50 thoughts on “You have got to be kidding me”

  1. Since I just posted this in the last thread:

    Fox Sports columnist and all-around Braves-basher Dayn Perry is doing the top 100 MLB prospects. He’s currently on 80-90. Lillibridge is #86.

    86. Brent Lillibridge, SS, Braves
    Age: 23
    Acquired: 4th round, 2005, U. of Washington (by Pirates)
    Nabbed from the Buccos in the Adam LaRoche deal, Lillibridge is, quite honestly, not the kind of prospect with whom Pittsburgh needs to part. Hits for average, takes his walks (hence, excellent on-base skills), mans short in impressive fashion, runs the bases well and flashes good power to the gaps. In other words, the generally bereft Pirates cut bait on an impact prospect. If Lillibridge shows more raw power in the upcoming season, then he’ll vault up this list.


  2. Continuing from last thread…from a *Chop Talk* interview w/Frenchy, where he gives himself a “B- or C” for last season:

    “I had a good on-base percentage, but I can do better. I think I can get to 50 walks next season, and I think I’ll see that number go up every year, because I’m learning through at-bats and experience. I think Bobby sees that, and that’s why he was willing to stick with me and play me.”


  3. It was an awful OBP, for a while it was on pace for an out-making record, or close to it.

    Hope he’s right about everything else.

  4. Perhaps he meant that he had a good on-base percentage for him. If I was atrociously bad in one aspect of my game, and it got better, I wouldn’t just keep dogging myself saying, “I still suck. There’s no reason for me to be encouraged.” Instead, he seems to be encouraged by his improvement, and he thinks he can improve even more, and he’s set actual goals (50 walks this season). If I’m a Braves fan, I’m encouraged by that.

  5. Mac, I read that article and another, different article in the Denver Post about Chipper’s feet. The reason for the feet problems weren’t his shoes, he’s just trying 14s to correct the problem. The Denver Post article alludes to things that he’s doing to fix it, and the AJC article says how’s he’s using big shoes and three pairs of socks to correct the pain. And Bobby doesn’t even think the bigger shoes will help.

    Atlanta manager Bobby Cox knows there’s not much he can do except cross his fingers and hope Jones makes it through the year in relatively good shape. The Braves need his offensive production even more after trading young slugger Adam LaRoche to Pittsburgh.

    “I don’t know if rest helps at all,” Cox said. “It just seems like when it happens, it happens. You can’t concern yourself with it every day.”

    So, I wouldn’t say the Braves are as dumb as the D-Rays or Royals, comparing it to the Diaz fiasco. That was something both teams continually missed. The Chipper thing is something they’re doing to help alleviate his pain.

  6. SEC West Standings:
    Ole Miss 7-7
    Miss State 7-7
    Auburn 6-8
    Alabama 6-8

    Remaining schedule:
    Ole Miss (@ Alabama, Auburn)
    Miss State (@ Arkansas, Alabama)
    Auburn (LSU, @ Ole Miss)
    Alabama (Ole Miss, @ Miss State)

    Auburn can’t win it outright (but does hold a tiebreaker with Bama) and could win it that way. The other three can win it outright.

  7. And the winner of the SEC West gets… a really cool TV to watch the NCAA Tournament, because none of these teams will be dancing.

  8. I don’t know Brian. I think the winner of the West deserves in. It’s hard to argue a team winning a division in the #1 RPI conference in the country not getting invited in.

    I look for Vandy to drop their last two games and the winner of the West to replace them.

  9. Wryn,

    Stallings’ team has gotten tired in recent years as the season progressed. Still, I think that Vanderbilt can beat the Hogs, win at least one game in the SEC tourney and make the NCAA. Byars has proven himself to be a great team leader…

  10. Vandy is pretty much in already, along with Florida, Kentucky, and (I think, after today’s win) Tennessee. I’m not sure any SECW teams are better than Georgia. The SECW has little to do with the current #1 RPI ranking, so I don’t think they should stand to gain much from it.

    Vandy has three games left, UK, @ SC, and ARK. I’d guess they should win about 1 2/3 of those on average, maybe even 2. I like their chances in each game, but I doubt they get all 3, and the road has been funny this year.

    Tennessee has Florida and @ Georgia left, but they have 20 wins, #11 RPI and #4 or 5 SOS, several big wins (Memphis, Texas, OK State – getting smaller every day, UK, Vandy, Bama), and a couple quality last-second losses (@ Vandy, @ Ohio State). Plus, Lofton missed some time. Pretty strong case, IMO, and the SEC has to get more than 2 or 3 teams.

    Georgia has @ Kentucky and Tennessee left. They are already .500, but they’re only 17-10 overall. I assume they’ll end up with a roughly equal resume to the three western teams.

    Look at the West. Arkansas and LSU are under .500 already, and they don’t have enough OOC to push it up. Both must win the SECT now to dance, IMO.

    Auburn probably needs to win out and win a couple in the SECT to get to be a realistic bubble team. Total wins are lacking, quality wins in short supply. Better than I thought they would be, though.

