106 thoughts on “He’s going to crack”

  1. I second that motion. He certainly hadn’t shown himself to be immune to a mistake in the pressure cookers that are Detroit and Atlanta *note sarcasm*. Now he can go back to tackling people in the American League.

  2. He may have been a Rocker waiting to happen, but he did do a very good job for us in a highly volatile position last year. I was hoping he’d come back–he’s got to be worth $4M per year if Ryan and Wagner are worth $10. Not to mention the deals Eyre and Howry signed with the Cubs. Who is next in line to be the Braves closer next season? Trevor Hoffman? Todd Jones? Braden Looper? Bob Wickman? Tom Gordon? Do any of these guys sound as appealing as Farnsworth? Not to me…

  3. I would take Hoffman, Hoffman’s mom, Hoffman throwing left handed, and Hoffman’s dog over Farnsworth. I know some of you have a strange love for Kyle and he was good for us at the end of the season, but REMEMBER GAME FIVE WHERE WE WERE UP 6-1 AND HE COULDN’T HOLD IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My uncle is a Cub fan and he called me when he saw Farnsworthless warming up in the pen and said, “Sorry about losing.” I laughed and he siad, “Just wait.”

    Farns will be out of baseball within three seasons.
    “A million dollar arm and a ten cent head.” Crash Davis

  4. Hoffman is the best of that bunch, but his age and contract needs are enough to give me pause. Jones would be a welcome set-up guy for a one-year deal at $1M or so, but he is coming off a career year in a bull market for closers. Someone will overpay him, and I hope it’s not Atlanta.


    That was game four. I watched it on television.

  6. Also, it was more like Minute Maid Park couldn’t hold it. Two cheaper homeruns would be hard to find.

  7. Blaming Farnsworth for the Game Four loss is not fair. He gave up, if I remember correctly, a groundball that Giles/Furcal should have fielded properly and a short fly ball that Minute Maid park calls a Home Run. There may have been more errors and misplays, but I definitely did not remember feeling that Farnsworth blew the eighth/ninth inning of Game Four. It was a team (And Minute Maid ground rules) effort.

  8. I seem to recall Mariano Rivera blowing a World Series game 7 to the Diamondbacks — pretty sure the Yankees still wanted him the next year. Closers blow games sometimes, but I’ll take Farnsworth any day over the guys that have been bandied about as his potential replacement.

  9. How much did the Braves offer? I’m surprised that he would leave the chance to be a closer for his home-state team to be a set-up man. And the Braves got just as far as the Yankees in the playoffs last year.

  10. The home run to Ausmus (yeah, it was over the line, if Sam Hutcheson is reading) was about 400 feet, IIRC. I’m somewhat disappointed to see Farns go, but I have a feeling he would be aggravating to watch.

    Here’s hoping we don’t get Todd Jones or Danys Baez. *shudder*

  11. Sorry it was game four.

    He is a head case. He has two pitches a 99 mph fastball that is right down the middle or hits the bull. His slidder is nasty, if it moves.
    He can be effective, but over time most big league hitters can catch up to his heat.

    DO you think Smoltz would have blown that lead, even with the errors? no. Farns walked a couple of people also. Everyone in America knew that Berkman was going to take him deep in that spot. He went up there looking for a fast ball and his ole buddy threw him one. I don’t care what park they were in, Berkman would have just adjusted his distance for his shot.

  12. I agree that Smoltz is a better closer than Farnsworth, but I don’t think Smoltz is our alternative here. Our alternatives appear to be Trevor Hoffman, Todd Jones, maybe Danys Baez. Hoffman is the only one who is arguably as good or better than Farnsworth, and will likely cost more at age 40 than Farnsworth would have at 29.

  13. Cleveland targeting Hoffman

    “The Indians, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore and Detroit are the teams hungriest for closers. Tom Gordon, Hoffman, Bob Wickman, Kyle Farnsworth, Todd Jones and Braden Looper are still available. So is Danys Baez via a trade with Tampa Bay.

    Hoffman, two years older than Wickman at 38, was 1-6 with 43 saves and a 2.97 ERA for the San Diego last year.

