The Andrelton Scenario

The last few days, the Braves have been hinting through the media that they might be even more aggressive in promoting a shortstop than they’d indicated this offseason. Instead of giving the job to Tyler Pastornicky, who has no major league experience, they would give it to Andrelton Simmons, who doesn’t even have any AA experience. The reasons would seem to be that the team is struggling in spring training, Pastornicky is 3-26, and Simmons has hit okay and has a great glove. Now, you all know what I think of spring training results, and I think that basing player decisions on a few dozen PA in an artificial situation is dumb.

There is an argument for Simmons. Basically, it’s “we don’t have a shortstop candidate who can hit, so let’s just put the best glove out there.” The scouts are pretty unanimous that Simmons has a great glove. And it’s not like this idea can’t work. Compare what the Rangers did in 2009 with [sob] Elvis Andrus, whom nobody thought was ready. And Andrus hadn’t hit as well anywhere as Simmons did last year. On the other hand, Andrus was two years younger, had much more minor league experience, and had a season at AA.

I’m not optimistic. But then, I haven’t been optimistic about the shortstop situation for some time.

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137 thoughts on “The Andrelton Scenario”

  1. Boy, that title sure sounds like a Ludlum book.

    I guess the real question is would it destroy Simmons’ development at the plate, because I honestly think he could be as valuable in the majors as Pastornicky this year and I’m higher on TP than most. A SS with a great glove can be extremely valuable.

  2. Re: Sleep deprivation, I don’t think that’s it. I have plenty of interest in all the other sports-related things I’m normally interested in — VU Hoops, VU Baseball (even as bad as we’ve been this year), VU Football recruiting (I have a problem), Fantasy Baseball, Brandt Snedeker, the Predators, the Hawks (I have a problem), the NFL draft, etc. — just not the Braves.

  3. The Braves SS will have a larger zone to cover than will most teams’ SS. This puts even more of a premium on defensive ability at what is already the most important defensive position. Therefore, IMO the best defensive option is the best option, period.

  4. Interesting news about Simmons…

    What website can I go to to join the bravesjournal bracket challenge??

  5. @csg from the last thread:

    I wouldn’t be totally shocked that if the Braves stumble in the first half, that Fredi is gone. To have an epic collapse then completely bomb in ST might be driving him mad. Wren seems to have a bit of aggression in him (I’m basing this off his tirades after the Furcal debacle and him showing up Fredi by firing Parrish after Fredi stood up for him) and him firing anyone on the staff wouldn’t surprise me.

  6. Got to listen to John Dewan this morning on the radio. I think he’s the co-author of the fielding bible with Bill James. Real interesting stuff. They had the Rays with the top defensive team last season. The Rays saved 84 more runs on defense than an average team. He said 10 runs saved equates to 1 win.

    It really has me guessing if the Braves can afford to have a mediocre glove at SS with Chipper and Uggla around them. If you dont see a major difference in the bats between Pastornicky and Simmons, then the Braves will need to put the best glove out there.

    Pastornicky seems to have the advantage with his speed, but I still think the defense will be more important. I dont believe the Braves will implement changing how aggressive they are on the base paths and the bunting wont help steal bases.

  7. @Stu from last thread

    I dont think you will find too many braves fans that are overly excited about this upcoming season. We had the collapse, an uneventful offseason, and so far one of the worst spring trainings that I can remember. Add in our uncertainty with Chipper, SS position, Heyward/Prado, starting pitchers health…it kind of makes it hard to be excited. A fast start to the season will cure all of it. A bad start could have a snow ball effect.

  8. I’ll just repeat, that as hated as Fredi is around here, I doubt anyone would be happier with Jim Fregosi at the helm.

  9. #11 – I agree with you. Im surprised to hear that TP wouldnt be the leading candidate. Also, the org likes Eddie Perez but that seems like a long shot.

    #12 – Mac called it when he was hired.

  10. Yeah, I’m calling BS on that article. Why did he say he only came back for his teammates? Is that a joke too?

    What if he’s placed on the 60 day? Does that mean insurance covers his paycheck? Does that give us any flexibility? I remember the Braves having some bereavement from Hampton’s ball-o’-yarn saga of the 00’s.

