199 thoughts on “Sigh.”

  1. I was going to be really mad if we low-balled our way out of the Furcal race, but 3 years $40 mil? The Dodgers can HAVE him. Good luck.

  2. Look at it this way. We have a better chance of snagging Hoffman now.

    OK, Betemit fans…now’s your chance to suggest an affordable leadoff hitter who can play left field, or else it seems like we’ll be trying to make Lugo our starting SS.

    I’m fine with offering Marte in a package where we get a stud in return; I think it’ll take a much higher level of insanity this offseason for it to spread to Schuerholz; he’ll never do Marte for Lugo, without us getting a comparable guy in return.

  3. I want Carl Crawford and think he would be the perfect replacement. I also believe we have what it takes to get him.

  4. Why does this Marte/Lugo trade rumor have such strong legs? Does anyone believe that it sounds reasonable? Is it based on anything other than Will Carroll’s comments that Marte has fallen behind Eric Campbell on the organizational depth chart, because that’s just crazy.

    It doesn’t make sense, it can’t really be true.

    Can it?

  5. Just say no to Lugo.

    What are the possibilities of securing Pierre from Florida and shifting him to a corner. Great speed and defense from the corner. Drop in power should be covered by Betemit’s bat IMO.

  6. Put me down on the Carl Crawford band wagon since Pierre should be a lot more costly to get. Crawford seems to do it all.

  7. I live in Houston and was never impressed with Lugo’s defense or hustle. He may have changed over the last few seasons, but I would not pay much for him. Carl Crawford would be a great grab if we can get him. Speed, some pop, good glove, arm??, attitude??

  8. the Carl Crawford idea has me interested. now if you could get Crawford to the Braves, I’d say ship over Marte, Estrada, and a couple other prospects if you have to.

    Crawford just signed an extension with the D-Rays I believe, which might make this purely fictional, but if a deal could be made, you have a great outfield for the near future (and foreseeable future, if we decide to sign Andruw to an extension), and once Elvis or another of the hotshot shortstops are ready to go… if Chipper’s gone by then, Betemit can move to third.

  9. No way the Braves are only getting Lugo in return for Marte. Crawford can be a good solution for leftfield and leadoff, and his contract isn’t expensive at all. On the other hand, I have no problem having Kelly Johnson batting leadoff while getting a Mr Sluggo at first base.

    I think the Braves would have a good chance keeping Furcal if the competition is only between the Cubs’ 5/50M and the Braves’ 4/36M. I think the Braves offered Furcal a very fair contract. Now that Dodgers have offered this bad contract, there is no argument which contract Furcal should take. Suddenly, the O’s really have an awesome deal with Tejada.

  10. We may be worrying a bit too much about trading Marte. The D-Rays have made it no secret that they want young pitching…I say we hope they want HoRam. I don’t know enough about Lerew or James, or whether either projects to be preferable to keeping Davies. But one would think that Davies, and not Marte, is what they really want. Davies and KJ for Carl Crawford? Can the Cubs top that?

    And we’ll likely be looking at Eric Campbell in the hot corner once Chipper’s done and Elvis is playing short. Betemit will probably be gone by that point.

  11. Well, that wasn’t exactly a surprise. Thank you, Rafael Furcal, for your contributions to this team, and good luck.

    And, this is a cheap shot, but thank you for not killing anyone when you decided to drive drunk. Twice. That would probably have ruined your life and many others. Now you can enjoy your $40 million. Safely.


  13. well hopefully if we offer enough talent, we can land him. that will be one hell of a bargain as that contract plays out i think.

    i dont agree with that trade at all drw.

    Michael Young may be a good shortstop, but i think that good ol’ JS is a little more saavy than that. I think you’ve been playing a few too many video games, where you just stack the trade as much as you can until you get the superstar. Patience, sometimes the deals for the mid-level stars make all the difference in the world (look at Jermaine Dye for the White Sox this year)

  14. If I’m trading anything close to that package of players, it’s going to be for an elite-level player. Michael Young is not that player, and no one Texas would toss in will make it any better.

    Crawford’s contract makes him extremely desirable. Can he be taught to walk more often? The only drawback I see with pursuing him even at a relatively high price is having to watch a lot of one-pitch ABs.

  15. well drew, Terry Pendleton’s done some good work the past few years, and the Braves do preach some patience at the plate (Francoeur and McCann excluded), so I’m sure they could work on those numbers. But I think he’d be a good fit if a deal could be made: You got a legitimate leadoff hitter with an above average glove. AND his most comfortable position is (go-figure) left-field.


  16. thank you for not killing anyone when you decided to drive drunk. Twice. That would probably have ruined your life and many others. Now you can enjoy your $40 million.

    It wouldn’t have ruined his life. Crowds still cheer whenever Leonard Little gets a sack. He would have just gotten 90 days in a work house and 1,000 hours of community service. Then, after four years of probation, his record would be cleared. It’s not like this hasn’t happened in American major pro sports.

  17. How many prior DUI convictions did Little have before he killed someone? Zero, if my research is correct. Furcal has two prior convictions. I think he’d probably get at least a couple years in jail for manslaughter. And by “ruining his life,” I didn’t mean professionally. I meant in pretty much every other arena besides his job. I mean, if I killed someone like that, I couldn’t live with myself. I’d feel tormented and guilty until the day I died. That would pretty well ruin my life.

    Wow, this is uplifting.

  18. Yeah, but Little got another DUI AFTER he killed someone. He apparently got over killing someone enough to booze it up again before going for a spin. Maybe the guilt isn’t as bad as we think.

  19. Little went to Tennessee…what do you expect?…the fact that he killed his victim unintentionally probably earns him a model alummni (well, not really an alum since their fb players dont grad, but you get my point) citizenship award at that place

  20. Maybe the guilt isn’t as bad as we think.

    Or alcoholism is as serious a disease as health officials say it is.

    Nevermind the fact that millions of people drive tired after working an 80 hour week or on cold medicine or any number of things that *seriously* impair their ability to drive. Furcal doesn’t deserve the moral pile on about his DWB, I mean DUI, convictions. He hasn’t killed anyone, stop acting like he did.

    Thanks for the memories, Raffie. Good on ya bro. You’ve been a joy to watch but now you play for the enemy, so f.u. buddy.

  21. Davies, HoRam, LaRoche, Lerew, Estrada and Marte to Rangers for Mark Teixeira and Michael Young.

    Opening Day 2006:

    2b Giles
    ss Young
    3b Chipper
    cf Andruw
    1b Teixeira
    rf Francouer
    c McCann
    lf Betemit/Langerhans

    it’s probably far-fetched but makes a lot of sense for both teams.

  22. How would that make sense for the Rangers? They’re trading an elite hitter for a prospect and some spare parts.

  23. I seriously doubt that Marte is going to be traded for Lugo. The Braves will find another way to bring him to Atlanta. JS isn’t about to be strong-armed by the Devil Rays of all organizations.

    It sucks that Furcal is on his way out, but our organization lives off of depth and young replacements. Lugo would be a great way to buy some time and figure out a plan for SS.

