Braves 8, Marlins 5

Fin, fin, fin.

The lights come up on another season of Braves baseball, and the audience leaves to a happy ending – in the sense that “Titanic,” let’s say, had a happy ending. The Braves break a 6 game losing streak to finish at 72 – 90.

Kurt Suzuki‘s 19th home run of the season opened the Braves scoring in the 2nd; Freddie Freeman followed Suzuki’s 2 run shot with a triple, and scored on a Nick Markakis ground out to stake Max Fried to a 3 – 0 lead.  Fried was sharp through 4 innings, allowing 2 hits and a walk, and striking out 7. However, 4 singles and a Dansby Swanson throwing error led to 4 Marlins runs in the 5th. Fried was charged with 2 earned and 2 unearned, and left after 4 and 1/3.

After the similarly blown lead on Friday and the blowout on Saturday, this series seemed destined to become the Mother Of All Barves, but Swanson singled and scored in the 6th to tie the game at 4, and his RBI single in the 7th gave the Braves the lead.  Adonis Garcia followed Dansby in the 7th with a pinch hit 3 run home run to break the game open.

Swanson went 2- 5 to finish at .232. Here’s what I wrote about him in May: .151

Marcell Ozuna homered in the bottom of the 7th off of Jim Johnson, making the game just close enough for Arodys Vizcaino to be eligible to pick up his 14th save.  Giancarlo Stanton singled twice and finished the season with 59 home runs; Ichiro Suzuki flied out in his attempt to tie the MLB record for pinch hits in a season.

The Phillies come to town March 29th.

The 5th funniest thing I ever heard about Miami:

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

511 thoughts on “Braves 8, Marlins 5”

  1. After watching odds-on 2017 ROY favorite Dansby in quite a few games this season, I’m not impressed. He could still be good, and I sure hope he is, but I wouldn’t mind at all if he was sent off in a deal to some other team for something good.

  2. August 5 we traded Sean Rodriguez to Pittsburgh for some guy which we turned around and traded for basically half a million in international bonus money. To replace S-Rod, we called up Jace from AAA to be a utility guy/bat off the bench, which is what S-Rod was gonna be but his wreck of a year (literally and figuratively) compromised his ability to provide that service. So here are the stats since that date:

    S-Rod: 15 for 92, 11 runs, 8 walks, 36 K, .163/.252/.272/.524
    Jace: 17 for 65, 10 runs, 13 BB, 16 K, .262/.385/.419/.803

    So there ya go. I hope S-Rod heals over the winter and plays up to professional standards for Pittsburgh next year. I’d also like to see Jace return as player #24 or 25 on our team roster. I like him.

  3. I think the trade will still prove a winner for the Braves, but my unsophisticated mind thinks the D-back’s weren’t totally dumb. Perhaps they misjudged Swanson and felt a trade was a good move. I’m not really sure what to make of Dansby.

  4. @3, It’s a pastime to mock Dave Stewart but I imagine he figured Dansby wasn’t gonna amount to anything once he saw him play and rated his stock accordingly. Just a theory. Hope I’m wrong. Part of our future success is built around him evolving into something we can use, either on the field or in a trade.

  5. Being lost in the wilderness ain’t so bad when the company is good. Nice season, Braves Journal.

  6. Nice finish to the season. Thank you to all the recappers and regular commentators. Braves Journal continues to be the best site on the web thanks to all of you.

  7. If Dansby never accumulates another .1 WAR over his career (and how likely is that to happen?), we’d still have won that trade thanks to Ender.

  8. You guys, and others, have all been so generous in your remarks re recappers and all. Maybe i’m allowed this early in the morning to say thanks on behalf of all of us. Thank you.

    Re Dansby. Good to see the universal support for the Dansby trade that brought us other things as well. Yes, of course.

    You would agree though that, moving on, that has nothing to do with whether we should go on into the new year continuing our ‘rebuild’ with him as one of the cornerstones. For me i could wait longer for the bat, it’s the defense. Freddie Galvis he ain’t, the comparison is absurd every time we play Philly. And others too of course. Cheers.

  9. Max Fried
    is now to be believed
    in what capacity?
    hurry not, be excited by your perspicacity.

  10. “And where do we go from here. Which is the way that’s clear. Still, still looking for that blue jeaned, baby queen, prettiest girl I’ve ever seen. See her shake on the movie screen [with] Jimmy Dean, James Dean.”

  11. @12, I’m looking forward to seeing Max Fried’s continued development. You’d think one of our “control problem” kids will figure it out, and when they do…look out.

  12. I just saw a wierd stat. SD pitcher, Luis Perdomo, had 5 hits on the season. One 2B, and 4 3B hits. Wonder what the record is for triples in a season by a pitcher.

  13. @14

    Yes, right. Sorry for the delay.

    I continue to go back to their track records when the trade occurred. Most would have bet, at the time of the trade, that Sean Rodriguez was a better bet of being a quality super-sub vs. Jace Peterson. Jace was hitting .187/.275/.268 at the ML level, and only .258/.374/.359 in AAA. S-Rod’s track record was still much, much better than that, his 47 rushed PAs notwithstanding.

    So we’ve wasted $12M on Bartolo Colon due to poor scouting, sold one of the few pieces to get prospects back in Garcia simply to dump their salary, and they trade S-Rod to clear $7M on next year’s payroll, whatever was left on this year’s payroll, and $500K in international pool money when we can only spend $300K on each individual player (meaning we have to sign light-hitting South Korean shortstops named Bae, not Kevin Maitan). At best, it’s a “meh” trade, and at worst, it puts a ton of pressure on a team that doesn’t bat 1.000 on evaluating both Jace and S-Rod. It’s working out, but I don’t trust them to do it again. But if you’d have known Jace would have come back and hit .270/.395/.413, then tell me who to bet on in the playoffs.

  14. The caveat to this is that, since then, the bench has really taken shape. $7M is fair value, IMO, for a supersub who can put up 1 fWAR but can play multiple positions, provide some veteran leadership to a young team, and provide the flexibility to run a 4-man bench. But since then, Lane Adams, Jace, Adonis, and Camargo have proven that you may not have to pay anything for the bench, really. And that may have been their reasoning with shedding S-Rod, and that’s great.

  15. AJ Minter
    aims for your back foot and will practice all winter
    a mannequin will be provided
    shattered plastic toes till his fury has subsided.

  16. RE: Swanson

    I don’t necessarily think that Swanson shouldn’t be the SS, and I don’t really even care about “winning and losing” a trade. We traded somebody, we got some people. What each team does with them is their business. But I would openly question the FO if they’re making their decisions based on previous making Swanson The Face of the Franchise, or his hair is awesome, or he speaks English, or whatever.

  17. Rosenthal: “Special assistant to the GM Gordon Blakeley also involved in issues #Braves are facing, sources tell The Athletic.”

  18. Rosenthal: “Resignation of Coppolella believed to stem in part from issues with #Braves’ talent acquisition in Latin America.”


    EDIT: Passan weighs in

    “Sources: Major League Baseball has been investigating Braves GM John Coppolella in recent weeks. @Ken_Rosenthal says he plans on resigning.”

  19. On Swanson, any time a team trades a 1/1 that quickly there should have been alarm bells galore. Like 10 alarm fire decibel level.

    He is basically a scrap-iron guy. He’s Rex Hudler. You could see it at Vanderbilt. He’s never been worthy of any of that accolade and it basically comes down to the fact that the D-Backs missed the boat. He IS hard nosed and a hustler and has some intangibles (maybe…I actually think that guys like this sometimes that stuff is overblown and wonder if their teammates think they are a douche). BUT, IMO those three things will get you beat over 162 games. Not win games. Talent wins games.

    Ppl are correct that Ender is probably worth it anyway but the Braves need to be hunting a SS.

  20. Hahaha, doing great, Braves. At least the ability to fleece taxpayers remains unmatched.

  21. Passan: “Early on in investigation, little evidence had been found to corroborate a number of accusations levied against Coppolella, per sources.”

    “MLB was looking into everything from Braves’ int’l operations to its domestic draft to Coppolella’s treatment of Braves employees.”

  22. Obviously we’ll need to get the full story before passing judgement, but I have a real hard time thinking of ways this isn’t a horrible bit of news. What possible explanation would leave me thinking, “Oh great, this resignation will really put th franchise on track to excel!”?

    Coppy was supposed to be the change tufting office needed to follow half of baseball into the modern era. I now have zero confidence that the Braves are anywhere but back of the pack in front office philosophy and modern analytics.

  23. This org needs a clean sweep in the FO. Frank Wren was the scapegoat. Now it’s Coppy–earned or not, I dunno yet. The real problem is named Schuerholz, Hart, and McGuirk.

  24. So do we empty the farm system again now to cut all ties to the Coppy era like we did with Wren? I kid (I hope). Can MLB decide the Simmons and Olivera deals are voided?

  25. If it’s for violation of International Draft rules there certainly were times before the draft it was mooted here and elsewhere some money had already gone to the family etc. Everybody does it etc. Bit of an open joke at the time really. Hopefully all this has nothing to do with Maitan’s viability as a baseball player. Olivera’s we can handle!

  26. A distinction that would be worth knowing right now would be is this a result of MLB telling the Braves because of rule violations etc you MUST fire these two or is it rather an internal decision at the Club?

  27. “With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.”

  28. Passan: “To put it mildly, John Coppolella was not well-liked among his peers. Well-loathed would be more accurate. A lot of schadenfreude right now.”

  29. This is just speculation, but I wonder how much of this is the rules violation and how much is the internal philosophical debate. I am afraid the rules violation may have given the leadership cause to push Coppy out. If so, that signals a move toward a more traditional GM and the whole Braves Way (TM) stuff. If that’s true, and this is Schuerholz et al moving Coppy out in favor of their type of guy (Dayton?), then I think that’s a loss for us. I can’t imagine the team going with someone really forward thinking.

  30. Should any of us be confident in the direction of this franchise? Two guys a bit long in the tooth, to put it politely, about to reassert control when they should be fully retired.

  31. Gosh, Dayton Moore would have to be towards the top of the list, no?

    This is all very interesting.

  32. The Braves are about to release a statement apparently. And other sources say there is little or no evidence to indict Coppy. If all this is internal then at least Maitan should be safe.

  33. I have no idea where they go from here (though I’d bet on an immediate shift towards competitiveness), but I can easily conclude that I’m sick of the GMs being bad-mouthed on the way out. This is now 2 GMs that have the whole “they’re not well-liked by their peers” stigma. 1) Who cares? 2) Sounds like the guy hiring them is the problem.

  34. @54 why would Maitan be safe? not being a smartass, serious question. Remember the Braves being linked to Maitan for months before the signing deadline? like ‘done-deal’ linked? that always struck me as odd.

  35. Is there any precedent for MLB voiding contracts of international players based on some alleged shenanigans surrounding the original signing? Would Maitan (or whoever) just become a free agent?

  36. @59 didn’t the redsox have 4 or 5 contracts voided along with a penalty

  37. So, we have a lot of people who apparently really dislike Coppy, and a lot of unsubstantiated “no evidence yet” allegations against him?

  38. @60


    It seems like one of his peers went to MLB. They are also looking into some of the issues with how he treated staff.

    Maybe it was a stock pile of things and everyone though it best he go?

  39. Well, to be completely accurate, the Braves’ official statement is depicting a definitive, not alleged, violation of rules. Make of that what you will.

  40. The Braves FO is probably like any other high-powered work place, full of backstabbers, politics, and infighting. I wouldn’t be surprised if Coppy just made the wrong people mad.

  41. Braves flagship radio affiliate wasting no time in telling stories about what a jerk Coppy was to them. I guess we are copying the Braves way, Boston that is.

  42. So somehow the last two GMs have fallen out of favor and been bad mouthed on their way out… I wonder what the common denominator is here?

  43. All Future GM Candidates: You have $30M tied up in Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp? And the old GM still runs the show? Paaaaaaasssssssss.

  44. Damn, I was really looking forward to “Driven: The John Coppolella Story” during a rain delay next season.

    Waiting for some Scheurholz arrogant crap about “This is all part of the plan, part of the process.” Should be within a few hours.

  45. This matches some of the sentiments that he was hired to rebuild the franchise, but wouldn’t be around for the next WS winner. This definitely has the slight outward appearance of my criticisms that he’s a really good auctioneer, but not someone you would necessarily trust to build a major league roster.

    I’ve also wondered recently if there’s been a disagreement over what to do with the best farm system in baseball. If I had to simply guess, I would think Coppy would fall into a camp of not trading the majority of them and waiting for them all to materialize, and others in the organization wanted to pull the plane up and compete.

  46. @73

    I assumed the Braves would have a story about how Coppy was going to see Dr. Andrews out of precaution and because they are old friends.

  47. You have $30M tied up in Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp?

    11 mil of which disappears after next year, leaving only the final two years of Kemp’s contract as dead money. You also inherit a team with only 60m committed to non-arbitration contracts in 2019, with a roster and pipeline (currently) stocked to the gills with at least moderately impactful talent.

  48. Jeff Wren weighs in!

    Lot of shit talk for a guy that literally only got hired because his brother ran a team?

  49. You would think that attacking the beat writer would constitute punching down for someone who’s been in a front office.

  50. Today’s game of “X thing that happened in Bravesland wouldn’t have happened if Coppy had favored my ideas about the team” has been especially rousing.

  51. A man’s face peers out from the shadows behind the brick wall. He whispers, so only you can hear it, “Maybe Coppolella had to resign because he got caught breaking the rules…”

  52. What Adam R said @82.

    I was preparing a far more sarcastic way of saying it, but screw it, it’s probably not necessary.

  53. Like, if you’re a beat reporter for an MLB team, and your source is the GM of that team, that seems like pretty good work to me.

  54. Braves Journal revives as 2017 season dies. At least the Braves are doing something to keep the fan base occupied. Jeez Louise! I thought the on field product had problems.

  55. @87

    Something along the lines of…

    The simple explanation that Coppy broke the rules (maybe in addition to him being an asshole) is just too boring, and is obvious BS! Clearly, it’s a game of 28-dimensional chess by Schuerholz, in which he convinces everyone in the front office that the actually saintly Coppy is mistreating them, then tricks somebody into fabricating “evidence” against Copppy for this international market thing, thereby putting us in position to suffer some sort of sanctions by MLB, all so that he can take full control back of the team that Coppy had almost succeeded in wrestling away from him. That’s clearly what happened, and is so much more believable than Coppy breaking the rules and being an asshole. I mean, he would never! How dare you question Coppy!

