Waiting for something to happen

As you know by now, Hampton’s hurt himself again. Can’t the Braves do something about this? Pay him some money upfront to retire? Have him deported to Thailand? Anything?

Open thread.

218 thoughts on “Waiting for something to happen”

  1. They can offer him straight to the Twins for Johann Santana. If they don’t jump a that deal….then they are fools.

  2. Hampton’s a major disappointment, but like Glavine, if the Braves can get 200 league-average innings out of him, it’s worth it.

    Really. That’s all we need.

    If we can just play .500 ball with 3-5 in our rotation, we’re set. This is still a young potent offense with McCann off Lasik surgery seeing better than ever, Teixeira in a contract season, Kelly Johnson producing a good OBP, a full season of Yutility, Chipper, and Francoeur. Whatever we get in center will be better than we got last year, and we have a couple in the Willie Harris/Scott Thorman/Matt Diaz mold off the bench. Add that to a dynamic bullpen and all you want is .500 3-5 in the rotation. With Glavine you’ll meander a little above .500, your fives will always be under .500, and you hope James/Hampton/whoever can just be average. That’s all you need. Anything better is gravy.
    —————–

    As for ‘Bama 2008 schedule, Georgia looks like a “pretty tough to win game.” Tennessee and LSU are winnable, but in both Bama will be underdogs. Arkansas is a toss-up as Fayetteville’s really a tough place to play. Kentucky, who knows. Ole Miss, eh, they won’t be that bad next year. Mississippi State will be well improved, as they have been every year for about the last 5. Auburn, eh, who knows. Saban in year two, at least right now, looks closer to 4-4 in league play than most would like to accept.

  3. If Hampton makes 5-10 starts right now, I’ll be impressed. In a way, I hope Wren notices and DL’s him for all of next season. Then go ahead and get that 40-60% insurance money and trade for a more reliable starter.

  4. ..I just purchased my “Honk If You Beat Saban” bumper sticker, to arrive just in time for Christmas.

  5. As for ‘Bama 2008 schedule,

    08/30 Western Kentucky
    09/06 Tulane
    09/20 at Arkansas
    09/27 at Georgia
    10/04 Kentucky
    10/11 UTEP
    10/18 Ole Miss
    10/25 at Tennessee
    11/01 Northern Illinois
    11/08 Mississippi State
    11/15 at LSU
    11/29 Auburn

    Western Kentucky, Tulane, UTEP, Northern Illinois and eight home games! It’s SEC-tastic! At least Auburn has the balls to play at West Virgina along with their three cupcakes.

    Embarrassing.

  6. schedule is weak, but take out Western Kentucky and add Clemson and it looks a lot different. However, its embarrassing right now

  7. My bad, I guess UTEP backed out due to the Mike Price factor. Apparently they are trying to get Clemson as a replacement as neutral site game. I’ll believe it when I see it. At least they are working outside of their Sunbelt conference comfort zone.

  8. I thought we ended the AU/UA stuff 3 threads ago…
    But of course, I’ll disagree with Wryn’s analysis of our 08 schedule, since there’s nothing else newsworthy to talk about.
    The way I see it, every team but UGA next year has the potential to be worse than this year. UK loses Woodson and Little, and it’s at home, so I don’t see us losing that. We beat UT with Ainge this year, so I don’t see them being better losing him next year. Arkansas will be going through a coaching change, loses DMac, and still has Casey Dick, so that’s an immediate advantage. It’s not that tough a place to play–we had them beat there last year before Leigh Tiffin forgot to make extra points.
    Ole Miss, in Tuscaloosa, plus Houston Nutt? I like those odds. State, in Tuscaloosa, after losing 2 in a row? Revenge game. AU, in Tuscaloosa, with a new QB and no Quentin Groves, minus the cancers from this team who quit after the LSU game? Advantage.
    LSU loses everyone–take away Flynn, Doucet, Dorsey, Hightower, and Steltz, and they just don’t seem as intimidating.
    We’ll be playing 75% freshmen/sophs next year, so there will be growing pains, but winning just the home games is 8, and I think we can steal 1-2 on the road.

  9. Two words: Louisiana-Monroe. For that matter, we lost to NIU a few years ago.

    I know it’s all about money but it seems like such a shame to waste all these games on patsies. The season is short enough already. I wouldn’t trade USC’s anyone-anywhere mentality for anything even if it does affect the W/L record.

    Unfortunately with nine conference games and Notre Dame locked in, SC only gets to schedule two games a season. Next year is at Virgina and home to Ohio State. No complaints here even if we do lose one.

  10. Bleeding inside the muscle is much less severe than outside – I just hope the thing isn’t torn..

  11. Meanwhile, Troy’s 2008 schedule includes @ LSU, @ Ohio State, @ Oklahoma State..

    This just in – no way in heck I’d play Troy. They’re a really really good mid-major in this sport

  12. Just told an Arkansas fan they will regret losing Nutt in five years, and he had nothing to say.

  13. I’m guessing the injury’s severe. After all, it’s Mike Hampton we’re talk about here! The man is in jeopardy with every sneeze.

  14. Many have hoped all along that nobody in the organization was counting on Hampton. Which is why it seemed curious that Wren said they were done with the rotation after acquiring Glavine. I really like the other options we have waiting in the wings. But I sure would prefer for them to get another year under their belts before we have to count on them.

  15. someone on Tide Sports just posted that they heard on Jox Sports that Pellini will be named Nebraska’s new head coach in the next few hours

    take it for what its worth….

  16. Hey Robert,
    Wanna see a schedule? Try this one on for size.

    Georgia’s ’08 Sked

    Georgia Southern
    Cent. Michigan
    @ South Carolina
    @ Arizona St.
    Alabama
    Tennessee
    Vanderbilt
    @ LSU
    Florida (@ Jax)
    @ Kentucky
    @ Auburn
    Georgia Tech
    SEC Championship (if nec.)

    Yes, that could turn out to be as many as 10 games vs. bowl-eligible teams from ’07, and yes, most of those schools are in the Southeastern Conference. But don’t hold that against the Dogs—they gotta play 8 of ’em each year. It’s tough any way you slice it.

  17. #16 – sounds like it probably has a tear, not completely torn. This will follow him all season Im guessing

  18. #22 – I think thats been in place for a while now. Nutt wouldnt have turned down an extension without something else in place

  19. RE: (#2) Hampton’s a major disappointment, but like Glavine, if the Braves can get 200 league-average innings out of him, it’s worth it.

    It’ll be a miracle if the Braves get 100 innings of any sort out of Hampton, much less 200 league average innings. Counting on Hampton to do anything other than keep the DL warm is folly. Thankfully 2008 will be the last time we have to endure Hampton’s series of injuries.

  20. Between Glavine and Hampton, most of you guys should get one of those G.W. Bush “Optimistic Guy Goes To Work” rugs. Then you should suffocate yourself with it, because if you think 2008 Glavine + 2008 Hampton = 400 innings * 4.30 ERA, you likely already have brain damage.