    Our organizational depth is why we win our division every year. The Mets made big splashes, but they still have questions marks. They don’t have any dangerous prospects to fill in for injured players and they’re pitching staff is suspect after Pedro. It’s going to be a struggle again this year if we are to win the division, but I’m not about to hand anything to the Mets because they added more heavyweights; we’ve seen this before.

  24. Sorry to double-up, but Malone, the Rangers are trying to get pitchers in order to build around their awesome young core. They’re trying, however fultile it may be, to build a contender, not deconstruct one. They’re not about to trade probably the two best offensive weapons they have for 6 relatively unproven players.

    I don’t see Atlanta giving up Davies AND Lerew either.

  25. Might soon be one less question for the Mets:

    The Mets are believed to be close to a deal in which they would send a minor-league prospect to the Marlins for catcher Paul Lo Duca, according to a major-league source.

    The identity of the Met prospect was not immediately known — but it’s hard to envision it being Lastings Milledge, the jewel of their minor-league system.

  26. There are a lot of college football fans here, and not being in the College Football blogosphere, I don’t really know where else to ask this:

    Can anyone explain why all the networks and print articles assume West Virginia will be in the Sugar Bowl? I see the following on the BCS site:

    Any BCS bowl game(s) still remaining unfilled will submit a listing of its top three team selections to fill its at-large slot. Any team that is guaranteed a berth in a BCS bowl game and that has not already placed in such a game must be listed among such bowl game’s first two selections.

    If the Fiesta picks up Notre Dame as their Texas replacement, then don’t all three bowls have to list Penn State and West Virginia as the top two on their lists? Since the order is Orange-Fiesta-Sugar, doesn’t that mean Penn State and West Virginia HAVE to be gone by the time the Sugar gets its team?

  27. Good question, Joey — I hadn’t heard of that rule before. I also have no idea why such a rule would exist — doesn’t the fact that they rotate the pecking order keep things sufficiently shuffled up? But that’s the BCS for you.

  28. get dunn and hoffman. ship laroche and estrada elsewhere. i think it can be done. DO IT!
    langerhans/k. johnson

    not too shabby!!

  29. Last year the Dodgers overpaid for Drew and this year for Furcal. I would not be surprised to see a similar result.

    I will be somewhat sad to see him go, but he was not worth the money. I agree with KC–the offer was fair, possibly even generous.

    More important, not signing Furcal has one immediate advantage: it his gives JS great flexibility. This should be an interesting week for Braves’fans. And I certainly hope that we offered arbitration and get the draft picks.

    Assuming that the Braves received picks for Furcal and Farnsworth, they should be in position to have a draft in 2006 as rich as in 2000 and 2003.

    I cannot imagine Marte for just Lugo and JS usually does something completely unexpected anyway. There are many ways for us to go at SS so the future remains bright.

  30. I don’t think Dunn is the answer. I know all about his power, but the fact of the matter is that he plays in the launching pad that is the Great American Ball Park, and he strikes out about 150 times a year. We really don’t need another batter that will strike out in a crucial situation, we need a legitmate leadoff threat.

    Get Crawford or if you have to, Pierre.

    You get speed, defensive range, and speed in the leadoff position. And for God’s sake, move Marte to 1st base if you don’t move him for a player.

  31. Pierre isn’t a good leadoff hitter. His OBP is similar to Betemit’s….

    If the Braves can get Crawford, they should try to, but I really don’t see it happening. The D-Rays recently bought out the arbitration years (and maybe one or two after) of both Crawford and Balelli, signaling that these were the two players they wanted to build their club around in the next few years. Moreoever, I’d be willing to bet any deal for Crawford would have to include some SP prospects, a la James, Lerew, or Davies. This in addition to Estrada and possibly an OF replacement, like Langerhans. If we were really clever, we might try to get Huff in the deal as well (although this whole Crawford thing really seems like a pipe dream to me). Something like Crawford/Huff for Marte/Lerew/LaRoche/Langerhans/Estrada, but again, that doesn’t seem too likely.

    I honestly think the most likely deal we make with TB is Lugo/Baez for a starter, Estrada, and maybe Betemit. I mean, they’re going to have to move Lugo at some point to make room for Iron Glove BJ Upton.

  32. JS, please be cool. Betemit will be fine at short. Marcus will be more than fine leading off. Please no Lugo!!! This is the entire point of Betemit’s professional career to this day. Let him have it.

  33. I really don’t think JS will do anything stupid just to get Lugo to fill a hole. I mean, the shortstop is not like the closer situation which the Braves don’t have internal solution. If nothing works out in obtaining a shortstop because other teams are asking for too much in return, Betemit is always ready to fill that hole.

    The closer, on the other hand, is more of an issue because the Braves do not really have an internal solution (while I do understand some people have suggested Boyer, I don’t think the Braves consider that as a solution). The closer is one area which I believe the Braves may overpay to solve the problem. They just can’t throw anyone into that role and expect that person to perform, especially with the experience with Kolb and Reitsma last year.

    Now that the Braves have more playoff flexibility without Furcal, I fully expect them to go hard after Hoffman first, and then see if they can improve the offense and/or starting pitching through trades.

  34. If the Braves go with Betemit as their starting shortstop, who backs him up? Kelly Johnson? Pete Orr?

  35. I don’t think Dunn is the answer. I know all about his power, but the fact of the matter is that he plays in the launching pad that is the Great American Ball Park, and he strikes out about 150 times a year. We really don’t need another batter that will strike out in a crucial situation, we need a legitmate leadoff threat.

    Get Crawford or if you have to, Pierre.

    Dunn’s a better leadoff hitter than either of those guys. Giles is a better leadoff hitter than either of those guys.


  36. Dunn’s a better leadoff hitter than either of those guys. Giles is a better leadoff hitter than either of those guys.

    Dunn is a better hitter, period. He’d also be a better 8th place hitter than Crawford or Pierre, but it’s an equally nonsensical assertion, because Dunn is not going to bat leadoff. 40 HR from your leadoff hitter when you need power in the middle of the lineup would be a serious misallocation of resources.

    Giles can definitely do the job.

  37. Dunn is a better hitter, period. He’d also be a better 8th place hitter than Crawford or Pierre, but it’s an equally nonsensical assertion, because Dunn is not going to bat leadoff. 40 HR from your leadoff hitter when you need power in the middle of the lineup would be a serious misallocation of resources.

    Agreed. The point is that any lineup the Braves could put together with Adam Dunn in it is better than any lineup they could put together with Carl Crawford or Juan Pierre involved. Adam Dunn is one of the premiere offensive threats in baseball. Crawford is a good player, Pierre an overrated Johnny Damon clone, with less OBP. Pierre is hardly adequate in CF (where he’s not going to be playing in Atlanta). As a corner outfielder he’d be one of the biggest offensive sink holes in baseball.


    That lineup would score a ton of runs. It woulnd’t hurt to replace Laroche with Kelly Johnson or Ryan Langerhans. But Pierre, and to a lesser extent Crawford, doesn’t address anything except for some wankerish desire for a fast guy.

