Marlins 2, Braves 1

Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins – July 23, 2012

I didn’t see this game; I’m just putting this up for a new thread. The Braves played the PURE EVIL Marlins on a Monday with Josh Johnson versus Mike Minor on the mound. It’s sort of miraculous that they only lost by one run.

Because he went 7 innings and gave up just 2 runs, striking out 4 without walking anybody, it was Minor’s fifth-best start of the year by game score.

This is the game thread.

178 thoughts on “Marlins 2, Braves 1”

  1. last thread – ? To get Greinke, we’d surely have to give up Teheran AND Delgado

    No chance the price is that high.

  2. TUESDAY, 9:05am: Dempster has given preliminary indications that he’d accept a trade to the Braves,’s Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter links). However, Dempster felt blindsided when news of the proposed deal leaked before the Cubs reached him.

  3. MLBTR misquoted the tweet–it says “he HAD given preliminary indications”–which I take to be old news.

  4. Again, if you’re going to overpay, overpay for a real ace, not Dempster, who is all smoke and mirrors. I don’t want to sign him to a long term contract, either. He’s a strikeout pitcher who’s about to start his decline.

  5. Yes, Wren (allegedly) saying that he thought he could resign Dempster is the scariest part. Of all the ways to commit thirty or forty million dollars. It would be Lowe all over again.

  6. So the hold-up is Dumpster throwing a hissy fit over the way in which he first learned of the news?

  7. Dempster’s an interesting case of a guy who took longer than usual to figure out the strike zone. It basically took him till after he was 30 and had washed out of both starting and closing.

    Ages 21-30: 59-75, 87 Saves, 4.82 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 1218 1/3 IP, 7.4 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, 1.6 K/BB

    Ages 31-35: 58-45, 3.63 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 922 1/3 IP, 8.1 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 2.49 K/BB

    Now, wouldn’t it suck if it took Mike Minor, Randall Delgado, and Julio Teheran that long to figure out how to consistently throw strikes?

  8. Dont see how he could be caught off guard? Were like 8 days from the trade deadline. Im not buying that. Time to move on to plan A.

  9. JC’ed from last thread… Reposting something I agree with, via JoeCraigMcMurty: Plenty of knowledgeable people have projected Delgado as a #2 starter, and you don’t have to look far to find them. But that argument is a red herring because even a “mid-rotation starter” under team control through 2017 is worth a great deal more than two months of Ryan Dempster.

  10. Again, it wouldn’t just be Delgado for a real ace, it would probably be Delgado AND Teheran, or maybe Teheran and whoever we think our best hitting prospect is. It isn’t cheap, and standing pat isn’t an option. I would be willing to give up Teheran and whoever for Greinke, but I’m guessing that you guys wouldn’t. To get any kind of a worthwhile deal done, one of Teheran and Delgado is going bye-bye, guaranteed.

  11. I understand the concern over trading Delgado but it’s not as if Wren can dictate the terms of the trades. The other teams have leverage. It’s easy to say, “don’t bite” but if Delgado struggles and the Braves miss the playoffs everyone will be bitching about why Wren didn’t get another pitcher. Who knows if Greinke is really available or how much he would require. And, at some point, you can’t just be waiting for next year. I’m not necessarily defending the trade-it certainly looks like giving up a lot for relatively little return, but Wren isn’t a magician. He can’t conjure ace starting pitchers whose teams would take JJ in return. Plus, just because Delgado “projects” as a no. 2 or no. 3 or whatever doesn’t mean he will actually become one. He certainly isn’t now.

    It seems to me you either have to say forget about this year and hope these guys develop or pull the trigger on a possibly lopsided trade. Given Wren’s track record, I think it’s fair to say that he would not give away the farm if he didn’t have to.

  12. When are we supposed to try to win? Worrying about our 2015 roster is craziness. It won’t have Chipper. It probably won’t have Bourn. It probably won’t have McCann (unless we’re stupid and sign him long-term). We’ll still have Uggla. And no starting pitching. And bad owners. 2012 looks like our best bet.

  13. No team is going to give up the equivalent of Delgado and Teheran for two months of Greinke. No chance. And if Greinke has another terrible start today Melvin will be lucky to get Delgado alone.

  14. Either trade the young pitching or promote them all and give them regular major league starts so they can get through the learning curve. If Teheran isn’t better than JJ right now then all this handwringing about keeping our prospects is pointless.

  15. Well, we certainly won’t have any starting pitching in 2015 if we give it all up for shortsighted rentals. Just because Chipper is retiring I see no reason to walk into the casino and start betting the whole farm on black.

