.

  46. either way this team has to have more production from its CORNER INFIELDERS….Chipper and Glaus are killing this offense, its even worse now that they both are requiring time off

    since the allstar break

    Chipper – 11 for 45, 2XBH, 9RBI .244/.340/.333/.673
    Glaus – 10 for 54, 3XBH, 3RBI .185/.318/.241/.559

    We can keep arguing about who is better between Yunel and AAG, but the big issue is that our corner infielders are killing this team. Diaz in his platoon, ph role has more XBH than both of these guys and one less RBI in 30AB’s. Plus those two are in RBI spots while Diaz is just out there to clear the pitcher

  47. If Gonzalez sucks, then what do you call .238/.334/.284, a terrible attitude, lollipop throws, forgetting how many outs there are, and injuring yourself stretching like an idiot? Around and around we go in circle…

  48. For another team, anyway.

    So when we trade for a player, we immediately discount what they did for the previous team that season. If that’s the case, we must be really excited about Rick Ankiel!

  49. So all we do is talk about ex-Braves on here, I’ll point out Lil’Bridge had 3(!) RBIs today for the White Sox.

  50. So when we trade for a player, we immediately discount what they did for the previous team that season.

    No, but what he has done for this team interests me far more. His 18 homers this year are a swell stat, though. They’ve really helped the Braves this year.

  51. The Yunel Debate:

    It doesn’t matter.

    Yes it does matter.

    No it doesn’t matter, because…

    Yes it does matter, because…

    And then you go to bed.

  52. OK, if that is your litmus test, Spike, then here it is:

    Yunel, this year, for Atlanta: .238/.334/.284. 0 HR in 261 AB.

    Gonzalez, this year, for Atlanta: .255/.321/.373. 1 HR in 51 AB.

    Gonzalez is no powerhouse, but you keep arguing for Yunel and those numbers, and I’ll keep laughing at it. I’m done.

  53. I am not arguing for Yunel. I have repeated this ad infinitum. Gonzalez was an ill advised acquisition. Period. The fact that we gave up an extremely valuable chip like Escobar to do so makes it all the more galling, but isn’t central to the idea.

  54. anyone notice matt young seems to have tightened up his game a bit? he’s stolen 22 bases and has only been caught 3 and this is the 2nd year that his ops has hovered around .800. for a guy that doesnt have any pop, that’s pretty impressive. i sure do hope he gets a shot next year.

  55. @84 Not as valauble as you think he is Spike. As Mac mentioned, Wren wouldn’t do this deal if not for Bobby’s last season. I am sure he would give Yunel the rest of the season to recover if Bobby doesn’t come into play. Whether it is right for a GM to do this is up for debate, but it’s Bobby’s last season. I will just treat this as Bobby’s farewell gift. It’s much better than what JS gave himself for his farewell season.

    When Bobby and Chipper are both gone, we should be done with all these illogical/emotional bs.

  56. #87.

    actually, he’s better than blanco BECAUSE he is more aggressive on the base paths. i’m thinking that, next year, Prado moves to 3B and matt young will be playing 2B for us. Infante will be super-sub again and I’m hoping we go all-in on Crawford or Werth (preferable because he will be cheaper and is Right Handed, helping to balance the line-up. However, I would LOVE Crawford patrolling LF for us) allowing us to bring up Freeman. CF will still be a black hole, but Crawford could play there, allowing us to keep Diaz (platooning with Hinske) in LF and move Melky and McLouth

  57. You are a GM. Your team’s starting shortstop — who has had to be benched multiple times for attitude issues, has injured himself in a stupid way, and is playing at the plate like he has completely forgotten how to drive the ball — just crossed the line for good with his utter stupidity by nearly causing serious injury to your team’s first baseman.

    So, you have to find a trading partner quickly, it has to be a team that’s out of contention, and you need an ML ready shortstop who can handle playing defense behind groundball pitchers in return. Preferably a RH. Who else do you suggest we acquire? Jeter? Troy Tulowitzki? Sheesh.

  58. Imagine being totally out of the loop on Sat., then sitting down in the Reds ballpark and seeing this on the scoreboard:

    True WTF moment.
    Tommy Hanson pitched his ass off on a hot day.
    Volquez for the Reds was so wild (5 walks, 7 Ks) that even he didn’t know where the ball was going.
    Chipper’s not himself, but still very tough. AAG’s homer was a good shot; hope to see more.
    But I spent the whole afternoon hoping SOMEBODY would get a big hit.
    And watching Reds fans celebrate when they didn’t.
    P.S. Melky is fat. Not pregnant fat (@12), but I have no doubt who has the Pictures this season.

