Braves 12, Astros 3

ESPN – Astros vs. Braves Box Score, August 1 2007 – MLB

Hey, more runs! This happened last year for a stretch, but with Teixeira in the lineup I’m more confident in maintaining run production — if not at this level, which nobody can.

In his first plate appearance as a Brave, Teixeira drew a bases-loaded walk, the third walk in a row given up by the Astros starter, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead. By the end of the inning, it was 7-0, highlighted by a two-run double from Diaz and a two-run single from Escobar (who led off with a double).

After the Astros had cut it to 7-2, Renteria hit a solo homer in the fourth. At 8-3, Teixeira put the game away with a three-run homer, his first hit as a Brave. They added the last run on a KJ single in the seventh.

Buddy Carlyle had some problems finishing batters off (or, as I like to call it, Horacio Ramirez’s Disease) and allowed two runs on five hits, including a homer, through five, but didn’t walk anyone and struck out two. The Vulture allowed a run in the sixth, but nothing in the seventh. Mahay allowed one hit in the eighth in his Braves debut, and Dotel was perfect with a strikeout in the ninth in his.

Julio Franco was designated for assignment to open up a roster spot for a pitcher. The Braves apparently have offered him a coaching job with the possibility of activation when the rosters expand in a month. Ascanio was sent down again to open up the other spot. At this point, he’s earned enough frequent flier miles on the Mississippi shuttle to garner a free trip to Australia.

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209 thoughts on “Braves 12, Astros 3”

  1. Hopefully Carlyle didn’t hurt himself too badly. Who would we call up if we needed another SP?

  2. I’m sure it would be Cormier. He’s actually had four straight quality starts at Richmond, though I still don’t trust him.

  3. Carlyle hurt his elbow during a swing, but he looked as if he shook it off. He took one more huge swing before he struck out and didnt look like it was hurting. He then came out and warmed up for the next inning. Bobby came out and pulled him for Villareal and Carlyle looked pissed off. He wanted to stay in I think. He was talking to the trainers and Chuckie and looked okay. he’s day to day, but he looked fine when he left

  4. Just to let everyone know, the immortal team of Chris Berman and Joe Morgan are calling the Giants game on ESPN2 right now. It’s a wonder to behold.

  5. I actually feel bad for Julio, I would rather have him than woodward, although i know its not possible, with thorman on the bench, but i do feel bad for him

  6. I’m sure he’s a tremendous person and all, but the Braves have given Julio more than a fair shot at continuing his career. Hopefully he realizes that he has the skill set to continue his career in baseball in a different capacity.

  7. Mac, you forgot to mention about everyone getting upset with Escobar for trying to tag up on that short fly ball. We were up 11-3 at the time and he had no chance of scoring. Andruw, Chipper, and Bobby all had things to say to him about that. They showed Escobar apologizing to Bobby afterwards

    Braves Live just interviewed Carlyle and he’s said he’s done this before. It was just overswinging on a off speed pitch, but he’s fine and it wont cause any problems!

  8. I agree Moog.

    On ESPN Uno, the Brewers are trying to rally on the Mets and Wagner, kick started by Johnny Estrada.

  9. Was at the game tonight. The crack of the bat when Teixiera hit his homer was incredible, the crowd just went nuts.

    The first inning was excruciating to watch. I was amazed Wandy was allowed to finish it. It left me wondering what the record is for pitches in one innning by a single pitcher.

  10. I once started a game in high school and threw 53 pitches the first inning. Amazingly, I only gave up 3 runs. Also ended up going 5 innings that game.

  11. I noticed that the bridge tragedy will postpone the groundbreaking for the Twins new stadium. I was unaware they had reached a resolution on that. Good for them, the Twinkiedome had to go.

  12. Buddy Bell said Wednesday that he’ll retire at the end of the season.

    Bell said he hasn’t felt any pressure from the organization to step down. “It started last year when I got sick,” said Bell, who underwent surgery in September to remove a cancerous growth in his throat. He’s hoping to remain with the Royals in another position. Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton, who has a relationship with Royals GM Dayton Moore from their time together in Atlanta, could be the favorite to replace Bell.

    http://www.kansascity.com/sports/story/214535.html

  13. Great game today, although no fewer than FIVE Brave batters hurt themselves either swinging or fouling balls off themselves. Nobody too seriously I hope.

    Much as I hate to make this particular comparison, our early innings offense reminded me of the mid- to late-90s Yankees. Refusal to swing at bad pitches, leading to multi-run singles, and thus going deep into the opponents bullpen. That’s a big reason why they won.

    The Julio move made sense, though I hate to say it, in that the only alternative (I’m not buying Woodward — see how Cox was able to pull both Edgar and Chipper to get them some rest) was losing Thorman. The difference between the two will be fairly small in August, given the limited opportunities they’re likely to be presented. Plus, it opens the door for yet another Julio comeback in September. Making him that much cooler (as if such a thing was possible).

  14. If I were Carlyle I would be mad at having to come out of a game if I didn’t think I was hurt, especially in light of Bryan Pena. I still feel sorry for him: started off the year well, getting hurt, insisting he was fine, being DL’ed anyway to be extra cautious, then sent down to Richmond and never heard from again, even when the team needs a back-up catcher (which is what he started the season as).

    Here’s hoping Carlyle doesn’t get similar treatment and have Cormier replace him…

  15. Well, Pena had a concussion and wasn’t aware of much when he was DL’d.

    I don’t think Carlyle has much to worry about.

  16. The reason Pena is down is not because he was injured; it’s because the Braves don’t like his defense/game calling enough to keep him as their backup C. IMO, it’s because of this that they’re moving him around the diamond, teaching him new positions.

  17. ESPN Uno

    I love that. At some point, they really should split off a channel that’s devoted to sports and highlights of sports. They could call it “ESPN Duh”.

  18. Glad about Tex’s debut tonight :D. Rangers fans on Baseball Fever had some very nasty things to say about him, but I retorted that Bobby Cox won’t stand for any antics if he tries to pull anything.

  19. I understand why Franco was sent down. What I don’t understand are those who say they are so happy to see him go.

    Julio didn’t set the world on fire, but he definitely improved after his first 10 or so at bats and was playing excellent defense. He batted .250 for the Braves with a .333 OBP – both of which are better than Woodward and I think he did better overall than Thorman has done – at least in BA and OBP. He also hit several balls that were very close to being homeruns and I think with his continued improvement he would have hit a few out.

