Chipper, Andruw, Francoeur, back to Chipper, then Farnsworth

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I had a debate with a pal of mine about the Braves. He thought that Chipper Jones would still be perceived as the team’s most important player. I disagreed and so I emailed 20 front office personnel, scouts, and one national writer, asking them two questions–who was the Braves best player and who would they want off Atlanta’s roster going forward. The answers were very different. Most said Andruw Jones was the best player (Chipper got three votes), but eighteen of the twenty said they’d want Jeff Francoeur on their squad if they had their pick of the Braves. That says a lot for a small sample size and a scouting report. Chipper Jones may not be the best Brave any more, but the team would be better with him playing third. The team is now calling it a sprained rotator cuff (I think they meant strained) and he’ll be out until at least the weekend for anything other than pinch-hitting. A DL stint would make sense, but there’s no indication that the team is planning it. Also, watch for the Braves to juggle their roster over the next week or so, prepping for the return of John Thomson and Mike Hampton. Thomson is expected to return on Saturday, pitching with a limit.

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This is just crap. Kyle Farnsworth will serve a suspension while resting his sore back. I don’t mean to single out Farnsworth here because this is common practice. Suspensions are served at convenient times, reducing them from penalty to annoyance. This is another issue that is collectively bargained and I respect that, but one that the fan in me hates. Break a rule, take the punishment like a man. Part of the punishment is hurting the team, something that no player wants to do. Farnsworth’s back isn’t serious–which is exactly the attitude players take toward suspensions.

Are we sure it’s his back, not his neck, from watching those home runs?

25 thoughts on “Chipper, Andruw, Francoeur, back to Chipper, then Farnsworth”

  1. Forget about Farnsworth…I am still seething that Kenny Rogers suspension was reduced and pitching tonight in Boston. What an ass.

    And now you can officially add me to the list of JEFF BRANTLEY HATERS.

    I heard Brantley on ESPN radio on the way home from work justifying what his “friend” Kenny Rogers did and saying it’s “no big deal” and the “camerman probably deserved it” or my very favorite, “it’s just Kenny being Kenny, you know?”

    Jeff Brantley is a FAT TOOL and you can now add me to the list of people that have zero respect for him.

  2. I hate, hate, hate the whole damn suspension/appeal process. I just can’t for the life of me understand why appeals can’t be heard within a week, and why they are almost invariable reduced to some extent. I know there are good reasons sometimes – Marlon Byrd’s situation (a clear accident) warranted a reduction, for example. But sometimes it’s just guys like Donnelly, whose suspension was reduced because, I can only assume, he didn’t have as much pine tar in his glove as they originally thought?!

    And how do suspensions get reduced without an appeal? Is this a new thing, or something I just noticed? How does that work? Do they call up MLB and say “my guy will actually accept his well-deserved punishment now, when it’s most convenient for us, if you cut a game or two off”?

    Can you tell that this burns me up? ;)

    Also – has anyone seen a coherent reasoning behind Rogers’ suspension being dropped to time served? I had read somewhere that it was based on a techincality, but haven’t found any specifics on that. Just some general hand-waving about Selig overstepping his bounds.

  3. Reading Alex’s rants makes my day a lot better. They’re uplifting, for some reason. Thanks, Alex, especially for the FAT TOOL remark. That just cracked me up.

    My guess about the suspensions, creynolds, would be that it’s a similar sort of situation to what happens when a criminal pleads guilty to something and gets a lesser punishment. Dropping an appeal saves time and maybe money, so the player might be rewarded for that with a reduction. That’s the only thing I can come up with.

    My hatred for Don Fehr and the MLBPA knows no bounds. They’re so obsessed with keeping all their power and not giving up any ground whatsoever that they’re hurting themselves and the sport. That’s cutting off your nose to spite your face. The failure to set up an adequate steroid testing program to rid this sport of drugs and cheaters astonishes me. How could this be a bad thing? All the suspension BS and the poor way it’s handled just smacks of CBA garbage and MLBPA posturing. I wish Selig would step in, show that he’s not a weasel for once, and squash Fehr down in the best interests of the sport.

