Ryan Doumit

Not that I think there should be a limit on the Andrelton love, but that thread was getting a little long. So here’s a new thread about Ryan Doumit.

Ryan Doumit came up as a catcher in the Pirates organization. As an offensive catcher, he had a reasonably good stick. As a defensive catcher, he had a reasonably good stick. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but when your club can’t find work for you behind the plate in lieu of Humberto Cota, David Ross (having a terrible year), Ronny Paulino or 40-year-old Benito Santiago…

Alex wrote about his stats a bit more back in December. The Braves traded for him because they wanted a guy to play the backup backup catcher role while faking it in the OF, since they’re moving Evan Gattis out of that slot and into a full time catching role this season. So of course, first thing Doumit does with Atlanta is leak via Twitter than he’s not interested in catching any more. We call this “The BJ Surhoff.”

If Doumit hits, he sticks. If he doesn’t hit and maintains his no-catching policy, even his status as switch hitter won’t keep him around long, especially if Mat Gamel manages to make himself useful. Even if not, the man who once backed up Humberto Cota could wind up backing up Jose Constanza.

It’s also the case that Ryan Doumit has really creepy eyes. “Looks like the people possessed by demons on Supernatural” creepy eyes.

69 thoughts on “Ryan Doumit”

  1. JC’ed from the last thread:

    As I look now, I still think it was a pretty bad decade, but I picked the wrong endpoints and obviously McCann and Wainwright have had sensational careers. The Braves drafted Kevin Millwood and Jermaine Dye in 1993, and Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman in 2007. In between there were a lot of rough patches. Here’s how I’d break it down, just looking at players with at least 5 WAR:

    1994: Nobody.
    1995: Nobody.
    1996: M. Giles, DeRosa, Marquis: A starter with a brief career, a longtime utilityman who became a starter late in his career, and a longtime mid- and back-of-the-rotation starter.
    1997: Nobody.
    1998: Matt Belisle, a middle reliever.
    1999: Nobody.
    2000: Wainwright, K. Johnson, and Adam LaRoche. Wainwright’s a star and while LaRoche and Johnson have been up and down, they’ve been big league starters for a decade.
    2001: Nobody.
    2002: McCann and Francouer. A star and a platoon outfielder who was on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
    2003: Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. A lefty with a couple of good years and a pretty good starting catcher. (Jonny Venters narrowly missed the cut; he’s at 4.7 rWAR right now.)
    2004: Nobody.
    2005: Yunel Escobar and Tommy Hanson. Yunel’s production and inconsistency are very similar to Kelly Johnson, but he’s had quite a good few seasons. Hanson had two and a half very good seasons and then fell apart.
    2006: Medlen.

    The Braves had a lot of luck elsewhere, getting Julio Franco as an international free agent and Brandon Beachy as an undrafted free agent. They used the draft-and-follow system with great success before it was abolished and used that to secure players in low rounds like Tommy Hanson and Marcus Giles. They got lucky with Medlen, a mid-round pick who blossomed into a sensational starter after the Braves converted him into a starter in the minor leagues.

    Their success with international free agent teenagers shows a similar decade-long gap between a run of quality in the mid-’90s, like Bruce Chen (1993), Odalis Perez (1994), and Rafael Furcal and Wilson Betemit (1996) — and the next run of quality in the mid-2000s, like Neftali Feliz and Luis Avilan and Elvis Andrus (2005), and Julio Teheran (2007). The middle period is more memorable for the busts whom the Braves managed to trade before they lost all value, like Jose Capellan and Andy Marte and Damian Moss, than it is for any successes.

    In other words: 1994 to 1999 was a pretty unmitigated disaster and 2000-2006 was spotty but decent. The jury’s mostly out on the years after that.

  2. Alex,

    You are ignoring the fact that Francoeur is a great clubhouse guy. That alone makes up for every one of his baseball deficiencies. Plus, Joe Simpson liked him. :)

  3. I vote that Doumit’s nickname be Krispy Kreme.

    Dude does have creepy eyes. I mean axe murderer creepy eyes. His Google picture looks like a mug shot from HLN.