    …I deleted the original, but it went something like that.

  56. @77

    I fear Markakis and Kemp keep them from competing in 2018, and Kemp alone may keep them for an extended playoff run in 2019. 1/6 of your payroll going towards absolute mush is hard to come back from.

  57. @90

    Only if you’re not willing to, you know, actually spend money to try and field a winning baseball team.

  58. I know nothing more than the rest of you folks – which is to say next to nothing at all, really – but if I were guessing:

    Coppy played loose and fast with the rules for signing and bonus pool money with the buscos in Latin America. When questions arose, he leaned on internal personnel to cover it up.

    Or, alternately, his personality was not well received by other front offices, and he over valued his own brilliance and prospect hounding, to the point where the C suite management decided to use this bad PR as a reason to move on to someone who might actually succeed in packaging extra minor league arms for major league talent.

  59. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for this team to not pursue and sign J.D. Martinez this winter. They could easily afford that AND a top of the line pitcher (Jake Arietta, for example.)

  60. I just posted to Facebook that Tom Petty apparently would back down, and man, ZERO love.

  61. @91

    Are we cheering for different teams?


    It could very well be both, Sam. They both, however, expose similar issues: folks don’t like him.

    There’s also the angle that with so many teams being outspoken against him, the main brass wanted to make trades and baseball wouldn’t work with Coppy, so he’s gone.

    So much intrigue!

  62. With the same caveat – that the information we have is limited and fluid, to say the least – it certainly seems that Coppy might be the answer to “what would it be like if MGL actually ran a front office?”

  63. @96

    Yes yes…I know.

    For the record, though, if there’s ever a chance that they open up the pocketbooks, it’ll be this offseason when it happens.

  64. @98

    They’d better.

    Speaking for myself as a fan, this administration, from the very top of ownership down, has lost the benefit of any doubt and needs to show with actions, not words, that it is committed to success.

    Absentee ownership has now helped create two completely dysfunctional front-office situations in less than a decade. Ownership that was involved (but not overly so, there’s a fine line that needs to be walked to avoid going the Dan Snyder/early Ted Turner years route) could step in and say, “Children, knock this crap off.” That hasn’t existed, and rot has set in. Infighting. Speculation of backstabbing. Enough palace intrigue to fill several novels.

    Spend, make changes, FIX THIS. Otherwise, bring in the HAZMAT team and clean it all out from the top down.

  65. I understand wanting to open the pocketbooks, but remember the last big free agents the Braves signed were Derek Lowe and BJ Upton IIRC. It’s not like there is a ton out there on the FA market.

  66. Everybody came back out of the woodwork today to watch and comment on the train wreck.

    I do not believe Coppolella approved any thing in Latin America that wasn’t consistent with what Schuerholz and Hart approved.

    Very strange.

    But yes, absolutely Schuerholz office needs to be emptied and they need knew phone numbers that he doesn’t get. Hart needs only after that to hire somebody, and then resign.

  67. @99

    Exactly right, this franchise has lost the benefit of the doubt. Regardless of whether Coppy is a reckless rulebreaker, a victim of palace intrigue, or somewhere in between, it really just doesn’t matter. This team is not doing enough to show its fans that it has a plan in place that it will stick to, a competent front office that is united behind the plan, a capable manager, and the right mix of the right kinds of players.

    What it does have is improving financials and some promising real estate holdings. Bully for them, go choke on your announcements about payroll-shedding personnel moves.

  68. @101

    How in the world would you know that Coppy didn’t do anything in Latin America that Hart and Schuerholz didn’t approve? Unless you were involved, that’s just wild speculation on your part.

  69. @99

    Cosigned. I would even settle for being placated by putting a decent team on the field next year as a mea culpa for looking like complete morons.

  70. Everybody’s hot take about this, like virtually all hot takes about anything, will probably be off to a great degree. I can wait for facts.

    A few questions I have: On the one hand, if Coppy’s such an a-hole, why was he even hired in the first place? Only two years ago, after serving as Assistant GM, so his personality had to have been a known commodity. Or maybe it only emerged once he had total demoniacal power, bwaahaaahaaa!!! On the other hand, he did just recently gratuitously insult Braves player personnel by name, a real demonstration of a-holeishness, in my opinion.

    This talk about schaudenfraude within the organization…if we are somehow penalized or lose Maitan or anything of that sort, that’s more like spiting the nose off one’s face or having a good laugh because that jerkwad ship captain smashed into that iceberg. No matter what, this hurts the Braves, and I have to wonder if organizationally there aren’t a bunch of a-holes running around those offices. Note how apparently many complaints about Copapy were lodged but MLB investigations have found no evidence to substantiate.

  71. IIRC, nobody was fired or resigned after the Red Sox international signing penalties. My conclusion is that either a) Coppy/Blakeley/Braves had much more egregious violations or b) other internal factors for the firing.

  72. A well run organization gets it’s cues from the top. There isn’t any discernible leadership there outside the guys who seem to have lifetime contracts, why is any of this surprising?

  73. Well, crap …

    “While the long-term fallout of Coppolella’s actions remains unclear, the focus of MLB’s investigation narrowed in recent days to the bundling of international amateur signing bonuses to circumvent spending restrictions, according to sources. The scope of the Braves’ scheme remains unclear, but a source familiar with it deemed it “significantly bigger” than a similar one employed by the Boston Red Sox in the 2015-16 signing period. To skirt rules that limited them to signing players for a maximum $300,000 bonus, Boston overpaid for bonuses on lesser players represented by the same buscon, or trainer, of more highly regarded players, to whom extra money was funneled. The five players signed in the scheme were declared free agents, and the Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for a year.

    “The Braves’ troubles could extend far deeper, according to sources. The investigation remains open and is expected to look into the signing of top prospect Kevin Maitan, a 17-year-old shortstop who received a $4.25 million bonus last year. If improprieties are discovered with Maitan’s signing, he, too, could be declared a free agent, according to multiple sources.”

  74. Remember when some said this FO sucked? Yeah, they did/do.

    I doubt the kid is Miguel Cabrera, but if you thought that he was, you do EVERYTHING that you possibly can do do things on the up and up.

    Instead we apparently did the opposite.

  75. The best part of all of this is going to be a couple years from now when we all realize that Maitan isn’t good.

  76. “The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.”
    — Deep Throat, “All The President’s Men”

  77. From the Yahoo Sports article:

    “It dovetails with Coppolella’s modus operandi as GM, in which his assertiveness – multiple GMs still recoil at the 2,000-plus word text messages he has sent – soured them.”

    2000-plus word text messages? That’s crackhead-level crazy right there.

  78. @111 I have thought that secretly all along. And even if so, he is 3-5 years away. We can’t even produce a ML OF of our own. Like NOT ONE. Especially since Mallex Smith is more Rowland Office than Rock Raines.

  79. Coppy is, of course, a rogue agent. Always been a jerk. Everyone hates him. But he’s gone now! Everything is still A-OK at MassiveEvilGloboDynaBravesCorp. Um, isn’t the Battery so great? None of those…uninvited elements. Spend your money. We beg you! It’ll go back toward the team!

  80. “‘This place is totally [expletive] up,’ one high-ranking Braves employee said last week. ‘I just hope when it blows up, it doesn’t take all of us down.'”

    The Braves Way, everyone.

  81. And, frankly, after having read that article, I–someone mentioned this earlier–don’t see how at least Hart, and probably Scheurholz, could not have known about Coppolella’s behavior. Both of those guys are former GM’s, which means that even if they didn’t watch Coppy at work, at the very least they know the players, agents, and current GM’s who had to deal with Boy Wonder, and word would have reached them.

  82. If even a fraction of that article is true, how in the hell do Schuerholz and Hart still have a job? Who do they answer to?!?!?!????

  83. So the intrigue was about Coppy forcing his underlings to break the rules and they were uncomfortable with it.

    We’re not the only team with this problem — I will point out that the other team caught for bundling, the Red Sox, is owned by John Henry and not absentee corporate overlords — but Schuerholz and Hart need to go if this is true.

  84. @120

    It’s obvious they answer to no one, and that is the problem. McGuirk and Malone, for all intents and purposes, are imaginary constructs. They are names, but they do not exist as people, let alone as managers of an organization worth 10 figures.

    I feel for those employees who will caught up as collateral damage. But the whole thing needs to be blown up.

  85. The anonymous complaints levied with the league, according to sources, included accusations of bundling in Latin American, under-the-table benefits given to at least one draft pick and pre-draft deals struck months in advance – the latter two of which the league continues to investigate.

    It’s not just Maitan. Who else are we going to lose?

  86. @124

    From each according to his ability to each according to his need. So Jim Johnson will be getting a heck of a lot.

  87. And before anyone starts typing their next anti-corporate or anti-Schuerholz rant, this is a problem that is rampant throughout baseball. Doesn’t matter who’s owning or running the team, or how entrenched they are. Coppolella was merely stupid enough to get caught.

    It’s funny, because when he was a Fangraphs prospect writer, before working for the Braves, Kiley McDaniel was outspoken about some of these practices on the international side.

  88. Weren’t Hart and Coppy working together closely? There’s no way Hart didn’t know this stuff was going on. Maybe JS too.

  89. There’s no way both Johns didn’t know. They are above the rules and accountable to nobody though, so it will be very interesting to see how it plays out.

    If I’m Evil Wren I’m gonna be pretty tempted to leak all the improprieties that he might have known about from Acuna’s class. Hope it doesn’t sink to that level. At least we’ve got Neck for another year, just in case.

  90. Jeff Wren himself also tweeted earlier that he thinks there is no way the Johns didn’t know.

  91. The anonymous complaints levied with the league, according to sources, included…

    A bunch of butthurt Cardinals scouts pissed that they got out bid.

  92. Turns out that a lot of what his tweet storm was about a few weeks ago turned out to be true.

  93. Turns out that a lot of what his tweet storm was about a few weeks ago turned out to be true.

    I will never accede to lower my standards of “thinking” to include a “tweet storm.”

  94. MLB Grapevine‏ @MLBGrapevine Aug 31

    One more point for the twitterverse if my brother or I had given Rosenthal his information – you guys jaws would be permanently dropped

    MLB Grapevine‏ @MLBGrapevine

    From inside the walls at Suntrust. Dysfunctional because of Coppolella, who is the most despised GM since Bowden. @DOBrienAJC #Braves
    4:29 AM – 13 Sep 2017

    MLB Grapevine‏ @MLBGrapevine Sep 13
    No … Frank Wren was respected in the industry and multiple clubs offered him a position. Coppolella will be saying welcome to Walmart

  95. There’s a crumb out there from a “blue check mark” on Twitter with the idea that Dayton Moore could become club president and he would hire JONATHAN Schuerholz as GM.

    If so, God help us.

  96. @148, After all this team has been through the last few years I don’t think such nepotism would be tolerated. But maybe I’m naive.

  97. This certainly shines light on the lack of trading Coppy did in the second half of the year.

  98. @146

    Assuming you’re not joking, Chipper as GM is an even worse idea than Chipper as manager. Again, he can be the hitting coach if he wants. Nothing higher until he’s actually spent a year or two, you know, actually coaching.

  99. I wouldn’t. One of those two guys has actually spent some time trying to figure out how to be a major league GM. And it isn’t Chipper Jones. “Little Jonny Nepotism” would almost certainly be a better GM hire than Chipper Jones at this point, not that he would be my first choice, either.

  100. I’m joking. But that it wasn’t treated as the outright absurdity I intended makes me think we are primed for just about anything to happen next.

  101. Tom Petty’s passing is confirmed by his family. Another thing confirmed: Today can go to hell.

  102. If Passan’s story is credible, and it appears to be, the Braves are going to be hit with heavy sanctions. We’ll probably have this hanging over our heads for some time as I doubt anything will be announced before the end of the World Series.
    I’m in the camp that says an entire new management team has to be put in place. As a life long fan I take this personally, these guys have dragged MY TEAM through the mud. Bring in a new management team and restore integrity. Meanwhile we won’t have competitive baseball for a number of years.

  103. I also fear that Freddie Freeman will request a trade as a result of all of this. He must be fed up by now.

  104. @156

    I want to take emotion out of this, but, yes — this is still our team. Fandom is irrational; we root for players whose connection to the team and city is usually far more fleeting than our own. Players (and often coaches/managers) cycle through multiple teams in their careers. But fandom is usually far more static. I worked with a professional sports team for a little while, and we were told that our business was unlike any other because we “sell an emotional connection.”

    Part of that emotional connection is taking something like this personally. So I’m ashamed of it all, as irrational as that emotion may be. And because of that shame, I feel anger, and I want heads rolling down the streets and corpses to swing from the lampposts of the Battery (metaphorically speaking).

  105. In the best of all possible worlds, we’d be reading these things about the Natspos.

    Can MLB impose a death sentence on an organization, perhaps ban all Braves scouting below Peachtree City?

  106. You’ve got to figure that at least one of Allard, Anderson, and Wright are goners. That would certainly change things.

  107. Hate to say it, but we deserve proper punishment here. Kemp’s contract should be voided, and he’ll be granted free agent status so that the other teams can have a fair shot at him.

  108. @162

    Some of that has been walked back. I think it will mostly be around international players.

  109. Peanut saying Snitker will likely remain as manager but other changes will happen this week.

    Pretty sure Chuck Hernandez will be gone.

  110. @ 166 – no, via TC, Passan is reporting we apparently misbehaved re: the Drew Waters signing too.

    As someone whose only real emotional attachments in sports are to the Braves and University of Louisville basketball, I feel like I should have seen this coming.

  111. Bill Shanks now reporting that Snitker’s option will be picked up. Will make announcement tomorrow. Not surprising given yesterday’s news.

  112. Over at Talking Chop, there’s a bunch of deeply insufferable talk about how everyone breaks the rules, so why should we even be in trouble? We’re being railroaded, blah blah blah…

    I have to say that I very much appreciate the fact that we haven’t seen that kind of rampant amoral idiocy over here.

  113. @171, It’s a shame, I bet Grissom will have a great 2018 for somebody.

