John Schuerholz: Tony Soprano (spike)
John Hart: Paulie Walnuts (spike), Silvio Dante (Edward)
John Coppolella: Christopher Moltisanti (spike)
Frank Wren: Big Pussy (Adam R), Phil Leotardo (Ububba)
Bobby Cox: Uncle Junior (spike)
Fredi Gonzalez: Bobby Bacala (spike)
Terry McGuirk: Johnny Sack (spike)
Li’l Jonathan Schuerholz: AJ Soprano (spike)
So, is John Malone Livia Soprano?
DOB is either Father Phil or assemblyman Ronald Zellman. I just can’t decide if he’s a spiritual leech or political fraud.
So, he JC’d his own link, but I think everyone should take the time to read through the link Alex dropped to Rany J’s love note to Kevin Seitzer and his time in KC.
Lots of good stuff in there, but in the summary Rany links to a BPro ranking of hitting coaches from the last 20 years. Quoting that bit:
Larry Parrish: Jimmy (the rat from S.1)
Greg Walker: Larry Boy
Fletch: the guy who has the heart attack on the john.
And Chipper is clearly Hesh.
That’s a great read. I hope Rany knows what he’s talking about.
We all know Seitzer’s first assignment is to turn Heyward into something like the offensive monster we want him to be. His second assignment is to make Andrelton Simmons good enough with the bat not to be a total drag on the line-up. His third assignment is to work the hell out of Gosselin and La Stella and to keep a close eye on Peraza and Kubitza during spring training. His fourth assignment is to make sure all our players know how to focus on driving the ball to the outfield when the situation calls for it. His pre-assignment is to shut the door behind BJ and Chris Johnson after they leave the organization.
What, no love for me calling Coppolella the Caporegime in the first place?
And with regard to Kevin Seitzer: Just like the John Hart to train Coppolella decision, his hiring is the best case scenario. We didn’t grab a guy who was available because he was fired, we grabbed a guy away from a place where he was having success.
As a side note, it’s hard to imagine why Seitzer would come over; hard to imagine why ANYBODY with any job security would leave a situation to come to Atlanta, when everybody in baseball must be amazed that Fredi Gonzalez still has a job. Fredi’s job isn’t safe, why would anybody want to leave a secure job knowing they’ll likely hit the curb when Fredi does?
jjschiller, it’s awful cold up there.
Braves also hired assistant hitting coach Jose Castro. Fletcher hasn’t been fired as far as I know.
Fletcher was “not retained” when they also did not retain whoever our third base coach was (whom I always referred to as Not-Snitker). Castro was apparently the Cubs quality assurance coachâ€¦does anyone know what the heck that means?
@5 I read somewhere that the Blue Jays and Seitzer could not agree to contract terms for next season, so he wasn’t fired but we didn’t exactly steal him away. I wonder how much we’re paying him.
Seitzer sounds great. Love that he had more walks than strikeouts in his career, and love that he stresses using the whole field. Love that he’s leaving Toronto due to dollars and not failure.
Let’s hope BJ Upton doesn’t drive him to drink
If Fredi were running the show, I would agree. It is evident he is not.
Dylan Thomas born a hundred years ago today…
18 straight whiskys 39 years later…
Do not go gentle…
no ‘e’ in whisky if it’s Scotch…
to begin at the beginning…
The Braves would likely promote from within if Fredi got canned. Pendleton, Perez, Porter would all get first looks. Maybe even McDowell. I don’t see them clearing house. It’s also comforting knowing you are taking an awful hitting bunch. Only one direction they can go and any improvements creates job security.
Roger McDowell is not manager material, as good a pitching coach as he is.
But I’m with you on the rest of it.
Does a hitting coach actually coach MLB hitters? Or do they just kind of prepare data and videotapes and suggest what the hitter could work on, and be a psychiatrist.
Do the Braves actually have the talent for a coach to help bring out?
Is “grittiness” the new thing in baseball?
A hitting coach is really the least important guy of staff. Most hitter have outside guys they go to.