    We had some really bad breaks this year. Even with Hanson and JJ imploding, if we have Vizcaino (although everybody except effing Wren saw that one coming) and Beachy no one is talking about trading the future for a shot in 2012. The problem is that getting Dempster is likely not going to win us the division this year, and if we do get in to the playoffs (probably via the wildcard) he is not the kind of pitcher that can carry an otherwise weak rotation to the World Series.

  16. We’re talking basic supply and demand, right? If ace pitchers are in short supply and there are a bunch of teams seeking one or more, of course it’s going to drive up the price. And if no one wants to pay that price and sellers really do want to sell, the price will come down, etc.

    I agree we should try to win now, given the longer-term outlook of the team, and if we’re going to give away a lot of the future, we should try to do better than Dempster.

  17. @15

    The 2011 Cardinals essentially traded three years of Colby Rasmus for a two-month rental of Edwin Jackson (bullpen arms went each way in the trade, as well as Corey Patterson because someone had a sense of humor). Jackson went 5-2 down the stretch (replacing Kyle McClellan, who had gone 6-6 as a starter…McClellan meanwhile replaced Miguel Batista in the bullpen, another upgrade). The team went from 55-49 before the trade to 35-23 after, and won the World Series.

  18. All we have to do is make the playoffs. Winning the World Series from there takes a ton of luck. As Braves fans we should be acutely aware of that. We can win 4 games against anyone. Will we? Who knows. I think we should try to improve the team for 2012. If the asking prices are too high then standing pat is fine. We can always work a waiver deal next month if we’re still in contention.

    JJ should not make any more starts. Replace him with Teheran, or replace him with Dempster/Greinke/whoever. I don’t really care at this point.

  19. The problem with trying to apply classical economic theory–e.g. supply and demand–is that very few of the parameters of an ideal market apply. For example, the degree of information asymmetry is absurdly high. Wren has no idea what the Dodgers are really willing to pay. Likewise the Cubs’ asking price does not necessarily reflect demand for Dempster any more than it reflects Epstein and Hoyer’s beliefs about what Wren is willing to pay. Classical economic theory cannot model a market like this.

  20. If you have the chance to win now, you take it. We aren’t giving up the next Smoltz.

    If it isn’t Dempster, it is going to be like Charlie Hough or someone we dig out of the Mexican Legaue.

  21. What I object to is the idea that Wren is some kind of moron (or is desperate to keep his job)who has not considered the consequences of a deal like this. People may not be crazy about him but he basically got Uggla and Bourn for a song (admittedly Uggla might not be a good example right now). He’s not the one that made the Teixera trade, he’s not the one that made the Wainwright trade. I have to believe that Wren and his associates knows at least as much as we do. Obviously, that doesn’t mean he can’t make mistakes but I think it’s unfair to assume that he is panicking or something.

  22. Personally I think Delgado is worth improving our shot at the post season.

    @22 overanalysis. Its simple. Limited supply of good starters. Lots of teams looking for a good starter. To get something you have to give something. The 2012 Braves have a chance to get to the post season. Until the Teixiera trade the Braves made a living off of trading potential for performance. I think this rental is a good idea.

  23. Yes, I saw a picture of students reacting to the sanctions on TV. YOu would have thought someone died. I guess without a Top 10 ranked football team, there is no reason to go to college. Of course, there is still drinking and sex.

  24. @22 – This is what made the scene in Moneyball where Beane is manipulating Steve Phillips over the phone at the trade deadline so great. Whether it really happened that way or not, your point is proven in that scene. Essentially the Braves are participating in a blind auction. They don’t know for sure what other teams are willing to pay for their trade targets.

  25. I’d trade Delgado for Dempster straight up. He gives us a better chance to win this year. The mistake would be signing Dempster to a multi-year extension.

  26. This American Life went to Penn State a couple of years ago to document current college life — one of their interviews was with a longtime ER nurse, who said the average blood alcohol level of ER patients who had been drinking has almost doubled in the last 20 years or so. Flavored vodka being the main culprit.

  27. I wouldnt mind giving Dempster JJ’s arb $$ for next season only. Whats that like $7 mil?

  28. I was told this story:

    An acquaintence of mine visited a friend at a Coors bottling plant. Touring the plant, he noticed that Keystone Light cans were being filled from the same batch that filled Coors Light cans.

    Something about cheaper not to retool.

    Have no idea if it’s true. But I have since purchased (and enjoyed) Keystone Light at times.

    Speaking of beer, I was recently in Ft. Myers chasing my son’s baseball dreams and discovered a brew called “Founding Fathers” (from LaTrobe, PA) that claims to donate half of their profits to returning veteran support organizations.

