The Surging Braves Reach First Place (by AtlCrackers Fan)

Ed. note: to see the previous installment in the 1914 Braves saga, click here

On August 5, Boston had moved into the first division of the National League, but still remained 6 1/2 games behind mighty New York. Twenty days later, the Braves were tied for first.

The Standings Aug. 5.

New York Giants54370.593
Chicago Cubs52440.5424.5
St. Louis Cardinals51470.526.5
Boston Braves47450.5117.5
Cincinnati Reds46500.47910.5
Philadelphia Phillies44490.47311
Brooklyn Dodgers40500.44413.5
Pittsburgh Pirates40520.43514.5

Over that 20 day stretch, the Braves went 13-4-1, including a 3 game sweep over the Giants in New York. Concluding a home stand on Aug 11 with a 13-inning scoreless tie, Boston would hit the road for a swing around the western end of the league.

The Braves made two more personnel moves. On Aug. 10, Boston purchased J.C. “Red” Smith from Brooklyn, inserting him into the lineup in place of light-hitting Charlie Deal. Smith grew up in Atlanta, played baseball at Auburn, and had tied fellow southern collegiate player Del Pratt for the Southern League batting title in 1911.

On Aug. 18 the Braves purchased outfielder Herbie Moran from Cincinnati. With Larry Gilbert on the shelf from an injury, and recently acquired Josh Devore hitting .188, Stallings continued trying to improve his offense.

It wasn’t easy going. During this stretch, Boston played 5 extra innings affairs (counting the tie) and two double headers (sweeping in Cincinnati and splitting in Pittsburgh). On Aug. 8, The Braves played their 2nd game of the season at Fenway Park instead of their home field, Boston’s South End Grounds.

Perhaps equally important, the Giants played poorly. The three losses to the Braves came amidst a 1-8 stretch, such that at the end of the day on Aug 5, Boston had claimed a virtual tie for the league’s lead. Starting July 5, Boston had gone 33-9 and made up 15 games in the standings.

The Standings thru August 25:

New York Giants59480.5515-11
Boston Braves60490.5513-4
St. Louis Cardinals62530.539111-6
Chicago Cubs59540.52237-10
Cincinnati Reds52600.4649.56-10
Philadelphia Phillies51590.4649.57-10
Pittsburgh Pirates51590.4649.511-7
Brooklyn Dodgers49610.44511.59-11

136 thoughts on “The Surging Braves Reach First Place (by AtlCrackers Fan)”

  1. Y’know, the ATL Braves looked pretty good in those 1914 unis last week. I was liking that minimal “B” action.

    Also, it makes a difference when they’re not so baggy — those deadball era guys looked like they were wearing a sack of potatoes.

    Anybody headed to Flushing this week?

  2. Sansho 1 at 35 in previous thread.

    You explain the erectile disfunction industry like this.

    As steroids were to baseball, so is (insert name of favorite pill) to “performance.”

    As sports go, sports sex is about the best one.

  3. From last thread, I’d love a Kim Jong-Un for Edwin Jackson trade. I’m confident as well that Roger would do well with Jackson. Kim is beyond repair by anyone in the Braves organization.

  4. @7, they wouldn’t. They’d make that trade if the Braves also threw in Mike Minor or a really good prospect. There aren’t any realistic scenarios where we move BJ without giving up another piece (one that we might not want to give up). I think it’s better to just eat the money and be done with it.

  5. Latest report on the trade: it was a 1 for 1 swap where the Braves sent cash to the Cubs as well. Cash was guessed to be 10MM but no one knows for sure.

  6. It’s definitely hard to imagine why the Cubs would do that, but maybe there’s hope after all.

  7. You guys remember when Rudy Jaramillo was supposed to be the Leo Mazzone of hitting coaches?

  8. Remember when we were in the bidding for Jorge Soler, then the Cubs signed him for a 9 year/30MM deal? He’s being promoted today after terrorizing the Minors at 3 levels with a 1.132 OPS. He’s a corner OF, but that sure would have been nice to have the luxury to call that monster up! He does have an opt-out when he becomes arb-eligible, but 3 full years of him would have been worth the >10MM that it would cost. Could you imagine a Jupton, Heyward, Soler outfield?

