The Wandering Years. Chapter One. (by bledsoe)

“What did you do in the war, Daddy?” you say. Well, last night I went down to the basement and found the dusty old footlocker. I found the key and opened it, and there they were. All my medals. The 101 Purple Hearts I got in the ’77 campaign. The 106 Purple Hearts from the ’88 campaign. My Combat Action medal from the Padres beanball wars. And lots of Good Conduct Medals for being a good soldier and Not Giving Up the Ship. What was it like, you ask….

[Narrator looks away wistfully into middle distance. Screen dissolves to men dressed in powder blue double-knit pajamas.]

1.    1975-1979.
333-476 (.411)

We were still feeling a little buzz in 1975. It hadn’t been that long ago that we were in the playoffs in ’69. More to the point, in the previous year we got to watch one of the best 3 or 4 hitters to ever play the game chase and eclipse the most magical and storied record in all of sports. And Hank wasn’t some aging Babe Ruth rental. He WAS the Braves, through and through.

But in ‘€˜75, he was gone to Milwaukee, for the aging rental referenced above. And the cupboard was not being replenished. All we had was a phenomenal CF in Ralph Garr (career .317 BA, 137 SBs as a Brave) and the ageless Phil Niekro. Other than that, only Darrell Evans and Dusty Baker were above average players. The rest were WAY below average. Vic Correll. Rod Gilbreath. Larvell Blanks. Guys that had been good (Earl Williams, Darrell Evans) were sliding fast beyond their €”Best By”€ date.

From Wikimedia commons. By Николай Парфёнов.Then, Ted Turner bought the team (along with the Hawks, who I understand play basketball) in 1976. And it was like Al Czervik from Caddyshack had bought the team, if Al had been a good ol’ boy from South Georgia. Or if Mr. Burns and Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel had a baby together: that would be Ted Turner. Just crazy shtuff. He went out and paid top dollar for a FA pitcher, Andy Messersmith, then pretended to nickname him “Channel” then gave him the number 17. He then put Channel on the guy’s jersey, as if it were his actual name, so the centerfield camera would show Channel 17, the name of Turner’s cable station. In 1977, he fired the manager, found a uniform, and tried to manage the team (for one game until the league said no, Ted.) So in addition to being supporters of a terrible team, you were also tarred with being embarrassed by this jackass’s latest ravings or stupid FA signing.

But he actually seemed to want to improve the team. He didn’t know how, other than to treat it like a fantasy team and go out and buy a guy who just had a great year and pay him top dollar: Willie Montanez, Jeff Burroughs, Messersmith, Mike Marshall. That’€™s how it seemed. Steinbrenner was doing it, so heck, why not? But the addition of those players never added to the win column. Things like Barry Bonnell, Pat Rockett, and Junior Moore were rolled onto the field regularly.

The pitching staff varied wildly between a Bunch of Guys You Never Heard of, and Guys You Wished You’d Never Heard of. In addition to guys who just absolutely stunk, like Buzz Capra, it was a neverending parade of horribles. In 1977, Niekro started 46 games, and only he and Dick Ruthven had more than 16 starts. A total of 13 pitchers had starts. If it hadn’t been for Niekro, I don’t know what we would have done.

And as I’ve said elsewhere, the most scarring thing about those years was the fielding. Instead of Tinkers to Evers to Chance, we had Moe to Larry to Curly. The ‘77 Braves had 116 unearned runs, the ‘79 Braves had 109. (The 2013 Braves had 36.) For these abysmal years, they finished no higher than 10th (of 12) teams in fewest errors. The inability to make routine plays was just an epidemic.

This may be a personal thing, but nothing causes me more agita, whether on my kid’€™s high school team or the Atlanta Braves, as an inability to catch and throw. Because it’€™s both the easiest part of the game to be competent at and the key to winning in my book. You don’€™t need to be Brooks Robinson. Just make all the routine plays, and you’€™ll be in most games. But what made it worse was the combination of terrible defense with mediocre to poor pitching. Fielding becomes exponentially more important when you have a crap pitching staff throwing meatballs. You make an error behind Greg Maddux, no biggie. He’s probably going to throw a DP groundball next batter. You make an error behind Buzz Capra or Preston Hanna, big problem: you’€™re looking at a 4 or 5 run inning.

For those five years, we averaged just under 67 wins a season. In the 6 team NL West, we finished fifth, last, last, last and … last.

Watchword: Incompetence

We were trying to win. Ted was trying to win. Just didn’t know how to do it.

Next: Movie Time.