    Alabama, Ole Miss, and MSU are about tied. MSU has a little better chance because they get Alabama at home and lame-duck Arkansas away. 60% chance for 9-7, 85% for 8-8 sounds right. Ole Miss plays at Alabama and finishes at home with Auburn. 25% chance for 9-7, 60% for 8-8. Bama plays both teams, so they still control their destiny to a large degree. 0% chance at 9-7, 35% chance at 8-8, 70% chance at 7-9. Bama probably has the best case as of now due to the win total, but none have wins of import outside the SEC. (Oddly, Arkansas and LSU carry the SECW OOC.)

    I don’t think any of those can be safe after the regular season unless the NCAAT is struggling to find 65 worthy teams. Maybe Bama if they win out (win total would look pretty good). The SECT will probably be a deciding factor for those three and Georgia – if Georgia takes any of them down, they claim the spot over that team. SECE pretty clearly gets 4, though – a 5th bid for the SEC is up to those 4 teams.

  11. An early morning wish:
    I wish I could go into this season in splendid anticipation of the marvelous season Andruw Jones will have. This includes knowing how this could be a career year for him, leading himself and the Braves into glory for years to come.
    If the Braves have lost more than they’ve won by the end of THIS June…if Soriano begins to get big press for a hot streak…if Bobby Cox should announce his retirement early…if Andruw’s value becomes clearly worth more in trade than in keeping him…
    There used to be a time when you looked forward to rooting for your favorite players on your team for years to come. Maybe that was the Dark Ages. But I miss them, all the same.

  12. Kevin, I don’t think it’s ever been all that different.

    If it were 1970, before free agency, and we were in the same situation, it would also make sense to look at trading Andruw, and even at not renewing his contract. After all, he wants to stay under contract for as long as possible- which may be past the point where he’s a contributor.

    (I’m on record as being in favor of a long-term deal, but I can see the counterargument.)

  13. Wryn,

    You may be right, but there’s no logic to your statement.

    First of all, we’ve got 3 games left, including today’s against Kentucky. Even if you assume we’re losing today, you think we’re going to lose both at South Carolina and at home (on Senior Day) to Arkansas?

    Further, even if we lose our final 3 games, two wins in the conference tourney would likely get us in the field of 65, given our marquee wins (Tennessee, Florida, @ Kentucky).

    We’ve certainly got the ability to collapse, but nothing this season (including our 6-0 home conference record) should lead you to expect that to happen.

  14. I agree with Kevin here, when I was a kid you did not think about a player leaving your team, in any sport. Hockey was always big on the trades but it was always to make the team better, not because you were about to lose a player to FA. Now FA has you constantly changing your team over and players you come to really like come and go like the wind.
    As the Mad Dog says on the radio, we route for a piece of laundry these days.

  15. Two wins in the SEC tourney is not a gimme, Stu. I would say that Vandy will beat SC and Arkansas, and lose to Kentucky, which will put them in good shape, but anything can happen in the SEC tourney. So I wouldn’t say Vandy is in just yet.

  16. How in the world is Chipper’s shoes the Braves fault?

    Equipment guy: “How do those feel?”

    Chipper: “Fine.”

    Equipment guy: “No, you’re wrong. They don’t feel fine.”


    At some point, the abilities of the Braves to astrally project into Chipper’s body are limited.

  17. It’s sort of like blaming the Braves for Kyle Davies’ injury. If the player doesn’t speak up that something’s going on, there’s not much you can do. If Chipper doesn’t say, “Hey, you know these 12’s I’m wearing? They feel like 10’s. Let’s go up a couple sizes.”

    I’ll be honest. Chipper Jones is probably my favorite player of all-time (I used to have a sweet autographed ball of his before my house burned down), and I wish he could have a long, productive end to his career, but I seriously doubt he’ll play more than 130 games a year ever again. The way he’s talking, I think he’s in a lot of pain and a guy can only be so tough. He used to play 155+ games, so it’s not like he’s a JD Drew, can’t-stay-on-the-field type.

  18. I would now say that Vanderbilt will be in the 65. Good job, Vandy. Byars had a HUGE game. Too bad I missed it. Law & Order marathons always suck me in…

  19. You guys are not gonna believe what happened to me yesterday. After I read an article about the gyroball, I went to my backyard and started throwing the ball with a grip similar to the “gyroball”. Needless to say I almost blew my arm, my elbow and shoulder…

  20. Yeah, but Vandy doesn’t get a whole lot of athletic achievements, so just being in the tourney is a victory for them.

  21. Now the question is about what seed will the SEC’s teams be? Florida’s obviously a 1 right now. Vandy’s probably a 5, 6, or 7. Kentucky and Tennessee are 8 or 9. Georgia would be an 11 or 12 if it made the field, as would any West team that wanders in.

  22. I think Vandy is a 4-seed — honestly, there aren’t more than a dozen teams I’d pick over them on a neutral court right now. You guys are damning them with faint praise, IMO.