    Quite tasty. (Though I admit I’m the Will Rogers of beer.)

  29. People are making a big deal out of how much Paterno did for Penn State; he put it on the map, he built the library, made it a research institution, blah, blah, blah. But it’s a state school; it’s not as if it would not have existed without Joe Paterno. And I doubt that Penn State is stealing potential Harvard students because of the football team. It’s just another state school with a good football team and a lot of partying. It’s no different from UGA or Nebraska or whatever.

  30. @36

    Good point.

    On Dempster. The fact that it hasn’t gone down yet makes me wonder if we are working out an extension with him.

    There are too many leaks in our front office.

  31. So to those that think this is a good trade, how would you rank the following available pitchers?

    – Zach Greinke
    – Francisco Liriano
    – Matt Garza
    – Ryan Dempster

    Personally, I would rank Dempster at best 3a (next to Liriano) and at worst 4th. Depending on the cash impact, this is not a good trade. Something like Garza for Delgado seems more equitable.

    And I don’t buy the “Win one for _______” arguments either. We’ve had those types trades for Schuerholz, Smoltz, etc. that we ended up on the wrong end of.

  32. Soooo, again Brian Cashman trades crap for money (as if the Yankees need that) and a future HOF who is just about as good (and could be better) than the injured guy (Gardner) he replaces. I don`t even wanna mention the added revenue (ticket sales, merchandise)Ichiro will create. Interesting how the Yanks always get what the want/need and only give away pieces that don’t fit in their plans or are plain crap. How do they do it? Oh yeah, they have a clever front office. All that while Wren tries to trade away one of only two untouchable prospects the Braves have for a so-so rental.
    I don’t care if he trades away every player in Gwinett or AA for Dempster, Reed Johnson and a decent set-up man, but Delgado and Teheran have to be off-limits.
    Could we rent Cashman for a week, or so?
    End of rant Part I

  33. for those thar want to hold on to delgado. just remember tinstaapp. the braves are the poster team for tinstaapp.

  34. Dempster’s second on that list for me. Anyone who’s that high on Garza isn’t really paying attention. The meltdowns, the incapacity for throwing the ball to first base…who needs it? Dempster has the best starter’s ERA in the bigs this year. Greinke’s obviously better, but I’m not sure why everyone’s decided Dempster sucks and that Delgado is sure to get better than he is right now. TINSTAAP is right. As I said earlier, Delgado was rushed to the Major Leagues before fully developing. From a developmental standpoint, we should’ve given Teheran that rotation spot late last year and left Delgado in Gwinnett. Who knows how that plays itself out in a year or two. Can he develop the rest of the way while being a Major League pitcher? No one knows, but I’m guessing Wren has a pretty good idea.

  35. If we traded Delgado to rent Cashman for a week and then allowed him to work out the trade for Dempster, would we still come out ahead?

  36. Nick – Delgado was and is more ready than Teheran.

    Also, at his age and experience level, Delgado is very likely to get better.

    Dempster is not a bad acquisition, but the price for 2 months of his services is clearly too high.

  37. Delgado isn’t a prospect anymore. He’s a league average starter at 22 years old with five more years of team control. Theo is going to be smiling ear to ear once Dempster gives his approval.

  38. 12:43pm: Dempster doesn’t want to be traded to the Braves, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Instead, the right-hander hopes to be dealt to the Dodgers. While the Dodgers had interest in Dempster and were considered by some to be the favorites to acquire him, they didn’t reach an agreement with the Cubs. Chicago would lose leverage with the Dodgers if Dempster rejects a trade to the Braves, his second choice.

  39. Also, for anyone who said that Greinke couldn’t possibly cost as much as Teheran AND Delgado when I suggested it, you’re right. Capital Avenue Club thinks it’ll cost that plus a hitting prospect. Even if the cost isn’t quite that high, now do you get the picture? The cost for a Dempster or a Liriano is Delgado. The cost for a Greinke is the decimation of the farm system. And once again, doing nothing isn’t an option, because we’re losing either Chipper and Bourn next year or Chipper and McCann in the next two years (if we re-sign Bourn). There goes a large chunk of our lineup, and we’ll still have the same crappy rotation if we did nothing. This is the year, folks.