  59. @26
    Please send us your workout program so that Melky can reduce his BMI.

    The Braves

  60. “Not as valauble as you think he is Spike. As Mac mentioned, Wren wouldn’t do this deal if not for Bobby’s last season. I am sure he would give Yunel the rest of the season to recover if Bobby doesn’t come into play.”

    If that’s true, then that mean the Braves lowered his market value on their own. And that makes them really, really stupid. Of course, there’s no way to know this. All we know is that Yunel did have value. As for this:

    “If Gonzalez sucks, then what do you call .238/.334/.284, a terrible attitude, lollipop throws, forgetting how many outs there are, and injuring yourself stretching like an idiot? ”

    I call it a bad half a season. Because of Escobar’s phenomenal defense, mind you, this was still a half-season better than Gonzalez’s average half season. But yeah, this was a bad half season for him.

    The only way this trade makes sense is if we only had the first half of 2010 to take into account, and unfortunately we don’t. Yunel was a very productive player for the two and a half seasons prior to this year, and many GMs this offseason would have been interested in him for that reason. Gonzalez just had the best half season of his career, and almost certainly won’t replicate it. Just because many here are prone to overlook Escobar’s value doesn’t mean MLB GMs, whose jobs depend upon finding value, would have overlooked him too. Indeed, around and around we go, and we’ll keep going around until you acknowledge more than 300 plate appearances.

  61. The trade is done for good or bad. But you can’t really blame AAG for the bad road trip unless you assume that Yunel would have played better than he had been. Maybe they should have gone with Yunel longer but you can’t say he was playing well with the Braves and he had made lots of dumb plays. I don’t think AAG is much of a player but neither was Yunel over the first three months of the season.

    As for it being a “bad half season” that sort of begs the question. If it was just Yunel struggling at the plate, I’m sure the Braves would not have moved him. This was about his attitude, his seeming to zone out during games, etc. That’s got nothing to do with just having a bad season. And it’s not a matter of “clubhouse chemistry.” It’s a matter of a major league player being unprofessional and often unprepared for the games. That’s a serious indictment, however much the Yunel apologists want to ignore it. If you are going to criticize the trade, you need to at least be honest enough to acknowledge that Yunel had some part of it and, in fact, some of his antics had actually hurt the Braves on the field. It seems as if you are just ignoring the missed pop-up against the Mets, the lollipop throw that almost put Glaus out, the lack of focus. This wasn’t about the players feeling better about the clubhouse; this was about actions that hurt the team on the field.

  62. my complaint on the yunel trade (a little late, i know): omar infante is now the new martin prado. omar is a backup who has outplayed the players that are starting in front of him, and yet he’s still backing them up.

    it’s way past sample-size for omar infante. since joining the braves in 2008, omar has hit and played defense well. +/- and UZR/150 show him as an average defensive shortstop and i’m sure his .762 ops is above average for major league shortstops (.784 this year). while i understand the reasoning for not moving omar to starting ss, how long is chipper’s health issues going to keep us from putting the best team on the field? in my opinion, omar infante, martin prado, and matt diaz have had to prove themselves too many times (even to this blog).

    mac has come out and said that he completely misjudged prado’s ability, so when will the braves finally admit that they’ve misjudged omar infante’s ability? hopefully next year.

    yunel escobar was traded for a shortstop who was having a career year, yet as it stands right now, alex’s ops is only 4 points higher than infante’s, and quickly dropping.

    hopefully next offseason, the braves cash in on a weak ss market and trade alex gonzalez for the bat they need and give omar infante what he deserves: a starting position.

  63. Everyone calls out KK and Lowe for sucking and being overpaid. What about Chipper? He is sucking and is not even reliable to be in when he should be.

  64. Chipper has a 111 wRC+, Derek Lowe has a 88 ERA+ (same as last year).

    You’re paying one player $14 million to be 11 percent above league average, another $15 million to be 12 percent below league average.

  65. Are you ok with 11% above league average from a guy who’s making well more than league average?

    I’m not saying Lowe doesn’t suck hard, he does, and he sucks worse than Chipper. But I think Chipper is getting off too easy.