  38. I’m with you in general, although I’m probably a bit higher on Crawford — just a tad more plate discipline, nothing too out-of-reach for such a young player, would make him a stalwart corner OF. His list of Age 23 comps is an intriguing yet scary array:

    # Claudell Washington (947)
    # Whitey Lockman (937)
    # Terry Puhl (934)
    # Roberto Clemente (928) *
    # Carlos May (924)
    # Fred Merkle (924)
    # Les Mann (923)
    # Rickey Henderson (922)
    # Dick Hoblitzel (922)
    # Vic Saier (918)

    The Claudell comp hit me over the head when I saw it — I always liked him, but I know he was overrated.

  39. dunn does strike out, but he also walks a ton. he is not a free swinger. i would absolutely love it to see chipper, druw, and dunn in a 3,4,5 spot. giles and betemit could fill the 1,2 spot. assuming the braves have about 15 mil. left to spend, dunn and hoffman could both be possibilities. crawford would be great, but i really think we need another big time slugger. estrada could be dealt for a defensive ss (i guess).

  40. We’re not getting Crawford. He just signed a huge extension. If he has a terrible year next year and they decide they want to unload him, maybe. But he JUST signed.

  41. you all fail to realize that dunn is probably gonna cost 10 mil a year relatively soon, while crawford would be about 4-5 mil a year for the next 3 years.

    and as we all know, money is all that matters in this Brave new world, pun intended.

  42. you all fail to realize that dunn is probably gonna cost 10 mil a year relatively soon, while crawford would be about 4-5 mil a year for the next 3 years.

    Well, here’s the thing. Dunn is worth $10 mil per year. Certainly more so than Rafeal Furcal is worth $10 mil per year (much less $13). Crawford is a good value at 5 mil per, but he’s not the offensive force of Adam Dunn, and he’s probably not available (as the DRays have just signed him long-term.)

  43. dunn is probably gonna cost 10 mil a year relatively soon

    He has 2 arb years left. If he costs 10M by then, it’ll be because he’s worth it. 2 years of being in the top 10 or so hitters in the NL before age 26? Sign me up. My only thought is why would CIN trade him, and what would it take to acquire him. Pretty much anything short of Marte I’d do.

  44. “Dunn is worth $10 mil per year. Certainly more so than Rafeal Furcal is worth $10 mil per year (much less $13). ”

    Wow i really have to disagree with that, way to forget about defense and positions and the replaceability of LF/1bs vs top-notch defensive shortstops

  45. way to forget about defense and positions and the replaceability of LF/1bs vs top-notch defensive shortstop

    Dude, Dunn is two years younger and already has a massive lead in offensive production. I agree that quality SS are harder to come by than LF’s, but Dunn is a top shelf hitter. You are going to have to show me some kind of metric that quantifies Furcal’s defensive output and how it makes up the chasm offensively. Not ot mention, Furcal cost 13M THIS year, while dunn will get roughly half of that – may be a bit more.

  46. Wow i really have to disagree with that, way to forget about defense and positions and the replaceability of LF/1bs vs top-notch defensive shortstops

    There isn’t a defensive adjustment in the world that can compensate for 250 points of OPS. 400 OBP and 550 SLG don’t come along every day. He’s Chipper in LF or 1B.

    Also, at this point, it’s not even a choice between Furcal and Dunn, it’s a question of how you rebuild your lineup without Furcal. Julio Lugo is not the answer. The conversation, on this thread at least, is about some Pierre/Damon/Crawford option vs Adam Dunn. Of those three non-Dunn alternatives, only Crawford makes even remote sense. Pierre and Damon are only useful players, and then only slightly, as center fielders. They’re not going to play CF in Atlanta.

    Atlanta can rebuild a lineup around some Furcal replacement, or they can address LF or 1B. If they could pull Adam Dunn for LF/1B that would be, by far, their best option. There is no SS available that can bring half the value of Dunn in LF. The only one that would is playing 3B in the Bronx.

    Also, for Adam Dunn, you give up Marte. Dunn’s only a couple years older and he’s already the real thing. I don’t know that Cincy would be interested in Marte, as they have Edwin Encarnacion at 3B. What they do need is pitching. I don’t know what Horacio Ramirez would buy you, but I doubt it would be Adam Dunn.

  47. Lugo isn’t such a bad option at Short, but weren’t the Rays asking for Aaron Heilman for him from the Mets? That leads me to believe that the Rays value him pretty highly. I wouldn’t want to throw too much talent at TB for a stopgap SS.

    I don’t see the Crawford trade happening, but it sure would fill some holes. What does Crawford’s base running stats look like in Bill James’ new handbook?

  48. I think the anti Marte-for-Dunn argument is that Dunn has only two more protected years, while Marte has six.

  49. Adam Dunn would be a terrible idea (and not very realistic). Ask anyone what it takes to win in the playoffs and they will say power pitching and contact hitting. Dunn strikes out to much and can be Manny-esque on defense.

    Crawford is not going anywhere. If he was on the block, the Yankees would already have him in CF.

    It would be awesome to see Hoffman with an A on his hat, but what I would like to see is the Braves go for a cheaper closer (Octavio Dotel [Astros and A’s], Braden Looper [Mets] are free agents this year). Todd Jones and Jose Mesa are a little too old for my tastes. Why don’t we nab one of them for half the price of Hoffman and spend the savings on a leadoff man.
    Texiera and Young are locked down with the Rangers. Soriano, however is on the trading block.

    Why not play him at short?

    If you don’t like Soriano, what do you think about signing Nomar? I would rather have Nomar, Soriano or Pierre leading off for us than Furcal.

    Now I love Raffy. He was always one of the most exciting players to watch. But don’t forget the year that he lead the league in boots at shortstop. Or the swings when he thought he was a powerhitter.

    As always though, JS will make a move that none of us has thought of that blows us away.

    Just no one remind him of Albie Lopez.

  50. Why not play _Soriano_ at short?

    This from the same person who was criticizing Adam Dunn’s defense in LF and pointing out Furcal’s error totals? Soriano is a monstrously bad defensive second baseman. Playing him at SS would be as bad as playing Chipper there. On top of that, all of his offensive value comes from slugging, none from onbase percentage. He’s a horrible idea for a leadoff hitter.

    Garciaparra is mostly considered to have lost a step and be too fragile for SS any more. He’s somebody’s 3B next year.

    Marcus Giles is the best option for leadoff in Atlanta next year. No one on the FA or trade market is likley to improve on his OBP.

  51. I don’t know about Marcus batting leadoff. It seems a shame for some who hits as many extra base hits as he does (what was it, 800 doubles last year?) to hit behind a pitcher.

  52. Well now we have a lot of money to spend. Lets go get a bull pen and a lead off hitter

    It would be a mistake to approach the rest of this offseason as a search for a “leadoff hitter.” The Braves need to improve their offense. If they can do that by getting a SS/leadoff hitter to replace Furcal, fine. But they shouldn’t get tunnell-vision for some fast guy (Juan Pierre, for example) that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever outside of “gosh, he’s fast.” Fast isn’t a skill. OBP is a skill.

  53. Ask anyone what it takes to win in the playoffs and they will say power pitching and contact hitting

    Okay – I’ll ask you: Show how power pitching and contact hitting are correlative and causative with WS success. For example, your 2003 WS Champs struck out more than once an inning, and got a 2.13 ERA thrown at them by NY, and yet prevailed.

