Jeff Francoeur

Was Francoeur a better player in 2007 than in 2006? He was a more productive hitter, but it’s almost all batting average, a 33 point rise. His isolated power was down 38 points, due to a redistribution of his extra-base hits; he had the same number as in 2006, 59, but ten homers and all six triples turned into doubles. Struck out three fewer times in ten more plate appearances. So what we have is a small increase in walk rate (29 to 42) and a few more singles. His batting average on balls in play rose by 51 points. So better, or just a little more hit-lucky? I don’t know, but the extra-base hits thing is weird. The walk increase is encouraging, and he hit slightly better in months when he walked more, so maybe he’ll get some positive feedback.

I don’t know if he deserved the Gold Glove, but the Gold Glove standards for corner outfielders are weird anyway since the rules don’t make the voters break it down by position. His range factors aren’t particularly impressive, but I think there are some context illusions there, the same ones that make whoever’s in left field look like a Gold Glover, and his arm is a legitimate weapon.

Had his best year as a basestealer — five of seven successful… I’ve printed his most-similar list before; it’s dominated by power-hitters of the previous generations, like Luzinski and Burroughs. The list is misleading, because those guys generally walked a lot; Sim Scores don’t create a big penalty for differences in walks, because they usually trace other stats. I think his true most-similar hitter is Ellis Valentine, another guy with a big arm, whose best year and last good year was at 25. Hopefully Jeff can overcome that, and it’s an improvement on Tony Armas.

Jeff Francoeur Statistics –

135 thoughts on “Jeff Francoeur”

  1. Mac,

    Do the linnked similarities for “through age” (10 names) differ from the “at age” (two players, Luzinski and Duke Snider) in that the latter is comparing only the one preceding year?

  2. In fairness, Fontaine was close to a nothing prospect. He was very old for A-ball and hit for absolutely no power. I’ve heard people say he compares to Chase Utley, which is true in the way that Juan Pierre compares to Willie Mays. His defense isn’t good enough to stick at SS, his arm isn’t particularly good, his BA wasn’t exceptional, especially considering age-relative-to-level, he’s SB rate was right around 50%…. Heck, even his .288 BA in Rome was helped by a .370 BABIP, which seems particularly high for a guy without much power to speak of. Basically he’s a guy with a really good eye at the plate and no other tool that’s even average. So he wasn’t completely a nothing prospect. But he wasn’t a very exciting one, either.

    As for Frenchy, I’m somewhat excited about him this year given that some prognosticators are saying he’s primed for a breakout. Also, his BABIP last year was closer to his career norms than the .288 he posted in 2006, so I would expect a BA closer to .300 than .265. The power drop was weird, but the SLG is misleading. His XBH rate was similar to last year, so it’s more a function of 10 HRs and 6 triples from last year turning into doubles. As long as he’s knocking around 60 XBH over the course of a year, he’ll be plenty productive.

    So we’ll wait and see. If he turns in .300/.350/.500, this will be a very potent lineup next year.

  3. No, but his stock was falling. John Sickels said he had “a chance to be an Adam Kennedy type” — which would be useful, but to go from Chase Utley to Adam Kennedy in the course of one minor league stop is a pretty serious drop. It’s possible Wren and his people have basically concluded that Fontaine’s power outage is real, which would put him in the category of powerless utility infielder who can’t play shortstop. Aybar, as we all know, is a complete mess.

    If Ridgway becomes a useful lefty, then it’s a defensible deal. Look what Ron Mahay got this offseason!

    Still, I wish Wren wouldn’t trade away all our spare parts on the off chance that one of the guys we got back would be worth a damn.

  4. Francoeur spent last year consciously trying to work on being able to defend the plate on the outside corner and not swinging at just everything.

    His BAPIP partly rose because of this process. A controlled looping line drive swing is going to drop in more often than an uncontrolled hack. Probably ot 51 points worth, but significantly.

    Offensively you are looking at another year of moderate improvement. Like say holding the line on BA, walks increasing by 10 or so, and ISO coming up by 50 points or so (overall, 75 or so OPS points).

  5. That may have been the best we could do with Aybar, but bsed on his Dominican statistics, he looked like he was back.

    And my guess is that Ridgway isout of options (does anybody know) so either he sticks or he is gone.