  21. Hey Robert,
    Wanna see a schedule? Try this one on for size.

    Yeah I like Georgia. The word out here is that Georgia and Tennessee are the only SEC teams that will even consider a trip to the West. I could do without the two warmup games but I realize you gotta pay the bills.

  22. I really do think that 100IP from Hampton would be just fine. Maybe he’ll be healthy enough to come on strong in the second half. Lord knows he’s rested enough.

  23. Buster Olney makes some sense in his piece about the possible availability of Haren and Blanton. I’m just afraid to know which prospects it would cost us.

  24. I think UGA owes a game in Stillwater since OSU came to Athens this year. When Georgia was looking for a west coast game a couple of years ago I heard they inquired with Oklahoma, SoCal, and Arizona State about a home-and-home series. Only Arizona State stepped up and agreed on a deal.

    Georgia or Florida will win the SEC next year. I think Tennessee will miss Ainge more than people expect.

  25. Robert,
    When you play a schedule like that, you’re allowed to play 2 non-conf stepovers.

    Personally, I’d love to play Clemson & Georgia Tech each year, too.

    The intersectional games are fun (I’ve seen UGA play UCLA & BYU) and I like playing them, but again, I’d rather play a genuine rival like Clemson. I would never think that just because we don’t play Colorado or Boise St. or Arizona State or Oregon or Oklahoma State or Louisville every year (schools we’ve picked up recently) we’re missing something.

    It’s not keeping me up nights. Our league is plenty hard.

  26. I would never think that just because we don’t play Colorado or Boise St. or Arizona State or Oregon or Oklahoma State or Louisville every year (schools we’ve picked up recently) we’re missing something.

    Well, you are missing two games out of a 12 game schedule. But if you don’t care why should I?

    It’s a different mentality out here.

  27. UGA still owes home games to Ok. St. and Colorado (in addition to next year’s trip to ASU). I’m glad to see the program stepping up to take on some big intersectional games in addition to Tech and the itermittent Clemson series.

  28. I guess Auburn wasn’t playing on the west coast when they played at USC in 02…

    Sorry about that, I mean now. Auburn and Arkansas both made the journey – let’s just say neither are real anxious for a return visit.

  29. @ 28

    I agree, I mean seriously how have we upgraded the weakest link from last year, aka, the roation?

    1.) Signed Glavine
    2.) Deported Cromier to Iran (no?, dang!)
    3.) Given Davies to KC
    4.) Pushed Redman out the door
    5.) Acquired a starter who probably needs at least one more year in the minors.

    Again, how is this better than last year? If were expecting Glavine to come back and be a 15-20 game winner with a sub 4.00 ERA then were foolin’ ourselves. God forbid if something happens to Smoltz/Hudson were screwed, b/c then Glavine is #2, and James becomes #3 with a combonation of Jurrjens, Bennett, Cormier, or Reyes being the #4-#5. Yeah, that’ll stack up real freakin’ well…..We need another starter!

    Rant done…thanks for reading….

  30. It’s tough to argue playing 7 mediocre teams and 3 bowl-eligible teams against playing 8 bowl-eligible teams with 2 easy games. No team in the Pac-10 can touch UGA’s schedule next year. There’s no sense arguing it.

  31. 38

    In LA we only lost by 7, on a QB sneak by Carson Palmer with about a minute to go. That was a good ballgame, their return trip was not.

    Can we sell Hampton’s bat or something, or at least take his hitting ability and combine it with Chuck’s speed and we’d have a servicable offensive pitcher

  32. Johnny W., we’ve debated the Davies thing to death–how’d he do last year at KC?
    And please tell me you’re not implying that dumping Redman was a BAD thing…
    Glavine won 13 games last year with a sub-4 ERA in NY, so expecting 15-20 wins from him this year, when he’s comfortable and relaxed with less pressure in Atlanta isn’t unreasonable. We’d have made the playoffs last year with that.

  33. Except for the waste of payroll, I’d almost be happier if Hampton doesn’t pitch for the Braves again. It’d be a lot more valuable to let Reyes or Jurrjens learn to pitch at the major league level in the 5th starter slot, and they’d probably pitch better than Mike too.

  34. Name one Pac 10 schedule that is more difficult

    Why try? You will see SEC names on Georgia’s sched, Pac10 names on my example and conclude I’m wrong. I’ve learned long ago that it’s pointless to do the SEC homer dance.

    The Pac10 always schedules. Look at what Washington tried this year, nine conference games plus Ohio State, Boise State, and Hawaii. Ridiculous. No wonder the conference had a tough time filling it’s bowl slots. Swap that OOC schedule with Alabama and suddenly the Huskies are bowling.

    Didn’t really mean to start this whole thing again. Let’s dump on Hampton some more.

  35. Hampton…. Ugg. Dunno what we’d do with all the insurance money we’d get from him. ‘Course, by the time we get it, it’ll be past time that we can make a useful move.

    Anyhow, Glavine will give us 180+ innings. Prolly over 200. That right there cuts our rotation difficulties in half: instead of filling two spots with mediocrity, we’ll just be filling one. No one expects a sub-4.00 ERA. More like sub-5.00. And considering all he’d need to do to be an improvement over last year is sub-6.00, I think we’ll be fine. Bust mostly it’s just getting those damn innings pitched by a starter and not the bullpen that’ll be the biggest improvement.

  36. Glavine will improve the rotation because James was so bad and the 4 and 5 spots were terrible.

    I don’t know where people are getting the idea that people who support the Glavine signing think that he’ll win 15-20 games with a sub-4.00 ERA. He’ll probably win 10-15 games with a 4.00-4.50 ERA. That’ll be just great. Johnny W., obviously you realize that the Braves’ end of the rotation was putrid. Glavine at 42 years of age will surely be better than Cormier, Reyes, Davies and Redman were last season.

    Chuck James was 11-10 with a 4.24 ERA (100 ERA+). He really wasn’t THAT bad; he just couldn’t go past the sixth inning and he loooooooved to give up that gopher ball. 18 of his 30 starts were less than six innings. In seven starts, he gave up two or more homers.

    It could have been MUCH worse with him. Hell, if I was a betting man, I’d say he’ll improve next year, only because I think that’s his “bottoming out”.

    In conclusion, yes, the Braves DID improve their rotation, if only slightly.

  37. Cary,

    … you know something. If Prior could be signed to an incentive-laden contract, that wouldn’t be such a bad risk. His value is probably REALLY low and it wouldn’t take much to get him. He’d hardly have any money leverage because he didn’t pitch at all in 2007.

    Prior, to me, is actually a decent risk. He’s a better risk than Tanyon Sturtze, anyway.

  38. He’s a better risk than Tanyon Sturtze, anyway.

    For whom, including every single person who gathers here at Braves Journal, can this not be said?