    To get Hoffman off of the West Coast, it’s believed the Indians will have to offer him a two-year deal worth close to $8 million a year with a vesting option for a third year. The Padres offered Hoffman a two-year deal for $10 million. The insulted Hoffman asked for three at close to $9 million a year.

    If the Indians don’t sign Hoffman, the market will get tighter. Gordon is being courted hard by the Phillies. The Yankees are reportedly close to signing Farnsworth to replace Gordon as Mariano Rivera’s set-up man. ”


  14. JC, if I remember right, we lived with Ligtenberg for one year after Wohlers hit the wall, then it was Rocker, then the Braves got Karsey and Reed for Rocker, and finally Smoltz took over the mess.

    If we went all the way back to 1991, it was Beurenger, then got Pena and Reardon at the 1991 and 1992 trade deadline. 1993 was Greg McMichael before Wohlers finally became the closer. So, I don’t think the Braves have signed a free agent closer during their 15 years run. I don’t mind if the Braves break a tradition by signing Hoffman.

  15. i like farns but I think he’ll crack next year in nyc too. he looked nervous alot this year and all of america did know berkman was going to take him yard. is that kid from nc state pitching anywhere this offseason? i’d like to see his stats.

  16. It’s not like Farnsworth will be closing in New York. They do have Mariano Rivera. But yes, he will probably become a complete head case. And since I root for 2 AL East teams, I will get to see a lot of it!

    Hoffman seems a little old to me, but a 2-year deal would probably be okay. There really is no one else appealing available unless we pull off a trade.

    And this is irrelevant, but can someone explain to me why MLB is using Jerry Reinsdorf in the Natspo negotiations?

  17. Hopefully “the kid from NC State” (Devine) is resting his arm and having his memory erased this offseason, but I suppose you never know.

    Dotel is recovering from surgery; he won’t be ready to start the year but could return by June or so, I think.

  18. According to the New York Post, Philadelphia and Boston have engaged in serious talks about swapping Ramirez for Bobby Abreu. If the Phillies can get Ramirez to play at the Citizen Bank Park, the guy will hit 80 homeruns next season.

    Jenny, the Natspos are owned by MLB, so the owners are using all their resources to get the best deal from Washington. As far as I know, Reinsdorf is the toughest negotiators among MLB team owners.

  19. The last Closer (TM) they signed was probably Sutter. Uh-oh. Berenguer was a setup man before the Braves brought him in. He had 32 career saves, 17 of them in 1991.

    Goofy stat fun…

    Reitsma is 29th on the franchise saves list with 17, tied with Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm. Danny is 48th with 11, tied with three others including Jeff Dedmon.

    There are only about 15 guys who have lasted a season as the Braves’ closer. 15th on the franchise save list is Joe Boever with 30. 16th is Niekro with 29, and Spahn is tied for 17th with 28.

    Rank Player SV IP
    1. John Smoltz 154 2929.3
    2. Gene Garber 141 856.0
    3. Mark Wohlers 112 386.3
    4. John Rocker 83 195.3
    5. Cecil Upshaw 78 409.7
    6. Rick Camp 57 942.3
    7. Mike Stanton 55 289.7
    8. Don McMahon 50 344.7
    9. Kerry Ligtenberg 44 266.7
    Greg McMichael 44 334.0
    11. Steve Bedrosian 41 696.0
    12. Bruce Sutter 40 152.3
    13. Bob Smith 36 1813.3
    14. Claude Raymond 33 259.0
    15. Joe Boever 30 163.3

  20. Boyer may be able to do it, but he’s also a key set-up guy for us. Boyer has to be an option only if we can’t sign or trade for someone stronger and with more experience. Same with Devine; he needs at least a full season to prove himself before being thrust in that role.

  21. Smitty, that’s a lot to ask for from Boyer. Even K-Rod pitched behind Percival for two years before finally becoming the Angels’ closer last season…

  22. I wasn’t sold on Farnsworth anyway.

    Its hard to believe the money being thrown at second tier free agents this year. Its hard to believe some of the trades that have gone down. In a way you are hoping that the Braves don’t get caught up in the temptation to throw money around but on the other hand you have to believe that they have to DO SOMETHING.