He’s the guy in the dugout. Almost all of the important work done by everyone on the team is done in the 21 hours of the day that are away from the ballpark â€”Â all of the video work, training, exercise, mental preparation, eating right, sleeping right, and so on. But when the players get to the park, the hitting coach has to be able to help put the players into the best possible position to succeed. Help them adjust their mental approach or notice if something has changed in their swing between the 3rd and 6th innings. Let them know the latest scouting reports on the pitcher. A hitting coach won’t move the needle all that much, but Lord knows that we still could use a good one.
Amen, Alex. Better hitters too.
If you trust the BPro analysis Seitzer was worth 58 runs as a hitting coach. Using basic WAR conversions that’s a 5-6 win coach.
I am happy with the hiring. The only downside in hiring an american league hitting coach is that I am sure we will continue to suck in bunting which is Fredi’s favorite move.
It’s probably almost impossible to figure out what level of impact a hitting coach has. It’s hard to imagine that teams across the league are employing for this position if it doesn’t have any value. Certainly not iron-clad evidence that it has impact, but I’m thinking it does. It seems like Seitzer is a good hire, and you can only hope he can make an immediate impact.
Also, if the goal is for our lineup to make contact more, then he seems to be an ideal fit. I doubt that means Gattis/Upton/Freeman will lose their power; I think it means more that La Stella/Simmons/Johnson/Freeman may see an increase in their contact rate and batting average, and BJ Upton might not suck.
I bet, just like most leadership jobs, being a hitting coach comes down to how well you relate to the people you lead. For whatever reason, maybe Walker/Fletcher just didn’t connect with the players. That’s obviously hard to quantify and fully understand, and it would make sense why they had success in Chicago but had very little success in Atlanta. Maybe Seitzer has an ability to connect with players. If anything, maybe Seitzer can teach our third baseman how to be Kevin Seitzer: career .295/.375/.404 with good defense.
Here’s hoping Seitzer is as good a hitting import as Furio Giunta.
@22 The White Sox fans were not all too happy with Walker.
You can read about what Toronto fans think about Seitzer here.
Just got back from San Francisco. Got to hand it to the city, they are behind their team. Lots of folks wearing the laundry. A cool vibe running around town.
A reasonable goal would be for Seitzer to get Johnson and LaStella to league average. A major accomplishment would be for him to get Simmons to suck less and then there is BJ. Of course it doesn’t matter because the players don’t have to do anything Kevin Seitzer tells them to do.
If Seitzer gives them advice and it works the players will use it.
There is a “conference call” with Hart this afternoon for season ticket holders. If there is anything worth reporting I will let you guys know. I suspect it will just be a dog and pony though…
Let us know if any grit gets into your ear through the line.
Interesting that Seitzer was one of the first to wear a face guard after getting hit by a pitch. If the HBP incident adversely affected Heyward this year as some suggest, maybe Seitzer can better deal with him.
Can you ask when they will contact Joe Maddon?
Someone asked about signing Justin and Hart said there is nothing imminent with him or Heyward. He talked several times about Coppolella like he was the GM already although he didn’t come right out and say it. Asked about budget he said probably north of 100 and south of 120 and we would have to “wear the cost” of the current bad contracts. He says he’s losing sleep thinking about our starting rotation. Mentioned possibly getting help for Chris Johnson at third and possibly trying Gattis in the outfield.
‘If Seitzer gives them advice and it works the players will use it.’
If they don’t use the advice then they’ll never know and that’s the point. I would bet real money that a lot of folks were advising Simmons NOT to swing out of his jock every first pitch.
‘Wearing the cost’ of bad contracts. Nice way to say sunk costs. Hope here that means the BJ experiment is over.
This is based on nothing concrete, but I think we are poised for a surprising bounceback in 2015. That just seems to be the way baseball works nowadays.
surprising will be the wrong word for it–this is a team that has one a lot of games over the last 5 seasons–but I’m optimistic, too. Depending on the next few months.