    I can’t wait for real baseball on real fields with real strategies. We’re driving ourselves crazy for no good reason.

    Play ball!

  11. @14

    I would think TP or Fregosi would be the replacements. Maybe Rocket Wheeler. I doubt the Braves would make a mid season move unless there was a push from the clubhouse

  12. @2 Stu
    You, too?

    I’d be happy to get excited if there were some indication that this team will be any better than the group that faded in 2011.
    If Heyward and Prado return to form…if Chipper stays healthy…and so on, that’s all fine. I truly hope they do.

    But I can’t see much has been done to help the team win if they don’t and that’s depressing.

    If Fredi isn’t worried, he’d have to be made of stone.

  13. @119 from the previous, the Fregosi item caught my eye too, but that’s actually a bit of a stretch on MLBTR’s part to characterize it like that – the actual quote from Rosenthal was:

    “Wren bypassed first base coach Terry Pendleton for Gonzalez when Bobby Cox retired. Special assistant Jim Fregosi, perhaps the leading internal possibility, hasn’t managed since 2000.”

    which is a lot more enumerative than speculative.

  14. Things aren’t all bad. I just bought “Moneyball” on Kindle for a quarter. Offer is for today only.

  15. Yea I gotta make some adjustments now. Definitely had Syracuse winning it all. I haven’t watched a single basketball game this year.

    I also have Marquette going pretty far for like the 4th year in a row. They screwed my bracket pretty hard last year I don’t know why I’m sticking with them again.

  16. The door is open for the Dores. Time to take advantage.

    Would dearly love an All-SEC Final Four (it’s possible with all in different Regions). Unlikely? Sure, but so was Butler.

    Anyone know the issue with Fab Melo?

  17. I’m pretty sure they had 4 open spots on the 40 man before waiving Hicks, which leads me to think that csg is on the right track @ 39.

  18. Brandon Hicks seems to be an odd choice of someone to cut seeing as that he’s a relatively young shortstop who hit well at Triple A.

  19. All,

    My friends and I are starting a 10-team NL only Auction league and we’re looking for one or two more owners…i just created the league on ESPN, it’s free, and it’s called “No DH Needed”

    the auction is set for one week from tomorrow, Wednesday, March 21 at 9pm Eastern.

    If anyone here at Braves Journal would like to join, and can make the auction, send me an email – abashuk “at” gmu “dot” edu and i’ll be happy to send you an invite.

    Thanks,
    Andrew

  20. So Chipper was just kidding huh … its not funny when your paying 15 mil for a part time player. He doesnt need any more money … you think he would want to win and play for half that so the Braves could get some power in lineup … they are last in hr’s I heard … weak weak weak.

  21. The last time Chipper Jones reconstructed his contract to help the team, the team turned around and did nothing. That led to Reitsma as closer in 2006. Jones not doing it again is understandable; Liberty Media would probably just pocket the savings.

  22. Tad must be Joey Terdoslavich’s mom or something. Maybe Prado’s wife. I can’t think of anyone else who could stand to gain as much by the ushering of Chipper out the door.

  23. My barber heard that Tad also hates Dale Murphy, Tom Glavine, Jeff Treadway and Javy Lopez.

  24. @44,

    Can you at least stop with the elipses? Do you not know how to punctuate a sentence?

    Fredi may well be fired if the Braves get off to a bad start but I think it’s ridiculous to blame him for the collapse. It’s one thing to say that a manager is not getting the most out of the team and you need a chance, but when a team falls apart like the Braves did, it’s a lot more than the manager. To me, I don’t see much difference between Fredi and Bobby Cox except that Bobby had a lot more talent during most of his managerial career (including in Toronto). Personally, I would have liked to have seen the Braves go in a different direction after Bobby left rather than bringing in a clone but it’s hard for me to see what Fredi is doing different than what Bobby would have done.

  25. @49,

    Mark Lemke? I can’t think of anyone else that spent his entire career with the Braves.