  39. Sam,

    I’m in. I signed Prior to a long-term contract in a sim league because he was so inexpensive. Worth the risk.

    I don’t know what the Cubs would want back in trade though–probably more than is warranted. *sigh*

  40. South Carolina (USC) 2008 non-conference schedule:

    v. NC State
    v. Wofford
    v. UAB
    at Clemson

    Not bad. NC State should be improved next year. I wish they wouldn’t play I-AA teams, but I suppose there is some pressure to play some of the small in-state schools.

  41. Glavine is an improvement of the 4-5 slots from last year. If Hampton ever pitches for the Braves at all, it should be considered a gift. I’d like them to pick up another starter, but Smoltz, Hudson, Glavine, James, JJ is potentially pretty good.

  42. I think that’s how it’s going to be.

    I actually want Bennett to be the fifth starter first so that Jurrjens can get some more experience at Richmond.

  43. Sam,

    I’m saying your standard shouldn’t be, “He’s a better risk than Tanyon Sturtze,” because anyone is a better risk than Tanyon Sturtze.

  44. Ooooooooh, I gotcha.

    Well, in my defense, I was just kind of throwing it out there as a joke. I think it’s worth the risk to see if Prior can get his talent back, but I don’t know how much it would cost.

  45. I am pretty sure I detected an implied attack aimed in my direction there as well Stu. just back off will ya?!!

  46. And, hey, Alabama played a home-at-home with UCLA in 2000 & 2001, then played Oklahoma in 2002 & 2003, with Hawaii in 2002, 2003 & 2006 (they’re at least as good as a mid-level PAC 10 team).

    There was also a series with Penn State that was supposed to begin in 2005 or 2006 and was mutually agreed to be pushed back until 2010/2011 because of our probation weakness and Penn State’s suckiness earlier this decade as well.

    Then Florida State this year and possibly Clemson next year and an upcoming series with Georgia Tech.

    The weak schedules of the 2004-2007 period are a direct result of back-to-back NCAA probation.

  47. Robert,
    The SEC is the toughest conference because it has the best players. That’s not an opinion, that’s a fact. Ask the NFL, which has a unique way of sorting such things.

    So playing an SEC schedule plus two tougher non-conf opponents & two easier opponents suits me fine. You can worry about the travesty of us playing Central Michigan & I’ll worry about the reality of playing LSU, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, etc.

    And now, I’m off to your neck of the woods. Left-Coast bound…

  48. Let’s see how USCal’s schedule holds up once the NCAA thoroughly investigates the Reggie Bush scandal and slams them with probat… hahahahaha…okay, okay, I know that’s never happening, that the very notion is laughable. They’re not an SEC team, so nothing will come of it.

    Reminds me of the story of Cheaty McSweatervest & Maurice Clarrett. Scott free. Right.

  49. I like it like this:

    With Hampton: Smoltz/Hudson/Glavine/Hampton/James

    Without: Smoltz/Hudson/Glavine/James/Reyes

    The only thing I’ll budge on is maybe Jurrjens over Reyes. We’ll see in spring training.

  50. Well, rather than just count the number of SEC players in the league, you may have to check the percentages of SEC players at each NFL position.

    For example there are a lot more offensive lineman positions per team than there are QB positions. So if 15% of NFL offensive lineman are from the SEC, that would constitute more players than if the Pac-10 had 30% of all QB positions for example.

    it could just be that the SEC produces better players at a particular position on average rather than overall. I don’t pretend to have any clue.

  51. quick research: in 2006, 266 opening day roster players in the NFL came from SEC schools, 247 from ACC, 236 from Big Ten, Pac 10 with 184. That isn’t that large of a difference.

    The SEC has 12 schools, ACC 12, Big Ten 11(!), Pac Ten 10.

    SEC is not THAT far ahead of the pack in terms of NFL caliber talent.

  52. Well, that comes out to about 4 players per team between SEC and PAC 10. I think that’s a big difference.

  53. @ 42, 49

    No, thank all that is holy we did get rid of Davies/Redman when we did! Completely agree, but my point is, as one of you stated, we improved “slightly.” Is that going to be enough to get us past the Mets/Phillies? IMO, I’d rather have one more gun b/c we are relying on two 40+ year old arms, improvments from James, and whatever we can get out of the 5 slot. Hudson is solid, I’d just like to see us add one more for insurance…..

  54. Right. Thats the difference between 1st and 4th place. I agree that SEC is the toughest conference. I just don’t agree with using a cursory glance at NFL players former schools as conclusive proof. I am certain it’s something worth looking into, but in more detail than raw numbers.

    Things like avg length of careers for players from each conference. The NFL may draft a lot of SEC players each year, only to have few of them stay in the league perhaps. Also my point about position ratios.

    266/12 = 22.166 SEC
    236/11 = 21.45 Big10

    If all conferences are essentially equal, but the SEC dominates offensive lineman, that could be enough to cause the difference of 1 player per team between the conferences. That wouldn’t be enough to conclude the SEC is the best conference in my opinion, only that the SEC has the best offensive lines.

  55. @ 68

    If Hampton puts on his cleats without hurting himself maybe we’ll see in spring training!! haha. I wouldn’t bet on it!

  56. per Les Miles…

    “I like to talk about what we are and not what we lost,” Miles said. “I look at a team that hasn’t lost a game in regulation. There has not been a team that has beaten us in 60 minutes.”

    “I didn’t have a great Friday,” Miles said. “On Saturday, I didn’t spit the bit real quick. Then, I looked at all those other nationally ranked teams Saturday. It helped me watching those teams. I looked at who they played and who they lost to. It helped me a lot.”

    “If we had ties like the old system, we’d be unbeaten with two ties,” Miles said. “Maybe, that comes out to one loss.”

    Did you follow any of that? This guy is an idiot

  57. Either James or Reyes, whichever one makes the Pirates pee their pants….both seem to be the same pitcher as Mac and a few others on here have suggested.

  58. Just to illustrate my point in a way most of you can appreciate.

    # of NFL players from each SEC school opening day of 2006:

    Tennessee (40)
    UGA (39)
    Florida (35)
    LSU (31)
    Auburn (27)

    It’s all pretty equal, but would anyone pick Tennessee as the SEC’s strongest program over the past 10 years? 5 years? 2 years?

  59. “I look at a team that hasn’t lost a game in regulation. There has not been a team that has beaten us in 60 minutes.”

    Makes sense to me and is perfectly true. LSU has never been losing at the end of regulation. Which other top ranked teams can say that?

  60. To bad he has to play until one team loses. They havent beaten every team in regulation either, so they’re not undeafeted in that sense either

  61. Dix,
    I wouldn’t argue Tennessee has been the best SEC team in the last five years, but in the last 10-15 years, yeah you could make a good case. Tennessee and Florida were easily the strongest teams in the SEC from the mid-90’s to (for Tennessee) 2004.

