Braves 7, Nats 3

ESPN – Nationals vs. Braves – Box Score – April 21, 2008

This game was a lot less comfortable than it should have been… but if not for repeated idiocy by the Nats, it could have been really uncomfortable indeed.

In the top of the first, Hudson gave up two hits and a walk, but was saved when Francoeur threw a runner out at the plate to end the inning. The Braves took the lead in the bottom of the inning, despite — and I say this with no exaggeration — the worst “out” call at first base that I have ever seen. Prado (can’t catch, can’t throw, can hit a little) doubled to the gap again. Escobar laid down a perfect bunt for a hit, but was called out despite being about three feet past the base when the throw got there. Chipper hit a sac fly to score Prado, but the Braves could have gotten more.

McCann led off the second with a homer, and Diaz and Blanco (playing center tonight) singled. Hudson bunted to sacrifice Blanco to second, but Diaz followed the third baseman in and scored on the throw. Prado doubled again and scored Blanco to make it 3-0.

I don’t normally get into other teams’ managing, but I can’t ignore the third inning tonight where Manny Acta basically hung his starter out to dry. Matt Chico was wild all night — I was thinking, as Joe said this simultaneously on the broadcast, that he might be pitching hurt — and Acta didn’t even have anyone up in the pen. Chico was incredibly fortunate to get through the third allowing only three runs, largely because of a great play by Ryan Zimmermann at third base. Chico allowed eight hits and three walks, his ERA went up by about two runs, and I would not be surprised to see him go on the DL within the next six weeks. The Nats will be fortunate if he doesn’t need surgery. You just cannot leave a young pitcher out there when he’s not throwing right.

Oh, and it cost them a chance to stay in the game. The Braves added a run against the pen in the sixth, Francoeur singling in Escobar. Hudson was working on the world’s worst shutout. The Nats had another runner thrown out at the plate to end the fifth, on one of Prado’s non-error mistakes that turned into a great throw by Escobar to get a runner trying to score from second. Hudson had only one 1-2-3 inning, and really didn’t look as sharp as he did the first time he faced the Nats. In the seventh, it caught up to him, and he allowed two runs and was relieved by Ring. Carlyle allowed another run in the eighth, but the inning ended when Aaron Boone got himself thrown out at second trying to advance on a bad throw by Chipper. For the record, the Nats got thrown out three times, including once when trailing by six runs in the fifth and another when trailing by four in the eighth. This is stupid baseball, and it offends me. Acosta pitched the ninth, and allowed a couple of baserunners on a HBP and a single, but finished it up for the Atlanta Save.

Everybody got at least one hit except Hudson, who had two RBI. Diaz was 3-4 and is now pretty much officially a platoon player, at least until Blanco goes into a slump or Kotsay gets hurt. It remains to be seen if KJ is a platoon player or not. Chipper played the whole game.

85 thoughts on “Braves 7, Nats 3”

  1. If our opponent is going play dum-dum ball, the least we can do is let them lose, unlike that earlier game against Pittsburgh.

    But…7 runs, 13 hits, 4 walks in 8 frames. We should win a game like that.

    Five in a row, spiced with a Heilman-aided Mets loss (he makes Met fans crazy). Call it a good night.

  2. My prediction re: platoon in LF is that it’ll be more of a “Diaz and Kotsay hit half the time against righties” thing with Blanco splitting time in LF and CF.

    Which I don’t really mind unless Blanco really starts to suck. But I think he’ll see enough pitches and do enough good things with his speed to be a decent player. He’s definitely better than Willie Harris (far better defender, much better plate discipline, probably faster, too).

    Either way, I think he’ll be fine provided we don’t get him more than two starts a week and one of those comes at the expense of Kotsay (who we should be giving days off to now and then anyways).

    BTW, how about the offense putting up some numbers the past couple day despite sub-optimal lineups in there?

    Also, BMac is really raking this year. Just tons of extra-base hits. I really hope Cox is willing to rest him regularly so he doesn’t get tired out as the year progresses; we’ll need that bat in the playoffs!!