    Georgia has to either win both remaining games (at Kentucky, vs. Tennessee) or win one of them and make the conference final to get in.

  23. At this point, Georgia has a tough road. They really need to win in Lexington. If they don’t, I think they’re NIT-bound. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see them winning the SEC tournament.

    They played a pretty tough out-of-conference sked (Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Clemson, Georgia Tech), but they didn’t win enough of those games. I’m not sure the Gonzaga win looks as good now and I knew that Bama game would come back to haunt them.

    No matter the stakes, though, it can’t hurt to beat Kentucky twice.

  24. Wow, Matt Harrison’s starting in the Spring Trainer opener.

    By the way, I may be going to Lakeland for the Detroit-Atlanta ST game. Is there any tricks of the trade to getting autographs? I’d love to get as many Braves players as I can, and maybe Ordonez, Sheffield, or other players from Detroit. Anybody got any tips?

  25. #30- Rob,

    Bring a ten year old kid and/or look like a ten year old kid. Last time I got autographs(which has been about 8 years) took my 11 yr old brother- we got damn near the whole team. Good luck

  26. Y’all are crazy. Vandy’s been in the NCAA Tournament for a while (assuming nothing crazily poor happened to them). They are the #2 team in the SEC!

    Really, I think the SEC is down this year. Florida and Vandy are obviously good (I’m saying #1 and #4 seeds), but who else?

    After them, I’m wholly unimpressed with anyone. The SEC West is mediocre throughout. Kentucky? Please. Tennessee? Maybe #3 in SEC. At least they gave Ohio State a game. Georgia? Nope.

    Kentucky and Tennessee are probably in (around #7-#9 seeds), unless they lose their last two games and even then would be 8-8 in conference with a chance to add a W in the SEC Tournament.

    Georgia is on par with (and probably exceeds) anyone in the West with a claim, including my flagging Crimson Tide, so I’d stick them in next, as a #10-#12 seed.

    So currently, I have no teams from the West with the SEC getting 5 teams in.


  27. I would say Tennessee has head-to-head (better win – blowout vs. .5 second tip-in) and OOC wins on Vanderbilt (and 2 less SoCon losses). Tennessee was very inconsistent during SEC road play, which has hurt them a good bit from a seeding standpoint and lands them in all likelihood 2-4 seeds below Vanderbilt. They should still be OK, though, like you mentioned.

  28. Rob is still bitter about Florida’s loss to Vandy! I love it! I know if my team had lost two of its past three games, I’d certainly not be worrying about some other school’s situation.

    Go ‘Dores!

  29. Yeah! Go ‘Dores.

    A great day for Vandy sports. Byars gave the ‘Dores the lead against Kentucky moments after Ryan Flaherty hit a walk off home run aganst Boston College to take the Vandy baseball team to 10-0 on the year, hopefully solidifying the #1 ranking.

    Anyway, there a nice article on the events over at CSTV.com

  30. Stu, why am I bitter? My team’s locked up a #1 seed. Now I’m talking about the rest of the SEC. Don’t flatter yourself dude. When Florida knocks you out of the SEC Tourney (if we play you, we will), then you’ll know for sure I’m not bitter.

    You seem to mistake any mentioned of Vanderbilt as bitterness. Trust me, Vanderbilt is not worth being bitter over. Losing to freaking LSU when we shot 15% from the 3 point line, that’s something to be a little mad over. Vanderbilt? They’ll be one-and-done in the SEC Tourney, and perhaps two-and-done in the NCAA Tourney.

  31. I was watching the highlights of the Ohio St/Wisconsion and wondering if it will be the same story as it was in football season with the Big 10. Didn’t Florida and UNC both beat Ohio St. pretty soundly?

    I really can’t wait for baseball to start up. Luckily, I’ll be in Atlanta for a wedding on memorial day and will have the chance to see Braves v. Phillies. I haven’t been to a Braves game in years and years.

  32. Rob

    Or be an attractive blonde . I saw that work at at a Nationals game I went to last summer.

  33. Well, the only “problem” is my girlfriend is an attractive brunette. Plus, I don’t have any 10 year old siblings/friends/etc. Is there any etiquette I gotta worry about? What’s the best things to get signed? Balls, pictures, etc.?

  34. Rob, I know we’re talking about autographs here, but lemme tell ya, if your biggest problem is that your girlfriend’s an attractive brunette, then you got this life thing all figured out. Way to go, champ.

  35. Rob,

    You’re just proving my point, big guy. You didn’t talk Vanderbilt at all on this site until we whipped Florida last week. Now, with every Vandy game (and actually, with every comment Stu makes on this site, Vandy-related or not), Rob has commentary. I’m enjoying this so much.

  36. The one thing I know I don’t want to see is a Wisconsin Ohio St rematch in the tourney. Holy Crap, was that boring!!!

    For any who might still be interested, we have 7 more spots on “2007 – Braves Journal 2” fantasy league at Yahoosports.

    League I.D. 100702
    Pword kolb

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