    Oh, how I wish the Braves were richer….

    The Cubs could be very scary soon if they get some pitching to go with Soler, A. Russell, K. Bryant, J. Baez, and Alcantara.

  9. @18

    The Cubs can move a prospect or two and get MLB ready pitching too. I imagine they will go hard after a free agent or pull off a big trade this winter.

  10. I’ve read that is the plan. Develop position players and get pitching on the open market. We’ll see if Theo is as smart as everyone says he is.

    If you really stretch your imagination you could see how a Jackson for Upton deal could work. Jackson gets to work with Roger McDowell and pitch in Turner. Upton goes to a park that mostly favors hitters. Both contracts are onerous but Upton’s is worse than Jackson’s. The devil would be how much cash or what pitcher/pitching prospect the Braves have to send the Cubs way to ‘even’ the deal out.

  11. If that’s the choice, I’d rather keep BJ. A bad position player only gets a few chances per game to annoy, but a bad starting pitcher is torturous.

  12. But Jackson only sucks once every 5 days or can ‘contribute’ from the bullpen. BJ is killing you every single damn day…….why Fredi, why, why, why, why????

    Does anyone put ANY stock into the ‘have to keep Justin happy’ idea? I don’t. I mean Fredi did bench him last year. WHAT IS THE REASON WE KEEP PLAYING THE WORST POSITION PLAYER IN BASEBALL?????? He may not be the worst but he is down there.


    Sansho, I disagree. Edwin Jackson would only have 20-25 chances to make us hate him. BJ has had 459 Ab’s this year mostly from important spots in the lineup. That doesn’t consider his defensive lapses. The referenced link gives a little more detail on the trade.

    Id give them Minor and BJ for Jackson. Maybe Roger can work some magic there.

  14. I think Justin knows his brother sucks. I don’t buy into it and I don’t think it will change anything with Justin. If we make him a good enough offer he will stay.

  15. Not only does Justin know his brother sucks, Justin is also reading the same rumors about BJ that we are, and obviously, BJ is reading the rumors about BJ too and likely talking to Justin.

    If there was a problem, it’d already be here.

  16. If Justin’s mindset is so tied up with BJ, then why is he playing like an MVP candidate?

  17. @23 – Not me. Not the Minor with the Santana grip curve ball. I think that Teheran, Wood and Minor could be the next not so Big Three. A solid nucleus of a pitching staff. I know just 3 good starts in a row is a small sample size but color me satisfied that he is back.

  18. I don’t think we’d give away a valuable player just to get rid of BJ. That just compounds the original mistake.

  19. It has nothing to do with Justin being BJ’s brother. We don’t have Dan Uggla’s brother on the team, and we gave him more than enough chances to fail. It’s about making absolutely, positively sure beyond any doubt that the money’s wasted.

    His contract is a sunk cost, but in order to try to extract maximum value from that sunk cost, they basically decided that they need to play him until they are absolutely certain that he can’t play baseball any more.

  20. If you get rid of a sucky player AND don’t have to pay the sucky player, that means you’re giving yourself the chance to pay one (or more!) replacements for Minor.

    You’d have to trust in Wren’s ability to sign or trade for someone (or someones) who doesn’t (or don’t) suck. So there’s that. But if we dealt Minor to get ourselves of BJ’s contract, it could all come out in the wash for us. Or better. Or worse. Think of the possibilities…

  21. Look y’all I don’t think BJ is playing to placate Justin either. I am of the thought, to Alex’s point @29, that they should KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that BJ is done.

    @30 – sure IF its a total purge of BJ’s contract. But the deal that was discussed involved taking on Jackson’s almost equally bad contract.

    I trust Wren’s ability to make a trade. I am less enthused about his ability to acquire free agents.

  22. A bad contract swap doesn’t make your team better. It’s doing something just for the sake of doing something – at best it’s a chance to wipe the slate clean and give the players involved a shot in a new environment. It doesn’t change the money situation, and you are still stuck with a guy that sucks.

    I do think we’d do a deal like that in a heartbeat, if it’s one-for-one. But also giving up another MLB player in the process? No way.

