Yeah, that’s a pretty good idea

Wren: Must be sure trades strengthen Braves | Atlanta Braves.

Generally, you want to not make deals that weaken the team, unless you’re the Mets or something where it’s a tradition. Wren says that they were never close to a trade of Prado or Jurrjens, that it’s all in the “feeling out” stage. FWIW, DOB is still pushing Seth Smith “plus a center field prospect” in a Prado deal.

250 thoughts on “Yeah, that’s a pretty good idea”

  1. DOB also stated that McCann maxed out his incentives and will be making 12.5 million in 2012, not 8.5 million. That hurts.

  2. It doesn’t make sense to trade Prado unless they get back a longterm solution for one of their holes – 3B, LF, or CF. I’m assuming that SS is not as longterm a problem as the other three positions are.

  3. I’m looking forward to the holy hell that’s going to break loose in the semi-pros when UGA beats LSU in the SEC Championship game.

  4. I’m sure there’s someone in the front office that caught that. If Wren says he has money to spend, he does.

  5. Today in ugh, from ESPN rumors:

    Otherwise, there’s not much in the way of potential trade candidates because teams aren’t just trading away shortstops these days. If Atlanta has to go the free agent route for a stop-gap, Nick Punto, Ronny Cedeno, Cesar Izturis and former Braves All-Star Rafael Furcal are all available, though Furcal could hold out for a two-year pact.

  6. Doubtful we can get Gonzo on a 1-year contract. I’m to the point where I think I’d like to see Pastornicky in ’12. There’s really no one availabe that seems to match up via trade or free agency. New rosterbation idea:
    1. Start with Pastornicky as Opening Day SS
    2. Keep Prado and use him as he should be used: playing 80% of games and filling in at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and LF.
    3. Trade Jurrjens for Nick Swisher and low prospect.
    4. Sign Jerry Hairston, Jr. as Super Utility backup.

    Go with this roster:
    Rotation: Hudson, Hanson, Beachy, Minor, Teheran

    Lineup: 1. Bourn 2. Heyward 3. Chipper 4. Uggla 5. McCann 6. Swisher 7. Freeman 8. Pastornicky

    Bench: Prado, Hairston jr, Ross, Hinske, Diaz
    Bullpen: The Filthy 3, Medlen, Vizcaino, and 2 of Hoover/Asencio/Martinez/Gearrin/Chapman

    Seriously, who offensively will have a worse season than the previous year. Probably not Bourn (fairly poor #s with the Braves), Heyward, Uggla, Prado, or McCann. Full year of Bourn, Swisher in LF, and a rejuventated Heyward and Prado. I’ll take it!

  7. @11

    I could live with that, with the caveat that I don’t actually expect much better out of Bourn in 2012 than Atlanta got out of him 2011. He benefited from the odd dimensions of Minute Maid Park, and he’s the sort of hitter that Turner Field eats alive.

  8. I want much more then Nick Swisher for JJ. A 25+ HR hitter who is not a good OFer is not enough value for a good SP.

  9. If we are going to trade Prado or JJ, then LF has to be upgraded and we have to get a 3B or CF prospect thats ready. I dont see the benefit of trading a #2-#3 starter under control for a couple of years for a 1yr deal of Nick Swisher. If we hate defense, since some in the org like Delmon Young, whats Quentins contract look like?

  10. Barmes is close to a deal. It’ll be interesting to see what it looks like and it’ll give us a judge on what AAG could look for. Carroll and Infante both got multi yr deal, I guess AAG would look for one also.

  11. He didnt have that opportunity after 2010. The Braves had a club option for $2.5 mil. He most certainly wouldve received a multi yr deal in free agency last offseason after his production in 2010.

  12. Mark Cuban told DOB that he would not pursue the Braves if Liberty were to sell. Cuban said he wants a team that needs a “lot of help.”

  13. Are we sure Pastornicky can handle SS at ML level?

    I’ll take one more year of AAG’s D, if nec.

    #6
    Sounds good & I’m all for the anarchy, but we’re a long way from contemplating that. If UGA doesn’t get contributions from Crowell, we’re going to have trouble beating anyone from here on out.

  14. Best news of the day: Teams signing Type A free agents will no longer have to surrender a first round pick. However, the new rule is not retroactive therefore Philly will still be forfeiting their’s for signing Papelbon.

  15. League minimum has also moved up 66k so those 10 guys that will be making league min. on the Braves got just cut the payroll another 2/3 million. Financial flexibility slipping…

  16. @32 There is a lot of disinformation out there for a reason. Writers need something to write about and poker player do not wear glasses so as not to reveal cards in the reflections.

  17. 30—It was actually a pretty ugly game. But, as I told Mac, there’s a reason you didn’t see me predicting a win. My worrying was justified.

    I wish we’d stop trying to block kicks in Neyland.

    (PS: Horrible officiating. Clip wasn’t a clip, second FG miss was actually made, the whistle wa obviously blown, etc. Not that it’s unexpected.)