  26. FWIW, from Buster Olney:

    “Jason Heyward is 4-for-24 with one extra-base hit and eight strikeouts, and the early chorus from scouts is concern about whether Heyward’s mechanical adjustments will work, or if he will need a lot more time.”

    The sound you hear is people jumping off the Jason Heyward bandwagon.

  27. If that’s all it takes, let ’em jump.

    Trivia answer: Bruce Benedict!

    Top 4 lifetime Atlanta Brave position players (retired, plus Chipper), min. 75 games played (WAR):

    Chipper Jones, 82.7
    Bruce Benedict, 7.1
    (The Other) Randy Johnson, 2.3
    Larry Whisenton, 0.9

  28. I saw the game yesterday. Jupiter, FL in March is an immaculate place for baseball. Getting tickets behind home plate for $30 doesn’t hurt either.

    Minor looked awesome in four innings but I’m still very concerned about Heyward who went 0-5 with two Ks. He still doesn’t look right up there.

    Pastornicky actually made two very good plays at SS and had some pretty good swings FWIW.

  29. I was going to guess Biff Pocoroba or Benedict.

    I just like typing Biff Pocoroba. I don’t even cut ‘n paste Biff Pocoroba’s name. Biff Pocoroba. Biff….

    wait for it….

    Pocoroba.

    (It’s going to be one of those late 80’s type years, isn’t it? I better get the seat paint ready for this summer, when we’re 24 games out of first on August 18.)

    Biff Pocoroba.

    Edit: No, I haven’t been drinking. I’d start if I thought it would help though.

    Edit #2: Biff Pocoroba’s BRR page:http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/pocorbi01.shtml

  30. Pocoroba came in at a -0.2 WAR, although admittedly it’s silly to say he didn’t have as good a career as Larry Whisenton. I just enjoy the statistical oddities.

    Interesting that, after Chipper, the two leaders in games played for lifetime Atlanta Braves are the longtime catching tandem of Benedict and Pocoroba. And Pocoroba’s middle name is Benedict!

    Chipper Jones, 2387 G
    Bruce Benedict, 982
    Biff Benedict Pocoroba, 596
    Andres Thomas, 577
    Rod Gilbreath, 500

  31. Maybe Mac will consider changing the tagline to “Where Pocoroba happens.”?

    Edit: In 1977 Biff Pocoroba was intentionally walked 15 times, tying for 4th in the NL. I didn’t even know Fredi was that old!

  32. Biff Pocoroba was an All-Star in 1978. Can someone explain to me why he made the team? He wasn’t voted in, and the Braves had other players that made the team, so it wasn’t a representation selection.

    His stat line at the half was .262/.337/.349/.687, which would make it appear it was such a horrible year for NL catchers that that line was actually really good that year. Was that the case?

    Or was there a temporary bout of Biff-mania that clouded the minds of the All-Star team selectors? That name is kinda bedazzling…

  33. He was an injury replacement for Johnny Bench. However, it happened during the brief window when Pocoroba was thought to be a potential star. He’d had a really good year in ’77 at age 23, and had a decent first half of ’78. Looking at the splits, he was batting around .270 when the reserves were announced, and about .160 afterwards. That was pretty much it for his star potential.

  34. Jim Bowden

    Early NL East prediction:
    1. Phillies
    2. Nationals
    3. Marlins
    4. Braves
    5. Mets

  35. David O’Brien

    Braves will make first round of roster cuts this afternoon, four or five guys.

    Hudson had “very good” checkup with back surgeon Tuesday, cleared for full activity. Will throw full bullpen today. Still basically aiming for May 1, give or take a week. He’s not putting specific date on it, depends how long it takes to build arm strength.

    Braves lineup: Simmons ss, Chipper 3b, McCann DH, Uggla 2b, Freeman 1b, Hinske lf, Heyward rf, Ross c, Durango cf (Teheran rhp)

  36. Per MLBTR chat…gross

    3:04 [Comment From GuestGuest: ]
    Pastornicky is off to a very slow start this spring and Jack Wilson is hurt. Any chance the Braves make a run at SS? Maybe Yuniesky Betancourt?