  3. The ump’s call on Escobar’s bunt was a makeup call for the one he missed on the top of the 1st.

    That said, it really was a brutal call.

  4. It’s amazing really that by the numbers Diaz and Francoeur are not too dissimilar hitters. Both rake against lefties Jeff with more power, but Diaz with more contact. Their splits against righties is eerily similar. The difference is the eye-ball test, which Francoeur passes with flying colors, while Diaz doesn’t even look like he should be playing baseball. One will never sit a game, even when he should, and the other will get platooned as soon as he struggles even a little bit. Francoeur is a defensive stud, while Diaz is better than he looks, again the eye-ball test, but he won’t ever win a Gold Glove.

    If Diaz had more power all his other faults would probably be overlooked and he wouldn’t find himself in a platoon. I think he will continue to be a useful platoon player for two or three more years and then could settle into a very nice and expensive bat off the bench.

    Meanwhile, Frenchy could explode and be a real superstar, or he could go all Andruw Jones on us and never reach the lofty expectations everyone has for him. Either way he should have a fine career.

  5. This is stupid baseball, and it offends me.

    I don’t know why, but that sentence had me laughing out loud. It’s true though; it IS stupid baseball.

    And re: the horrible call at first base, that would’ve easily been the worst “out” call at first I’ve ever seen, had I not played church-league softball this past weekend. Our runner was standing on first (he’s a little new; he didn’t run through the bag)–and had been standing on first for probably 2 seconds–when the first baseman caught the ball. No joke. AND it was right in front of our dugout. Not the only terrible call he made either; that was just the worst of many. Oh, church-league softball…

  6. Angel Hernandez moonlighting as a church league ump these days?

    Sheesh…times must be tough.

  7. How do they get those projections? Like, why do they have him playing 159 games in 2009, but then down to 110 in 2010, but then back to 155 in 2011?

  8. Hudson was working on the world’s worst shutout.

    Priceless.

    Re: OF platoon. I’m okay with that if it keeps everybody hungry and hitting well.

  9. Ladies and gentlemen, the world’s worst shutout.

    By the way, on the Francoeur Crystal Ball I posted, there’s no “they”; it’s just John Sickels, going by his gut. Here’s the disclaimer he often provides: “Disclaimer: The Crystal Ball is an ‘educated opinion’…not to be taken TOO seriously and mostly for fun. I do put quite a bit of work into them, looking at similar players and trying to figure out how the guy in question might develop. Is there a fancy computer program? No. Do I just slop numbers on the page? No. It is less than a projection/prediction but more than just guesswork.”

  10. #10

    Me too. Best to keep everyone involved (a Cox specialty), especially since Kotsay and Diaz aren’t exactly world-beaters. The “Free Matt Diaz” movement has ignored the fact that he MUST hit .320 in order to be a positive contributor, because he’s average to below average in every other aspect of the game, especially for a corner OF.

    But it’s time to celebrate — despite our travails, we’ve got a winning ballclub!

  11. Sansho, I think Matt demonstrated tonight one other aspect of the game in which he’s above average: baserunning. Stole a base, then smartly scored on that play-that-you-were-right-wasn’t-a-squeeze. A week ago, he had that brilliant hustle double taking advantage of Lastings Milledge’s lazy fielding on what should have just been a single to center.

    Plus, his defense in left, at least according to Plus/Minus, is better than average.

  12. Also, thanks for the link, Remy. Sansho, you’re in for a treat, it’s terrific stuff. Boy, Mark E. Smith is an obnoxious prick, but he sure is entertaining.

  13. #16

    OK, I’ll grant that he’s an alert baserunner, and I’d be higher on him if that was something that significantly translated into more wins. He’s a fun player to have, tries hard, and is easy to root for — but his “average guy” appeal (average in the guy-off-the-street sense) is reflective of his shortcomings as much as his talents.

  14. hey…get this people…we’re officially playing well after winning 4 in a row (!) against two pretty mediocre teams (i think that the natspos are better than the chavez ravine dodgers right now…i know…weird to say). hopefully we get to first place by consistently beating the teams we should beat and beating the teams we shouldn’t beat 60% of the time. that’s how to win 110 games.