  23. @33
    The bad contract swap opens up a spot for a CF, of which we’re running BJ out there 130 games/year. Also, cutting ties with EJ would be much easier due, in large part, to cheap options that could fill the hole. The problem with BJ is there isn’t any real option to replace BJ…well, until Bonerface.

    If we have to give up Hale plus 10 million to get rid of BJ, we need to be getting a complimentary piece back. Chris Coghlan would do.

    BJ, 10 million, and David Hale for Chris Coghlan and Edwin Jackson. Done.

  24. The question re: including Minor in any potential trade is what you project his value to cost ratio to be going forward. He’s going to get 6/8/12 mil per in arb, or close to it, so the question is what is more valuable to your team (assuming no cash is sent to the Cubs):

    BJ Upton + Mike Minor @ 75ish million over three years, or
    Edwin Jackson @ 22 million + 50 mil back to your budget over three years

  25. On Wren’s ability to get Free Agents:

    Who, among all General Managers, do you think does a GOOD job of this?

    First, you have to consider the winner’s curse. That is, the only way you usually get a player in free agency is if you offer more than everybody else. So, 29 teams have said, “nah, he is not worth that to us.” It is VERY hard to win in that case.

    Uggla was a partially predictable disaster. he had won the trade, so Wren shouldn’t have blinked and offered him one less year and then offered a qualifying offer (maybe, that was the schizo season which started awful and finished great) and let him go.

    Also, I don’t know if anybody has looked at this (like somebody more expert than me) but is there a unique problem about centerfielders and long contracts or certainly FA contracts? Has there EVER been a good FA contract. Andruw Jones to LA was a disaster. Bourne to Cleveland has been iffy. Granderson to Yankees almost underperformed (relative to dollars in the market) BUpton. Crawford was really a left fielder because he has a noodle throwing arm, but his contract was so bad Boston gave him away. Who has ever been signed to a post arb FA contract to play centerfield that looked “worth the contract?”

  26. @35

    And the answer to that question depends on how confident you are in your ability to spend $50 million successfully.

  27. @34, you could open up the CF spot by simply not playing BJ. Fredi and Wren could do that right now if they wanted to. And still keep Mike Minor or David Hale or whoever the sweetener turns out being. I’d want Wren fired tomorrow if he gave up Minor just to make BJ go away.

    I do agree that I’d rather have Edwin Jackson’s bad contract than BJ’s…but why on earth would the Cubs make that swap?

  28. Who has ever been signed to a post arb FA contract to play centerfield that looked “worth the contract?”

    Jim Edmonds.

    Ken Griffey’s first FA deal.

    Mike Cameron.

  29. To be clear, I would not trade Mike Minor just to dump Upton’s contract. I am still quite high on Mike Minor. But the question has to be combined value.

    I’ve been thinking of the potential “house cleaning” in the front office should they miss the playoffs, and I can see a case for firing Fredi, or a case for firing Wren, but I have a hard time squaring firing both of them unless they are working hand in hand on acquisitions and day to day roster construction.

  30. @42, they hire you to be the new Braves GM after they’ve shown Wren the door. Would you keep Fredi? Would anyone?

  31. @43 – I couldn’t answer that without having a couple of one-on-one conversations with Fredi about my vision for the 25-man, 40-man and general franchise wide roster(s) and the direction I would take the team with free agents and draft targets. I certainly wouldn’t fire him out of hand, and I certainly wouldn’t fire him sight unseen just because he batted BJ Upton at the top of the order.

  32. That’s fair. I was hinting at the thought that the new guy would more than likely have his own managerial pick already in mind. Plus I think the population of potential new GMs that would have Fredi as their first choice would be rather small.

  33. @44

    Way too rational. “Out of hand” would be light treatment of him as far as I’m concerned. I’m firing him like it’s the inquisition!

  34. I don’t see a long list of candidates who would obviously outpace Fredi as manager. I like Frank Wren, but the major issues the Braves face are 1) injury related to pitchers, and 2) bad contracts. Unless Fredi was in Wren’s office goading him into extending Uggla because he was just a great, great guy I don’t see how he’s to blame for that.