    Wednesday March 14, 2012 3:04 Guest
    3:05 Ben Nicholson-Smith: Yes, I think they might want to look around for SS options. If I am the agent for Miguel Tejada I am calling the Braves just in case!

  37. @66

    If you can tell me the last time Jim Bowden’s opinion on anything was the slightest bit relevant, I might actually care. I actually feel better knowing that he thinks we’re not gonna be good.

  38. Everyone jumps on and off the bandwagon depending on what they see at a given time. In a lot of cases, these “expert” opinions aren’t any better than those of the fans. I guarantee that Jim Bowden wasn’t picking the Braves for fourth at the beginning of Spring Training. And, how much is Jim Bowden’s opinion worth anyway?

  39. Whether they’re well-considered or ill-informed, there’s really not a forecast out there that means squat.

    It ain’t gonna swing the bats or throw the pitches. It’s just another way to keep people talking about baseball.

    #64
    Why was Biff Pocoroba an all-star? Simple. He had an all-star name.

  40. According to my brother, Uggla looks very good at the plate and Simmons is a patient hitter. I really need these MLB.tv issues to get sorted!

  41. In honor of Mac’s “The Andrelton Scenario” title, I propose two potential nicknames:

    1. Sleeper Agent
    2. Patient Zero

  42. For some reason, I now have the tune:

    “Blame it on the Pocoroba” lodged in my brain on eternal loop.

  43. Chipper had some interesting comments during the game about DOB. Not surprising, but Chipper spoke his mind.

  44. #81 – Yeah Uggla looks pretty solid at the plate. So did JHey tonight. Seemed like he’s working on getting his shoulders more level and getting closer to the plate. His shoulders being level may be helping him keep the bat in the zone a lot longer. His HR tonight was an absolute bomb. Hope thats a trend.

  45. Only other Biff I know of is Biff Tannen, and he was one mean guy. So I’m not sure Biff is a great name for daughters.

  46. I’m not sure you can judge whether a manager does or does not overmanage simply by counting the number of times he does something. It depends on context; it’s one thing to walk Barry Bonds and another to walk David Eckstein (just pulling a name out the hat). And I really think that the difference between the best and worst managers tactically are pretty small because they all pretty much manage the same-adjusting, of course, for differences between the AL and NL. For example, most NL managers seem to be in love with bunting,although maybe not as much as Fredi.

  47. My biggest problem with Fredi is the bunts and steal attempts when his players clearly aren’t skilled in those areas. He seems to have a “well this is how baseball is played and they are going to have to learn to do it well” attitude towards it and it drives me nuts.

    In other, good news, I think MLB.tv folks might have cleared up the blackout issues I’ve been having! I’m not getting the “you’re in a blackout area” warning anymore when I click on the links to the audio and video of the game. I’m going to put in a call next weekend and try to be 100% sure I’ll be able to watch the Braves, otherwise I’ll just get the audio.

  48. @101,

    Bethany,

    I agree with you re the bunts/steals. On the other hand, once they got Bourn, Fredi seemed reluctant to turn him loose. It seems like there were a number of instances where Bourn got on base to lead off an inning and just stayed there.

  49. I suspect Michael Bourn has a green light on any pitch. If he wasn’t running as much in Atlanta it might have been unfamiliar pitchers (though that would be weird) or trying to make it easier for new teammates hitting behind him, but I seriously doubt he was red-lighted on the bases. That’s like telling Chipper to stop trying to hit for power.

  50. @99 – interesting conclusions, though I still maintain that Freddie Freeman is an excellent defensive first-baseman (perhaps as opposed to a defensive infielder for stat purposes).

    And James’ assertion that the Braves manager is “not as bad as we thought” is faint praise, indeed. As a manager, if you’re not an excellent tactician, you’d better be Frosted Flakes GREAT on the intangibles. No and no.