    I would have gone for a mixed moderate ceiling lower prospect with options. I don’t see how Ridgway is likely to addanything to us this year.

  6. FWIW, Joe Sheehan at BP had an article the other day about Jeff’s “breakout” prospects. I am no longer a subscriber, so I did not see the whole article (just the preview), but figured someone had seen it & could add a comment…

  7. I don’t get these Wren trades. Young-for-old, young-for-old, young-for-old. He’s depleting the farm system for … what? It’s one thing to give up great prospects for a truly great hitter like Tex, but to slowly burn away young players (who are or might become good prospects) for aging replacement level players seems like a bad strategy.

  8. #9:

    Sheehan’s conclusion: “Take a player who has top-tier tools (save speed), who has lots of experience at a young age, and who has clearly improved the biggest hole in his game—that’s a player who projects for a significant leap forward.” He’s not concerned about the drop in HR power because Frenchy’s overall number of extra base hits remained constant.

  9. BP also had a nice article recently on the Braves top prospects. They like the depth of pitching prospects.

  10. #11 – I’d definitely love to see him make that leap (I’m sure everyone on here would!)

    One thing I have been glad to see is that, after some early bull-headedness, he (Jeff) has been willing to put real work into making changes to become a better player.

  11. DOB’s not quite Peanut, but he’s getting closer and closer. Pretty tough to find him criticizing any moves. I visit his blog fairly regularly because he’s generally got the best scoop, but I don’t really value his opinions, and he wastes so much time sarcastically arguing with annoying posters that it almost isn’t worth going there for the scoops.

  12. What the Aybar trade indicates to me is the organization has little to NO faith in Ohman.

    But this trade does not look very good for Wren.

    Again, I’m definitely in the minority on the Kotsay deal, I like it, but overall, this seems like a bad deal and I never liked the Infante/Ohman deal myself, because I liked Ascancio better.

    I think Wren is looking more like Ed Wade these days than Bowden. Bowden just signs pure crap. Wade makes weird deals.

  13. Even if Ridgway turns out to be good, than why even make the Ohman deal? I maybe in the minority, but I saw absolutely nothing to like about Ohman or Infante, but I thought Ascancio showed a lot of promise in 2007.

  14. The odd thing about Francouer and I think one of the reasons he seems to get a lot of two out hits with men on base is that he is able to hit some very tough breaking pitches, often balls, and get them to drop. Pitchers like to try to get guys out with breaking balls with men on base. Unfortunately, his weakness seems to be hard stuff above the belt and I think, in the long run, that’s a pretty significant weakness in the major leagues. I would never throw Frenchy a breaking ball anywhere close to the strike zone if I was pitching. He reminds me of Ron Gant in that way. That’s not so bad–Gant was a productive hitter albeit not a superstar.

    I think his arm is a legitimate asset even if his range isn’t that great. Keeping runners from going first to third on balls hit to right is really important.

    As far as French being willing to change, I don’t think it’s as easy as people seem to think. Same with Andruw. It’s easy to say these guys are (or were)being bullheaded but changing your approach at the big league level has to be incredibly difficult, especially if you are talking about elite athletes that have never really had to make adjustments. That’s really why, IMO, a lot of guys that seem to have great tools and so forth, never can make the jump. At this level, you have to be able to adopt and adjust and it’s not that easy. This is a hell of a hard sport to play.

  15. DOB is Peanut’s brother.

    DOB: Well I like the idea of packaging Smoltz and Chipper in a deal for Tadahito Iguchi, Wilfredo Ledezma, and Randy Wolf. You see this deal gives the Braves a much needed in with the Japaneese market, a lefty in the pen, and a pitcher that has an umpire as a brother. Frank Wren, you sir are a saint. Maybe we can go get a beer before we head to the Nappy Roots show!

    Let’s send this blog off with even more excitement, JOHNNY CASH!

    Johnny Cash, Sunday Morning Coming Down Lyrics
    Looking for Johnny Cash tabs and chords? Browse alphabet (above).

    Artist: Cash Johnny
    Song: Sunday Morning Coming Down
    Album: The Essential Johnny Cash Johnny Cash Sheet Music
    Johnny Cash CDs

    Well, I woke up Sunday morning
    With no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt.
    And the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad,
    So I had one more for dessert.
    Then I fumbled in my closet through my clothes
    And found my cleanest dirty shirt.
    Then I washed my face and combed my hair
    And stumbled down the stairs to meet the day.