  40. Rant Part II:
    I don`t understand how it can be a question of going for it or not. The goal is winning a WS, right? Of course we have to go all-in this year! Our best hitter is retiring, Hudson and Uggla are old, McCann is near his peak, Hanson and EOF are getting expensive, we won’t be able to resign Bourn ( and should’t really), Kimbrel still has the use of his splendid right arm and our revenue compared to other teams isn’t getting better.
    Sell the farm (after all the Braves get 20+ new draft picks every year that they can waste on low-ceiling players from the south), borrow against next year’s budget and get what is needed. Next year, when Chipper and Lowe are off the books, trade Hudson, Uggla, Hanson, Jurrjens (or dump him), don’t resign Bourn, sign McCann, Prado, Heyward to (hometown-discounted)long-term contracts, re-tool and let Minor, Delgado, Teheran and others show for a full season what they got. (Remember Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine didn’t start off their career all that hot.) And then do a better job of drafting. It is not getting easier with that damn TV-contract.
    So, Wren, go all-in and at least try to give the Braves a chance in the postseason.

  41. Chances of him being traded to the Dodgers now? Precisely zero. Seriously, what a schmuck!

  42. Actually the chances are much better now that he will be traded to the Dodgers than if he accepted a trade to the Braves. In fact, infinitely better.

  43. If the Cubs and Dodgers couldn’t agree before, why would they now when the Dodgers hold all the cards?

  44. Also, why even bother to have a list if you’re going to reject a trade to the second team on it?

  45. If Theo cant work out a deal with LA, doesnt he lose leverage with Atl at this point? Those are his only two choices.

  46. @48 Why isn’t doing nothing an option? In reality, this team is 3 pieces away from winning. Starting pitching is one of those pieces. Sometimes it’s OK to walk away from a deal. Especially when your team is cash strapped.

  47. The Cubs and Dodgers couldn’t agree because Epstein was using the Dodgers’ offer to fleece Wren. And it worked beautifully, but for Dempster screwing it all up. Now he has two choices: trade him to the Dodgers or don’t trade him at all. The chances are pretty good that he will take whatever the Dodgers are willing to give him rather than get left with nothing.

  48. Delgado has been very close to a league average starter as a 22 year old. What about that says “rushed?” I just don’t get the immediate expectations people have for prospects coming out of the minors. Strasburg, Trout, et al are the extreme exceptions. Most players take a while to reach their potential. If you scream “TINSTAAP” or “Francouer” and sell low every time a prospect takes more than a year or two to make the all star game then you end up with a team full of expensive veterans and a whole lot of mediocrity.

  49. @57 – You mean the Cubs, correct? I believe the Braves don’t get a draft pick if they trade for Dempster and then lose him to FA.

  50. Epstein is no idiot. He is not going to offer Dempster 12-13 million just to get a single supplementary round pick. Dempster’s intrinsic value to the Cubs is almost nothing. He’ll take the best offer he can get that is more than that.

  51. Yeah, any deal we make is gonna include Delgado, unless we want something better than Dempster, in which case it starts with Teheran. I’m not sure why you guys think Wren has no clue what he’s doing. This was the best deal for a starting pitcher we were likely to get.

  52. @57

    Yeah. The Cubs are und no obligation to trade him. If they don’t like the Dodgers offer, then keep him for 12 starts and take the picks next spring.

  53. @67

    I agree. I don’t think we are going to do any better. This sucks if it is true.

  54. The Cubs only get a single pick, and not even a first round pick at that, but rather a supplemental round pick, and only if they offer Dempster 12-13 million annually and he turns them down. But is he willing to risk making that offer? I doubt it.

  55. @67 – Taking a bad deal just because it’s the best deal doesn’t make it any less of a bad deal, especially when doing nothing is a viable option. The team is half a game out of the wildcard playoff at the moment – Dempster isn’t going to make up the difference between the Braves and Nats, so essentially your goal is the wildcard. A bullpen upgrade could just as easily achieve that, and presumably the asking price for relievers won’t be as insane as it is for half-season starters.

  56. There is no necessary connection between what Wren was willing to pay for Dempster and what other GMs will be willing to accept at the deadline for guys like Liriano or Greinke. If Bob Melvin doesn’t have any better offers for Greinke he will happily accept Delgado.

  57. Is Teheran considered much better than Delgado? Teheran looks very hittable to me. Delgado throws harder and seems more polished. Anyway, does it really matter how you rank them? They are both 22 and both have potential. Half the fan base is throwing a fit over trading one of our untouchables, with the assumption being that most of our top pitching prospects are a few years away from being John Smoltz. Good luck with that.

  58. It’s difficult to gauge Teheran’s development this year, as evidently much time has been devoted to learning to throw a curve. Not until he begins pitching with a fully assimilated arsenal will it be much clearer how he’s doing. We have a much better idea about Delgado than Teheran right now.

  59. Why are we faced with JJ starts when Delgado is better right now?

    Methinks using 2 more JJ starts as an argument for this bad trade is some kind of circular logic.

