Braves 9, Rockies 6

Atlanta Braves vs. Colorado Rockies – Box Score – July 21, 2011 – ESPN.

For all the direct causes for Arena Baseball, I think that fundamentally the reason for the Rockies is a series of focus groups held in the late eighties and early nineties wishing that the majors played more games where crazy things happened and videogame scores would be common.

The Rockies got a solo homer in the first, and then in weird sequence in the second picked up three runs. With runners second and third, Dexter Fowler hit the ball over Jason Heyward‘s head and it bounced most of the way to the infield, landing as a triple. Fowler then scored on a blown squeeze play that turned into a steal of home. Sheesh.

Heyward made up for his defense with a two-run homer in the third, then the Braves loaded the bases and Alex Gonzalez managed to beat out his double play attempt to let Freddie Freeman score to cut it to 4-3, though that’s all they got.

In the fifth, Freddie hit a solo shot to tie the game. Nate McLouth singled home Brooks Conrad to give the Braves he lead. That wouldn’t last. Two more runs off of Tommy Hanson in the sixth gave the Rockies the lead; Hanson wound up allowing six runs.

And got the win. Conrad homered to tie the game in the seventh, then McLouth’s line drive was misplayed into a “triple” to score AAG. McLouth then beat the tag on a throw home to score on a groundout, and Heyward doubled in an insurance run. Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel did their usual to save the win and a series split.

245 thoughts on “Braves 9, Rockies 6”

  1. Marlon Byrd might be available, if we are getting a cheap bat, I would rather have him than some of the names I am hearing.

  2. I just finished season 1 of “Game of Thrones.” It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. That time period doesn’t usually interest me and the show can be hard to follow, but it’s very well done and worth checking out.

  3. Wonderful writer, George R. R. Martin. I haven’t seen HBO’s version but just finished A Dance With Dragons. I hope we don’t have to wait as long for The Winds of Winter.

    If you like this type of fantasy, you might also like Joe Abercrombie.

  4. DOB trolled everyone. Or the Braves came to their senses and realized Gomes or Bourn would be a waste of time.

  5. Unless it is a huge deal, I doubt we will know what is going down until we a deal is done. That is how we usually work.

  6. Well: the Braves are supposedly after a right-handed power bat to improve their inept offense. And Bourn, despite playing with the Phillies and Astros in their ballparks as a right-handed hitter, has less home runs in his career than Freeman/McCann/Uggla have in 2011 alone.

  7. I would rather have a guy to put in the lead off spot than a power bat (unless it is Pence). We are third in the league in home runs, but only the Padres get on base less often than we do.

    Right now the biggest hole on the team is a lead off hitter.

  8. I agree, Smitty. I think Bourn fits are team almost perfectly. We have plenty of guys that can hit the ball out of the parkb but few guys that can get on base. Bourn steals a lot of bases AND has a good OBP.

    FWIW, he already has a 3.9 WAR this year.

  9. We are third in the league in home runs, but only the Padres get on base less often than we do.

    Exactly. We’re right up there with a couple of bandbox teams and the all-or-nothing DBacks in HR, but we’re dead last in the NL in singles and in total bases other than HRs. We don’t lack for power, and adding a power bat that can’t play CF only takes PAs away from several of our other power bats. The marginal utility of adding such a player is minimal, but the cost will be significant, as we’ll be bidding against, among others, some AL teams who can play someone like Beltran every day.

  10. I would rather have a guy to put in the lead off spot than a power bat (unless it is Pence). Right now the biggest hole on the team is a lead off hitter.


    Also, Bourn’s career OBP is .335. Bourn is not even really a noticeable on-base improvement over McLouth with this year’s stats (.353 OBP to .345 OBP).

  11. Bourn would be only a small defensive downgrade from Schafer and a considerable offensive upgrade over him. He’d help the team, though I’m not sure by how much.

  12. His OBP over the last three seasons is .350, and he’s a two-time Gold Glove CF, as well as being the best baserunner in the NL, per FanGraphs. He possesses all the best attributes of Schafer and McLouth, except he’s better at all of said attributes.

  13. Oh, its fine. The sad thing is that the Braves wanted Proctor all the way back in 2006 also. How sad…

  14. Bourn is a 5-win player who plays the position that also happens to be the Braves’ biggest need. He probably fits onto the Braves’s roster better than anyone else out there. But hey, he’s left handed, so let’s go get Johnny Gomes instead.