    I can see firing the hitting coaches after the season.

  35. Hey it’s an August game at Citi Field. That means tragedy afoot for our heroes! Fredi and Frank might just be counting on the Mets to make the line-up decisions for them, as usual.

  36. Yeah I’m not sure what you can directly pin on the coaching except for the high-strikeout / no-walks approach (a phenomenon unique to this season I think). I’m not sure who exactly you blame for giving BJ so many at bats – but at this point I don’t care. If they are collectively to blame then fire them all.

    Fredi resting Heyward and Simmons during the last two games of the Reds series is just reason #23451 why I don’t like him. There’s 30 games left. We were off yesterday. Play the best lineup damnit.

  37. Moving Heyward to CF doesn’t help unless you have a replacement in RF. Or LF, if you’re going to move JUpton to right. If the Braves had Jorge Soler pounding the ball in AAA then yes, obviously, move Jason to center, bench BJ and bring up Soler. But they don’t. They have Todd Cunningham. Now, maybe you think +/- 1000 career at bats at triple-A with a slash line of 273/340/369 screams “promote me now!” but reasonable men can disagree on that point.

    (True fact; Phil Gosselin was leading Gwinnett, and 5th overall in the International League with an OPS of 866.)

    Joey Terdoslavich was batter of the week in the IL and has been hot this month, if you really want to play the “we don’t give a shit about defense” game on the corners. But that has it’s downside too.

  38. Hell, I think moving Heyward to CF enhances his value. He wouldn’t be all world there (or would he?) but he would be very good. I think the Braves don’t play him in CF because they are afraid he’ll get hurt. And they don’t have a RF. CF is a more physically demanding position. Or is it? I’ve read in different places that RF is the hardest of the outfield positions to play because of the physical attributes needed.

  39. I think Heyward’s value to the Braves would go way up if he were a CF — even if his dWAR goes down a little — only because I think that we can plug in a plus bat in a corner OF spot far easier than we can plug in a decent bat in CF. Heyward’s bat in CF is more than decent. In RF it’s rather pedestrian.

  40. @47 – Good points, Sam. But I can’t go along with the narrative that this Braves team has suffered from pitching injuries. Santana and Harang have performed as well (truthfully, better) as would have been expected from the Medlen/Beachy/Floyd combo.

    The only argument that can be made is that the money they paid Santana could have gone to upgrading the offense. However, I recall the team was ready to stand pat until the Medlen injury and I assume they got some insurance money from that.

  41. Where Wren has been good this year is patching up the pitching. Going to the mat for Santana and the Floyd acquisition was masterful before he got hurt. Harang? Let’s give the FO the benefit of the doubt and say it was good scouting.

  42. Shout out to Everyday Jonny. Considering all you gave us, you got a bad shake.

    Hope you have a bright future

  43. Yes, but the Santana deal basically emptied the purse entirely and completely hamstrung the team’s ability to address the offense at the deadline. If you’re not spending 14 mil on Ervin Santana you can add a bat at the deadline.

  44. DOB weighs in with word from the citadel about Upton-Jackson-Minor and *gasp* Evan Gattis.

    This is what I’m told about where it stands going forward: The Braves will try to trade Upton this offseason – personally, I think it’s just about a fait accompli that he’s gone before spring training – and that they might do it by including Minor in a package. In other words, they’d tell a team, you can have three years of contractual control of Minor before free agency, but you’re going to have to take B.J. Upton in the deal.

    The Braves would surely have to take back a bad contract such as Jackson in such an exchange, but Atlanta would also probably ask that a decent prospect be included from the other team.


    So, what does the future hold for El Oso Blanco? As much as a lot of Braves fans don’t want to hear it, there’s at least a pretty good chance he could be traded this winter.

  45. @DOBrienAJC: Gattis LF is possibility “@brad_023: @DOBrienAJC DOB do you see any way Braves trade Heyward or JUP this off season and move Gattis to LF?”

    @DOBrienAJC: No “@TigerJim007: @DOBrienAJC do Braves worry bout how trade of BJ would affect Justin. would he be professsional or sulk?”