  51. The thing about Fredi is he’s just sort of middle of the road on these things (bunts, steals, etc.) But being middle of the road while sitting in the permanent shadow cast by Bobby Cox makes him look worse than he was. It’s a trick of perception, more than anything else.

    I’d have no issue replacing Fredi with a notably better tactical AND people manager, should one become available. I just don’t see any better option available right now. Every stat nerd in the world has a man crush on Joe Maddon, but I don’t see Tampa Bay letting him go anytime soon. And if you’re not clearly upgrading, you’re talking about other similarly flawed options (Jim Fregosi, Terry Pendleton, etc, et al.) I’m just really hesitant to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

  52. Gotta say I agree with Sam on this one. I’m afraid Fredi will never take us to a very high level, but I don’t see anyone doing that at this point. Unfortunately I think we’re stuck with Fredi or someone possibly worse for the next year or two at least.

  53. Lost in the discussion is that Fredi does his main job well. He manages the club house and makes sure everyone is aware of their role. Happy people in general are more productive people.

  54. To Johnny’s point @107, if Fredi lost the clubhouse down the stretch last year, and he doesn’t have it back this year, then that’s a reason to move to someone else. I don’t think you’re going to find a “tactical” improvement worth the thrash of a new guy in the clubhouse though. The margins are just too small to cover the cost of disorder in the chain of command there, I think.

  55. @107 – Agreed. If the Braves have a top 5 list of problems right now, Fredi is not one of them. The bunts and steals do drive me crazy, but as has been said here before, summed up it can’t cost more than a game or two.

    Ahem.

  56. All signs point to the Braves sailing serenely toward mediocrity with Fredi the perfect captain for such a voyage.

    I’ve always thought Lincoln had it right. Even though McClellan was a sound choice, he wasn’t the right man at the right time.

    Grant’s unwillingness to accept tactical stalemates better served Lincoln’s overall goal of reuniting the country. Had the goal of the North been to merely protect the Union from Confederate attack, McClellan would have been a fine (probably better) choice.

    But the objective was dramatically different than that.

    I think the goal of Braves leadership (from ownership on down) should be to arrest and reverse the slide that Bowden and so many others see beginning. Our Maginot Line of starting pitching will prove insufficient.

    We simply must attack, attack, attack.

    And I’m pretty sure that means a new voice in the clubhouse.

    Fredi will have served a purpose – providing that break from the Cox-steady-as-she-goes latter years approach to a new voice focused on winning now.

    A modern day Lasorda comes to mind. Any of those out there?

  57. #91 – They were interviewing Chipper in the dugout and asked him about his comments. He said “we have one reporter in Atl who is overzealous to make sure he can get a report out. Dave knows better and he wasnt even around when I made those comments. Dave took second hand info and ran with it and I find it disrespectful. Dave has my number and he didnt bother calling me before running with that report. My comments were in jest and he now has called to apologize and we will make sure that doesnt happen again.”

    Thats about as close as I could get it. However, its interesting that Chipper went to Peanut the next day to clarify. Remember, Huddy was the one who went after DOB on the Griffey thing. I dont think a lot of those guys care for what he does or the reports that he puts out there. Apparently, the players feel the same way as we do here about him.

  58. At least his sunny disposition and openness to criticism make up for his failures as a reporter and analyst.

  59. @110,

    Hank,

    Interesting analysis but McClellan’s problem is that he was afraid to fight. I agree that, from Lincoln’s standpoint at the time, he was a sound choice because he looked like a great general. But, in fact, he was a bad general in actually fighting the war, which was, after all, what Lincoln needed. And generalship, especially during the Civil War, had a direct impact on the war(plus the fact that the North, like the US generally in WWII, could far outproduce the South). In the case of baseball, the impact of the manager is marginal at best so it’s hard to see how a “new voice” is going to make much difference. Personally, I would have gone in a different direction after Bobby left, but I don’t think a new manager is going to reverse the slide if it exists. If such a slide is happening, IMO it’s because ownership is not acquiring enough good players.

  60. Yeah, Lasorda was a blowhard but he sure took a lot of average offensive teams with good pitching to a lot of World Series.