  15. Yeah, I mean, it’s not like he’d be replacing a right-handed hitter. You’re swapping one terrible left handed hitter (Schafer) for a pretty good one. Plus he’s better than both of them defensively. I don’t know what the problem is.

  16. Bourn does make a lot of sense. I don’t see any reason you can’t trade for Bourn and also trade for a guy like Gomes.

  17. Yeah, Rivera going on the waiver wire earlier is what makes the Gomes rumor so utterly bizarre. How could we give anything at all for the one, but show no interest in the other guy, for basically free?

  18. I admit this worry is somewhat irrational, but Bourn’s severe lack of power does unnerve me a bit. I’m worried that he’ll turn into Chone Figgins, or 2010 Nyjer Morgan, or Luis Castillo, or 2006 and 2008-2009 Coco Crisp. Or, hell, Gregor Blanco. It’s really hard to have defensive stats good enough for a sub-.700 OPS, and every year Bourn struggles to hit .350/.350.

  19. Other than Castillo, Bourn has been better than those guys at hitting the ball closer to the ground. Until this year, when he seems to have added some extra line drives to his repertoire — must be why he’s on pace for 40 or so doubles instead of his usual 25. I don’t know what to make of that.

    Castillo was a very similar hitter. He was so fat and useless for most of the last few years that it’s easy to forget he was pretty good when he was Bourn’s age. Meanwhile, Bourn’s #1 age-27 comp is Brett Butler….

    OK, I’ll stop beating the drum now. It’s not like I wouldn’t be happy to get Pence instead.

  20. Bourn would cost less, get on base, play a great CF.

    I dont’ care if he hits one out all year, because everytime he gets a hit it probably turns into a double or tripple.

    What would it cost to get him?

  21. To me the best lineup the braves can throw out there when healthy is 1. Prado 2. Heyward 3. Chipper 4. BCIB, 5/6. Uggla/Freeman, 7. Allglove-no hit SS Gonzo 8. CF.

    My question to everyone is, can Jordan do what Nate has been doing in the 8 hole, i.e. draw walks, get on base? If he can, Jordan has proven to be a superior CF defensively. Is that a lineup that can win a pennant? Who do we get, and who do we replace in the everydady lineup? Doesn’t any bat the braves go after almost have to be right handed?

    (I like Marlin Byrd for the right price personally, RH hitting CF since my Kemp fantasy will NEVER happen. I think I will take a Jordan/Marlon platoon over what we have right now.)

    The massive suck hole in the lineup is the wet noodle Gonzo is bringing up there, but the Braves are steadfast saying they will not entertain an upgrade there, and that is where they are going to get exploited.

  22. Good hitting shortstops are so hard to come by and are extremely expensive. Sort of like CF, I guess.

    I really don’t have a problem with Gonzalez. We knew exactly what we would get when we traded for him. I do have a problem when he bats anywhere higher than 7th.

    It’s really unfortunate that Yunel couldn’t ever get his head out of his ass because we could really use his bat. That being said, I don’t have any problem with the trade because, well let’s just say, frosted tips.

  23. I think that everyone agrees that getting a better CF is the optimal choice as far as improving the team. But a CF with decent offensive stats is expensive.

    IMHO Wren’s choices:
    1. Trade for a guy like Bourne but be prepared to part with something of value. Think one of Minor or Delgado or Vizcaino AND another player as well.
    2. Trade for a guy like Gomes and strengthen the bench. The cost should not be too high but I am also not aware of what the market is for lefty mashers.
    3. Try to shoehorn a player out of position and hope that his offense nets wins. Think Ludwick, Willingham, Beltran (who would be too expensive in prospects).
    4. Stand pat and see if:
    a. McLouth’s OBP can offset his defense.
    b. Wait to see if Uggla is for real and the real Heyward has returned from whatever planet he was on and hope that they provide enough offense to carry both Schafer and AGon. Assuming that Schafer is a plus defender. There seems to be differing opinions on that.

  24. “My question to everyone is, can Jordan do what Nate has been doing in the 8 hole, i.e. draw walks, get on base?”

    He can walk. He walks about 8.5% of the time this year which is fairly consistent with his minor league walk rate. However, just like Nate, if Jordan’s in the 8th spot, his 2nd of 3 tools (speed) becomes neutralized. He’s stolen bases at a 79% success rate this year so he does have that going for him. If he were to keep that pace up, he could be a 50 sb guy.

    The other “ifs”…
    If Jordan could increase his walk rate to 10-12% and cut down on the strikeouts, he could be a darned good CF. It’s funny, but he could actually become Michael Bourn. In my opinion, Jordan’s only valuable (as a starter) if he can stick in the leadoff spot.