    @172, Agree. It’s a positive sign that baseball is cracking down. The international market is messed up, and reform is needed. We’re talking about young teenagers getting taken advantage of.

  114. @171 – dangit, I was really hoping for Lafayette. Grissom is probably too old at this point, so no huge loss there.

    and @170 – ha. at this point, it would not surprise me if that’s how this ends. there are actually seem like some weird parallels re: amateurism in what’s gone on under the table forever in college sports and signing int’l youth in baseball. I wonder how widespread this crookedness is in baseball, if it’s as all-pervasive as it is in US college sports.

  115. @172-173

    My perspective is somewhere in the middle. The game needs reform, absolutely, and this will be a very positive outcome of this. It effectively puts teams on notice that you can’t manipulate 14 year olds overseas. You also can’t circumvent the slot rules by giving players money on the side. All great things.

    DOB speculates that we won’t lose any signed players, and I think that seems about right. JJ Cooper speculates that this is rampant all around baseball, and I don’t doubt it, so that leads me to believe this is a statement move to the rest of the league: stop. And if in the process, a GM nobody likes gets axed, then so be it.

    I think there’s a lot of good for the franchise that can come out of this. This is embarrassing. This is ugly. If this doesn’t cause restructuring in the FO, I don’t know what will. They fired the previous GM for poor performance and bad “people skills”, and you send the team into a rebuild only to then fire the next GM for rule-breaking and bad “people skills”, so a second consecutive GM firing has to go up the line a little bit. But if it gets a clear chain of command and a demand to actually compete (which I fear Coppy was an antagonist towards), then that’s a good thing. And similarly, hopefully they clean up things like firing your manager through a Delta boarding pass, calling up players you’re not allowed to (Boni), and DFA’ing-not-DFA’ing players (Micah Johnson).

  116. @172, I certainly think “the rest of the league does it” but that just means Coppy’s stupid for sticking his head up enough above the rest to get it chopped off.

    That said, I’m still waiting to see how many of these charges stick and how many are just wild allegations from haters with the knives out. The Drew Waters thing is concerning but apparently investigators would need players and their agents to play ball with them and one can assume players and their agents are satisfied with the contracts they have and thus won’t compromise that.

  117. A pull quote (from Passan’s article) pulled from the TC article @168.

    …The anonymous complaints offered a number of threads to investigate. One involves Drew Waters, a second-round pick this season whom the Braves allegedly offered under-the-table benefits to sign for under the slot value. In interviews with the league, Coppolella and Keith Grunewald, Waters’ agent, denied the allegations, saying that Coppolella’s offer of a car to bridge the difference between the $1.5 million he signed for and the $1.675 million slot value was made in jest

    If we were to step back from the (not completely unwarranted) howling of “DOOOOOOOOOMMMMEEEDD!!” for a moment and look at that allegation dispassionately, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to get super duper upset. Unless there’s some evidence that they DID provide Waters with a car to “bridge” the money he agreed to punt by signing under slot, this just reeks of other clubs’ personnel with personal dislike for Coppy hacking at his shins (and hating that they lost the draft maneuvering games.)

  118. My perspective is somewhere in the middle. The game needs reform, absolutely, and this will be a very positive outcome of this. It effectively puts teams on notice that you can’t manipulate 14 year olds overseas. You also can’t circumvent the slot rules by giving players money on the side. All great things.

    And by “manipulate 14 year olds overseas” you mean “invest in young talent and allow young men with very rare and valuable skill sets to provide for themselves and their families literally for generations to come.” If that same “14 year old” were in the US he’d be being feted around the competitive circuits of travel ball by his parents and attendant supporters. So let’s be clear; the only entities who benefit from international free agent signing restrictions are the clubs and MLB.

  119. @178

    Chief…you miss the point…or have you previously considered ‘the error in baseball and the the moral dimension to American life.’? I am entitled to assume not, who has? Thus its interest to our group, some at least. Why the rush to judgment, did you read it through? Negativity for its own cheap sake on a day when something so different from what is obsessing us might serve a purpose.

  120. Yes, the reasons for the rules against it is “the billionaires would prefer to exploit foreign talent if at all possible, but haven’t worked the rules to get them into the “draft” boondoggle completely, yet.”

  121. @172, the real rampant amoral idiocy is in the current MLB rules for international signings. They are literally designed to keep these kids from making the money they’d get if they were free agents. These rules are in place to benefit multi-billion dollar ownership so they don’t have to pay these teenagers what they’re worth.

  122. @180 Evidence or not, I find it hard to believe every GM in the league is pulling this kind of crap. That is just bush league stuff.

    I’m sure GM schadenfreude contributed to this situation, and maybe lots of others are doing shady stuff as well. But let’s not pretend that Coppy doesn’t deserve to go on his own merits.

  123. Evidence or not, I find it hard to believe every GM in the league is pulling this kind of crap.

    This seems to be an overabundance of faith in the GM class. We quite recently had Boston on the hook for doing pretty much the exact same thing. Before that STL management was run up the pole for stealing Houston’s scouting docs via password “hacking.” They’re making millions of dollars to compete in a billion dollar industry. Rubbin’s racin’, and if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t competin’.

  124. I’d say more than just the clubs and MLB benefit from international free agent signing restrictions. I’m guessing these “buscons” do as well. Without a clean and transparent access point to MLB for youngsters abroad (though let’s be clear, we’re talking mainly the Caribbean), an overly complicated system benefits the under-the-table agents who stand between the talent and the teams.

    Also, don’t forget: The Players Union wants caps on how much teams can spend on drafts. The largesse being spent on domestic and foreign kiddos was money they felt was being siphoned away from them.

    Meanwhile, the news of the Braves “signing” a 14-year-old from Haiti surprises and impresses me. Has there ever been a kid born and raised on baseball in Haiti that played in the US? I don’t think so. Touki Toussaint is Haitian but he was raised in the US and developed his talents there.

  125. I take your point and don’t argue vehemently against it, John (@191). But I will take the moment to point out that “buscon” is just a scary furriner word for “agent.”

  126. @192, They’re not licensed or transparent about their dealings. There’s also rumors they’re affiliated with organized crime. Of course the same could be said about domestic agencies.

  127. I doubt a blind morality test between Random Buscon A and, say, Scott Boras, would reveal a major advantage either way.

  128. I’m still waiting to hear more details. Our transgressions must be worse than what’s already reported…nobody would *resign* over this. You get a slap on the wrist like the Red Sox did and you call it a day.

    I think it’s much more likely that Coppy lost a pissing contest and they forced him out. This story is the bag of weed that the cops planted in his car.

  129. I’m still waiting to hear more details. Our transgressions must be worse than what’s already reported…nobody would *resign* over this. You get a slap on the wrist like the Red Sox did and you call it a day.

    I tend to agree. Until I see some evidence of something more than “he may have ‘joked’ about a car with Drew Waters, and they’re down there in Haiti recruiting 14 year olds for future signings already!!” there’s just not a lot of “there” there. Absent that additional evidence and some stronger indication of major wrongdoing from MLB’s investigation, my assumption is:

    1. The draft rules were more or less written and codified, for MLB, BY JOHN SCHUERHOLZ. He is personally offended and embarrassed that “his team” would be playing fast and loose with them.

    2. Coppy has made enemies internally within the organization who want him out already, and this is a convenient excuse or the “final straw,” depending on who you ask.

    3. From a straight “job requirements” perspective, making enemies and becoming a hated individual by the people you need to have friendly working relations with (other GMs) is a valid reason to replace a GM as any.

    Of those, I find #3 the most compelling argument for replacing him. Even if all he did was play loose with international free agent rules (just like everyone else), having burned bridges and built walls with other GMs, and apparently having a difficult personality in general, would make him less than adequate to manage the team from “rebuild” to trades and FA signings to take the final step back into contention.

  130. OK, so this is rock bottom. It can only get better now from here on. Right?

    @196 Sam, absolutely agree.

  131. I did know that as soon as I said that thing about being glad that no one on here was justifying our rule breaking, that Sam would come in with something. Oh well, there is certainly a conversation to be had about the rule itself without justifying our breaking of it, I will grant.

    @195 is my favorite, though, because it combines the “outrage” over the fact that anyone would dare point out our rampant cheating with the assumption that this was really all about Schuerholtz trying to get rid of him because he was getting too much power.

  132. I haven’t spent much time “justifying our rule breaking.” I’ve noted that from what little information we have in the public domain, I see little excessive “rule breaking” to get upset about. I see reports of rule bending, but the margins are margins for a reason.

  133. The most recent thing I read from Rosenthal: “As for Maitan, Rosenthal relays that MLB hasn’t found any improprieties in his signing to this point, though that could change.”

    They’ve apparently been looking into this for a couple months. Who knows? We’ll see where this goes.

  134. The only thing we know for sure here is that there’s a high level of butthurt and backstabbing going on with the office politics.

  135. @204: I’ve seen some sh*t at mediocre workplaces. I can only imagine the politics inside an MLB front office.

    The best: returning a $2.5M grant because a dean did not like the director of an academic program.

  136. Sam,

    That you would use snowflakes as a pejorative term gives me great…pause.

    However, you’d have won a whole lot of money over the last few years betting on my ‘hot takes’ than you would have with others (here) saying that Newcomb et al are the next Sandy Koufax. Or that Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies are going to be whatever.

    You can disagree the merits of that statement all that you want but it doesn’t make it any less true.

    The truth is the Johns and Liberty Media are either washed up, or clowns. Or frugal or something, other than winners.

  137. I’m a complicated man, and snowflakes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. That said, I am aware that you are fully invested into the theory of your own brilliance, to the point of overselling what others have said about prospects, etc. That doesn’t make your investment valid or correct.

    The primary issue with the Braves is still Liberty’s penny pinching budget. $122 mil is not an adequate player-personnel budget for 2017.

  138. Depending on how the investigations go, we may find out that the budget was actually a lot higher.

  139. fully invested into the theory of own brilliance

    I’m putting this on my business card. Man, there’s some gold here today, and a lot of it is coming from Sam. Huh.

  140. @209

    And if that’s the case, wouldn’t it have made much more sense to spend it legally on the major league roster than illegally on draftees and international signees?

  141. I dunno, I was mostly joking. If you’re cheating and others aren’t, then the money is probably a comparative advantage in the draft and international market. That wouldn’t be the case for the FA market where there is no cap. It’s also probably a comparatively small amount (because of MLB’s rules that punish amateurs coming in through the draft and international signings)- an amount that probably doesn’t help you on free agents.I doubt the amount of money we’re talking about adds up to what we gave Bartolo.

  142. @211 More like pyrite, which is also known as Fool’s Gold.

    He hasn’t said anything that I haven’t already said which is the BIGGEST point is that Liberty Media are schmucks.

  143. @212, yeah, seems like spending a good bit of the covert-ops budget on sketchy international teenagers is a gross misuse of team resources. The only winners here are the international prospects and the agents/grifters whose palms we greased.

    Seems like Coppy’s strategy was similar to the “Black Swan” stock/options trading philosophy, where you make a ton of high-risk/high-reward bets and just need a very small fraction of them to hit in order to come out way ahead.

    I’m fairly certain this strategy will fail. Therefore, good riddance.

  144. @214

    Yes, you’re clearly the only who’s allowed to have that opinion. We all must mention you in any post suggesting that Liberty Media are crappy baseball owners, as it was obviously your original idea.

  145. I’ll weigh in once more with a least a slight bit of pushback against labeling every agent, “buscon” or player representative as a “grifter.” There’s value, and need, for a professional business and legal entity to assist teenagers, both domestic and international, in navigating the details of multi-million dollar contract negotiations. There’s no fair, equal negotiating position between a 14, 15 or 16 year old baseball prospect and the legal team of MLB Franchise X without those “grifters.” Neither Kevin Maitan nor Byron Buxton is up to that challenge without representation.

  146. MLB’s rules disadvantage the international players – even with representation, they have no leverage because of the spending cap. It’s a really crappy system that incentives cheating.

    But I can’t see how any team could get out of the international market, because you’d be ceding a great talent pool.

  147. Kiley McDaniel was moved to “West Coast Crosschecker” from Asst. Director of Baseball Ops. I’m no genuis, but that sounds like a demotion.

  148. I look down on the buscones not because they are playing the role of Scott Boras, but because they are creating baseball academies filled with 12 year olds that aren’t learning any kind of things that prepare them for adult life. The 1% that might get signed are going to be the ones you read about, not the 99% that reach age 17 or 18 and don’t have any basic life skills.

    The counterpoint is that all these kids probably have it a lot better than your average kid in some of these countries. So there’s that.

  149. As you say, it’s not like the buscos are taking kids out of soft, joyful middle class family life and running them through player mills as child labor. The upside for a 14 year old in Haiti isn’t really all that good even without a buscone filling his head full of MLB dreams.

  150. If anyone is really interested in what the international market is like, I highly recommend the film Pelotero (Ballplayer). It showed how it works focusing on a few Latin players (Sano being the main one). Really eye opening stuff.

  151. I’m still curious about this baseball in Haiti talk. When and where has there ever been baseball in Haiti? I must be missing a relatively recent development.

  152. My two loves, the University of Florida football and the Braves, are both embroiled in controversy and scandal. Florida has 11 players suspended for credit card fraud, and the Braves now have their thing. In 2015, Florida also had their star QB suspended (who subsequently transferred) because he took a banned supplement he said he purchased at GNC. Yeah, right. My response to all of these are the same: (preferably) don’t do anything bad, but (realistically) don’t get caught. And the same rational fits both: everyone knows the rules, so you should too. But everyone also knows how to get away with breaking the rules, and so should you. I have ultimately decided that Florida’s issues fall on the head of the head coach to have control over your program, and I do the same thing towards JS. You’ve gotta know what’s going on, especially if it’s really bad. And if you don’t, then that’s on you. JS seems to continually be unaware of how his hires are behaving, and it’s wild just how much he comes out smelling like roses.

  153. @226

    “Then, on Aug. 23, Hart lost respect of most in the clubhouse when he brow-beat Snitker for leaving in Jim Johnson against the Mariners. The players heard Hart’s abusive tone, and some even complained to other executives, as did some of Snitker’s coaches. Hart lost control about a managerial decision in a meaningless game in year three of a rebuilding process.”