  46. If they’re going to play Gattis in LF there is literally no reason not to bench BJ and do it now. Laird/Bethancourt can give you what BJ is giving you at this point.

  47. Trading Gattis so Bethancourt can strike out 200 times a year with not-really-that-spectacular-defense might just end my support of the Wren regime. Run prevention is not the problem with the team, and that wouldn’t even necessarily help run prevention. Really hoping this a ploy to enhance Bethancourt’s trade value.

  48. Also, giving away Minor just so you can get rid of BJ while also taking back someone else’s bad contract would be so so stupid. Just DFA the man.

    What a bad couple of days for Braves trade rumors.

  49. Putting Gattis in LF as an everyday starter would cost us so many games. He is right where he belongs with an NL team. Obviously if he were in the AL, he would be a DH and every once in a while catcher. Seriously though, he does not belong in LF.

  50. @66/67 – exactly my sentiments. The moves made have to actually improve the team overall, not just create an offensive hole at a different position.

    Here’s the summary of trade rumors in the past few weeks:

    — trade BJ and Minor and cash to the Cubs for Edwin Jackson

    — trade Gattis to the AL for some unknown return – but we can safely assume that return won’t include a power hitting catcher (otherwise why move Gattis in the first place). Presumably it’d have to be a starting OF, one that likely hits worse than Gattis.

    So by “fixing” the BJ problem you end up with a 2015 team that has a new guy in the OF but you give up a young lefty pitcher that’s still full of potential and replace him with a washed up starter, and give up your fan-favorite power hitting catcher and replace him with Bethancourt who is like BJ Upton but without the speed. The net result is much worse than you started with. Argghhh. The stupidity burns.

  51. So, Gosselin got selected to the postseason All-Star team in the minors as the utility player by receiving votes at 2nd, SS, 3rd, and OF.

    Why have we not seen this guy in the OF yet?

    I am curious. I really think we might have our super sub guy for next season.

  52. The only guy watching this game is literally watching it in Flushing. We’re not a motivated crew lately, eh?

    Well, my man crush for TLS might be coming back. Somebody’s gotta be driving in runs!

  53. I’ll take Chip’s buffoonery over Joe’s arrogance and willfully ignorance of advanced fielding stats any day.

  54. Today it’s Freeman and Justin but not Heyward; Sunday it was Heyward but not Freeman or Justin. Sync up you stupid hitters.

  55. What else is there to say? Can’t get a clutch hit. Looking to waste another quality start. We only have 3.5 good hitters and none of them are ever hot together.

  56. Holy wow, that was a Joe Simpson 0-2 adjustment special if there ever was one! Nice job Justin. Maybe we can do something here besides a double play…


  57. It’s sad to watch starting pitchers night after night take blame on themselves for losing games when they are putting out quality starts on a consistent basis. If the position players on our team had half a heart, they would walk over to the cameras and say it was their fault they lost and not the pitchers.

  58. I find it very discouraging that we score 1-2 runs every night and we already have an offseason focus of trading one of our best sluggers.

  59. I’m really looking forward to a team without Chris Johnson and BJ Upton. Hope it happens next year.

  60. You can catch a very young Don Sutton on Match Game ’76 on the GSN tomorrow morning at 8 am. The host mentions he’d won 20 games the last season and Don reminds him quickly it was 21!

  61. @83 – I hate to hear that the Braves are entertaining the idea of trading Evan Gattis a lot. But he is the single most valuable thing we have to trade. A 27 year old cost controlled power hitter that has hit 41 homers in a seasons worth of games and can play catcher is worth a lot to some team in the AL. I can imagine that the Braves will be looking for an outfielder that can hit and some pitching this off season.

    edit: all that may change if the NL adapts the DH next season (new comish) or the team misunderstood his value on the market.

  62. Some thoughts:
    – Gattis doesn’t have to net us an MLB CFer. He could be worth a couple major league-ready prospects on the trade market.
    – The notion that we’d unload BJ + Minor + cash makes me think we’d be able to get more than just Edwin Jackson in return. And the fact that the Braves seem anxious to do this deal, and the fact that it’s the Cubs, makes me wonder if we could get ourselves one of those shiny, shiny prospects from them too.