99 thoughts on “The Wandering Years. Chapter One. (by bledsoe)”

  1. Thanks, Bledsoe.

    @blazon, You probably don’t know, but back in the mid-90s the big Atlanta oldies station, Fox 97, would do song parodies like that all about the Braves. “Chop around the Clock” was one, as was “Smoltzie” in one of the early months of his Cy Young season–the latter sung to the tune of the Flipper TV theme-song (“No one you seeeeeeee, throws harder than heeeeee.”)

    One of the ones they did was “Let’s All do the Chop” with the bass “oh baby” background vocals in the chorus being replaced with a bass enumeration of the pitchers. “Let’s all do the chop (Greg Maddux); Let’s all do the chop (Tom Glavine).”

    I was 8 and 9 and 10 and 11 in those years, and out of school for the summer, and shared a commute with my mom from the northern suburbs into the city, and just obsessed with the Braves.

    Those were good years to be a baseball fan; thanks for accidentally triggering the memories.

  2. Also @Stu from the last thread, Coppollela et al would have to walk way back on multiple statements about their valuation of free agents. These are the guys who didn’t think Heyward was worth even $100 million – their valuations don’t mesh with the rest of the league’s even if they did decide to spend money. International spending is great, but those guys are going to be prospects too and most likely not on longer term deals than typical rookie MLB deals. The star power (and even the slightly above average power) is going to have to be developed or traded for.

  3. Hope it turns out well, but throwing millions at 16 year olds is pretty absurd on the whole.

  4. Eh, I don’t think it requires a whole lot of walking back, if any. Heyward wasn’t worth $100 million to these Braves. That doesn’t mean the next Heyward won’t be worth the equivalent amount of money on a team built for longer-term success and with much better revenue sources.

    Anyway, I agree that the stars are going to have to come from within, as they do for most organizations — just not that they wouldn’t be willing to pay to keep such homegrown stars in the 2017-and-beyond landscape.

  5. Hart said they didn’t think Heyward was “a $100 million player”, as I recall. I wouldn’t read too much literal into that, as it could be taken to mean several things besides specifically “100 million dollars over 6 years” or some such.

    More likely, he meant that he thought Heyward wasn’t worth his market 9-figure contract (and Heyward made his intentions to test the market clear). That is debatable–I think he is worth it–but those of us clamoring for corner power may ask ourselves whether we want this team’s biggest position player contract to go to a glove-first right fielder who hits 12-18 homers per year.

    I believe money will be spent eventually, and perhaps in a different way than we imagine or hope. These guys seem pretty shrewd about timing, and I wasn’t the least bit surprised or upset we didn’t make a splash for Cespedes or Upton.

    P.S.: Heyward’s consistency is amazing. Not two weeks ago I was remarking about his fast start, but he made sure to OPS .600 in April, just like he always does. Last 3 years .604, .610, .601

  6. It’s all conjecture at this point. I don’t blame them for not spending big FA money when we’re, for all intents and purposes, trying our best to lose big for a couple of years. What happens when we come out from the other side of the tank job? If all these prospects don’t look so hot, will the refrain still be “no reason to spend on a corner bat for a bad team”?

  7. Bledsoe,

    Although Darrel Evans had some not too good years, he continued over longer stretches to be a very good ballplayer for a long time. The Braves did not see the value they had in him or in Johnny B. Baker, Jr. They made a good trade when they moved Earl Williams, but that was one of the last ones they did for a LONG time.

  8. Nice work, Bledsoe. I remember those days all too well. It felt hopeless, but there were moments when it was entertaining (like when Gene Garber & Larry McWilliams stopped Pete Rose’s 44-game hitting streak), unlike these days (when half the time I just hope we don’t get no-hit).

    It should be noted, though, that Buzz Capra had an amazing 1974, when he had 16 victories & won the NL ERA title. But he hurt his arm at the end of that season & was never the close to the same pitcher.

    But, yeah, Phil Niekro had to put up with a lot.

  9. Thanks for the write up Bledsoe. I also remember Capra having an awesome year in 74 and hoping beyond hope that he would somehow return to form. The sad thing is that we didn’t get cable until 76 and my memories of Aaron were mostly from listening to a static filled radio station in Atlanta – all when I was 7 to 8 years old.

  10. @10 – I don’t know, even if things with Miller continue like this (not likely), the Hector Olivera trade may provide tough competition.

