50 thoughts on “Game Thread: Braves at Natspos, Sept. 20”

  1. Someone take the shovel away from A Rod, he digging himself a very deep hole.

    “Mussina doesn’t get hammered at all,” Rodriguez said. “He’s making a boatload of money. Giambi’s making ($20.4 million), which is fine and dandy, but it seems those guys get a pass. When people write (bad things) about me, I don’t know if it’s (because) I’m good-looking, I’m biracial, I make the most money, I play on the most popular team.”

  2. Read the SI story on A-Rod today & thought it was a pretty remarkable job of reporting by Verducci. I almost can’t believe the material he got. Getting Torre & others to talk like that on the record is pretty rare.

    Verducci describes the atmosphere in various MLB clubhouses:
    Oakland: “takes a cue from Billy Beane’s shorts and flip-flops…play as if it’s Friday happy hour.”
    Atlanta: “eschewing the clubhouse stereo, have a self-assured, 9-to-5 approach.”
    Yanks: “[They] foster Prussian efficiency.”

    I thought A-Rod came off like the great, big phony I always suspected him of being. In fact, he came off as kind of spineless. In my old neighborhood, he’d be called a profane euphamism for a part of the female anatomy.

    In the midst of his whining, he mentioned that Chipper & Andruw offered him encouragement & didn’t understand why he was taking so much grief.

    I go to a lotta Yankees games & the A-Rod Saga is easily the most interesting part of the season for me.

  3. He kinda has a point. Then again, he should realize it might be due to making comments like that in the first place.

  4. Mike DuBose (remember him) is 0-3 as defensive coordinator of Millsaps College. Millsaps sits at 0-3 with three home losses to Mississippi College, Louisiana College, and Huntingdon College. When you lose at home to Huntingdon.. wow.

  5. Re the A-Rod piece:

    Not to turn into an A-Rod defender, but since when did renowned scumball Jason Giambi turn into a clubhouse authority? Last I checked, A-Rod didn’t miss a full year because a steroid parasite was eating away his insides.

  6. Jeremy,

    I had that initial reaction about Giambi, too.

    Dunno if you read the piece or not, but Giambi’s place in the Yankee clubhouse is explained by Verducci, and it doesn’t avoid the steroid issue.

    Despite his obvious shortfalls (the steroids, he’s the worst-fielding 1B since Dick Stuart), it appears that, in the clubhouse & on the field, Giambi (unlike A-Rod) is considered a good teammate, a team player, someone who helps pull the rope in the right direction.

    All that aside, I’m curious to know why Giambi & others went on the record here. It’s very unlike them to do so.

  7. my take on verducci:

    1) a-rod is a pretty self-absorbed, vain guy, who desperately wants to be liked. not unlike most of us, probably. he is pretty bright, but can’t help himself from saying silly things to the media that get seized upon and waved high.

    2) giambi is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and totally misread how to deal with a-rod’s struggles. that said, his heart seems to be in the right place.

    3) jeter’s dislike of a-rod is such that he seems to enjoy his struggles, or at the very least be totally unwilling to take any of the pressure off him by speaking up on his behalf.

    4) the yankee clubhouse is a pretty lonely place for a-rod

    5) as long as he’s making $25 million, he won’t get any sympathy from anyone. any maybe he shouldn’t. he should have signed in atlanta :)

  8. Wasnt atlanta offering him somewhere in the $16 million range? Shoot, even in his bad year hes still hitting .286/34/116

  9. Don’t forget the league-leading 23 errors at 3B.

    Even though he’s 20 points off his lifetime batting average & 50 points of his lifetime slugging percentage, a “bad year” for him is still great for anyone else.

  10. Great news about Wickman, just one less thing JS has to worry about in the offseason. It also means the Chris Reeksma Experience has come to an end, as a closer anyway, and, gives a little more time to see if Joey Devine blows or not. It also gives us one less thing to we have to trade for…..

  11. BMac representin’ tonight…

    Sad thing is, by treading water, we keep passing teams in the standings but have no shot at the WC. Hurts our draft stock, but maybe it’s a good sign for next year. I’ll take that over someone who might be able to help in 2010.

  12. Completely random, but I’m doing a problem set and there’s a picture of Mike Hampton in my astronomy textbook. I have no idea why.