    26—Yeah, thank God.

  18. It was a clip. A blatten clip. A very drity play. That guy needs to be suspended.

    The wistle was blown on the last play, but shouldn’t have been. This is the same crew that was suspended a few years ago.

  19. I actually was sitting in front of the play when it happened. It was a late clip too. Come to find out the SEC has warned Franklin about this.

    On the field goal, it looked like the ball hit a UT lineman. If that is the case, it is running into the kicker.

    Vandy had about 45 chances to win it, and blew it. The officals blew some calls in the game, but some of those went against the Vols (a holding call that wasn’t there, I thought they should have reviewed the saftey)

    It was a fun game to watch in person.

  20. If you think that’s a clip, you don’t know the rules of football. Simple as that. He got his head in front of the guy’s leg and cut blocked him. Textbook. Now, it was stupid to even take the chance there, as the ball was already 30+ yards down the field, but it was a legal block.

  21. No it wasn’t legal. He was trying to take him out. He has done it all year. Very dirty play. Same play that happend in the UGA game. Vandy has been warned by the league office about this.

    I’m just gald no one got hurt.

  22. 42—See, you’re too ignorant of the facts to even know the player involved. Jelesky (#69) was flagged on the play — he’s the one who cut-blocked the lineman. Logan “The Embarrassment” Stewart (#60) is the one who’s been flagged regularly all year and is considered dirty. No, it was not like the UGA game, where Stewart dove at Geathers’ knees from directly behind.

    And, no VU has not been warned. You, again, have bad information.

    You’re right about it being VU’s own fault they lost — poor QB play and even worse special teams play — but one team definitely got the benefit of the officiating, and that team was not Vanderbilt.

    41—Two legitimate clipping calls, one against Georgia and one the following week against Army. Since then, not a single legitimate clipping call. Flagged a couple of times for “close” calls that weren’t dirty or illegal because of the uproar after the UGA game. And Stewart has been flagged for personal fouls, but those (other than against UGA) weren’t clips. Facts are funny things…

  23. Fair or not, you lost the benefit of the doubt with “close” calls after the UGA and Army game. Referees know all about Franklin’s “not gonna take sh** from anyone” philosophy and they’re on the look out for dirty plays. And clips or not, they’re still dirty plays. Plays that can end careers.

    So if you’re Vandy, you have to take the good with the bad. Yeah you’re gonna play hard but you’re also gonna get called out for it when you go too far.

  24. Well, believe me, I understand that we’re targeted after the UGA call. (And the outcry from UGA fans who succeeded in clouding the reason for the post-game scuffle, which had nothing to do with the clip and everything to do with Rambo and Williams jawing at the Vanderbilt sideline all game long.) But I don’t see how it’s dirty if it’s a legal block, which the one last night clearly was.

    So, I guess what I’m saying is, I’m not surprised by the calls like last night’s, and I can even understand why we don’t get the benefit of the doubt, but I’m going to defend plays (and players) like that one that aren’t *actually* dirty. It was a legal cut block.

    Again, though, it was a really stupid play. No reason to do anything at all when the ball/play is 30+ yards down the field from you.

  25. DOB steering away from Seth Smith and now discussing Nunez and Swisher for Jurrjens. I’d seriously consider it if it meant Nunez would be the backup SS and not the starting SS.

  26. @ #35 you said he was already better. I dont have the high expectations for Pastornicky as others do. Both of these two guys, Nunez and Pastornicky, appear to be utility players and nothing more. I dont really want either option as our starting SS next season. Maybe if we have both, we’ll get lucky with one of them.

  27. @45

    I’m not ignorant about the facts. It was similar to the Georgia/Army deals, while it wasn’t the same guy in the UGA game, Vol coaches has seen him doing it on film and it was discussed with the team all week.

  28. No, they hadn’t seen Jelesky do it on film. This is the first time he’s been flagged. “He has done it all year,” you said. Being so obviously off-base on that simple fact puts your other remarks in the appropriate context.

    Making stuff up: Not a good way to be taken seriously

  29. The above post is stupidly antagonistic on my part. Sorry, Smitty.

    Bottom line, though, is that the guy flagged last night is not dirty and has no track record of being dirty. And he was flagged for a block that wasn’t illegal. You’re off-base with respect to that play/player.

    VU definitely earned that loss, though.

  30. My HS football coach was Dick Ernsberger who was 160 pound fullback for Nyland 1949-51 at TN. He did not look like someone who played for a NC team. His son, Richard D. Ernsberger wrote a book a few years back about the SEC and recruiting scandals. He even had a chapter on Vanderbilt. I was told he use to block Doug Atkins when he was on scout team and impressed Nyland.

  31. I didn’t take it that way Stu. Just repeating what Brent Hubbs reported.

    What time is the Wake Forrest game?