  62. And the fact that Florida has fewer NFL players than UT, in my opinion, just shows that Spurrier was a better coach than Fulmer. All those system QBs and small, fast WRs who were stars at Florida never made it in the pros.

  63. Fair enough, I’m just saying that you wouldn’t want to look at the raw numbers of NFL starters and conclude that TN’s program has been twice as good as Auburns or anything like that.

  64. I’m pretty much on Robert’s side here – not that the PAC 10 is better, I don’t think it is overall, but that most teams don’t schedule non-conference games the way PAC-10 schools do. To be honest, when healthy, I think this year’s PAC-10 is as good as the SEC is at the top. But whatever, all of it is an absolutely pointless conversation because there is no playoff.

    And I’m also with Dix: you have to look beyond absolute numbers. Anyone well schooled in statistics, and it seems that there are a few folks on this board who are, understands that.

    In fact, judging a team based on how many NFL players it produces is a ridiculous way to judge whether a college team is good or not. Where I live, in Madison, the Badgers often don’t get the same kind of athletes that a top-flight SEC program does – the kind of guys who make it to the NFL – but they do get enough Joe Thomas-like guys to play on the O-line, combined with good coaching a few other nice players at skill positions, to be competitive. Wisconsin beat Arkansas last year, and lost to Auburn and Georgia in recent memory; all were extremely close games. Whether or not they were better or worse than the SEC teams can hardly be determined by who ends up with the most players in the NFL.

  65. Johnny W.,

    Apparently, that’s not going to happen, at least according to public statements. If there are no further improvements, we’re just going to have to live with it and see what the next season brings.

    No team is flawless.

  66. @82 – If so, I don’t think it’s worth it. Snell has yet to put together a complete season… he was absolutely horrendous during the second half last year. I’d be much more interested in packaging prospects for a Haren, if he’s available, than for a guy like Snell. And I also think Lillibridge is gonna play a big role next year.

  67. If there are no further improvements, we’re just going to have to live with it and see what the next season brings.

    Well, no kidding. That’s a truism. This obviously isn’t in our control. Nothing Braves-related ever is. Do we stop listing preferences and voicing complaints? The blogosphere would disappear.

    No team is flawless.

    Does that mean the Braves should just throw their hands up and quit since they can’t achieve perfection? Why spend any money? We’ll still have flaws.

    Sam, I don’t think you’re saying anything that isn’t already known by everyone here. If you don’t want to discuss things like who would make good additions, who should get less playing time, etc., I’m not sure what you’re looking to get out of a forum like this.

  68. I was saying in comparsion to the Mets and Phillies. Obviously I should be more clear.

    It is true that I don’t get out as much out of this forum as I used to.

    At this point, almost everything that anyone suggests seems to be a pipe dream to me. Almost everything. Maybe I need to take a break from here for a while.

  69. I love the pipe dreams. I don’t see why you’d have a problem reading ideas, however fanciful. And I don’t think each fanciful idea requires a Sam Reality Check.

  70. No, seriously, help me understand why they irritate you. I’m not asking you to just keep your mouth shut.

  71. if you dont like the pipe dreams ignore them, thats what I do. Or just try and change the subject to something you want to talk about

  72. Ha, I wasn’t even saying a pipe dream (Hampton for Santana, Hampton for Santana!!) but all I am suggesting is another starter….I hope its a ploy by Wren to say we aren’t interested in order to throw whoever he is dealing with (Beane? Huntington?) off, but like Sam said its probably the rotation we have going into the season. Sucks, b/c Glavine would look much better slotted in the #4 hole with Haren (or someone of that class) above him at #3, but again, we’ll see what happens.

  73. Stu,

    (I’m not picking on particular people here, of course) The Ian Snell ones really made me snap after a while. It was the last one that did it: James and Lillibridge. Again, not picking on the person who first suggested it, but the concept of trading Lillibdrige and a starter back to the Pirates for a starter so all we end up with is an unhealthy Mike Gonzalez for LaRoche really drove me over the edge. It made me decide I just can’t take it anymore.

    I was able to tolerate the Haren and Blanton ones. I once even thought it was plausible to try to trade James in a good package for Blanton, but at some point, I just thought “what can we REALISTICALLY get?” and I turned off to the notion of pipe dream, at least for a while, this off-season.

    That’s my explanation. It might be illogical, it might be stupid, but that’s what happened.

  74. well Sam, there is a bright side to the Roach trade. We now have Tex and wouldnt have if Roachy was still here.

  75. How bout James and Lillibridge to the Pirates for Snell and Laroche then if it makes you feel better Sam.

  76. csg,

    True, but we also have that uncertainty about him taking the Yankees’ money and leaving after 2008.

    I’m willing to deal with that.

    What ultimately bugs me, and I’m sure it bugs everyone here, is the fact that we have no idea if Wren is planning to make another trade for a pitcher or not.

    I’ve thought of a situation I could accept for the rotation (without Hampton): Bennett as the fifth starter with Jurrjens getting time in Richmond. I DO wish it was improved. I’m just convinced that it isn’t going to be with Snell or Gorzelanny (considering the Pirates’ new GM seems to be pretty smart), and Blanton or Haren (it’d take more than we have to get him).

  77. but the concept of trading Lillibdrige and a starter back to the Pirates for a starter

    You’re ignoring the fact that you acquire a better starter pitcher in Snell with a far higher ceiling for Chuck “Two Pitch Gopher Ball” James and a good but not great prospect in Lillibridge.

    Ian Snell threw 208 innings of 116 ERA+ ball and is 25 years old. You are sadly mistaken if you think Chuck James and Brett Lillibridge are worth more than that.

  78. And what makes you think the Pirates will take a bad starter and their “good” prospect for arguably their best starter?

    This is why pipe dreams get me angry. I’m done with this one. No more.

  79. Also, I think Zach Duke’s a better target — the Bucs’ coaches clearly messed up his mechanics, and the Pirates are going to want to get rid of him before he washes out. If there’s any chance we could fix him, he could be worth taking a chance.

  80. Oh, that’s what you’re upset about. Gotcha.

    And I know the Pirates wouldn’t do that deal, I said so upthread.

  81. Maybe I should read closer. I missed that completely.

    I feel better now. :)

    AAR,

    Mmmmmmm… that might be a good idea, but he is another left-hander. It’d be that old “three lefties” thing.

  82. Also, Chuck James isn’t chopped liver. He threw 118 innings of 118 ERA+ ball at age 24; at that age, Snell threw 186 innings of 96 ERA+ ball. He’s almost the exact same age as Snell (he’s actually 10 days younger) and in his minor league career had a better K rate and better K/BB.

    Yeah, Snell’s the better pitcher right now, but it’s not incontrovertible, and he’s on a terrible team with a history of screwing up pitching prospects. If I’m the Pirates, I’d figure out how to maximize the value of people like Snell, Gorzelanny, Maholm, and Duke, and if I can’t make them the nucleus of a good team within the next 3-5 years I’d sell them high to an organization stocked at the low minors, like the Braves.