    My point is not to say that Julio is great, but I think he can still be a useful part of the team – at least more useful than Woodward and Thorman. I can live with the decision (although if they want a utility guy, why not bring up Prado and send Woody packing also?), but I would like to see Julio back in September. Why would anyone be happy to see him go over Woodward???

  20. sansho1,

    Well, the general attitude is that Teixeira is a clubhouse cancer, stuck up, arrogant and doesn’t give a shit about the fans.

  21. does Ascanio remind you of Dotel? Everything about them seems similar. Arm angle, velocity, body size…or is it just me

  22. Sam,

    Thanks, didn’t know that. Long as he produces, he can not give a shit about me all day long.

    td,

    I hope Julio returns in September. In the meantime, doesn’t it make sense to be able to spell Chipper and Renteria from time to time? I’ve posted a half dozen times about why Woodward should stay, so I won’t belabor it. He’s a fill-in, nothing more, but I think we need that.

  23. This is where they might have gotten the idea that Teixeira is bad in the clubhouse:
    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/columnists/jtaylor/stories/071307dnspotaylor.3c4f98e.html

    Frankly, and I don’t want to sound like too much of a homer, it seems as though he was tired of losing, and felt the Rangers were second-class. He won’t have those problems here, and, if he does, he’ll be put in his place by players with alot more experience than him. That stuff won’t be tolerated here, and I can’t really think of a Ranger like a Chipper or Smoltz that would be there to calm the clubhouse.

  24. That is, if no one picks Julio up. In the meantime, he could play at Richmond. He’d fit right in with all the other old guys there, heh heh heh.

  25. I would still prefer letting Harris play in the infield every once in a while over letting Woodward take up space on the roster. If Harris can play 3rd (I think he can), an infield of Harris, Escobar, Johnson and Franco is better defensively than Woodward playing at any of those positions. It’s not even close offensively. If Woodward was a decent fielder, it may be different – but he sure hasn’t shown it!

  26. What a great game! THe guys are swinging the bat really well and did Dotel look good or what?! I am seriously excited about this team again!!

  27. If Tex was irritated with losing in Texas, I think that might give Atlanta a leg up over Baltimore when it comes time to sign a new deal at the end of next year as long as the offers are somewhat close (Boras notwithstanding).

    Want to be on a team in contention every year? Braves>Orioles.

  28. Hawk,

    Dang right. The Braves are almost always in contention these days, and Baltimore is just as bad an organization as Texas.

  29. One thing that’s been overlooked in all this excitement is how Francoeur has been playing lately. On top of his great hitting of late, he drew two walks yesterday after drawing walks in each the past two games I think. I am sure the HR-power will return but I am very happy with how he has been playing.

  30. He’s from Baltimore, Rob, but I must say that until Peter Angelos isn’t running things anymore, I wouldn’t touch them with a 10-foot pole. Granted I didn’t grow up an Orioles fan, but you’d have to be pretty freaking devoted to the Orioles to want to go there now. Hell, I’m betting some Orioles fans are wondering why they’re even bothering anymore.

    Of course, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be the same way in a year and a half, but if Angelos is still at the helm, I think we’ve got a pretty good idea that it will.

  31. Hey Mac, don’t you think that, for all intents and purposes, Ledezma has been destroyed and you can take him off the top of the page?

  32. The Julio/Thorman bind will be for 30 days. They will activate Julio in Sept. Pinch hit him every chance they get and he will be on the post season roster and Thorman won’t be. Nobody gets lost and they can try and deal Thorman over the winter.

  33. Icebox-

    (The bind is for 30 days assuming someone else doesn’t sign Julio–I don’t imagine anyone else will.

    But we should have kept Julio over Woodward, positions be damned. We have Escobar who can play multiple infield positions, same with Harris.

  34. Does Bobby even know Willie can play multiple positions? And you can’t use Yunel as a “Yutility” because then KJ would have to play second….so, nevermind.

  35. In defense of Teix (and many players), it has to get tiring being on a team that isn’t going to be competitive, and is playing for “next year” by August of every year. The $8,000,000 a year has got to heal a lot of wounds, but when you already have more money than you can spend the rest of your life, winning every once in a while would be nice.

    I kind of feel sorry for any players on the KC and Pittsburgh roster, you know?

  36. Well, clearly Escobar should not be starting over KJ or Renty, even if Yunel has done a nice job overall.

    But yeah, I don’t think Bobby realizes that Willie isn’t just a left fielder. It’s a shame. Had someone shared this information with him, Chris Woodward might be out of a job instead of Julio.

  37. bfan,

    I completely agree with that sentiment.

    To be fair to Rangers fans, I understand their P.O.V. and I suppose if I was in their shoes–I’d feel better ripping on the star player who’s apparently dissing my team.

    But as a Braves fan, I understand Tex’s desire to actually win so his negativity is pretty easy to understand.

  38. I’m just saying that Harris and Escobar are presently in roles in which they are succeeding. Don’t mess with what’s working.

    If we spent the entire season with a roster lacking a utility IF, well, you’re basically advocating giving Willie Harris 500 ABs. Does that really sound like a good idea, and wouldn’t you have called Cox an idiot for saying that was the intended plan?

  39. I looks like Tex is enjoying himself so far and his comments in the article on the Braves.com site seem promising.

    I agree with BFan, these guys are all competitors at this level,with huge egos. The guy wants to win for the sake of being the best, when you play for a team where that has no chance of happening, you may be a little disgruntled.

  40. I’m sure Bobby knows Willie Harris can play infield, but there’s gotta be a reason Willie Harris is an outfielder. I want to think that if Harris could play the infield well enough, with his lack of offense, he wouldn’t be a corner outfielder; his offense would look better as a second baseman. But for some reason, he’s now an outfielder. There might be a reason for that…

    Who gets maybe 5% of the at-bats at three positions isn’t really a big deal. Woodward is here because Escobar starts a lot. Harris doesn’t play the infield anymore. He’s got a purpose, and he’s not really affecting anything. You guys act like he’s starting or something. It seems that someone always needs a scapegoat or someone to blame, criticize, or find fault in. If Woodward is that guy, we’ve got a pretty good team.