  32. Dont know why, but I found this to be funny

    RT @d2mart: Well take a freaking guess or don’t respond at all. RT @ajcbraves: Don’t know. RT @AngryDingo: @ajcbraves D… (cont) http://t … 8 mins ago

    Don’t know. RT @AngryDingo: @ajcbraves Do you think #Braves give Pastornicky a shot in Spring Training or lock up a starting SS before then? 11 mins ago

  33. 59—Ah, Hubbs. That explains the misinformation.

    I think the game is at 2:30. And we somehow opened as a 1-point favorite. Because that worked so well this past week.

  34. When I was little I would hear him on the radio and ask my dad why Larry used the word “We” as if he was playing. “We got to hold ’em here” or “We need to get this 3rd down.” Well, now I know that he was as much the heart and soul the UGA program as any of player or coach ever could hope to be. It was his team and always will be his team.

    RIP Mr. Munson and we know you’ll be watching us (and no doubt worrying) from above.

  35. My summer intern from UGA gave me Munson’s autobiography as a parting gift when he went back to Athens this fall. (Thanks, Chris.) Most interesting takeaway: Munson was actually a pretty good piano player & was once hired to back Frank Sinatra, when he was doing some dates in Twin Cities.

    When Sinatra passed in 1998, any living musician that ever played with him was given a memento (a gold record, I think) and Munson did receive one.

    But it’s funny how you grow up with a voice like Munson’s (or Skip Caray’s) & it just seems like part of your life. Everyone remembers Munson’s big calls & there’s no doubt that I’ll never get tired of hearing them—my fave is the last 4 minutes of the ’82 Auburn game—but the moment I most rememeber might be an odd one, but it sure left me glowing.

    Fall of ’80, I was a senior in high school, knowing that I would enter UGA in the fall of ’81. The Herschel breakout game was the previous week in Knoxville & UGA was hosting Texas A&M. The entire state was abuzz, but (as was often the case) the A&M game wasn’t on TV.

    That Saturday, I was working as a caddie/gopher at a bridge tournament at the Columbus Iron Works Convention Center (long story, don’t ask), just dying to listen to the game, but I couldn’t. At one point, this old doctor guy asked if I could “go park his Cadillac in the garage.” I jumped at the chance, knowing I could catch some of the game on the radio.

    I took his keys & ran outside to his double-parked Caddy, hopped in, flipped on Munson & the Dogs—and took my sweet time with everything. About 30 seconds after I eased into the garage, Herschel broke off a 70-yarder. It was the first time I heard Munson holler, “There goes Herschel! There goes Herschel!” And I found myself pounding on this old man’s steering wheel, all alone in this parking garage in downtown Columbus.

    I just laughed at myself & went back to work, with a definite skip in my step—this was going to be a very good year. Thanks, Larry.

  36. The last 2 minutes of Georgia v. Kentucky, 1978:

    “Aaand the Dogs are struggling desperately to save themselves up in Lexington….. a minute-nine… a minute-eight. We give the ball to McClendon (voice kicks into different gear)… and he got Fourteen Big Yards!!”

    I’m sitting in a parking lot with the front door my ’66 Chevelle Malibu slung open so that I, a long-haired youth, and three or four grown men who just happened to be walking by (I’d never even met them before) can hear.

    And it’s like listening to Edward R. Murrow calling the Blitzkreig. We’re looking at each other with fear in our eyes, and pretty soon–even with “…the stadium, EVERYTHING!… rrrroaring against the ‘Dogs”– “we” are lining up for a kick that will win (or lose) the game.

    “The snap… Robinson… yeah… yeah…” &c. The kick, the most heroic one ever tried (32 yards or so), was good.

    Game over. We went our separate ways. It was better than
    being there; it really was. Thanks, Larry.

  37. I imagine that UNC fans will get to understand what the UGa folks are going through when Woody Durham finally goes to that play-by-play booth in the sky.

    Anyway, my condolences to my UGa friends on the board.

  38. Did he do the “Hunker down Dogs, hunker down dogs” spiel” I have a friend who played that tape often. He played football as a walkon freshman. He made a tackle for the scout team and Dooley said “Can’t anyone block Stevens?” From then on Stevens was blocked and knew it was time not to play with the big boys.

  39. I liked Munson. It will be a sad day for Vols fans when John Ward dies.

    Munson and Ward were the two best.

  40. Mac,

    Thanks for posting that link. I could swear, but the way, I remember Munson doing some radio play-by-play for the Braves–around ’67, maybe. Whatever year it was that we had an outfielder named Gary Geiger, and a shortstop(?), Woody Woodward.

    The fact these alliterative names are the ones I remember is probably due to the way the man bit into words beginning with consonants.

    This, in fact, was the first time I remember listening to the Braves. Pre-Milo Hamilton (maybe), definitely pre-Ted Turner.

    Anyone else remember this?

  41. Was laying in bed with the woman I would marry listening to Munson the afternoon that Georgia played Auburn in the “Look at the sugar falling from the sky!” game.