  11. I was one of the biggest haters of the Olivera trade both at the time and, of course, now, but nothing we gave up in that trade was on the level of Swanson or inciarte. Peraza was probably overrated, and the worst thing was that we wasted his perceived value on a trade that even in theory couldn’t have worked out that well. Wood and Peraza will probably peter out and the Olivera trade will be forgotten, horrible as it was at the time.

  12. @2

    great years by the sound of them…happy to be a trigger. I still think to this day it’s a great record!

  13. @13, I agree. Looks like the Dodgers side of the trade isn’t working out, but at least they have nothing to be embarrassed about. In hindsight, the cost of the trade to the Braves is two-fold: 1) we could have gotten an actual return for what we sent to LA; 2) Olivera was the kind of WTF?!?! acquisition that really makes the Shelby Miller trade look like blind luck. Makes you wonder about our front office’s ability to scout.

  14. @13/15 – Don’t we owe Olivera something like $32 million? Unless Olivera violates the morals clause (very distinct possibility), this does make that trade look a lot worse. I took a cautious stance on the trade at the time and I guess it could still work out to some extent. I’m just not sure if Olivera will ever be able to live these charges down.

  15. @14

    And as if he was auditing these boards, a local blues singer playing to a crowd of 20 people tonight interrupted his mournful set to do a 10-minute cover of both Let’s All do the Hop and Rock Around the Clock. How perfect.

  16. @6 JWDB

    Watching him hit at Wrigley tonight against the Nats i find myself still hopelessly conflicted by Jason. Emotionally first – then staggered still by the absurd contract they gave him.

    His emotions i now firmly believe are at war within him. This huge, black, gifted man no longer strikes fear to the guy on the mound. You suspect he’s now regarded as something of a routine out – just keep it inside. You start to feel sorry for him for pete’s sake. I would go as far as to say on the first two at bats i saw tonight – strike out on 4 pitches and a high pop up to the short stop with runners on base in a close game- he looked abject, slow, stiff. He is fighting himself big time and having to work very, very hard not to show it. A guilty thought – is he getting worse? Roll over Beethoven, those are sure not going away soon apparently.

    His numbers are awful – around .210 BA, no power. So much power, so much strength going to waste. Still a mass of tics and fidgets at the plate. I once compared him to Gulliver in the land of the little people, it still sounds apposite.

    And i still love him. Even when i hate him for leaving. Even when i now find myself glad he left and he and that lunatic contract are somebody else’s problem now. Defensive WAR has much to answer for, he will be its poster boy some year soon, starting to be already.

    But, hey, J Hey, take it, lock it away. Try to be happy. Still love ya baby.

    Just conflicted.

  17. Theo Epstein
    who knew he had a reputation for being quite mean
    said why don’t we give it all to Jason
    which my Executive of the Year award will surely hasten.

  18. I watched Alex Wood give up gophers left and right in living color last night, and I really don’t think that’s he’s the pitcher the prognosticators refer to as a “perfectly good, cost-controlled left-handed starter”. I like the kid so much, but he might end up the left-handed equivalent of Williams Perez: not good enough to start, not good enough to relieve.

  19. Bledsoe, Great recap of the late 70s Braves. The big difference between the dismal 70s and the dismal present is that 1) I was in my 20s instead of my 60s and 2) we had an owner that wanted to win. Gee, at least those games were on free on TBS, and I liked Barry Bonnell and Brian Asselstine where as I’ve loathed Olivera since we got him.

  20. One reason for the buzz in 1975 was the 1974 team:

    The 1974 Braves were a pleasure to watch. The teams from 1970-1973 had been disappointments, making the 1974 Braves a nice surprise. They were just in the wrong division. They had an identical record with the Pirates who won the NL East by going 88-74. Because the Braves were in the NL West they had to chase the Dodgers and Reds–the two best teams in the NL and I will always believe that the they were the third best team in the league.

    I might add that Buzz Capra was not an effective player from 1975-79, in 1974 he came from out of nowhere to lead the league in ERA.

    Capra was so hot in the summer of 1974 that the Braves suddenly had a Buzz Capra poster night.

    1974 would be Aaron’s last year in Atlanta, but it was arguably the best year the Braves had had since 1969…..

  21. I’ve been up literally all night researching a paper, so I might not be 100% sane. But I think this particular acedemic phrase footnoted in my paper is a metaphor for the current Braves roster, somehow:

    ‘The mudbricks were loaf-shaped with deep thumb prints to facilitate bounding.’

  22. @21

    ‘an owner that wanted to win’

    All the difference in the world, for us. Today we’re headed for group therapy.