  23. Well I would rather make a trade and up grade the rest of the pen and get a bat or a starter than throwing money at another Dan Kolb. If we can get Hoffman, great, but I will take Boyer over a Baez. Jones would be a great set up guy/ closer til June guy, but nothing more.

    I say in the next two weeks we will make 2-3 big moves. After this Furcal thing plays out, we will know where we are going to go.

  24. Bottom line:

    Farnsworthless knew where he was pitching. He blew the lead. Let the flippin’ Yankees have him.

  25. What about Boyer as closer this year? I think he could do it.

    I don’t know if he could do it, but I’d rather we trying something out of the box like this than haul in some overpriced veteran with a “closer’s mentality”. Hoffman basically has the Doug Jones slow-slower-slowest repitoire right now and with his age 38 season coming up, the cliff is a few steps away.

    Spend the money on the offense and the rotation. A reasonable bullpen can be assembled relatively cheaply, despite what we saw last season.

  26. Just wondering if I could get some opinions from several of you. Choose which option you think would be best for the team if Furcal doesn’t resign.

    1) Trade Betemit and Estrada, for a solid reliever and pick up Julio Lugo for a one year deal. Let Langerhans play left w/ KJ as a 4th outfielder. Use any available funds for another closer.

    2)http://www.ajc.com/thursday/content/epaper/editions/thursday/sports_34e89a159481e0f30006.html Pick up Juan Pierre for a leadoff hitter and let Betemit play short. Allow Langerhans to be a 4th outfielder and trade away Johnson/Estrada for a reliever. Use any available funds for another closer.

  27. does anyone think we should take a flyer on Nomar if is asking price isn’t too much? just a one year rental, use him as a super utility guy. i think throwing ten million at furcal is ridiculous. We need to spend our money on the bullpen. I think Nomar and Betemit would work.

  28. I’ve thought about Nomar, and I like the idea. I just don’t know where he would play, and I don’t want him at SS.

  29. I’d rather see Betemit at SS than Julio “Wife Beater” Lugo. That guy makes me sick.

    Juan Pierre’s a nice player and all, but he would be useless as a leadoff hitter, as the leadoff hitter’s goal is to get on base. Langerhans and Johnson are better options in LF, and they are cheaper, as well.

  30. Juan Pierre’s carrer OBP is .355, Langy’s was like .343 last season.

    League leaders were:
    T. Helton, COL – .445
    A. Pujols, STL – .430
    B. Giles, SD – .423
    D. Lee, CHC – .418
    L. Berkman, HOU – .411

    Juan’s was down some last season, but like Furcal he had a better second half.

  31. Why throw gobs of cash and guaranteed years at pitchers who only pitch 60-70 innings? The Closer is a myth. He’s just another relief pitcher. I believe in throwing money at pitchers who throw 200 good innings. You know, guys like Barry Zito, who I hear is available. And Oakland has a loaded bullpen.

    Zito and Calero would look good in Atlanta next year. BTW, just plug Betemit in at SS and quit with the Lugo nonsense.

  32. i actually think the pierre idea is good for next year, maybe for a couple of years until you give the prospects some time to catch up. You solve the problem of furcal leaving with a player who can get on base and could provide a spark in our team that we could really use.

    go for it JS! make us proud!

  33. Definately on board to dump Furcal, quit pursuing Hoffman with a wad of cash, sign Juan and give an opportunity to Devine and Boyer- see who steps up. I love Furcal but his swing-for-the-downs mentality grew weary, a long time ago. That is too much cash to bet on him maturing.


    It is true that Pierre has a decent OBP. However:
    a) he has ZERO power. his career ISO is .070
    b) his OBP is average dependent; thus, if he doesn’t hit for a high average, he is WORTHLESS (i.e. last year)
    c) we already have two CFs (A Jones and Langerhans); we don’t need a third
    d) he made $3.7 million last year.
    e) We have two players who performed better than he did last year (Langerhans and K Johnson) who make the league minimum
    f) both of those players are younger than Pierre (26 and 24, respectively)
    g) both of those players are much further from free agency
    h) the column advocating his addition was written by TERENCE MOORE!