  60. Sansho – I think Teheran is injured.

    I am going to watch him tonight and will see if I can pick up anything.

  61. “Could we rent Cashman for a week, or so?”

    Are you serious? Cashman plays with a virtually unlimited budget. What’s so clever about trading for Ichiro? The Mariners didn’t need him-they are rebuilding and he is in his decline phase. They were willing to take a couple of low-level prospects to get out from under and avoid the PR issues with not tendering him next year. Maybe he will be better than what the Yankees have now, but that’s not certain. In any event, Cashman can make moves like that because he has the money and if he wastes some, so what? How would Cashman do if his owner was Liberty Media and the market was Atlanta rather than New York?

  62. Medlen could replace JJ. They could just swap roles and we’d be better off without making any other roster moves.

  63. 83 – Marc – As the premise of the statement was impossible, I thought it would be evident that it was a joke.

    I am actually quite satisfied with Wren to date. He has largely avoided the type of trade we are debating.

  64. 86 — It’s inexplicable that Medlen isn’t in the rotation now. The Braves would rather him only pitch 5 innings a week.

  65. Look at the teams leading the divisions right now and list their respective aces.

    Sabathia, Verlander, Strasburg, Cueto, Cain, Harrison.

    Harrison is the one that doesn’t fit, but if you allow that Texas is a special case with that ballpark and how good their line-up is, then the bottom line seems to be that if you want to compete you’d better have a stud ace. The Braves don’t and there are only two ways to get one – pay up for one or develop one. I hate to say it, but the Braves haven’t been really good at developing them.

  66. Is it just possible that they’re trying to control Medlen’s innings this year, as he just came off Tommy John surgery? Isn’t it likely that Dempster would be better in that role than Medlen for the rest of the year, anyway? (Anyone who seriously answers no to that is truly delusional BTW.) And isn’t it possible that, while Venters was gone, we needed Medlen to hold the bullpen together? Now that Venters is back, give it another week to see if he’s really back. Then, if we don’t trade for another starter, moving Medlen to the rotation might have to happen. But any starter we trade for will be more dependable in that spot that Medlen will, since Medlen hasn’t started a Major League game in two years, so it makes sense to wait and see if we get one. Minor has pitched well enough his last few starts to not get booted from the rotation immediately, as well.

  67. 85,

    Epstein did build a two time champion in Boston, and it wasn’t all done with big money acquisitions. If you look at their first title, guys like Ortiz, Millar, Bellhorn, Mueller were picked up off the scrap heap. And he traded for Foulke and Schilling.

    I think it’s a cop out to simply blame and credit any front office’s successes and failures on the budget.

  68. 91 — Wren said that Medlen had a 150 innings limit back when they sent him down to get stretched out. There’s no way that he passes that limit at this point.

    I think I would rather have a hole in the bullpen than a hole in the rotation if you’re thinking that he’s there to shore up the bullpen. And if all else fails, Wren could feasibly acquire another reliever then move Medlen to the rotation.

  69. Uggla, Jurrjens, Diaz, Hinske and Wilson account for $23 million of the roughly $90 million ish budget this year. Tack on another $10 million we’re still paying Lowe and you get the picture.

    Perhaps our GM should be a little smarter about where he spends his money.

  70. @83 Signing free agents at virtually any cost has to do with an unlimited budget, making shrewd trades like Montero for Pineda, (also granderson) and making the Mariners pick up the tap for suzuki has nothing to with an unlimited budget. Developing Cano, Nova etc has neither.

  71. @93

    But again, they have no idea what will happen if they move Medlen to the rotation. They have a pretty good idea what will happen if they get an established starting pitcher. If they don’t (and I’m pretty sure they will), I would expect to see Medlen moved, especially if Venters regains form enough to at least slot into Medlen’s current role, if not his old setup man role. Also, if they trade for a starter and another starter blows up (Hanson’s shoulder explodes, Minor goes back down the toilet, etc.), I’m guessing Medlen would be the answer to that one, unless Teheran gets real nasty in a big hurry.

  72. Ortiz, Millar, Bellhorn and Mueller weren’t all brought in by Epstine.

    The Nomar move was a great one.

    If he had been in Florida and not Boston, he wouldn’t be the rock star that he is.

  73. I had read the Dodgers were in on Garza when it looked like Dempster wasn’t going to happen for them. So, I suppose Garza would still be out there if Dempster does go to L.A.

  74. There are two trading deadlines. July 31st for unrestricted trades. August 31st for trades where the players involved must clear waivers.