  54. I’m not sure this FA market is one I’d care to enter. Teams appear to be flush with cash and willing to overpay on a marginal FA class. The impact ones are gone already (Giles, Wagner, Furcal, Ryan). A trade for a servicable (meaning a lot better than what we got) 1B and OF would go a long way towards ashoring up the offense – Kearns or Choi on the low end, Brafley or Dunn if you can trade a little ot a lot more respectively.

  55. Ask anyone what it takes to win in the playoffs and they will say power pitching and contact hitting.

    Except the White Sox, who were, offensively, in the top five in homers, struck out a ton, and were in the bottom third in batting average, and defensively, did much better at fielding balls in play than in striking out opponents hitters. Dumb cliche.

  56. Joey – of all people I’d have thought would know better. More people get in accidents going through green lights than red ones. Does this mean that a: going through green lights increases your risk, or b: more people go through green lights than red ones.

  57. I meant it the other way around. If there’s causation, there has to be correlation. The fact that there exists a causal relationship necessarily implies a correlation. Asking for both is redundant.

    Anyway, every thing else you’ve said under this post is spot on. I’m just being a dick.

  58. The closer, on the other hand, is more of an issue because the Braves do not really have an internal solution
    I disagree. The Braves certainly have an internal solution at closer, we’re just not sure who it is yet. I say bring in Todd Jones for two years and let the young guys fight it out with him for the role. Whoever looks the best after April and May can have the job as long as they can hold on to it. What we don’t want to do is over-pay for a closer like we did last year. If anything Hoffman’s a short-term solution because of his age, and I don’t really want to be paying him lots of money when he’s no longer able to play.

    As for Dunn, he’d be a GREAT presance in our lineup. With him at 1B and KJ in left, we’d have a lineup of:

    M. Giles
    K. Johnson
    C. Jones
    A. Jones
    A. Dunn
    R. Langerhans
    W. Betemit
    B. McCann

    (although switching around Betemit/McCann and A. Jones/Dunn would be reasonable).

    I really don’t see the fascination with sticking Betemit in the 2-spot. He’s not going to have a great OBP ever, so why not stick him a little lower where he can knock some guys in with his power? IIRC, Kelly Johson projects to have a much higher OBP, if worse ower numbers. Whats more, he’s quicker than Wilson and hence better suited to hitting higher up in the lineup.

    I’d be satisfied if we acquired Dunn and Jones this off-season, provided we didn’t give up too much in trade.

  59. I am not sure that OBP is quite as much of an issue for #2 hitters, but YMMV. Anyway, how did you decide that KJ “projects to have a much higher OBP”?

    Here are there career totals, w/AB’s per level. I see nop clear case for either player A or B

    Player A
    NL 87 334
    AAA 44 .438
    AA 233 .346
    A 250 .363
    R 59 .363

    Player B
    NL 115 .389
    AAA 325 .320
    AA 47 .394
    A 153 .356
    R 157 .337

    Forgive my crappy formatting.

  60. Trade marcus and horacio to drays for crawford. move marte to second and betemit at short and crawford to left. trade KJ and estrada to some team for a proven reliever. sign hoffman

  61. Spike, if you use the <pre> tag, you can get your formatting right:

    Player A
    NL 87 .334
    AAA 44 .438
    AA 233 .346
    A 250 .363
    R 59 .363

    Player B
    NL 115 .389
    AAA 325 .320
    AA 47 .394
    A 153 .356
    R 157 .337

  62. Apparently the Mets are seriously close to acquiring Kent from the Dodgers. They are starting to look like a very good team

  63. This is just getting ridiculous. They’re getting Lo Duca and Kent and dumping Benson. Soon, Reyes will be the only bad player on their team.

  64. Look guys we have pretty much LF and SS now.
    To take over shortstop we need someone offensivly like Nomar. He would look good in a Braves Uniform. Defense he tries but bobby cox could work with him. In LF we need a leadoff hitter. Johnny Damon would be a good fit if we could trade Johnny Estrada for a relief pitcher or closer and money. What the problem is is that he wouldn’t want to play LF. Juan Pierre is good to or if we could get Carl Crawford. My Lineup is:

    1.Johnny Damon LF
    2.Marcus Giles 2B
    3.Chipper Jones3B
    4.Andrew Jones CF
    5.Nomar Garciapara SS
    6.Adam LaRoche 1B
    7.Jeff FrancourRF
    8.Brian McCann C

  65. As long as bobby cox is manager the braves will win the division. Even if the Mets got Babe Ruth and Lou Gerig back from the past, they still wouldn’t win the division

  66. My first and probably only post. I enjoy reading everyone’s comments and suggestions on a weekly basis. I think moves like this one by the Dodgers illustrates why they cannot compete on a consistent basis. Furcal is good, there’s no doubt about that, but is he $39 million for 3 years good? My prediction is that he bats around .250 next year with 5 homers. Such a let down is not uncommon after signing a big contract. Now at least the Braves can focus on other needs.

  67. Damon is very expensive, has a terrible arm, and doesn’t hit enough for LF. Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

    Nomar I could sort of see – at 1B. He has no range anymore to play SS, and although relatively inexpensive, is still a huge injury risk. Pencil him in as a starter at your peril.

  68. I can not stress this enough: Juan Pierre or Johnny Damon are worse options in LF than the guys currently on the roster. Let me repeat this.

    Kelly Johnson or Ryan Langerhans are better options than Juan Pierre or Johnny Damon. Again.

    Why on earth would you pay two or three times the cost for the famous, overrated centerfielders when you have a cheap underrated centerfielder (Langerhans) and a mediocre left fielder (Johnson) in house already? That just makes no sense.

  69. But, Sam, with the Mets actually acquiring good players, SOMEONE in the NL East needs to pick up the slack and start signing overhyped big-name mediocrity.

  70. Joey T,

    My proposed deal may make sense for the Rangers because they get pitching. Plain and simple. They can have all the Teixeira’s and Blalock’s they want but they’ll never make the playoffs until they get some pitching. Davies, Lerew, and HoRam would be a start.

    Screw Furcal. He’ll be watching the playoffs on TV.

  71. Joey: I offer the Phillies as obligatory “spend for famous people who were valuable 5 years ago.” See also Flash Gordon.

    Malone: If the Rangers can’t win without pitching, why do you suggest the Braves trade away pitching to get Tex and Blalock? Don’t the Braves need pitching too?

  72. Davies, HoRam, LaRoche, Lerew, Estrada and Marte to Rangers for Mark Teixeira and Michael Young.

    My proposed deal may make sense for the Rangers because they get pitching.

    Yeah – junk pitching. How do you think Ramirez gofer ball stats will look in Texas? Why would they want Marte if they already have Blalock? Why would ANYBODY want LaRoche? What’s Estrada got to do with this?

    I hope I have some magic beans the day you decide to sell the cow.