    Adding Juan Pierre would make our team worse, not in the long run, but right away, and would cost significant dollars as well. Schuerholtz, run far, far away from this idea!

  35. Pierre? Ick. Marcus can handle leadoff duties just fine. Who cares if he doesn’t steal 40 bases. He’ll hit 40 doubles instead. And post a MUCH higer obp%.

    If you’ve got money left to burn on a hitter, go get a HITTER. Adam Dunn would be great. I’d be willing to take a flyer on Milton Bradley. He’s no worse than Sheff and he was just fine under Bobby.

  36. Adam Dunn would be great if he would play 1B. We have a lot of talented outfielders already, and it would be a shame to see KJ or Langerhans thrive somewhere else (You know Francoeur is going nowhere) in order to make room for some overpaid mediocrity like Juan Pierre.

  37. I’m convinced one of KJ or Langerhans will be trade bait to acquire a SP. I could see soemthing like Thomson/KJ/James for Zito+RP or Estrada/Langer for Vazquez. If so, Dunn will look *outstanding* in LF, while the young’un plays the 4th OF role.

    As for 1B, Marte’s gotta play somewhere. “Hi Andy, this is a firstbaseman’s mitt. You’ll need to get used to it until Chipper retires.”

  38. Mets want to get Jorge Jullio form Baltimore for Benson. That is fine with me, thouh I will miss getting to tee off on Benson, Jorge will be fun to hit off of late in the game along with Boom-boom and Wagner. (Andruw hit .296 of Billy last year)

  39. If the Mets find a way to get Benson out of their rotation and get relief in return, this will have been an incredible offseason for them already. And they haven’t even addressed second base yet. I mean, acquiring Delgado, acquiring Wagner, and getting rid of your albratross starter for good relief pitching is more than most GMs accomplish in their entire careers.

    The Mets have a lot of money to spend. Now that they, finally, don’t have a buffoon running the show, they’re very intimidating.

  40. If the Mets find a way to get Benson out of their rotation and get relief in return, this will have been an incredible offseason for them already

    It looks like they are trying to clear salary space for Manny, but let be clear here. Benson is not that bad. He’s overpaid but he’s a league average starter which certainly has value. Julio on the other hand will be 27 this season and has ERAs of 4.38, 4.57, and 5.90 the last three seasons pitching in Camden Yards which plays as a pitcher’s park in this era. This is a straight salary dump by the Mets. What they do with that money will determine whether this is a good or bad move.

  41. Oh, and, not that it means anything, but bbref lists Julio’s number 1 most similar pitcher as Danny Kolb.

  42. As for 1B, Marte’s gotta play somewhere. “Hi Andy, this is a firstbaseman’s mitt. You’ll need to get used to it until Chipper retires.”

    priceless. but it’s time for Marte to start working on it and think about getting to the big leagues how he can

  43. Omar Minaya’s not a buffoon? That’s news to me.

    Minaya just called me up and asked me to relay this message:

    “We’re going to score by coming at you with Delgado, Wright, Floyd, and maybe Manny before I’m done. We’re going to throw at you with Pedro, Seo, Glavine, and Heilman. We’re going to ice you with Wagner. Who’s a buffoon? The corporate suit who wouldn’t give you enough breathing room to even offer 3/15 to your second best arm.”

    He stopped when I started crying.

  44. I can’t wait until Thursday September 28, 2006 at the Ted when I can chant, “Over Rated!” at the Mets who will be 8 1/2 back. We also close the season with Houston in town. I am sure we will have to turn around and play them in the playoffs the next day.

  45. Omar Minaya does not understand the concept of a farm system. Lastings Milledge will be gone in a few years, I’m predicting it now. He has a lot of money. You can do things when you have money *cough* Brian Cashman *cough* but you can still be a buffoon because the money covers up a lot of your mistakes. It does not take a genius to throw massive amounts of cash at Billy Wagner. It does, however, take an idiot to trade Mike Cameron for Xavier Nady (unless they are spinning him off somewhere, which I’ve seen no indication of), give Kaz Matsui $7 million a year, pay Carlos Beltran $117 million based on one postseason, fail to understand why you should ask the Red Sox for Kevin Youkilis in a trade, and think of Braden Looper as a good closer.