  41. sansho1-

    First, Harris has been doing a great job this year for the Braves, overall, so I am not convinced occassionally backing up at another position is going to kill his offense.

    Second, I am only envisioning the worst case scenario…on an everyday basis, Kelly Johnson and Edgar Rentaria should be our middle infielders and Yunel Escobar should be the primary back up for both–with an occasional start. That should be enough even right there.

    Worst case scenario, Willie Harris is available in a pinch should he have to play a game due to multiple injuries or a fight breaks out and say both KJ and Edgar are kicked out of the game. I mean, we are talking a scenario of 1 in a 1000.

    The point is that there’s absolutely no reason that Chris Woodward continues to steal paychecks from the Braves organizations. He’s completely unecessary. 3 middle infielders and and a 4th guy who could play in a pinch.

    The only thing I am advocating is the exit of Chris Woodward. He’s completely useless.

  42. Then Chipper never comes out of a game and never gets hurt and needs two or three games off? Come on, that happens 3 or 4 times every season. We can plug in Woodward and keep everything else fairly intact. Can’t do that with two backup 1Bs on a five man bench.

  43. Escobar should be our super-sub guy. That is a great luxury to have as a team. He should play 2 or 3 times a week and give Chipper, Renty, and KJ the occasional day off.

  44. Escobar & Harris could both play 3rd as well as freaking Chris “please destroy him” Woodward.

    C’mon, Sansho, you’re a smart Braves fan–how can you possibly defend Woodward????

    He’s awful!!!!!!!

  45. From the Dallas news article on Tex:

    “This year, Teixeira is hitting just .229 in losses. That’s a 73-point drop from his overall batting average of .302. No other Ranger who has played in at least 50 games has a bigger decline. For the record, he’s hitting .171 (6-for-35) with runners in scoring position in losses this season.”

    Does that make sense to anybody? Shouldn’t it be obvious that when your best player doesn’t hit, you are more likely to lose? Do they expect him to go 3-4 every day?

    I’m not worried about his attitude in the clubhouse. Cox is the best ever at preventing those kind of things.

  46. #68

    Exactly correct; again….NO need for Woodward.

    How we make all these roster moves the last few days and somehow Woodward survives.

  47. Andy,

    Exactly…if Cox could get along with Gary Sheffield, then no player is safe from Bobby’s charm ;-)

    (ok, well maybe Kenny Lofton who’s an arrogant, preening a–hole).

  48. While it *could* work to have Escobar be our sole backup IF (with Harris an emergency guy and Thorman an emergency LF if, say Diaz has already pinch hit or something), I don’t think it’s something we’d particularly want. Mostly because it would just spread us rather thin at most positions. And while Willie can play 2B, I’m not sure if he can handle 3B, which would leave us with 3 2B and only 3 total players who could play SS and 3B, which isn’t a great plan at all.

    And carrying 3 1Bs seems pretty silly. I mean, what would Thorman do? Mostly come in to play LF when Harris was puttering around 2B, I suppose.

    And to be honest, I really don’t mind having our #2 IF off the bench being a weak bat, I really don’t.

  49. I seem to remember Willie playing a game or two at 3B earlier this year when Chipper was ailing.

  50. Andy is exactly right. It’s a chicken and egg thing. Obviously, you lose because the players don’t perform. That’s like saying a pitcher is 10-0 in games he pitches well in and 0-6 in games he doesn’t.

    Whether Teixera is an asshole or not is irrelevant. If Bobby can handle Sheffield, he can handle this guy. The fact is, you are always going to have a quotient of assholes on any team just like you would in any office. That’s what managers get paid to do-manage. If he plays hard, hits, and the Braves win, who cares?

    There has always been a debate about whether closeness in the clubhouse fosters winning or vice versa. I go with the second. Players are a lot happier when they win and are a lot less likely to complain.

  51. http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ATL/2007.shtml

    Willie has logged a whopping 2 innings at 3B this year… he even logged an assist too!

    And holy shit, check out these defensive stats from Woodward.

    1B: 35 Innings, 1 Error, 0.967 FP
    2B: 44 Innings, 0 Errors
    SS: 54 Innings, 2 Errors, 0.909 FP
    3B: 72 Innings, 2 Errors, 0.895 FP

    That’s terrible. Note: I would use more advanced defensive metrics to judge it too, but you know, small sample size and I don’t trust any of the ones out there right now.

  52. Based on the way Teixeira acted when he arrived on the bench during Tuesday’s game he looked like a nice guy chatting it up with Diaz and other players. But then again, I guess everyone would look nice enough in a new situation like that.

  53. I would never say Woodward is any good, lest I become perceived as less than smart.;)

    We’d be a slightly better team had we been able to sign a different utility IF who can sit on the bench for a week and then play a couple of games when necessary. Graffanino, or somebody.

    I just think it’s necessary to have a guy like that on a short bench, as mraver said so well. An injury can happen, you can give the veterans some time off during (hopefully frequent) August blowouts, you can double-switch during extra-inning games without fielding a team with two or three guys playing their third-best positions.

  54. I am with you Marc on the clubhouse thing.

    As a Spurs fan in the NBA, I wasn’t worried one bit when Nick Van Exel signed with them a few years ago in a bench role for his last season. The reason is because the superstars on the team are all quiet, professionals, the coach (Popovich) is a quiet professional and if Nick got out of line, he was gone.

    I think the same thing will be true this year in New England. Randy Moss will behave and keep his trap shut becausre the team can do just fine without him—Moss needs the Patriots more than they need him.

    The Braves have a good clubhouse, strong veteran leadership (Smoltzie, Chipper, Cox, JS) that survived even a one time brush up between Smoltz and Chipper. Teixeira is clearly just happy to be in an environment that’s used to winning, expects to win, and has a chance to go to the World Series now.

    I think Mark and the Braves will do just fine together.

  55. @70

    Yeah, that struck me as a bit disingenuous.

    I wonder what Chipper’s hitting in Atlanta’s losses. Or (insert star here) in (star’s team’s) losses.

  56. @ 82 I agree. I think the fact that Texas needed him to hit virtually every game for them to win kind of defeats the point the guy was making.