    Maybe they feel they’re so loaded at every other position on the diamond that they can carry BJ. Not our problem…

  63. I would like to see if Gattis could play third this winter.

    That would be the best place for him.

  64. A great milestone some of us may have missed…in fact, I’m not sure when it happened.

    But Jason Heyward is now officially the third-best run-scorer on the team, taking the position over from eminent run-scorer BJ Upton.

  65. @86

    There’s an idea!

    If he can throw it to second pretty well from his knees at home, perhaps he can send it across the diamond on the perpindicular.

    And we’ve already got a statue out there who can’t hit. Would it hurt too bad to replace him with a statue who can?

  66. ububba @ 75: Most cemeteries are livelier, but our offense is moribund; so your comparison is spot on.

    I’m trying not to comment unless I can be positive. I’m positive your description is apt.

  67. When was the last time that we traded a cost controlled power hitter? We can’t score runs and we want to add another 150k .200 avg hitter to the lineup? If we trade Evan we better receive back a leadoff CF’r, slugging 3b, + prospects that are under team control.

  68. Gattis’s power matters a lot, obviously, but he’s not very good at much else and he’s not likely to become so. I don’t want to see him traded, but to me a realistic return would be something like Desmond Jennings plus a power bullpen arm.

  69. Beloved back story notwithstanding, Gattis has a sell-by date. If you could turn him + BJ into Kemp + Pederson you do that, I think. Pederson/Heyward/JUpton/Kemp is a superb OF going into 2015 and into the new stadium.

  70. JUpton is hitting so well right now. We need someone hitting behind him who doesn’t suck.

  71. They wouldn’t do BJ for Kemp straight up. They have no reason to. They can eat Kemp’s salary without acquiring another turd.

    Gattis for top-prospect…maybe. Gattis is likely a better hitter than most top prospects – keep that in mind. He’d be one of the best offensive players in either league if he got regular AB’s. Moving him to LF is the best option, imho.

    He’s more valuable to us because we don’t have another viable catching option. All these trade proposals net-out with us moving BJ Upton to catcher. That doesn’t help. Plus he’s the only reason casual fans ever even watch this team. You don’t build momentum for the new stadium by trading the one guy who’s name is on all the little kid jerseys.

  72. The lineup should be Heyward / JUpton / Freeman / Gattis / scrubs-in-any-order / pitcher / BJ.

  73. Latos and Leake are put on revocable waivers and the Braves should put a claim in! C. Martin, C. Shreve, and Joey T for Latos?

  74. No reason for the Dodgers to do that deal. They would rather someone eat Eithier or Crawford’s contract than Kemp’s. If in fact they actually care about anyone eating one of their bad contracts.

    Gattis is destined for the AL. If his return is either a 3b or an outfielder that doesn’t suck or 2 or three close to ready prospects then its a good trade for the Braves. The trifecta of course would be to also tie unloading BJ in the package but lets stay somewhat realistic.

  75. Gattis is destined for the AL. If his return is either a 3b or an outfielder that doesn’t suck or 2 or three close to ready prospects then its a good trade for the Braves. The trifecta of course would be to also tie unloading BJ in the package but lets stay somewhat realistic.

    Texas has no C worth a damn, could get Gattis ABs as a DH and have Joey Gallo tearing it up in the minors as a 3B. They could always resign Beltre as their 3B.

  76. @100

    We are talking about fake baseball trades on the internet…do we really need to be realistic? This isn’t Middlemarch.

    Chris Johnson, BJ Upton, and Luis Avilan for Andrew McCutchen and cash!

  77. @101 – Gattis would hit 200 home runs in that park. It’d be a sight to see. Just for grins it would be nice to do a reverse Teixiera on the damn Rangers.

    @103 – Sounds pretty plausible to me, Andrew McCutchen is probably going to decline in the next 10 years or so.

  78. BJ Upton would look great in a Dodgers uniform. Or a Cubs, Rangers, or Reds uniform. But especially a Dodgers uniform.