  75. Epstein isn’t responsible for his celebrity. He’s a good GM with two titles and isn’t stuck in the stone ages on how to assemble a roster. You’re belittling his accomplishments because you don’t like Boston.

    I don’t hold Epstein in quite the same regard as Andrew Friedman in Tampa.

  76. @104

    I’m not belittling him. He is a solid and I was compairing putting him in the same boat as Cashman.

    I think the guys in Toronto and Tampa are the two best in baseball.

  77. At CAC, they are saying the Braves will pull their offer by the end of the day if Dempster doesn’t approve. According to this account, Wren feels they absolutely must get a SP (and he also wants to make a couple of other moves), which would explain why they would be willing to give up Delgado. So if nothing happens soon, Wren will move on.

  78. It sounds like Dempster is going to make the Cubs essentially give him away to the Dodgers. He must really like LA/not like Theo/hate Atlanta or something.

    I’m still wondering, though, if he is trying to get the Braves to buy him off with a bigger contract extension.

  79. @107

    It also says that Epstein thought Dempster would unconditionally accept a trade to either the Dodgers or the Braves, and Dempster thought he made it clear that he would only unconditionally accept one to the Dodgers, but he might be willing to go to the Braves if a deal with LA was impossible. This is such a hilarious miscommunication that I’m no longer even upset about this. Was Epstein halfway out the door on a Friday evening when Dempster submitted this or something?

  80. Epstein looks bad in all of this. If it does go down, I hope we pull another player out of it.

  81. Incidentally, I don’t really understand the fascination with the Dodgers here. They’re in pretty much the same position we are, and it’s not like it’s that close to Vancouver. We’re not talking about Seattle here.

    Of course, I’ve never really understood that aspect of it. “I’m from Ohio, but I’d rather play for Atlanta than Texas because Atlanta is a two-hour plane ride from Cleveland whereas Dallas is a three-hour one. What’s that? Why don’t I just play for Cleveland? Because they suck! Why would I want to play for them?” It’s non-sensical.

  82. Dempster is acting like a tool, and I’m not sure I’d want someone who doesn’t want to be here. Certainly not someone who’s liable to go off the ace wagon at any moment based on age and career numbers.

    Not sure I understand the NCAA punishment at PSU. Seems like a lot of chest pounding and PR at the sake of punishing people for caring too much about their school. I don’t see how it punishes anybody who is actually guilty of anything.

    I guess you have to slake the bloodthirstiness somehow though.

  83. I heard from Smitty’s barber that Delgado and Teheran for King Felix was in the works.

  84. Dempster was never on the ace wagon. And I would be hesitant to conclude that Epstein screwed up or misunderstood Dempster’s wishes. He may have known this could happen. Which is why he first figured out exactly what the Dodgers were willing to give him for Dempster (apparently not much), by applying some bogus pressure of a completely fictive deadline. Then rather than taking the Dodgers offer he managed to get an offer of Delgado (+ at least one additional player!) from the Braves, while allowing the media to apply intense pressure on Dempster to accept the deal. All of that in itself is pretty remarkable. And if it blows up, so what, he can likely still give Dempster to the Dodgers for a couple of middling prospects, knowing damn well that that is all that Dempster is worth.

  85. @114 The NCAA couldn’t have sat on its hands for something like this. It makes paying students seems childish in comparison. Penn State put the reputation of its football program above the lives of children, and they deserve anything and everything they get.

  86. More importantly, Billingsly looked great in his first start back, and the Dodgers are not desperate for pitching. They are not going to go hard after anything except a hitter. The Tigers already got their pitcher. The White Sox, the As, the Yankees and the Nationals have all made it known that they are content with tinkering. Dan Haren pitched well in his first start back from the DL and the reports are pretty mixed about whether the Angels are willing to spend on a starter. Their priority is bullpen and a catcher. Where is a bidding war for Greinke/Garza/Liriano going to come from? The Rangers are the only obvious team but they won’t give up Profar. They might give up Olt.

  87. Bowman tweets: Dempster’s decision to wait has led a number of teams to call the #Braves today about their top pitching prospects.

    Teams seemed to have gained interest once they saw Braves might be willing to go for it all this year by dealing one of these prospects

  88. #114
    From the NCAA perspective, it’s about more than the Penn State football program, which IMO certainly deserves this.

    Say what you want about the penalty and its process, but if the NCAA doesn’t weigh in on this one, every other scrutinized school from here on out will have a legit beef.

    “Gee, we only gave cars & tattoos to recruits, and we got socked with penalties. Penn State did much worse and they’re still on TV & going to bowl games!”