  73. The Braves need to do something quick if they want to win the division.
    Move Chipper Jones to 1B.
    Sign Bill Mueller and put him to third.
    Trade Marcus Giles for Barry Zito.
    Trade Langerhans and Horosio Ramirez for Alfonso Soriono and put him 2B and Leadoff.
    For SS use Wilson Betimet.
    Sign Reggie Sanders because he will be good in October.
    Sign Jarrod Washburn or Kenny Rogers.
    Trade Estrada and LaRoche to Devil Rays for Danys Baez and Jesus Colome.

    1.Soriono 2B
    2.Betimet SS
    3.Jones 1B
    4.A. Jones CF
    5.Francour RF
    6.Mueller 3B
    7.Sanders LF
    8.McCann C


    Jesus Colome
    Chris Reitsma
    Closer Danys Baez

    It will cost a lot of money but Braves need to win the division with the Mets stacking up

  74. Here would have been a better team for the same money and w/o the silly trades that the other teams wouldn’t do (other than Giles for Zito, which is just dumb):

    1) sign Furcal 3/40m (I assume he would stay in Atl for that deal, since ceteris parabis he likes us more than LAD)
    2) Sign Brian Giles for 3/40m (he might not have accepted this, but I assume an extra $10m plus his bro might have gotten this done)
    3) Trade Andy Marte, Ryan Langerhans, Kyle Davies, Chuck James for Oliver Perez and Mike Gonzalez
    4) Sign BJ Ryan for 5/47 (assume he would prefer ATL over TOR, ceteris parabis)
    5) Trade Estrada for a 5th outfielder

    1. Furcal SS
    2. M Giles 2B
    3. B Giles LF
    4. C Jones 3B
    5. A Jones CF
    6. J Francoeur RF
    7. A LaRoche 1B
    8. B McCann C
    9. Pitcher

    Bench: Kelly Johnson, Wilson Betemit, Pete Orr, James Jurries, J Random 5th OF, Brayan Pena

    1. Smoltz
    2. Huddy
    3. Oliver Perez
    4. John Thomson
    5. Horacio Ramirez

    CL – BJ Ryan
    SU – Mike Gonzalez
    RP – Chris Reitsma
    RP – B Boyer
    RP – J Devine
    RP – A Lerew

    We would be out about 8m more than last year for Furcal, 13m more B Giles, ~8.5m more for Ryan, plus whatever O Perez, M Gonzalez, and Marcus get in arb. But that would be a hell of a team.

  75. “It will cost a lot of money but Braves need to win the division with the Mets stacking up”

    Are you serious? Have you watched the NL East for the last few years? The Mets stack up every offseason while the Braves cut or stay the same. It hasn’t worked for the Mets yet. We absolutley don’t need to spend 30 million dollars we just need to spend our 80 million wisely which is what JH will do just like he does every year.

  76. Horam to the Padres for Greene? Horam, Estrada, Thompson and a prospect for Greene and Eaton? Or is HoRam another candidate to bloom under McDowell? I liked Mazzone, but if a picther’s stuff didn’t match Leo’s plan, there was no room for compromise.

    I think trade senarios for Zito are worth exploring. Any chance the deal gets big enough to include Crosby?

  77. Doubt the A’s will even consider moving Crosby. They are trying to win and Crosby doesn’t cost them much while being the centerpiece of the team.

  78. Zach, You are right that they wouldn’t start out wanting to deal Crosby. Is there a deal we can offer to change their mind? Another of the young pitchers? We agree to take Cruz and Thomas back? Marte and Betemit?

  79. Please let us not be the sucker for Zito. His numbers are going down, and he’s only signed for one more year, after which he will be really expensive. Maybe for a B prospect, but no more for a one year 8M rental of an okay pitcher

  80. Mess with that lineup all you want, since it’s certainly not going to happen. My point was that if you’re going to spend a lot of money, you might as well put together a good team.

  81. Sorry Kyle – it was sort of a Southpark/Simpsons reference that I and probably no one else found amusing.

  82. Calm down a bit, folks. Schuerholz is working, wait to see what he comes up with.

    Also, even if the Mets somehow manage to shake off decades of futility and win a division title, finishing ahead of the Braves (which they’ve never done when the two have shared a division): is that really the end of the world? The Braves have a ton of young, developing talent; the core of a dominant team is establishing itself even now. Why wreck that to grab some aging veterans on the off chance that we become more competitive for 2006?

    The Mets will break down soon; if not this year, then next. We’ll be waiting when they do.

  83. Hey Joey, I know you are really concerned by the Mets. I read rumors that Omar is interested in bringing in Sammy Sosa as well, they are on fire!!!

    Trading for Jeff Kent? He is the perfect role model for David Wright!

  84. spike – you want the truth?! You can’t handle the truth! No truth handler you. I deride your truth handling abilities!

  85. Role model schmole model. Anyone not taking the Mets seriously is blind. Yes, the franchise has a history of buying high on overrated, older players and suffering for it, but in the last two years, Minyana’s done a superb job of acquiring talent for talent’s sake. The Beltran deal was questioanble last year, simply because they had Beltran’s equal in Mike Cameron. He solved that by flipping Cameron for Nady this winter. Upgrading from Mike Jacobs and Dougie Eyechart to the best non-Pujols 1B in the league is a coup. If they replace the sink hole of Kaz Matsui with Jeff Kent’s bat they get much better. Wagner improves them signficantly over Looper.

    It’s silly to pretend that the Met’s history of futility is predictive of how they will fare in the future. Their chances lie on the talent of the players they have brought in, and to a man, the players they have brought in this winter improve the team by replacing serious problem areas with All-Star quality players.

    Only a fool would take them lightly at this point.

  86. Braves had a very young team last year,and a good one. I say we need to get a leadoff hitter.
    If we got Jaque Jones then he could hit leadoff.
    I think that Kelly Johnson would also be good or if we could get Juan Pierre. It would be perfect

    J.Jones LF
    Giles 2B
    Jones 3B
    A.Jones CF
    Garciapara SS
    Francour RF
    LaRoche 1B
    McCann C

  87. Sam, I don’t think the point is about taking the Mets lightly. Every year, the Braves treat competition being the same and try to put the best team possible on the field. Just because the Mets are doing more or being smarter does not mean the Braves have to do anything differently.

    The goal of the Braves, at the end of the day, is not only trying to win the division, but getting beyond the freaking first round and good enough to win the World Series. JS will be doing the same things regardless of what the Mets do.

  88. I don’t doubt that JS is working to put the best team possible on the field. I do worry about that Marte for Lugo rumor though. That’s just silly.

  89. Hey do the marlins have anyone else worth picking up? I was thinking we could send them Dan Kolb’s old jock strap for hmmmm…Dontrelle Willis or Cabrera

  90. Anyone else find it strange that Florida apparently has no qualms about shipping so much of their talent (and salaries, admittedly) to a division rival? Its not as if the Mets are renowned for having such a fertile farm system. I guess the team is totally giving up.

  91. Well, add Furcal to the list of greedy former braves like Tom Glavine. All we heard about was “comfortable” and “security” and “contract length over dollars.” Thank you Furcal and agent Paul Kinzer for again firming up my belief that your both selfish jerks. Good luck in LA raffy, take your extra 5 million and go have fun with Glavine and his extra 5 million that he took from the Muts to not sign with Atlanta. When I come to Atlanta to see the Braves play the Dodgers I will stand up and boo just as loudly as I did for Glavine. Good luck, jerk!