  57. I would actually advocate adding a 26th roster spot if I didn’t think most teams would use it to add yet another situational pitcher. This carrying of 12 (or 13!) pitchers doesn’t appeal to me, aesthetically speaking.

    There’s a far wider variety of skill sets in position players than in pitchers. But (overgeneralizing) the advent of the 11-man staff meant goodbye to the pinch runner, and the 12-man staff means no more professional pinch hitters. Those guys are far more interesting to me than yet another guy whose job is to throw 12 pitches and then hit the showers.

  58. sansho1,

    I like that idea. In fact, I’d be willing to sign off on a 13 pitcher limit with a 26 man roster–especially if it meant getting rid of the DH in the AL.

  59. Considering the way Bobby uses our bullpen, and the possibility of short starts by our 3-4-5 starters, I have definitely been advocating an 8 man pen.

    The guy we should be bringing up now is Royce Ring. A lefty with terrific numbers at the PCL and we currently only have 1 lefty now in Mahay.

  60. Couple of things from the previous thread.

    First, Tony is being very disingenuous in comparing RFK Stadium to Turner Field. Yes, it’s near the DC jail–but it’s also next to the National Guard Armory and directly on the subway line, which makes it extremely easy to get to. It’s a five to ten minute walk from the Metro station. Security is good and I never feel uneasy taking my daughter there. I don’t know anything about Turner Field (although I did used to go to Atlanta Stadium), but Tony’s comparison in respect to access is specious.

    Second, with respect to AAR,

    I did not mean to denigrate Hank Aaron at all. I said top 10-12 just be conservative-I agree that he is probably higher than that. (But, frankly, I wouldn’t mind being considered one of the top ten players of all time.) I would, however, give Mays extra credit for two things; first, he missed two full years to the army early in his career, and, second, he played a more important position. Also, I do think you are underrating Mantle; offensively, at least, he was awesome but his overall numbers were hurt by all his injuries and the fact that he did play well after age 34–probably in part because of his drinking. But the relative rankings are irrelevant anyway-these are all comparable players (and I agree, all probably better than DiMaggio and much better than Clemente). They played most of their careers in one of the least friendly hitting environments ever and in very difficult ball parks. (When Mantle played, it was 461 feet to center in Yankee Stadium and well over 400 to left center.) If you substituted them for each other, there probably wouldn’t be much difference in the team performances. I totally agree with your analysis of why Aaron was underrated.

  61. The DH is the reason why the A.L. is always going to be a lesser league IMHO, than the NL. I don’t care who win the W.S. or All Star Games, give me NL baseball any day of the week.

    That DH basically allows Managers to sit there and be completely pointless.

  62. Marc,

    I missed Tony’s attack on RFK, though I will say the stadium is a dump. I am looking forward to the new one next year. (my friend who’s Dir. of Sales for the Nats showed me a model of it in his office–very cool).

    That being said, I have felt no danger whatsoever doing Metro to and from the games.

    It’s convenient because it’s on the Blue/Orange line just like my office; there is plenty of security…and you’re always walking with thousands of fans, going to or away from the stadium.

  63. I third the anti-DH motion. . . . But I guess that is part of the reason we are all Braves fans, or vice-versa.

  64. I agree that the long bullpen seems like the way to win these days. Pitchers now go all out on every pitch, and tire more quickly because of it. There used to be guys like Livan Hernandez all over the league — guys who could consistently go deep into games because they would vary speeds on their fastballs. More knuckleballers, too. OK, I’m sounding like an old fart.

    I like billy jay’s idea — add a roster spot but cap the number of pitchers.

  65. RFK is a horrible stadium, but Alex is absolutely right. Unless you go wandering off into the surrounding neighborhoods (I actually had to do this a couple of times in the early 90s), you’re surrounded by tons of people.

    You get off the subway line and you’re right there. Very convenient and you’re safe as kittens.

    Is the new stadium also going to have its own metro stop?

  66. Rob Cope,

    Willie’s not in LF because he can’t cut it as an infielder anymore. He’s in LF because our infield was set and we “needed” a LF platoon partner for Diaz once Langerhans got traded away.

  67. Marc, I didn’t mean my Hank Aaron post as a personal attack at all. Merely a spirited defense of a man who was my childhood hero… and still is.

    However, I don’t think you can say that Mantle was underrated due to injuries and drinking. The first thing was luck — tearing up his knee on the sprinkler — and the second was his own damn fault. If he’d been healthy and whole, there’s no telling what he could have done, but you could say that about any player. (You could say it about Chipper Jones, certainly.) But that’s the realm of fantasy. When you evaluate them by the careers they actually had, Hank blows the Mick away.

  68. Noah,

    I believe it’s one Metro stop further in but I can’t remember for sure.

    Yes, if you are attending a Nats game, do not wander to surrounding areas. Stay to & from RFK and you have nothing to worry about.

  69. I don’t think the idea of bringing Willie Harris up was to put him in a platoon, but he certainly played his way into it. Matt Diaz still deserves a two month shot at being the everyday leftfielder.

  70. My last word on roster construction — the ’75 and ’76 A’s. In the early 70’s, the A’s would always employ a pinch-runner on the roster. But that wasn’t enough for crazy old Charlie Finley — he decided he had to have two.

    And so, at any point, at least two of these players were on the active roster:

    Herb Washington
    Larry Lintz
    Don Hopkins
    Matt Alexander

    Here are their combined stats from 1974-76:

    G – 382
    PA – 52
    R – 111
    H – 3
    BB – 5
    BA – .064
    OBP – .154
    SLG – .064
    SB – 120
    CS – 55

  71. Noah,

    My understanding is that eventually there is supposed to be a separate stop for the new stadium but for the time being (this being DC), the nearest station will be the Navy Yard. I don’t know how far that will be from the stadium, but I assume that security will be pretty good.

    AAR,

    When I read the Mick’s stats from his prime, I am pretty blown away by how good he was. His career OBP is significantly higher than Mays or Aaron–in part, I guess, because he didn’t have an Eddie Mathews or Willie McCovey hitting behind him. The problem is he had a lot of years where he missed tons of games; for example, in 1962, I think, he was MVP despite playing about 120 games and hitting 30 home runs. Obviously, his numbers would have been much better. I agree, that’s part of the game but in terms of pure impact on the game, I think Mantle was just as good as Aaron or Mays. Obviously, his overall career was not as good. You could say the same about Koufax and Juan Marichal; Marichal had better career numbers (or at least more wins), but I think almost everyone would say that Koufax was the better pitcher.