    I mean, if this wasn’t “lack of institutional control…”

    Fact is, Penn State can still play football & fill its stadium, a situation they wouldn’t have enjoyed if given “the death penalty.” FWIW, support-staff people (stadium workers, etc.) won’t lose their jobs over this. Additionally, the players can transfer right now.

    Not that I care at all, but I suspect that, after its down time, Penn State football will return in decent shape.

    Also, I saw this somewhere: “To those who are so upset about the taking down of Joe Paterno’s statue, just turn your head & pretend it didn’t happen.”

  89. Penn State put the reputation of its football program above the lives of children, and they deserve anything and everything they get.

    I have to disagree. Not “Penn State” did that, but certain individuals associated with Penn State. That’s a huge difference for, say, a Penn State student who has nothing whatsoever to do with child abuse (or even the football program).

    Don’t get me wrong, I am 100% behind the NCAA’s decision, and 1000% against child abuse, covering up child abuse and so forth, but one should not generalize.

  90. I guess I’m very much missing your point.

    When has there ever been a modern head football coach with as much power over a university as Joe Paterno had?

    Bear Bryant? Tom Osborne?

    To say that Joe Paterno was an “individual associated with Penn State” is like saying that Bear Bryant just lived in Tuscaloosa.

  91. @121 – A freaking men. How many GMs called Frank Wren once they realized Delgado was in play?

    It’s the same thing in fantasy sports. Once you see an owner make a dumb trade, everyone wants to trade with that guy. This deal makes Frank look as bad as Theo IMO.

  92. Again, don’t get me wrong: I’m 100% behind the NCAA’s decision. All I was trying to say is that PSU’s total enrollment is, to the best of my knowledge, almost 95.000, and several thousand more work for PSU in some capacity. They are Penn State, too. 99,99% of those people are completely innocent, maybe even victims of the scandal, which is why it’s just wrong to say “Penn State” did something or “Penn State” = Paterno.

    Okay, that’s all I have.

  93. @131, I have some empathy for that argument, but it was the cultification of Penn State football by those very non-related folks that caused the general environment of Joe-can-do-no-wrong that significantly contributed to the way this was handled. Just judging from the reaction to the statue removal, I’d say they have a long way to go on the Kubler-Ross scale. Personally, I would have killed the football program for a few years.

  94. #131
    I guess I’m just not understanding why we’d even be discussing the student body or faculty or staff in this conversation. The football program was dripping with guilt & there’s gotta be punishment.

    If the NCAA decision somehow “punishes” or inconveniences these people by not letting them go to a bowl game or watch road games on TV, it doesn’t give me much pause. Sorry.

    If you like: Penn State Football =’d Joe Paterno.

  95. Hudson’s having an Episode. Just to make all our lives, including Wren’s, a little worse.

  96. Ken Rosenthal reporting that Dempster blocked the trade. He wants to go to LA.

    Thank you Lord!

    No problems about trading Delgado, but Dumpster is not worth much.

  97. Episode: When Tim Hudson suddenly loses the ability to get anyone out, to the degree that it is surprising he has full control of his limbs and his bowels, he is having an Episode. Usually in the sixth or seventh inning. (Added January 20, 2007.) ”

    Notice how the definition is not “Whenever Tim Hudson happens to give up a run or two, like any other major league pitcher.” Subtle difference.

    While we’re at it, we should add something to the “Furcal Rule” definition about how Wren is lucky to be spared the consequences of some of his dumber decisions.

  98. Adam, he’s given up five hits to the first ten hitters, getting out of the first only because of a fine relay throw to nail a runner going home. I stand by my claim- that’s an Episode.

  99. Heyward 10 pitch walk to load the bases
    Chipper 1 pitch fly out, end of inning

    Yep, thats my Braves

  100. @142, Fair enough. I missed the bottom of the first, which looks like a legit Episode.

    The way people post “EPISODE!” with such apparent glee is really irksome.

  101. I’m much more gleeful that the Episode is over. Hudson’s righted himself since the home run. Now let’s get to work on their bullpen.

  102. Is the Reyes home run really worth the Zapruder treatment? Move on, for chrissake.

  103. Reyes would definitely be my pick for the Marlins’ mandatory rep for the All D-bag team (the Midsummer’s Eve Classic).

    Just kidding, he’d be voted in as a starter.

    Melky would get another MVP trophy for the mantle, as well.

  104. He was safe. I guess the Braves benefit from the ball beating the runner too, but could we just call what actually takes place? It isn’t a force play, and it’s not really the same concept as the neighborhood play.

  105. the All D-bag team (the Midsummer’s Eve Classic)

    I’ll admit it — I laughed.