    Let’s not unilaterally declare baseball topics out of bounds, okay? It’s not like any of these people are Carl Crawford. The Pirates have a history of trading their players, which the Devil Rays don’t have, and the Braves have a recent trading history with them. Huntington’s a wild card, but he doesn’t have any incentive to be tight-fisted. His incentive is to stock a criminally underutilized minor league system so that he can build a half-decent major league team, something they haven’t had in 15 years.

  83. These rotations were suggested earlier:

    With Hampton: Smoltz/Hudson/Glavine/Hampton/James
    Without: Smoltz/Hudson/Glavine/James/Reyes

    I don’t know about you guys, but I really think that would be a BAD idea. We CANNOT have 3 similar lefties throwing back to back to back – just CAN’T. Think about how many three game series they would be taking all on their lonesome – no different looks for the opposition. Just a bad idea. I would think something like this:

    With Hampton: Hudson/Glavine/Smoltz/James/Hampton
    Without: Hudson/Glavine/Smoltz/James/Reyes

    To me, Hudson and Smoltz are interchangeable, but I like Smoltz in the 3 spot to give him more rest. He is our best pitcher and we need him in the playoffs (don’t want what happened 3 years ago when his arm fell off in the postseason)

  84. You would think having two years off to heal his arm that Hampton would at least have got his legs in decent shape. I’ve had sympathy for him until now and I still have hopes he comes back but you would think he’d be in better shape.

  85. #105 – the pirates pitching coach sais it was his goal this offseason to get Duke’s mechanics fixed properly

  86. Anyone that thought Hampton would be healthy were as delusional as Alabama fans. Oh wait, many Braves fans are Alabama fans, so I digress.

  87. I will never understand why people want to trade Chuck James.

    Chuck James had a WHIP of 1.21 in the second half last year with a pretty decent K/BB ratio and K/9 inning rate.

    Sure, he gave up a lot of homers, but he’s a 25 year old without much mileage on his arm who costs virtually nothing. He had a spectacular minor league track record and there’s an excellent chance his endurance will improve. After all, last year was his first full year in the majors…and he was league average.

  88. RE: Snell lovers (from buccoblog)

    “My thought has always been Snell is an 80-pitch, two-pitch pitcher and he’s been very, very lucky. I would take the position he’s at his high value point right now and deal him expecting a package of two to three solid young core players, at least one being a lower level young gun power arm.”

  89. I don’t see why everyone is down on James to the point that they’d trade him and a promising SS prospect (who is like 3 months seasoning from MLB-ready with the bat and is already there with the glove) for another pitcher who is about the same age and doesn’t have much less service time.

    Sure, I’ll take Snell straight up, but unless James is worse than he was last year (and I doubt that’ll be the case), we’ll have a guy who pitches LEAGUE-AVERAGE ball (or better) as our #4 or #5. How is that in any way a problem? Why give up a top-teir prospect and your best trading chip to address a non-problem?

  90. I’m generally pro-Chuck, but the one thing that concerns me is that I really do suspect that he’s dumb, and not just ordinary-baseball-player dumb. I’m afraid that he can’t learn the things he needs to to improve as a pitcher. That said, I think you give him a chance to learn from Glavine. Heck, for five years I was convinced Smoltz was too dumb to improve.

  91. Turns out he’s just too dumb to know the difference between homosexuality and bestiality.

    thankyouverymuch

  92. Has anyone ever heard Boog work college basketball before? He’s pretty good, but I could just be hungry for a Braves telecast.

  93. Sciambi is a damn good broadcaster. It’s a shame he’s always going to be shackled to the dead weight that is Joe Simpson; I’d love to hear him call a game partnered with Skip sometime.

  94. Nah, I don’t think he’s excessively dumb. The guy at Talking Chop interviewed him and he gave answers that I enjoyed hearing. He just has a really southern accent.

  95. The Hot Stove without pipe dreams….well that would be tough.

    Anyway, if the Braves are going to get another starter (and CF)they will almost certainly have to trade some good prospects.

    I don’t understand the fear of trading Lillibridge–he is solid prospect with a high K rate. I think that he will be a big league regular–but it is by no means a certainty. I would be happy to trade him as part of a package to bring in one more quality starter….

  96. sansho,

    That sounds like a good story re Chuck. What’s it about?

    The problem I have with James, more than his gopher balls and so forth, is what bothers a lot of people here and that is what seems to be his lack of baseball intelligence. A finesse pitcher just can’t afford to not know who he is pitching against. Maybe Smoltz could (but he doesn’t) but not James. And it offends me that someone that, even now, makes more than 95% of the US population takes his profession so cavalierly. Hopefully, Glavine can have the same effect on Chuck that Roger Clemens apparently had on Curt Schilling.

    I think the Braves are caught in the situation that most mid-market teams are; to what extent do you try to win now and sacrifice prospects? It’s a delicate balance. In the National League, much more than in the American, it’s fairly easy to make a quick jump but this can be a dangerous narcotic because focus on quick fixes which get you to a certain point but may retard the overall development of the team. In general, the Braves have been outstanding in knowing when to trade prospects. Personally, I’m much more concerned about 2009 and beyond than I am about this year; given the inability to develop pitchers over the last several years, I am really concerned about what happens when Smoltz eventually leaves.

  97. #128, I disagree. The Braves already committed to winning now by trading a fistful of prospects for Tex and signing Glavine. If they could get a top notch starter for more prospects, then they would do it (they may on the other hand consider Jurrjens to already fill that need). They are focused on winning it all in 2008 and will worry about the future afterwards. The Braves have an outstanding track record of finding talented young position players in the draft, so they aren’t terribly worried about their minor league system going bare.

  98. @ #80…

    I think the fact that UT has more pros in the league seems to show that the Tennessee coaching staff is doing less with more. If I am a UT fan (and while I am from TN, I am not a diehard Vol fan), I am not really thrilled with that stat. I want to know why my college team didn’t perform better with all of those future pros. Living here, watching all the games, reading all the articles, being friends with dyed-in-the-wool UT fans, it is my personal opinion that Fulmer is one of the most overrated coaches in the country. He’s a pretty good coach. However, I don’t think that’s good enough for a program like Tennessee. A program like that needs a great coach, and I just don’t think he’s great.

  99. Fulmer’s not a good coach, but he’s an outstanding recruiter. I don’t think Tennessee can afford to lose him.

    I do think the coaching staff needs to be shaken up, though. Larry Slade is terrible. He’s never been better than terrible. Not sure why he’s had a job at all. Also, I think it might be time to get rid of Chavis. His system (tiny ‘backers who fly to the ball) is great when he’s got 2 monster DTs eating up space in the middle, but it’s not that easy to find 2 of those at a time, and when they aren’t there, the defense is exposed, as it has been this year. Just my 2 cents.