    You know who’s already awesome? Freddie Freeman, that’s who. He’s up to an .823ops and after his patented “adjustment period” he’s posted an .886 ops. After yesterday’s game, dreams of Heyward and Freeman in the 3 and 4 spot for years to come danced in my noggin’.

  25. Also, count me on board with the Braves addressing about 3 needs: CF, bench bat, and RH bullpen option. I think they could address all 3 needs and still only part with one serious prospect.

    Gomes and Masset for a mid-tier prospect and low-level prospect.

    Minor for Beltran and Cory Vaughn
    *The Mets were scouting Minor yesterday when he game up 10 hits (2 doubles and 8 singles) in 6 innings. Probably not the best game to catch.

  26. Yeah, i know it’s a business and guys come and go, and y’all always scoff at ideas like ‘chemistry,’ but i really think this team has a good shot as it is. the offense still really hasn’t clicked on all cylinders at any point in the year. Freeman and Uggla look like they’ve figured it out, but Prado just came back, and did everyone forget we still have a decent bat named chipper jones, resting up for the stretch run?

    not to say i want to see the phillies get heath bell and beltran and we get nothing, but i don’t really see the point of a guy like Gomes. once chipper comes back we have prado, mclouth, schafer and heyward in the outfield. i’d like to see those guys make it work.

    as a fan, there’s something about seeing continuity and it would bring me more joy i think to see Schafer, rather than Bourn, being our sparkplug speedster in the playoffs. homegrown talent and all that. i’d much rather see us get another useful arm in that pen to take the heat off the triple threat than a half-season rental of an every day player who’s never been a brave.

  27. Weird fact:
    Saturday is Jonny Gomes Bobblehead Day at Great Americsn Ballpark.
    They wouldn’t, would they?

    And would Fredi start him Saturday if they did?

  28. @39 – I, too, dream about a dynasty with Heyward and Freeman in the middle of the order. It’d be like our very own Braun/Fielder combo, except they wouldn’t be total assholes for whom I wish beanings and pain with every plate appearance. And we’d have a starting rotation that would require 8 pitchers needing Tommy John surgery before Jeff Suppan would even sniff a spot.

  29. I think the Braves starting SS will be Tyler Pastornicky in 2012,and he might even be the leadoff guy. He has a minor league walk rate of 9% and a 78% sb success rate. As csg noted the other day, he’s now in AAA and doing quite well (5/14 in first 3 games).

  30. I know Gomes has been sucking lately, but off all the options, I’d take him for a B-/C+ prospect and then stand pat. If you need relievers, promote a couple young arms and bring back up Martinez.

    Heyward’s paper mache body is starting to get lukewarm, Uggla is meeting expectations the last two weeks, Chipper is coming back and Prado is healthy. If McLouth or Schafer can do anything at the plate, we’re good.

  31. I dont think Id want to trade a SP for Beltran. I know we’ll have a ton of options next season, but Id rather us keep Minor and pay Beltran’s salary ourselves. The Mets can keep their cash and Liberty can get us back up to an $88-90mil payroll. Thats still less than it was three years ago.

    However, if we are going to move a SP I still would rather it be Minor over Delgado/Vizcaino.

  32. For any of you guys who have seen Pastornicky play or have access to minor league defensive stats, is it a big downgrade defensively from Alex Gonzalez if the Braves decide to go that route next season? His bat sounds nice, and it couldn’t be much worse than the “wet noodle” mentioned above that we get to see every night, but I’m just curious about how much of a total upgrade we would be getting by going with the youngster.

    Personally, I’m OK with Gonzalez as long as he is hitting down in the order as others have mentioned. But I do loathe watching him at the plate…what an awful approach. Kind of hard to believe a player can be in the bigs for this long and not have developed a better plan than that.

  33. I agree with you CSG, I don’t want to give the Mets anything for Beltran. Just pay his salary for the last half of the year then either offer him arb or let him walk.

  34. @48 – “then either offer him arb….”

    He can’t be offered arb after the season, if I’m not mistaken. There is a clause in his contract, so we would not get draft picks if he signed with someone else. Still, your point is a good one. I would rather pay him than lose one of our SP’s.

  35. Exactly, he cant be offered arb which makes him even less valuable. There will be no picks for him after the season. Thats the whole reason why the Mets are wanting to pay that salary and get a decent player in return.