    Bad news: TO went spastic and ran away to New Jersey. The Eagles are apparently sick of him. Good for them, but we’re not going to hear anything else for the next week.

  4. I’m about to willingly subject myself to ATH just to refresh my hatred of people for the Road from Bristol. Mariotti, Adande, Reali, Paige…people should appreciate my sacrifice!

  5. Jenny-

    It always warms my heart when I can make someone happy with one of my crazed “rants”–ha! Especially people I like on here like you or creynolds or JoeyT.

    I just feel this is a place where I can express myself so that I don’t allow my quiet rage at mullet man in my car to cause me to veer off the road or anything! Alex.

  6. Funny how the owners get what the want (salary caps , no guaranteed contracts) and it creates even more of a mess. Every time I worry about labor issues, salaries, etc. in MLB, football season starts up and reminds me that it ain’t so bad.

    Alex – you save me from having to watch a lot of ESPN. I get all the frustration vicariously through you. Keep it up!

  7. Should God show some mercy on baseball fans and put them out of work somehow, there is a radio station out there waiting for Kruk and Brantley. “One Nut and Mullet Man” would make a great morning drive time show :)

  8. I read where Brian Jordan is getting a rehab assignment this weekend in Rome.

    Who goes down when they activate BJ?

    This is the order of the guys on the way to richmond:

    Kelly Johson
    Ryan Lang
    Wilson Betemit

    On September 1, dont we get to bring up everyone on the 40 man roster? That would only make the tough decisions when the playoff roster is set.

    The same scenario applies to McCann when Eddie Perez returns.

  9. Why do we have to activate Jordan? Why can’t we wait until September 1? Maybe I’m crazy and stupid, but I’d rather have KJ than Jordan. He looks to be coming out of his slump, and he’s not as fragile and a better defender, at least in my opinion. I’d rather just send Jordan on a really long rehab assignment until 9/1.

  10. Betemit and Langerhans are out of options and can’t be sent down. (That’s probably the only reason they started the season with the team. Where would we be without Betemit?) I assume that if Jordan is activated before Sept. 1 KJ will be sent down. I think that would be a major mistake.

    McCann’s all but officially the regular catcher now. Estrada can barely swing the bat. It’s more likely that on the off chance Perez could be activated they’d DL Estrada.

    What will be interesting is how they manipulate the pitching staff with Thomson coming back. They might DL Chipper for a little while and go with thirteen pitchers until he’s ready to play.

  11. Conveniently, BJ starts his rehab with under 20 days left before the 9/1 roster expansion. He can stay “on rehab” until then. There will have to be some sort of trickery in optioning a player (maybe a pitcher) to get him back on the 25-man roster, but it shouldn’t actually affect the team and all that can be juggled once again before playoff time (although with the way things stand, I would expect a healthy Jordan to make the roster). Same with Eddie (again, if he’s healthy). My totally unsubstantiated guess is that there will two fewer pitchers and two additional crusty old players on the postseason roster.

  12. Jenny, there’s a limit to how long a rehab assignment can last. But Jordan might accept a brief demotion to AAA, and who would claim him on waivers? (Though if a contender did put him on the roster that would be the biggest contribution he could make to the Braves’ chances.)

  13. Ha ha, Mac. I’m still convinced Theo cut Embree to sabotage the Yankees. So the mistake was starting the rehab at all. Looks like KJ is the only option. It won’t be for too long, anyway.

    YAY! Mariotti just got cut. Now if Paige will go…Blackistone and Adande are tolerable.

  14. If I were the manager, I would implement a “Go with what Got you Here” strategy as far as setting the playoff roster. That is what I like about Torre and why he rolls at another level compared to Bobby as a post season skipper.

    That leaves Jordan, Perez out in the cold. And Mr Michael Hampton is not far from being on this list if he doesn’t stop “hurting” himself in hot tubs.

    Agree w/ Mac abt McCanns as catcher. I think McCann handles the staff 20% better than Estrada. I brought this up PE (pre-erstad) that I thought Johnny called a shotty game. Poor guy – i feel bad for JE since he has not been paid yet.

    I suspect Bobby will slide down Sosa, Thompson, Davies, in the bull pen for playoffs and go for #29, #15, #32, #30 roation.