  66. He gets off easy because he’s Chipper and he’s probably gone next year. Lowe hasn’t been playing for us over the last 15 years and is still owed 30 million over the next two years. Also, he doesn’t look like he’s going to retire.

  67. And what’s the deal with the Teixeira trade??!! Jeff Francoeur, Keith Lockhart, and bears, oh my!

  68. I think the nickname Zombie Chipper does state peoples feelings about him at this point in his career.
    He has also earned a longer leash for his contributions to all the divisions titles and accolades he has earned.

    Lowe had a good month and a half as a Braves and is now an albatross.

  69. According to B-Ref Chipper’s been worth 2.2 wins above replacement this year. He’s earned just shy of $9 million. Teams pay ~$4 million per win on the FA market, which means he’s been roughly as valuable as his contract would indicate. Nothing to see here, he ain’t as good as he once was but he’s still pretty good and it’d be hard to do better on the FA market.

  70. Chipper’s got us all spoiled. We expect hell even demand the guy that routinely put up .300/.400/.500 slash lines. He is still contributing to the team. I see no need to call him out.

  71. I’m shocked at the ingratitude toward Chipper. Bethany,
    yes, he is making more than his production warrants but not that much more. And it’s not a matter of “being satisfied.” It is what it is. He is not trying to not produce. What do you want to do, cut him? Sue him to get the money back because he is not good enough? Would it be more acceptable if he was making less money?

  72. NL East, 8/2/10

    ATL 59 45 .567 —
    PHA 57 48 .543 2.5
    FLA 53 52 .505 6.5
    NYM 53 52 .505 6.5
    WAS 46 59 .438 13.5

    Santana vs. Hudson tonight.

    This is when baseball’s good.

  73. I’m not sure why I should feel gratitude for his performance. Just because he has taken less money and made a lot of concessions for the team in the past, all the while being a fantastic player does not change the numbers he is putting up now. He should have called it quits after last year.

  74. Not going to follow you there Bethany. Before last year, the guy was a top 5 player in the league. He falls off a cliff. The guy is a hall-of-fame talent. To expect him to retire in that situation, instead of coming back and trying to prove he’s not that player, is completely unrealistic.

    Besides. He’s MY hall-of-famer. He’s the one I watched from rookie to retirement. I missed Dale Murphy. Dave Justice wasn’t actually as talented as 7 year old me wanted him to be. Chipper Jones was my guy, and he left money on the table, and even gave money back after the fact, so he could stay my guy. And if he plays this season sitting in a lawn chair, with a Mike’s Hard Lemonade in his hand, he gets a pass from me.

  75. So, you have to find a trading partner quickly, it has to be a team that’s out of contention, and you need an ML ready shortstop who can handle playing defense behind groundball pitchers in return. Preferably a RH. Who else do you suggest we acquire? Jeter? Troy Tulowitzki? Sheesh.

    or you could have you know, started Infante at short until a “good” replacement could be found. Maybe even package your existing SS with a good prospect for a RH OF bat. False urgency is false. In fairness, it has been a hallmark of the organization since the JS days, so Wren isn’t the first to make a panicky, poor move when he didn’t have to.

  76. Right, so we’re going to nitpick at the new players for forever, but because we love Chipper, he’s fine. Perfectly logical.

  77. @109, The team is paying Chipper now for past performance. Part of making deals like his is spreading his cost out. The team couldn’t have afforded paying him what he was worth during his best years.

  78. I think Peter already demonstrated to you that Chipper still helps the team, while perhaps slightly overpaid, and that Derek Lowe actually hurts the team, while vastly overpaid.

    Regarding Ankiel, Farnsworth, Gonzalez… I feel like I know exactly the kinds of players they are. I don’t expect them to be better than that. I feel they are upgrades over what we had (or in Gonzalez case, and upgrade over what we were likely to get.) These guys, I will not nitpick.

    What I don’t understand is why you repeatedly claim to hate Eric Hinske, when all he does is put up an .827 OPS at two different positions for a measly $1 million.

  79. @111, False premises are also false. Yunel created the urgency by nearly injuring Glaus, and good replacements don’t grow on trees. Do we have defensive stats on Infante at short, though? I’m certainly open to changing my mind, and I know there are people on here who think Infante could handle it. I could be persuaded.