    Great write up Alex @1

    Should have stopped here:
    ‘The amazing thing is that Joe loved him even though he couldn’t hit the ball……’

  4. Maybe Doumit’s eyes will give the Braves that intimidation factor they need in the playoffs. Guy comes up in a key situation and scares the hell out of the pitcher who hangs a curve and Braves win!

  5. True story: I pronounce “Doumit” in my head the same way The Tick pronounced “Susan” when he was taunting Thrakazog.

  6. Not to take away from the Braves Journal fantasy league, but I’m starting an NL only league this year as I’ve always wanted to do one. Anyone here is welcome to join. No $ just fun.

    Here’s the invite:

    Invitation URL (click this link to join) : http://y.ahoo.it/qeBWTX0k

  7. Dusty Baker’s looking for a job. We wouldn’t want him giving Fredi any advice on how to handle young pitchers, but he’s had a lot of success with offense over the years and he has deep ties to the Braves organization and I think he’d be a great person to have in a special assistant sort of capacity. Just tell him that his 24-hour job is Heyward and the Uptons, keeping their complicated swing mechanics working, and keeping them healthy and prepared for the long season.

    I don’t know that he’d take that job since he still wants to manage, but I think he’d be a good guy to do it.

  8. AAR at 27,

    Dusty has really always generated loyalty from players and might be good as a roving hitting ambassador.

    Your post on this makes me think of the tremendous gain to the Braves of bringing in Fregosi. He was the guy that said Jaret Wright was worth signing (and I think Julio Franco, as well). There are many others. Olney has some Fregosi tales in his column this morning. One is that seeing Halladay last spring he asked a group of scouts what they thought and (apparently NOT off radar) Fregosi put his right hand on his left shoulder with 4 fingers (which means “84” in “scout speech”). Fregosi knew how fast Halladay was throwing by watching. He will be missed more than the casual fan would realize.

  9. Why am I a terrible person? Because I just saw the Teheran news and thought “I’ll trade Jim Fregosi’s decline phase for Julio Teheran’s first seven years, no questions asked.”

    I am a terrible human being.

  10. Rosenthal reports that Teheran’s six-year deal is worth $32.4 million.

    So, we’re getting two dirt-cheap years (probably would have paid him $1 million) three arb years (probably would have paid him $20-$25 million) and one free agent year (assuming that he was approximately as good as he was last year, he probably would have made $15-$20 million). So the Braves save something like $10 million and he’s a wealthy man. I like it.

    I read the Jonah Keri piece. I agree — the Braves basically can’t afford for Freeman to belly flop. But I think they made a good bet. Given the sustained success he’s had at such a young age, I think that he’s a very good player to bet on.

  11. @38

    There has to be some element of risk with every player. You either go through arb years and hope he gives you a favorable rate in free agency, or you buy out those years and take a gamble on his performance. Obviously it’s about minimizing the risk and Freeman seems to be about as good a bet as anyone to be worth his contract.

    I think Teheran’s more of a gamble. He could be Pedro Martinez or he could be Jair Jurrjens.

  12. Ha! I just tried to google what the going rate for a win was on the free agent market, and I typed WAR. Did you realize there was something non-baseball related called war? Who knew?

  13. Ha! I just tried to google what the going rate for a win was on the free agent market, and I typed WAR. Did you realize there was something non-baseball related called war? Who knew?

    Anyway, Teheran had 2.4 WAR last year. If he merely continues at that pace, that’s 12 WAR for 32 million – if he’s NEVER better than this year (and I’d be willing to place a smallish wager he’ll get better). Of course, there’s always The Spectre of Dr. Andrews hanging over him, but that is true of all pitchers. This is a very good deal for the Braves.

  14. Alex @39,

    Actually, what depressed me was the discussion of the Braves TV deal and so forth. I agree that Freeman is a good bet, especially since the deal probably will not look that expensive by the time it expires.

    Seat Painter,

    I understand that General Patton was worth at least a 5 in World War II. General Westmoreland was a -5 in Vietnam, however.