  92. Can you really blame the guy for getting as much money as he can? I’m sure you love your job so much you’d never take a 40% pay raise to go work somewhere else.

  93. How about we give the Orioles Giles and Horosio Ramirez for Brian Roberts and Jay Gibbons and money.

    About the only thing I agree with in here is the concept of getting rid of Ramirez. Good idea. But not like that. Jay Gibbons is a mediocre defensive outfielde and has a lot of power but doesn’t get on base and strikes out a lot. Marcus Giles for Brian Roberts is trading two guys with roughly equal power, speed, and hitting tendencies (Roberts is a big doubles hitter as well) but Marcus is more expensive and Roberts has less of a track record and huge health questions coming off that severe elbow injury. So what would be the point? Why would either team do that?

    Three random, un-baseball related thoughts:

    1)Move Chris Berman to Nickelodeon, please.

    2)If I hear the phrase “Ben Roethlisberger’s thumb” one more time I will shoot my TV.

    3)Did anyone see the commercial for the basketball arcade game with Dick Vitale’s voice prerecorded as the announcer? Talk about the worst Christmas gift ever!

  94. Greedy? What the hell?

    Furcal doesn’t owe the Braves anything, and he’s certainly under no obligation to pass up a massive salary increase just to stay in Atlanta. He played well enough to gull someone into overpaying him, and he’d be a fool not to sign that contract once it was put in front of him.

    He didn’t even go to a division rival. I’m really not seeing this as anything but sour grapes.

  95. You know who I feel bad for? Joe Girardi. He signs on as the Marlins’ skipper and what happens? They sell the team out from under him.

  96. That shouldn’t be a problem. Joe Girardi spent plenty of time working with a bunch of youngsters getting paid less than a mil during his time in New York…

  97. By the way, did anyone else notice that the Mets gave up Gaby Hernandez for Lo Duca? After having just traded Yusmeiro Petit to the Marlins?

    That’s a really old rotation, from Trachsel to Glavine to Pedro (who’s got a LOT of miles on his arm for his age), and they’re unloading all their young arms.

    I seriously fear the team that they’ll have in 2006, but they’re setting themselves up for some pitching problems soon.

  98. I don’t think the Mets are going with the “we have to develop our own players” theory any more. They have the network opening up the money faucets next year. They probably think Barry Zito is a better option in 2008 than Gabby Hernandez or Petit.

  99. It’s quite simple. The Mets are truly becoming the Yankees of the NL all in one winter. Massive spending on free agents, dumping all prospects, and surviving on massively expanding payroll.

  100. The scary thing is that their 2006 payroll is still only about $95 million. True, a lot of their contracts are back-loaded, but regular salary inflation will mostly take care of that. That $50+ million they’ll owe Pedro, Wagner, etc. won’t be so daunting when their total payroll is around $150 million.

  101. Oh, and I saw on another board that we are contemplating trading Betemit and McCann for Lugo? Please tell me this person was horribly confused.

  102. I am sure we’ve offered some variant (blech!) of that. The Rays are said to want pitching for anything they deal this season

  103. I think we’re less likely to trade McCann than we are Marte, what with that whole Atlanta connection thing.

    A few other assorted points:

    1) The Mets are terribly scary. Sam is right: past failures are in the past, and these aren’t the same bumbling idiots we’ve come to know and love. We can only hope that Kent so ruins team chemistry that they don’t play up to their potential. Or that, on Opening Day, Pedro blows his elbow out on a pitch that sails wildly to third base, thereby fracturing David Wright’s knee cap.

    2) Anyone who wouldn’t want Adam Dunn and would want Juan Pierre is crazy.

    3) I do believe Olen S needs to be medicated. Heavily.

  104. Seems that the Marlins and Mets have figured the only way they can beat the Braves is to combine their teams? What next, the Nationals trade their best players(admittedly, that’s not many) to the Phillies.

  105. i don’t think we have to worry about lugo coming to atl.
    except when the cubs are in town.

    i will keep my fingers crossed.

  106. Chill, you have me paranoid. If I see “Nationals see Patterson, Johnson to Phillies for prospects,” I’m totally blaming you.

  107. I think Olen S is a jokester, because of this little nugget:
    Sign Reggie Sanders because he will be good in October.
    I think every Braves fan remembers exactly how good Reggie is in October, but for a refresher course: in 191 postseason at-bats, his line is .188/.283/.298. Yes, he is WORSE THAN CRISTIAN GUZMAN during the playoffs.

    I’m guessing Olen S is one of those Braves-hating celebrity comedians, like famous Yankee fan Billy Crystal.

    Olen–or should I say, Billy–you can’t fool me.

  108. why does everyone want garciappara, hes overrated, way past his prime, and very injury prone… just because someone has a big name does not mean we have to have them people

  109. Excuse me, I had a math error; Guzman’s OPS in 2005 was .574, while Reggie’s career playoff OPS is .581. So I should have said SLIGHTLY BETTER THAN CRISTIAN GUZMAN during the playoffs.
    Cristian still outslugged him, though, which is saying something.

  110. Sounds like Burnett’s going to St. Louis. The word is 5/50. Not a bad deal for the Cardinals. Carp/Mulder/Burnett isn’t a bad top of the rotation.

  111. Guys, LoDuca is not Mike Piazza. The Mets fans are splited on this trade, and they are mad that Omar is trading away the entire minor league away. The Mets have no chance in getting Zito because they have nothing else to offer except Milledge and Heilman. I can see they will be trading Benson to Arizona for Vazquez, but Vazquez has not been the same since he left the Expos.

    Seriously, on paper, I am saying this year’s Marlins still have a better team on paper than next year’s Mets.

  112. St. Louis got a steal. With teams paying such extravagant prices for relief pitching, Burnett at ten per is a super bargain.

    Burnett 2005, as per hardball times:
    k/9: 8.7
    bb/9: 3.5
    hr/9: 0.53

    Those are great numbers. And he put similar numbers up the year before, too, so it’s not just a one year thing.

    kc, I think the Mets will get two years out of their current crop before things get sour. Then, they can always just buy up more free agents. The Yankees do that and make the playoffs every year.

  113. I think CHill may be onto something. In the span of two weeks, the Marlins have totally trashed their major league club and the Mets have totally trashed their minor league clubs. They should just combine. Same for the Phillies and the Nationals, except they’d still suck. Oh, well, somebody has to come in last.

    I’m seriously kind of scared about next year. The Mets are looking extremely powerful. I can only hope that their chronic disease, known simply as “being the New York Mets,” catches up to them once again.

  114. From Travis Haney’s article, quoting JS:

    Maybe so, but the Braves didn’t think they got a fair shake in terms of negotiating – or rather, GM John Schuerholz said, the club’s lack of ability to negotiate.

    “To this minute, they still don’t know what our counter-offer would have been,” Schuerholz said. “There were no negotiations. We had no sitdown, no give and take. That was disappointing. But we’re big boys. I’m not saying we were completely shocked by it.”