    I’d smoked my mind the night before
    With cigarettes and songs I’d been picking.
    But I lit my first and watched a small kid
    Playing with a can that he was kicking.
    Then I walked across the street
    And caught the Sunday smell of someone frying chicken.
    And Lord, it took me back to something that I’d lost
    Somewhere, somehow along the way.

    On a Sunday morning sidewalk,
    I’m wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
    ‘Cause there’s something in a Sunday
    That makes a body feel alone.
    And there’s nothing short a’ dying
    That’s half as lonesome as the sound
    Of the sleeping city sidewalk
    And Sunday morning coming down.

    In the park I saw a daddy
    With a laughing little girl that he was swinging.
    And I stopped beside a Sunday school
    And listened to the songs they were singing.
    Then I headed down the street,
    And somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringing,
    And it echoed through the canyon
    Like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.

    On a Sunday morning sidewalk,
    I’m wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
    ‘Cause there’s something in a Sunday
    That makes a body feel alone.
    And there’s nothing short a’ dying
    That’s half as lonesome as the sound
    Of the sleeping city sidewalk
    And Sunday morning coming down

  16. Marc;
    I’d second your point about Frenchy’s trouble with high cheese, but I have high hopes that he can close that hole. Is he a guess hitter? I can’t explain his proficiency with 2 strikes, but it sure looks like it’s there.

    Someone gave us a trivia question about Dwight Evans early this week and I thought of Frenchy, but now I’m not sure of my comparison. Arms-yes, hitting…not really. I hope Frency is as producive as Dewey Evans over the same length of time.

    I still don’t think we’ve seen Jeff’s best basebll. Can’t wait to see it!

  17. Alex,
    I don’t think Ridgeway has anything to do with Ohman. Ohman’s pretty much guaranteed a spot on this roster; Ridgeway is not. Also, I think Ohman’s a lot better than you’re giving him credit for.

    Career away from Wrigley:
    ERA — 2.32
    WHIP — 1.08
    K/9 — 8.96
    K/BB — 2.66
    HR/9 — 0.53

    Also, in his career, here’s what left-handed hitters have done against him: .196/.294/.319. In other words, he’s turned them into Worse-Than-Scott-Thorman. I still like that trade.

  18. Well, one of the ways a hitter compensates for a weakness is to be more selective and work the count. Even the best hitters have weaknesses. I think that is what Frenchy has to do; learn what pitches he can’t handle and lay off them even if they are strikes. Frankly, I think Frenchy is always going to be overrated because of his looks and demeanor but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a productive player. Kevin, I would take a Dwight Evans career for Frenchy as well. Evans was always underrated because of his low batting averages but it also took him several years to become a productive hitter.

  19. DOB: Well I like the idea of packaging Smoltz and Chipper in a deal for Tadahito Iguchi, Wilfredo Ledezma, and Randy Wolf. You see this deal gives the Braves a much needed in with the Japaneese market, a lefty in the pen, and a pitcher that has an umpire as a brother. Frank Wren, you sir are a saint. Maybe we can go get a beer before we head to the Nappy Roots show!

    I think DOB likes Chipper too much to ever think trading him is a good thing. Though I guess I’m the same way.

    The only deal or rumor I can remember DOB being down on was the LaRoche/Giles for Roberts/Penn rumor last year. He hated that trade.

  20. Just got off shift, and found out about the details of the Aybar trade. &**!#$!@ Wren. I went to work thinking about maybe Edwin Jackson, to find out its Ridgeway…..ugh

  21. amen smitty……………his upside is out of sight and if he only gets a little better(which he will) he’ll be a damn fine player and well worth keeping in a braves uni.

  22. Jackson’s out of options, BTW.

    It’s nuts. Trading two for one and not even getting a major leaguer or a good prospect for the one? Ridgway didn’t even pitch that well in AAA. His ERA is as good as it is because of a low number of hits on balls in play. He struck out a lot of guys but walked over four per nine. The Braves just traded two prospects for a AAA reliever. In other words, the Braves just gave away two prospects.