  36. @50, and from the Mets (public) perspective, that is why they are not apparently offering a “Buy It Now” option on Beltran. If they don’t get anything back, a salary dump doesn’t really help the PR of the franchise for this year or next.

  37. If they want a legit prospect for that old guy then let him rot in the NYC heat out in RF, his knees will give out soon covering that OF anyway.

  38. @50 – 51 Exactly. The Mets want prospects.

    I know some here want him but I simply just don’t see how he fits. I don’t think he is a center fielder any more.

    Doesn’t Alex Gonzalez’s glove makes up for his offensive ineptitude?

  39. I agree with Ryan about Schafer. He’s got a chance to be as good as (maybe better than) Bourn and, if that’s true, I really don’t want to give up anything of value for something we already have.

    Like Charlie Manuel said, “Don’t send me what I’ve already got.”

    Stand pat unless something significant is possible.

    Minor and Beachy are doing their best to remain Braves, aren’t they?

  40. Are there any more stadiums that are used for both football and baseball anymore? Oakland? Miami? Anybody else?

    I’m asking because when Arthur Blank buys the Braves and builds a stadium for both of his teams, I’m wondering if a dual-purpose stadium could be one that would be first class for both teams.

    Gotta think ahead, you know.

  41. @54,

    How much longer can we wait on him? He has had several chances and three years to do something and hasn’t shown much at all. Really, he only had one good minor league season.

    I know he hurt his wrist durring the Regan administration, but how much longer should we wait? We have a chance to win it all now and a guy like Bourn may put us over the top.

    If pulling the plug on a failed prospect like Schafer means winning the World Series, then you have to do it.

  42. I love Bourn and I think he’d be a perfect option for this year and next, but I don’t get impatience with prospects. Schafer’s been an above replacement player so far this year thanks to speed, defense, and pretty good plate discipline, and he’s still 24. If he can add 30 points to his BA as he reaches his peak years and actually learn how to take good routes to balls instead of just being really fast, then that’s a 5-6 win skill set (it’s basically Bourn but with even better defense, or it’s just plain Carl Crawford). Sure, he shouldn’t be a leadoff hitter while he’s still figuring out how to hit, but there doesn’t seem to be a reason to give up on him. It takes time to become an all star for most guys not named Heyward.

  43. Not only is Pete Orr fast, he’s wise, too.

    Saw where someone traded for Nick Green. Always liked that kid.

  44. The Giants, Phillies and Braves appear to be the leaders in the Beltran sweepstakes, according to @SI_JonHeyman. Brewers also involved.

  45. @55
    I’m sorry that my post aluded that I thought Schafer could be as good as Bourn. I don’t think he has it in him. However, it really wouldn’t take that big of an improvement from what we’ve seen from him this year. Add about 20 points to the batting average and 2% more on his walk rate and VOILA! Michael Bourn reincarnated.

  46. @62, I really almost hope the Phils overpay for Beltran just to have one less bidder for the parts we really want.

  47. Just for sh*ts and giggles, adding 10 walks and 5 singles to Schafer’s 2011 campaign gives him a line of : .276/.366/.349

    I guess it’s possible.

  48. Buster just claimed we are frontrunners for Beltran and threw out Mike Minor’s name/

  49. Interestinly enough, Bourn’s career BABIP is 40 points higher than Schafer’s career BABIP. They both see a lot of pitches/AB (Schafer about 4 and Bourn about 4.5).

  50. @67
    “claimed” should say “guessed”. His tweet, verbatim:

    “Educated guess on Beltran talks, as of today: I think ATL is the frontrunner, 2. SF. ATL has nice range of P prospects, like Mike Minor.”

  51. “I’m asking because when Arthur Blank buys the Braves and builds a stadium for both of his teams, I’m wondering if a dual-purpose stadium could be one that would be first class for both teams.”

    Assuming that scenario, what makes you think Blank would build stadiums using his own money? That’s not the way things work these days, is it? So, what you are really asking is, once Blank buys the Braves and extorts the taxpayers into building stadiums for both teams . . .

    I don’t see the love affair with Beltran. Two months, the guy probably can’t play center anymore and even if he is Willie Mays, there’s no guarantee in the playoffs. Minor is a more than serviceable pitcher. I do think the Braves need to address their long-term need for a centerfielder–they apparently have no one in the system–but Beltran doesn’t do that. He really makes more sense for the Phillies, although if Chipper doesn’t recover quickly, there might be a place for a corner outfielder.

  52. @71, Knowing all this, maybe Wren is just driving up the price for the Phillies. I would hope so.