    Neither of us were Georgia fans, but we were that day.

    A treasure. He will be missed.

  42. @78-

    I’ll get out the nylon-string & play “Going Home” in his honor.

    Yandell was a wonderful, smooth player and, from what I could tell, a kind and modest man.

  43. Tim Tebow is the most vile human being to ever exist. Every place he has ever lived should be nuked and the ground salted just to be safe.

  44. I, on the other hand, agree wholeheartedly. A more awful specimen of humanity would be difficult to conceive.

  45. Tim Tebow kicks *all* kittens. And puppies. All the time. He also uses the blood of infants to make his soups.

  46. #79
    Zig,
    Yes, Munson called the Braves when they first moved to Atlanta in 1966.

    Unfortunately, he & fellow announcer Milo Hamilton didn’t get along at all and, according to Munson (in his book), Hamilton arranged to have him canned.

    Of course, he wasn’t the first or last to find Milo Hamilton difficult or impossible to work with.

  47. I wanna hear about the Munson and Ann-Margret stories I heard hinted at on the radio this morning.

  48. I have little opinion about Tebow the player, but I am with JC on public displays of piety –

    ”And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

  49. Fine by me. Let’s forget about the passage, as I think the point speaks for itself. I am uncomfortable with overt public display of religiosity in the public square – I don’t think they should be banned, but I don’t have to like them. And it would appear the purported author of the founding tenets of the religion that Tebow follows was uncomfortable with the idea too.

    Better?

  50. or we could use this –

    Rejoice evermore, Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

  51. I have no problem with the giving of thanks. The ostentation of it seems to be in poor taste, and designed to call attention to the individual rather than the entity being prayed to.

  52. 97—I understand being uncomfortable and have no problem with your expressing that. What I have a problem with is the misinterpretation of Jesus’ words, which were delivered to a specific people, at a specific time, in a specific context.

    There’s a No-Politics-And-No-Religion Rule here, though, so what I’m trying to do is note a disagreement without teaching a Sunday-School lesson.

  53. First I’ve heard about the no religion rule, or I would have kept that comment to myself (seriously – there’s a no religion rule?).

  54. @101, leading a prayer circle at the 50 yard line with member of both teams after the game really just looks like a new kind of Sack Dance from where I sit.

  55. I accept the trappings of the overwhelming cultural intersection between football and Christian religiosity. I even appreciate it at times, such as some of the group prayers around a badly injured player, or the Nebraska/Penn State pregame, because each person who takes a knee in these situations has his own motivations and his own thoughts.

  56. #103 – Last I saw he was being interviewed after the game and left to go join the prayer that was already being held at midfield. They showed him taking a knee next to 20 other players who were already praying. Media wants to jump all over him, its what they do.

  57. Verlander wins MVP.

    Tebow’s displays of piety don’t bother me at all. I never mind seeing a Gator wasting his time & energies. ;)

  58. 102—From the “About” tab, above:

    Don’t discuss politics or religion, two things that get people riled up and which nobody’s going to come to an agreement on.

    For the record, I have no problem with such discussions, and I take no offense with disagreements, even impassioned disagreements, related thereto — but I just wanna follow Mac’s rules.

  59. The no-religion rule is like the first rule of Fight Club. It should be repeated twice when spoken about.

  60. As a non-beliver, baseball is my ‘religion’. The ballpark, my cathedral. Sunday afternoon games, my weekly service. Hot dogs, my host. Vin Scully, my preacher. Victorino, my enemy satan.

  61. Not a big fan of pitchers winning the MVP, but can’t complain too much about Verlander’s win.

    Damn, he was dominant this year. (Although, in the playoffs … )

  62. @93

    Ububba,

    A disappointing, but not a surprising, Milo Hamilton story. I always loved Hamilton’s style when he called a game, but as a human being…. Well, we could have Vin Scully pray for him.

  63. The best basketball TEAM in the SEC this year may be in the West (if there was still a West).

    Anthony Grant is da man. Glad we (UK) have them at home this year.

  64. @114

    Bama is looking good. maybe the Vols will shock the world today. I doubt it, but it would be great if they did.

  65. 114—Yeah, they look pretty freaking good, as I expected. On nights when Tony Mitchell is on, they’re probably as good as anyone.

  66. Playing in the west won’t help their RPI, but if they knock off one of the big three in the east that will be a big help in getting a good seed

  67. Yeah, I forgot about that. But they still play all of the “West” teams twice. They might win the conference regular season title then

  68. OldHossRadbourn on Verlander: “J. Verlander’s key 2011 stats: 24-5, 2.40 ERA, 34 starts, 4 (?) CG, 250 K, and 1 blown save by J. Papelbon.”

    I love the (?) — Old Hoss just doesn’t know what to make of today’s game.

  69. I think Bama’s basketball team is top 10. If they could develop a little better outside game, I think they could be top 5. Their defense is smothering.