  23. Our owner wants to win today… The problem is that he wants to win Real Estate Mogul of the Year.

  24. @17

    Edward..when Rock Around the Clock(b/w) hit British cinemas this was our first exposure to what we deemed must surely be pure decadence, us sheltered teens. Tethered Police German Shepherds patrolling the aisles confirmed our worst fears – we were thrilled.

    Shortly thereafter, at the same venue, a Johnny Ray concert (Yes, i know!), a young lady in the row in front got quite overcome, pulled open her blouse, had her girl friend lipstick his name across her front. This definitely marked the end of innocence. These wicked Americans. What were they doing to us? So, in self defense, we sent you the Stones.

  25. Might’ve missed it in a previous thread, but are there any updates to our efforts to sign the 2 Cuban brothers or Kevin Maitan?

  26. #30–I was as well and I came home with quite a few posters that I only got rid of when we moved.

    Still, it was great to watch him the one seasons he was on…..

  27. I certainly hope that we also get one of the following: Lazarito, Gutierriez and Arozarena. I fear that the Braves messed up their chance to sign the first, are behind on the second and not terribly interested in the 3rd. Since we will not be able to sign players like this for two more years, the Braves need to capitalize on the opportunity.

    I think that when July 2 comes, we will find that the Braves have a healthy number of players who are ranked between #30…#50. It should be a great day for the Braves–one of the few we are likely to see in 2016….

  28. All I care about is that we sign the kid named Yunior. Please, baseball gods, let us wind up with Yunior.

  29. Odd rebuild update: The combined fWAR of Heyward-Kimbrel-Gattis-Simmons-Wood-Miller-JUpton is -0.1 right now. Aaron Blair owns a 0.2 fWAR.— Zach Dillard (@Zach_Dillard) May 6, 2016

  30. @18 Blazon, JHey has frequently hit poorly to start the season – last year with the Cardinals, he had a .611 OPS through April; this year with the Cubs, a .604 OPS through April… basically the same. I’d put zero credence into the theory that his poor production thus far is the result of “emotions at war within him”; rather, he’s a lanky dude with complicated hitting mechanics and it appears he needs some time each year to get going.

    JHey finished last year with a .293/.359/.439 slash line – and barring the negative effects of his wrist injury or Cardinals Devil Magic, he’s likely to pull his hitting line up towards that range again in 2016.

  31. At some point these slow starts for Jhey will catch up with him. I think the Cubs will regret this contract at some point.

  32. “Buddy Carlyle, who was released by the Mets during spring training, has been hired by the Braves as a coaching assistant. His responsibilities will include “managing instant replay protocol during all games” as well as scouting assistance.”

    This can only be good for us

  33. @37, As a fan, I’d much rather the Braves of Heyward, Kimbrel, Gattis, Simmons, Wood, Miller and Justin right now, than the heaping pile of what we’re currently being served.

  34. As surely as Jason Heyward has a miserable April, Justin Upton has a torrid April, but not this year: .568 OPS in the first month.

  35. Yeah, and the problem is, the players who have taken the place of Heyward, Kimbrel, Gattis, Simmons, Wood, Miller and Justin are not cumulatively exceeding those guys. Therefore, we’re still terrible.

    It is encouraging to see that with 5 of the 6 international players being position players, we are clearly trying to address the dearth of prospects who play the field. I really have no idea who these players are, and besides Maitan, it doesn’t seem like any of them are slam dunks. I’m interested to see how this affects how we treat the current crop of position player prospects. Besides Riley and maybe Ruiz (and of course Swanson and Albies), I really have no confidence in anyone on the position player side.

    It’s becoming increasingly clear that we have more starting pitchers who will be good in 2017 and beyond, but none of them have shown themselves to be an ace, and all of them can’t fit in the rotation. I’m counting as many as 9 pitchers who could factor into the rotation plans for 2017. My names are Teheran, Wisler, Blair, Sims, Jenkins, Newcomb, Ellis, Barker, and maybe Folty. With the trading deadline intrinsically structured as a time for teams on the cusp of a World Series appearance to over-pay for the Last Big Piece, I can’t imagine the Braves will make any “buying” trades at the deadline, so I think we’d see some trades to add to major league talent in the offseason. Do you sell the surplus pitching and the older, non-elite layer of the position player crop (Mallex, Davidson, Peterson) to get yourself a hitter or two, and look for the next wave of pitchers (Soroka, Povse, Fried, Allard, Touki, and Sanchez) to compete with the 2016/2017 draft classes and international signings for the next class of Braves prospects (with an ETA of 2018-2020)? By that time, hopefully you’ve got a pretty good on-field product, and you’ve pruned the leaves to get power-hitting position player prospects as you hopefully have a good up-the-middle of Inciarte (or Mallex)/Swanson/Albies, a couple elite position players (Freddie, Trade Player A, Trade Player B), and a tight core of 9 or 10 young, cheap pitchers on the staff. With the specter of Uggla/Mudge/CJ/Swisher/Bourn off the books forever, and the new stadium bringing in money, the resources will be there.