  53. @74, they’ll just go to Friendly Ed Wade’s Discount Superstar Shop, which is probably where they are going anyway.

  54. Well yeah, I mean what corner OF can they deal for?

    I know you have to manage YOUR club, but if by acquiring Beltran, you can force the Phils to sell the remainder of the farm for Hunter Pence or have to go without, doesn’t that have to register on the “Pro’s” column?

  55. I can’t honestly believe that the ‘Stros would give Pence away like they did Oswalt.. Pence is not a pending FA and isn’t a huge financial commitment.

  56. @47
    I think it would be a pretty big downgrade defensively.

    As far as Minor goes, I can see not wanting to trade him for Beltran specifically, but I really don’t understand why we wouldn’t trade him eventually. He is currently our sixth-best pitcher and he’s about to be passed by Teheran. I realize Lowe and Hudson will be gone eventually, but that makes him our future fifth starter (maybe fourth of you’re assuming Jurrjens leaves in free agency), tops, and there’s still Delgado and Vizcaino and others, too. I just don’t see how we wind up getting any use out of Mike Minor unless we trade him. We can’t hold on to every single one of these pitchers. We have offensive needs, and don’t have very many position player prospects. Minor has the best combination of future potential and lack of future detriment to us if we trade him of any player we have. He’s pretty much Jason Schmidt right now. Even if he does become an ace elsewhere, he probably would not have had the chance to do it here. I think we have to deal him at some point, and I really don’t think there’s much of a downside to it, assuming we get something worthwhile for him.

  57. @79, of course, but I’d rather it be outside the division (league even better) and for a long term piece.

  58. #79 – Yeah, Minor seems to be the guy we are dangling but I am thinking that the Mets/Astros et al are holding out for one of Teheran or Delgado.

    Pretty much everything you say is most likely true and actually could be a case for trading him for 2.5 months of Beltran.

    So if we stand pat, do you play Schafer over McLouth in CF?

  59. What can we get for Minor next year is the question. In a bankbox like philly, maybe McLouth. In a real park Schaffer.

  60. Apparently the Astros want “at least three pieces” for Pence, including ML ready talent. Considering they aren’t even offering salary relief for a guy who’s going to make $10 million+ very soon, that is indeed pretty steep.

  61. @70 Thanks. I glanced over it. My mistake.

    Minor is kind of implied as the center piece of the deal as well not out and out named as the one.

    I assume Beltran is definitely a rental? It sucks to have to trade anyone of value for a two and a half month merc.

  62. Bigger question is do the Braves feel that Beltran can play CF? No point in trading prospects for positions already filled by Prado and Heyward. Chipper isnt retiring right this minute.

  63. Are there any pictures or video from the Eric Gregg game? I was only 9 at the time so I don’t remember anything about it.

  64. @85 I certainly hope that isn’t what it will take, because it’s too steep. However, since every gm on the planet has come in and made statements about how steep the asking price is, maybe it will scare everyone off and force the Astros to give a little. Wishful thinking, I know.

  65. I thought we all came to a consensus on Beltran playing CF; he can’t.

    But when was the last game we had Chipper, Prado, and Heyward healthy at the same time? And have we ever had a time when those three were healthy while Gonzo and Uggla were productive? Getting Beltran would mean putting him in LF or RF instead of Hinske or McLouth. It also means Prado moves all over the place depending on the day, but it might be interesting.

    I was gung ho about trading Minor for him yesterday, but I’m more or less indifferent today.

  66. Wade almost HAS to get a crazy return for Pence, given his stature with the fans and the blowback he took over Oswalt – Someone (Olney?) was probably only half kidding when he suggested Wade had been forbidden to deal with Philly. Pence is also a long-term fix for somebody, so Wade can afford to wait til the very last second too.

  67. @91, the fact that he’s a lefty, it’s within the div, and that it’s for a rental give me pause the more I turn it over too.

  68. I can’t imagine anyone who made it more clear they didn’t give a flying crap about baseball. A normal man would have been shamed for life afterwards, assuming that anyone else that terrible at the job would have been allowed near an MLB umpiring gig.

  69. “Are there any pictures or video from the Eric Gregg game? I was only 9 at the time so I don’t remember anything about it.”

    I hate you. :)

  70. Acquiring any bat outside of CF or SS is essentially just upgrading our bench. I am not sure that is worth Mike Minor.

    …unless Chipper is less likely to return than we’ve been told.

    I want a new righty reliever. Anything else is gravy. I am also open to the Lisp auditioning for the role. Or even Jaye Chapman.