  15. Yes, Rip, I don’t see on what planet I can conceive where young players like McCann and KJ are moved “out of the way” for old flotsam like Brian Jordan and Eddie Perez. If this happens, the people of Atlanta will be sent John Schuerholz’s HOME ADDRESS so that we are legally allowed to lynch his ass if he even thought about doing that.

    And Mac is of course right about Estrada who’s average even when he’s fully healthy. I mean, geez, I think McCann has pretty much shown he HAS to be Atlanta’s starting catcher now. I think it’s fair to say he’s better right now then 90% of the starting catchers, both offensively and defensively, in the Majors. Why we would dump that guy for Eddie is beyond insane.

    As for KJ…he’s young and the slumps are natural. Frankly, what Francouer is doing is unnatural, but hey Jeff, don’t let us stop you…you go on with your bad self and keep being unnatural. :-)

    I also agree that while I don’t want to see Brian Jordan stealing playing time for Langerhans and KJ, I like Brian on a personal level and like what he, Eddie & Julio bring to the Braves clubhouse and don’t mind if they are kept on the roster after 9-1 for stretch run MORALE. In fact, if Brian & Eddie retire, I wouldn’t mind if the Braves would give them a job with the organization.

  16. How much does anyone really care about the Runaway Bride mowing Georgia lawns? Why is this on ESPN?

  17. Why is this on ESPN?

    You talking about the footage, or Around The Horn in general?

    I wouldn’t mind Jordan so much as a roster expansion player/25th man in postseason. I guess. Esix Snead would actually have more value, in that he can pinch-run and Jordan can’t do anything.

  18. But we really won’t need this many pitchers… certainly not going into a five game series. And I expect Cox will want an extra catcher. And a fifth outfielder so we don’t have to rely on Orr out there isn’t a bad thing, even if it’s Jordan. Unless there’s a basestealer/defensive whiz that can be found, I’m ok with it… provided he doesn’t actually play except in a real emergency, of course.

  19. I know this can be handled, but I don’t think Snead is even on the 40-man. I’m with you in that he would be a better choice than Jordan for sure. We ought to get something for hanging onto his sorry ass in AAA all year.

  20. Why is Chipper so finicky about going on the DL?

    I would rather DL him than risk getting him hurt again. I am convinced we beat Houston last year if Carlos Scum bag Zambrano does not been chipper on the hands in the final series before the playoffs.

    Bring him back mid-september in time to get his timing back.

    Above all – do not let him play at the Cubs in two weeks.

  21. Rehabs can last up to 30 days, so if he’s just starting now, September 1 should be the day. No need for roster shenanigans. We do need another righty stick off the bench and Jordan meets at least 50% of those requirements…

  22. BJ: .244/.292/.335
    KJ: .233/.327/.393

    That’s in a similar number of opportunities, and is a fairly major difference — to the tune of 92 points of OPS. 31 walks for Johnson, 12 for Jordan. 8 homers for Johnson, 3 for Jordan. I’ll throw in Langerhans:

    .244/.325/.398

    Virtually identical with Johnson. There’s at least an argument for Langerhans, who is a better defensive player and probably runs better. But there’s no argument for Jordan, who is a worse player and fifteen or so years older. Johnson should get better; Jordan will get worse.

    The Braves would be better off with Marte as the righthanded thumper off the bench. If you must have an outfielder, Kerry Robinson and John Barnes both suck, but they suck in that life-affirming, empty-.270 with speed way that screams “fifth outfielder”!

  23. Regarding what happens when Hampton and Thomson return, I’d like to see us make a big deal out of giving Hampton the “Schilling/Wood” treatment, and put him in the bullpen for the time being. I think he could be a good situational reliever — we could use him in the old Grybo role, with the added bonus that you don’t necessarily have to pinch hit for him, so he could go multiple innings more often.

    With some other high-profile starters embracing temp relief roles, it wouldn’t have the stigma of a demotion, plus Sosa gets rewarded with a continued spot in the rotation. Then, if Sosa struggles, we can move Hampton back into the rotation under the guise that he’s now “fully recovered”.

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