The Jadeite Jewel: Superman Wears #19

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.

Round 2: Double ‘Em Off vs. A League of His Own

Double ‘Em Off

Editor’s Pitch: Unless an attempted steal was happening, runners are usually not doubled off on looping line drives, especially looping line drives to short. When Andrelton Simmons is involved, though, words like “unless” and “usually” mean very little. If there’s a play to make, Simmons will be all over it.

Last Round: Double ‘Em Off beat Tricked You 32-6.

A League of His Own

Editor’s Pitch: Simmons was moving toward third base with the pitch, so he had to reverse his direction to get to the ball. He somehow caught the ball anyway, managed to beat the runner to second, then threw to first while his entire body was still heading toward right field, and somehow got enough on the throw to turn a double play. In a tie game. In the bottom of the 14th inning. He’s not fair. He’s really just not fair.

Last Round: A League of His Own beat The Cannon 32-5.

55 thoughts on “The Jadeite Jewel: Superman Wears #19”

  1. What a blessing it has been to be a Braves fan! Spahn, Aaron, Knucksie, Murphy, Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, Chipper, Andruw and the absolute best defensive shortstop that ever breathed.

    I’ve never bought a player’s jersey before; but I’m going to buy three Andrelton’s, one for each grandson.

    A league of his own by a wide margin, which just goes to show you how ridiculously good Simmons is.

    Thank you, ‘Rissa.

  2. Paying James Shields to be a 2.7 WAR player over the course of 4 years is about as good of a big contract as you’ll find on FA market.

  3. The Padres seem like they’d be a fun temporary rooting interest for 2015 if and when the Braves fall out of it. I’d certainly rather see them win a pennant than Washington, St. Louis, Los Angeles, or San Francisco.

  4. I have to admit that the grammys reminded me there are far worse things than being a fan of a bad baseball team.

  5. How is it possible that I could say these Braves are underrated? Schoenfield always finds a way to underrate them, even when they are bad. I have us winning 70-74 games, though his projection of 68 wins is within the realm of possibility. A major injury to Wood/Teheran or Freeman/Markakis throws that out the window, of course. As much as I’d like to have a top 3 pick in the draft, it doesn’t project much better than #6-10, and it would be better for our franchise to not be out of the WC race before August.

  6. @14

    I agree. I actually think we could surprise some people.

    Freeman should continue to improve. We will be better at second and I think third. Simmons can be much better at the plate. Maybe we improve in CF. We drop off some at the corner outfield spots and catcher.

    Our rotation may be better and the pen will be solid. So we won’t have to score a ton of runs. Ya never know.

  7. Greg Walker and Fred McGriff just named Special Assistant to Baseball Operation. I’m glad to see them both with the organization.

  8. Fredi says that there could be as little as 3 full-time players in the lineup: Freeman, Markakis, Simmons.

  9. The new “big thing” that the A’s got lauded for last year was platooning everyone. Of course, if we do it, it’s because we’re stupid and dumb with terrible players, I’m sure.

  10. The A’s did it on purpose and with a plan, not because they’d thrown a quarter of their budget away and decided to balance it by letting their team suck. When the Braves get the A’s results in the W-L column using the A’s methods, I’ll be first in line to tell them how smart they are.

  11. The safe money is on the Braves’ 2015 win total starting with a 7. Their offense is too bad to do much better, but their pitching is too good to do much worse. There aren’t many examples of dumpster-fire teams with really good pitching, and people always overrate how good the good teams are and how bad the bad teams are. Best-case scenario is 2003 Dodgers, maybe.

  12. I think that it’s obvious that because of the payroll constraints the best the Braves can do is platoon a bunch of guys and hope for the best. To compare that to the brilliance of the A’s based on payroll constraints that are out of their control is a poor comparison.

  13. @23, especially since the Braves have made “contact” the market inefficiency they are attempting to exploit. I mean, they are welcome to prove me wrong, and if they do, John Hart can write a book (or Michael Lewis can write a book about him).

  14. Billy Beane should just stick to writing his autobiography! It’s the only thing he’s good for!

  15. The Braves were 29th in baseball in runs scored last year with 4 sluggers. Their 573 runs were 38 more than the Padres and 22 less than the Reds.

    My guess is we’ll score 610 runs in 2015 and finish with 76 wins. If we actually score more runs than last year after getting rid of 3 of our 4 best hitters and replacing them with lesser hitters, we may have found a market inefficiency.

    Anyone have an over/under for runs scored in 2015?

  16. @26 This projection has the 2015 Braves scoring about 584 runs, 10 more than the 2014 club.

    If I had to take a guess, I’d say the o/u on Braves’ runs scored is 580, and runs allowed 640. Plug that sucker into the Pythagorean win-loss expectancy and you get a record of 74 wins and 88 losses, which sounds about right to me.