  15. Thanks for posting that link Alex, that’s exactly what Francoeur’s career is shaping up to be. And it will be a very nice career, but the problem is that most Braves fans and probably everyone in the organization expect it to be better than that. I see the same flaws that Andruw always displayed and was still able to be productive, but maybe not as productive as his talent suggested. Maybe Francoeur makes the adjustments Andruw hasn’t been able to. Time will only tell. And for the record, if thats what he produces I will be fine with it, because I can see why it would happen that way.

  16. @5

    What your comparisons fail to mention is that Francoeur is 6 years younger than Diaz so he’s only going to get better while Diaz is a lot closer to the start of his decline.

  17. Whenever I think of “preposterous shutouts,” I’m always reminded of Buzz Capra. As a kid, I watched a game he pitched on WTCG, which finished with Ernie Johnson saying, “Just your basic 10-hit shutout.”

    http://tinyurl.com/6j9bzy

    Of course, he was eventually outdone by El Presidente.

    A Story about The Fall
    In the autumn of ’86, “Bent Sinister” had come out & The Fall was set to play the Uptown Lounge in Athens. A lot of us were pretty psyched.

    A few hours before they were due to play, I was in College Square, so I figured I’d stop in and see my sister, who worked in an ice cream shop there. She was just closing up and, as I got closer to the store, I notice that The Fall—Mark, Brix, the rest—were walking out, all clad in black, looking very dour, but all holding ice-cream cones.

    She had no idea who they were and, before I could tell her, she said, “I was trying to close the shop, but those zombies showed up…”

  18. I don’t care how we got those wins and who we played against, when was the last time the Braves won five in a row?

    I honestly do not remember because it may have been more than two years ago…after all these injuries and we are one game above .500…I am beyond ecstatic.

  19. I just sent this in to John Donovan:

    John, you’re one of my favorite writers at SI.com and maybe it’s unfair that I never write with praise, but I think you’ve made a pretty egregious error regarding Chipper Jones. What on earth does a guy have to do to be Player of the Week? You point out that Wright had plenty of help from Jose Reyes. You also mentioned in your PRs that the Braves “Braves couldn’t put together a winning streak if you spotted them a two-run lead in every eighth inning for the next two weeks.” They’ve currently won 5 in a row. And later in this column you write that “it’s not all Boston and New York around here.” Funny that you should want to spread some of that love around to David Wright and the small market Mets.

    Here is the column.

  20. #19

    Actually, it’s 5 in a row :-) But who’s counting!

    I have to second Mac on his rail against Manny Acta. I thought Acta was really one of the bright young managers and figured when the Nats actually get some real talent, he’d be successful.

    But the way he treated Matt Chico last night was humiliating for the kid, and as Mac also said, may have even worsened an injury.

    Now while Huddy did get the win, I am also concerned that he’s just not as sharp as previous and facing a real lineup in NY over the weekend concerns me.

    Still, despite all the pitching injuries, to have won 5 straight is fantastic and hopefully Smoltz can get us to 6 straight tonight.

  21. I do not believe in this team unless it wins more one-run games than it loses.

    Oh, and it would be very nice if its key players could stay (or, in many cases, become) healthy.

  22. I have long groaned about the treatment the Braves and thier players get from the national media. Neyer, Donovan and the others were taken off my christmas card list long ago. They have never given Bobby the credit he deserves, or JS for the teams he put together post Ted Turner. I guess the best revenge is to keep winning…

  23. I agree, second spitter. I just read Donovan’s column and it’s downright disgusting. How do you ADMIT Chipper was the best player this week and basically stick your proverbial finger in Chipper’s eye by picking his rival on the team’s rival, Wright, as player of the week.

    That’s about as blatant of bias I have seen from the Baseball media.

    Chipper should print this article out and attach it to his locker in Shea Stadium this weekend, and then torch the Mets by going 10 for 14 with 3 homers, 8 ribbies, in a 3 game sweep.