I wish I could be optimistic, but I think their current lineup is trash and I don’t see where they get the money to fix it. Happy to be wrong–thrilled to be wrong–but I think they’ll have a pretty similar (approximately .500) record in 2015.
Right now I think we’ll be a little worse in 2015. The pitching will be more of a problem, and we have no freedom to fix the lineup. That outlook can shift if we make a substantial acquisition or two, but our freedom to do so seems pretty limited right now.
Can we get Cain?
I think La Stella will be better and that neither Regression (who will play better in a platoon and less than 500 PA) nor Simmons (on offense) will be quite as bad. I think Mike Minor has a bounceback year. I think we resign Harang and he passably fills the back of the rotation. But can Teheran and Wood pitch at the same high level again next season, particularly Teheran who was worked hard this year? I think that’s a big question nobody is talking about.
Looks like it’s going to Game 7. Tim Hudson with a chance to bolster his HOF chances.
Right now my guess is that the Braves will be a little worse next year. I think we will trade Justin, Heyward, or Gattis and we may improve long term but not short term. I don’t see our pitching being quite as good. I think we’ll finish a lot stronger but I see us hovering just under 500 most of the year. I hope I’m wrong but with low expectations I shouldn’t be too disappointed.
@41 I’m sure Hudson will start Game 7 but it sounds like the Giants are poised to bring in Bumgarner in long relief if Huddy gives any hint of faltering. (Not that that plan worked so well yesterday with Peavy and Petit, respectively).
I wish Tim Hudson all the best, but I’m pulling for the Royals in the series. Best-case scenario in my mind is the game comes down to Bumgarner and either the Royals finally solve him or MadBum finishes off one of the very best postseason pitching lines in baseball history.
One name that’s worth at least checking in on once a week for the Braves Winter Leagues is Joey Meneses. He has a good deal of power, walks a bit, and strikes out a bit. He seems like a legit bat, but from the looks of it, he has a stone glove. Still worth a follow.
We don’t look good on paper and it doesn’t appear we have any internal options ready to start the year to help out. I see a rough 2015 season and maybe 2016 if we lose both Heyward and Justin to FA. Extend Heyward now or trade both of them this offseason.
I understand the melancholy outlook considering this past season but:
1. This core won the division in 2013.
2. Yes I know that this was a result of an unusually hot April but we were still in contention until September.
3. The team is young. If some of the guys hit their career averages the results could be different.
4. The needs list is daunting but not impossible to acquire. Who would have thunk it that Aaron Harang would have been a major part of what was good about the 2014 Braves?
Once again I ask what is the expected return for Heyward and/or JUpton? I truly believe y’all are overestimating the return we would get from trading one or both of them. If we trade one or both of those guys we officially start rebuilding mode. I am of the opinion that in the current competitive climate, rebuilding mode is dumb.
I realize that if we keep Heyward/JUpton we are possibly playing for one year. I’m cool with that. I’d rather have the short term shot at a championship than hoping that some prospects pan out in the minors.
When tending your orchard, you take care of the young non-bearing trees first. Then you take care of the trees currently bearing fruit. Neither are neglected, but you have to plan for tomorrow first.
Of course, this has nothing to do with baseball, and flags do fly forever; but …
sometimes you have to sacrifice production today to ensure a bumper crop tomorrow.
Whoa, I missed this: Logan White is leaving the Dodgers and going to the Padres.
Yes, yes, “Il faut cultiver…”–and the Braves will.
But they’re also going to compete because they will not head into spring training without 3 significantly changed spots in the line-ups: one light downgrade (probably from moving J.Upton or Gattis out, but possibly Heyward although I’ll cry for months if he gets moved) and two upgrades (whoever takes over BJ’s spot in the order and either a replacement or a platoon for Johnson). That’s a given. Seriously. Hart will get it done.