  15. The TV deal is bad, but they’re already 12 years into it. They are locking up their core young talent as best they can through 2017-2020. They have a new stadium deal that will pull money into their budget from 2018-2020 or so. At that point, you have another 5-7 year window where you have to manage. It’s possible that by that time John Malone has decided to flip the team to another owner.

    In the interim, John Schuerholz continues to be a major power player behind the MLB scenes in guiding things like draft slot requirements and matching offers for free agents leaving their developing club, all of which will help small to mid market teams.

    Finally, while the Braves will be hamstrung financially, so are their primary competition (as of now.) The Nationals are under Peter Angelos’ thumb for radio and tv. They get nothing out of that market, because they sold the rights to the Orioles to be allowed to enter the DC market at all. The Marlins are owned by Jeff Loria, the Mets by the Wilpons. The Phillies are as of now still run by Ruben Amaro, Jr.

    It’s not the best of worlds. You’d rather have the budgets of the LA teams, naturally. But as of right now it’s an annoyance, not an issue they can’t smart themselves around.

  16. By the way, I’ve been reading a bit about John Malone. He appears to be one of the smartest CEOs of the last 40 years. Of course, one of the things that has made him so smart has been his skill in running his company and using debt to minimize the corporate taxes that he had to pay — allowing him to keep more cash to use for his own purposes. I say that with no judgment because of the no-politics rule.

    But he has been astonishingly successful at running businesses without spending a single extra dollar more than he has to. The Braves’ success in recent years more or less mirrors that: they’ve been damned good while being relatively cash-strapped. As a fan, that annoys me. But in the context of American business, he’s been remarkably successful.

  17. Teheran’s option year is for 12MM or 1MM buyout. So, we could have Teheran for 7/42.4MM? That is awesome!

    If Teheran just continues 2.5 WAR/year, the current rate would at least be 4/7/10 million for his arb-years. If that were to be the case, his 5 cost-controlled years would have been 22.2 million. So that means we’re getting Teheran for 10.2 million for 2019 and 12 million for 2020. What a frickin’ deal for the Braves!

    Wren, continue trend with Simmons. Good job!

  18. @48,

    I’ve always believed that the Braves relative tight-fistedness under Liberty Media is, in part, a function of their declining-or at least not increasing-attendence. I recognize there are reasons for this related to the stadium location, but I suspect the payrolls would be higher if they were still drawing 3 million. I understand that, from a strictly financial point of view, the team could presumably spend more and many on here have suggested that attendence would be better if the team invested more, but given the issues that exist, I’m not sure that’s true. Alex’s point about Malone not spending a penny more than he has to makes sense in this context-from his standpoint (if he cares at all), why spend more if the fans aren’t coming out? The fact that the team is talking about spending more once they have a new stadium-although obviously self-serving and probably intended to make sure the stadium deal goes through-does suggest that the ownership would be willing to spend more once they see more asses in the stands.

    The Braves are being run like a business rather than a toy. That’s bad in a lot of ways, but, in the long run, might be better.

  19. The Braves will be ok. Liberty Media would have dumped the team if it weren’t turning a profit. And even they know that at some point you have to spend money to make money.

    After Simmons who to lock up next? Medlen, Minor?

  20. The location of the Ted was a major factor for the stagnant attendance. The Braves are betting big that making ‘White Flight Stadium’ and its environs a destination location will pay off. See how back loaded Freddie’s contract is.

  21. I think they’ve made a good bet. The attendance in the remaining lame-duck years at the Ted might be a concern though. We really need to win a playoff series in 2014 to re-energize the casual fan base.

  22. Attached is the link from Liberty Media’s 2012 10-k. (Page II-7)


    ANLBC (Atlanta National League Baseball Club Inc.) generates about 10% of Liberty Media’s revenue and generated positive cash at a 10% rate in 2012. 2013 amounts won’t be available probably until the first week of March.

    Malone is an astute business owner who has made a lot of money playing in the cable / entertainment business for many years. Spending $$$ can hide a multitude of management flaws but doesn’t guarantee success (ask Hank Steinbrenner).