  24. Lunatic,

    You are right, I did not specify their respective ages or the difference in years between them, but I didn’t feel it needed mentioning since most here seem to have a good understanding of the Braves personnel. However, if you read the post carefully, you could probably gather the difference in age by the outcomes I suggested for their careers. Diaz useful platoon for 2-3 more years, Francoeur could blossom into superstar. Anyway thanks for the correction.

  25. It’s so nice to see what good starting pitching looks like again. No secret to how you sustain a win streak. We have to continue to beat up on Washington. We play thirty more times before the end of the month.

  26. i wonder….

    …what would we being doing with Joey Devine right now?

    i bet he’d have between 5-8 saves at this point AND he would help to solidify our weakass bullpen.

    kotsay’s playing well, but let’s be honest, blanco/anderson could be doing just as well IF NOT better (have you seen anderson’s line in triple A? or hernandez’s ability to get those XBHs that was the knock against him…yes, i know, it’s in high A, but batters go to myrtle beach to die).

  27. i bet he’d have between 5-8 saves at this point AND he would help to solidify our weakass bullpen.

    Which games? Have we even had 5 save opportunities this season?

  28. Regarding Wright – The ESPN crew was gushing all over him late in Sun nights game against the Phillies. Then in the bottom of the ninth with 2 men on, 1 out and a chence to win the game, Wright pops out to Howard in foul territory. I thought it was great timing.

  29. MGL…weren’t you aware that David Wright is the savior of Baseball?

    To be fair, I actually like Wright – he’s a nice guy and a good player. But the fact is, the constant gushing and seeing the Baseball elitists constantly brushing Chipper aside to gush on Wright – not to mention the teams they play for – makes it hard to stomach him.

  30. Chipper: strikes fear, self-loathing into the hearts of Mets fans.

    Wright: strikes out, makes errors against the Braves; not scary or intimidating at all.

    That’s good enough for me.

  31. Agreed Alex R. I think Wright’s going to suffer (in non-NY fan areas) from the gushing more than his actual flaws. Of course Chipper isn’t exactly a cuddly guy from a media perspective, he’s a brutally honest (which makes for better quotes I think). So I can somewhat see why Wright gets more media love than Chipper does. Wright’s more political (and “pretty”er which helps marketing… you don’t see many Randy Johnson TV spots for a reason).

    While I don’t know if Devine would have 5-7 saves… he has pitches 7.1 in 5 innings, given up zero runs, and no hits since his first outing. With Moylan down it would be nice to have him, but Kotsay hasn’t turned out to be too bad yet.

  32. Charles,

    Good point. I think Wright is going to suffer from the “A-Rod effect” of trying to always say the right thing, have nice quotes and be media friendly, but be dissed because it’s too pat, too political.

    I know it’s a minority opinion in here, but I actually feel A-Rod gets a bad rap for that and if Wright gets savaged, I wouldn’t think it was necessarily fair.

    That being said, give me brutally honest like Chipper (or even Maddux is like that too) as long as it’s not flailing and killing everything and everyone ‘scorched earth’ policy that seems to be the case for Schilling and David Wells.

    To me, Chipper’s honest & interesting without being a jerk.

    I think Wright’s a nice guy, but I’d respect it if he did just come out & say he dislikes us or dislikes the Phils or thinks he deserves an award – it would be at least interesting.

  33. Wright, their savior, couldnt save them from one of the biggest collapses in all of baseball history. He, however, is a great player. I’ll still take Chipper over him

  34. info from the Braves website

    Chuck James experienced some stiffness in his left forearm during Saturday’s start against the Dodgers. But he believes the pain is just a product of getting used to throwing at full strength again. … Peter Moylan won’t accompany the Braves when they begin a five-game road trip on Friday. But when the team returns a week later, he plans to test his elbow. If he feels prolonged discomfort, he’ll likely need to undergo Tommy John surgery.

  35. I love Chipper, and he is either my favorite or second favorite player (with Smoltz), but he’s definitely a jerk. He’s our jerk, but he’s definitely a jerk.

