Andruw, a postmortem

Well, he’s not dead.

Atlanta Braves Batting Leaders – Baseball-Reference.com

Assuming that he never plays for the Braves again (he could come back at the end of his career, for example, or something crazy could happen), Andruw finishes on the franchise career list at:

Sixth in games played
Eighth in at-bats and plate appearances
Seventh in runs
Eighth in hits
Fifth in total bases
Fourth in doubles
Fifth in home runs
Fifth in RBI
Sixth in walks
Second in strikeouts
Fifth runs created
Fourth in extra-base hits
Sixth in times on base
Second in hit by pitch

He’s the fifth-most important position player in franchise history, behind Aaron, Mathews, Chipper, and Murphy, and generally third in Atlanta history in most things.

But he got kind of tubby, so he sucks.

50 thoughts on “Andruw, a postmortem”

  1. Interesting post–I still hate to see Andruw go (not that I disagree with the decision) and I think that Braves fans will miss him more than they realize. No matter where Andruw goes I don’t see him having the same impact upon a franchise as he did on Atlanta….

  2. Well said, the emotional side of me will definitely miss seeing AJ make some of those insane catches in CF. Of course, that being said I don’t think it was a tough decision to let him go. I for wish him the best of luck wherever he goes.

  3. I think a standing ovation is unlikely, braves14. His reasons for leaving Atlanta (big money, big money) and his miserable 2007 season will probably sour a lot of fans.

  4. This may have been covered in previous threads, but what do you all think Andruw’s hatred of cold weather will have to do with him signing with a team? He’d had to wear that robber style mask a lot more often.

  5. Andruw was/is my favorite player. As a kid, he was the first guy I tracked all the way from when he was signed, through the minors, to 2 home runs in Yankee Stadium. Growing up in North Jersey, which is extreme Yankee country, that game was especially huge to me. Later, he eschewed Scott Boras and negotiated a deal with his father. I know Bobby had to reel him in when he was young, that he never became “the player he was supposed to be” and that he completely crapped the bed in his walk year. But I think some of the criticism that the guy played lazy is bullshxt. How can you be lazy and play 155+ games every year?

    I’ll never forget the way he played center field because I’ll never see someone play it like that again. There’s going to be a lot of annoying singles to center next year, and a lot of gap doubles that will make us remember. Offensively he was maddeningly frustrating to watch, because sometimes you just knew he would kill a rally with a strikeout before he even stepped to the plate (and you even knew the pitch and location he’d swing at), and other times you’d sit wide-eyed as he was winning a week’s worth of games by himself. He matured into a leader in the clubhouse, and would hold himself accountable when the team lost. It will be horrible to see him another uniform next year, because I think he’ll have a decent year offensively, and he’ll stabilize someone’s whole outfield.

    John Schuerholz is absolutely doing the right thing, and the Braves won’t be much worse next year for not having Andruw. But I know that there will be more than a few times when I’ll be wishing we still had him out there swallowing base hits.

  6. Geez. I just read through the whole thread on pitching in ’08. Here are some random thoughts based on what I remember reading.

    I am not done with the pitching conversation, so sue me.

    1. Jo-Jo > James, at least in the very near future and going forward. Someone suggested throwing him instead of Chuckie in on the Blanton deal, with some prospects of course. No way.

    2. I would trade Chuckie straight up for Blanton, but I would not offer much more. They are essentially the same pitcher with each having a couple of pluses over the other: James has youth and lefthandedness and Blanton has the fact that he is not Chuck James (oh, and that extra half inning). It would be a ridiculous coup for Beane to get KJ and James for Blanton. Do you think he would take just Renteria?

    By the way, I like the James / Blanton exchange because I really do think we will sign Glavine. We would then potentially have 3 lefties (with James) in our starting rotation and if Reyes is our first replacement…well, that’s just too many southpaws.

    3. I lean towards signing Glavine. He is low risk based on length of contract. We can get him for a year and then jettison him when we need to up the ante to Tex or pick up a FA pitcher when there actually are some to be had.

    4. What about Carlos Silva?

  7. I was suprised by other people numbers…

    Namely Eddie Mathews and Wally Berger.

    Mathews and Hank in the same lineup, then add Joe Adcock to that, for some years, not one I’d like to face if I was pitching.

    And Wally Berger hitting more than twice as many homeruns (38 of the teams 66 homers that year)than the rest of the roster combined in 1930 (his rookie year), in the bigger than huge old Braves Field. Wally could flat out mash.

