Braves 8, Yankees 2

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I really wish these games counted. The Braves not only got a hit off of Randy Johnson this time, Chipper hit a homer off him. Wilson Betemit, who hasn’t been much in evidence this spring, also hit a homer, but off of Paul Quantrill. The Braves had thirteen hits in all, Jordan going 2-3, Langerhans 0-1.

Hampton went three, allowing only one hit, walking none, and striking out two. I don’t think a Braves starter has allowed a run yet. (Checking… no, they haven’t.) Adam Bernero continued to pitch well, two innings of perfect ball with a strikeout. Blaine Boyer went two, allowing one run, and Gabe White one, allowing the other. It was White’s first action of the spring. Reitsma finished it. Maybe they’re trying to get his confidence up by holding him back to the end of the game against the scrubs?

35 thoughts on “Braves 8, Yankees 2”

  1. Yeah, I almost get excited about these wins, that is, until I remember that the past two years the Expos have had the best record at the end of spring training.

    Mac, can we expect the pitchers to actually start showing their stuff towards the end of spring training?

  2. Just to clarify, that bit about the Expos was in the National League, not the entire league…they had the best spring training record in the National League the past two years.

  3. I too am kind of worried that Brian Jordan is playing himself into a starters role. Its weird to be sort of pulling against the guy. Does that make me a bad Braves fan? Is he getting more playing time than Ryan Langerhans?

  4. Well…it’s not a bad thing if he gets lots of playing time and then doesn’t stink. What you really should be rooting for is a lot of PT going to players who are playing well. Bobby tends to do that. I can’t imagine anything but a platoon anyway; maybe a semi-platoon like Perez and Estrada last year.

    But if he keeps playing like this, who will be complaining if he plays 150 games?

  5. I haven’t really kept up with it, but I think Jordan has only missed one or two games so far. It’s a moot argument anyway. Cox has probably seen enough already.

  6. Everyone seems to be working on the assumption that Jordan is going to suck it up if he gets regular playing time. I’m not quite sure where this all started. Sure, it’s entirely possible, but it’s also possible that if he’s healthy he could do well. Personally, I’m rooting for him to do well, since that’s what fans are suppose to do.

  7. I agree with Grst; I checked Jordan’s stats and the only time in his major league career that he has not put up good numbers was the past two years when he was hurt. Before that, he consistently hit for a good average with 17-25 homeruns; and even despite his past two seasons he’s still a .284 lifetime hitter. As long as he stays healthy it’s quite likely that he’ll give us a decent season…I see nothing in his “healthy” seasons that would suggest otherwise. Plus he’s a great guy to have in the clubhouse, so even if he hits .260 I’d say that he’s worth the $600,000. Let’s at least give the guy a chance, he’s trying, and so far he’s been one of our most productive spring training hitters. I know that it’s only “spring training” but A-Rod & Jeter went a combined 0-for-6 while Jordan went 2-for-3.

  8. I’m with Grst on this one too. May the best man play. It could be a little bit of a setback in Langerhans’ career if he doesn’t get too many ABs but I want to win this year.

  9. I haven’t really been seeing his name very much this spring, so can anyone tell me how Mondesi is doing? I am also of the mindset that I definitely want the investments in him and Jordan to work out.

  10. I checked Jordan’s stats and the only time in his major league career that he has not put up good numbers was the past two years when he was hurt …

    … and not so coincidentally was also 36 and 37 years old.

    Plus he’s a great guy to have in the clubhouse …

    Based on what? Terrence Moore’s racist diatribes? He is visibly emotional; does that make him a good clubhouse presence? Or perhaps we as fans have absolutely no way of knowing who is good in the clubhouse and who merely is a writers favorite because they give good quotes.

    I’m rooting for the Braves to win. If they can win by playing Belliard, Horner, and the ghost of Warren Spahn, I’m happy. But before hand, I want the club to have the best chance of winning. And giving substantial playing time to an oft-injured, frequent complaining 37 year old whose peak was less than magical is not a good recipe for success.

  11. not a good recipe for success.

    Then again, that phrase could be used quite liberally with some of the teams JS has thrown together in the best, yet they won. Perhaps they have a better cookbook than you do, imo.