    There are always a handful of franchises recognized as ‘well run’. The Cardinals have had that cachet, and I think Boston has about reached it. The Dodgers when the O’Malley’s owned the team and Orioles before Peter Angelos come to mind. I think the Braves fall into that group today. There’s also a group of teams that always seem to be poorly run (Marlins, Cubs, Padres, Astros (for the moment). Usually the perception of the team follows a perception of how the owner interacts with the team. Emotionally involved owners aren’t always the best at producing winning teams; ask Ted Turner?
    In that regard, for all of the moaning and groaning about Liberty Media’s tight fisted ways with the payroll, they have pretty much let the baseball people run the team without interfering on the field, and selected/inherited good baseball people to run things. (We could do a lot worse than Fredi as manager.)

  23. Liberty leverages the Braves the same way Liberty leverages every other business they acquire; as a profit center and a tax shelter. It was no secret that Liberty acquired the Braves for the five year tax relief afforded them with the stock swap. They have kept the Braves because the team turns a profit for them every year. It’s what John Malone does, and it is what he will continue to do.

    I’d put money to odds that the Braves are handed a budgetary guideline every year that says “these are your numbers; hit them.” And that’s it. Liberty drops the margins to be met and leaves. John Malone doesn’t care if his 10% comes from Loria-esque gutting tactics, of it comes from massive player payroll that earns itself +10% back. He gives the Braves a margin – 10% – and says “hit this or you’re fired.”

    The Braves management will run a payroll within their comfort zone where they think (attendance + merchandising + tv/radio + stadium) – payroll will net them their margins. They will attempt to do this while being competitive for the playoffs every year, because they are not Jeff Loria. If they rake in cash from WFF they will increase payroll. If attendance increases, they will increase payroll. If they get a new TV/Radio deal, they will increase payroll. They will do what they can to be competitive while hitting their numbers until Liberty decides is better business to flip them for another asset.

  24. Actually the team hasn’t turned a profit, at least not per the limited information in the 10-K. They generally have had positive cash flow which is a metric of importance to Liberty Media.

    @57 is generally right in his analysis. Generally Liberty Media builds businesses and recognizes the increase in valuation when disposing of an asset. It appears they have made the decision that long-term value creation comes with a successful (winning) team, and not just from gutting payroll and living off the luxury tax payments and increases in national media contracts.

    The lousy television deal with Turner may actually be a reason for Liberty to hang on to ANLBC given the expected valuation jump in that aspect of the business in 10 years, Estimating a value 10-12 years from now and then discounting to present value doesn’t add much to today’s valuation, but each year that a new contract comes closer to realization, the greater the amount LM use to value the team.

  25. The thing is, baseball teams aren’t a great investment in terms of year-to-year revenue, but they are a spectacular investment in terms of long-term appreciation. Baseball’s a monopoly with mandated scarcity, so if you’re a rich tycoon who wants to own a team, the price will only ever go up.

  26. “It gets us through his first couple of free-agent years. Again, (the goal is to) hold onto our young players, and again a lot of this is the product of having the opportunity to move into Cobb County and into a new ballpark and hopefully an area that allows us to stay competitive for the long term.” – Wren, today’s AJC

  27. Ha! I just got charged for MLB.TV 2014. Baseball is about to begin. First game will be streamed on Feb 24th! I am excited.


    Just sent the renewal out for the Braves Journal fantasy league. Managers, let me know fairly quickly if you plan on leaving so I can open it up to other people.

    If any others are interested in playing this year, let me know via email (cothrjr at Hotmail dot com) and I will accept, first come first serve, pending the departure of old managers.

  29. Alex,

    I think ANLBC needs to be added to the Glossary and used by us as often as possible when discussing Liberty Media and the Braves.

    Edit: Excuse me, I meant Liberty Media and the ANLBC.

  30. @64- Me too! It’s one of the few “auto-renewals” that I don’t mind. :-)

    @65- I don’t think I’ll participate this year, so that’s one open spot!

  31. I’m not sure if getting to watch this year’s basketball team makes up for having to live through this year’s football team, but it’s damn close.

    What a great team to be able to root for! So much #want!

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