    Mets have the highest payroll in the NL, but Minaya’s still a buffoon.

  46. It’s not Minaya’s fault. It’s the overwhelming aura of suck that surrounds Shea stadium and turns absolutely everyone who steps into it (except for David Wright, who is God) into Carlos Baerga.

  47. Some sucker is going to way over pay in talent for Zito, who is going to get really expensive after next year, and is not exactly young Roger Clemens these days. I just hope it ain’t us. Looking back, christ, the Cards gave up a ton for Mulder.

  48. True, the Cards overpaid, but we sure as hell didn’t. Dan Meyer’s career is about this close to stalling out, and Charles Thomas and Juan Cruz aren’t exactly irreplaceable.

  49. That is where JS rules the school. With rare exception (Jason Schmidt? Maybe, eventually, Adam Wainright?), he doesn’t give up young players who ever amount to anything.

  50. Count me as one of the people who aren’t convinced that acquiring Zito is a good idea. The guy has had three straight mediocre W-L years, and while he’s still relatively young, it’s going to be expensive, both in prospects and in future contracts to keep him around. I think we have a good enough rotation that would could start looking for the “next Glavine or Smoltz” in our farm system.

  51. Quick question (and sorta off-topic): What did we trade Schmidt for? I had thought he had left via free agency.

  52. I don’t think we need Zito. Like others have said his W/L haven’t been great. And what is with ya’ll wanting to trade all of these prospects away for the likes of Dunn? Sure he hits homeruns, but don’t we need someone that isn’t going to be another Klesko out in the outfield?

  53. Schmidt was part of the Denny Neagle package, back when Denny didn’t need $40 BJs from Colorado prostitutes to feel good about himself.

  54. mraver, I believe we got Neagle. So it wasn’t just a give away.

    Dunn is awesome and one of the top offensive forces in the league. He’s worth just about any prospect package. I think most of the thought here is to put him at first, not in the outfield.

  55. Schmidt was packaged with Ron Wright for Denny Neagle. Schmidt didn’t break out until several years later. Looking back, I’d call the trade a wash, although at the time I hated it because I thought we had glaring weaknesses in places other than the rotation.

    Dunn is not a bad outfielder. He’s quite agile for such a big man and I believe he was a pretty good football player. By the time Klesko was traded, he was way better than his reputation.

    I don’t think Zito isn’t the best solution, but it’s not a bad move either and he’s the type of player JS usually goes after. The rotation does need a quality LH. HoRam doesn’t qualify and James hasn’t proved himself yet.

  56. What is the best solution to the left starter problem? Washburn? There just isn’t anyone out there.

    If the Braves want a lefty in the rotation, they’re almost compelled to play James. Of course, they’ll probably end up serving up batting practice with HR a few times before they realize that.

  57. The Braves have a pretty good recent track record of figuring out the right guy to use at the end of the rotation. In particular, Moss in ’02, HoRam in ’03, Jaret Wright in ’04, Sosa in ’05 have all been good calls. Of course, we should be wary about falling in love with these guys – thank god we got rid of Moss when we did.

  58. I was a bit miffed when Farnsworthless decided to go to the Yankees. He did have a good last year, and 3/12 at the market rate would be a good deal for us.
    Somehow I get the impression that the Braves never made him a serious offer. Maybe something to do with his reputation for being “uncoachable”.
    I hope we don’t go for a proven closer again. Kolb should have taught us that. There are lots of live arms there, who we can target. Rodney, Colome, Jairo Garcia, Ryan Wagner( He really needs to get out of the GAP ).
    In related news, SF signed Tim Worrell to a 2 yr deal! ha ha ha

  59. i agree, dunn is not that atrocious of an outfielder. i would love to have him no matter what, but i would PREFER him at 1st so we could send laroche packing.

  60. We don’t need to put Dunn at 1B to jettison LaRoche. Marte has to play somewhere and my best guess is that Dunn is way better in the OF than Marte would be.

  61. If I were a baseball team, at least a minor-league one, I would love to have a closer named Merkin for the promotional opportunities alone.