  23. I doubt there was any way we were going to get Edwin Jackson, seemingly their number 3/4 starter, for a player who had drug problems and didn’t play for a year. What this trade looks like is that they are unsure what Mike Gonzalez the team is going to get come May and would rather have two lefties (excluding Ring who has walk issues) than only one situational lefty.

    Moving Fontaine is a way to let other players who have better skills get his AB’s instead of wasting it on a player the organization feels has hit his peak.

  24. All of this trade activity, and the results, are very strange. I’m not seeing a positive pattern–or even a pattern.

  25. Francoeur has a long way to go to be as good a player as Ron Gant. I don’t even consider Dwight Evans within the realm of possibility.

    This guy I consider the nearly perfect match.

    The Braves just traded two prospects for a AAA reliever. In other words, the Braves just gave away two prospects


  26. As usual we are judging trades before we see their actual impact and I am guilty of it now and have been in the past as well. So having said that I think we should give Wren’s moves some time to see what we have.

    Great call on Kristofferson being the writer of the lyrics for that song. The chorus is strangely and beautifully written.

  27. Kristofferson is very underrated as a musician and songwriter.
    I’m still willing to give Wren the benefit of the doubt, but am also ready to call him stupid at a moment’s notice, depending on what’s next.

  28. That’s a good one. Encarnacion’s Age 25 season illustrates how worthless this type of player becomes when they have a season where the singles aren’t dropping.

  29. Francoeur just turned 24. Based on age expectations, he projects improvement in his primary problem (walk rate) for 6 to 7 years.

    He projects to improve SLG for almost the ssme time.

    We are paying him Major League minimum. He then has three arb years.

    He is not now a problem. He is not now a guaranteed superstar or probably even star. All of this yah yah about how he’s no better than ______ (insert the various names) is just silly.

    Either he improves substantially, improves moderately, improves negligibly, or stalls.

    However, he is way too young for so many to all buy write off.

  30. I am no big Frenchy fan but I think it’s a little early to consign him to worthlessness simply because of comparison to another player. Players don’t all follow the same trajectory; some actually improve. I don’t expect him to be a huge star like some others do but I can see him being a reasonably productive player.

  31. I agree that Francoeur will at least be reasonably productive.
    Also, with all this talk about talking about an extension for Texiera, is it possible that Wren’s wackiness could benefit the Braves, in the short term–in that Wren might throw crazy giant money at Texiera for years to come?

  32. Tony Armas, Juan Encarnacion !? Gross. I like the Luzinski and Valentine comparisons better. So I’m going to act like I never saw JC and Robert’s posts.

    Really I can’t figure Francouer out. Don’t y’all think that patience is something that can be learned?

    Lots of Wren hate here for trading spare parts away. Looking at Aybar’s potential the trade DOES look like a loser for us. But Aybar can only fulfill his potential if he gets to play. His substance abuse problems and the fact that there were a bunch of players ahead of him on the depth chart made him expendable.

  33. Aybar is a prospect? Since when? He’s closer to a guy who could be out of baseball by the end of the year. It looks to me like we gave up a utility infielder who’s a headcase and often injured and a nobody minor leaguer for a respectable left handed reliever. That doesn’t seem like such a bad trade to me.

  34. “Wonder what we could have gotten for a package of Devine, Aybar, Richmond and Fontaine.”

    honestly, probably not much more than we got. I’m not all that upset about the trades. I just dont understand why we’re the ones having to give up the additional prospect. Devine should have gotten us Kotsay by himself, but I bet we got an extra mil or two by throwing in the additional player. After thinking about this last deal, the braves probably knew that Aybar was going to get cut in favor of Lilli and Infante so whats the point. Oh and Fontaine will be easily replaced, not much there. I kind of see what Wren is doing here, kind of that is…

  35. If the Braves were to keep Lillibridge and Infante, that would be a sign that they see Lillibridge as a utility man, not a future regular…

    Aybar: Lockhart, but with a chance of being good.

  36. I want to add that there will be a post on Diaz tomorrow, but then I’m skipping to the pitchers. Eventually I will do a post on Other Outfield Possibilities, but I don’t think Jones or Anderson or Blanco is securely on the roster.