    Your Chipper analogy is interesting. The question of whether Chipper is a better player than some contemporary who ends up with better numbers is separate from who had a better career. For example, this year, Chipper won’t have as many home runs as, say, Prince Fielder, but I would argue that he is still a better player and a better hitter.

  72. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the lineup this year. I don’t know if I will get used to seeing Teixeira in the lineup. It’s like a nice little surprise after chipper. more like a huge surprise, actually.

  73. You know, I’ve come around on the DH. I’m still an NL guy, but really every other level of organized baseball uses the DH other than the NL. And while it sometimes makes for an interesting decision on whether to pinch hit for a pitcher who is still going strong, I’d rather see another good hitter.

  74. I hate the DH also…

    Something to think about….Athletics DH Mike Piazza has about $2.83MM left on his contract this year. Some teams poked around before the deadline – the Twins, maybe the Angels – but there wasn’t much action on him and he didn’t go anywhere

    What about getting him for these last two months just to backup McCann and give us one more good bat off the bench? He’d be a whole lot better than Corky Miller

  75. I was at a Nats game (vs. Rockies) two weekends ago. I found the security to be adequate, and the metro to be very convenient. The metro does get packed after games.

  76. I also forgot to admit that Im not a big Piazza fan, but getting another former Met to help us beat them could change that

  77. Here is my problem (and, I think, everyone else who despises it) the DH: he’s not a baseball player. He’s half a player. Like the pitcher (or at lower levels, whoever the worst bat is) is now only half a player.

    I’d like to ask each and every fan of the DH why they don’t want to go all the way and make it like football–just put your 9 best hitters in the lineup and your 9 best defenders in the field. Play 18 guys. Man, the union would love that. Think of how many careers would be extended!

  78. Hate-

    Nats vs. Rockies?

    You really have to be a hardcore Baseball fan (and not just a hardcore Braves fan) to get the energy to attend that one. ;-)

  79. csg,

    I would imagine Piazza would be a tough m off waivers, and Oakland would probably ask for a lot in return

    I prefer the NL and no DH, but I do love the fact the leagues are different.

  80. When the Braves went to the Series in 1991 and played the Twins, I thought of it as everything that was right with baseball against everything that was wrong with it going head to head. The Twins played indoors on artificial turf and used the God-forsaken DH. Unfortunately, the wrong side won.

  81. good point

    btw, how good did it feel after Wandy walked Renteria and Chipper to load the bases in the 1st yesterday. We actually have someone in the cleanup hole who can drive in runs. Druw didnt have a chance to screw it up….after he walked Tex, his 3rd straight, Druw actually got a hit. The future looks bright

  82. Of course, the wrong side had four home games to the good guys’ three. And it was really close.

  83. Alex R.,

    The game was miserable (rodrigo lopez’s return to the d.c. area vs. matt bacsi;, the highlight was a tony batista two run single). I went with a bunch of friends just as something to do. We sat in the outfield upperdeck (where you can only see half of the warning track, by the way). There was this terrible youth leadership group in the upperdeck. They had orange shirts on and did chants the entire game. My group got up and moved to the other side of the stadium. On my way to the game (via the metro) i saw the orange shirts and just knew I would have to deal with them. As we walked to our seats they were chanting the same section that was printed on my ticket.

    In line for a beer I had to deal with a drunk Nats fan that told me about watching Pele play in RFK and listening to him hype up Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez. It was quite amusing to say the least.

  84. Marc, I understand what you’re saying, and I’m there with you on Chipper vs. Prince. I’d still rather have Chip. But what I was talking about was the horrific hammy injury that ended Chipper’s 1994 season, sapped his speed, and foreshadowed all the leg injuries the last couple years. If not for that, maybe he’d have had a shot at 500?

    My point was, there’s no way to know, and you can’t compare players on the basis of what they might have done. Just on the basis of what they did do and have done.

  85. ‘Tex’ rejected $140 million offer

    Teixeira confirmed that he turned down the Rangers’ eight-year offer worth approximately $140 million, a proposal the team made two weeks ago.

    The offer included a mutually agreed-upon salary of approximately $14 million in 2008, Teixeira’s final year of arbitration eligibility, followed by seven seasons at an average of $18 million.

    He said Wednesday he doesn’t want to discuss his contract status because it would be a distraction for him and the Braves.

    “I want to finish out the season, have a great year and see what happens in the offseason,” he said.

  86. @111: “I’d like to ask each and every fan of the DH why they don’t want to go all the way and make it like football–just put your 9 best hitters in the lineup and your 9 best defenders in the field. Play 18 guys. Man, the union would love that. Think of how many careers would be extended!”

    Actually, that would be a pretty cool idea for the All-Star Game.

  87. I don’t love the DH, but I no longer oppose it. I think its dumb that the leagues have different rules, and there is no way that the DH is going, so . . .

    I agree that the DH is only half a player, but so is the pitcher. With every other position on the field, you’ve got to balance offense with defense. Maybe a guy can field SS, but if he can’t hit at least a little, he won’t play unless he’s Ozzie Smith. Likewise, some guys can hit, but unless they are Manny Ramiriez, they’re defense is so bad that they will never play the field.

    Pitchers are different. No one cares if a pitcher can hit. Some can, and its kind of fun to see a pitcher come up big (because it is so unexpected), but we should stop pretending and just let a DH hit.

  88. CJ,

    I could live with that if it was only the All-Star Game, but I think it would give people ideas and it might further taint the sport.

  89. Hate-

    Sounds depressing.

    But I found it hilarious when I was at a Nats/Braves game at RFK one time and Nats fans tried to trash talk me and other Braves fans, since we were wearing our hats.

    It was amusing. Another Braves fan walked up & said “call us when you WIN SOMETHING”.

  90. If Bobby keeps him in the 4 spot, which he should, moving to Atlanta could be lucrative for Teixeira this offseason. If he goes to arbitration, I think playing in Atlanta will help more than hurt him. By all reports, arbitration is huge on triple crown stats, and while his BA might not be as high outside Arlington, his RBIs will bump. Think of how many RBIs Andruw always has in the 4 spot, no matter how badly he’s playing.