  115. Apparently the Braves weren’t given a chance to respond after their own 8/32 offer. That’s weird, given how much we heard about Furcal given the organization every chance to resign him. It did seem like his agent was running the show the whole time anyway.

    I wouldn’t mind if Lugo is the starting SS, but please, not if the cost is Andy Marte.

  116. Aram, you left out the next line in the story:

    “Atlanta’s one and only “bid,” as Schuerholz called it, was four years, $32 million.”

    That’s $8 million a year versus $13 million — something tells me we weren’t going to match, or even get close.

  117. Joey, two years later, the Mets will have no prospect in the system to trade away. This is the same problem the Yankees are facing. They can have all the money in the world but they have nothing to offer in trade except for taking up bad contracts.

  118. kc, considering the contracts being handed out, taking a bad contract may be all they need. They can always trade cash, too.

    I see your point, though. It might be like 99 and 2000 when they had a couple of playoff years, including an NL pennant, then reverted to suck for four or five years.

  119. mraver, next time just type

    <a href=”http://stlcardinals.scout.com/2/474652.html”>CLICK HERE</a>

    It ends up looking like this.


    That article smells legit. I like how he clearly separates sourced information from his own speculation.

  120. Nor getting Fucal lets us be able to get a pen and a bat. I think we will be ok. I say we go get Crawford from Tampa

  121. Well, comparing to what Ryan gets, Burnett’s contract is definitely a bargain. Considering the track records of Ryan and Burnett, what they are getting is ridiculous.

  122. Hey Guys, forget about getting Lugo from Tampa Bay. JS does not pickup guys that have or had personal problems. About 2 years ago Lugo beatup his wife. Carl Crawford will come at a high cost plus Damon will resign with the Red Sox. Another thing I read that Danny Baez is only a one pitch pitcher. Juan Pierre will be a excellent leadoff batter but when the guy plays the outfield he has a lousy throwing arm. He is worst then Johnny Damon.

  123. Yeah, we don’t keep non-model citizens. Is that why we were throwing a four year deal at a twice-convicted drunk driver? And last time I checked, Chipper’s first kid was from a Hooter’s waitress, not his wife. How bout Andruw and his sex parties? If you think JS makes his roster off their off-the-field lives, then you hold the human race way too highly and especially baseball players.

  124. I could’ve sworn his first kid WAS by his wife and they divorced because of the Hooter’s girl, but I may have it wrong. I’m not sure it really matters, anyway. It’s wrong either way.

  125. OMG! i dont no who u think u r, “jenny”, but i am the mommy of chpprs first!!!!!111 he left his wife because he luved me so much and we lived togethur until that SKANK HO came along (i no she a skank ho cuz she was alredy preg when they married)


  126. Oh I see, Dan Kolb is Chipper’s wife…or they must be from the same neighborhood ’cause the two speak the same language!!!

  127. I really wish I knew how to make a vomiting emoticon to express my feelings about that post. Any suggestions?

  128. I doubt we get Lugo (at least straight up for Marte).

    The Mets signings are impressive and makes them a huge threat.

    That said, the Mets should be tough and they are probably not finished building. I agree with Joey T that they are behaving like the Yankess, who have not done that badly without producing tons of prospects.

    The Braves situation is clearly different: we do not have the money to spend so we must rely more on player development and staying out of bad contracts (as KC reminded us recently).

    The recent activity obscures the point that sometimes the best deals are the ones which are never made.

    In fact, it is possible to argue that the Braves are simply better off without an expensive and sustained commitment to Furcal. The Braves’ system is deep in SS prospects and if they can find one they will save money; more important, perhaps, JS will have the ability to spend money elsewhere. An impressive team can still be built for 80 million, but only if the money is spent intelligently.

    I would not be surprised to see the Braves trade for a starter (Zito would be about right–though I cannot imagine Beane will want to deal with JS again)sign Hoffman and plug the SS position with a player who will not be expected to become part of the nucleus of the team (until Escobar, Hernandez or even Andrus is ready). Such a series of moves (especially if Zito can be signed for a long term contract) might well produce a team with a great starting staff, competent bullpen and sufficient hitting to win the division–and all under or at about 80 million.

    The great thing about JS is that his best moves are unexpected. It should be a very interesting week ahead….

  129. Early buzz from the meetings, from Fox Sports:

    The Braves’ initial efforts to acquire Devil Rays shortstop Julio Lugo stalled when the Rays balked at the Braves’ offer of catcher Johnny Estrada. The Rays would prefer to acquire one of the Braves’ younger catchers, either Brian McCann or Jarrod Saltalamacchia…The Braves, believed to be [Todd] Jones’ No. 1 choice, might only offer him a one-year deal.

    Good news on both fronts, says I. I don’t want to give up Marte in a Lugo deal, and I don’t want to give up McCann or Salty either. If we have to get him, it should be Estrada and a young arm, nothing more. Better would be not getting him at all.

  130. ajc speculates that lidge may be available. if that is indeed the case, i hope js does whatever it takes. marte, kj, davies, whoever.

    if there is any chance to get one of the rivera, gagne, lidge troika, you’ve got to take it.

  131. I’d take Lugo over Betemit, but I wouldn’t trade Marte for him. I’m not going to get bent out of shape over any of this hot-stove stuff yet. Nothing that’s happened to the Braves was completely unexpected. As I told a friend today, “We’ll find a way. Whipping the Mets in ’06 will just be that much sweeter.”

    There are more questions than answers at the moment, and (aside from Trevor Hoffman) I’m not heavily coveting any big-time free agents.

    Fact is, there’s only question right now that I genuinely enjoy entertaining:


  132. The whole league can forget about getting Brian McCann or Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Those two names represent the end of any trade discussion.

  133. The thing about Lidge is that he’s got a lot of miles on his arm. Don’t get me wrong, we should certainly make a strong bid if we get the chance, but I’m just saying, don’t sell the farm for him. He’s not exactly a kid, and they’ve had him throwing a TON of innings the past few years in Houston.

  134. Doesn’t anyone remember Lidge blowing up even worse then Farnsworth six weeks ago? We want guys who won’t suck in the playoffs but most of the players mentioned in trade ideas in this thread either haven’t been to the playoffs or have sucked spectacularly when they got there.

    Also we either can’t afford and/or aren’t willing to give up enough talent for 90% of the guys mentioned. Adam Dunn a Brave? Riiiiiiight.

    The Braves are going to do the same thing they did this season which is bring in a few budget acquisitions, sort out who’s good and who’s not and make the proper moves in June/July. I know its fun to speculate but let’s not get our hopes up.

    To whoever is pimping the Mets, the ability to make moves in-season is the reason why the Mets won’t win. All these 30+ year old guys are great on paper, but when 1-2 of them either get hurt or don’t produce, they’ll be forced to trot out sucking vortexes of doom which will really drag down the lineup/rotation. Usually the Braves can tap their depth to fix what’s broken. The Mets just traded what was left of theirs. Can they win? Sure. If you want to bet on them holding up all season feel free. We’ll talk in August and see how they are doing.