    Chipper vs. Wright: I’ll take both.

  36. “Still, when Cox evaluates this current five-game winning streak, the most important aspect has been the fact that his starters have allowed just three earned runs in 28 1/3 innings (0.95 ERA) during this span. Making this streak more encouraging is the fact that two of these games were started by Jeff Bennett and Chuck James, who in a span of two days helped solidify the belief that the Braves do have quality depth in the starting pitching department. “

  37. oh and that Renteria deal looks better and better each day, doesnt it? Escobar and Jurrjens are both playing great

  38. I could care less what national baseball writers say or write about the Braves.

    Stu’s comment on Wright/Chipper is correct—as long as our opponents fear us more than we fear them, I’m cool wit’ it.

    Rob,
    I don’t think Chipper’s a jerk. (OK, he named his kid Shea.) But I think he plays like a pro & says things that are brutally honest. And, yes, he has a fearsome persona to Met fans, and that’s something I’m always going to love about him.

  39. How about the fact that we turned Marte into two seasons of All Star Edgar plus Gorky and Jair plus cash!!! That’s amazing…

  40. No, I do not.

    Does anyone remember where Bill James writes about how he, and other writers, have perhaps overexaggerated Babe Ruth’s impact on the game? I thought it was in the New Historical Abstract but I can’t find it.

  41. Wright couldn’t save them from one of the biggest collapses ever, but he did all he could — his numbers down the stretch run are just ungodly. I hate facing him whenever he’s at the plate.

  42. I think the Mets fans have a grudging respect for Chipper. Their “Larry! Larry!” chants are their form of sadistic love.

    I really think once Chipper retires, the Mets fans will look back at him with some reverence, as a truly great rival to them.

    I am not sure, Rob, why you think Chipper’s a jerk.

    His honest statements are just that – honest. He’s an extremely charitable ballplayer and does a ton of work in the city of Atlanta and for Baseball for kids and charities.

    Furthermore, other than Tim Duncan, I have never seen another situation where the top superstar on a team continues to defer salary and redo his contract, so that the Braves are able to continue to bring in other players.

    Sorry, but I will gladly, any day of the week, stand up for Chipper being a good guy overall (though certainly has had some past infallacies ala Hooters) & this is coming from a Georgia fan, well aware of Chipper’s Gator love.

  43. I’m with Alex R again. I think Chipper is honest and interesting but not a jerk. I respect that. I think so much of the Wright/A-Rod political athlete model is in the interest of making more money from endorsements. SURE Jordan made $100M one year (if memory serves) because he was marketable, but who NEEDS that much money. I’m glad Chipper is being chipper, doing his job better than anybody else around.

    Likewise I never really had a problem with Andruw’s grin (I know that’s a minority opinion, I’m a white middle class male, I can be minority in SOMETHING can’t I?). I don’t think it was because he wasn’t trying, I think he was/is just enjoying life.

    As Tommy pointed out after his rough final outing as a Met, it’s a game, devastation is for bigger things in life than troubles with a baseball game. If Andruw is honestly happy I don’t think he should scowl just to make fans feel better, and I don’t think Chipper should be all happy-go-lucky-golly-gee-we’re-swell if he’s actually ticked off and thinks something sucks. Owners and management can be political, it’s part of their jobs. The players I’m happy with them being themselves and playing the game (which is not to say I’m a big fan of knucklehead Rocker. I’m OK with a guy being bristly, not a racist jack@$$)

  44. Chipper handles himself like a professional. He came awfully close to winning last year’s batting title, and he probably deserved to win the Gold Glove, but you never hear him complain. He responds by pushing himself to play even better, which is always the best way to silence one’s critics.

  45. To be honest, I have come to like Chipper much more than I did. I remember an article in the AJC a long time ago — probably 6 or 7 years ago — where he was talking about playing through pain and baseball not always being fun for him, and how he occasionally thought about retirement. The tone of the article was to paint him as a moody superstar.