I think it will be much harder to put a decent starter into the #4 rotation spot and we may need to spend some real money there, although I think we’re set for #5: some combination of Hale or a Handsome-alike until either or both prove futile, then one or more of Medlen/Beachy/Floyd as a back-up plan for that eventuality. (I read somewhere that comebacks for second Tommy Johns are only a little less likely than comebacks for firsts.)
Finally, and I was saying this at the end of the season: the smartest thing the Braves can do to give themselves a chance to win next year AND replenish the pipeline is to trade Craig Kimbrel, provided we’re comfortable with Shae Simmons’ health. I don’t care how unlikely it is, and I love the guy to death, but we cannot spend $10 mil on a reliever when we have 3 black holes in the line-up and a somewhat bare cupboard in the minors. A healthy Shae Simmons can do a good job in the closer role, even if he isn’t quite as dominant.
I don’t think we compete next year even with Heyward and Justin, that’s why I’m open to trading them. Especially if we are just losing them next offseason.
@pgammo: Korean SS Jung Ho Kang still in playoffs, up to 45 HR, winter’s most interesting posting candidate
Can he play 3rd?
KC pitching staff has thrown 2287 pitches at 97mph+. The Twins only threw 1.
The issue isn’t Heyward-and-Justin and it’s not Heyward-or-Justin. The issue is how we put together a line-up with, at most, one potential black hole: Andrelton Simmons, who, thank goodness, is also potentially not a black hole.
Edit Addendum: So if you’re confident we can rejigger the whole line-up (I am), you have to be confident the Braves will compete. If you don’t think the Fuzzy Heart can figure out some way to clean it up, then it makes sense to be pessimistic. But you can be sure they know that’s what their job is.
We have 3 black holes in the lineup. 4 if Bethancourt starts. I’m willing to wait for Simmons to get better, but my optimism for him has taken a big hit after this past season. I think it’s very probable that BJ Upton is our starting CF in 2015. Chris Johnson is the wildcard. A platoon there would help. Overall we just don’t have the pieces. Teams can pitch around JUpton and Freeman at will.
I’m starting to embrace the tank strategy, since even if we try we’re still a sub .500 team in my book.
Krussell, you and I are making very different assumptions about what the team looks like next year. It is my working assumption that there is no way BJ Upton plays an inning and that Chris Johnson will not start most days a right-hander is on the mound, if he plays in a Braves uniform at all.
Yeah I’m assuming there’s no way BJ is traded, and no way he’s released until he’s shown yet again that he still can’t play. Not saying I want that, but just preparing for the inevitable.
I sort of agree. Despite the talk of fixing BJ Upton only fools would give him any meaningful playing time next year. I think that Johnson gets a chance to get back to his career averages. Simmons is a lost cause with the bat. We need to get used to the idea that he is the hole in the lineup. I’m getting a sense that they are seriously considering Gattis in LF. If that’s the case then 2 for sure holes in the lineup with Bethancourt and Simmons.
I think Hale gets a chance to fill one of the rotation slots. If that is true then the Braves have the less daunting task of getting a fifth starter. I am not counting on Medlen or Beachy at all next season.
So being as positive as I can be, I can see the team competing next year. I do acknowledge that a lot of stuff has to go right for it to happen.
Trade Justin, move Gattis to LF, insert Bethancourt at C. The return for Justin has to include a ML ready 3B or CF. Cross your fingers on La Stella/Gosselin, and maybe by midseason Peraza is knocking on the door. Best case, La Stella plays well enough that he can be traded after Peraza takes his job.
Also, is Bonifacio a FA or does he have one more year? He’ll come in handy.
(All of this is actually Plan B. Plan A is trade Andrelton Simmons for a busload, move Peraza back to SS and let the players you got for Simmons take over CF, 3B and 2B.)
Defense improves pitching, so the bus for Simba better be fully loaded.
jjschiller, I like your plan B as a plan A.
We’re both advocating controversial trade ideas. What makes you think trading Simmons for a bus is a better idea than trading Kimbrel for a bus? (Or is that how you even think about it?)
I’d trade Simmons first because Kimbrel won’t bring back a bus. He’ll bring back something, but not what Simmons will.