  79. On the “fire the hitting coaches” topic, Jordan Schafer is hitting 304/400/411 in 19 games for Minnesota.

  80. The Barvian outcome here will be to trade Gattis to the AL the year before the NL adopts the DH.

    I find it pretty hilarious that the team is planning to move into a shiny new baseball Disneyland in a couple of years, and the fan base is so beat down that we’re talking about making bad trades to dump BJ, and talking about trading away Gattis and JUpton and Heyward.

    2017 is gonna be fun with Freeman and 7 clones of Bonifacio.

  81. @108 – if the core of veterans (BJ, Justin, the bench) that they have brought in to surround the core of young talent (the folks locked up this offseason + Heyward) are too broken to fix, you have to tear that down and start again. Gattis is a chit in that process. Evan Gattis is useful. He’s not Mike Trout.

  82. @107, Bringing him almost all the way back to the OKish line he posted last year. We just didn’t wait long enough for the positive regression.

  83. @110, I haven’t jumped off that hypothetical ledge yet. I fear that you might be right – our core talent isn’t good enough – but I’m not quite there yet. I want to keep them together for at least a couple more years and see how they do under a completely overhauled coaching staff.

    Blowing it up is a 10 year rebuilding plan. Our minor leagues are empty.

  84. I was sitting in the sportsbook at the Venetian Saturday morning licking my wounds and saw Jordan Schafer hit a bases-loaded triple for the Twins.

    The shock did not help my hangover.

  85. @106 I owned a 1989 Accord for 13 years. Never in that time did it ‘hit’ below .200. I am afraid Japan would look at your deal and giggle. Maybe chuckle. Probably break out into a healthy guffaw.

  86. As a fan base, we’ve never really had too much turmoil or uncertainty going into an off-season and I’m actually kind of excited about it; there’s a ton of different directions they could go in.

    I’m personally hoping for a small rebuild. The guys they’ve signed past 2015 should keep the team decent (except Johnson, who stinks) and they could trade Gattis or Heyward to fill in some holes (rotation, bench, third, CF). I’d also trade Kimbrel, even though the return would be lessened due to his contract.

  87. For all of the talk of how bad Edwin Jackson is, these stats look similar

    Minor – 119ip 7.99k/9 2.72bb/9 .332BABIP 4.51FIP 3.73xFIP

    Edwin – 139ip 7.96k/9 3.95bb/9 .352BABIP 4.33FIP 4.06xFIP

  88. Derek, @115 – perhaps not in your lifetime, but the first 10 years of fandom for me was nothing but a “rebuilding” process that never ended.

  89. So Schafer played terribly as a Brave because Fletcher and Walker are terrible hitting coaches?
    He is playing well in all of 19 games in Minnesota because their coaching is superior? Bullshit.

    I’d take Edwin Jackson over BJ. As long as Mike Minor wasn’t part of the deal. As stated earlier, Jackson doesn’t hurt you every day.

    @118 – re building or just building? Re implies that the team was built at some point in time.

  90. I want them fired for our inept offense, not because Schafer has had a few good games.

    It’s called sarcasm with a hint of truth behind it. Lighten up

  91. You could argue that the team was ‘rebuilt’ during the dry spell from 2006-10. But they never were bad enough to get really high draft picks, their best (Jason Heyward) being a guy that other teams didn’t think they could sign for some reason. They’ve never bottomed out for a couple of years and packed on Strasburg/Harper or Buxton/Sano type draft picks. And I don’t see them doing that intentionally any time soon.

    But that said, the medium-burn tinker process doesn’t seem to be working particularly well. You can’t win if your best players are a defense-first RF and a bad defensive C who can’t draw a walk.

  92. @120 – Sure. My bad. Usually I can detect sarcasm.

    Question: With probably no Santana or Harang and only 1 more year of Heyward and JUpton, does the team go for it in 2015 by attempting to improve the supporting cast or start a total rebuild?

    edit: @121 – right on the money.

  93. There is a depressing, unbroken streak of crappy Braves contracts from 2003-2014. Hampton-Anderson-Lowe-Uggla-BJ Upton. The only argument would be who held the title of ‘worst contract’ in some years. BJ or Uggla in 2013? Lowe or Uggla in 2012?