  71. Prado 5 Heyward 9 McCann 2 Freeman 3 Hinske 7 Gonzalez 6 Conrad 4 McLouth 8 Jurrjens 1

  72. I think I was around 10 or 11 the year of the Gregg, but for some reason I remember that day distinctly. It was a Sunday right?

  73. Why are we so sure Beltran can’t play CF for 2-3 months again? He’s been Plus in RF and has been exceptional in CF before. Fairly sure he’d be better than Nate out there though not Jordan at this point.

    I can see that you may think he’d wear down having to play CF I suppose, but I remember there was a lot of talk about the cavernous CitiField being a part of his decline in defensive statistics.

  74. That called third strike to win the game on McGriff is really so absurd that you can’t do anything but laugh at it, though I definitely wasn’t laughing at the time. As a point of reference, the most absurd ball/strike call I saw all of last year actually went in our favor. It was the called third strike from Moylan to Johnny Damon last year to end the game against the Tigers. The pitch was way outside, not anywhere near the plate. Totally ridiculous call, and everybody thought so. And that pitch to McGriff was at least twice as far outside as the Moylan pitch to Damon.

    EDIT: And the other thing is that Gregg spent the entire game making numerous calls like that, whereas the Moylan/Damon call was a one-time thing.

  75. @104, I remember that one from last year. I threw my cap in disgust because I thought he walked the guy and tied the game. It took me a minute to realize that it was called a strike.

    IIRC, there were some other just as ridiculous strike calls in the Eric Gregg game. Wasn’t one above McGriff’s head?

  76. @102, Like ububba said, the NY mouthpieces say he’s done in CF and the Angels, who scouted him in spring training to possibly play center for them, decided to pass based on what they saw. Any talk of him being able to maybe handle CF probably stems from the Mets trying to inflate his worth.

  77. Dusty I agree. I think Beltran could handle CF for 3 months. Hell, Melky faked it almost a full season. Most of our staff are major groundball guys and the Mets eating the salary keeps the Braves rotation in place. I just dont see Wren giving up Minor for Beltran and then possibly having a place for Heyward/Prado/Chipper/or Beltran everyday. That doesnt help this team very much and there are still two major holes in CF and SS.

  78. I don’t really think it matters if “WE” come to a consensus that Beltran can’t play CF. If the Braves trade for him, I believe they almost HAVE to try him there.

    My feeling is that he’d be a step below McLouth, which is pretty bad. But you can live with it (Have I mentioned Beltran’s slash line is virtually identical to McCann’s?) Good reads, good routes, and good decisions (and a still-good arm) cover some for his lost speed. Nate McLouth has good speed, but gets bad reads, takes bad routes, hesitates often, and has a poor arm.

    Further, Beltran doesn’t need to play CF EVERY day. There are AB’s for him here.

    I get the debate over losing Minor for a rental. But I can’t say I’ll lose sleep over it.

  79. Just saw on AJC that the Mets want Minor for Beltran. – echoing #93.

    Also just saw that Chipper’s rehab assignment has been delayed. I’ve been scoped for meniscus tears 4 times. I thought his schedule was pretty aggressive. I think that if its looking like he is out for a couple of more weeks the Braves will have to pull the trigger.

  80. Whether Beltran can fake playing CF is only part of the equation, though. There’s also the question of whether he’s healthy enough to handle the increased exertion of playing CF. He’s playing hurt as is, right?

  81. @111
    He’s not playing hurt according to every trade rumor outlet that i’ve been reading.

  82. If we trade Minor, does that mean we have to revert back to compairing every lefty in the organization to Glavine?

  83. Re: adding Carlos Beltran

    Beltran may not be able to handle CF on an everyday basis anymore, but couldn’t he play CF exclusively in the Playoffs, but only sparingly during the regular season?

    The Braves are more or less locked into the Wild Card at this point (lots of caveats, if the rotation holds up, etc.). Beltran would be a very nice offensive upgrade for the Playoffs. Let Jordan Schafer be his late-inning defensive replacement in the Playoffs, but handle most of the regular season work in CF.

    So during the regular season, play a lineup with mostly 3B-Martin Prado, LF-Carlos Beltran, CF-Jordan Scafer, RF-Jason Heyward.

    Then in the Playoffs, maximize the offensive lineup with 3B-Chipper Jones, LF-Martin Prado, CF-Carlos Beltran, RF-Jason Heyward. The pitching may be good enough to make it work with some decent run support.