But also I like Kimbrel and I hate Simmons. So that might enter in to my thinking.
Over the next 3 seasons, Kimbrel stands to make almost twice as much money as Simmons (~$16 million more).
So in order to trade Simmons over Kimbrel
a.) you have to think Kimbrel’s more valuable as a player (I don’t.)
b.) you have to think Simmons is more easily replaceable than Kimbrel (I don’t.)
c.) you have to think Simmons’ return value in a trade will be better than Kimbrel’s (I’m not sure what to think, except that I think either of them would bring back a lot.)
d.) you just hate watching Simmons bat with every ounce of your heart (Could it be that I’ve described you?)
Anyway, that’s how I see that arguments.
Edit: Ah, looks like I was right on point d.
Will be interesting tonight if they’re tied after 6. I’d like to see a match up with Bumgarner versus Herrera/Davis/Holland.
@63 – As you’ve said, as a reliever, Kimbrel is more easily replaced, and makes more money (Also, it’s 2-1 that he’s going to go down with Tommy John for at least a year.) That’s why he can’t possibly return what Simmons can.
EDIT: Also, I’m not averse to trading Kimbrel. I think Kimbrel is definitely a movable piece. But he ain’t going to return what Simmons will.
Anyone want to take a step further with this? Who wants Simmons?:
Can any of y’all put together an imaginary trade package from one of those clubs for our boy Andrelton?
Dang. I advocated trading Simmons a while back and the idea was soundly rejected by most of you.
The best defender in the league, if you believe WAR, cost controlled and a complete dumbass. I say that because watching him with the bat is like watching a moth try to penetrate a screen to get to a light bulb.
I don’t think you get a bus or a bus load for Simmons. Even though more emphasis is being paid to defense these days, I don’t think anyone will pay a lot for an elite defender, dollars or players in a trade.
If you are a GM do you trade a consistent bat, an elite pitching/position prospect(s) or a combination of the above for a terrific defender who is an automatic out in your lineup?
Trout for Andrelton.
Kershaw for Andrelton.
McCutchen for Andrelton.
Or forget about it.
While I am known to make some crazy trade proposals, the Braves made it very clear last year that they’re not trading Andrelton or Kimbrel. That hasn’t changed.
I wasn’t happy with Simmons’ bat, but I guess I take an old school approach to shortstops. You keep them for their glove and anything with the bat is gravy.I’m still hoping for the gravy ,but the glove is a thing of beauty. If we got production out of 2 of 3 positions between 2nd, 3rd, and center, we could absorb Simba’s bat.
If I were the GM of the Tigers, I’d certainly think about asking what Hart wants for the Kraken.
Maddon to the Cubs. We had the chance.
Yeah I agree.
Start with JD Martinez.
Play ball and get the hot stove stoked.
Come on, baseball gods. I threw my lot in with the Giants. You’re not supposed to be able to tell that I’m secretly still rooting for the Royals.
Uh oh, looks like an Episode!
Too bad they didn’t leave him in there to get shelled.
Too bad for Huddy. Waited his entire life for this opportunity but ended up only being there for less than two innings.
Quick hook = win?!
BJ Upton for Madison Bumgarner. Get it done, Hart!
This Bumgarner performance is completely absurd.
Insert my biannual rant about how much I hate the Giants. This year it’s worse, though, because one guy was pretty solely responsible for them winning, so we’re never going to hear the end of Madison Bumgarner and his postseason, which means we’re never going to stop hearing about the Giants. And I hate the Giants.
Giants are the champions of even-numbered years…2010, 2012, 2014.
Adios, Royals; better luck in 2043.
Yeah, he was this year’s Hershiser.
Giants manager sure took Hudson out quickly, at the first sign of one of his patented Episodes. Can’t help but surmise that Cox/Gonzalez would have left him in there until the game was essentially out of reach.
I really really really hate the Giants.
So Dan Uggla gets a ring, right?
According to DOB, the team decides who gets a ring.
New thread, by the way.