  12. Alright “bamadan”, since you insist on bringing out the worst in people, I’ll answer your claims.

    First, I don’t even know who Terrence Moore is, so don’t assume to know where I get my ideas from. I’m basing that opinion on the stuff that his teammates have said about him, not to mention the fact that, whether or not you like it, he is a veteran in league and can therefore provide leadership and advice to some of the young guys. There’s only so much you can know about a guy that you don’t really know, but I’ve only heard good things regarding his character. You said he complained a lot…the only thing that I’ve heard him complain about is wanting to play more often. I don’t recall wanting to play being a bad thing, but that’s just me.

    As for your comments about his age, yeah, sure, the body wears down as you age, but haven’t people like our very own Julio Franco, Roger Clemens (who won the cy young last year in case you forgot), Barry Bonds, Randy Johnson, etc, etc. proven that age is not an end all gauge of a player’s ability? Sure, they are more likely to get injured, but when they’re healthy they can play with the best of them. That’s my point, if he stays healthy he will put up decent numbers…and, if he gets injured then Langerhans comes in full-time. Either outcome, I would think that you would be happy if you were a Braves FAN.

  13. None of them played pro football either. That’s right, Jordan’s body has even more wear and tear on it than an average 38-year-old player. Probably more wear and tear than Julio.

    No one is saying (I don’t think) that Jordan can’t be useful, just that it isn’t a great bet in 2005. Nothing wrong with disagreeing or using logic to make judgments about your favorite team.

  14. Jeremy,
    A couple of points. Its not that I or anyone else who is a passionate Braves fan would hate it if Brian Jordan plays to his career stats its just that the odds are very much against him. In the what have you done for me lately world of MLB he has not performed at the major league level. Even before the last 2 seasons he had a history of fragility. Even at his best he was (emphasis on was) an average to just above average player that had managed to parlay one good season in St. Louis into a big contract. The fact that he is passionate and a great teammate doesn’t mean squat if he can’t play. The Braves decided to bring him in as insurance for Langerhans and McCarthy even though statistical projections have him not being able to produce at that level. The biggest fear that I and others have on this blog is that he’ll play well enough in spring training to garner the lions share of playing time once the season starts. There is a HUGE difference between spring training and when the games count. The only question then is how long Bobby will stick with Jordan before making a change and will the fact that he took spring training prep time from Langerhans hurt his chances of being productive.

  15. I think you should give Bobby Cox some credit. He’s only won 13 division titles. I think he might have a pretty good idea of how to handle a lineup. I don’t think Jordan’s a great player, but Bobby has shown he can find ways to use players so that they are useful. I think he will play Jordan as long as he is playing well; if he doesn’t produce, Bobby will do something else. If this was Larry Bowa managing the team, that would be one thing. I would love it if the Braves had the money to go out and acquire a top-flight left fielder (or to have kept Drew). But they don’t–or say they don’t–so you’re stuck with what you get. As I recall, Jordan was terrific in the first half of 1999 until he got hurt. I wouldn’t expect him to replicate that, but he is still, I think a serviceable player. Let’s face, the Braves are depending for offense on their infield and, hopefully, Andruw. All they are looking for with Jordan and Mondesi is to be respectable and, I think, provide a security blanket to give the young players time to develop. I don’t think that’s asking too much. Hopefully, one of the young players can step up and move ahead of them–Bobby certainly has shown he is not afraid to use young players. At least having Jordan and Mondesi allows the young players to ease in gradually.

    I agree that Terence Moore (a columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) is sort of ridiculous. And the Braves have done ok without having the fiery leadership that Moore likes (and they haven’t done any better in the playoffs when they did). But these aren’t robots playing, they are human beings. And I think psychology does play a role in how teams play. I think that’s really Bobby’s secret–he knows how to make players comfortable. Everything I have heard about Jordan suggests he is a good guy to have in the clubhouse. Obviously, if he can’t play it won’t make a difference, but he busts his ass every moment he is on the field and you can’t say that for every player in baseball. I have a lot more concern, frankly, about Mondesi.