    Is it a fair summary of the perceived Braves plans by the optimistic people who are following the rebuild closely?

  36. @43, keep in mind that by the time this class of international players reaches the majors (and you’re lucky if even one of them does), that Swanson/Albies will probably be close to free agency. These guys are 15-16 years old!

    July 2 is an absolute non-event except for the PR goodwill. If six seasons go by and the “rebuild” hasn’t yet born fruit, then Maitan will be playing for a completely different front office.

  37. Maitan is very likely to be debuting in fewer than six years. I’d guess four. Still far away, but he’s in a different class than the others are.

  38. Rob Cope at 43,

    You have a pretty good plan as a supposition of FO plan.

    I am not saying WHO, but I could see the Braves taking on a good player on a contract that requires him to be great (just some possibles, Braun, Ethier, McCann) or a middlin player on a very bad contract with a heavy subsidy in money or players (Kemp). So, they COULD add a position player that way. If they can get one corner OF bat like that, that could be a good use of resources.

    The most likely guy to bring anything back of note is Teheran. But, I kind of want to keep him. Because if we trade, we don’t need any middle infielders. We will probably know by July 1 that we don’t need any 3B’s. We don’t need CF’s. We need a well above average player in LF and RF and at catcher. We need somebody who you can be very sure will give you all contract years at 2 to 4 WAR (higher would be o.k., but that won’t come this way). If that is in place by April of next year, this is a pretty good team.

  39. @45, no 16 year old is very likely to make the majors. He has relatively better odds than his peers, but still overall it’s unlikely.

  40. It is highly amusing to me to make the assumption that it’s going to take Maitan the better part of a decade to make the majors when we’ve got a 19-year-old knocking on the door right now, and he isn’t even the best prospect in baseball. The best of these guys move fast; that’s why they’re so valuable to have.

    Andruw Jones and Miguel Cabrera were playing in World Series games as teenagers. If Kevin Maitan is on that level, he’s not going to be making his major league debut as a 24-year-old.

  41. Declaring him on that level, at age 16, and giving him $5M, and everything that those expectations entail…is just absurd to me. I realize it’s the costs of playing at the table, but it’s not a sane use of resources for a resource-constrained team. The variance in outcomes is just too high. 16 is not even close to physical maturity.

  42. Well, especially considering he’s a big proponent of getting prospects to the bigs the moment they’re ready. I get that A LOT can happen between ages 16 and 19 though. I’m a little trepid about giving $4M to any 16 year old, but he seems to be quite the talent.

  43. @50

    hey ho and whoopee…YES!

    please no more cotton wooling, guys…some of you could be almost half a decade out…

    19…the new 30

  44. @52, if he was putting up a .800+ OPS in the minors like Albies at 16, then sure, call him up. But he’s not. Not yet.

    I guess we all draw the line somewhere. You guys want Swanson at 23 and Albies at 20. I want them now. I would rather wait a few years on Maitan before I spend a bunch of our real estate money on him. But…if you want to find out if he’s really that good, you have to pay him now. It is what it is. I’d rather the Yankees do it than us.

  45. These guys are lottery tickets, and if you want to spend a million in international money, it’s usually better to get ten guys for $100,000 than one guy for the whole sum.

    But sometimes there’s a consensus. In the grand scheme of things, $5 million frankly isn’t a lot of money for a team that’s paying $1 million to Jeff Francoeur and $6.5 million to Erick Aybar, and Kevin Maitan is universally perceived to be a major talent. Whether he turns into Michael Ynoa, Wilson Betemit, or Miguel Cabrera, I think it’s a worthwhile investment. If he turns into what he could be, six years of team control could literally be worth something like $50 to $100 million. If he turns into nothing more than a bench bat, he’ll still be more valuable to the team than half the current major league roster.

    Reminder: Julio Teheran was seen by everyone as the top international pitching prospect in 2007, and we got him for $850,000. No matter how disappointing he’s been the last year and a half, he has been well worth that money.