    Tex could win an RBI title next year behind the KJ, Edgar, and Chipper on base machines. Each of them has an OBP near .400. In Texas: Young – .351, Kinsler – .337, Catalanotto – .309, Hairston – .245. No one close.

  91. The Ted was rocking last night after Teixiera went yard. It was one of the funnest times I have had at a Braves game. The plyers seemed to have a jump in their step. Hell, even the usually awful Braves fans were pumped and gave Tex a staning ovation and wanted a curtain call.

  92. Andy, Adam Everett can’t hit. Dontrelle Willis can hit. Ryan Langerhans can’t hit. Mike Hampton can hit.

    If you can’t field your position, you can’t play. I learned that back in Little League. If you can’t hit, go back to the cages, don’t ask Ron Blomberg to clean up your mess for you.

  93. Career stats (avg/obp/slg):

    Willis: .213/.260/.312
    Everett: .247/.299/.357

    Langerhans: .233/.329/.374
    Hampton: .242/.292/.354

    So even the worst hitters hit better than the best pitchers. And noone signs Mike Hampton thinking, “we’ll he’s only good for a 5.00 ERA, but he’ll make it up with his bat.” Pitching ability is the only thing teams care about with pitchers. They are as one-dimensional as a DH. Any hitting is a bonus. Teams do consider a player like Adam Everett’s defense, and decide that it’s good enough to make up for his poor bat.

  94. #123

    Pretending about what?

    If a guy is a great hitter & lousy fielder (or vice versa), that’s the way it goes.

    I’d find the AL a helluva lot more interesting if Big Papi had to actually put on a glove.

    IMO, it would’ve been a shame if Dick “Dr. Strangeglove” Stuart had played in the DH era.

  95. Win Shares (batting/pitching/fielding):

    Willis -0.8/3.4/0.0

    Ortiz: 16.1/0.0/0.1

    David Ortiz’s glove is worth more than Dontrelle Willis’ bat.

  96. Does anyone know what the deal is with Saturday’s start time? The preseason schedule says 3:55 and my tickets say 3:55, but on mlb.com it’s listed as a 7:05 game.

  97. Dude there is no way you’re winning this argument. The DH is awful. You know what David Ortiz does when he’s not about to hit? He leaves and goes to the clubhouse. He’s not a freakin baseball player!

    The National League is a better game, Period.

  98. In any given game, the pitcher is the single most important player. He is involved in every single play that his team is in the field (with the noted exception of the hidden ball trick). If he can’t hit, so what? Especially in the modern era, when starting pitchers only play every five days or so. That’s no excuse for coming up with a bastardized half-breed of a player.

  99. “Blackout the Ted” has to be the dumbest thing i’ve heard of since the DH rule.

  100. Hate King,

    I was at that Rockies game with my daughter sitting behind home plate. I did see that group in the outfield. I thought it was a good game but I always find that it’s a much better game in person than on TV.

  101. The reason pitchers can’t hit is the DH has infested every level of minor league baseball. So even pitchers who were good hitters back in high school (and there are a bunch) don’t develop their skills at the plate through years of minor league ball, and most are pretty hopeless when/if they get promoted to the majors. I agree the DH delenda est, at every level. Force pitchers to become part of the offense again and good-hitting pitchers will start to re-emerge. That Babe Ruth wasn’t too bad “helping his own cause” as they say, back in that day.

  102. I wouldn’t be that opposed to the DH if it was a more universal tool. As is, you can ONLY use the DH for the pitcher. Why can’t you use it for any defensive player? The rule just doesn’t make sense.

  103. Spiral,

    Initially the game was a Fox televised game, but they thought the Braves/Rockies wasn’t good enough, so they dropped it. I know they are second guessing themselves now since the Braves have Tex.

  104. #146 –

    Pitchers have never hit. I can’t find a list of stats by position from years before the DH, but randomly looking at teams from the 50s and 60s, it looks like pitchers on average weren’t any better then.

    #147 –

    If a DH was allowed for any position, it would still only be used for pitchers. The worst hitting fielders hit better than the best hitting pitchers.

  105. I’m not a big fan of the DH, but I think the NL is at a big disadvantage vs. the AL without it. It’s easier to adjust to not having a DH than it is to add a DH because most NL teams don’t have anyone on the bench that is a true DH-type.

  106. Pitcher OPS through the years:

    ’67 — 347 (ML)
    ’72 — 368
    ’77 — 403 (NL)
    ’82 — 375
    ’87 — 348
    ’92 — 336
    ’97 — 354
    ’02 — 374
    ’07 — 360

    I don’t see much of a trend.

  107. Does anybody else think it’s totally uncool for MLB to change the start times of games at the last minute? I know it’s all part of their tv agreements with FOX and ESPN, but it can be a real disservice to the fans. I wanted to take my 3 year old son to a game this year and since he takes a nap each day at 1:00 and goes to bed at 8:00, I decided months ago that this Saturday’s game, with its 3:55 start time, would be perfect. Now it looks like I’m going to be one of those lame fans that leaves after 4 innings.

  108. At the risk of sounding really stupid, why is it that pitchers almost never have hit? There are notable exceptions, I know Walter Johnson hit .400 one year and there are certainly more recent examples, but for the most part they suck. Why? Even guys who could rake in college can’t hit when they reach the majors. I know they spend all their time learning to pitch- but they don’t throw ALL day EVERY day, right? It would seem like they would have ample time on off-days and light throwing days to get in some extra time in the cage or take more BP. That’s not the same as facing live, in-game pitching, but still, it would have to help. And it could make the difference between getting pulled from a close game and staying in, so there’s definitely some self-interest reasons why they would make the effort. Clearly hitting a baseball is incredibly difficult, so it’s not just a matter of a few more cuts in BP, but the impression I get is that once pitchers get into the minors they essentially abandon all efforts to work on their hitting, with the organization’s approval. I’ve never understood this very well.

  109. If I were betting I would say that we’ll extend an offer to Tex before we do to Andruw. I have a feeling that we didn’t give up Salty w/o the plan to try and extend Tex.

  110. I think it’s more of not playing everyday and bein able to get in a groove. I bet there are quite a few pitchers who could hit about .240 if they had a chance to play everyday.