  106. I want Justin Verlander. I’d settle for Kate Upton. But I know we’re probably not going to get either, or anyone else who’ll help very much, without emptying the farm system the way we did to get Teixeira. And we’re still regretting that one.

  107. On the other hand, Craig Kimbrel was found to be made of a special alloy of awesomonium and incredibilium.

  108. Beth Keener was so much better than this moron. “Titter, I mean Twitter.” LOL.

  109. Would it ever do a pre-arb player any good to hold out for a contract extension? I’m thinking of Kimbrel, who has been an extremely valuable player his first 1 1/2 years of MLB service but has barely made $1 million and will only push that to $1.7 million even if he’s lights-out until Opening Day 2014. On the open market he’d be worth many multiples of that.

    You see this sort of thing in football, where running backs know their window to get paid is now or never, so they hold out for some guaranteed money. What about a pre-arb ace closer? As Venters may be showing, it’s possible that Fredi might kill your arm before you have a chance to get paid. Do pre-arb players have any leverage in this situation?

  110. People in SEC territory that talk about the cultification of football at Penn State should, IMO, be careful about throwing stones. I’m not sure that something like this couldn’t have happened at many other schools around the country. Unless you think Joe Paterno and the PSU administrators are uniquely evil monsters, this ought to be a wake up call for all big-time university sports programs and their fans-but it won’t be. I’m not sure why football (or the coach) is more of a cult at Penn State than at Ohio State or Alabama or Texas. I’m not saying that pedophilia would have happened at these schools but it’s not unlikely that you would have seen a similar cover-up if it had.

  111. Gotta love Huddy.

    On not objecting to coming out after seven innings (80 pitches)

    “Nah, seven innings. I’d been on the bases all night, because I’m a threat up there at the plate these days [laughter]. You know, I was up to around 80 or 90 pitches and running around the bases all night. I thought about stealing third a couple of times.”

  112. Saw another poor outing by Julio Teheran tonight. The game is probably still going on. I had to get the kids home after 3 and a half hours and we were still in the 6th.

    I would like to hear some thoughts on my observations of Teheran since I am an amateur as a scout and never pitched myself.

    I think his problem might be that he is throwing his fastball too hard. He sat 93-94 the whole outing, touching 95. It was getting hit pretty hard though, as was his change which is supposed to be his best offering.

    He throws the change at 73-74. Is 20 mph too much separation? It seems like that much of a difference allows hitters to sit fastball and adjust to the change.

    Also, he was having trouble locating the harder pitch. He got better results the few times he dipped into the 90-92 range. Is it possible the faster fastball lacks movement that the slightly slower one has?

    Believe it or not, his best pitch was his “curve” which from my angle looked a little flat for a true hook. That was his swing and miss pitch.

    Now, I don’t know why he was so dominant last year and is suddenly so hittable this year. I don’t think he’s changed that much and I’m pretty sure there’s no injury. Maybe teams have just figured out the strategy of timing the heater and adjusting to the change. Maybe the focus on the curve has him tipping his change.

    Comments, please.

  113. @169- I’m certainly no more qualified than you are, but here’s my reaction:

    That is quite a bit of separation. Ideally you want a guy to have enough time to realize he was fooled, right as he commits to swing. You certainly don’t want to give them enough time to realize he’s fooled, and then adjust.

    I don’t know if that’s the case, or if his change is getting hit particularly hard.

    Seeing 20 mph of separation, my immediate thought is he must be slowing everything down to get it that slow. And if he’s telegraphing every change, then he’s telegraphing the fastball, too. And everybody can hit a fastball when they know its coming.

    But, I’m certainly not qualified to make that assertion.

  114. Dumb phone…but jjschiller, I had the same thoughts. That much separation between his fastball and changeup makes me think he’s telegraphing his pitches.

  115. I agree about PSU, Marc. Any SEC school is one sick defensive coordinator away from 10 years in the abyss. I’m not so naive to think that Florida would not have covered up this situation in order to maintain credibility in the papers.

    Hearing Spurrier, Saban, and Muschamp all today said they would “wait for phone calls” from PSU players but not recruit. Yeah… right. At least Kiffin is man enough to come right out and recruit PSU’s running back.

  116. People seem to really like DKR, even comparing it to the second one. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as good. It kept me entertained for three hours (which is more than I can say of game 1 of this Marlins series) but I was never surprised or blown away by anything. And I may be the only one who thinks Anne Hathaway is kind of a lame Catwoman. She’s cute as a button but I never bought her jumping out of windows and beating up thugs.

  117. Telegraphing makes sense. Both Teheran’s FB and change were getting hit pretty hard.

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