  37. If the Braves were to keep Lillibridge and Infante, that would be a sign that they see Lillibridge as a utility man, not a future regular…

    Or that they’re just employing a poor strategy. I think the Braves like Lillibridge and view him as better than a utility guy, but they may not see the value in letting him get regular ABs at AAA if he’s not the starter in Atlanta.

  38. When Fontaine was drafted someone in the Braves organization said that he reminded them a little of Chase Utley.

    The only thing that Chase Fontaine had in common with Utley was the name Chase. That said, he was a respectable prospect and if Sickels gives a player a C+ who has little experience of High A, it usually means that the player has a decent upside.

    Ridgway is 27 and has 3 unimpressive–if not ugly–appearances in the majors. Aybar for Ridgway might have made sense, but to include Fontaine borders on professional negligence…

  39. Or, as to Lillibridge, that they think he is the only solution for now if Kotsay doesn’t cut it in center and / or if Chipper goes down. Therefore, make him #1 guy off the bench, get him 15 pa’s a week at two or three positions, and then, if somebody goes down, he is ready at the major league level.

    People are saying Ridgway has options. He was drafted in 1999 (out of college, right, because of age 29), after 2003 season was subject to rule 5, then after 2004 was minor league FA if not on 40, then 05, 06, 07.

    I obviously don’t know all of this stuff, but it seems like Ridgway would be out of options.

    But yes, Devine and Aybar together exceeded what Texas gave the Reds for Josh Hamilton.

    I am afraid we will see several more small trades involving “out of options” people that will seem similarly disgusting. Everybody seems to just assume we cave.

  40. Basically, I liked the Renteria move, which seems to have been made 37 years ago, and I’ve been baffled by the strategy ever since. I think that folks who downplay the significance of these past two trades are missing the larger point: it’s not that these two trades are gonna affect the season in any significant way (though I still hold that Kotsay will hurt, and that Aybar could have helped), it’s that they have revealed a poor organizational philosophy that seems to undervalue young talent, over-value ‘veteran’ leadership, and mistake what it takes to win on a limited budget in the future. I see the trades more as a harbinger of what’s to come.

  41. Mac, if Aybar is Lockhart then he’s someone who’s worth giving away, “chance of being good” or no. I think everyone on this board would personally have been willing to pay Schuerholz money if he would have traded Lockhart for a crappy journeyman AAA reliever.

    Here, it looks like Aybar’s “chance of being good,” coupled with the fact that Chase Fontaine has the name equivalent of a baseball face, got us a LEFTY crappy journeyman AAA reliever, which is sort of better.

  42. Cliff,

    I would rather have had the two pitching prospects the Rangers traded for Hamilton than Devine and Aybar.

  43. @59,

    Wasn’t Edinson Volquez a formerly highly regarded high velocity AAA reliever that had been hit hard when up in MLB AND had an injury history? He had, at times, been a highly ranked prospect who had fallen (maybe not as much as Devine). Balance the injuries against the ceiling, and he and Devine look similar to me.

    I don’t know much about the second Ranger prospect, but I thought he was a “Jamie Richmond level” pitcher. That is, chance to make it to MlB, might be a 4 or 5 starter, might be a set up man, but that is ceiling. If he was more than that, that would skew the analysis.

    If my above ramblings are correct, then yes, I think Devine and Aybar is a better package.

  44. Wow, blast from the past. But I hardly think Ridgeway will turn out to be Estradaish…

  45. I would like to take this opportunity to announce that if any of these trades work out in the Braves favor I will of course being taking full credit. I will also be overly obnoxious and continue to write how “I told you so.”

    It should also go be noted I will do the opposite if any or all of these trades do not work out.

  46. #58: It works for me. I hope that picture at least has a chance to work it’s way out of your ‘My Recent Documents’ list before he strikes again.

  47. Can anyone explain this year’s interleague schedule to me?

    After last year I thought I had figured out the pattern, and expected the Braves would play 3 or 4 teams from the AL West, and then have a home-and-home with the Red Sox based on the so-called “natural rivalry” between the two teams.

    But I was just looking at the 2008 schedule and the Braves are playing 4 series against the AL West, and then 1 series at Toronto. Huh? What happened to the Braves-Red Sox “rivalry”?