    And yeah you’re right they don’t spend all that much time on hitting.

  111. JoshQ, I agree with you here. I’m not totally sure what the front office has in mind, but I would not mind at all if we dedicated our primary offers to extend Tex rather than give Andruw a new deal. If, for no other reason, Tex is in the front-end of the prime of his career and Andruw is, by all examples, on a the downward side.

  112. Well, if you don’t want a DH, just skip the pitcher’s spot in the lineup.

    Having the pitcher hit adds an additional layer of complexity that makes the National League the better game. As Alex has said, the DH allows the AL manager to sit there like a lump and make pitching changes. Do you pinch hit for your pitcher if you’ve got a rally going and dip into your bullpen a little early? Do you walk the other teams eight hitter at any sign of trouble or do you try to preserve the advantage of having the pitcher lead off the next inning? There are lots more.

    These are decisions that AL managers never have to make and they make the NL the more interesting game. Saying that pitchers can’t hit so we shouldn’t make, them is shortsighted, and indicates that you may not understand the game as well as you think you do.

  113. I’m sure we’ll TRY to extend Tex, but I’m not too convinced we’ll succeed. JS hasn’t had much luck extending the contracts of soon-to-be free agents, particularly not Boras clients. (Remember the Maddux situation?)

  114. Phillip Wellman would be hilarious as the Braves Manager. I could see him being our Bobby Valentine.

    Plus, if we could get Bob Wickman to stick around, they could play tricks on fans as to which one is really signing an autograph since the 2 are identical in looks & build.

    In all seriousness, TP or Yost are the natural choices. Or Freddi Gonzalez?

    Re: the DH

    Robert, well said. That sums up many of our feelings on why the NL is better and a harder league.

    Look, Bobby Cox has had great success in both leagues so he’s proven himself. But Joe Torre was never as successful with the Braves and Cardinals like he was in NY with an insane payroll and the DH.

    I like Joe Torre, he’s a class act, I respect him and think he’s solid as a Manager…but not one of the great ones because he never achieved really big success in the much harder NL.

  115. Alex R. @ 165. I’m pretty sure I just read all of your posts and say; “Yep, that’s about right.” I’m tired of agreeing with you, do something crazy.

  116. Wickman could be close to 240, but I didn’t think he was 6’1.” He looks shorter than that to me.

  117. Alex R,

    It wasn’t that depressing; I had a good time. My favorite part was seeing a guy wearing a phillies jersey walk into the bathroom (which is just 6 urinals in a closet) and hearing someone holler, “nice jersey!” I looked over and saw a grungy phillies fan, and i started thinking about how i have no respect for the phillies. As i was thinking this to myself a little kid about 9 years old screamed, “the phillies suck!” and his dad smiled and said “yeah, that’s my boy.”

    There were tons of people wearing gear from teams other than the nationals. It seemed baseball fans gear up before games, because they want to see baseball, but don’t want to be confused as a nats fan.

    I think I saw one rockies fan at the game.

  118. Ethan,

    Yates is 3 inches taller, so it might be plausible. Wickman needs to birth that baby though, he must have be having triplets.

    Corky Miller…6’1 245?

  119. SpiralStairs,

    Yeah, it’s pretty annoying. And it’s especially destructive when ESPN changes Sunday games to night games and then that team has to play on a different coast the next night, like happened to us last week. That’s when it’s truly awful, and if MLB cared the slightest bit about their players, they would refuse to change games like that to 8 p.m.

    I must say though, it could be worse. If you’ll indulge me referencing hockey for a moment, one of the biggest Thrashers games of the year was supposed to be on national TV, but NBC decided they didn’t want it like a week beforehand and dropped it and the game wound up not being on TV at all. So at least we all still get to see it. And now you people who watch games on MLB.TV can watch it, so there’s that, too, I guess. But it does kind of suck for fans trying to attend the game, I agree Spiral.

  120. This is from Wickman’s bio “Was UWW’s first Major Leaguer…Was an all-conference designated hitter and pitcher at UWW in 1990 and had his jersey #20 retired by the school”

    -Even our closer could hit in college. That goes to the point of how they never practice hitting.

  121. I’d love to see Bobby V as the next Braves manager! That guy’s always good for laughs… and he’s a pretty good manager too. Not too many gaijin win like he has in Japan.

  122. Corky Miller…6′1 245?

    In Richmond he looked every bit of 245. He also wore a Manny Ramirez style jersey.

  123. It will be interesting to see how Pendleton reacts if Dayton Moore offers him the Royals job.

    It appears pretty certain that Bobby’s making ’08 his last season. Does TP take the Royals job so he can finally be a MGR, or does he roll the dice, wait until next season, and hopes that he gets the Braves job–which is obviously a superior job on every level.

    It will be an interesting dilemma for Terry, should Moore offer him KC.

  124. Having been 6’0″ and 240 at times in my life I can say with certainty there is no way Wickman is within 60 pounds of 240. 340 I might believe.

  125. In addition to the manager position, who do ya’ll like as the next GM? Does Frank Wren take over?

    I wouldn’t mind giving DePodesta a second chance.

  126. Alex R.,

    TP will not get the braves job. He should take the Royals job.

  127. Artist,

    Whether you like TP or not, he’s already been listed regularly as one of the 2 or 3 people most likely to get consideration for the job, after Bobby retires.

  128. And why wouldn’t TP get the Braves job? Please explain.

    As far as GM I think Frank Wren does take over…Podesta deserves a 2nd chance with someone.

  129. I think when JS leaves, the Braves will go for as much continuity as humanly possible and promote Frank Wren to take over as GM. It’s probably the safest and smartest decision.

  130. If you believe that then i’m sorry. Many people in the braves organization feel he wouldn’t be a good manager. MANY

    I’ve heard from people that he is lazy and has trouble communicating with players.

  131. Oh and Tony, it has nothing to do with race, just throwing that out there b/c i figured it was coming from you.

  132. Ron,

    I agree, myself being 6’4 or 6’5 and 220 I think Yates is probably more in the 250 or 260 range. Regardless, those are some “hefty” boys.

  133. Frank Wren is a good choice, but i bet they offer it to Dayton first. Especially now that he has some experience running a club.

    I would take TP as a manager, but Bobby’s managing tree has gotten pretty big. They have a lot of choices. I’d probably rank him third after Gonzalez or Yost.