  100. Fulmer isnt a bad coach, he’s just not a good one either. He is probably one of tyhe best overall recruiters in the game

  101. And I don’t think Tennessee recruits itself. And it’s not like there’s sufficient in-state talent to get by against the other SEC powers.

  102. mlb rumors….

    Melky Cabrera could be dealt independent and regardless of a Johan Santana deal. The Braves may be interested; the Yanks would then move Johnny Damon back to center.

  103. Depending on who we’d have to give up, I would be completely in favor of acquiring Cabrera. I’m of course skeptical as to the truth of that rumor.

  104. I agree that Fulmer does seem to be an excellent recruiter. Do you think his recruiting will be affected negatively in the future if he doesn’t start running the currently popular Urban Meyer-type spread offense? It seems like high school kids want to go play in those offenses, and I know a lot of UT fans around here that feel that it’s going to be hard to recruit some of the most talented kids because they want to go play in a more “fun” offense.

  105. Maybe the “athletes,” those kids that don’t have a defined position coming out of high school—kids like Percy Harvin or Derrick Williams—would relish playing in the “fun” system, but it seems to me that pure WRs and especially pure RBs (who don’t do much, stats-wise, in an Urban Meyer offense) would still be interested in a more traditional offense.

    Of course, Brent Vinson chose UT last year, and he’s one of those athletes.

  106. To be a devil’s advocate, maybe the fact that UT has so many NFL players despite not winning as many games shows that Fulmer is actually coaching them up; ie, maybe he is making them NFL caliber players. I have no idea and I agree that seems unlikely but I’m not sure you can simply correlate the number of players that eventually go to the NFL from a program to how many games that program should have won. For one things, some positions are more important than others; for another, the NFL often looks at “tools” rather than actual performance. Some guys simply mature at different stages. I’m not saying Fulmer is a great coach–I don’t see enough UT games to have any idea–but it doesn’t seem quite fair to say that the only factor in winning in college is how many guys eventually are drafted by the NFL. And, clearly, Tennessee is not as rich in high school talent as Georgia or Florida. On the other hand, Fulmer had Peyton Manning and Spurrier had Shane Mathews, et.al, so maybe that does suggest something about relative coaching ability.

  107. Im for getting Melky, but the Yanks price would be too high. He could hold down CF for a season and then move him to a corner position.

  108. Marc,

    You sort of contradict yourself. Is it that Fulmer coaches the guys up or that they have the “tools” NFL scouts look for? You can’t coach up tools.

    I agree that the raw numbers listed above don’t constitute a fool-proof, end-all-be-all way to measure SEC coaches’ ability. Still, I think, given the number of NFL-quality talents that have obviously been through the UT program, fans are justified in questioning whether these athletes are being fully utilized by Fulmer and his staff.

  109. Definig wheter Fulmer is good or not is relative. Is he good compared to Richt, Meyer, or Saban? No, probably not, but there are not many coaches that can come in and be better than him.

    I personally think that one of the biggest problems that Fulmer has had to deal with is Richt coming in, and taking over the state of Georgia as far as recruiting goes.

  110. I think its funny that Hampton’s last two injuries have been during BP and during Rehab stints. You would think a pitcher would hurt his hammy running the bases or something and would hurt him arm while pitching, but not our guy

  111. I don’t think we need to get Melky Cabrera. He’s overvalued because he’s a Yankee, where he’s a fan favorite because he’s not overpaid. He’s a rushed prospect who hasn’t ever hit much in the minors or the majors, whose main asset is his age relative to league. Some of those guys pan out, some don’t, but odds are he still won’t hit much in 2008. Schafer’s a better prospect, a little younger, and will probably be a better hitter.

    He may play okay defense, and would be fine if we can get him on the cheap, but I wouldn’t pay too much for him.

  112. actually, what if the twins got him in the santana deal and then wanted to spin him to us for lilli?

    would you do that?

    a straight up melky for lilli deal?

    i think the twins would CONSIDER it; it seems like lilli is a twins-type player.

  113. AAR,

    I agree, Melky Cabrera would seem to be a player you would pickup for a long term solution. I still think the Braves are looking to get a “Woodward” type veteran CF. I still think Schafer is going to be manning CF by the end of next season.

  114. Here’s an interesting point. Well, interesting to me. Three of Cabrera’s top six most-similar players (Max Carey, Harry Heilmann, and Roberto Clemente) are in the Hall of Fame. Of course, his most-similar player is Sixto Lezcano.

  115. Mac,

    Isn’t that a little misleading with respect to Cabrera since Clemente’s first few years weren’t that special? It’s sort of like saying Francouer hit more home runs his first year than Bonds did in his first year.

    Stu,

    Good point about contradicting myself. I was just pointing out that there is no necessary correlation between having players that eventually make it to the NFL and winning in college. But the point about guys having tools better than their performance would obviously be an indictment of coaching.

  116. #17

    Troy also soundly defeated La-Monroe and Oklahoma State this season- two teams that Bama has lost to in the past year. Troy also averaged 30 points against Florida, UGA, and Arkansas.

    A Troy-Bama bowl matchup would be fantastic but the Bama folks would never let it happen.

  117. I’d throw the first dart at Wren if he trades Lilli’ for Cabrera. Its much more valuable to have a solid hitting/fielding shortstop than an average outfielder, especially when our sytem is stocked with high profile outfielders.

  118. I would not hesitate to trade Lillibridge for Cabrera–who I don’t think is overrated. The player that is overated here is Lillibridge–he has a high strikeout rate and at this point is an unproven minor league prospect.

    The Braves will never get to make such a deal….

  119. I’d rather just use Lillibridge in CF than trade him for Cabrera. Brent has more upside offensively and would probably be better defensively too after a short adjustment period. Cabrera isn’t much if any of an upgrade over Lillibridge, Anderson, or Shaefer in CF, so I’m at a loss why anybody would think the Braves would want to trade for him. If they’re willing to trade Lillibridge, they can convert him into a far better player than Melky Cabrera.

  120. #153, high strikeout rates don’t mean a whole lot by themselves (see also: Ryan Howard). I’ll grant you the unproven prospect part about Lillibridge, but if Brent can come close to what he was doing in Richmond in the majors, then even with the strikeouts he’ll be a far superior player to Cabrera.

  121. Why would the Yankees want Lillibridge, who appears to be near ready for the majors? The Yankees are set at third and second, and I don’t see Jeter leaving short unless his arm falls off when he does one of his spinning jump things to throw the ball to first.

  122. I don’t want Melky Cabrera at all.

    Giving up Lillibridge for him is borderline insane. Wren has said repeatedly he only wants a short-term solution too so as not to block Jordan Schafer.