  70. You know who loves Tim Tebow? Jerry Sandusky. And Tebow loves him right back. That’s right. I said it. Prove me wrong.

  71. While tip-toeing around the no-religion rule like a 250 lb ballerina, I’ll simply suggest that a better option than praying for an injured player on the field might be to not attempt to decapitate every player on the other team, just because you’ve been raised on a diet of hyper-machismo bullshit your entire life.

    YMMV. All sales final. Caveat emptor. Etc, et al, and such.

  72. Yep. There are two types of things in the world, see. Things you will mock mercilessly, and things you take too seriously.

  73. Call it the MVNP (Most Valuable Non Pitcher Award) if you want to exclude pitchers. Was Verlander most valuable of all players or not?

  74. Hmmm…most grave injuries on the football field are not the result of headhunting.

    I find the current on-field climate to be more honestly fraternal in general than in days gone by, and I like that. Knowing the potential for long-term physical damage as a result of playing a game for the edification of non-participants, it’s too much to expect them to also act like mortal enemies.

  75. @129 should obviously read “Joey Bats.” Yet my brain threw out “Danny Bautista” instead. Stupid old man brain.

  76. Don’t you hate it when you foul up internet snark, Sam? You spend all your time elevating yourself above others and then – BAM! Down among the groundlings.

  77. The Vols are better than I thought. They aren’t going to win the league, but they might be pretty competitive. The starting five looks good. However, the bench is going to be an issue.

  78. I think Justin Verlander is clearly the AL MVP, and I applaud the BBWAA for not making idiots out of themselves. They’ve actually done a very good job this year, nailing the three awards I was afraid they would get horribly wrong (Kimbrel for NL ROY, Kershaw for NL CY, Verlander for AL MVP). Of course, I’m sure they’ll now go give the NL MVP to someone other than Matt Kemp now that I said that.

  79. One stupid MVP barrier fell a little (pitchers winning it), but another, that players on teams that don’t make the playoffs can’t deserve it, remains erect.

    Jose Bautista should have won.

  80. Jacoby Ellsbury should have gotten it, in my opinion. Based purely on offensive, it’s Bautista; but gotta hand it to Ellsbury based on the inclusion of defense and baserunning.

    I love Tebow based on one factor: he’s proving the experts wrong. He shouldn’t be able to run an offense that does jack. But somehow, he does. Apart from the blatant homers, I don’t think anybody would have, at the beginning of the season, actually bet their reputation or cash on him.

    And it doesn’t hurt that he gets Sam really riled up…

  81. I love Tebow based on one factor: he’s proving the experts wrong.

    Tim Tebow 2011 = Jeff Francoeur 2005

  82. I wouldn’t say the Broncos does jack.

    The Broncos have been winning via special teams, smothering defense and luck. And one incredibly stupid defensive play-call by the Jets. (You never sell out a corner blitz against Tebow on 3 and 4.)

  83. The defense and ST have been helped by the low-risk offense they run through Tebow. Sure, there’s barely any reward, but hey, no risk.

  84. @ 143 – . (You never sell out a corner blitz against Tebow on 3 and 4.)

    Wait, did you just give Tebow a little credit? I believe you did. Someone call Sam and check on him.

  85. I have been neutral towards Tebow, but I’m changing my mind. Anyone who can inspire such irrational vitriole has to be doing something right. Unfortunately there are some horrible characters in all sports who are constantly getting thrown in jail and basically wreaking havoc with everyone they come in contact with. To say Tebow is worse than some of those guys is just stupid.

    Go Broncos and Tebow!

  86. I disagree with the fact that an MVP award winner has to come from a playoff team.

    @ 143 – . (You never sell out a corner blitz against Tebow on 3 and 4.)

    Wait, did you just give Tebow a little credit? I believe you did. Someone call Sam and check on him.

  87. I guess I’m ok with a pitcher winning the MVP, but I always go back to the year that Steve Carlton won something like 25 games and the Phillies lost something like 100 games.

    Those things just don’t fit somehow.

  88. Bama plays Auburn. LSU plays Arkansas. South Carolina plays Clemson. Georgia plays Tech.

    Heated rivalries all.

    And then NEXT SATURDAY two of those teams have to play for the SEC Championship. That’s just crazy.

    Is there no way to move the Championship game two weeks from those killer games?

  89. Wait, did you just give Tebow a little credit?

    Tim Tebow, vile little hill troll that he is, has one or two notable skills. Much like a hill troll can pick up a big rock and throw it at you, Tebow can read a blitz a mile away. He can then run around or through a corner over committed to the sell out blitz.

    This isn’t terribly complex thinking. As such, even Tebow can master it. So what a rational monkey does is *not sell out the corner blitz.* Just lay back, bird dog him with the safety and make him throw the damned ball. Because he’s Tim Friggin’ Tebow. He makes Mike Vick and Vince Young look like accurate passers in comparison. If by some fluke of luck they get the first down, fine. Let them kick the FG, tie the game and then beat them in OT. Because as long as Mark Sanchez doesn’t throw a pick six or something, Tebow has shot his wad and will not be moving the ball again for at least two weeks.