    Couldn’t that work? With the Playoff schedule, Beltran shouldn’t be overly taxed.

  84. In 1997, people were sick of the Braves going to the World Series and Livan Hernandez was some sort of folk hero of the moment. Eric Gregg’s strike zone was as close as I can say I’ve ever witnessed a baseball game that I thought was rigged. As the game went on, the Braves were just continually humiliated by Gregg’s balls and strikes calls. There was really nothing they could do. That video of Lockhart flailing at a ball way outside; pretty much had to do that.

    I took great delight when Gregg was one of those umps that tendered their resignation as a union negotiating stunt and then had it accepted.

  85. @104 I remember that pitch too. Agree it was probably the worst blown call of the year.

    @115 Ditto. No one deserved it more.

  86. MLB took some of those umpires back. Not Eric Gregg. He had a reputation for incompetence well before that series. I hope he rests in peace but for Braves fans his name will always conjure scorn.

  87. We also dont need to trade for Beltran if that means benching Chipper, Prado, or Heyward to get him in the lineup. CF at turner field isnt much bigger than RF at citi.

  88. .911 OPS is worth trying to fake in CF also. I dont think he’d be putting up these numbers if he wasnt healthy.

  89. Jayson Stark says the Braves are interested in Heath Bell. Would be nice to replace Proctor or Gearrin with Bell.

  90. @123, But the Padres want the equivalent of the two picks they would’ve gotten. That could be a lot for a guy who will only pitch the sixth or seventh inning.

  91. We already called up the Lisp and Moylan is possibly back in mid-August. Plus Arodys and JT could help out. I wouldn’t give up anything of real value for a relief pitcher, especially with the over-saturated market. I would go for a thrown in to a bigger deal, like Wilton Lopez in a deal for Bourn or Pence or Isringhausen in a deal for Beltran.

  92. Of course. Gearrin has some sort of quantifiable skill, but Proc’s got those veteran intangibles. Not even close, really.

  93. Wasn’t there something in ’82 or ’83 where Terry Harper caught a ball in fair territory, ran all the way across the bullpen with it, hit the wall and dropped it over the fence, and Eric Gregg called it a home run?

  94. No way we get Bell. There are too many RHs on the market that we can get probably get one for cheap

  95. Would you do Vizcaino for Beltran? I think if Minor is involved we would have to get a RH reliever also.

  96. 130- We keep saying that, but Proctor’s been spared the last two times we’ve replaced a bullpen guy. Why wouldn’t they demote the Lisp when Moylan’s ready?

  97. @134 – Good point. Hopefully the fact that Proctor’s numbers are worse this time makes it happen. In this case both Gearrin and Proctor had bad numbers. Probably just wishful thinking on my part.

  98. Rusty, it was Ed Vargo. I had to look up the name (kept thinking Runge), but I remember watching the play — Harper in LF was running full speed and caught the ball in fair territory, then took four full strides before going over a 4′ or so fence that guarded the bullpen (which were down the first- and third-base lines). He was all the way over except for his glove hand, which then hit the fence causing him to drop the ball on the field. Because he didn’t transfer the ball out of his glove hand to his throwing hand, Vargo ruled it no catch and the ball in play, and Gene Richards rounded the bases. I recall throwing things at the TV screen….

  99. Greetings from Minneapolis…

    What, no trade yet?

    Minor for Beltran would be a little tough to swallow. Guess it would be one of those go-for-it trades that you can’t really measure until the season’s last out is recorded. Pennant or bust, I guess.

    Speaking of last outs…

    It’s weird about the Eric Gregg Game. I knew we were kinda in trouble in the first inning. There was a called strike on Chipper that was a half-foot outside & I said, “Uh-oh.” But then I thought, “Well, if Maddux gets those calls, no big deal, because he’ll just be better at it than Livan.”

    Didn’t turn out that way & we lost 2-1 with Livan getting 15,000 strikeouts. Didn’t matter where he threw it—strike one! It was so bad, it took me years to even consider that game again. It remains almost incomprehensible.

    And to belabor that last pitch… hit the pause button as the ball goes into the mitt. You’ll see that the outside corner bisects the middle of the catcher’s mask—and he’s still reaching for it. Gift-wrapped strike 3, gift-wrapped game.

    Go Braves

  100. The Braves have been after Javier Vasquez and Scott Proctor for a long time. After finally getting both, and having them both under team control simultaneously in late 2009, the Braves were forced to give up Vasquez for financial reasons; and the Yankees wouldn’t take Lowe for Melky Cabrera.