  123. Wryn’s “Mark ‘Em Down” Predictions:

    Les Miles to Michigan – DONE DEAL
    Bo Pelini to Nebraska – DONE DEAL

    Tuberville signs 7-year extension at Auburn – DONE DEAL

    Terry Bowden to SMU – 80% sure

    More to come later – my guesses are Will Muschamp to LSU, Paul Johnson to Georgia Tech.. no clue on Arkansas yet.

  124. Melky certainly has an interesting list of comps; basically, other than Clemente (and to some extent, Heilmann), they’re all guys who didn’t hit a ton but played in hitting-depressed eras. Melky doesn’t hit a ton but plays in a hitting-heavy era.

    My understanding of similarity scores is that they do not correct for park and era factors; am I wrong?

    I could certainly see Melky turning into Chet Lemon, a guy who was good for about 15 homers and 70 RBI a year, but that’s not as useful these days as it was during the 1980s.

  125. Fulmer is a good caoch, the problem at UT is the coaches that are on staff. Outside of Trooper Taylor, Cutcliffe, and Chavis, the position coaches really are subpar. Fulmer is too loyal to guys that don’t produce like they should.

  126. Part of the Mets’ introduction to Billy Wagner two years ago was a warning. “I’m blunt,” he told them. And he suggested if candor were upsetting, the club might be better off looking elsewhere for a relief pitcher. Undaunted, the Mets pursued Wagner, and now, in the middle of their four-year contract with him, they have a full-disclosure closer.

    “Someone asked me what I thought of our team,” Wagner said in an interview with MLB.com. “I said, ‘What team?’ We’ve lost 13 games [Glavine’s victory total], and now we are going have to give up something to get those games back. I’m afraid we’re just going to create other holes if we give up a [Lastings] Milledge, a [Mike] Pelfrey or a Heilman.”

    Wagner said: “I’m trying to be positive. I’m saying we have some good players. But I’m worried. The Braves are getting better, and the Phillies made a move [acquiring Brad Lidge]. We’ve brought back some people, and that’s good. But losing Tom is big. It’s a lot more than the 13 games he won. It’s what he did for John Maine and Oliver Perez and how professional he was. People want to focus on one bad game or just the day-to-day stats. I do that myself when I read about football. By I’m involved in this, and I know how important [Glavine] was. We don’t have him, and we don’t even get to the last game with a chance. He was one of the few leaders we had.

  127. We already have several guys JUST like Melkey Cabrerra. I hope that talk is just some sporswriter making crap up.

  128. I don’t think you can blame Fulmer’s position coaches or most position coaches for that matter. Earlier in the year people were calling for John Eason’s head because the Georgia wide receivers were dropping balls. Now that Sean Bailey and Mo Massaquoi are catching bombs each week I don’t here anyone praising Eason. The players are making plays. The talent level is so high and the gap is closing between the traditional top and bottom teams that it makes winning tougher each week. I don’t think Eason knows any better catching or route running drills than the UT receivers coach.

  129. I still say Lilli’ can be a far better player than Cabrera if given the chance. Why not use him as an insurance infielder this year, backing up Yunel/KJ with either Prado/Aybar behind Chipper at 3rd. Lilli’ could be our Chone Figgins and having someone with that sorta versitility is far more valuable than a Melkey Cabrera.

  130. Hate King,

    I think you can. For years Tennessee players were going to the NFL and possition coaches there would talk about how they were shocked by the lack of fundamentals and they would depend on their talent. This was biggest amonst WR’s, that is why Fulmer was forced to fire Pat Washington.

  131. All coaches in the NFL will be better than college coaches. It’s the highest level of competitive football!

  132. If the position coaches are bad, isn’t that the head coach’s responsibility?

    Wagner’s moaning about losing Glavine isn’t likely to be too popular with Mets fans. And it does seem a bit early to be complaining that the team isn’t doing anything. Sometimes, however, a team can wait too long trying to make the big score rather than making incremental moves like the Braves have done.

  133. Smitty, any news from your barber? I just realized that I’ve really been missing multiteam trade rumors, and other than the idea of a Twins-Oakland-Yankees trade featuring Santana, Haren, and assorted Yankees prospects, I haven’t heard anything in months.

  134. If NFL coaches are so great why is that coaches like Bill Callahan, Dave Wannstedt, and Chan Gailey are so mediocre at the college level? What people do not understand is the differences between the two levels of play. Of course players are going to be better in the NFL, they have more practice time and more time to develop physically and mentally.

  135. Kenny those guys all had nondescript pro coaching careers as well. I also don’t agree that all NFL coaches are better than college coaches.

  136. Bill Walsh started out as a college coach, as did Jimmy Johnson, of course. George Seifert won two Super Bowls and he was an unsuccessful college coach.

  137. Wryn, I agree with most of those. However, LSU doesnt lose Les Miles and make Muschamp his replacement. They will get a big name in return

  138. “I still say Lilli’ can be a far better player than Cabrera if given the chance.”

    could be a whole lot worse also

  139. Non-Braves trade, but reportedly near completion and still interesting..

    Minnesota Twins may trade SP-Matt Garza, SS-Jason Bartlett & RP-Juan Rincon

    for

    Tampa Bay Rays OF-Delmon Young, 2B/SS-Brendan Harris & OF-Jason Pridie

  140. Garza is still a terrific prospect. Last year, as a 23-year-old, he had a 3.69 ERA, 67 K/32 BB in 83 IP. Garza/Young is a pretty even swap considering Minny’s pitching depth and Tampa’s outfield depth. But the rest of the package going south is garbage, while Harris instantly becomes the Twins’ best infielder and Pridie might still have a shot.

  141. Garza for Delmon’s an interesting trade.

    The spare parts I don’t understand, though. Jason Bartlett’s the reincarnation of Kevin Stocker, and Juan Rincon is looking like the latest victim of arm-fall-off syndrome. On the other hand, while Pridie and Harris could be interesting, their minor league numbers aren’t spectacular, and Harris is getting a little old. If you figure that Pridie and Harris will turn into useful major league pieces — not a bad guess in Pridie’s case — then the Twins probably come out ahead. But Garza’s a real, real good pitcher, and Delmon’s got what you’d call “questionable makeup.”

    Maybe the D-Rays just wanted to trade him before he killed his own value.

  142. At first glance I like the trade more for the Twins. Why don’t they trade Crawford? Could they get more starting pitching help for him than Delmon Young?

  143. That’s kinda the way I saw it, Stu.

    The Rays rationale has to be that they have a lot of depth in the OF and are desperate for MLB-ready pitching.

    Garza’s nice and all, but I don’t think this deal is necessary. I actually really like Tampa’s upcoming minor league pichers (Jacob McGee, David Price, Jeff Niemann, Jeremy Hellickson, etc.) and think they should just wait it out and hold on to Delmon.

    They must be damn high on Garza if they pull the trigger on this one. Pridie’s not a bad player either and Harris is a good utility guy.