  90. To say Tebow is worse than some of those guys is just stupid.

    Who exactly has said this?

    And does it bother you at all that he has become a proxy for folks who might think he is better than everybody else, just by virtue of his off field (well I guess on field too) activities?

  91. Sam has basically called Tebow the most vile person on earth. The second part doesn’t bother me. I like what he does off the field, but I don’t have any illusion that he’s a great qb. Point is, I don’t think he’s done too much bad stuff (he’s not perfect and has never claimed to be), but he’s become a lightning rod on both sides. I’ve been neutral on it all, but think it’s funny that he inspires so much irrationality.

  92. Sam has a different “vilest person on earth” hourly. I wouldn’t count on the choice at the moment being a bellwether of anything.

  93. Can we count on Coach to make his triumphant return to the blog now? I’d give him time to clean himself up, but I expect a geezerly, logic-free plea for Durango to make the opening day roster from him within the afternoon.

  94. Maybe Frank Wren, Super Genius, has found someone willing to take Chucky Thomas Jose Constanza and give us something useful in return.

  95. 159, Are you kidding? Durango/Costanza/Bourn is your regular OF. You couldn’t get a playing card between those guys, let alone a baseball.

  96. I’ll split the difference with you. An MVP doesn’t have to come from a playoff team (for instance, I think Matt Kemp should win the NL MVP), but there is no way that anybody on the train wreck that was this year’s Red Sox should have come anywhere near the MVP award. There are limits. By the way, under any of these criteria you like, I think Verlander deserved the MVP award.

  97. With Bourn and Contanza out there,w e could let Heyward play rover.

    But wait, Peanut is already telling us about Heyward dropping 20 lbs this offseason.

  98. But wait, Peanut is already telling us about Heyward dropping 20 lbs this offseason.

    ???

    I’m no grizzled old baseball professional, but I’m pretty sure that the problem with Jason Heyward’s 2011 wasn’t that he was fat and out so shape.

  99. Probably, Peanut is always trying to silence someone. From the link on the top left.

    When Heyward reported to Spring Training in February, he was a chiseled 256 pounds. With his weight now sitting between 235-240 pounds, he’s feeling a little more comfortable. The most noticeable difference is that his shoulders are not nearly as bulky as they had been earlier this year.

    “I feel great about it,” Heyward said. “I still have my muscles and I still have my strength. I’m still able to throw some weight around. I’m not heavy and I’m not bulky. I’m not feeling too tight anywhere.”

  100. #165
    Joe Poz has had a tough couple weeks, but he really nailed that one.

    And a nice shoutout in there to fellow Red & Blacker Tommy Tomlinson.

  101. I wonder if Heyward used the same trainer that Francoeur did when he bulked up and lost a lot of his power and bat speed.

  102. #176 – Ha, doesnt every player?

    #173/#175 – Muscles cant hit bad pitches, neither can people without muscles. We’ve seen that with 2 of our most recent RF’rs.

  103. @177

    True, but a big part of Heyward’s problem last year was swinging and missing strikes. Heyward’s pitch recognition is a million miles better than Francoeur’s.

    @179

    Well, the writers were bound to get one wrong. This is the first vote I’ve really disagreed with.

  104. I seem to remember Javy Lopez had gotten a little “bulky” in the early 2000’s. Then he slimmed down in his last year with the braves and had a monster season. Just sayin’.

  105. #180 – Oh I agree completely. However, he seemed to really struggle recognizing off speed pitches when he had 2 strikes.

    2011 – 0-2 count, .031/.030/.031
    2010 – 0-2 count, .229/.239/.333

  106. Pitchers started to continually bust the ball inside on Heyward last year and he couldn’t seem to lay off that pitch. The result was a flow of weak ground balls that were hit off his hands. If there is a ML record for broken bats, he set it last year.

    With his plate discipline he should take those pitches. If he is going to continue swinging he has to shorten his swing and be quicker with his hands. He can’t get the barrel of the bat on the ball with this approach.

  107. I don’t think it’s egregious, but Kemp had a better overall year, obscured by home park effects. I don’t factor in team success.

  108. We re-signed Boscan today and also all of these guys: infielders Ian Gac and Josh Wilson, outfielders Luis Durango and Brahiam Maldonado, and pitcher Dusty Hughes.

    None seem more than organizational potatoes.

  109. Wow. I would have pegged Heyward’s weight last year at 225, tops. If he ever finds an uppercut in his swing, watch out.

  110. Ladies and gentlemen…
    This year’s Ed Lucas: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=sutton001ste

    I was a bit excited about this guy when I saw he was a Super-Utility guy that plays SS. However, I then looked at his innings played at SS and quickly deflated. Here’s his scouting report for maybe that one person who’s slightly interested in a player that will never make an impact for the Braves big club this year:

    “Scouting Report: Versatile utility man able to play all infield positions and both corner outfield positions. Primarily a second baseman. Made average contact over his minor league career. Above-average plate discipline, average power. He has shown flashes of above-average power for an middle infielder. Average speed. Below-average defense.”

