So it’s come to this.
The Braves re-signed Wilson, picked up in a late-season trade last year, to be their primary infield backup even knowing that there was a good chance that with an untested rookie at shortstop that backup could become the regular, and that Wilson can’t hit. Wilson had a couple of good years in the middle of the last decade, but he’s 34 years old, has a career line of .266/.307/.368 (and .250/.285/.329 over the last three seasons) and is no longer the (superb) defensive player he used to be. The difference between Wilson and late-period Rafael Belliard is not great. He’s a serious minus player unless his glove bounces back to being a big plus; last year it was average.
Jack Wilson Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com.
Basically, Jack Wilson would be a worthwhile player if the Braves could bat him 10th.
From previous thread:
“Donâ€™t live in the fucking suburbs.”
Yes, that is a viable solution to the Braves attendence problems. Have the population leave the suburbs.
Re Wilson: these are the kinds of signings that depress me about the Braves. They have become, it seems to me, so convinced of their ability to get performance on the cheap that they will sign anyone that they consider affordable. This is not a signing that will make the team better. Does the FO sit around thinking up ways to turn off the fan base?
Yes, that is a viable solution to the Braves attendence problems. Have the population leave the suburbs.
How about this: either move out of the suburbs, or stop bitching that you have to drive places of interest. It’s not like you were *forced* to move halfway to Chattanooga or anything. I can accept “but I want to live outside of the scary, scary city” OR I can accept “the traffic, it is too hard for my delicate sensibilities!” I can’t accept both. If you choose to live in the suburbs but are a FAN of the team, get your ass into town to see a few games, and quit bitching about the location of the stadium.
Attendance started dropping when the Braves started losing in the first round(s). The last time they got to the WS was 1999. That’s a long time ago.
Wilson can be late inning replacement for CJ and allow a pinch hitter for Pastornicky. Both needed.
I live in the suburbs (half way to Chattanooga) and I go to 60+ games a year. I still wish there was more entertainment/dining around the TED (it’s nice to park once and then get something to eat at a decent place before the game then casually walk to the game). For me, that is the only drag about the TED.
Mike N – it took me ~7 years to escape from Tech but I finally did get out with a piece of paper that says ESM on it. Don’t give up hope.
My father, who is a Mets fan, left his hat in the car at the airport as we were going to Philly last week. (Everything is fine on the cancer end, BTW, but I have a virus and laryngitis.) I got him to buy a Braves cap during the layover at Hartsfield. Ha. (He gave me the cap when he got another hat.)
Sam is right. The drop off was “win related” but not “regular season win related.”
Atlanta is a town that will gravitate to a winner.
Plus, the payroll reductions that kicked in were kind of an insult. It is like if when tomato and lettuce prices go through the roof in the winter that Wendy’s cut their burger size in half at the same price. They would lose customers. The Braves did the same thing. They deliberately scaled down in product quality to save money.
I don’t know the cost, but it probably by urban transit normality would not be too expensive. A people mover from E 1 Georgia State / Twin Towers Marta station with stops at (1) capitol parking deck (2) state offices south of capitol on west side of Capitol Avenue, (3) north end of stadium parking, (4) center field plaza, and (5) southeast corner press and club level entrances and visiting team entrances.
Mac, glad to hear the news. Hope your virus and laryngitis clear up quickly.
Your dad’s a Mets fan? Hope that clears up eventually too.
I’m constantly startled by the unpleasantness of the average Alabama fan.
Peace, love, and soul to one and all.
Don Cornelius dead at age 75 of an apparent self inflicted gunshot wound.
Support for anything other than Georgia football is a mile wide and an inch deep in this town – it’s not a new phenomenon. When convinced you have a legitimate shot at winning a championship, a bandwagon will form. The second that is not true, as in those 100 win but doomed to fail seasons referenced earlier, competent teams will merely be noted in passing, and mediocre ones ignored.
#12 – ???
@15 I can’t even check twitter for updates on recruiting without seeing hundreds of Alabama fans crowing. Get a freaking life. Rejoice in your program instead of getting some kind of thrill out of picking on Auburn.
I like the idea of Wilson as a late inning sub. To my untrained eye, his gove looked above average last year. The problem is if we have to rely on him to start a significant number of games. He’s great if we have a guy like AGon as the starter who will start a large number of games (130 +). Unfortunately I don’t see that with Pastornicky. Another one of our “pray for the best” scenarios, that’s incredibly risky.
@12, 15 – Sorry to hear that is your experience Bethany. Alabama, like all schools, has their share of idiot fans. I will say that most college teams have a significant number of fans that make you want to pull for anyone but their team. My experience through college and beyond has been that there is either a larger number of LSU fans like this or they take being obnoxious to a higher level.