  48. Cliff,

    Volquez is the once highly regarded starting pitching prospect who was rushed to the big leagues and then sent all the way back to A ball to figure out his mechanics. He went 14-6 this year making it all the way back to Majors from A ball. He could be useful in the Central. The other pitcher in the deal was used mostly as a reliever and is probably no more valuable than Richmond, but certainly more valuable at this time than Aybar. Devine looks like a ROOGY, but that could change. Aybar was most likely going to be released.

  49. @70,

    I suspect that the Red Sox are so popular that lots of teams want to have a home series with them. Since the Braves really aren’t a natural rival with the Red Sox, perhaps MLB just decided to give more different teams a chance to have Red Sox Nation fill their ballpark.

  50. What happened to the Braves-Red Sox “rivalry”?

    Every so often – the last time was in 2003 – the league decides that the Red Sox and Phillies are rivals. In ’03 we got Baltimore in exchange, this time we get Toronto due to the Montreal to Washington move.

    And no it makes no sense, but neither does interleague play.

  51. I’m actually really excited about Jeff Francoeur. Being young and impressionable, I was really happy when Frenchy made the cover of SI, being called “The Natural”. I expect that we sign him to a six year contract, and he becomes a A-Rod/Texeira style free-agent when he turns 30. Next to Chipper, my favorite player.

  52. I know most will disagree, but Frenchy has gotten better and I want him to stay around. Give him an extension before his arb years

  53. Wow guys! I don’t see why people can’t see Frenchy as an much needed part to this team. We can’t expect a team full of Chipper’s. Meaning, we can’t have an absolute star at every position. I’ll take better than average at just about every position. The kid is good, maybe not as good as he was hyped to be (which is probably why everyone always seems to be down on him) – but he is more than good enough. Would you rather have Pat Burrell???

  54. Tex – because of his glove. We haven’t had a solid all-around first baseman for years. And first base is supposed to be a prime power-hitter.

  55. #62 – I just like how everyone in the thread we’re bashing each other back and forth. As always, Mac had to step in.

  56. @79,

    The point is, it’s not clear that Francoeur will be better than average. At least based on his OPS, he has not been. You can’t have a star at every position, but right field is traditionally a position where you have big stars. I agree, however, that it’s pretty silly to treat Francouer as if he is Brad Komminsk.

  57. Does anybody else thing Teixeira signing a one year deal instead of going to arbitration is a good sign that we have a decent shot at giving him a long term contract?

  58. I want to quote from a comment I made in the Millwood/Estrada thread:

    There are salary dumps and salary dumps, though. Teams like the Marlins and Expos dump players all the time, but they usually get good prospects out of it. Maybe they’re not “balanced” trades, but this was ridiculous.

    Scheurholz indicated that the Braves had to trade Millwood and this was the only offer. That may be true, but he didn’t have to trade him immediately. Millwood won’t draw a paycheck for three months. He had plenty of time to find another buyer. I can think of four teams in the AL alone that have problems with pitching depth and could take on Millwood’s salary.

    And even though Estrada had one good year (after a year in the minors) that still holds true. Schuerholz made a salary dump trade when he didn’t have to, when he had over three months before Millwood’s first paycheck. And Wren dealt off Aybar more than two months before he had to make a decision. It’s a little more justified for Wren, in that he couldn’t know Aybar’s value would go up, while if Millwood didn’t blow out his arm his was certain to. Estrada had one good year; the Braves might have gotten something big for Millwood if they’d waited until spring training. The Tigers got three prospects, one of them Nate Robertson, for Mark F-ing Redman three weeks after the Millwood deal.

    I expect that the utility infield spot will be Lillibridge and Prado to open the season, with one of them going down when Infante returns.

  59. FWIW, Ridgeway has two option years left, so odds are he’ll putter around in Richmond until/unless we need another bullpen lefty this year. And I don’t think we will because I expect both Ohman and Ring to be successful enough to stick around until Gonzo comes back, at which point the crappier of the two will be dealt somewhere. Or something like that.

    Also, I think it’ll be good to see Lillibridge at the start of the season to see how he’s doing. We’ll have the option of sending him down and having Infante be the primary backup on the big league club or keep up Lillibridge and have him handle most of the pinch hitting/giving people off days duties.