    @113, Even at the level he’s playing now, it’s an insult to Chipper to compare him to McLouth, 2010 Braves Yunel, AAG, et al. Peter said it best. With this descent, he’s giving us market value, and we don’t focus on it as much not just for sentimental reasons, but also because the team has much bigger problems.

    It’s hard to imagine what we do next year. Go after Adrian Beltre? I’m depressed.

  80. If you get to illogically love Chipper, I get to illogically hate Hinske. He’s my new “I don’t like you even though you aren’t that bad” whipping boy now that Yunel is gone.

    Remember, Hinske was laughing just as hard as Melky after that throw.

  81. @115, How can you know exactly the kind of player Ankiel is? He hasn’t been an offensive player that long. He has considerably fewer PA than, for example, Yunel had before the beginning of this year. He’s had recent injuries, and his power has fluctuated. Any OPS from .660 to .860 really wouldn’t surprise me. He could be anything.

  82. Joey T,

    Chipper’s deal was this:

    07:$15M club option ($5M buyout) (vests with 450 PAs
    08:$15M club option ($5M buyout)

    He reworked that deal to be

    09:$8M-$11M vesting option

    He gave back 6 million in 06, in exchange for a middle ground guarentee on 07 (he was guarenteed a 5 million buy out, could have had 15 if it vested. Settled at 11 million. He gained 6 guarenteed, but left 4 million that he was very likely to get. He also gained one year, 2009, as an option.

    Recap: Braves owed him minimum 22 million for 1 year (if he played 06 and they bought out 07.) Braves owed him a maximum 47 million for 3 years.

    He agreed to a contract that maxed out at 44 million across 4 years. He gave back 3 million dollars, and played one extra season.

    The fact that the team then signed him to 10:$13M, 11:$13M, 12:$13M, 13:$7M club option, has no bearing on the fact that he had a piece of paper worth 47 million in 3 years, and he traded it for a piece of paper worth 44 million in 4 years.

  83. To be fair, it was a pretty funny-looking throw.

    Also, I liked the trade for Farnsworth and Ankiel.

  84. Bethany,

    I explained to you why it was logical that I would give him a pass.

    Peter explained to you why he doesn’t even NEED a pass.

    At this point, I’m talking to a wall. An irrational wall.

  85. It’s not illogical to respect one of the best players in the history of the franchise and to accept the fact that he is in a decline phase. I would be more upset if Chipper had had several bad years and still insisted on coming back. But, as recently as two years ago, he won the batting title. He had every right to think (or at least hope)that last year was an aberration. And we have seen many great players have a bad year towards the end and then recover to have decent years toward the end(Ted Williams in 1960, Willie Mays in 1971). It hasn’t worked out, but even at that, as Peter showed, Chipper hasn’t been nearly as bad as, say, Lowe.

  86. It’s never logical to give a paid professional a pass. Infante is his replacement player, who is making a fraction of the money and has a higher OPS!

  87. Yunel created the urgency by nearly injuring Glaus, and good replacements don’t grow on trees.

    Bench him and play Infante until you get the right deal. A couple of weeks of Omar ain’t gonna kill you. Send to AAA and get his value back up if need be, but acquiring a demonstrably bad replacement is a usually a bad idea. The “get outta town by sundown” move is counterproductive, option-limiting, unnecessary and generally dumb as hell no matter what business you are in. Say what you want about the personalities, and again, I get why this was so pleasing for so many, but this is just poor asset management.

  88. @119, Ankiel has over 1100 PA’s since becoming a full time OF. I am afraid we know exactly what kind of player he is. .255/.315/.464. Given his age, I would expect those values to go down, not up.

  89. And Martin Prado’s been even better than Omar, for EVEN LESS MONEY than THAT!

    And, and, and, AND, Colby Rasmus has been really good too, for very little money! Jonny Gomes doesn’t get paid very much. FRANK THOMAS HIT A WHOLE LOT OF HOMERUNS!

    None of these things is relative to Chipper Jones contract and Chipper Jones performance.

    Omar’s gotten 240 ABs, to Chipper’s 340 ABs. He’s not wasting on the bench or something. And it isn’t like you can cut Chipper and get the money back. The contract is guaranteed.

    To act like Chipper is Carlos Lee or Alfonso Soriano or something is completely ludicrous.

  90. A random aside about Ankiel, but that man has got some scrawny chicken legs and some really pronounced veins in his arms, and he kinda looks like Liev Schreiber.