  134. Wait, someone may have already pointed this ESPN story out, but you gotta be FRAKKING kidding me:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070801/tv_nm/espn_dc_1

    They should call it, “Bobby V: Crazy Like a Fox!”

    or, “Bobby V: Chaotica”

    or maybe, “Bobby V: Tokyo Drift”

    Or speaking of honoring Japanese Baseball, how about “Bobby V: Mr. Baseball!” (You could have it narrated by Tom Selleck).

    Seriously, I throw it out to the Braves Journal crew…I would love to hear what all of you would title a “bobby V” documentary. Let’s have a contest.

  135. I actually think with the increased payroll that Liberty has given JS, I would also not be surprised if JS and BC put retirement on hold for an extra year or two.

    A lot of the retirement talk for both had more to do with not wanting to put up with those penny pinching pieaces of garbage at AOL Time Warner anymore.

    If Liberty is going to end up being solid ownership (as it would appear now), that maybe keeps Cox and JS an extra few years.

  136. My personal opinion on Pendleton, is he would in fact make a better Manager than he does currently a hitting coach.

    A manager, as Cox has shown, mostly has to be a good delegator, have an even keeled and easy going personality & be able to rely on his coaches. I actually think Pendleton is the most like Cox in terms of personality (Fredi & Yost are more fiery) so in the role of MGR, it’s not a bad move to go w/ Pendleton.

  137. Ethan, I think you are right. They would probably offer Dayton first.

    I don’t know how I feel about TP managing, but I wouldn’t rule out Eddie Perez, that’s for sure.

  138. “V for Vantastic: The Legend of Bobby Valentine”

    “Bobby’s World: How Bobby Valentine Transformed Japanese Baseball”

    “V as in Me: Bobby Valentine and the Sport He Loves Almost As Much As Himself”

    “Moonlight and Valentine: Bobby V in the Land of the Rising Sun”

  139. “V for Vantasic” – like “V for Vendetta”?

    You could have Bobby in a long, dark robe and mask and Natalie Portman could hang around. Fun.

    How about, “Valentine’s Day: Bobby writes a love letter to Japanese Baseball!”

  140. I think there is a soft spot for TP though…b/c Bream and TP are mainly responsible for turning the franchise around.

  141. Sid Bream responsible for turning franchise around? I think there were many other players that did more then Bream.

  142. I like our chances to make up some more ground this weekend. We’ve got the top of the rotation going against COL, and the Mets have to play at Chicago where the Cubbies are feeling good about getting to first place (not to mention seeing Zambrano, Lilly and Marquis).

    Couple that with the series against the Phils and Mets next week and it will be interesting to see where we sit at the end of next week. Great time to have the momentum. Hopefully Jo-Jo has it going tonight.

    Do you think they’ll skip him in the rotation (have Carlyle lead off Tuesday followed by Smoltz) with the off day to get Hudson in the Mets series?

  143. I’m still recovering from “V for Vantastic,” AAR. Well done.

    I hate to say it, but I think Unknown has a point about TP. I think we’ve seen several instances over the last couple years where he really hasn’t reached out enough to a player as hitting coach. Andruw is the most obvious example, although I’m pretty sure Andruw is just as much to blame for that as TP is, in that case. But really, isn’t it TP’s job? I’ve seen instances where Andruw goes over and tries to talk to TP in the dugout and TP just acts uninterested. I’m sure Andruw is a pain in the ass and TP is fed up with thim, but just to completely give up on a guy is unacceptable IMO.

    I’m pretty certain that I do not want him as manager. If we’re staying within the family as it were, I guess my choice would be Yost, but I may have to change that to Gonzalez by the time we get to that point. Not a large enough sample size to pick him yet, though.

    As far as GM goes, I don’t really know. I think there have been at least two assistant GMs that JS has spun off, if I’m not mistaken, but I forget who the one other than Moore was. With GM though, I would guess that we would just give the job to the assistant GM at the time, who would now be Wren. However, if we don’t do that, I think we’re just as likely to go find someone entirely different for that position as we are to keep it within the family.

  144. Actually, with Carlyle maybe semi-injured, I’m guessing we’d me more likely to skip his spot instead of Jo-Jo’s.

  145. I’m indifferent on the DH. I don’t love it, but I definitely don’t hate it the way some of you guys do. One defense of the DH: Chipper Jones would probably play 150 games a year. Another defense: it gives a player pretty much a day of rest, but you still get his bat 4-5 times in that “day of rest.” You could DH Diaz and play Harris in LF, and we would be a lot better. Actually, I’m more in favor of the DH than I am against it, so I guess I’m not THAT indifferent.

    I also don’t hate the idea of Woodward being on the roster as much as some of you guys are. A player like Woodward is very useful. Sure he can’t hit, but he rarely hits anyway in the grand scheme of things. He can play the entire INF, and his presence allows Harris and Escobar to both play, and not be afraid to PH KJ and vice versa with KJ playing and not being afraid to PH with Escobar. Could we have someone better than Woodward fulfill the role of utility infielder? Sure, but his presence makes managing easier, and he does have a useful role.

  146. Clemens just gave up 8 runs to the White Sox in the second inning. Another $1m start down the toilet — that’s worth a smile on my face! Then again, I guess the Yankees can put 10 or 12 on the board pretty easy the way they’ve been playing.

  147. I do much prefer the NL rules to the DH, but having been around college baseball for the last couple years, I’ve kind of gotten used to the DH, I guess, so I don’t break out in hives at the very mention of it like I did a few years ago.

    However, with that said, if they were to change the rules so that the NL had the DH, I would be be monumentally pissed.

  148. That’s funny—I thought it was the guys who signed and managed Bream and Pendleton that were mosyly responsible for the turnaround.

    Rob Cope,

    You’re dead to me. Yes, the DH makes for a more potent lineup, but the point is that it takes a lot of the strategy (read: fun) out of the game.

  149. I coach a middle school baseball team, and i am a little ashamed to say that I…I…Have used the DH. It just makes it easier to get all the kids on the field and in no way do i advocate the use of the DH at any level beyond highschool or MAYBE college. Once you start getting paid to play it takes away the “gotta get everyone in the game” excuse and it eliminates any and all usefulness of the DH

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