    Using Johnson and leaving him out there in that situation was the wrong move, just as using Kemp last Friday was idiocy. If this team ever wins again, he will not be a part of it, and because of that, I don’t believe he should stay. But Snitker is a pawn. He is a placeholder. He is a field guy, not a front-office guy, so if he returns, meh.

    Now the front office, from ownership down … that needs to be killed, and killed with fire.

    In regard to Hart specifically … I’ve seen this from bosses in the past. Nothing will make a work place turn into a more half-assed environment. If the Braves players and coaches witnessed this (and perhaps other, similar outbursts), it would, in part, explain their at-times disengaged demeanor in the final two months of the season. Unprofessional? Yes. But if this was the case, I have been in their shoes and would understand.

    Hart is clearly in the wrong for dressing down Snitker within earshot of the team and the coaches, and for letting Coppolella run amok. Schuerholz should be fired for his inattentiveness. McGuirk should be fired because it all happened on his watch; the buck has to stop somewhere.

    And Liberty should get out of the baseball business. You got your tax write-off. Your asset appreciated. You made your money in your “real-estate business.”

    In the 11 seasons of Liberty’s ownership, the Braves have as many playoff-game wins as organizational meltdowns and stadiums.

    Liberty, GTFO my team, please.

  154. I don’t dismiss it, but Shanks has been in love with Dayton Moore for a long, long time now. And at this point, it’s hard to tell where this faction’s palace intrigue stops and the Moore faction’s begins.

  155. Shanks’s column might as well have been dictated by Schuerholz. But who is JS pandering to (other than us, the idiot fans)? McGuirk? Liberty obviously doesn’t care enough about the baseball side of things to hold him accountable for this.

    The scenario Shanks lays out, where Hart is scapegoated for Coppy’s wrongdoing and JS installs Moore as his new guy, is both the worst-case and most likely ending in my mind. This sucks.

  156. Here is an even more basic question?

    How did a FO with:

    1 HOF’er
    1 borderline maybe HOF
    1 up and comer that everyone thought was good

    Basically poop the bed TO THIS LEVEL?

  157. Arthur Blank. Owns UTD and the falcons. Cares about his teams. Invests in their success.

  158. Shanks is JS’s mouthpiece. So @231 has it right. Doomed? I dunno. Coppy was certain doom. Dayton Moore will probably just be a slow ride to nowhere. The best I can muster with this franchise right now is “meh”.

  159. If at the end of all of this Hart and Coppy are removed and Dayton Moore is installed as a VP of Baseball Ops figure with a GM underneath him, that’d be just fine. If you believe Shanks, Hart and Coppy just wasn’t working behind the scenes. If JS and Moore work well together, and Moore picks his own GM and eventually his own manager, that would work out really well. And considering the choice was between Moore and Wren, and they’ve both done what they’ve done since then, I bet the Braves are dying for a do-over. And Shanks is right; JS is 77 years old and how involved could he possibly be? I’m around the Dayton Moore idea quite a bit. He has more rings than Hart, Coppy, and Wren put together (not real hard…).

  160. Yeah. I mean, Dayton Moore did recently get the Royals to back to back WS appearances. That’s a good deal more than Coppys resume no?

  161. To Dayton’s credit, he has seen a rebuild through with fewer resources.

    He’s had the patience to let players like Eric Hosmer develop, and he’s had to spend from his store of prospects to get Johnny Cueto at the deadline and seal the deal.

    Hey, maybe Moustakas follows him here.

  162. Jeff Wren is on Twitter saying

    We all understand that Jeff Wren is hardly a reliable source, yeah?

  163. They probably are complicit. But this is like the McCoy family tweeting that it has the dirt on the Hatfields. You don’t say…

  164. Right. The fact that we now are required to treat front office conversations as if we’re a westerner holed up in low rent West Berlin flat, desperately trolling radio signals from behind the Curtain in order to piece together this week’s Politburo and Kremlinology readout is… bad.

  165. @234

    thanks…and Home Depot/the Aquarium etc if i’ve got that right. The ATL Club are lucky to have such a committed and positive owner.

    Compare with Liberty here and Stan Kroenke with Arsenal. Various well funded attempts to buy Kroenke out have been ignored and just today he’s offered half a billion or so to buy out the 1/3 minority shareholder, a Russian oligarch. Yuk, Kroenke is the pits, zero passion for the team, the sport, the local community.

    They have the sense to know that nothing creates appreciation more and faster than scarcity and ML franchises are that for sure. But here’s a ray of hope. We Realtors used to say ad nauseam buy Oceeanfront, they aren’t making any more of it. Well, whaddya know, now they are, plenty of it and much more to come. As the old stuff is disappearing get out of that very quickly and seek the nearest mountain top. Would we could use that as an analogy to get them to call their lawyers and sell.Nothing is permanent.

    Meanwhile, hats off to the Arthur Blanks of this world. May they prosper and multiply.

  166. the curve
    they all swerve
    the question, how sharply they drop
    that’s the decider, superstar or mop.

  167. blazon (@244): The Aquarium was spearheaded and funded by Bernie Marcus – the OTHER co-founder of The Home Depot. But otherwise, yes. Blank was the other half of that founding partnership, and he is currently beloved in Atlanta for his dedication and support of the sports franchises he owns and operates. (The Atlanta Falcons (NFL) and Atlanta United (MLS.)) Folks tend to call him “Uncle Arthur” around the city. He is to those to franchises what Ted Turner once was to the Braves.

    Also of note, Arthur built and owns (more or less) the new stadium downtown – Mercedes Benz – and is the driving force behind things like “fan first pricing” there. Which is why a hot dog at a state of the art, billion dollar NFL stadium only costs $2.00.

  168. @244, If I may have my way with your analogy: Realtors/developers are a funny lot. They define “oceanfront” by the buildings they place on it, not the dynamic, constantly-changing-for-millenia reality of tiny grains of sand being moved around by the wind and the waves, sometimes dramatically and always inconveniently. Rich folk have been placing permanent structures in harm’s way on Florida’s beaches for almost as long as my family has been settled in the area (late 1800s, FYI). The tiny fishing shacks inshore usually weather the storm, and are easily replaced if they don’t. Meanwhile, the expensive condo owners and restaurant developers are always whining for more money for “beach renourishment” to maintain and increase the value of their luxury investments. They say “The beach is disappearing.” No, the beach will always be there, it’s your house that might not be.

    So with all that analogizing out of the way…sports team ownership, amirite?

  169. Ozymandias (not Albies) lies in the rubble of his own creation. If J’s S and H are complicit — how could they not be! — they too should be dismissed. As someone noted, S wrote the rules.

    Karma’s bite does not regard the ass bitten. Clean house.

  170. It’ll be interesting to see how and when this all gets sorted out. I suspect that, with the playoffs underway, we’re gonna be left hanging for a month as to what’s happening with all of this. The local beat writers are compromised as news sources for something like this, and the national reporters are going to be more concerned with covering the playoffs, so unless both LCS go four or five games and they have a week to screw around, I’m guessing it’s gonna be pretty much silent for awhile.

  171. John S. was just inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Awkward all around. And I repeat: Under these circumstances it would seem impossible simply from a PR standpoint for Lil’ John to wind up in control after all this.

  172. If everybody else gets to have a pet theory, then here’s mine: what Coppy did may not have warranted him resigning, but he was forced to resign partly because everyone seems tired of his shit and partly because pre-emptively punishing in such an extreme way may avoid more MLB punishment coming down on others (e.g. Hart).

  173. Have just done a survey of all recaps this year with regard to the number of comments each attracted before they were bonked.

    Average is 27. Winner is Rusty S @252 and still counting.

  174. the post season
    we can think of no reason
    we are not there
    except, perhaps, that the cupboard was a trifle bare.

  175. I protest! No one is awake on Saturday mornings so my comment count is artificially deflated!

  176. Does anyone else find it unsettling that the amazing team of John Schuerholz and Bobby Cox have been involved in hiring the 2 most obnoxious people ever known to Major League front offices (to hear their lackeys tell it)?

  177. @251, I think you’re onto something… could have been just a great reason to make him resign.

  178. This will resolve with Dayton Moore taking over the club. This is as certain as it was that they would hire Fredi Gonzalez to replace Bobby.

  179. @257, it’s almost as if the key to the Braves dynasty in the 90’s might have less to do with JS and BC being super geniuses, and more to do with the fact that Ted Turner spent money that put our payrolls at or near the top of the league. Maybe. Possibly. Worth considering.

  180. @261 – Good theory except Time Warner took over from Turner in 1996 and his power decreased as the years went by. He had deep pockets early on and spent money foolishly imo. I was never impressed with him as an owner, but he gets credit for bringing on a good team and spending wisely beginning in 1992.

  181. We started spending in 1991 but we hardly broke the bank on TP, Belliard, Sid Bream, et al. Maddux was indeed a big spending item, but the Braves dynasty was built primarily around trade acquisitions and player development. The spending, which indeed got really big, was mainly to maintain our assets, not acquire them. So I believe credit should go to all parties executive and ownership.

  182. I do find a little enjoyment in reading the Twitter sycophants tripping over themselves to find a way to justify their Coppy worship.

  183. I mean, I don’t think Coppy was doing a bad job…

    Even with his mistakes, the rebuild may pan out in a couple seasons #confessyourunpopularopinion

    Acuna is almost here. Gohara and Albies are here. Without this whole ordeal, this would be a weird time to be pessimistic.

  184. Snitker is a stopgap. Why the clamor for a new manager if you’re going to saddle him with a team that may well lose 80-90 games next year? Let Snitker take the hit and move on when you think the club is closer to competing.

  185. I don’t think he was either. But I think a lot of people fell into some of his media work that he was pulling off heists left and right. On Twitter, there’s a lot of prospect worship, even more than a guy like me, and so to see Coppy fall from grace so quickly has thrown some of them off, methinks. I had recently said often that I wondered if Coppy was qualified to actually build a major league roster, and this resignation with the amount of quotes that other GMs didn’t want to work with him, I wonder if he was going to be able to. Can you really give that much credit to a guy who had the international budget he did, the draft position/available money/overslot ability he did, and the ability to sell off players at will for almost 3 years? He’s a really good auctioneer who never got his opportunity to build a roster, and if you believe the people at the top, there may be a good reason: he’d never have no one to work with. I don’t know; there’s a lot of angles here.

    That’s in contrast with the optimism going forward. Those things all happened. They traded 3 years of competitiveness to do it. They’ll now be able to reshuffle those acquired assets, but it doesn’t change how they were originally acquired…

  186. @267, Ha! Snitker’s going into his third season as a “stopgap” to “take the hit and move on” when things get better. Apparently that’s good job security in da ATL.

  187. @268, I give Coppy plenty of credit, mostly because of the Shelby and Mallex trades, but also because he didn’t miss any layups when drafting/signing.

    Yeah, he may not have had the skills to finish the job and put a playoff roster together, and now we’ll never know for sure.

    We may look back and say we maximized Coppy’s upside and at least somewhat mitigated his downside — not a stretch to say that if he did everything perfectly, it could’ve been us in the WC game tonight.

  188. The guy that marches you thru the desert may not be the guy to take you into the promised land. Read that somewhere. Maybe Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I forget.

  189. @264 – Excellent observations. I agree fully. I believe we had some good players develop at the right time and some risky acquisitions like Bream, Pendleton, and Leibrandt turned out well. The genius in ownership and management was in maintaining and that’s when the payroll increased. I also give some credit to Mazzone in helping to keep our pitchers healthy.

  190. Baseball remains a funny game. Watching the drama last night i was trying to define to myself what separates us from those two teams, the areas in which we fall most measurably short.

    Then noticed Charlie Blackmon couldn’t hit a lick and neither could Mr Hot JDM. Some Snake reliever could though to the extent of two runs in from a ringing triple which split the outfield. And, hey, didn’t we sweep them not so long ago?

    The night before it was easy. The Yankees, pure bullpen, as advertised. Plus a few home runs. But we can do those.

  191. All Rise
    shucks, that goofy smile, hardly a surprise
    seven two, three ten
    behold the long ball, again and again.

    How appropriate the year’s best nickname sprung from the Bronx where there is likely the biggest concentration of guys in black robes dispensing justice to contain the unruly locals.

  192. But we can do those.

    Well, sadly, not really. We were 28th in all of baseball in HRs. We got a little bit of a surprise at C, and an underwhelming total in LF that averaged those two out, and we have no power at CF, RF, 3B, SS, and 2B.

    HRs aren’t everything, but this would be a fair example of what puts this team into a respectable HR situation:

    -Adding 10 HRs in right field (From Kakes’ 8 to Acuna’s, say, 18) puts us at 26th in the league.
    -Adding an aggregate of 15 HRs from somewhere between SS, 2B, and CF would put us then at 22nd in the league. 2B full-timers Phillips and Albies supplied 17 HRs. SS full-timers Swanson and Camargo supplied 10 HRs, but that includes a lot of time Camargo had also at 2B and 3B, so take that what you will. Inciarte played 157 games and hit 11 HRs, and that’s not likely to change.
    -Adding 10 HRs to 3B puts us at 18th in MLB. 3B between Ruiz and Garcia had 9, but obviously Camargo logged some time there, so borrow some from Camargo’s 4.
    -Adding 5 HRs to LF (Kemp and Lane Adams combined to hit 24 HRs) puts us up to 17th.

    But then you have to consider that Matt Adams hit 19 HRs, and about 10 of them came from being the full-time 1B, and say the other 9 are from LF and the bench. So you have to figure that out. Bottom line is that the time doesn’t have any power, but you do have those scrambled assets to move players around to consolidate more value in a 3B or more creative deals for a new LF or a RF not named Acuna. But you’re not going to upgrade the 17 HRs from 2B and the 11 HRs from CF, which leaves you desperate for a better season from Swanson, more power from Camargo (should he remain), you’re wish-casting that the catching duo will duplicate their 31 HR season, and you’re going to have to offset the additional 19 HRs Adams provided between LF, 1B, and the bench. The next GM has a lot of decisions to make.

  193. I’m really ok with 77-year old JS being over a Dayton Moore & subordinate GM situation. I don’t care about the #BravesWay crap. JS did some good stuff. It’s going to be very difficult to accommodate Hart’s role in the organization where you’re trying to get a legit GM or VP of Ops in place. You’re gonna have another Hart/Coppy situation. And I am conveniently leaving out the Wren era because I can simply acknowledge that JS had a choice between Wren and Moore, essentially, and he chose wrong. Oh well. You get your mulligan. Get it right this time.