  60. @62 – good times. I thought it was funny going through the comments that it was a record @ comment #30 (though that number seems low, even for way back then).
    @ 75 – Craig Calcaterra has his own blog now (though I’d assume he could still hang out here – just never see him comment much anymore)

  61. I have not forsaken thee.

    Um, less dramatically, I’ve just been lurkin’ lately. Hard to say why other than there hasn’t been anything so crazy going on with the Braves to make me want to wish for anyone’s death the way I wished for JS’s in that old thread.

    Well, I suppose I could wish for JS’s again. When Mac noted that he quoted my post in his book, I felt obligated to buy it. I did, read it, hated it, tried to sell it to a used book store, they wouldn’t take it, and now it sits, taunting me, on my shelf.

    What was the question?

  62. ‘I like the Luzinski and Valentine comparisons better. ‘

    I am a dipstick. I should have looked at Valentines stats first. Dang talk about falling off of a cliff. I thought he was a better player than that.

    I sure hope Francouer turns out better than that.

    whoever said it. Pat Burrell is a very good player.

  63. I talked to Jenny the other day and asked her why she wasn’t around any more. She said she basically lost much of her enthusiasm for the Braves after reading JS’s book and seeing how nauseatingly self-serving and bad it was.

    I picked it up and have been meaning to read it, but, um, wow. It seems to have engendered some fairly strong reactions.

  64. I’m actually worried about my Braves fanliness these days, but it doesn’t really have anything to do with the book, because what goes on in these guys’ heads doesn’t really matter to me (we all rooted for John Rocker longer than we’d care to admit, right?).

    But I am worried that the absence of TBS games is going to ultimate drive the Braves and I apart. I’ll admit, I have lived on Mac’s recaps for a few years now as the TBS schedule had diminished, but I don’t know if even that will be enough when I can’t at least see them once or twice a week (my life just isn’t set up for or satellite).

    It’s been a 22-year love affair, but I’m worried one of us is going to stray soon. The only thing that gives me hope is that being in Ohio, I’m surrounded by ugly chicks (don’t really care for Cleveland or Cincy).

  65. Burrell’s a nice player, sort of a poor man’s Adam Dunn, very Three True Outcomes. Low batting average, but lots of walks, lots of strikeouts, fewer homers than Dunn but still racks up 30 a year.

    Francoeur will probably hit for a higher average as Burrell, but I doubt he’ll ever draw 100 walks a year. I’m still crossing my fingers for Luzinski, or Frank Howard or Old Frank Thomas. If he can actually develop his skills, which is something Encarnacion never did, then I like his chances for a very nice career.

  66. She said she basically lost much of her enthusiasm for the Braves after reading JS’s book and seeing how nauseatingly self-serving and bad it was.

    Well, I guess that pretty much confirms the beliefs of those who thought she wasn’t a true fan. I must say, that’s pretty disappointing to read.

  67. It’s a pretty bad book. He stuck the “Moneyball” chapter right there as ch. 2, and it pretty much destroyed the whole book, because it was clear that neither JS nor his ghostwriter had actually read Moneyball.

  68. To be honest, I went through a phase of my life where I was pretty anti-Braves — the late ’90s, Lockhart, Weiss, B.J. Surhoff years. I got fed up with all the horrible retreads they were bringing in, and in a fit of youthful pique, renounced my fandom.

    You want to know who brought me back? Rafael Furcal. I had always loved Andruw, even through the bad years, and seeing him along with Furcal and Giles was enough to get me watching again. Then I discovered Braves Journal. And I fell in love again.

    Give her time. Maybe she’ll come around too.

  69. Ah, I’m probably just being melodramatic. I’m still smartin’ over losing the TBS games, though. I mean, Skip and Pete had way more to do with me becoming a Braves fan than Andres Thomas or Dave Palmer ever did.

    I think I’m also suffering from seasonal affective disorder and PED overload. I need some real baseball again.

  70. Question: What would it take to get someone like Chris Capuano or Dave Bush from the Brewers? They seem to have an overabundance of SPs, and those are 2 guys worth taking a gamble on, IMO. Would a Gorkys-Hernandez-for-one-of-those-guys trade be fair for both sides? Thoughts?

  71. Stu, it’s a good question. The Brewers just signed Capuano to a VERY cheap contract — 1 year, $3.75 million. With something that below-market, I can’t imagine he wouldn’t be trade bait.