    I sports-hated him at the time, but inside his clubhouse he got players to outperform their expected potential.

  61. #112 is just freaking precious. I hope someone posts that to his blog just for the lulz from the proprietor. I’d love to see the amount of bitchiness he could generate.

  62. I don’t think I agree that managers only impact team performance marginally.

    I think that CAN be true (and often is), but I also think the right manager at the right time can transform a clubhouse into a group for whom winning becomes the standard.

    I think Maddon is the perfect example. They may never win a Series because at some point superior talent overwhelms, but they sure do win at an unexpected rate and at crucial times.

    Not saying it’s easy finding the right fit for what the Braves need now, just saying we ought to start looking.

  63. #115 – I don’t think Sam said that.

    #110 – So McClellan = Fredi and Grant = Ozzie?
    Pass
    ‘Attack Attack Attack’ – so get a manager that will order our players to hit better? If our manager was Von Schlieffen I guess we would be stealing more.

    ‘Maginot Line of starting pitching’ – So its bad to be comfortable with owning a lot of what most cognoscenti feels is 75% of the game?

    As an aside McClellan gets skewered in history, rightfully so. But he did create the Army of the Potomac and much of the Union Army out of a rag tag force of regulars and a bunch of militias. Terrible field general, brilliant logistician.

  64. @110, Grant’s strategy worked because he correctly made the best use of the overwhelming strategic and systemic advantages he had, which are far more more analogous to the Yankees (ha!) situation than the Braves.

  65. I can’t really believe I’m taking the time to defend DOB, but here goes…

    @112, “Apparently, the players feel the same way as we do here about him.”

    You sure? Because the way people on here generally seem to feel is:
    -mainly, he is a combative jerk to Braves fans
    -maybe secondarily, he’s not great with spellcheck or punctuation
    -perhaps people also don’t like the music blogging, etc
    So all of that then makes it OK to invent opportunities to dump on the guy. I am pleased to see that people on here are no longer trying to assert (falsely) that DOB is in the Braves FO’s pocket. But is this really how you think the Braves players feel?

    I would imagine that the players — who have their own motivations — don’t really care about any of the above. If you’re Jason Heyward, you probably care most about making sure DOB presents your side of the malingerer thing at least as much as the Braves FO’s side — and not much else. If you’re Mike Minor, you probably care about DOB making your case to Braves fans for you to stay in the rotation without making you seem like an entitled self-absorbed person — and not much else. If you’re Chipper, you probably just want everyone to shut up about your retirement until you’re ready to talk about it in earnest — and not much else.

    If what Chipper is saying is true — it probably is — it’s by far the worst thing I can think of that DOB has done. It’s actually extremely bad.

    But I don’t think of it as a habitual thing. Maybe people will bring up other instances, but I can’t think of any. I think DOB inadvertently did us all a favor with the Griffey episode, and that Griffey was the one who came off like a total baby in any case.

    Let’s face it. While my appreciation of DOB is certainly diminished by what he likely did to Chipper, I think we should all be able to agree that it’s better to have DOB around — and not just live in a world where Peanut is our Braves news source. DOB was sloppy and got burned badly, it seems, but I want to have someone at least trying to play the role he plays in covering the Braves. I think he does bring other benefits.
    -He’s not averse to advanced stats (though he could be better)
    -You may not like the way he talks to you, but the guy is accessible to fans
    -For all his own flaws, he’s so much better to read than Peanut, it’s not even funny
    -Let’s not forget, DOB has been very supportive of Mac — despite the way people generally treat him here

    If the Chipper thing means DOB can’t do his job as well as he did before and/or if this all somehow affects Chipper’s performance, then I’d be the first to say that DOB should be out the door. But we should recognize, apart from this instance, if the players don’t like DOB and would rather talk to Peanut, that’s because Peanut is the hack that people here mistakenly think DOB is, and DOB is actually doing his job.

  66. Grant succeeded where McClellan failed because he, like Lincoln, understood that winning the war would entail total destruction of the enemy–that included both the enemy armies and civilization. I’m not really clear how that is in any way analogous to baseball.