  194. To be replaced by Dayton who will then hire a replacement for Coppy.

    Yep. Hart will go. Moore will take over as President. He will hire his own general manager. I doubt that will be John Schuerholz, Jr *immediately.* But I suspect the kid will be in the system soon enough.

    And truthfully, given where the last two rounds of Presidents and GMs have landed us, I can’t even say this is a bad idea.

  195. Switching gears a bit, BA has the Braves drafting Kumar Rocker, a….wait for it….high school RHP from GA with the 8th pick in the 2018 draft. Assuming we get to keep that pick…

  196. This is what happened to the Cardinals for their hacking scandal:

    The Cardinals’ first two picks in the upcoming draft will go to the Astros, as will the cap money attached to those picks. The commissioner fined the Cardinals $2 million – the largest fine ever for a club and the most he can, by rule, assess. That money will also go to the Astros as damages.

    So if that’s what the Cardinals got for what they did, I’d be interested to see someone make a comparable for the Braves’ situation. I don’t know who would know the scope and when.

  197. The Cards/Astros thing isn’t a good comp for our current clusterfuck. That was one franchise directly targeting another franchise, via password “hacking.” I think the better comp would be the lost signees who were declared free agents for the Red Sox, as punishment for their “bundling” activities in the same international free agent market.

  198. If we do draft Kumar Rocker and he does make it to the show, I dearly hope they give him #49.

  199. Brian Snit
    we seem to have moved on a bit
    ‘midst all the shenanigans at Cobb
    he’s currently the only one with a 2018 job.

  200. Man, Jeff Wren is relentless on Coppy on Twitter. Talk about an axe to grind. Really doesn’t like Keith Law either. Don’t blame him…

  201. @280/283

    Kumar Rocker
    the name itself is a bit of a shocker
    by Naughty John out of Bollywood Star
    he used to throw coconuts in the Bombay Bazaar.

  202. Are the Brave seriously just going to be a Scherholtz family dynasty? Is there nothing better we can do than have the guy who’s overseen the demise of a once proud franchise appoint his buddies again and again until he can appoint his fucking son?

    Get some leadership Liberty, this isn’t a family business.

  203. Jeff Wren is relentlessly on Coppy because Coppy is the reason Jeff Wren has all fucking day long to bitch and moan on Twitter.

  204. @287

    The only stretch of history for the Atlanta Braves which could be called “once proud” was the span where the team was directed on a day to day basis by John Schuerholz. Franchise history prior to that span is a sea of horrid highlighted by brief, utterly futile bursts of “almost don’t suck.” Franchise history after that span is a dumb show of “trying to live up to those years and failing.” The most noticable marker of when the franchise completely fell apart is when the current ownership group slashed the player personnel budget, and John Schuerholz exited the day to day operations of the club.

    I have no idea how to get Liberty to either 1) increase budget, or 2) sell the damned team to someone who cares. I have no idea how to ensure the next hire for franchise front office savior doesn’t fail like the last 2 or 3. But I’m at least willing to give the closest thing we have to a clone of the last guy to manage the team to true, dynastic success a shot. Because I don’t have any idea whom else we should turn to. And given the fact that neither you nor anyone else who is on the “fire John Schuerholz!” bandwagon never actually name his replacement, I can only assume neither do you.

    If you want to promote the “CLEAN HOUSE OF ALL OF THEM” talking point, I’m willing to listen. But you need to tell me WHO you want to bring in to fix this mess once the Old Men Of The Braves’ Way are defenestrated.

  205. I think it’s hard for average-to-above-average fan to say, “Replace the President of Baseball Operations with man”. That’s kinda hard. I also don’t know, though, if anyone even knows what that position even does, and if you believe Bowman, JS ain’t doing much anyway. For me, it’s the Hart/Coppy situation that really never gained traction. For all the resources that piled up the farm talent, there were several events over the past few years that lead you to believe Hart/Coppy wasn’t working. I think the only way this works is that you get an established GM who wants Hart’s job who, according to Shanks, will actually invest the time necessary. To me, that seems like Dayton Moore uniquely fits that description. I think, at this point, with everything I’ve read including some of Jeff Wren’s comments (albeit with a grain of salt), unless there’s new information, I’ll be really disappointed if Hart’s not gone and Moore replaces him. That makes us a better team in 2018, and I trust Moore going to work with all of our current assets vs. Hart and some random GM to make the long-term better too.

  206. Is there nothing better we can do than have the guy who’s overseen the demise of a once proud franchise appoint his buddies again and again

    What if the buddy in question has been to the World Series twice in the past four years? Is that not good enough for you?

    I’m finding the constant hysterics over ownership to be increasingly tiresome. You make it sound like the Braves aren’t trying to win at all and it really is all just fun and games for the privileged few who run the team and nothing more. Like, because we have absentee/penny-pinching corporate ownership, nothing that anybody does underneath that ownership structure can ever be good enough, ipso facto.

    I wouldn’t want to be so wedded to this worldview that I can’t even acknowledge that Dayton Moore would be a perfectly acceptable hire, or that Coppy has put the team in a position to succeed — mistakes, constraints, and all.

    I’ll pick on this similar comment from upthread one more time:

    Absentee ownership has now helped create two completely dysfunctional front-office situations in less than a decade. Ownership that was involved (but not overly so, there’s a fine line that needs to be walked to avoid going the Dan Snyder/early Ted Turner years route) could step in and say, “Children, knock this crap off.” That hasn’t existed, and rot has set in. Infighting. Speculation of backstabbing. Enough palace intrigue to fill several novels.

    I love how this comment contains the seed of its own destruction — Braves fans especially remember just how wrong the ‘engaged owner’ model can go. But I’ll just point out again that the other team this whole shitstorm happened to most recently, the Red Sox, is owned by John Henry, who’s probably this unbelievably cranky segment of Braves fandom’s platonic ideal of an owner. Whoops. Ditto Ted Lerner, who owned the Nationals when Jim Bowden was fired for his international market shenanigans.

    But I guess corporate ownership is the new Andruw; it can be blamed for everything.

  207. I think it probably bears mentioning that, by reports, MLB has FIFTEEN (15) open investigations into rules breaking in the international free agent markets. When baseball people refer to that market as “the wild wild west” it seems they really do mean it.

  208. @277 – I agree with this analysis. Some of Adams’s homers could reasonable be replaced by a full season of Freddie, but we have a dire lack of power at too many positions.

  209. The suggestion that the Braves ought to hire JS, Jr. to do a job there is zero evidence he is qualified for because he shares some of his father’s genes might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read on this blog.

  210. I could get behind a scenario where Hart is removed, Moore becomes VP of Baseball Ops, hires his GM, and JS Jr. gets in a role where he becomes the GM when Moore’s guy either doesn’t perform well and gets his own VP of Ops job. I don’t think I believe that JS is the bad guy that Jeff Wren makes him out to be, but I do think that 69-year old John Hart is the ideal person for what his job demands. And if it sets up JS Jr. with an opportunity to earn a GM job, then so be it. He’s been working his way through.

  211. How about they get rid of the President/VP of Baseball Ops positions? Hire a GM who can hire his own team of assistants and be done with it. Adding these layers has done nothing for the organization’s success—quite the opposite, in fact. Give JS a golden parachute, can Hart, hire a GM with the mission of righting the ship.

  212. Last night.

    In a game where their most heralded reliever, Andrew Miller, was ineffective -faced 4 batters andwalked two of them – the Indians pitching overall was sublime and Francona’s ballsy decision not to start his ace till game 2 brilliant. 2 hits for the Bombers. And what did you make of Jamie Garcia plugging away? He looked very tense before, during and after his contribution.

    In the other game the Gattis bat outperformed Mac who we were told failed to hit 20 for the first time this year. El Oso was on fire, wasted no time with two back to back doubles smacked into the left field corner, men on base both times. As we found out earlier this year the Astros offense depends on no one man- people like Springer went 0 for 4 and they didn’t miss a beat. Altuve, wow, 5 ft 6 165, hope for Ossie?

    And finally. How would you have felt watching Chris Sale if we had traded the farm for him and then had to listen to Jim Kaat expertly pick his arm angles etc apart from the first innings on. Ineffective, tired etc. I’ll keep the farm, thanks. Hindsight of course,look at Verlander, but how do you tell which one is going to be a bust?

  213. A very old man we call coop
    announces his ultimate scoop
    not just Grand but now Great
    how long must we wait
    till numbers be counted, the troupe.

    Hey my friend, you both deserve every one of them. Love ya.

  214. Again, it’s amazing what happens if you live one breath at a time. Longevity and fertile stock produce quite the herd.

  215. @302 – I think you’re getting hung up on titles. In today’s game the VP Baseball Ops does what the “GM” used to do, most of the time. The GM is “special assistant #1” to the VPBbOps.

  216. Succinctly put. For instance, Theo Epstein is a Prez of Baseball Ops, not a GM. Jed Hoyer is the GM. But the average fan would consider Epstein the architect of the Cubs. If you employed the same logic, I’d think you would consider Hart, who is in the same position with Atlanta, is the “architect” of where we are right now. But the average fan in Atlanta’s world says that Coppy is really the guy, and I think that contributes to some of the issues in Atlanta’s FO. I think you have a Prez of Baseball Ops that’s largely disengaged, and GM potentially making decisions that he shouldn’t be making. Clean it up.

  217. 4 games today…1pm thru 2 am…

    a surfeit would you say?

    nah…’if music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it.’

    make the substitution.

  218. By the way, I can make suppositions about office politics, as well. You ready? OK. Coppy is so clearly the source for that article linked @275 that I almost can’t believe nobody has mentioned it yet. Doesn’t mean there isn’t truth to it, but come on. It’s not even thinly veiled where that came from.

    I as well don’t fully understand the outright rejection of the Schuerholz/Cox regime by a large segment of the Braves fanbase. Was that brain trust new age in its thinking? No, it was not, but it was far more successful than anything that came before or since. And Dayton Moore went to consecutive World Series, so where this ridiculous idea that he would be a bad hire is coming from, I’ve got no clue.

  219. Wow what is the record for longest thread?

    Would be really nice to see us go outside the box and go after Kim Ng for GM.

  220. @318 I too can’t understand the rejection of Schuerholz/Cox. Those Braves were like the perfect storm back in the ’90s.

    I would be more than happy to exchange Hart for Moore. I’d exchange Hart for an empty chair, though. Dayton Moore, on the other hand, is who I wanted when Frank Wren was chosen, so it goes without saying that I would be happy with this.

    But getting this team back into contention is no easy task. I’d buckle up for the long haul with Moore.

  221. No dog in this fight, but Moore had a rep as a virulently anti saber guy and was lauded by Bill Shanks as such and criticized by many in the stat community bitd.

  222. I think the aversion to Dayton by some folks is caused by a subconscious realization that he was the guy who wanted Frenchy so bad. I’m pretty sure if you search back through some very old threads on here you will find some discussion about that. I seem to recall many were hopeful that Dayton would take Frenchy with him when he left the Braves (but I could be totally wrong about all of this… it is late Friday afternoon after all).

  223. 2017 Playoff Rootability rankings

    1) Astros – Pros – McCann, Gattis, Altuve, never won a WS, Houston could use something to feel good about. Cons – Clemens and Chris @%#!#%R Burke.

    2) Indians – Pros – Been a long time since their last win, bunch of fun young players, did the decent thing and lost to us in 1995 Cons – Racist mascot, having to read all offseason how much of a genius Terry Francona is.

    3) DBacks – Pros – Hired Dave Stewart the gift that kept on giving (to ATL) Cons – Hired Tony LaRussa, just won in 2001.

    4) Nats – Pros – I know this opinion will be unpopular here but I’d rather Washington just go ahead and win one and then fade back into obscurity like the Phillies did. Plus I actually like a few of their players. Cons – They’re still the F##$ing Gnats.

    5) Cubs – Pros – Not hated as much as the three teams below them here. Jason Heyward. Cons – Just won last year, enough already.

    6) Red Sox – Pros – Struggling to find any, redemption for Wren? Cons – Too much Boston success lately, the Bill Hahn game

    7) Dodgers – Pros – Haven’t won in a while, Alex Wood, Kershaw finally gets a ring. Cons – I grew up a Braves fan in the 80’s so I hate the Dodgers and they were part of the Olivera trade.

    8) Thermonuclear war breaks out cancelling the World Series

    9) Yankees – Pros – Yeah Right. Cons – How are they good again already?

  224. At the risk of sounding like Joe Morgan or some grizzled 80-year-old baseball lifer or something, a lot of people just want complete technocrats for both the GM and manager jobs. It’s a bad idea, just as hiring somebody who completely goes by the seat of their pants and old baseball aphorisms is a bad idea. You need someone conversant in and open to the new statistical paradigm and someone who’s capable of being a human being and not having everyone who works with them hate them. One would’ve thought that this mess might have given folks some pause, but apparently not.

  225. As per Dusty’s list, I put the Nats below the Yankees and thermonuclear war. I would legitimately actively root for the Yankkes in the World Series if they were playing the Nats. If you’re a Braves fan and can’t manage to come up with a bigger condemnation of the Nats than putting them fourth on this list, you’re not thinking hard enough.

    Other than that, it’s a decent order. I’d probably flip the Indians above the Astros, but they’re clearly the two most likable teams in this thing.

  226. Like I said, I knew my position would be unpopular, it’s jist that any Nats success has seemed to coincide with Braves suckiness, so it’s not like they’ve been responsible for many heartbreaks.

    Also, Altuve has an OPS in this series so far of 3.208!!

  227. The Indians/Yankees game was pretty special. Indians 9-8 in 13.

    Cubs/Nats – BORING

    Red Sox/Houston…deja vu all over again

    Dodgers/DBacks…just started with the world’s worst broadcasting crew.

  228. It’s unfortunate, because Brian Anderson is actually pretty good. One of the better rotating faceless national announcers, in my opinion. But being saddled with Joe and Eckersley is a very tough assignment.

    Having to throw 48 pitches in the first inning is good, right?