  62. Way too little Mark.
    And really, we have no use for Doug Davis or Bill Hall! Marte is a top 5/10 prospect in all of baseball, and is going to be cheap for a while yet.
    Put it this way, Mets’ Lastings Milledge is going to be slotted in the same category, and they are talking about trading him straight up for Manny and money..

  63. I was thinking of Hall to replace Furcal, because I really can’t see Betemit gliding into the hole at shortstop without seriously injuring himself, and Davis could replace HoRam, mainly because I’ve seen too much of HoRam.

    But, since I’ve been debunked, I’ll try another question. Any chance KolBB rebounds under McDowell? I think we tried to change his style last year, with obvious results.

  64. I agree, too little. Davis is a fine LHP and has value. Bill Hall provides about what can be expected of Betemit. But Marte is the top 3B prospect in the game and probably top 5 overall.

  65. On the KolBB rebound:
    we might gamble, but at what price? KolBB is due a minimu of $3.5 mil in arb. Only way we take a chance is if we waive him, and sign him again.

  66. Somewhat sorry to see the Farns go; any bad feeling that I have is more than counterbalanced by the thought of his destination. For the second year in a row the Braves may well have delivered the appropriate dead cat into the laps of the Yanks. Farnsworth is going to love New York and his selfless teamates.

    Otherwise, Hoffman, Sosa (better I think in the bullpen), Boyer, McBride, Brower, Baker (for mop-up) and either Bush, Barry, or Tucker (I assume that we will not lose all of them to the draft) could make a competent pen. Plus we have Devine joining after some more needed AAA experience. What are we waiting for?

  67. Judging by the JS and Bobby history, one of the more likely scenerio I see is they sign Gordon and let him and Devine compete for the job. It fits their mold perfectly. Sign a veteran who is still capable, but not too expensive and give the youngster a chance to take the job from him. Plus, that will leave a good bit of money for Furcal or his replacement.

    Clearly, Hoffmon is the most desireable closer out there, but I just don’t see that happening. Maybe, if they lose fucal and decide to replace him with betemit, they’ll have money for Hoffman, but I don’t know.

  68. Chipper wants his money’s worth, “I wish he would come back,” Jones said recently. “I know a lot of teams want a guy like him on their team. People are going to offer money. I’m just saying, if the Braves don’t offer the right money, other teams are going to pick him up. If they don’t offer the right money, he’s probably not going to be back.”

  69. Stephen, it’s amazing that we are thinking about the same thing. Last year, the Yankees let Lieber leaving for the Phillies, then the price of starting pitchers went up, and the Yankees panicked by signing Jaret Wright. This year, the Yankees are probably not resigning Gordon (the Phillies are more interested in Gordan than other teams), the price of relieve pitchers went up, and the Yankees panicked by signing Farnsworth. I think the results will be the same.

    In the respect of the Braves, I am just going to sit back and wait for JS to surprise me. He has given us some surprises in the last two off-seasons, and I fully expect him to deliver again.

  70. Gordon is not likely to be available, since Philly is chasing him hard, and that’s a guaranteed closing job for Flash.

    Meanwhile, Rotoworld quotes the AP quoting Farnsworth’s agent saying the Rangers are still in it. Since nothing’s signed yet, this could push his price to at least 3/18.

    Farns would do better mentally in Texas, but I sure wouldn’t want to pitch in that park.

  71. You’re probably right, the phillies will overpay Gordon, which doesn’t leave us much in the way of options.

  72. Maybe Carl Icahn auditing Time Warner’s every move will prevent the Braves from making any free agent mistakes. Treat the money like it’s your own people, because that’s the fiduciary duty of management!

    Look up the rookie records of Smoltz, Glavine, Maddox etc. Guys like Boyer, Devine, McBride need major league trial by fire experience as much as starters, even if they only convert 70% of their SaveOps in ’06. Betemit needs a 20 HR, .300 season before we can trade him for an impact player, even if his fielding costs us the division.

    Why spend a dime more than last year for another first round playoff team, when we can build for a championship between ’07-’09 by giving the kids all the playing time we can?

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