  72. @100

    I know. That’s exactly what I thought. After I finished those parts of the books, I felt like I had to take a shower.

  73. Stu @104

    Wren would probably have to throw Eric Campbell into the deal, but yeah that would probably work.

  74. Regarding JS’ book, I haven’t read it and probably never will. I have always found it strange for someone to write an autobiography when they are still active in whatever they do.

  75. He’s far from the stupidest GM in baseball. In fact, I liked or didn’t care either way about all of his trades this winter…until the latest two. We gave up too much to get nothing in return. We should have recieved the “throw-in” player in both those deals at the very least.

  76. I’m actually worried about my Braves fanliness these days,

    I’ve felt this way the last few winters, I always come around by spring but one of these years…

    I just really hate the way the team is run right now. Off-seasons are all about watching our best players leave, stupid trades, and trying to paste together the team on the cheap. I love pitching and defense, but we can’t develop any pitching and we sacrifice offense for defense at most positions. I’m sure I’ll tough it out – obviously my post count here says that I’ve still got strong interest.

  77. I lurk often and comment seldom but here are some of my random thoughts:

    1) The Kotsay deal isn’t that bad, it’s not great, but if that’s the deal that makes/breaks the Braves then we have a LOT more trouble than any of us admit. A one year rental for cheap that has major upside and a repeat of Andruw’s last year as the downside. We knew we weren’t getting an All Star in CF next year, he should be serviceable.

    2) Swapping minor player(s) for other minor player(s) isn’t anything to get worked up about.

    3) JS’s book in a nutshell, “I set a goal…. and we ACHIEVED it!” I kept thinking “uuummmm, how? Random luck?” I liked the “Bonds’ almost a Brave story though”.

    4) We live out here in Oregon (moved from Atlanta) and my wife is the bigger Braves’ fan, she’s the one who got me into baseball and we have been saved the last 3 years thanks to TBS. This year we’re going to probably get MLB Innings just for Braves games, but are planning a trip to see the Braves this year (maybe San Diego for the July series). Curse you TBS!!!

  78. i hear you craig. the loss of the tbs games will be causing a major change in my summer lifestyle after almost 30 years. its been bad enough the last few years but this is going to be traumatic. i cant even get night games on the radio here.. but now that i think about it, since chip and mr. vanilla simpson are the tv team, maybe it wont be so bad. anybody else miss sutton? i couldnt stand him as a player but i thoght he really gave great insight to the games in his broadcast.

  79. csg,

    If it’s not one thing, it’s another, isn’t it?

    Of course, I mean that in a general sense, and not directed towards you. However, the good news is that the Braves avoided arbitration with Diaz, so Soriano is the only person left unsigned.

    Something will be worked out.

  80. Craig,
    I’m there with you. TBS was my lifeline to actually watching the Braves. I simply cannot justify MLB extra innings. Sucks.

    Well thank goodness for Braves Journal.

    Frank, give Soriano the money. Please.

  81. csg,

    Well, what I meant was bringing up problems. I wasn’t directing it towards you. I was directing it towards the concept in general.

    If it’s not a bad trade or a perceived weakness, it’s an arbitration thing.

    Something like that.

  82. Re: Jenny & the JS Book

    AAR, that’s really disappointing to hear. JS’ book or no JS’ book, I’m with Stu – you’re even a fan or not. That’s a sad explanation. Frankly, let her enjoy the Red Sox bandwagon – it’s not like THAT isn’t full.

    And maybe JS’ book was “self serving” but the fact is, he did build the team of the 90’s and deserves credit (although he absolutely deserves all of Mac’s and everyone’s scorn over that Millwood-Estrada trade).

  83. #129 – gotcha

    I wasnt referring to it as being a bad thing. I just thought the link was good to see what certain players are asking and what the clubs are offering. I dont see being a mil off with Soriano as being a bad thing. He’s a bargain at either price…my bad!

  84. Francisco Rodriguez wants 12.5 million? Come on, he is definitely not as good as Tex, who received the same amount.

  85. TBS is killing me too. So is Richmond AAA getting the ax. They’re testing my fandom. I know I’ll stick around… but are the Braves just not interested in hooking new fans outside of Atlanta? oh well….

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