@18 It’s always been my opinion that LSU fans are the most intensely obnoxious, but thankfully I haven’t had to deal with many.
I wouldnt classify that as an average Alabama fan. Alabama probably has more idiots and over the top fans, but the average Bama fan doesnt care about Auburn.
As a UGA alum and the stepson and stepbrother of Auburn grads, I’ve had more than one conversation about my alma mater’s fanbase being Most Irrationally Entitled and Auburn’s being Most Aggrieved… 🙂
As an Auburn fan, I can understand Bethany’s point, but I’ve also come to realization that living in Alabama and Alabama being the team’s top rival makes you come in contact with the undesirable fan more often. Move away and things get less obnoxious. I lived in 3 Alabama cities, Gadsen, Auburn, and Mobile, and I felt the same way as Bethany. When I moved to New Orleans, I started to feel the same way as td. Now that I live in the Panhandle, there’s a melting pot of SEC fans here and rarely do I come in contact with an obnoxious fan (however there are some LSU guys around that drive me nuts). It’s all about location.
The “Auburn is losing signees, ha ha” thing is obnoxious, but not limited to Alabama fans. I’ve gotten emails from Georgia and Oregon (yes, Oregon) people along the same lines.
Oregon has fans?
They do now that Phil Knight manufactures them.
…. in Chinese sweatshops by workers who only get pennies!
In hilighter yellow and carbon fiber uniforms!
At least Auburn doesn’t have to worry about falling to 14th out of 14.
That spot is taken.
Baiting Auburn fans? Wrong.
Baiting Oregon fans? That’s fine.
You are allowed to bait fans of any team that appears in costumes instead of uniforms.
Forget it, desert. It’s signing day.
Hey, Auburn finally grabs a couple of late deciders – Avery Young and Ricardo Louis
By the way, great job with the #fakesignee tweets today, Mac.
Yeah, those fake names are hilarious.
They even had a guy named Peter Jurkin signing with Indiana Basketball.
What? That’s real?
@29 It’s one thing to do it here, and it’s another to do it where an actual Oregon fan would see it.
Good classes landed by a lot of SEC teams. Even Vandy has a good class.
I like what the Vols did today. Couple of guys out there that would have been nice to add, but did not come. Can’t complain about what they landed though. WR U is back!
@36 I read somewhere that UT spent more than every other NCAA school in recruiting this year. I’m glad it paid off.
VU has signed probably its best class ever (and I think at least one more gets added to it in the next few weeks), but there’s still a long way to go. Hard to be anything but encouraged by the direction of the program, though.
Yeah, we usually have huge recruiting budget. We have to go out of state quite a bit.
Especially with James Franklin now at VU. 😉
One good year …
I don’t understand your point Sam. Whether or not you like the suburbs, that is where most people live, especially sports fans in Atlanta. Are seriously saying that the Braves marketing should be “get off your ass and move to the city?” Berating fans for not living where they should or for inappropriate complaining is not going to change the fact that suburbanites do complain about the stadium and don’t go to the games. Your approach would be like a business saying, “don’t like my product–then fuck off!”
I donâ€™t understand your point Sam.
I believe that this is the most common thought of anyone who has ever read Sam’s posts.
I’m just kidding, Sam. You do provide insightful and thought-provoking commentary.
Jack Wilson is a backup, and we should not consider him anything more than a backup.
Backups have a tendency to become much more than backups when playing behind untested, non-star rookies.
@47 I understand. That’s the unfortunate part. What I am trying to say is: Jack Wilson is not the problem, the real problem is that we have Pastornicky playing in front of him. Hopefully Pastornicky will surprise us.
Jack Wilson is a backup, and we should not consider him anything more than a backup.
Chris Woodward and Corky Miller say hello.
@49 Chris Woodward was really supposed to be much better than he was with the Braves. I honestly thought that was a decent acquisition as he was supposed to be ok with his bat and he can play multiple positions. Corky, of course, is another story.
Can’t we just sign Omar Vizquel already?
@51 The Jays have taken him!!!
In that case, I definitely share your sentiment.
Bring back Belliard. So what if he’s 47 years old or whatever? Then just have him bunt every at bat.
Will be on honeymoon (!) in Virginia Beach Area on Valentine’s Day.
Any local attractions worth leaving the hotel for?
(P.S. Don’t get married has already been suggested.)
Yeah, go to Florida where it’s warm. It’s likely to be about 50 in VB, VA.
I’m a military nerd so this is probably just me:
the tour of the Norfolk Navy Yard especially if a carrier is in port.
Mariner’s Museum, Newport News with the replica of the U.S.S. Monitor.
downtown norfolk near the uss wisconson is pretty cool. I haven’t been in the Hampton Roads museum or on the ship itself but there is a Hooter’s near by. 🙂
None of this stuff will interest your bride in any way.