  144. Somehow the Rays(no longer Devils) will screw this deal up and demand for more from the Twins, and end up not making a helpful trade for the 7th or 8th year in a row.

  145. If the Rays hold onto Delmon, they can see how their young pitching shakes out and, if necessary, still deal him for pitching later (next offseason, next year or two).

    You only do this deal now if you think Garza’s on the verge of breaking out in a big way.

  146. Sickels has three ex-Braves’ prospects rated in the Rangers top 10 (Andrus, Harrison, and Max Ramirez).

  147. I like the deal from both sides. The Rays have 3 fantastic young pitchers (Kazmir, Shields, Garza) with more on the way and Young was not without his issues. Makeup and horrendous plate discipline being the biggest ones. Plus, Bartlett fills a need for the Rays too.

    That being said, the fact that I have to find faults with Young and build up Garza could mean that the Twins have a slight advantage but I applaud the Rays for making the move. Elijah dukes quick descent could have something to do with this deal as well, with the Rays hoping to avoid Dukes 2.0.

  148. The Yankees would never deal Melky for Lillibridge. How are folks evaluating talent here? This is based on, what, all the times you’ve watched Lillibridge play? As it often happens, the minor leaguer who has no major league experience gets overvalued. At this point, Lillibridge is an asset, not a major leaguer. He could be a fine major league shortstop, he could be a bust. Nobody will really know until he plays. But as of right now, he’s not going to play on the Braves full-time, so if the opportunity comes along to get a cheap, decent CF – which isn’t happening, by the way; think Coco Crisp, not Melky Cabrera, in this market – you grab it.

    @191 – I can’t wait to see him pitch!

  149. its a decent deal for the Rays actually. garza is one of the premierre pitching prospects in teh game, and Bartlett is an above average defensive SS, and decent hitter too. The Rays had the second worst defence in the ML ( guess who was first ), and this helps them there. Plus they had the worst bullpen, and Rincon is going to help them with that.
    Harris was expendable with Longoria due up. And they have big time OF logjam. Dukes, Gomes, Baldelli, Ruggiano are going to be competing for the RF spot. Its a win-win trade really, though Delmon is a steep price to pay.

  150. @ 183

    Hellickson could be something, although he reminded me of a Roy Ozwalt in terms of frame and windup. Not saying he is or anything, but when I worked for the d-rays minor league team he seemed to be a quiet, business first type of guy, ala Ozwalt. The Rays could have something here in a few years.

  151. Tony La Russa just pleaded guilty to another DUI.

    Put this guy on the list with Leonard Little and Raffy Furcal. DUIs are unacceptable, and being a repeat offender — especially after having managed a guy who died as a result of a DUI — is frankly a firing offense. I doubt the Cardinals will get rid of him over this, but if they don’t, it will be reprehensible.

    I didn’t think it was possible, but I actually dislike Tony more now.

  152. I’m with you on it too – at least for baseball reasons. I wouldn’t want him managing my team.

  153. this isnt exciting news

    Dealing strengths: Even after sending a number of top prospects to Texas in exchange for Teixeira last season, the Braves still believe they have a very fertile farm system. With eight legit candidates in place to assume the five starting rotation spots, they could comfortably deal one of their younger Minor League hurlers in an attempt to fill an immediate need.

  154. Why isn’t that exciting news? At least it shows Wren is willing to deal some pieces to get what he needs.

  155. one more and I’m done

    Horacio Ramirez is another nontender candidate after contributing 98 innings and a 7.16 ERA in exchange for Seattle’s $2.65 million investment.

    HA HA HA, we traded just this guy for Soriano. Thank you JS

  156. its not like we have a stock pile of minor league key word “hurlers” and if we have some I would like to keep them around. Our only immediate need is CF and they say Anderson and Schafer are MLB ready defensively.

  157. I have been pretty slammed with the baby the last few days, but Cary emailed me and reminded me I shouild comment about Tony LaRussa’s DUI, so here goes.

    He shouild be in jail. It’s not just that he has a “hateable face” and that he’s a complete prick, but as Cary correctly pointed out, how do you have a pitcher on your team die of an alcohol related death, and then as the team leader, you go out and get arrested for this crime.

    Tony LaRussa should spend time in prison. And then they shouild tack on extra days just because it’s Tony.

  158. That makes me think we’ll see a Gathright for Reyes or DeJesus for James trade. If we’re willing to part with an SP, KC really needs a number 3, we really need a CF, and Moore’s been a great trade partner so far.

  159. Larussa would probably get the “84 Minute Lindsay Lohan Sentence” for that. Florida’s legal system is a joke.

  160. Regarding some earlier things I saw in this thread:

    re: NCAA Football Schedules

    There’s only one team in 2007 that’s in the top 20 of the BCS that should be thoroughly embarrassed by their non-conference schedule and that’s Kansas.

    In fact, I woiuld argue that Kansas’ schedule is so horrificly bad, that there needs to be an official rule set into place that if you play 4 non-conference games, you are REQUIRED (to qualify for a shot at the BCS title game) to play 2 against teams from the 6 major BCS conferences – end of story.

    (and yes, even if it’s Duke and Ole Miss if you’re Kansas, that still qualifies).

    The bottomline is it makes a joke of the entire process and gives coaches like fat Mangino the excuse to do this again and again.

    The NCAA must put this into rule to stop people from only scheduling the Florida Internationals and the Central Michigans, otherwise, what incentive is there for my Dawgs to say play Oklahoma State this year or Arizona State next year?

    re: Chuck James

    Here’s the bottomline on the James argument and why I wouldn’t mind whatsoever seeing him traded – he couldn’t get out of the 5th inning.

    Even when he was dazzling the first 4-5 innings, he was godawful in the 6th and he taxed the bullpen tremendously in his starts. Maybe he can build stamina with a better offseason workout program but who knows.

    Glavine may have been awful in a few starts, but he was quality in the vast majority and that’s what this team needs a lot more.

  161. JoeyT, I dont think I’d trade James or Reyes straight up for Gathright. I’d do Reyes for DeJesus in a heart beat. I’d like to hold on to Chucky, Glavine isnt going to be here forever, and Hampton, well, he’s just a walking DL trip. Chucky is a servicable lefty starter, who has enjoyed sucess at the Major League level.

  162. As promised:

    My barber says the Braves are in a three way with

    ATL: gets Kotsay, Lenny DiNardo and Juan Uribe
    A’s gets: Mike McDougal and Chuck James
    Chi gets: Jose Garcia, Brian Pena, and Lerew

  163. I know that Smitty’s scenarios may not be 100% guaranteed, but I see some validity in Pena and Lerew being traded somewhere for someone (we may take less than what they’re worth). Pena has done okay offensively as a backup catcher, but it looks like the Braves have decided his defense is unacceptable. I think the Braves organization (especially Bobby Cox) soured on Lerew after he seemed to try to hide an injury. I will be surprised if we ever see much of either of them in a Braves MLB uniform.

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