  91. I gotta admit, I was laughing at Melky as I was dog-cussing him. (Hard to do, btw.)

    Reminded me of a t-ball team I used to coach.

    Time to get fat against the Metropolitans. (Why did they choose that name, anyway? And why haven’t we started calling them “The Metros”?)

  92. @127 Right, none of those things have to do with his performance, but I didn’t bring them up, did I?

    Chipper Jones isn’t performing as well as his replacement. That’s the point. The money difference is just icing on the cake.

  93. Really? I thought the point was that Chipper Jones is making an ungodly amount of money and not earning it. When your journeyman utility player is outperforming the face of the franchise, there might be a problem.

  94. @126, supporting the point of knowing exactly what kind of player he is: Prior to the season, BP’s projection for this year for Ankiel was .257/.315/.472. His actual line so far is .261/.317/.467.

  95. @132, is he really that far away from earning it? His production is a probably a little less that what he’s being paid, but there’s a really good chance it won’t be by the end of the year.

    And, just to remind you, Chipper Jones did not make the All-Star team this year. Infante made the All-Star team. Argument over.

  96. @135 That’s the argument I should have used from the beginning!

    Let’s just say I’m wrong, crazy and illogical and talk about something else.

    I think we’re going to win tonight.

  97. Chipper’s made far below market value for most of his Braves career. Now he’s finally worth a little below what he’s being paid, but I think he’s earned it at this point.

    There are bigger problems on the team than the 3B with a .370 OBP. He’s 8th out of 16 NL teams in OPS, right at league average.

  98. @113,

    I am with you Bethany about nitpicking players. They may be SOB’s, but they are our SOB’s.

    Melky, however, is fair game.

  99. I haven’t sifted through all the posts since the trade deadline, so excuse me if we already talked about it, but was there any push by the Braves on getting Manny? I can’t understand why not, he fits our need perfectly.
    And from what it sounds like, he might be available on the waiver wire.

    Is it attitude? Money? Surely with the right prospects the Dodgers would throw in some cash.

  100. @132: You must have THOUGHT that, because it sure wasn’t what you said.

    “Everyone calls out KK and Lowe for sucking and being overpaid. What about Chipper? He is sucking and is not even reliable to be in when he should be.”

    That was your point. You compared Chipper to Lowe and KK and said Chipper should be criticized more on the internet.

    Now your point is that we should bench Chipper in favor of Omar.

    First of all: It has been demonstrated to you that Chipper Jones does not make an ungodly amount of money. He is paid commensurate with the numbers he’s putting up. He has been UNDERPAID his entire career. That things like ‘numbers’ and ‘facts’ don’t mean anything to you if they don’t agree with you, I can not help.

    As far as Chipper vs. Omar, if we’re going to pretend that was the point the whole time:

    First. Chipper is getting paid because you have to agree to pay the players before they play. And to determine what a player is likely to do for you, your strongest indicator is past performance.

    When Chipper signed his deal, he was a Hall-Of-Famer who’d just won a batting title.

    When Omar signed his.. he’d done… nothing, really.

    Second. If you sit Chipper and play Omar at 3rd, you lose value. Chipper as a bench player can play one position. Omar can come in late and play any position. Omar can start any day at any position. If he’s your starting third baseman, and you choose to give Prado a day off, Chipper plays that day at third. And surprise, that’s what’s been going on here, as Omar has accumulated 240 plate appearances playing 5 positions, and Chipper has accumulated 350, at one.

    Third. Omar has never played as well as he is right now. Omar is never going to play better than this. You are seeing Omar’s ceiling. And it isn’t that great. Chipper Jones STILL has a greater probability of going on the kind of stretch that carries this ball club than Omar Infante is. But guess what? Again, OMAR IS PLAYING.

    OMAR IS PLAYING. Hes getting in to the lineup, and he’s filling in for players who are hurt, or are performing worse than Chipper is at a given time.

    Then there’s things like, exposure to the league, that are harder to prove and you won’t believe anyway. But I’m convinced that Omar will get worse with more playing time. He won’t fall of a cliff, but I’d wager that something like 70% Chipper, 30% Omar, with Omar getting enough time at other positions so that he’s in there roughly 40-50% of the time is probably the way to put both players in the best position to succeed. And that’s what’s happening here.