    I think he’s aged very gracefully in that respect, not physically, but in his personality. He’s become a terrific elder statesman for the younger players, and still carries the team offensively when he’s healthy. I like his honesty, and I love how he’s been willing to restructure his contract over and over to help out the team. He’s been the model of an unselfish ballplayer.

    Off the field, well, he’s had some failings. But between the foul lines I couldn’t ask for more.

  46. Does Chipper even have critics? He may not come to mind as quickly as he should when people are discussing great players, but when his name does come up, I think it’s pretty universally recognized that Chipper is one heck of a great baseball player, up there with the all-timers.

  47. Oops… forgot about that one AAR… Yes, cheating on his wife was a jerk move. One hopes he has mended his ways in the last 10 years. At least he admitted he screwed up and didn’t act like he was entitled to side action (though apparently he thought that at some point because it did go on for 18 months).

  48. Stu, And certainly right there with Mantle & Eddie Murray as among the best switch hitters who will have ever played the game.

    I don’t want to diminish what he did in terms of cheating on his wife. It just shows that outside of maybe Dale Murphy, there’s pretty much no perfect human being to ever play Baseball. (there are a few others but for the purposes of Bravesjournal, I will reference Murphy as the ultimate in class).

    That being said, as a teammate, as a statesman of the game, as a guy who’s ALWAYS put the Braves ahead of his own salary wishes or demands, as a guy who’s refreshingly honest but not mean, as a guy who again (as a superstar, something you won’t see others doing except, again, maybe Tim Duncan) was willing to move to the outfield to accomodate the Braves – at his own detriment to his own health and legacy.

    And add to that how he truly busts his ass to make himself better all the time, plays at full speed at all times and at age 35, is currently leading the way among NL hitters, it amazes me.

    For every Andruw Jones who EATS his way to a $16 million dollar a year contract along w/ a .180 BA, the direct opposite his Chipper, who’d probably defer money AGAIN this offseason if it gives the team a shot to keep Teixeira. (a guy I like but far more interested in money and his super agent than being a Brave).

    Sorry, I just can’t sit back if people on Bravesjournal want to rip Chipper, when I think of everything he does and has done for this organization, too many things that you simply won’t see other superstars do.

    (and again, Duncan and what he’s done with the Spurs is the most identical I can think of as a non bragging superstar who defers money and position to make his team and franchise better).

  49. Besides the good news that it seems (barring a Willie Randolph switch) that we will be avoiding Johann Santana over the weekend, it appears that the next 2 games after tonight with Florida, we will also be avoiding “Brave killer” Scott Olson.

    The ‘potential’ is there for the Braves to have a big week, a meaningful streak, and if this team keeps it up, be in first place before the end of the week. I think we can do this.

  50. Does Chipper even have critics?

    It’s pretty tough. You can make fun of his fragility, but even that he has fought through the last few years. Brutal outfielder, so there’s that.

    Being a Chipper critic would be a tough line of work.

  51. Andruw’s travails have made the pages of The New York Times. When asked about his slump, he gave this characteristic response:

    “Two or three seasons ago, maybe ’05, I got off to a bad start, just like this season,” Jones said. “What happened? Check it out.”

    You can find the article here:

    Dodgers’ Jones Plumbs Depths of Hitting Slump

  52. Hampton got hit by a meteor? LOL If anyone on the face of the earth could be taken out by a meteor it would be Mike Hampton.

    Teixeira. (a guy I like but far more interested in money and his super agent than being a Brave).

    Alex, being a Brave is good. Being a 25 million per year Yankee/Red Sox/Oriole is probably better for him and his family.

    Chipper’s contract renegotiations and deferrals weren’t 100% altruistic. He got extra guarenteed years and options with the team. He was willing to do this because in the end it served his interests.