  135. Tim Hudson was a “budget acquisition”?
    I’ll give you Jordan and Mondesei, sure, but Hudson? No, that’s more of a “we need to secure another big player because we had a large contributer from our squad leave via Free Agency”. And I’d predict at least one more of those, especially given Furcal’s departure. Sure, there will be the smaller moves to shore up the depth, and they’ll be very important. But I don’t think it’s far-fetched at all to assume the Braves will make a deal for an impact player in either the rotation or lineup.

    Also, why does one or two games frag a guy’s rep for every post season henceforth? IIRC, Mariano Rivera blew a save or something last year against Boston. Does that mean we woudln’t want him closing a game in the post-season for us? It just seems like pretty silly reasoning to make a judgement about a player based on so little information. I mean, I for one thing Joey Devine will still turn in to a wonderful ML reliever despite his 500.23 ERA last post-season.

  136. Lugo was better last year than I thought. The reported offer of Estrada plus a prospect would be about right for him, but no more.

    OFF TOPIC: Are there really no bowl games on New Year’s Day?

  137. From the Outback Bowl website:

    Historically whenever January 1 falls on a Sunday the traditional New Year’s Day bowls are played on January 2 so as not to conflict with NFL games. This same situation arose in January 1989 and 1995 when the bowl game was also played on the 2nd.

  138. I agree that the teams that win in the playoffs generally improve during the season. But the Braves don’t have the ability to do that anymore. They brought all the rookies up because they had no choice and while it was exciting for a while, by the end of the season, they were pretty much all struggling. Francouer really only had one good month. The Braves simply do not have the financial ability (according to TW) to make a significant mid-season up-grade, the Mets do. I’m not convinced the Mets will be as awesome on the field as they are on paper and I’m sure JS will do a good job of putting a competitive team on the field, but, unless they get real lucky (a la the White Sox), I can’t see the Braves going any farther than last year–if that. I don’t have a problem with what the Braves are doing–Furcal is overrated and certainly not worth what the Dodgers are paying. And I like the young players developing–I think the team will be much better in years to come. But I can’t see them being a World Series team this year.

  139. 1.) I hope the comment about the NFL moving was a joke.

    2.) I’ve also seen Brad Lidge be lights out in the playoffs. Nobody bats 1.000. The guy is one of the three best closers in baseball.

    3.) I hope the Braves make a headline today.

  140. I don’t see why it would be horrible for the NFL to move if New Years is on a Sunday. The NFL already plays on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Mondays at various times of the year. I don’t see why they can’t just back up a day. They already play a bunch of Saturday games after college football ends.

    I like the tradition of New Years bowl games. An ordinary NFL matchup just doesn’t seem right for that day.

  141. I think there are a lot more people that care about the NFL than care about college football. Then again, I am a northerner who doesn’t really get the southern college football obsession.

  142. JS does not pickup guys that have or had personal problems.

    If you disregard Mondesi, Bonilla, Lofton, Farnsworth, Sheffield, Fick, Nixon, and Caminiti, this is absolutely true!

  143. That article makes me even less confident that Marte will remain a Brave this year. If we’re set on trading him, though, I sure hope we get something big for him, because dumping him (like, for Lugo) just to dump him and only marginally improve the team for one season–if at all–would be a terrible mistake.

  144. I was joking about the NFL in that I know that they would never move. But I would prefer to watch college games on my day off.

    Kirk, thanks for posting the JS interview, which I had not seen. Two impressions I got from it were that JS is keeping an has plans for every contingency and that he will not be afraid to trade Marte. If he does, I just hope it will be for Lidge and not Lugo.

  145. The interview with JS confirmed my suspicions that neither Chipper or Marte will be moving positions, so it sounds like a trade is probable (unless they keep him in Richmond for injury insurance; it doesn’t make sense to keep him on the ML roster to ride the pine). But I’m not too worried about JS trading Marte for Lugo. I’m confident he will get more value than that.

  146. I’m okay with leaving Marte in Richmond for a while longer — I disagree with those who say he’s got nothing left to prove there. His 2004 season (as well as 2003 in Greenville) have been impressive, but not that impressive. I hear comparisons to Wright and Cabrera, but if he’s all that he still hasn’t had a year in the minors like Cabrera in ’03 or Wright in ’04. THAT’s what I call “nothing left to prove”.

    However, whether or not he gets more seasoning, something will eventually have to give — we know that much.

  147. If the Astros are serious about unloading a guy who gave up a homer to Pujols, whom *everyone* reasonably expects to get that clutch homer, and Podsednik, whom *no one*, Lidge and Ausmus included, reasonably expects to get that clutch homer, then I say we help the Astros out. What does Lidge make next season?

    Again, the D-Rays have made it plain that they want pitching. I think we’re losing either Thomson, HoRam, Sosa or Davies this offseason. I wouldn’t mind Davies for Lidge.

    On the Marte tip, I agree. It’s smart to let him reach his potential in Richmond and trade him while his stock’s high. Imagine what we could get.

  148. Jenny, think about it, Furcal and his agent are complete idiots. I’m sick and tired of hearing about “loyalty” to the Braves by free agents and then sign for more money. Tell me, what the heck can you do with 13 million that you can’t do with 8. Do these players even know how much 8 million dollars per season is???? Get real! Furcal is just as selfish, but more his agent than anything, b/c I think his agent had more of a reason for him signing with LA than Furcal did

  149. John, do you have these same complaints about Microsoft stock? How about the cost of an Angelina Jolie movie ticket? Just what the f. did YOU ever do for Furcal that he should give up 5M per year to satisfy your sorry ass? Christ, people are so full of themselves – just who do you think you are, anyway?

  150. ESPN has a funny poll up about the Braves. Two things: I wish I had been given the option to play Marte at 3B and Chipper at 1B, or just keep Marte in the minors next season. Also, Hampton is not even going to be available to pitch next year, so the pollster has a very slippery grasp on the Atlanta outlook.

  151. Spike, grow up man, i’m just voicing my complaint about being a braves fan and being sick and tired of hearing the same BS from former braves. It would not have bothered me so much if Furcal would have kept his mouth shut about how much the Braves mean to him. If the braves mean something to you then act like it. Otherwise just don’t say anything.

    It was his right to take the extra 5 million, fine, i’m glad he did for himself because he obviously would have had to cut coupons on 8 million per season or 10 million from the cubs. Oh, and he might’ve had to live in a house under one million dollars, gosh, i mean I’d hate for him to have to resort to those low levels.

    I’m sad to see Furcal go, obviously he is a good player but is no where near the 13 million dollar threshold. I’d rather have Miggy Tejada at 11 per year than Furcal any day. But, I am also relieved that we have a GM who realized this and will put the best team on the field as possible.

    Who am I? Oh i’m just like you, a nobody. But I am very passionate about the Braves, maybe b/c I work in baseball for the Devil Rays, which is another sad matter, haha. I am just sick of hearing all this BS from players and then believing it, which is my fault.

    Also, don’t use the term “Christ.” I’m sure the Lord doesn’t go around yelling, “Spike” or whatever your name is.

  152. BTW Spike, I assume were both Braves fans, so why all the hostility towards me? I mean come on man, its a free posting service on a braves site. Relax!

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