  101. @137 – that’s an interesting point, and one that bears some fleshing out. It’s quite common to conflate “average” and “replacement” level. A team with “average” production at every position would be quite formidable, and “average” production is a valuable commodity in and of itself.

    /Oh, and I totally destroyed the poker table Saturday night. Bitterness is quite a handy ally at the table. Keeps you focused on business, without getting too up after taking down a big pot.

  102. Now I’m going to finish writing my dissertation on why Tommy Hanson needs to go to the bullpen!

  103. @136
    Never thought you were illogical and crazy. Perhaps, befuzzled…

    I saw Chipper pinch hit Sunday. I think they’d hoped to get him a day off (same with Glaus, didn’t work out). I took great delight in yelling “Hey, that’s number 10 in the on deck circle.” It brought a lot of nervous laughs and lots cheered when he stepped in.
    The Reds immediately called a conference at the mound because the young lefty, Bray, looked ashen.
    Chipper fouled off several pitches, including one that landed two rows behind me and you shoulda seen the fight for it.
    Then he fouled one off his foot and had to walk it off. On his day off.
    Even though he made an out, one more time, Chipper gave me my money’s worth.

  104. going back since 2002 Chipper has made (I believe) $119.90 mil and has had a value of $155.80.

  105. Bethany, I get where you are coming from but :
    First of all Chipper isn’t playing as bad as you think he is.

    Second he is Chipper Jones. And to Atlanta Braves fans that is a lot. Yeah, irrational emotion but the guy is Mr. Atlanta Brave and that counts for something.

    I’m in the ububba et al camp. Dang, we’re in first place. We have been getting some dominating pitching. Frank Wren has just improved the team and gave up nothing we needed to do it. Things will get better as soon as Martin comes back and Glaus gets luke warm.

    If I am wishing for anything its for us, just once to be able to field an outfield of at least 2 good players. Seems easy for everyone but us.

  106. When is the last time we had a good hitting outfield? Chipper, Andruw and Sheff. 2003


  107. Well we have one in that Heyward guy. Maybe when Chipper and Wagner call it quits after the season, Wren will make a strong push towards signing Crawford. Those two alone will free up about $20 mil, and that’s if we can’t move Lowe, McLouth, or KK. I’d think we should be able to move at least one of them, giving us another $7 mil or so to work with which should allows us to fill any other holes as well.

    With Crawford and Heyward, would you really NEED a GREAT CF?

    I’m just hoping that Wren at least gets involved with Crawford, instead of just going after some player who’s marginally better and calling it enough (i.e. Rick Ankiel).

  108. must be something about towns named Athens.
    Ohio University is in Athens, OH. I can see why its the party capital. Squat to do down in logan county.

  109. #150
    When I was an incoming freshman at UGA, the school had “won” consecutive party-school titles from Playboy mag. Then it was “retired” from the competition.

    What’s kinda funny is that, back then, there weren’t that many bars for students & there were very few live-music venues in Athens. It wasn’t as bad as Auburn was back in the day, but Georgia folks had to find their own way & create their own fun.

    That’s certainly not the case anymore.

  110. Bethany,

    I understand the frustration with Chipper’s performance (although as others on here have demonstrated and, as you seem to ignore, it’s not as bad as you think.) I don’t understand, however, the animosity toward one of the best players the Braves ever had. Are you that much of a front runner that you can’t appreciate his career and accept that the situation for what it is? Yes, he is making a lot of money but there are far worse players on the Braves making, proportionately far more than their value.

    Based on Bethany’s reasoning, the Braves better be careful with this Heyward guy because one day he is going to be making more than he is worth. Let’s trade him now before he becomes too expensive.

  111. 150 — Wisconsin is 12th? My how the mighty have fallen. If there are 11 schools that are better/worse (depends on perspective), then that’s pretty crazy.

  112. When I figured up salaries that are potentially going to be lost next year, I came up with ~$34 mil to spend next year assuming budget is the same. That’s without moving Lowe, KK, or McLouth which would bring the total up to ~$42 mil (depending on how much of Lowe’s contract we’d have to eat to move him). This is also assuming that Chip and Wags both retire.

    Holes that need filled after the season: OF, 3B, SS?, 1B

    1B could possibly be taken by Freeman.
    AAG has an option for SS. We could exercise it, or let Infante start there.

    So that leaves 3B and OF as the two most glaring holes. It’s possible that Prado could move to 3B and we could find another 2B instead. Whichever is best, I suppose.