Or drive a little more and go to Charleston SC. My Dad says its 60 and 70’s down there. Much more romantic stuff to do there.
No. That would be a bad marketing campaign. I am simply making the obvious case on here. I’m not trying to market the Braves. I’m trying to explain the two-handed nature of complaining that the team is “hard to get to” while choosing to live in the suburbs. Move out of the wastelands and back into civilization and your problems are solved.
As for Braves marketing, I’m not sure there’s a cracker for a nut this size. The Braves payroll was top 5 in the league when 1) they were owned by an eccentric billionaire who felt like paying a lot of money for his baseball team, and 2) they had one of the best television (cable) deals in the nation (due to the eccentric billionaire owner as well.)
Now they don’t have an eccentric billionaire owner and they don’t have a TV contract worth two flying shits, which means their revenue streams are now constrained to their mid-market fan base which is itself fractured and fickle (a quarter of which is devoted to teams of the cities they migrated away from – NY, Chicago, etc; another quarter of which is so knocked up about semi-professional football in the area that they get excited about friggin’ high school kids “committing” to their preferred leech-like semi-professional teams.)
Then you have to factor in the “I’m a die hard Braves fan, but I live in Tuscaloosa and my truck is acting up and I don’t really have the cash to drive into Atlanta for the night” fans, and then you need to work in the “I love the Braves, but there’s like black folks and such living below North Avenue so I’m not going to go down *there* for a game” contingent…
It’s not an easy problem to solve.
@55 – The Adam Thoroughgood house is a cool old historical thing that we saw the one time I was there. It’s really old (1720s I think) and there’s a newer but more impressively expansive house with gardens behind it.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was a neat experience as well, despite the hours of Eastern Shore drudgery that followed it
There was also a man selling what appeared to be used door knobs out of the trunk of his Caprice on the road to the bridge. If you’re in the market… That’s probably the most Valentines-appropriate suggestion I can make.
Also, it’s less than a two-hour drive down to Kitty Hawk and Nags Head. SR12 down the beach is a pretty neat drive, and if you squint enough it could be seen as slightly romantic. If she’s an engineering enthusiast, the Oregon Inlet Bridge is considered one of the least safe bridges in the US, so that’s something to experience.
Williamsburg is near. Hotels in VA Beach cheap this time of year.
My wife lived in Charleston, SC for a while. her favorite saying: “Charleston has just two seasons, summer and January.”
@55 You have already gotten the best advice!
If sheâ€™s an engineering enthusiast, the Oregon Inlet Bridge is considered one of the least safe bridges in the US, so thatâ€™s something to experience.
I have nothing to add, but I believe this sentence should be repeated as often as possible in this forum, going forward. Something like:
“Fredi is bunting with Heyward again!! When will this madness end?!??!”
“If sheâ€™s an engineering enthusiast, the Oregon Inlet Bridge is considered one of the least safe bridges in the US, so thatâ€™s something to experience.”
Just a thought.
It’s early, so I’m not drinking yet. Ergo, there’s no chance I’ll be able to find the connection, Sam.
Later, I’m sure it will click right in.
Perhaps it’s a version of what my stewardess (er, flight attendant) friend does when a patron is being unreasonable – saying “I’ll be right back” and then never returning.
Yeah, that’s probably it.
Full list of NRI invitees:
Super excited for Evan Gattis and hope he turns into a successful Major Leaguer. What a story!
Anyone that y’all are excited about?
Might as well start remembering those names. Thats how we will be filling our roster for the next few years.
Excited somewhat to see what these guys look like…
The rest, not really
What a pitiful list of outfielders.
Well Zeke Spruill went to a rival high school of mine, so that could be fun to watch.
I believe I will become the world’s greatest Yohan Flande fan. Or perhaps his only fan not related by blood.
Terdoslavich is only an infielder because that’s what he plays in the minors. If he were to make an impression and break camp, it would be as a corner OF.
Agreed. Hopefully the Braves will go without a backup CF and use Heyward as an emergency in the unlikelihood that Bourn gets hurt in-game.
I wouldn’t mind the last spot going to Sutton. He can back up all infield positions and is a switch hitter. I like having a switch hitter with fairly even splits on a bench with Diaz and Hinske since both have massive splits.
Evan Gattis is apparently the anti-Bryce Harper.
If you haven’t heard it, here’s Evan’s story.
@ 74 Sam,
As in, un hyped, out of nowhere?
Only a history nut like me, but Yorktown (both the battlefield tour and the interpretive tour), Williamsburg (which is fake, but nicely done), Jamestown, and the ferry from Jamestown to Surry (VERY neat if you haven’t ever done one) are all good things, ordinarily. Total time on a drive loop is about 3 hours (maybe 4). Use “Colonial Parkway” from Yorktown to Williamsburg to Jamestown and see the ghost navy on the York river (last time I was there the 4th or 5th most pwoerful navy in the world was in “mothballs” there), and some quaint marsh country.