  16. I think he will play Jordan as long as he is playing well; if he doesn’t produce, Bobby will do something else.

    I bow to no one in my level of respect for Bobby Cox. But in recent years, he has shown a marked tendency to stay with declining veterans long past when they were productive. See, for example, Keith Lockhart, Shane Reynolds, Vinny Castilla …

    Cox, over the years, has gone from a manager who plugged young unproven players into the lineup frequently to one who appears somewhat reluctant to do so. Under his leadership, Andruw, Chipper, Javy, Furcal, Justice, Klesko and others took on large roles at a young age. He did the same in his first Atlanta stint as well as with his championship club in Toronto. But watching Giles have to get demoted time and again to allow Quilvio Veras or Keith Lockhart time at second or the apparent reluctance to use Langerhans but rather bring in designated malcontent Mondesi and ER Veteran Jordan concerns me.

    Yeah, some older players have done well. And yes, some people win the lottery. But just because you can win a lottery doesn’t make that billion to one shot reasonable. Look at the players who are one year older than Jordan and tell me how many you’d have wanted last year: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/ML_1966_birth.shtml Sure Moises Alou was pretty good, but for every Alou, there are dozens of David Seguis, Orlando Merceds, Dave Justices, Bernard Gilkeys or Albert Belles.

  17. some of you guys need to be hugged. look at it this way, langerhans has yet to prove himself at the major league level, jordan has(not saying langerhans cant play at the major league level). They are both risks. just let them play to prove themselves. may the best man win. yep yep

  18. Alright “bamadan”, since you insist on bringing out the worst in people, I’ll answer your claims.

    Why thank you! I’m glad to see that your response is apparently you at your worst. Good luck and godspeed in moving on to your best.

  19. Bobby Cox is the best manager in baseball period. Is that enough credit? Jordan could have been brought in as a NRI thats how far he had fallen in the world of baseball. Why the Braves signed him to a one year contract I’ll never know.
    Ryan C. I think you are right there should be an open competition but it should have been between Andy Marte, Billy McCarthy, and Ryan Langerhans. A fragile 38 year old veteran only takes spring at bats away from those guys.
    MWS, Jordan’s last season with the Braves in 2001 he played in 148 games and put up a .295/.334/.496 line. My point is that I believe that Langerhans/McCarthy can at least do that. As for Mondesi sure he is a big risk but he’s 5 years younger and historically has been a much better player. The odds that he’ll be productive are far greater than Jordan being league average.

  20. But watching Giles have to get demoted time and again to allow Quilvio Veras or Keith Lockhart time at second or the apparent reluctance to use Langerhans but rather bring in designated malcontent Mondesi and ER Veteran Jordan concerns me.

    This is just [unneccessarily harsh word omitted]. LaRoche was given the firstbase job last year and given every chance to succeed. Ramirez went from nobody to rotation regular. Bobby is still perfectly willing to let young guys win a job, same as he ever was.

    Giles got jerked around because Bobby didn’t care for his defense when he first came up, and now Marcus has worked himself into an acceptable defensive player. That’s called bringing out the best in your players.

    Castilla was horrible that year of course, but the only other option was DeRosa and we all saw how that turned out.

    Having veterans guys like Jordan and Mondy around when your only other options are B- grade rookies is insurance. If you don’t think the best manager in baseball can figure out how to blend the veterans and rookies then you haven’t been paying attention for the past 15 years.

  21. bamadan, don’t use the analogy of winning the lottery. Please. There aren’t even close to a “billion” players in baseball, so how can you say that his chances of doing well are one in a billion. If you looked at everyone actively playing who is 37 or older and took the ones who are still considered major league caliber players the odds are more like one in a hundred, which isn’t that bad.

    Anyway, that’s all I’m going to say. I could be wrong, you could be wrong, so I’m just going to keep my pride in check and hope for bragging rights come the all-star break.

  22. None of them played pro football either. That’s right, Jordan’s body has even more wear and tear on it than an average 38-year-old player. Probably more wear and tear than Julio.

    No one is saying (I don’t think) that Jordan can’t be useful, just that it isn’t a great bet in 2005. Nothing wrong with disagreeing or using logic to make judgments about your favorite team.

    It’s one thing to say that it might not work out. It’s completely another to be actively rooting against him, like some people here are. That’s just ridiculous.

  23. Listening to local Atlanta talk radio and MLB on XM satellite radio, they have been talking up the Braves a lot. They feel Chipper has finally become the leader of the team, and having Jordan there is a good thing, even if he’s not as good as he once was. He is a leader though, and that probably factored into the decision to bring him on. The talk is also that LaRoche will breakout this year and probably get most of the ABs.