  113. #153

    please tell me how the Yankees, who already have 148 million committed to 8 PLAYERS next year can sign Crawford when they need to sign Jeter and want to sign Lee? They have A LOT of money, but not that much. That would send ridiculous shock waves through a sport that needs less and less of Yankees vs. everyone in terms of financial expenditures. In this economic climate, it would look very bad (ie – dynasty establishing) and would ruffle a few feathers in Washington.

    The favorites for Crawford right now have the Angels and us.

  114. The chipper retirement thing will take money off the payroll, but there will still be a significant amount owed him that will be Liberty’s responsibility to pay. He may be leaving, but I guarantee you he isn’t leaving 30M on the table. Whether they choose to count this towards whatever payroll limit they have in mind will be interesting.

  115. @158 – they really do have that much. I don’t think we’ve ever seen the ceiling of what is available to spend.

  116. My problem with the deadline situation isn’t that what we got for what we gave up is bad. It is that stuff was seeming to go for a lot lower values and we weren’t “in”.

    Example. Haren. We could have come up with that dreck. Then, traded him in offseason and gotten more back than the dreck the D’ Backs let go.

    Ludwick. Almost exactly the same player as Willingham (actually Ludwick is capable of playing right and not quite as good offensively, but that is close enough). The Padres gave up 2 prospects of less than stellar record. I can’t see that the Cardinals didn’t have a problem helping SD but would have had a problem helping ATL. Why weren’t we in on that?

    We had young relief pitching extraordinaire. Most competitors needed that. Certainly the Reds did. Besides, wouldn’t Minor for Heisey have been a fair deal both ways (about 6 years of control for a slight plus centerfielder as compared to a lefthanded #2 , #3 starter)? Minor could have helped them in the pen the rest of the way and Heisey would have upgraded our outfield about like Cody Ross, but at much less salary.

    Is there maybe something that people don’t like about Wren? Schuerholz? Mad from Ted Turner’s days at him? Mad at Liberty Media’s porn unit?

    Or was our guy asleep at the wheel?

  117. #157

    SS is manned. Gonzalez has a pretty nice salary for next year. I still think we move Prado to 3B and put Infante at 2B (calling up Matt Young to play 2B when Infante is being all super-sub). We then go out and sign Crawford or Werth. Again, Crawford is a better option, but, honestly, I think we go after Werth b/c of his Right-Handedness

    But, again, what to do with our outfield crud? Diaz + Minor could go to Boston for Ellsbury (they do have replacements in the minors (reddick, westmoreland when he gets healthy (kid’s amazing…hitting now after brain surgery) and kalish) but their pitching is away and Diaz could do some damage against the lefties in NY and the monster) to play CF.

    what about McLouth? Melky? I think we look for a deal for our future at 3B. Salcedo is a long way away and Prado is better value-wise at 2B. I say McLouth to the CWS for Dayan Viciedo. They’ll need McLouth to replace Jones and Pierre (who’s gonna take more money some place else). Leaving Melky as our 4th OF.

    1. Ellsbury – CF
    2. Prado – 3B
    3. Heyward – RF
    4. Werth – LF
    5. McCann – C
    6. Gonzalez – SS
    7. Freeman – 1B
    8. Infante – 2B

    That’s a pretty scarrrrrry lineup. But it’s all rosterbation.

  118. I don’t ever get to see the Braves, so I was excited about Saturday’s game. Oops. But what has stayed with me, even more than Melky’s guaranteed lifetime blooper reel throw, was that 3-1 pitch to Chipper. That pitch broke my heart. The Chipper I remember would have destroyed that pitch.

    I’ve never watched a player I love decline while playing for my team. (I hate LA, so Maddux’s less than Maddux-like performance for them caused me little pain.) I know that he’s still a very good ballplayer, but I want him to be what I remember him once being (which is different than what he actually once was.) I know this is old hat to a lot of you, and I’ve read the stories about Mays falling in the outfield, etc. But it’s different when it happens to a player that you’ve invested so much emotion into.

    Bethany, you are entitled to your frustrations, and lord knows this is a place where people come to vent their frustrations, so vent away. I wish he was performing better too.

  119. And, I do not see Carl Crawford as a potential Atlanta FA acquisition or even as a proper FA acquiistion.

    First, the biggest sucker is always the high bidder (see Figgins, Chone; Hampton, Mike; Lowe, Derek, etc.). Somebody (Yankees?) is going to pay a lot more for a lot more years than our outfit.