  229. Still haven’t done four, lasted ten minutes
    got there in the bottom of the first, 2 dodgers on, no outs, Turner up
    turns out Ray had been supposed to start for the DBacks but couldn’t because they had to use him in their wildcard game against the Rockies..with Kershaw to come no contest my guess.
    Anyway, i was cooked.

  230. Three’s my limit, and three only because I so wanted to see the Gnats lose. I wanted to watch the Bums-Backs, but I needed my beauty rest. If you ever see me, you’ll understand.

    A lifelong NL fan, I’m rooting for the AL (less the Yanks, of course) to win the WS.

  231. @334/335

    Nick, I’ll admit to not giving Brian Anderson a fair hearing. Ten minutes you know!

    re 48 pitch first inning…what was remarkable perhaps in this area was the frailty demonstrated by two of the most hallowed starting pitchers – Keuchel for Houston, Corey Kluber for the Indians.

    Keuchel eventually settled down to pitch well and into the sixth after a prolonged, shaky first. Kluber, who had been carefully programmed into the second game so as not to disturb his normal rest was awful from the start, high pitch count(76), and lasted only into the third by which time he had given up 6 runs. Nerves i guess for both of them, one never recovered.

    OTOH, CC was sharp from the start and bumbled along happily until, stupidly, he was taken out after 76 pitches. Lindor’s GS soon followed. Girardi had a rough night.

  232. I think some of Jeff Wren’s stuff is fabricated and he’s a bit nuts, but don’t dismiss a lot of his info as he was dropping this Coppy stuff nearly a year back and much of it was spot on to the Rosenthal article, the Passan article, and the Heyman article.

    There’s likely truth in the middle. Take the extremes away from both stories. But I agree with Jeff on one thing: John Schuerholz is a snake in the grass.

  233. I also hate the Nats more. This may be blasphemy on here, though, but I like seeing Bryce Harper have some postseason success. It’s good for the game.

  234. If Harper wanted to play for the Braves at a price Atlanta could afford, I’d be one of his bigger fans.

  235. Bryce Harper
    in a year he will scarper
    straight to the fattest purse
    which might be the Nats and what could be worse.

  236. @354


    how are the Vols?

    Game 3…Boston give up 3 in the top of the first…it’s over

  237. @355

    Yeah, it’s over…well, woulda’ been if not for…

    David Price (Pitching – 4 innings))
    Hanley Ramirez ( Offense- 4 hits)
    Mookie Betts (Defense)


    Go Vols.

  238. Jeff Wren

    Don’t be surprised if Liberty Media unloads club. Hearing there is a buyer that wants a clean slate and will FLUSH JOHNS!

  239. Yeah, I’m sure Gruden hates his current job enough…

    Watching Chapman makes me wonder if Touki could become an elite closer.

  240. @358: While I’d like to see new ownership, odds are a new owner will have even tighter budgets than Liberty. I think it’s a given that Liberty will sell the team while retaining ownership of all the real estate near STP.

  241. Though I don’t particularly care for DOB, his frustration with this whole situation is quite palpable.

    Well, to be fair, it’s unlikely he’s going to get an expenses paid Harley ride out of the deal any time soon.

  242. Our old buddy Chucky Morton getting out of the inning with no runs after bases loaded no outs situation. His balls have crazy movement today. I don’t remember him throwing 96 when he was a Brave?

  243. Quadrupleheader today with eliminations possible in all but 1 (CHC-WAS). Only way it could get any better would be if the Braves were playing in 1 of the games.

  244. Wow, Verlander coming in in relief in the 5th. 1 out, runner on first. Sales and Verlander in relief now. Crazy.

  245. For good reason. This is embarrassing and unnecessary. After 3 years of a rebuild, this shouldn’t kick off what should be one of the more influential offseasons fans have had in a long time. And we’re behind the eight ball right now not having a permanent GM in place.

  246. There’s a certain level of confidence you have to inspire in a fanbase to say, “We’re going to completely rip this thing apart, and when it’s done, it’s going to be great!” You’re not going to hire a crappy contractor to remodel your house. There was so much bravado in the way they positioned themselves as the savior of the Wren era that this is assuredly a punch in the gut for them. And considering they let a GM behave in the same way the previous GM was fired for, it’s almost ironic. And for no one above these GMs to suffer any consequences, it just doesn’t look good at all for the organization. I hope there are more scathing articles that come out. They should embarrass the hell out of these guys.

  247. Also, of the non-Dayton GM options, I think Billy Ryan would have to be at the top of the list, right? They seem to prefer known commodities.

  248. @376 If nothing else, I hope this episode will temper some of the more pollyanna-ish BJ posters. The fact is that this FO (as far as ML roster building/construction) has been bad. And we’ve learned that not only was it bad, it was most likely corrupt. We can argue the merits of whether working under Liberty Media will ever appear to yield a ‘good’ FO and I’d buy that. But Coppy’s prospect fascination was silly. It just is and was.

    Get ONE GM and allow him to hire his own people. Enough of the Johns. Tell Schuerholtz to take a hike and Hart as well.

  249. The FO may well be/have been corrupt… But the prospect “fascination” might–likely will–revive the on-the-field fortunes of the team.

  250. @378: I agree that the fix is to hire the best person as GM (or more likely, president, due to the title inflation thing) and let them rebuild the organization as they desire. But with Liberty in charge, I doubt that happens.

    @379: I’d say “might” is more accurate than “likely will”. I’m nowhere near as down on the prospects as the Chief is, but I’m also not convinced that the 2018 or 2019 team will be much better than the 2016 or 2017 teams. The team will be younger, which certainly means there’s more chance of upside, but that also means more chance of downside. We can be fairly certain what Markakis, Kemp, or Phillips would bring to the team next year. I’m less certain of what Acuna and Albies will do. I hope they’re both major improvements on the veterans, but then, I thought Swanson would be a solid contributor for the entire 2017 season too….

  251. Huascar Ynoa
    you asked her? you know her?
    it would bring such relief
    transgendered pitching to add to our fief.

  252. For a quiet Tuesday…Appalachian limerick.

    A Lady with lust in her eyes
    reserved her most sought after prize
    for men who were ample
    her sons for example
    they couldn’t contain their surprise.

  253. If you think this is Pollyanna, go read Twitter or Talking Chop. I’d say this is reasonably middle of the road here.

  254. Machia Velli
    was slightly enlarged in the belly
    but hid his devotion
    as Luiz hurled his ass into motion.

  255. @384 since we haven’t won a playoff series in 16 years, all of them are too pollyanna. It’s a crappy franchise. I’m still a fan(as much as you or anyone else on here, Twitter, or TC) but we suck. Period.

  256. @384

    I think I mentioned this last week when they were going heavy into the “Coppy’s getting railroaded by MLB! Why is cheating even a big deal? Everybody does it!” thing, but I’ve found Talking Chop to be nigh-unreadable this year…at least the forum/comment section. I would agree, this place doesn’t even hold a candle to that place as far as prospect worship goes.

  257. This plays into some of the frustration right now, but this offseason will probably be huge. We’re not going to spend $38M on “meh” one-year rentals, aging second basemen, and utility players. We’ve got talent we pretty much have to trade (MAdams, Camargo?, couple-few pitching prospects), payroll we can clear to make room for a better player (Kakes), and just straight free payroll space. How the Braves handle those matters will heavily influence how 2018 goes, and we have no idea who will even be making those decisions. Remember, we were 45-45, and we would have been a legitimate Wild Card contender had Sean Rodriguez not torn his shoulder and Bartolo “$13.5M” Colon wasn’t a sub-replacement level player. People forget that this season should have been much different.

  258. Does anyone have the W/L record for our last 50 games? I had posted a prediction back then of 15/35 if Acuna did not come September 1 and come he did not. He would have, you know, if we had put our nose above water by that day.

    If you get to 45 and 45 it was a shame to not at least try. Was it Sean R and Bartolo that tipped the cart over? Maybe.

  259. @388, we were never a legitimate Wild Card contender, even with future hall of famer Sean Rodriguez. We came in right at the pre-season Vegas win total over/under. To the surprise of pretty much no-one. We’re far below average at too many positions and our rotation and pen are at the very bottom of the league.

    How do we add 20+ wins? Can only happen with pitching. Gohara might be a start. They will have to rush the rest of them up too. It’s basically going to be open tryouts for the entire pitching staff in 2018.

  260. Well, it seems that all of my teams are going to choose this month to completely implode on a structural basis. I don’t know how many of you are U.S. Soccer fans, but those who are know what an utter disaster tonight was.

  261. @391

    Thanks for that. Underestimated the wins by 6. Considering the awful last week or so we must have been better than i thought.


    Pretty amazing, never even bothered to watch, thought it was a formality. As consolation, memory recalls 1950 when England were still then a top world soccer power and the game barely existed over here and you beat us 1/0 to eliminate us from the same competition – can still remember the name of your scorer and our goal keeper so deep was the ignominy felt across the board. But we’re still around moving on and so will you be! Hope springs eternal and all that, fandom survives all.

  262. God help me, I’m a masochist. I miss the Braves, the sound of Chip and Joe, and the passion ineptitude stirs in me.

    When do pitchers and catchers report?

  263. In actual good news, the AFL started yesterday and ATL pitchers dominated.

    Fried, Touki, Graham and Clouse combined for 8IP, 0R, 16K, and Acuna was 2 for 4.

  264. This is petty and shallow, but it would make me happy if the Nats lost today because Strasburg didn’t feel capable of taking the mound.

  265. Is Strasburg really not taking the ball because he doesn’t feel good enough? He should get justifiably pilloried by the Washington media. I have to laugh when Tony Kornheiser refers to him as “the Orchid” i.e. will only thrive in near perfect conditions.

  266. Is there this personality type for a manager that makes the players very comfortable for a long season, which leads to high regular season win totals, but falls flat in the playoffs because the other team is treating every inning, every pitch, every game like it’s the last game? It seems like Dusty Baker and Bobby Cox share a similar attitude, and it doesn’t seem to work in the playoffs.

  267. @395

    I could randomly pick an Atlanta area 12-year-old youth team and they would’ve come out with a draw against Trinidad and Tobago last night.

  268. Why were we not a legitimate Wild Card contender? 45-45, jettisoned the worst SP in baseball, and improved a horrible bench. Freddie Freeman had just come back at game 83, which meant they could have traded Matt Adams (gee, I wonder now why the Braves couldn’t develop a trade partner there…). They traded Jaime Garcia on game 95, traded Sean Rodriguez on game 108 (both for prospects), and whaddayaknow, they spiraled into a collapse. What if they didn’t trade Jaime, did trade Adams, and continued to improve the bench and bullpen? What if the 2017 payroll savings from Garcia and Rodriguez was actually put back into the 2017 team somehow?

    “Well, we shouldn’t trade for this guy because we’re not contenders yet. Well, who cares who our manager is because we’re not contenders. Well, we shouldn’t sign this guy because we’re not contenders yet. Well, who cares if you trade this pitcher in a non-contending year? Well, why trade away this prospect when you’re not a contender? ” Pretty soon, you get a pretty clear picture why you’re not a contender. That’s where your 20 wins come from.

  269. @397

    The Arizona Fall League
    as a further extension of our prospect fatigue
    their stats, add, total then divide
    such singular weaknesses as exist we are then able to hide.

  270. under the table
    whenever we’re able
    knock three times on the back door
    leave the car, it will hide even more.

  271. So Peanut is throwing out the idea that Glavine might be a good fit for GM? I cant think of a single reason of how this could be a good thing. Is he even qualified? Does the Braves FO truly believe that the fans would think this is a good idea?

  272. @415

    thinking outside the box
    a solution that rocks
    impeccable manners
    potentially one of the great Five Year Planners.

  273. @405

    We weren’t a wild card contender because we had built that 45-45 record on an absurdly easy schedule and random baseball luck going the right way. As soon as the schedule got tougher the team imploded. It was always going to happen that way, I said it back in May or something.

  274. @414,

    …that late-bloomer, eh?
    He will put away les Nats–
    He will put away their bats!
    Even Stras?
    Even Stras.

    (repeat) Arrieta…

  275. Why were we not a legitimate Wild Card contender? 45-45,

    Yeah, it is that simple. A .500 record against weaker teams is not impressive.

    jettisoned the worst SP in baseball,

    And replaced him with what?

    and improved a horrible bench.

    Netting us how many wins?

    Freddie Freeman had just come back at game 83, which meant they could have traded Matt Adams

    For what?

    (gee, I wonder now why the Braves couldn’t develop a trade partner there…).

    Do you really think that there are actual GMs out there who would say to themselves, “Matt Adams could really be a difference-maker for my club. Great production at a low price…but Coppy is just so annoying to talk to! Forget it.”

    They traded Jaime Garcia on game 95, traded Sean Rodriguez on game 108 (both for prospects),

    What did you think we were going to get for them?

    and whaddayaknow, they spiraled into a collapse. What if they didn’t trade Jaime, did trade Adams, and continued to improve the bench and bullpen?

    If they did those things and everything went right, then we could’ve ended the year at something like 77-85.

    What if the 2017 payroll savings from Garcia and Rodriguez was actually put back into the 2017 team somehow?

    What player traded at the deadline — either deadline — would you have wanted to pay more for in prospects than what the team that acquired him paid?

    “Well, we shouldn’t trade for this guy because we’re not contenders yet. Well, who cares who our manager is because we’re not contenders. Well, we shouldn’t sign this guy because we’re not contenders yet. Well, who cares if you trade this pitcher in a non-contending year? Well, why trade away this prospect when you’re not a contender? ” Pretty soon, you get a pretty clear picture why you’re not a contender. That’s where your 20 wins come from.

    If you think you can add 20 wins to this team, the Braves are hiring. Albies/Acuna/Gohara could push us into the upper 70s, so you may only have to come up with 14 or so. Hey, maybe there’s an 8 WAR manager out there.

  276. Hey Sam, would ATL United have come out of last night’s game with a draw?

    Probably. A healthy UTD side has at least two players – Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron – better than any USMNT starter not named “Christian Pusilic.”

  277. My rooting priorities for remaining postseason:

    Cubs over Nats
    Indians over Yankees

    Astros vs. Indians – toss up
    Astros vs. Yankees – Astros all the way

    Dodgers vs. Cubs – Cubs
    Dodgers vs. Nats – turn off the TV

    Cubs over Yankees
    Astros/Indians over any NL (goes against my grain because I’m an NL guy at heart)
    Dodgers/Nats vs. Yankees – turn off the TV but will begrudgingly still pay attention hoping the Yankees get swept

  278. Nats have two guys hitting over .150 so far this postseason and they are 2-2. I’d assume that’s a tough thing to accomplish.