    @123 – The Nationals have significant payroll obligated to their core by 2016 and lose their cheap pitching. Doubt the Mets or Phillies would be dominant by then. I not want to punt 2016.

  94. @ 188 Good point. I was referring to the team’s off-seasons since 91, should have clarified. The 80’s seemed like a shit show from what I can recall (I was a kid).

  95. @121

    Huh? I don’t disagree with you per se, but I did a double take reading what you wrote.

    -The “bad defensive C who can’t draw a walk” is not one of the two best players on the team. He probably isn’t one of the five best players on the team. Freeman, Upton, and Teheran are certainly better. Probably Wood and Simmons, and possibly Kimbrel. That doesn’t mean we can win with those players, but there’s no need to get it wrong.

    -By the rough old baseball-reference WAR stick, the Harper/Strasburg pair has been worth about 5 fewer wins so far than Jason Heyward alone. Throw in Freddie Freeman, whom we also drafted in 2007, and we’ve got a pair of draftees who have been worth nearly double what those two sports-page machines have been. I bring it up mostly because I’m not sure what point you’re after. Is it something along the lines of “wouldn’t it be great if the Braves played worse and could draft players who aren’t as good as the players they actually drafted?”

  96. The early 80s were a lot like the last few years; Murphy was a superstar and they had just enough talent to tease. But then they collapsed, and were utterly unwatchable until Bobby came in as GM in ’86 and started the “5-year plan.”

  97. No. My point is that the “compete constantly until we open the new stadium” theory hinges on BJ Upton, Chris Johnson and Andrelton Simmons being valuable offensive players, and that doesn’t look likely to be the case any time soon. So if you can flip a player like Evan Gattis, who I do not think will be a part of the “next great Braves team” for a real hitting prospect (Jacobsen, etc) you absolutely have to do that.

  98. Oh. Well all that makes sense now that it’s separate from the draft talk. If I’m Wren I had better be awfully sure of the prospect before dealing Gattis, but I’m happy to part with him for a really good return. I’m happy to part with Kimbrel for a really good return, too. I’m happiest to part with Bethancourt for a pretty good MLB-ready return, though, since I’m not convinced we can’t play our way out of this mediocrity next year.

  99. I think you guys undervalue Gattis. It’s not that I’m smitten with the backstory, it’s the fact that he’s got unbelievable bat speed and is still dripping raw potential. Refine his approach and he’s a bona-fide 40 HR super-star type player. And we’ve got that under team control for the next several years. It’s very unlikely that any prospect that you get back for Gattis will be as good. I don’t care where he plays. Put him in LF and let him play every day. He’ll figure it out and he won’t get hurt as much. Trading away offense when offense is down and your team is the worst of the worst just doesn’t compute with me.

    We have a very young team. Simmons and Gattis and Heyward – they are still learning how to hit. Rather than blow it all up, I think I’d like to see if we can find some teachers that can help the young guys maximize their potentials. The cast of clowns we currently have on the coaching staff aren’t doing that and give no reason to believe that they’ll do that in the future.

    It could very well be that none of our high-potential young guys are really all that great, and that coaching just doesn’t matter. But if that’s the case then welcome back to 1983. Enjoy the lost decade of rebuilding. Let’s give this group another couple of years before we nuke it from orbit.

  100. @107—That may fall under the “Fire Fredi” umbrella too. Success was asking for more playing time before he was released, saying he couldn’t get his timing right with only a few ABs a week. He gets those ABs in Minnesota and suddenly starts to contribute. I’m not convinced it’ll last for him, but the timing is interesting.

  101. Gattis is not young…

    What he is is large and slow, and likely to become larger and slower imminently, seems to be the Braves’ assessment.

  102. Not young in age but definitely doesn’t have nearly the miles on him wear-and-tear-wise as someone that had caught for 6 or 7 years in the minors. I’m not asking for a lifetime contract. Just keep him for the next few years while he’s good and cheap.

  103. Success had everything but in Houston, including regular playing time, and it got him cut from an historically bad team. This is a classic Francouer bait-and-switch on the new team move by Schafer. He is what thousands of ABs have shown him to be.

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