    But that isn’t the real problem. Until 09 (not sure what is up in 10) Crawford had always had dismal walk rates. Yes, he had the impressive speed, but he couldn’t get on base that well (330 ot 340 OBP).

    But, most important to this crowd’s Crawford obsession, HE DOESN’T HAVE A CENTERFIELD ARM. He is like Juan Pierre or Gregor Blanco. First to third is automatic. Tag up from second on fly balls to center will be automatic. There is a reason he ls playing the outfield position that requires less of a throwing arm.

    So, if you play Crawford in left, without the walks and without the big power, you are left with a player who doesn’t contribute enough to justify the really big money.

  120. @157,

    Chris, I love that lineup. but, imo, it’s more likely that Rick Ankiel will be in the rotation and play outfield between starts than it is the Braves go after Werth and/or Crawford.

  121. Mets have a positively Royalsian number of ex-Braves — Jeffy, Hessman, Blanco, Acosta — all of whom stink. They’re third on the ex-Braves collection list, I think, after KC and Pittsburgh.

  122. In the old days, when Steinbrenner was really running the show, Crawford would’ve happened. Anybody who had a track record of 1) beating the Yankees or 2) stealing the back-pages from the Yankees seemed to end up a Yankee.

    But I don’t think Cashman is in love with him.

  123. Melky is likely to be non-tendered.

    Also, keep in mind the raises for some of our younger players who will be arb-eligible soon like Jurrjens. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Jurrjens traded during the off-season — especially with Minor ready, and Teheran and Delgado not far off.

    The injuries, elevated HR rates and walk rates sound alarm bells for me on Jurrjens in the future.

  124. @166

    So who do you want then? Who out there is really better? You want a guy who plays perfect defense, but is also good with the bat. I agree that that’s the ideal, but how often do such perfect players hit the market?

    Call me crazy, but I’d take Crawford’s speed and above average hitting over whatever else we could possibly put out there ourselves.

  125. 175 — I would think so.

    I wonder if Bobby refused to use KK most of the last month for fear of injury while Wren was trying to trade him off.

  126. Steinbrenner had a phase like that (the brief Dave Collins Era), but he also had speed guys who could actually play—Rivers, Jeter, Knoblauch—and they had big contributions to titles. (And, surprisingly, Bret Gardner has been a net positive for them so far.)

    As a Yankee, Paul O’Neill had a couple of crazy SB years and, strangely, Bernie was fast, but overall a really underwhelming baserunner, a guy with bad instincts & always a lousy jump.

  127. I’d hate to get rid of Jair, but with all the talent in the pipe, it does make sense. I’m still hoping there’s a waiver wire deal that gets rid of KK, Lowe or Nate.

  128. v LHP, 2010 –

    Ankiel .172 .226 .172
    Heyward .248 .342 .390
    Gonzalez .244 .269 .478

    Could be a tough night.

  129. don’t hate on greg olson…in 1991 he was a better than average catcher. he gave my dad his family’s tickets to the game where his leg was smashed by ken camminitti. now back in those days he was everything a catcher was. 1991…come on!

  130. career vs Johan

    Melky – .627OPS
    Ankiel – .833OPS

    our lineup averages vs Johan

    small samples though

  131. Only one of those lines is mind-bogglingly bad. And I guess Gonzo’s OBP is pretty crazy-low. But still, Diaz has been doing something like .400/.500/1.000 vs. LHP since returning, so throw that in there, too.

  132. Downeaster JC at 174,

    Well, Ryan Ludwick would have been a good one.

    I don’t think you get a player nearing 30 years of age with “young player” skills (base stealing, range in defense, batting average). At that age, you better see some level of power, walks, throwing arm, something that doesn’t have high probability of disappearing in the 30’s.

  133. The Mets find it incredibly difficult to win away from Shiti Field. They’re 20-33 on the road.

  134. @Braves14…I like JJ, but not sold on him either. His meltdowns are almost as epic as Hanson’s have been this year. Plus his physical condition raises all sort of red flags.

  135. I’ve got to back up Nick here- Greg Olson was a terrific defensive catcher back in the early ’90s. He was a deserving All-Star in 1990. Go with Miller or the corpse of Todd Pratt for the BJWB.

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