  46. @51,

    “it’s not a sane use of resources for a resource-constrained team”

    How did you arrive at this conclusion? Have you run the numbers? I bet Coppy has. His figures may be wrong, but you can bet the egghead ran them. I’m shocked he didn’t consult your gut feeling, though.

  47. In a world where Aybar gets $8M, it might be worthwhile to give $2M to four random pre-schoolers each summer.

  48. @57, the entire team building philosophy is “let’s make a bunch of hard-way bets and see what happens”.

  49. I love that in krussel’s mind signing a player who is six years fron the majors is exactly the same as not signing him.

  50. So what? That doesn’t mean that they are making negative expected value bets. The fact that you don’t personally like their strategy doesn’t mean it’s an “insane” strategy. I think what’s insane is to spend $75 million on BJ Upton, or $250 million on 31-year-old Albert Pujols. A premium is paid for the illusion of a safe bet in those cases, when in fact they are not sure things, and when these big bets go bad, it can cripple an organization for years. Free agents are paid on the assumption that future performance will match past performances, which is a tenuous assumption.

    You don’t think the best 16-year-old baseball player in the world is worth a few million dollar gamble? What about the best 17-year-old in the U.S., which frequently gets that to be the #1 draft pick? What’s the difference, really? That kind of bet can disappoint 80% of the time and still be a success on average.

  51. @ 38

    Blauser..April is the cruelest month, eh? With respect, we do trot out that old saw on this board an awful lot it seems. Here’s my stat, the one when i learned it that really got me worried about him…

    The Cardinals came into Cinci last summer with Jason playing game 104…with 35 rbis…how can he do that hitting in one of the best line ups in baseball, it beats me, he had missed very little time, no serious injuries…i forget his HR total at that point but i believe it was in single figures…

    this wasn’t April, it was past 2/3 into the season…

    did you catch the Wrigley game today? i only saw a little, he apparently had an early double which is great but rare, then he came up again with men on base and on about only the second pitch of the AB pounded a classic Beethoven into the ground which the second baseman could have fielded with his bare hands. I could have.

    Sorry, there is something wrong, he is fighting himself. Have you been able to watch any of his AB’s? More often than not it hurts to watch.

  52. In the grand scheme of things it’s not a terrible bet. Point conceded. But all teams make these bets every season.

    Until I actually see him play against other pro’s it’s not fair to comment

  53. @62, Actually the Cardinals were 11th of 15 in the National League in scoring, 24th in MLB–hardly “one of the best line-ups in baseball”.

    It’s true that he had 35 RBIs through 104 games and finished with 60, but only Matt Carpenter (84 rbis) finished the season with more than 61. And while you probably know he led the team in stolen bases, and probably aren’t surprised to see him 2nd in walks and runs scored–did you know he also led the Cardinals in hits last year? I doubt it.

    Anyway, the point is that just because he isn’t the kind of hitter you want him to be, it doesn’t mean he isn’t a good hitter.

  54. People also realize his wrist is hurt, right? The Cubs considered DLing him but are forced to play him right now.

  55. Seriously…what got into Daniel Murphy? 4-4 today and slashing a cool .406/.452/.660 (1.112)

  56. Thanks to the link above, I finally know what the mythical Maitan looks like…and based solely on one picture, I gotta say, he looks like a baseball playing stud.

  57. One very good position player prospect I don’t believe anyone mentioned is Ronald Acuna, a CF from Venezuela. He’s at Rome, far away but moving up fast.

  58. He looks like a pitch-to-contact guy that depends on command. Putting little league defense behind him is not good for his confidence. He’s better off in Gwinnett.

  59. “Brignac” sounds like a drunk person slurring his words as he says, “Bring cognac.”

  60. Williams pitched a shutout tonight. I wonder which one gets credit.
    I read this line and got excited:

    Sean Newcomb 6.0ip 8h 3r 1bb 8k 3.16era

    …bc just one walk. I have really set the bar low

  61. Let’s go mostly lefties tomorrow


  62. At least our rebuilding effort is a couple seasons ahead of the Hawks’. They just don’t know it yet.

  63. Now DFA Aybar and stop using KJ at 2nd and maybe I won’t get violently ill at the sight of this team in the field.

  64. @89, Apparently so he can shake the rust off at catcher, which they’re going to try to work him back into. Hey, maybe we can reacquire him. We need a catcher.

  65. Aybar may have had 2 hits, but he looked like he is in slow motion at SS….

    KJ at 2B was ugly

    The Braves are a AAAA team–at best…..

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