  13. A few things:

    First, why will JS work out a deal with Wickman (yea!) before the end of the season, but won’t pick up Smoltz’s extension? The whole “we-haven’t-picked-up-his-extension-yet-because-we-never-do-anything-until-the-season’s-over” excuse isn’t flying any longer.

    Second, the Verducci article intrigued me. A-Rod doesn’t seem very willing to listen to others, but at the same time it does sound like he’s kindof on his own in the clubhouse. How big is team chemistry? Could a divided clubhouse be a negative thing for the Yankees?

    And, lastly, all I wanted for my birthday today was a Braves win. So far they’re trying (thank you Brian and Andruw!) Hopefully I’ll be happy in a hour and a half.

  14. “First, why will JS work out a deal with Wickman (yea!) before the end of the season, but won’t pick up Smoltz’s extension? The whole “we-haven’t-picked-up-his-extension-yet-because-we-never-do-anything-until-the-season’s-over” excuse isn’t flying any longer.”

    Because Smoltz wants to stay and has an option that Schuerholz will pick up (if he doesn’t give Smoltz a new contract.) Whereas Wickman would have been a free agent in the offseason, no option or anything, and the Indians were already eyeing him up.

  15. Hey, bad defense, bad umpiring, and bad baserunning, all in one inning!

    AND HAVING TO LISTEN TO TORBORG OR CHIP … ICK

  16. My point with the Smoltz thing is, after that big blowup because of that article in the AJC where Smoltz wondered why his extension hadn’t been picked up, it was basically resolved when JS told him the Braves didn’t do contract stuff during the season.

    Now, I’m really glad they got Wickman signed—now we don’t have to speculate about that. But, Smoltz has done so much for this organization, you think they could bend the “rules” for him too and either pick up his extension or sign him to a new contract now, or tell him that’s what they want to do.

  17. I, too, am glad to see Wickman signed for next year but the reported $6 million strikes me as high. $3-$4 million sounds about right. Maybe JC will weigh in.

    I also agree that Smoltz has good reason to be pissed with JS.

    10 games left in the season–still time to get L’il Johnny on the 40 man and get his token major league appearance.

  18. Frank, the Braves will never find a closer at a $3-$4 mil range. With the way the past offseasons played out, Wickman may get even more from somewhere else in this offseason. If JS isn’t ready to overpay a closer, some other team will, and the Braves will be without a closer again. So, giving $6M to Wickman to give up his free agency sounds reasonable to me considering the current market conditions.

  19. It’ll be nice going into the season with a proven closer. Hopefully Baez doesn’t come back the rest of the year and JS can try to sign him under the radar. However, Baez could get more than Wickman if two teams get into a bidding war.

  20. “I made it public right away that I wanted to play here and for the two months that I’ve been here, the guys have been great,” Wickman said. “A two-year deal did enter [the talks]. I just said, ‘Let me go year-to-year, just in case I end up getting hurt and can’t continue.’ [That way] nobody owes anybody anything the next year.”

    I love the guy.

  21. ok, here is the final figure:

    “Bob Wickman and the Atlanta Braves agreed to a $6.5 million, one-year contract extension for 2007.”

  22. 6.5 I cant believe we offered that. You have to speculate that we are making some other moves shortly to free up the payroll. Giles or Andruw almost has to be gone or did that insurance money that we collected for Chipper just recently have any play into this. Can you carry money from one year over to the next?

    Maybe we can lock up Andruw and Smoltz also to two year deals with a 3rd year option in the near future.

  23. yeah, Smoltz probably has mixed feelings. He’s happy to know that talks will probably end about him going back to being the closer, but he’s pissed his option hasnt been picked up. I think JS and John have already agreed to something during the meeting and it wont be made public until the WS is over

  24. From AJC:

    “This is the first important step in re-strengthening our pitching staff in all facets,” Schuerholz said. “We’re going to get it back to where it was for 14 or 15 years.”

    I am looking forward to see more work on the pitching staff.

  25. maybe we can get more insurance money. How many games did he play in this year. I think he knew something when he renegotiated his contract. $10-11 mil for 100 games is a lot of money. Love the guy, but he’s too injury prone.

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