    They’re not about to let their other heartthrob leave.

  101. Marc @ 71,

    Yeah, that’s pretty much how it goes these days. (But with the economy in full retreat, not sure municipalities could roll over if they wanted to.)

    I guess my overall point is that we can’t be sure ownership WANTS to win. That’s why I’m no longer certain that dumping DLowe would do us any good – even for next year.

    And trading away legit prospects like Minor for less than half a year of Beltran (whom New York-based ububba says can no longer play CF even on a limited basis) is risky business if we can’t restock the team.

    If Arthur were to buy the team, you could go balls out. As it is, we risk throwing away our one advantage (great depth of starting pitching) for very short term gain.

    Dammit, Ted. You’ve killed the Thrashers, put the Hawks on life support, and cast the Braves adrift in a sea of potential mediocrity.

  102. Question: If it’s so certain that Beltran could make a go of it in CF, wouldn’t it behoove the Mets to, you know, actually PLAY him there if they’re showcasing him?

  103. If Ted hadn’t (illegally) interfered with the sale of the Hawks/Thrashers and spun it to the (I can barely type it) Atlanta Spirit Group, we would still have a hockey team and likely wouldn’t have signed this generation’s Jon Koncak to max frigging money.

    As for the Braves, the tax-favored deal that put them in the hands of their hands-off (I guess considering what business they’re in “hands-free” would be inaccurate) is Ted’s fault, as well.

    I miss Captain Outrageous. Really don’t like what Ted has become.

  104. I miss Captain Outrageous. Really don’t like what Ted has become.

    Well if we are going to relive the Gilded Age we might as well have a Carnegie to go with the Morgans.

    /I know – withdrawn, your honor.

  105. @146 Possibly even lower, because AAG is so often responsible for two outs instead of just one.

  106. Please don’t make Arroyo look good…

    Game is almost unwatchable with the glitching.

  107. @165, I will collect my Coke at a later date.

    FS Reds announcers call McCann “the best catcher in baseball” and “a stud.” They must read the Journal.

  108. So the Mets are asking for the Giants’ and Phillies’ number 1 prospects for Beltran, but they’d be satisfied with our third to fifth best prospect?

  109. And apparently the Mets approached Beltran and his agent about returning to the Mets after the season and he said he’d like to. For some reason, that makes me like the potential trade even less.

  110. Is Arroyo’s pitching instructor Robinson Cano’s dad? He’s serving up meatballs. Do something Braves.

  111. I just don’t see any team parting with their top prospect for 2 months of Beltran. I don’t even think we want to give our #3-4 prospect.

  112. Na, got him just on the shoulder. You’ll note that their catcher caught the ball before applying the tag. Our likes to do it in the reverse order. It’s one of his few and imminently forgivable faults. :-)

    There’s no way I’d trade Minor straight up for Beltran. Beltran plus a good, young RH reliever… maybe.

  113. Looked like a phantom tag on that look at the Hinski play. Maybe they’ll find a better angle.

    /edit: could be wrong…

  114. Just to stir the pot: Minor & KK (for salary relief) for Beltran & Isringhausen (helps the pen). Yes or no?

  115. So is Jurrjens finally regressing to the mean or are Coors Field and the Great American Ballpark blamed?

  116. Well, Scott Linebrink will make someone happy tonight. We already knew it wouldn’t be us.

  117. Time to give Proctor Kevin Barry’s old nickname of “the towel.” Fredi Gonzalez is about to ‘throw in the towel’ in this close game.

  118. Surely Proctor’s not coming in. Is something wrong with… everybody?

    Ok, at ease.

  119. we need a run this inning, or else the chances of a proctor sighting goes way up

    is Martinez with the club tonight?

  120. I take it as a good sign that I felt confident in him coming up, and that it proved justified.

  121. This being pretty much the complete opposite of last year’s offense, I’ve got to say that I enjoy this one much more. Though I might be biased by the fantastically entertaining game that just ended. Screw OBP. Give me SLG.

  122. Screw OBP. Give me SLG.

    If you had either one, you’d still be in the majors Orr.

  123. When Brooks Conrad laid down the bunt in the 9th, I figured out that Fredi’s favorite song has to be “My Sacrifice” by Creed. For many reasons.

  124. Everyday Johnny has pitched on 5 of the last six days. It’s a good thing there is no injury history with him.

  125. Every time I see that clip of Sid Bream rounding third on the MLB Network, I get chills. I just watched Ken Burns’ “Tenth Inning” and that game is featured. Good times…

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