  111. If the Braves want to buy organizational players who have a knack for taking a walk and bury them in AAA, I have no problem with it. Hey, maybe they can set a good example. Gregor Blanco would certainly be a better roving minor league instructor than Jonathan Schuerholz.

  112. What is this obsession with powerless outfielders?

    Ask all the people who cannot stop reminiscing over Blanco.

  113. There should be some kind of filter that doesnt allow the word “coach” to be typed on this site. With that being said, he’s probably harassing people over at DOB’s place about the value of SBs.

  114. Luckily Coach hasn’t discovered Twitter, as far as I can tell anyway. Our most recent resident troll (emma/Adam Lawson) has quite a Twitter presence, and his occasional harassment of DOB and Ben Duronio at CAC is highly entertaining.

  115. @199 – I resemble that remark.

    At least we Blanco fans didn’t expect power. We just liked his defense and ability to present some kind of offensive threat with his speed and guile. Same reason we liked Constanza – at least he gave us something every now and then.

    Still waiting for the fix in left field.
    ————

    Depending on the night, Trae Golden is going to kill UT or lead them to victory. It’s one or the other.

  116. Golden needs to find the open man in the post. Once he starts doing that, the Vols are going to roll.

    The starters are good. Better than people think. I am not sure how deep they are.

    Tatum needs to step up too.

  117. Agreed justhank – Golden is feast or famine. Is he a freshman? I’d like to see a birth certificate on that one. And Maymon is a beast. First time I watched UTK this year and I came away impressed.

  118. Golden’s a sophomore. And a fellow McEachern Indian.

    Martin is going to get the most out of those guys, but there’s not a lot of talent on that roster. (Maymon was a beast yesterday, but as someone who’s seen him play other games, let’s just say that one was a bit of an outlier.)

  119. @210

    A lot of those guys were 3-4 star recruits. Everyone thought Maymon would be a good player, but to this point he really hasn’t shown much. Of course he has missed parts of two seasons.

    Like I said, the starting five is decent. The bench will have to develop quickly if this team is going to make a run to the tournament.

  120. There is a 0% chance that this year’s UT team makes a run to the Tournament. Unless you’re talking about the CBI.

  121. I dunno, Stu, the Vols played Duke (and their striped friends) pretty well and should have beaten Top Ten Memphis if not for self-inflicted wounds.

    After Bama, Florida, Kentucky and Vandy, who do you see in the SEC that’s better?

    Btw, South Carolina is awful. I mean terrible. What happened?

  122. Lots of early-season games have weird results. Memphis is one of the more overrated teams in the country, IMO. They’re like VU on steroids. (As in, What exactly have they done to get such a high ranking???)

    MSU is better. Arkansas is better, even without Powell. Georgia is better. If UT ends up being the conference’s fifth-best team, there’s no way the SEC is getting more than four teams in the Tourney. Like I said, the cupboard is just too bare.

    As for SC, George McFly happened.

  123. If the bench shows up, Tennessee could make a run at the tournament. This team is more talented than people think. I agree Memphis is a little overrated, they aren’t a big time team like Cleveland State.

  124. This team is more talented than people think.

    That’s what everyone wants to believe about their own team.

    And you’ll get no excuses from me on the Cleveland State debacle. As I alluded to, we’re extremely overrated right now. (Although CSU, unlike UT, will be in the Tournament.)

  125. For all of those traveling, be safe. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you tomorrow! Enjoy your time with friends and loved ones.

  126. All will be well when Festus returns.
    ———————

    Anybody else watching “Clubhouse Confidential” on MLB Network? For aspiring sabremetricians such as myself, it’s a very informative show.

  127. All will be well when Festus returns.

    I hope so. If he comes back on schedule, quickly gets in game shape, and the knee stays healthy, we should be really good. Not confident that combination is very likely, though.

  128. OK, Braves Journal peeps, a game (one that will benefit, well, me):

    I’m tasked with doing a series of magazine ads for one of my clients. The theme is one of showing how previously held opinions can be revealed to be nonsense over time.

    My approach is to find quotes to fit this theme, such as Kruschev’s “We Will Bury You” and Ken Olsen’s “There simply is no reason for anyone to have a computer in his home.”

    Anybody got any cool “World is Flat” quotes out there?

    Thanks in advance. (No, you won’t get paid.)

  129. You could dig up something from a Hearst newspaper arguing against US involvement in WWII, prior to Pearl Harbor.

    Or, in a more sporting vein, it was once held to be impossible that anyone would break the four-minute mile.

  130. 222—“The Braves are fine. Baseball Prospectus gives them a 98.6% chance of making the playoffs.”

  131. I guess they like whatever trade options they may have on the table. Or they are comfortable to give it to Pastornicky.

