14 thoughts on “Looks good so far”

  1. To think, we were only a bad Hampton inning away from a second series sweep of the Marlins this season. Go Braves.

  2. I can only wonder if some recent harsh criticism of Andruw from local ATL fans will subside.

    It should.

    Streaky? Yes. An Albatross? No.

    Headed to Turner for the 4th. Go Braves!

  3. Ortiz is looking like a keeper right now. Only two walks in each of his last two outings. Is that right? Better yet, he showed that he can step up in a big game. With any luck Hampton will follow his example.

    Andruw’s play tonight exemplifies what is so frustrating about him: he comes up with a bases-clearing double in the first to put the Braves ahead but later grounds into a majors-leading sixteenth double play. He’ll come around. He’s already demonstrated that he can hit to the opposite field (and with power). He’ll continue to strike out, but I think the tradeoff will be big hits like the one he delivered tonight. Andruw’s been slightly more consistent at the plate lately, so I have to believe that he will improve.

  4. I agree. We should stop picking on Andruw just because he only had 1 HR and 9 RBIs in June, and is now the highest paid guy to ever consistently be put in the #7 slot in the batting order.

    Streaky? yes, Overpaid? Yes. Bad work habits? Absolutely. That will make you an albatross in due time. Even Chipper had more HR and RBIs playing on one leg in June.

    Great game tonight. 9 of the Marlins’ 12 division losses have come against the Braves, and the Braves are 4-4 against the Phillies so far this season. They play the reeling Red Sox next. We don’t face Pedro in the Series, so it could be a clean sweep.

  5. Good game last night. Ortiz was strong but the Marlins ran themselves out of a couple of innings. It probably wouldn’t have mattered but they might have scored more than 1 run.

    Drew continues to impress and I’m convinced that Marrero should be given an opportunity to play full time.

    Chip looked better than his box score getting good wood on a couple of attem balls. Continues to show patience at the plate.

    Andruw in a microcosm. Scorching double off the wall on a mistake pitch. Nice diving catch. Lunges at a slider off the plate to ground into his 15th double play.

    AJC reports that the Yankees and Rangers are interested in Russ and the Chisox may still be interested in Andruw. Teixeira anyone? The Yanks don’t have anyone we want. When is Ordonez due off of the DL?

  6. Great, great game last night, and mention should be made of the fantastic overall defense:

    1) The Marrero-to-Furcal-to-Estrada play in the third saved a run, and was closer than the announcers made it sound. Bad decision to send the runner, sure, but Furcal erased any doubt.

    2) Andruw brought his patented diving catch of a low liner out of the mothballs. That was with a runner on first and nobody out, and the following batter walked. I know you can’t assume that would have happened with two runners on, but with Ortiz pitching you never know, so it could have saved a bases loaded nobody out situation.

    3) Does anyone other than Furcal make the play in the sixth inning to throw out Castillo?

    4) OK, Gonzalez trying to stretch his single was a gift to Drew, but again the play was made and it thwarted another potential rally.

    The entire game consisted of the Marlins offering up their collective throat, and the Braves stepping on same every time. They must have felt like the Red Sox playing the Yankees. Beautiful.

  7. Clean sweep of the Red Sox? Let’s not get carried away. Schilling pitches on Saturday and the Braves have been awful outside of the East.

    Still, it’s clear that if the Jones boys and Furcal can start producing consistently, this may be a pretty good team, especially after Giles gets back, and especially how mediocre the division is. I don’t see how they can trade Ortiz now because they would never be able to replace him in the rotation.

    My complaint about Andruw has always been, not that he is not a valuable player, but that his contract prevents the team from making other moves. He is a good player, but not a great player, but is being paid like a great player.

    By the way, is it just me or are the AJC beat writers for the Braves the most appalling excuses for journalists in America? I don’t live in Atlanta but their reports on the internet almost always have mistakes in them. And their stories seem to miss the key points; for example, in the Florida game the other night, the story emphasized Hampton’s problems in the first inning, but did not mention that the Braves had tied the game and that it was the back to back homers he gave up in the fifth that lost the game.

  8. It’s good to see the Braves playing good offensive baseball. I imagine part of it is having a consistent lineup, which had not been the case until recently. How many middle inning pitchers have the Braves gone through this year? It’s got to be a few more than years past up to this point.

    THe toughest decision is going to be what to do with Nick Green when Giles comes back. At the very least, he’ll come in off the bench.

  9. I am going to disagree about Andruw being overpaid. The fact that we have a good-hitting CF locked up for several years may actually be a blessing. Is he Willie Mays? No way, but he is still very good for his position. Go check out his similartiy scores over at baseball reference.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/j/jonesan01.shtml

    Basically he compares to Ruben Sierra AND a bunch of guys who are in or will be in the HOF. On top of this, baseball is doing quite well financially, and I would not be surpirsed to see a huge jump in player salaries in the offseason. In a few years he may look like a bargain. Oh yeah, and he is 27 and there is a slight chance he might become a Sammy Sosa who can play defense. And at his worse he becomes Marquis Grissom.

  10. Marquis Grissom? I never got that. The best comp to my mind has always been Cesar Cedeno, the Reds CF of the 70’s. The trick with Cesar is that he too came up as a teenager with oodles of hype, and put together several very good seasons, but due to injuries, conditioning, etc. he never reached his “potential”, peaked in his early 20’s and was largely through as a player by 30. That’s the career pattern mirror for Andruw that worries me.

  11. I’ve seen the Cedeno argument. Three points:

    1. Cedeno suffered a very serious injury (in 1978, I think). Andruw’s had numerous minor injuries, but nothing like that.

    2. Cedeno was accused of murder. The worst thing Andruw’s ever done is get a little too involved in the Gold Club lifestyle.

    3. Andruw’s already well past Cedeno’s career home run total.

    The thing about Andruw is that while the pieces of his production (except for homers) vary wildly from year to year, and he goes into prolonged slumps, at the end of the year he’s usually pretty much as valuable as he was the year before. It’s very odd.

  12. I am going to disagree about Andruw being overpaid.

    JC, I agree. Overpaid is relative to the current market conditions. The Braves aren’t the only team burned by signing a player to a long term contract based on his potential and not actual performance.

    The fact that we have a good-hitting CF locked up for several years may actually be a blessing.

    I disagree. An outfielder with Andruw’s stats can be had for 50% of what he is being paid in today’s market. We have one already named J.D. Drew. Andrew’s contract is onerus in that it could possibly prevent the Braves from obtaining more talent.

    baseball is doing quite well financially, and I would not be surpirsed to see a huge jump in player salaries in the offseason.

    I disagree again. Although baseball is seeing a resurgence I don’t think that teams will be driving salaries up. The lessons learned from the Florida and Anahiem World Series wins are still too fresh in the minds of baseball exectives. With the exception of whomever the Yankees want I think that some star caliber players are going to be disappointed in the contracts they are going to be offered.

    All that being said I like Andruw Jones as a player. I’m just like everyone else on this blog in that we are amazed at his talent and frustrated by his inconsistency all at the same time.

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