  53. Johnny;
    A) “his interests” don’t preclude the team interests. It may well have been in his interest to stay with a team he likes and manager he likes and fit his desire to play for one organization. Fitting “his interests” doesn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t doing things at least some % altruistic

    B) I can’t recall where I’ve got the link (I think it’s on my blog, but MY blog is blocked here at work so I’m not sure), but there was some guy in Europe somewhere who is convinced that aliens have it out for him because his house has been hit 5 times by meteorites. He’s had metal plating put on his house to deter them hopefully. So Hampton should be a LOCK for the next meteor coming our way.

  54. The above mentioned article about Andruw also contains this quote from Smoltz:

    “I saw a guy who is pressing,” Smoltz said. “I don’t think he will ever give up. He will try and figure it out and I think he will hold a grudge or two for what he is being put through. You have to re-prove to yourself and tell everybody else the heck with you.

    “The Andruw that I know has a lot of pride, and his confidence and persona has taken a hit the last two years. What he is going through can kill the careers of certain players.”

  55. Charles I agree with you. There may have been some altruism there but Chipper was looking out for Chipper more than he was looking out for the Braves.
    Both parties know that no matter how great a Brave you’ve been when it comes time to part ways it will happen. The Braves have been particularly ruthless/effective at turning over various pieces and parts of the team. No matter if you were Greg Maddux, Tommy Glavine, Andruw Jones, Rafael Furcal if you didn’t fit in the the teams plans then it was time to say good bye.

  56. Johnny,

    Chipper got extensions he deserved; he got less money during the year and it helped the Braves out TREMENDOUSLY that he re-did his contract.

    For the record, ballplayers, most star players, want as much money as humanly possible DURING THE SEASON and are happy to re-negotiate for even more, later.

    How you can possibly sit here and criticize Chipper for deferring, which on at least 2 or 3 occassions, helped the Braves organization (the Hudson example comes to mind), is BAFFLING.

    I have to agree with ububba on Chipper’s personal life…overall, I disagree with his choice but it’s not my business. As a ballplayer and a teammate, and a guy who cares about & loves the Braves organization, he’s 100% class.

  57. #70

    Johnny, sorry, you couldn’t be more wrong. Sure, the Braves made it worth Chipper’s while on the back end, but it was still less money PER SEASON and it is documented that it helped the Braves immensely getting Hudson, to do what he did.

    I have to say, someonje criticizing Chipper as selfish for that – it’s a first and I find it bizarre.

  58. Alex, I wasn’t criticizing Chipper, just stating fact. Chipper, coming off an injury plagued down season wanted security. In exchange for security he traded then year dollars for future dollars. The Braves saw that this was in THIER best interest and negotiated a deal that satisfied BOTH parties.

    Really all I was saying is that you are making it look like a pure altruistic lets take one for the Braves move on Chipper’s part. When it wasn’t.

    Had Chipper been in precipitous decline the Braves would have let him go just like they did Andruw. Even if Chipper had offered to re negotiate.

    But serendipity. He renegotiates. The Braves sensing that he ISN’T done re sign him. And we get to watch one of the great ones play for us.

  59. just having a good laugh at the judgements of chipper for cheating on his wife. it probably wasnt a good idea, but hes not the first or the last to do it. and have any of you ever been approached by one of the hooters hotties? that could make many a good man forget where he lives for a night(or 4)………..and theres no sense comparing anyone to murphy. how many kids does he have now? 47? he wouldnt have the time or strength to cheat even if he was inclined to.

  60. The way I’ve always thought of it (which is pure conjecture) was Chipper thinking: “I like this team, my teammates and manager, and this organization. I want to spend the rest of my career here, and I want to win here. I’m willing to take less money now to help the team build for a chance at another WS, and some long term security with the team for myself.”

    Which I guess you could classify as “not 100% altruistic”, which would be something like giving his whole salary above to charity (in which case taking less money for the team would actually be less altruistic as “un-named charity” would probably need the money more than the team). BUT it is still a classy/stand-up/good guy thing to do and a far cry from “Crap I’m hurting, I better negotiate a longer contract so I’m still in the money when I get hurt.”