  67. Yeah, Lasorda was a blowhard but he sure took a lot of average offensive teams with good pitching to a lot of World Series.

    Did he? He made the WS in ’77 with a quality offensive club, anchored by Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith and Manny Mota, complimented by a pretty stellar pitching staff all around, anchored by Don Sutton, Bert Hooten and Tommy John. That team won 98 games. It’s Pythag record says they should have won 101.

    He took that same team to the WS again in ’78, with Ron Cey and Rick Monday stepping up and covering for Baker’s fall off offensively. Same pitching staff, basically, but boosted by the superb debut of Bob Welch as a 21 year old. The ’78 Dodgers won 95, but again underperformed their Pythags by three games (98 wins.)

    The Dodgers lost both of those WS appearances to the Yankees.

    They went back in 1981, same basic core from the previous two, except Sutton had been replaced by Fernando!, and they managed to win the Series. His team underperformed Pythags by four games in the split season that year.

    Then one more trip in 1988, which is the only year he outperformed his Pythags, and notable is the only year where he had a weak offense. That team was carried by Hershiser down the stretch and got really hot at the right time in the playoffs.

    I sports-hated him at the time, but inside his clubhouse he got players to outperform their expected potential.

    I’m not sure the record supports your recollections here. Lasorda didn’t really get much more out of players than you would expect, at least not as far as Pythags and such go.

  68. @123 – Hear, hear.

    I’m with Adam R. My personal feeling on DOB is that he is a combative jerk. But he DEFINITELY gives me, as an average fan, a pretty good balance of access to the players, to himself, and to “the process.” Moreso than many beat writers around the league, and certainly more than anyone covering the Braves.

    I will add my personal opinion that the Braves seem to have a team culture of being babies with regard to the media. From Huddy giving DOB the cold shoulder about the Griffey thing, to this Chipper thing, (i seem to recall a similar situation with Chipper in the past, too) to Heyward and Moylan bitching on Twitter about “them/they” speculating on injuries, and even the time Medlen dropped f-bombs on Martin Gandy (Gondee of Talking Chop) on Twitter.

    I think theres a culture in that club house that doesn’t exist in large markets

  69. @123 – Hear, hear.

    I’m with Adam R. My personal feeling on DOB is that he is a combative jerk. But he DEFINITELY gives me, as an average fan, a pretty good balance of access to the players, to himself, and to “the process.” Moreso than many beat writers around the league, and certainly more than anyone covering the Braves.

    I will add my personal opinion that the Braves seem to have a team culture of being babies with regard to the media. From Huddy giving DOB the cold shoulder about the Griffey thing, to this Chipper thing, (i seem to recall a similar situation with Chipper in the past, too) to Heyward and Moylan bitching on Twitter about “them/they” speculating on injuries, and even the time Medlen dropped f-bombs on Martin Gandy (Gondee of Talking Chop) on Twitter.

    I think theres a culture in that club house, where they EXPECT to be protected by those covering them, that doesn’t exist in large markets, and I think as longtime fans our opinions are kind of colored by that same culture.

  70. @124, if I’ve learned anything over the last fifty years, it’s that EVERYTHING in this country is somehow analogous to baseball.

  71. McClellan clearly overused his bullpen. Robert E. Lee, on the other hand, was a scrappy competitor who knew how to win. (Well, for a long time anyway.)

  72. Pythag sure has nailed the Braves lately, hasn’t it?

    That’s the great thing about the wave of new(er) statistics – you can’t always find what you want but you can usually find what you need.

    The Dodgers that beat out our Royster-era Braves were hardly the ’27 Yankees.

  73. You don’t have to be the ’27 Yankees to field an above average offense. The Braves of the 1990s were hardly the ’27 Yankees, but they fielded an above average offense for most of the decade, to compliment their era defining pitching excellence. They were basically built off of an updated model of those Lasorda Dodgers teams. Heavy on starting pitching, quality if not Babe-Ruth-level offensive talent and strong bullpens most of the time.

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