  24. Primer linked to an interesting article in the New York Sun today by Nate Silver, creator of Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projection system. In it, he writes that spring training numbers as a whole are worse at projecting future performance than the previous years’ performance. He cites instances where this can hurt teams, as it did the Yankees who decided to play Enrique Wilson over Miguel Cairo based on Wilson’s hot spring. Wilson proceeded to stink up the joint and lose his job a few months later.

    He offers as a caveat the case of Jaret Wright, who earned his job in the spring and then pitched very well all year, so it must be remembered that there are exceptions to any rule.

    All that said, I don’t think anyone here really wants to see Brian Jordan do poorly. He’s on the Braves, and as we’re all Braves fans, every time he puts on the uniform we’ll root for him to succeed. That said, there is a legitimate reason to believe that Bobby values spring numbers very highly (Horacio and Wright both earned their jobs in spring training, I can’t think of other examples but I’m sure there are several). Thus, if Jordan goes nuts this spring, that doesn’t change our projection of his numbers this year, which is below replacement-level for a corner OF. However, he could earn himself a lot more playing time and even worse, leeway when he plays poorly for stretches. So I don’t think it’s wrong on our part to hope that Langerhans appears superior to him during the spring and thus receives the bulk of the playing time. Construe that how you will :)

  25. Also take into account the fact that ST is meaningless from a W-L standpoint, so “rooting against” a player there really doesn’t matter. I want both Langerhans (against righties) and Jordan (against lefties) to do their thing when the season starts. I just want to keep that setup.

  26. I just want the team to do well, but I am very leery of Jordan’s presence. I think Bobby will be smart about playing time for him, though that doesn’t mean he won’t get a few hundred AB’s even is he’s sucking.

    As for his leadership, I could care less. His leadership hasn’t amounted to a series title in his entire career, so let’s not assume it can do anything for the Braves that thy haven’t achieved without him.

    So, i hope he does well, even though i’m not optimistic about a 38 year old with a beat-up football body. it’s a potentially neat story, i guess.

  27. Jordan is a Brave. I’m still at a loss as to why he’s a Brave but as long as he wears the uniform I’m rooting for him…..kind of. I’m like Kyle S. I’m just rooting for Ryan Langerhans more. One of the worst case scenarios in modern baseball is the washed up veteran stunting the growth of a promising young player. A good spring training from Jordan could do just that. Langerhans is not even close to being a sure thing but he deserves a chance to prove that he can’t play in the majors. The recent history of the Braves says that they are willing to give a young player a lot of rope like they did LaRoche last year. But finances had more to do with that I’m convinced. Had we been able to financially we would have acquired a first baseman when Adam was stinking up the joint. I just don’t think that they will be as patient with Ryan becuase of Jordan’s presence.

  28. It’s one thing to say that it might not work out. It’s completely another to be actively rooting against him, like some people here are. That’s just ridiculous.

    I assume this is directed at me among others. And for what its worth, I think you are mistaken. I have rooted against only one Braves player: Gary Sheffield due to his admission that he intentionally committed errors when playing for the Brewers. There have been some players I’ve liked more (Olson, Benedict, Chambliss, Avery, C.Thomas, etc.) and some that for personal reasons I’ve liked less (Horner, Furcal, Blauser, etc.) but none other than Sheffield that I’ve rooted against.

    I don’t root for Jordan to fail; I root for the Braves to win. And I believe very strongly that the most likely way for the Braves to win is for Jordan not to play often if at all. I base this on personal observation of his performance over the years, his age, his injury history, and long, long history of players being in severe decline well before Jordan’s present advanced (but younger than me) age.

  29. I don’t know whether or not it’s directed at you, I don’t really care to go find who said what. But if you are one of the people who goes “Uh oh” or something similarly negative when Jordan does well in ST, you are rooting against him, period.

  30. Wonderful! Now I’m being told what my own opinions are. Thank you kind sir; I’m obviously too stoooooopid to know what I want. But now that I’ve been set straight, I can hold my head high as a just and proper Braves fan.

  31. I don’t mind nice or not nice, but the level of discourse is swiftly sinking to the nyah, nyah range. Love the site, visit daily, but if it devolves into fanhome redux, pass. It’s fun to deconstruct cogent arguments, but this “you are no fan of the Braves” jazz is weak.

  32. It happens every so often. I don’t want to censor, so maybe I let it go longer than I should. At any event, I think I shall close comments on this post.

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