    Hell, even Tex opted to be traded to the Braves for a chance at a championship last year or this instead of signing an extension with Texas for more money than we’re paying him. It’s not like he wouldn’t still command a big fat payday when that extension from Texas was done. I guess you could call a desire to win a WS even if it’s not with your current team selfish, but it’s probably not as selfish as chasing the biggest payday no matter where it is.

  61. Remember last Spetember when David Wright saved all thoses kids in that burning school by going in to the building and choking on all the smoke to help get the kids out?

  62. This not intended to take sides in the argument one way or the other, but Chipper went from 22M guaranteed to 37M guaranteed (4M up front in signing bonus) from his restructuring. Make of it what you will.

  63. just having a good laugh at the judgements of chipper for cheating on his wife. it probably wasnt a good idea, but hes not the first or the last to do it. and have any of you ever been approached by one of the hooters hotties? that could make many a good man forget where he lives for a night(or 4)

    I don’t disagree that getting into Chipper’s personal, off-field mistakes of over 10 years ago is sort of pointless, or even out of place, here, but the above is ridiculous. It’s OK to recognize that adultery is a less-than-desirable act.

    ………..and theres no sense comparing anyone to murphy. how many kids does he have now? 47? he wouldnt have the time or strength to cheat even if he was inclined to.

    Now, that is funny.

    BTW, Johnny is right about Chipper. I think some of what CharlesP and Alex are saying about Chipper’s loyalty is true, but the bottom line is that Chipper helped himself with more than just warm fuzzies by renegotiating.

  64. It’s funny how those who are the most vocal about passing judgement on something they have absolutely no first-hand knowledge of, are often harboring plenty of skeletons in their own closet.

    e.g. evangelical republicans

  65. Anyone remember when a tornado came through Atlanta in 1997 and Kenny Lofton organzied and led more than 40,000 people to safety behind Stone Mountain?

    Anyone?

  66. Spike,

    The quote from ESPN at the time says:

    “Jones had $22 million in guaranteed money remaining in a $90 million, six-year contract that began in 2001. He was due to make $17 million next season, and Atlanta had team options for 2007 and 2008 at $15 million annually. The options, which carried a single $5 million buyout, would have become guaranteed if he had 450 plate appearances in the previous season or was an All-Star.

    Under the new deal, he gets a $4 million signing bonus in January and $11 million in each of the next three seasons. The contract contains a 2009 team option at $8 million that would become guaranteed if he has 450 plate appearances the previous year and escalators that could raise his 2009 salary to $11 million.”

    So he went from $17|15|15 in 06-08 (he hit the 450 PAs, he even did that in 05 in 109 games), to $15|11|11|11 in 06-09. Basically giving the team 4years for the price of 3 in exchange for a little more guarantee. I’m sure he weighed in his mind the possibility of injury, but I think the bigger factor was that it would give the team (of which he was a part) a better chance to structure and win another ring.

    Wacky contract idea of the day:

    I’d love to see somebody like Smoltz (close to retirement but still effective) negotiate a contract that says something like I get $12M this year, and $6M is going to charity, but if we win the WS I’ll forfeit my $6M and you only have to pay the charity money. Basically giving ownership an incentive to put together a better team, win it all, and save money.

    Of course I’d likewise love to see a group of players re-negotiate a moderate baseline payscale with steep bonuses for performance and winning, or some share of the team profits. Basically giving the players an immediate and direct incentive to perform better (to hopefully get the “Contract year” performance year in/year out).

    Heck, 25 man roster if each guy takes $1M off his salary (ok, this assumes they make a million over minimum of course) which he could tie to getting back if they win the WS, the team could afford to sign an a-rod. I would think a GM would be smart to structure some deals that way, and players would be smart to take them. Owners would get by cheaper if they’re not winning, and if they do win the added revenue would offset the added salary. Players would still get big bucks, and a shot at even bigger bucks, and because the organization could afford it if the whole team did it, they’d have a better shot at winning.

    Of course this may be against the MLBPA and owner agreements, and could almost never be implemented, but it’s an interesting idea I think. If not against agreements I could see a team like the Marlins with a bunch of young near-rookies starting to structure long-term deals for their guys that included that economy into the picture.

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