  132. #216
    IMO the jury’s still very much out on these hoops Dogs. I know they’re 4-1, but I can’t really say I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far.

    And from the little I have seen—a shaky home win over Bowling Green & a disastrous final 23 minutes vs Cal—UGA’s going to have trouble scoring.

    Caldwell-Pope certainly has promise, but IMO he hasn’t yet caught onto the triangle approach. He seems to score from individual efforts—steals, putbacks, the offense scrambling against the shot clock—not so much from a set. We’ll see. He’s the most talented guy out there.

    Gerald Robinson is about as off-and-on as any PG you can name—and he does some pretty crazy stuff for a team with a near-strict, half-court approach.

    Dustin Ware can hit a three, but he needs to catch it, shoot it & be wide-open. Cannot create a look except to run to a spot.

    The big Balkan guy has a decent outside shot & isn’t afraid to let it go when he’s open, but I’m not yet sure how he fits in overall.

    Hopefully, they’ll find their way & yes, it’s early, but I see plenty of games where they just don’t score.

    Off to Pennsylvania. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  133. Thanks, c. shorter! That’s a great list.

    I particularly like the quote from the founder of Warner Brothers who said “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”

  134. If Trey Thompson had stayed (like he should have – anyone could have seen this strike / lockout lasting forever), the Dawgs would have been formidable.

    Mark Fox must be pulling his hair out. Er …

    Safe travels, everyone! (ububba – stay off the Sandusky Highway)

  135. If Pastornicky is ready, I really don’t mind the idea of Jack Wilson as the supersub. Unfortunately I don’t think the Braves feel like he’s ready. In that case, I’m not very optimistic about someone being better than AGony at short.

  136. @235,

    But Ulbricht knew that wasn’t true; it was simply a lie. Ulbricht had every intention of building a wall. He only said that to keep even more people from fleeing East Berlin.

  137. @222 Might not be ad appropriate, but Chamberlain’s peace for our time quote was a pretty big whopper:

    “My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time… Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.”

    You also have any number of doomsdayers to choose from, from Malthus to Ehrlich. Some Ehrlich classics:

    “I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

    “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.”

  138. @226 Wren must be fairly certain that AAG would accept the arbitration, and it’s pretty obvious that Frank don’t even want to have AAG back at $3m. That says a lot about what Wren thinks of AAG.

  139. @238- He sucked offensively and his defense seemed it had declined a bit from past years. I understand why Wren didn’t want to take the chance. The question becomes however; if not AAG, then who?

    I’d imagine we could currently take on all of Stephen Drew’s salary should we be inclined. He also falls in the one year range that the front office says they’d prefer.

  140. Id take a very close at Stephen Drew, but isnt he still injured?

    DOB disagrees with you about his defense. “Gonzalez is coming off a standout defensive season but hit only .241 with a .270 on-base percentage.”

  141. He is, but is supposedly on track to be ready by the start of next season. DOB can have his opinion; while I think AAG is still automatic on any ball he gets his hands on, his range last year seemed a little less than that it has been in the past.

    Just my view, but as bad as he was offensively, any defensive decline turns him into a complete black hole. The fact that he turns 35 next year doesn’t help either.

  142. I agree with everything you just said. I dont think this team can handle another offensive performance like what AAG gave to us last season.

    Id look at Drew if he’s on track to be ready. Id also peek over in Boston and see what they would want for Scutaro.

  143. Yeah, outside of maybe talking with the Angels about Aybar or Izturis, those seem to be the only realistic options. Regardless, I’d still like to bring back Jack Wilson as a utility guy/defensive replacement for Uggla if the price is reasonable.

  144. @237

    Paul Ehrlich is hilarious. I did a presentation on The Population Bomb in 1978 or so. I believe by now the US was supposed to be covered by one gigantic 200-story building (the top 100 stories to accommodate the population, the bottom 100 stories was to be the boiler room, or some sh**).

  145. Speaking of…

    DOB –
    Way expensive. RT @DC297: @ajcbraves: You think Braves will try to get Stephen Drew as bridge to Pastornicky? Drew is a free agent after ’13 29 mins ago

  146. To Mac (and everyone else who posts here)-

    Not quite Thanksgiving yet but wanted to chime in and say that when I reflect on all the things I have for which to be thankful, Braves Journal definitely makes the list. I hope you’re feeling well and enjoy the holiday- just wanted to know that this community means an awful lot. Thanks to everyone who makes this place fun even in a (so far) pretty uneventful offseason.

  147. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I will be driving to Macon for the holiday and I still ocnsider myself thankful

  148. Thanks for all the great quotes, y’all.

    Please permit me this. I ran across one of my favorites that I had forgotten:

    “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” – C.S. Lewis

    Grateful for you all and especially Mac for speaking (ok, writing) this community into being.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  149. Happy Turkey day all.

    I’m thankful for the best Braves community on the net and the people here who make it so.

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