  279. Adam, I’m going to give you a rebuttal so sweet, it’s going to give you a toothache.

    I’m not convinced a team’s win total is the sum of its WAR. If I understand it correctly, according to FanGraph’s WAR, we should have won 78 games (52 replacement wins + 16.6 offense + 9.8 pitching = 78.4 wins). And I said Wild Card contenders, if you won 83 games, you finished 4th in the Wild Card standings and you were in it in the last week. 87 wins put you in the game. So if we performed to the sum of our WAR, then we’re a lot closer than you think.

    But I think you’re struggling with the large total number to become an elite team, and you think you have to point to 3-4 things that needed to go better to get a huge amount of wins, and that’s just not true. There are 25 players, a manager, and a coaching staff that can all have a positive impact across 162 games. You can have 1/8 of your season end with a different result if made tweaks along 8-10 areas:

    -Better manager. This should be a no-brainer
    -Trade Matt Adams for a reliever. Yes, Adam, if you believe some of the articles, there are agents and GMs that didn’t want to work with Coppy. And you know who didn’t know if he could trade Adams for a reliever? Coppy. He was probably trying to trade for a prospect because the Braves weren’t trying to compete. If that reliever relieved (see what I did there?) JJ, then that would have impacted a lot of games.
    -Replace Bartolo with who? Oh, I don’t know, anyone? He was the worst pitcher in major league baseball. Replacement level was a significant upgrade. League average? That’s a 4-win swing in the other direction.
    -Put a competent major league bench on the field from Opening Day. They were clearly trying to turn the spare parts into prospects like they were doing in the two previous seasons. It didn’t work. That’s probably a 2-game swing.
    -As mentioned, demote JJ earlier. Vizzy clearly handled the closer’s role properly.
    -Call up Minter earlier. Hart said in July ’16 that if they were in a stretch run, they’d have called him up.
    -Traded a prospect for a league average 3B.
    -Don’t trade Jaime. Sweet. You saved some cash and got nothing in return.

    And that’s just off the top of my head.

    But to drill down on some of yours:

    Do you really think that there are actual GMs out there who would say to themselves, “Matt Adams could really be a difference-maker for my club. Great production at a low price…but Coppy is just so annoying to talk to! Forget it.”

    Yeah. That’s actually exactly what’s reported to have happened in some cases. Yes, he probably didn’t have as many trade partners. Or better yet, they weren’t as cooperative as they previously had been, thus potentially negating some trade scenarios that Coppy would have actually accepted.

    If they did those things and everything went right, then we could’ve ended the year at something like 77-85.

    You’re heavily de-emphasizing the effect that player morale can make. I’m showing a clear steep regression after these players were traded. And the same thing happened in 2015. And when we added players of significance in 2016, what happened? Team played better. They’re not robots, Adam. But it seems like you think they are, and that’s why we’re looking at things so differently.

    What player traded at the deadline — either deadline — would you have wanted to pay more for in prospects than what the team that acquired him paid?

    No idea. And that’s fine. Bottom line: there was money taken from the 2017 payroll. Don’t do that. Spend money on the team. It’s not my money, I’m a fan, and I want to watch winning baseball. So should you.

    What did you think we were going to get for them (Garcia and Rodriguez)?

    Exactly, so don’t trade them. They’re worth more to you than they were to other teams. By your logic, there’s really no one you shouldn’t trade.

    This team could have won in the 80’s, didn’t hurt the future product, and still been playing meaningful baseball in September. They should have tried to compete. They didn’t, and you should be mad.

  280. “Dear Penthouse forum, I never believed your stories were true until just the other day…”

  281. @425, this team will win 70-ish games for perpetuity until we get new owners and 100% turnover in the front office. If you want Emilio Bonafacio on my team, I hate you and want you to find a new career path.

  282. @430

    Yes, they were outplayed in the end, weren’t they…the two insurance runs they sloppily gave up in the ninth epitomized that. Smoltz said an interesting thing near the end – the physical and mental emotion they had poured into sustaining that 22 game win streak had maybe drained them. They came back in splendid style in Game 2 but when they gave up those early 3 runs last night they looked wasted trying to get them back. Their starting pitching imploded, they couldn’t touch Chapman.

    Objectively(!) the game at Wrigley yesterday was classic October play off baseball, fantastic to watch. Wind, rain, cold mist, everything. And great pitching from both sides. O’fers all round for all the big names, the kid won it. Again, tonight.

  283. Jon Lester
    was not affected by the Sou’wester
    picked off Zim
    a lollypop that could only have come from him.

  284. @426

    From Penthouse Forum
    in this office we need a quorum
    we vote on veracity
    and local perspicacity

    in this case our reporter on the spot
    confirms this sort of thing happens quite a lot.

  285. Damn, Cleveland… the Yankees were who you thought they were…and you let ’em off the hook!!

    Go Astros.

  286. Adam, I’m going to give you a rebuttal so sweet, it’s going to give you a toothache.

    Hey, other posters… if we’re annoying you, please tell us to take it offline, OK? I get that super-long posts about what the Braves should’ve done at 45-45 are probably not what you’re wanting to pgdn through.

    I’m not convinced a team’s win total is the sum of its WAR.

    I agree with you.

    If I understand it correctly, according to FanGraph’s WAR, we should have won 78 games (52 replacement wins + 16.6 offense + 9.8 pitching = 78.4 wins).

    Eh, you probably want to look at something like BaseRuns for this.

    In any case, your whole episode @405 that started this was saying: we weren’t a Wild Card contender because we didn’t make the right moves when our record stood at 45-45. At least that’s what I have to assume because you only try to move the goalposts farther back in time in @425.

    If this is the kind of scenario you want to set up, you have to work with what you got. Fangraphs’ BaseRuns standings thinks we should’ve been…72-90. But if you want to use something people actually use to project what a team’s record should’ve been, you still have to acknowledge the fact that teams’ records vary from what projection is all the time, and you have to come up with some way that the team would’ve actually added those wins. Because in real life, the ball didn’t bounce our way or whatever… that still should be something you have to think through how to overcome.

    This is part of why teams at the top of the win curve pile on and pay more to secure their place. They don’t want to miss the playoffs because of random variation.

    But I think you’re struggling with the large total number to become an elite team,

    You literally said, for everyone to read: make some trades, do some signings, fix the bullpen and the bench, and BOOM, 20 wins! That is what you said.

    You can have 1/8 of your season end with a different result if made tweaks along 8-10 areas:

    1/8 of a season is 20 or 21 games…and 8-10 tweaks is a lot of tweaks. What team makes 8-10 tweaks for the final 20-21 games of a season?

    -Better manager. This should be a no-brainer

    You’d think so. And I don’t deny that it could have some impact on the team. But maybe one win? Who is this strategic genius that’s beloved by players and available at the deadline, anyway?

    -Trade Matt Adams for a reliever.

    This is, like, less than a win. Because Matt Adams alone isn’t going to fetch us a super-reliever. Who else do you want to trade?

    Yes, Adam, if you believe some of the articles, there are agents and GMs that didn’t want to work with Coppy. And you know who didn’t know if he could trade Adams for a reliever? Coppy. He was probably trying to trade for a prospect because the Braves weren’t trying to compete. If that reliever relieved (see what I did there?) JJ, then that would have impacted a lot of games.

    Again, if we’re talking about a trade that would have mattered to the Braves, an impact trade, we’re talking about trading Matt Adams plus something of actual value. In our case, a prospect. Which one do you want to trade? Any GM would have to set aside their annoyance and listen. It’s not like Coppy never swung any deals. Matt Adams by himself just isn’t worth that much.

    -Replace Bartolo with who? Oh, I don’t know, anyone?

    …That’s what we did. We kind of replaced Bartolo with “anyone,” and it didn’t exactly propel us into contention.

    He was the worst pitcher in major league baseball. Replacement level was a significant upgrade. League average? That’s a 4-win swing in the other direction.

    How are you planning to acquire a 2-win pitcher? Which prospects do you want to trade? You traded one for a reliever that’s good enough to make a difference on our win total. Look at the deadline deals that were made. You have to top them. You have to trade three pretty good prospects.

    -Put a competent major league bench on the field from Opening Day.

    And here you start to move the goalposts. I get what you’re saying in general. They should’ve tried to compete harder earlier in the season. I’m trying to get you to face up to what that means: not just doing more tinkering with the bench and the bullpen, but spending significantly from our store of good prospects at the deadlines.

    But with this back-in-time stuff, you might as well say, “They never should’ve traded Wood and Andrelton.” That’s a more concrete thing you can point to. You’re all up in all this small-bore stuff, when the answer is staring you in the face.

    -As mentioned, demote JJ earlier. Vizzy clearly handled the closer’s role properly.

    Later on, you’re going to make a big deal about morale. If that’s what you believe, then what’s the effect on morale of having a quick hook with your veteran reliever?

    -Call up Minter earlier. Hart said in July ’16 that if they were in a stretch run, they’d have called him up.

    Minter is probably going to be very good. This is like another half-win to the total.

    -Traded a prospect for a league average 3B.

    Which prospect for which league average 3B? It matters who, so name some names.

    -Don’t trade Jaime. Sweet. You saved some cash and got nothing in return.

    He was replacement level after we traded him — big surprise. So maybe he gets us another win-ish. Maybe.

    And that’s just off the top of my head.

    Well, you’re going to need more… you traded 5-6 prospects and added 5-6 wins. Which would be INSANE.

    You’re heavily de-emphasizing the effect that player morale can make. I’m showing a clear steep regression after these players were traded. And the same thing happened in 2015. And when we added players of significance in 2016, what happened? Team played better. They’re not robots, Adam. But it seems like you think they are, and that’s why we’re looking at things so differently.

    Yeah, I am de-emphasizing the effect morale has. Because our team was also a little less talented, which directly affects our win total, and we were playing tougher teams, which also affects our win total. I think it’s also safe to assume that the Braves players weren’t under the delusion that anyone expected them to compete for the playoffs at the beginning of the season, so even if they believed in themselves more over the course of the season, it’s not like they were starting off from any great heights. They knew their schedule was soft. They knew what Coppy was likely to do — if we all knew what was going to happen, they all knew too.

    I do think morale matters. But it’s mostly in extreme cases. Miracle teams — which we were not — probably create a meaningful positive feedback loop that nets a win or maybe a little more. The misfortune of having Bobby Valentine as your manager does the opposite.

    What player traded at the deadline — either deadline — would you have wanted to pay more for in prospects than what the team that acquired him paid?

    No idea. And that’s fine. Bottom line: there was money taken from the 2017 payroll. Don’t do that. Spend money on the team. It’s not my money, I’m a fan, and I want to watch winning baseball. So should you.

    It’s really not fine. You should have to face the trade-offs you’re asking the team to make if you really can’t get over how the season went by now.

    DOB is sort of persuading me that the Braves may have to spend some money this offseason to save face and show something to its fans. But I really didn’t expect for the Braves to spend until it knows what it has. I think they’d want to wait to see what Allard will turn into. Maybe now that has to be expedited.

    Braves fans live in a bubble. “Just spend money” hasn’t been an answer in MLB for a while now. Angry, impatient Braves fans want to listen to their inner Chief and pretend that that’s the cure-all because the reality is, there is no easy answer. Other teams that have spent the money and didn’t get very far have had to live in reality. Braves fans are lucky in a sense that they still get to pretend.

    Do I need to post the list of 2015-2016 FA signings again?

    What did you think we were going to get for them (Garcia and Rodriguez)?
    Exactly, so don’t trade them. They’re worth more to you than they were to other teams. By your logic, there’s really no one you shouldn’t trade.

    Again, Jaime was replacement level, shockingly, after we traded him…

    Sean Rodriguez…

    This team could have won in the 80’s, didn’t hurt the future product, and still been playing meaningful baseball in September. They should have tried to compete. They didn’t, and you should be mad.

    I don’t think we could’ve won in the 80s without hurting the future product — you certainly haven’t shown that that’s possible. I don’t think playing meaningful baseball in September is worth trading five good prospects. I don’t begrudge the Braves ownership wanting to pocket more money right now because I can see a path to more sustainable, year-in/year-out contention unfolding.

    I would be mad if I didn’t see that path. But I do see it. There’s still time to mess things up. I don’t need the Braves to be great in order to enjoy baseball. But I am mad that we traded Alex Wood and Andrelton Simmons and got the returns we got. Does that make you feel better?

  287. That hothouse orchid pitched one of the better games I’ve seen in a long time.

    It’s almost as though people on the internet don’t know what they’re talking about much of the time.

  288. I’m torn tonight, I personally like the Nats better than the Cubs so I’m pulling for them, but it is fun to see them lose in heartbreaking fashion year after year and never make it out of the first round.

    They really have not hit this series and somehow the Nats still have a shot.

    Really wanted the Indians to win, but it would have been tough to know who to root for in HOU-CLE, at least now I really want Houston to destroy the Yanks.

  289. @436, I pgdn when I see Sean “25 for 171 with 69 strikeouts at all levels in 2017” Rodriguez continually offered up as Exhibit A for Braves roster management incompetence. I wanna say “That’s a brick wall you’re smashing your face in, son!” but it’s easier to just move on.

  290. Yep, the Yankees’ win made AL rooting decisions easy. My three least favorite NL choices are still in play, but I’d root for any of them over NY. Conversely, I’d root for the Astros over any NL team, and I too am an NL fan.

    What a year.

  291. To be fair, I’ve acknowledged that in the context of rebuilding, trading Sean Rodriguez was just fine. Now, where the money went, that’s another story. It’s hardly “Exhibit A”. Probably “Q”.

    You may, but I don’t trust the Braves’ ability to predict Garcia’s performance. He’s a career league average pitcher who inexplicably became replacement level (he still ended up a 2.1 fWAR pitcher for the year, by the way) after he was traded twice in a week. I tend to discount the outlier performance of players after being traded. Once again, players aren’t robots, and you can’t always predict how a player will do mid-season in a different environment.