    Tommy Holmes and Bob Elliot get an honorable mention.

  8. By the way Wally Berger also belted 14 triples, 27 doubles and drove in 119 runs, though the triples are probably mostly due to the ballpark.

    Still, that’s pretty astounding.

  9. I’m sure we will all see many botched plays next year that AJ “most certainly” would have made. Oh well. I reached the acceptance stage a long time ago with that guy. He’s not bad rubbish, but good riddance. We will do better without him.

    Count me in as a tenor in the Tommy G chorus. It’s a low risk move that has big upside for the franchise. Make it happen and then make something else awesome, crazy and totally unexpected happen with the starting rotation. That is what JS is getting paid for. And it’s what he’s good at.

    On a side note, spent the past week in Vegas and got to see Heaven and Hell, which is the Dio era version of Sabbath. Holy Moly, by far the best rock show I’ve seen in years. Pure metal joy.

  10. I’ve liked Andruw ever since he arrived, but the number of championships the Braves have won with him is: 0. As Yankees fans might say about A-rod, we can fail to win championships just fine without him. His offense can be replaced and we can get good enough defense in CF. Getting more starting pitching is a better use of the team’s limited funds for next year.

  11. I think Andruw deserves applause regardless of whom he is playing for. But I think you have to keep his rankings on the all-time Braves list in perspective. First, he played most of his career in a very offense-friendly era–hitting forty or even fifty home runs in 2005 is not the same as hitting them in, say, 1965. Second, the Braves have had some god-awful teams over the years. This isn’t one of the elite franchises in baseball history. Andruw was clearly the best defensive centerfielder in Braves history and probably one of the top 2 or 3 in baseball history, but he was never an elite hitter.

    Having said that, I was disturbed all year by the bashing that went on, not of his performance, but of his character. It seems to me that Andruw always played hard, and especially busted his ass in the outfield, played almost every game despite lots of injuries. People didn’t like his demeanor and prefer someone like Francoeur who shows emotion when he makes an out(by the way, a lot of Mets fans say the same about Beltran)but that’s just Andruw. I’m sure he was as upset as anyone. And Hank Aaron didn’t show a lot of emotion either. People talked about him not listening to TP, especially about going the other way but it’s not that easy to change your style of hitting. And, clearly, the rest of the team had lots of respect for him.

  12. And, clearly, the rest of the team had lots of respect for him.

    A great point that is frequently overlooked by fans, including me.

    I will say that Chipper expressed some frustrations that seemed to be aimed at Andruw earlier this season. However, 1) Chipper always likes to have something to say, and 2) Who wasn’t frustrated with Andruw in 2007?

  13. I assume that list you have is best hitters in Braves history. Otherwise, Glavine, Maddux, and Smoltz have to be on the list somewhere, and I would put them def ahead of Andruw.

  14. url,

    Didn’t know you were a Dio apologist. ;) But then again, that’s a pretty mighty rhythm section, no matter who’s out front.

    FYI-Saw your old guitar player do his solo/band thing last night. A fine effort by the young man.

    And I, too, am rooting for the return of #47. Give us one solid year, Tommy, and take us back to the promised land…

  15. Wow, this would really be the end of an era.

    Also, there’s an article by Ian O’Connor bout how Boras doesn’t have his client’s (ie A-Rod) best interest at heart by “forcing” him to take the most money. This is the kind of idiocy that makes me think most sports writers graduate from YMCA night school. The idea that the player’s agent is supposed to decide what’s in his client’s best interest is so absurd. A-Rod is a grown man; he ought to be able to decide what he wants to do with his life. Is Scott Boras some Svengali that makes these guys do what they don’t want to do? Ball players are stong-willed people who are quite capable of deciding what they think is in their best interest. I doubt that A-Rod needs Scott Boras to act in loco parentis. The quality of sports reporting is so low and the stupidity quotient so high you have to wonder how these guys get jobs.

  16. “Also, there’s an article by Ian O’Connor bout how Boras doesn’t have his client’s (ie A-Rod) best interest at heart by “forcing” him to take the most money.’

    I disagree with this statement in every aspect. Mr O’Conner needs to realize that the players have the final choice where they play. If they want to stay somewhere they can, Boras cant make them go somewhere they dont want to.

  17. how about this potential offseason

    Clemens finally retires
    Torre is Fired
    Posada, Rivera, and Arod all leave the Yanks
    JS steps down
    Andruw leaves the Braves
    anything else?