However, the hotel room would beckon strongly.
That, and he seems to have been a version of the prodigy-star Harper has always been billed as. I doubt Harper’s ever asked himself “who am I, the person, if I’m not a ball player?” That’s an interesting question for a kid to ask himself, and it makes him much more likable as a fan.
@75 thx for the link. Cool story. I wonder if Gattis can play the outfield?
I wonder if Gattis can play the outfield?
A question to be asked of every Braves prospect to
slugOPS over 900 at any level above Rookie Ball, for the foreseeable future.
**Any prospect that SLUGS over 900 can play where’re the hell he likes.
Evan’s story reminds me of Christopher McCandless and his journey to rid himself of a society that wanted him to just make money because he was of high intellect. I’m glad Gattis took the route he did but equally glad he found himself before he came to Christopher’s end.
And I also think it’s a shame that he hasn’t made any top-25 Braves’ prospects lists. Sure, he’s old, but he deserves more recognition than he’s receiving. Hopefully he’ll be another Beachy for us.
The story of Chris McCandless has long haunted me because he went to Emory, where I basically grew up. But the difference is, I think, that Evan Gattis had no idea who he was and was lost for a while. I believe that Chris McCandless was determined to push his body to the last limit. Death was an almost inevitable result of that quest.
Never thought of it that way. Makes sense.
If he hits in Orlando and puts up something impressive in AA and/or AAA this year, he’ll jump onto a lot of lists. “24 year old JuCo draftee beating up A-ball pitchers” doesn’t make many eyes turn.
@75 – Goodness, Gattis sounds incredibly likable. And thanks for mentioning McCandless. That’s a good, if sad, story.
Peyton Manning medically cleared to play. Come on Titans, pull the trigger
Peyton Manning has the choice to play football again. However, he wont be getting the $28mil from the Colts and for his health sake he should probably retire and find somewhere to coach.
So the Nats add Edwin Jackson to their rotation.
Strasburg, Gio, Zimmerman, Jackson, Wang/Lannan…I think they will surprise some people this season.
Those Nats are starting to annoy me….
I like that move for the Nats, especially considering that they’ll be limiting Strasburg and Zimmerman’s innings. They could used another bat (or two), but who knows? Maybe Harper will produce right away.
If it’s just a matter of who I want playing, I would rather have Harper. From a baseball standpoint, give me a guy who has no doubts about his ability and is single-minded over someone who, while possibly more interesting as a person, may not be strong enough for the demands of major league baseball.
Plus, it seems to me that Gattis wasn’t really examining his life so much as he ran away from it because he was afraid of failing. I’m not condemning him and it does make him more appealing personally, but it’s not like he was on some great quest to find meaning in the universe.
You know, the Braves may not win, but this is lining up to be the most entertaining season of baseball I’ve ever seen. Re-emergence of the Nats and Marlins, Heyward and Harper and Stanton and Teheran and Vizcaino, Kimbrel and Venters, emergence of Toronto and the continuity of the Rays, the best pitching in a long time, possible regression of the Phillies, the ‘new’ Cubs, Pujols and Fielder gone… I could keep going, but this season is going to be one for the ages, in my opinion.
@92 I guess I am a Braves fan and not a baseball fan. If the Braves don’t win, nothing else in baseball matters much to me….
Chipper the hitting coach.
That’s great to hear that Hanson is not feeling pain in his shoulder anymore.
No one is hurting during Spring training. Everyone is in the best shape of their life. Ill be shocked if JJ or Hanson doesnt go down before the Allstar break.
I hope Hanson is healthy, obviously. But rotator cuff tears terrify me.
I’m inferring from DOB and Chipper that Larry Parrish didn’t use video and yet was a poor communicator.
Speaking of video, it sort of disturbs me to learn that we are no longer sending an advance scout on the road, and will be doing it all via video….
I think we will still have scouts on the road. But I think Fletcher will be doing most of his work in the video room.
“Fletcher is his assistant and will also spend plenty of his working day handling advance scouting, which the Braves are doing by video now instead of sending a scout on the road to do it.”
Ted Williams wrote about hitting and I read what he wrote. It did not help me as I did not have his eye or a decent swing. Chipper may give good advice and JH has a better eye and his 2010 swing was good. If he fulfills his potential it will make world of difference.
@100 Does Fletcher just handle other teams pitching? There is a lot more to scounting than pitching.
#100 – nevermind then
@102 Sure seems like there would be. Video seems like a great tool for individual mechanics, but how good is it at capturing the big picture — defensive positioning, baserunner tendencies…I guess it depends on how they do it. But it reads like a cost-cutting move, not an enhancement.