    BUT, if we are going to play that game, then the easy answer is the JD Martinez trade. 3 non-prospects for a guy who turned in a 3.8 fWAR season. I’m good with that one. Todd Frazier and David Robertson for Rutherford, Chicago’s (now) 24th prospect, and Tyler Clippard and his $6.6M salary (call it JJ). That would have been an all-in trade, and I don’t think we were there.

    Remember, I said we could have been a Wild Card contender, and yes, I did move the goalposts by saying we should have made different decisions at the beginning of the year. Ultimately, what I’m saying is that had the Braves not sold, made some more short-term decisions (like how most teams that don’t say “come see us in 5 years! We’re rebuilding!” have to do), we could have gone on a, say, 40-32 run to end the season with 85 wins.

    You’re really downplaying what a team actually trying to win can do to a won-loss total. I think this is where analytics have a short-coming. Collapses happen. The Braves’ 2011 season ended horribly, and you can’t always just chalk it up to deviation to the mean, statistical regression, or “luck”, which is “our numbers don’t say why it happened so we’re going to say God or electromagnetism did it”.

    You’re also agreeing that WAR doesn’t accurately count up to a team’s win total, but then you’re using the same calculations to weigh down the impact that better players would have. With direction on high that Snitker play to win, removing JJ earlier, not trading away Jaime, having a quicker hook on Bartolo, and overall statements to the players that they’re trying to compete (like calling up Minter earlier), you probably see that 72-win total become more like the accumulation of WAR. And at that point, we’re talking about a short drive from the high-70s to the 80’s. But if you keep downplaying how much those things would have had an impact (and using WAR to do it, no less), then we really can’t have this discussion.

  292. Houston vs. Cleveland would have been a hard series to choose a team to root for. Now it’s easy. LA vs. Cubs/Nationals almost means that you’re rooting for the Cubs in game 5 and into the NLCS. And ultimately, you’re now rooting for Houston to win it all.

  293. The Yankees and Astros were 1 and 2 in MLB in HRs. The Braves were 3rd from last.

    They were 2nd and 4th in Ks. The Braves were lower third.

    In K/9 they were 2nd and 3rd. The Braves were lower third.

    Not going to win many games with a RF hitting 8 HRs and a SS hitting 6.

    There is a direct correlation between hitting HRs and striking out batters to winning. But to get those guys requires spending money. Too bad for us.

  294. I’ll concede the point that Yankees were higher in K’s than I thought, however it’s not really about money. The only significant free agents contributing for either club are Sabathia and Chapman. Judge, Sanchez, Betances, Severino, Bird, Altuve, Keuchel, Springer, Correa and McCullers were homegrown.

  295. Slight correction as this only showed NYY WC game roster which left off Tanaka. He was also a FA. The ability to spend $ doesn’t hurt, but usually the high $ contracts tend to hamstring teams for years, especially teams with a middle of the pack payroll. Remember the time we opened the wallet was for Lowe and BJ and that wound up being terrible for us.

  296. Playing a bunch of AAAA ballers and positional deficiencies (8 HR from RF) and 6 from SS, has really been terrible for us as well.

    Also, my original point though simplistic is that I don’t care how you find them, but you better find them (HRs and K/9).

    We try and make baseball hard through SABR etc. (which I actually enjoy) but it really isn’t. It’s easier to win with HRs and striking people out than with bunting, hit and runs, and pitching and defense. The margin of error is much less. It’s not complicated.

    You can win with control or finesse pitching and defense and playing small ball, but it’s like fighting with a hand tied behind your back. In modern MLB, I do not believe that you can win consistently that way. You might fluke your way into the playoffs but not much more than that.

  297. I’m not sure HRs and K/9 are quite the indicator you suggest. Here is the WS winner’s rank in HR the last 6 years: 13, 24, 17, 6, 30, 13 (avg 17th so slightly below avg). Here is the WS winner’s rank in K/9: 3, 25, 20, 6, 12, 22 (avg 15th so right at avg). Would more HR be nice? Sure, but we don’t want all power and no OBP, we’ve been down that road. In 2011 ATL actually lead MLB in K/9.

  298. We had quite a few guys in the system K more than a batter an inning. Gohara, Touki, Sims, Anderson, Tyler Pike, Wilson, Sanchez, and Wentz all did so, but that was out of 130 pitchers who did so, so I wouldn’t say that we are blowing other systems away in how well our pitchers blow hitters away. With that said, Fried was just off the pace (8.84 K/9), and Newcomb and Folty have big strike out potential. Teheran’s 2016 K/9 was 32nd in baseball, so that’s a start, I guess, but his lack of consistency obviously kills that.

    The HRs, though, are a huge problem. You could stick Giancarlo or Judge in RF, and that still wouldn’t get you out of the bottom third.

  299. You guys debating whether the Braves could have ever made a serious playoff run this year are just absolutely nuts. In no way shape or form was that ever a quality baseball product this year and never was going to be, there’s literally half the roster that needed better 2017 players on it (actually more) and that just wasn’t going to happen. The Braves shouldn’t be good for 3 more years, Braves fans should expect that and the Braves front office should have been conditioning them for this since they embarked on the great tear down 3 years ago.

    There was a version of what they could have done in November 2014 where it ended with a 2018 competitive team but they didn’t do it and it won’t be. I’m sure there will be overtures of going after some big name free agent or trade and it doesn’t materialize and then they patch something together to make some March stories about how this year feels different and they’ve really turned the corner and then young guys will play like young guys and be inconsistent, old guys will be old guys and they’ll win 74 games and repeat the next year until enough young guys get consistently good. If that never happens then we’re probably in a holding pattern here until we get new ownership. Debating the in depth points about what a team giving serious time to Nick Markakis, Adonis Garcia and Danny Santana could have accomplished is just stupid.

  300. @448, there’s multiple ways to win. They all involve having good players. Our pitching is atrocious. The 80-win mark is easily reached if we can make a dent in that. I’m of the opinion that at least one or two of these arms will be good, but it’ll take 2 or 3 more seasons.

  301. You’re also agreeing that WAR doesn’t accurately count up to a team’s win total, but then you’re using the same calculations to weigh down the impact that better players would have.

    If this is how it came across, I’m sorry, that’s not what I meant. Maybe this’ll help WAR = wins above replacement. Even a replacement level team will win like 48 games. Saying the Braves accrued 78 WAR isn’t the same as saying the team’s win total should’ve been 78 games, or 126 games, or whatever.

  302. Serious time
    a phrase full of meaning and one i can rhyme
    it’s clearly of the utmost import
    is there somewhere we can look it up, what it means, i’m coming up short.

    gaz, 3 years, really? We old guys, that’s pushing it!


    “The Braves have to decide what they want to be. Because if it’s all about acquiring retail space and building stadiums and training facilities with other people’s money, they’re fine. They’re gold. Throw them a nice little sterile parade along West Paces Ferry, where everybody can relate.

    But how about winning some games? How about giving people something to celebrate other than a fancy food court? How about putting together a front office with one person in charge and roomful of people who actually like each other and feel like they’re valued? That shouldn’t be that hard, and it hasn’t happened for a long while. People at the top have been focused on the wrong things.”

  304. @455 The Braves of 2017 were bad at that too. To be honest, if we hadn’t had career performances from both of our catchers, which likely will not be duplicated, we’d have been even worse both on the field and SABR wise.

  305. Scherzer came in to pitch the 5th, got Bryant and Rizzo, and then gave up 7 straight baserunners, scoring 4 runs. That’s baseball.

  306. that was a heck of a ballgame, complete with its share of little league moments. nice to see bruce hooper with the final K

  307. This just in: Braves lead MLB in corruption*.

    *Provable corruption, anyway.

    Coppy is a Yankees product. Let’s not pretend we’re alone.

    For today, I will only say: EXPOS.

  308. There’s sin enough to go around,
    But only one can wear the crown.
    Through all attendant rants and raves,
    Most evil of all is still our Braves.

    But dang,I do so love those cheaters.

    And yes: Gnatspos, hahahahaHA!

  309. Am I the only one who threw a couple of swearwords at Fredi Gonzalez when Joe Maddon brought his best reliever in in the 7th with the game on the line?

  310. @471…thank you

    ‘unprecedented scope’
    this is not the time to sit around and mope
    we must first deny all charges
    ask Manfred what difference a hundred large is.

  311. Delenda.

    Any thoughts on the Baez-Wieters play? All the commentary I’ve seen is careful to say “possible” blown call because the context for the rule in the rulebook is unclear, and Jerry Layne made, I think, the fairest interpretation. But I’m sure FP Santangelo disagrees, which pretty much ensures Layne got it right.

  312. I thought the Nats got hosed on two enormous umpiring mistakes. It was interesting to watch a non-Braves team suffer the same star-crossed crap that’s plagued our past post-seasons.

  313. Before everyone calls me a Nat-lover, I’ll expound on the pickoff at first play a bit more. Technically it’s the right call. He was an inch off the base and replays showed it. I just *hate* that this is becoming the side-effect of instant replay. Most of the time the replay umps wouldn’t overturn the call – the standard has always seemed to be “obvious and irrefutable evidence”. Did they have that here? I guess after the 5th angle was shown on the TV feed, maybe so. But I just hate that the letter-of-the-law enforcement is still subjective, because we see calls upheld all the time that are way more egregiously bad than that one.

    And the other blown call in the game wasn’t even replay-able. I don’t think replay is adding positive value to the sport.

  314. I admit my blind spot: I couldn’t care less if the Nats got hosed. I like Harper and Murphy a lot, but gosh, I just can’t stand them as a team.

  315. I don’t understand all this handwringing about the call at first. He was out. Stay on the bag if you don’t want to be called out.

  316. @480 Without having read it but people (BJ and Braves casual fans) are overestimating the likelihood of a bunch of miLB prospects coalescing into winning MLB players. The Braves all in one basket strategy has been frankly, foolish. I suspect this will be proven so.

    It will take MLB FAs blended in with the couple prospects that pan out to make this team a winner.

  317. The catcher at first was safe. If you can only see an “off the bag” via hi def zoomed in super slow motion replay, tie goes to the runner


    Word is that Coppolella was offered a financial buyout of severance from the Braves and turned it down this past week and that he has hired an attorney with lawsuits possibly coming. I asked several scouts if they had ever heard of a fired executive being offered a severance, especially after being let go for these type allegations. All were amazed that Coppolella would be offered a financial package after being forced to resign.

    Just get your popcorn.

  319. the days of watching two or three
    are just a jumbled memory
    still, everyday there’s one
    but soon there will be none
    so pay attention, gratefully.

  320. @496 – The funny thing is that if there was no such rule then Culberson would have low-footed Contreras to the backstop.

    Good rule or bad, Maddon’s arguments in this case boil down to:
    1) “I don’t care about my catcher, I wanted that out.”
    2) “My man broke the rule, and their man didn’t, but it’s a bad rule, so I want my out.”
    3) Losers cry.

  321. I believe the rule only affects what the catcher can do, so Maddon might have been lucky his guy didn’t get cleaned and the runners didn’t advance further.

  322. Good point from Klaw chat:

    Jim: Braves J2 prospects from 2016 were high profile guys with big dollars – Maitan, Gutierrez, Severino – wouldn’t that open up the flood gates for other J2 prospects to leak tampering?

    Keith Law: Every J2 player who signs on July 2nd had an illegal predraft deal in place. Could any of them come forward and demand free agency because the signing team broke the rules? Does MLB want to open that door, and thus find itself lying on the ground with a giant door on top of it? This metaphor isn’t quite working out for me, but yes, when the whole system is corrupt, then it could all collapse given the incentive the players have to take the money and then cry foul.

  323. MLB, though, may decide it’s important enough to “clean up the streets” and decide to take on said stampede. There’s no real way for MLB to look bad in all of this, so they may go that route.

  324. MLB will take the path that maintains the highest profit margins for MLB and MLB owners. That path will almost certainly involve whatever measures required to 1) put up a “moral majority” type bullshit front, while 2) preserving the plantation system of player acquisition from Latin America.

  325. @502 and @503 Agreed and I suspect the punishment will be a slap on the wrist plus a little bit.

    Much like the college basketball/FBI thing I think it will fade away a bit. Too much at stake over a few hundred K in a multi billion dollar business.

  326. I expect most of the punishment to be things like “loss of future draft picks” and “fines.” Punishment that allow the other owners and teams to stroke themselves a little over giving Coppy a little of his own shitstorm back to him, but which doesn’t undermine the exploitative labor market itself by awarding players true free agent status.

  327. For this case, MLB will need evidence to back up its punishments, and if players and/or agents don’t provide that evidence, then MLB will have to get it in other ways. Not sure what those other ways would be.

    Regardless of how this turns out, MLB could revamp the international signing process if they wanted to. They could do it any time they like. They don’t need a scandal to force the issue.

  328. I had a dream that the Braves hired me to work in the front office. Eddie Perez was the manager and I had to report to him twice a day. I also worked with Bobby Cox and Fredi Gonzalez.


  329. What’s more likely?

    1. We lose Maitan due to penalties and everyone freaks out
    2. We keep him and he never pans out?

  330. Of all the people to be in your dream…

    The more I think about it, should the Braves want to pick up Dickey’s option? If you have around $30M to spend, and you have so many rotation spots, bullpen spots, and positions already committed, wouldn’t you want to commit more money to that rotation spot?

    Which leads me to a little exercise I did. Using today’s team and finances, I used 2016 FAs (if I may, “sold comps”) to fill our needs and spend our money. I didn’t use players that end up being really good deals (if I also may, “low-side comps”), because that’s not fair (like Charlie Morton, tonight notwithstanding). But this is what I came up with:

    Justin Turner – Age 32 (4 YR – $64M – $16M)
    JP Howell (1 YR – $3M)
    Andrew Cashner (1 YR – $10M) Sadly, not the best comp, but really, the best comp was Colon at $12.5M. But if I say that, you’ll throw oranges at me.
    Jared Hughes (1 YR – $950K)


    (Lineup looks so much different with the 3B being a legitimate middle-of-the-order bat)




    Trade Matt Adams for the player who throws the fastest fastball of all the fastballs in A ball. Trade Matt Wisler, Aaron Blair, Jason Hursh, Sam Freeman, and Ian Krol for other guys who throw fast fastballs in A ball. Send some salary with Nick Markakis to get, get this, another guy who throws fastballs really fast… but this time, with a curveball too. Get ’em all.

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