    Fun fact: the 2006 Braves scored the 2nd most runs (849) of any modern-era Braves team, behind only the 2003 Braves (907). Unfortunately, the 2006 Braves also gave up 805 runs, the most for a Braves team since 1990.

  17. #27
    From that season, I remain somewhat traumatized by the memories of Chris Reitsma, Kyle Davies & Jorge Sosa.

    There was a mid-week day game at Yankee Stadium I remember well. The Braves had actually split the first 2 games of the series–Horacio Ramirez pitched the game of his life the night before, winning 5-2. And the rubber game, a pitchers duel with Smoltz & Wang, went to deep into extras.

    Top 12, Marcus Giles hits a solo HR off the over-used Scott Proctor, just barely clearing the LF wall, giving the good guys a one-run lead. So, my Yankee friends ask me, “So who’s your closer? Is he any good?”

    My response: “It’s Jorge Sosa, but he can give up a walk & homer with the best of them.” Of course, I’m kidding… sorta.

    Cue the band: He retires Jeter, walks Giambi & A-Rod hits one over the bullpen that lands near an ambulance by the emergency exit. It goes so far that the ball hits concrete, bouncing straight up in the air about 40 feet.

    Of course, including his follow thru, the posing and his initial hop to first base, A-Rod’s trip around bases takes about a half an hour. Reggie Jackson should’ve had him arrested at home plate.

    I look at my Braves friend who was visiting from Atlanta. Amid the high fives all around us, we just look at each other, shake our heads & do the long walk of shame out of the old stadium.

  18. Another note: With the Shields signing, the Braves move up a slot in draft pick order. They now pick 14th overall. The last time the Braves picked 14th overall, they took Jason Heyward. That would be a nice success to replicate.

    Between that and the Santana compensation, the Braves pick twice in the top 30, and have the fifth-most money to spend, behind only the four worst records in baseball. Better make something of that.

  19. @31 That’s because they are projecting the Braves to fail executing those bunt attempts…which sounds about right.

  20. The Padres had been one of the favorites to sign Olivera, but I assume signing Shields means they are probably out on him. Wonder if he’s still a legitimate possibility for the Braves.

  21. @30

    Wow. That is something. We better not over draft two soft tossing lefties from Cumming and Savannah.

  22. 810 runs scored, 0 runs allowed. Braves go 162-0 and sweep all rounds of post-season. It’s spring, when hope springs eternal, the Braves are undefeated and all things are possible.

  23. The Padres are apparently in on Moncada so I think they’ll be able to afford Olivera if they decide to go that route. Not sure where their funds are coming from, but its been an impressive offseason for them. Their pitching staff is ridiculous.

  24. We also signed Kevin Gregg, John Rocker, Dennis Eckersley, Eric Gagne, and the ghost of Jose Mesa.

  25. Capps is only 31. He could be a good pickup if he’s recovered from injuries (a huge “if”). If he hasn’t recovered, there is very little lost. The guy has pitched about 6.5 seasons and 4 of the 6 seasons were pretty good.

  26. The Atlanta Braves… if you pitch for us, you’ll get injured; and if you get injured with somebody else, you can pitch for us.

  27. Any of these guys who turn out healthy and effective can be traded for lottery tickets, and when we’re good again, those lottery tickets can be turned in to healthy and effective relievers, platoon outfielders or utility infielders. That goes for Gomes, Callaspo and KJ for that matter.

    Sure, it’s not the place you want to be. But if you’re there, it’s the thing you want to do. I like it.

    With the addendum that if we let any young guys walk because they’re out of options (I’m thinking of Vizcaino here) to make room for any of these guys, then I’ll admit that they’ve lost their damn minds.

  28. They’re going to have the starter pitch the first two innings, then they’ll have the top 10 in saves list from 2007 pitch the rest of the game. They’ll randomize the list for variety.

  29. I am happy to see us pick up Veras….I like signing his for a minor league contract than paying much more money for Jim Johnson…..

  30. They are really testing the limit of Roger McDowell. Maybe the front office asked McDowell for a list of relievers which he thinks he can fix.

  31. If you are a glass half-full optimist:

    You will look forward to April, as the season will be new and who knows who’ll make this roster.

    You will look forward to May, as that magic 40 game mark will tell you what kind of team we’ll be having.

    You will look forward to June–well, June usually sucks for us. Skip June.

    You will look forward to July, as Simba will display his talents in the All-Star Game.

    You will look forward to August, as the weather is nice pretty much every where by then

    You will look forward to Septenber, as we’ll get to see some of the prospects without fear of them taking AB’s away from deserving veterans or killing a pennant chase.

    You will look forward to October as we’ll be one season closer to a championship.

    Really, so much to look forward to seeing. Enjoy a cold beverage, enjoy several. As ‘Rissa showed us this winter, there are examples of excellence every day.

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