  18. I’m shocked, quite frankly. I figured he’d step down after next season.

    I gotta say, this hurts. I will really miss John Schuerholz.

  19. wow this offseason could really suck, didn’t see this coming. Even a bigger face of the organization than Andruw, he’ll be sorely missed.

  20. #31 – me too, not quite sure why he would be stepping down right now, I hope its not health related. You have to think the Braves have a very good shot next year.

  21. I suspect he is stepping down because Wren is tired of waiting and they are afraid he will leave if he doesn’t get the job. I bet Wren is getting feelers from other teams and, basically, said, if something doesn’t happen here, I gotta go. So JS knowing that he is going soon anyway moved it up.

    I do think this is a big blow. No matter how promising Wren is, he doesn’t have JS’s experience. I imagine JS will stay around as a senior advisor or something.

  22. I suspect he is stepping down because Wren is tired of waiting and they are afraid he will leave if he doesn’t get the job. I bet Wren is getting feelers from other teams and, basically, said, if something doesn’t happen here, I gotta go. So JS knowing that he is going soon anyway moved it up.

    I highly doubt this. JS doesn’t seem like the sort of man to step down because someone else wants his job. I doubt there is any pressure whatsoever from anyone in the organization—anyone who’s opinion matters, anyway—for JS to step down. I’d be absolutely shocked to learn that this was anything but his own decision.

  23. On Boras

    I also thought Ian O’Connor was way over the top.

    Boras is a lawyer. As such his duty is to represent his client. Therefore, he is obligated to try ot do what is in their best interests. However, if they aren’t incompetent, he is obligated to do what they want.

    But, Boras does control his clients in one way. He will not allow them to take less than top dollar. It was very unusual for him to release Andruw to sign the last deal and then take him back as a client. Boras doesn’t negotiate you back to where you want to go.

    It is a good policy for Boras. That way, he lets prospective clients know what to expect of him. He also (by being absolutely consistent)let’s GM’s know what he will do. GM’s can’t stand on bluff with him. If they want to play then they have to pay.

  24. Remember a few days back when some of you were concerned that Shuerholz might get in the way of resigning Teixeira because of his problems with Boras and I said Shuerholz might not even be the GM when it came time to re-sign Tex? Look who was right? :)

    I wonder if this changes the possibility of Andruw coming back or at least of the Braves making an effort to bring him back.

  25. ububba,

    I do love me some Dio. That little man can still flat out sing. I saw the Sabbath reunion tour with Ozzy years ago and it was kind of pathetic to watch. Ozzy was a mess (forgetting the words to Iron Man, even with a teleprompter) and Bill Ward just couldn’t keep up anymore. Vinny Appice is manning the skins for this tour and totally killed it. As the LV paper said in it’s review of the show, they hit the Palms like an anvil dropped from a 2nd story window.

    So weird about JS potentially leaving. I, too, hope everything is ok. I’m sure Frank Wren will do just fine, but it sure is getting strange in bravesland.

  26. Cliff,

    What do you mean Boras “doesn’t allow them to take less than top dollar?” He has no legal right to prevent them from signing with whom they want. He didn’t have to “release” Andruw to sign. Boras has a fiduciary duty to his client, not the other way around. The fact is, anyone that hires Boras does so because he knows he will get top dollar. Whether the player chooses to accept that or not is his choice.
    His obligation is to do his job not to look after the client’s best interests. The client can determine that. All Boras does is get the best deal possible; it’s up to the player to decide whether that is in his best interest. Is Boras a lawyer–I didn’t think he was.

    As for JS, it wouldn’t be a matter of caving into pressure but I could see JS saying it’s in the best interests of the organization for them not to lose Wren. I’m sure Wren didn’t go in and give them an ultimatum but I’m sure he said, look, John, I have this opportunity and I can’t pass it up unless something is open here. I think JS is the kind of guy that would be selfless enough to voluntarily do this.

  27. Also, I don’t think there is any connection between JS staying and Bobby staying. Why would he leave if he is enjoying managing just because JS is gone. They aren’t tied at the waste. If Bobby still enjoys it, I think he will stay whether JS is here or not.

  28. but I’m sure he said, look, John, I have this opportunity and I can’t pass it up unless something is open here.

    How are you sure of this? I hadn’t even heard that Wren was interviewing elsewhere.

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