Phillies 6, Braves 3

ESPN – Phillies vs. Braves – Box Score – June 08, 2008

This sucks. Francoeur sucks. Corky Miller, the Hamster, sucks so much that he does the Hamster Dance.

Not much chance in this one, seemingly. Chipper is out with a minor tear/pull of a groin muscle (the difference is negligible) and will probably miss a game or two more. The Hamster started because it was a day game after a night game and McCann’ knee and ankle are acting up. Jorge Campillo gave up two runs in the first, with as usual Utley and his evil understudy Victorino in the middle of the action. But Teixeira hit a two-run two-out homer to tie it.

The Phillies took the lead in the third. The Braves could have at least tied it in the bottom of the inning, but Francoeur hit into a so-predictable double play with the bases loaded. They did tie it in the fourth but left two men in scoring position. The Braves left two men on in each inning from the second to the fourth, then basically stopped threatening.

Carlyle relieved Campillo with one out in the sixth, and got through that. Ohman pitched two great innings, striking out three without allowing a baserunner. But Boyer had nothing, got only one out, and allowed three runs. Since it was no longer close, Acosta could come in and finish the ninth with no harm.

I hate this team.

267 thoughts on “Phillies 6, Braves 3”

  1. Though I posted this stat in the last thread, it needs to be in this one also:

    Francoeur left 15 men on base this series, while producing 0 RBI. That is very, very difficult to do. Color me impressed.

  2. 6.5 back of Phillies, 3.0 back of Marlins and likely tied with Mets. Now .500 again.

    Ouch.

    Only thing I can think to say is Chipper and Mike Gonzalez should both be playing for the Atlanta Braves again very soon.

  3. The posts on the comments section of that link braves14 gave is interesting. One is asking who Charles Thomas is, someone would be lights-out for us (Brandon Jones, maybe?). Another person is calling for the team to re-build (sound familiar?). As we know, the team goes on a tear and wins the division, while someone wanted to implode the team.

    I know it’s June, but it’s a long season. It’s frustrating to watch this, but let’s see what happens when the dust settles.

  4. man, im so fucking glad Frenchy didn’t get interviewed in the postgame (as he almost always doeson sportsouth)…I just couldn’t handle another ‘aww shucks’ interview in which no one asked him about his individually pathetic play.

  5. 98 games left but I hold out no hope for this team. Team is just a bunch of overrated losers. Tex will put up enough numbers to get a big contract but not enough to help the team. Season will be over by the end of June. Maybe this will convince Bobby not to come back next year. Attendence will plummet and Liberty will spend nothing.

    Of course, tomorrow we will be hearing about how much talent this team has and how it’s inexplicable how they keep losing and all we need is a few breaks and yada, yada, yada.

    It simply is shocking to me how these guys keep finding new ways to lose. When I saw it was 3-3 in the 9th, I knew it was over.

  6. How badly does Francoeur have to hit before he gets benched or replaced? Seriously? Vlad Guerrero has been benched for a handful of games this year and he has had an amazing career? What has Francoeur ever done? Why is he so loved? Why does he get interviewed so much? Why does he get so many plate appearances?

    I dont know if I can watch again until he’s gone (I know, this could be a decade-long hiatus, but whatever).

  7. How can we expect the Braves to win when they don’t field the same team in two, much less three, consecutive games? Bobby has made some questionable decisions this season, but, even so, I still think he’s done a good job, considering all the injuries.

  8. Seriously, how bad does Francouer have to play to get a few games, or even one day, off? He is just horrible and continually trots out to his spot, it is mind boggling.
    Did he have a knee or ankle injury to start the year? I am beginning to wonder if he is playing through to much pain, he just cant be this bad, can he?

  9. Also, despite the fact that they didn’t have a particularly dominant series in my opinion (so much as the Braves had a pathetic one), Phillies are easily the best in the division.

    Outside of Hamels, who is as good as anyone in baseball, their starting pitching is suspect, but it almost doesnt matter. That lineup Rollins-Burrell is head and shoulders above any other lineup in baseball, and the bullpen is also solid. This series is proof, that even when they aren’t having a dominant game, if you let them hang around long enough, even on the road, their big name players WILL make the plays in the end to make you pay (even on the road). I’d be surprised if they didn’t win the division again.

  10. What’s so frustrating about this series, is that our ‘big name players’ did have the chance to put them away in all three games. And without discounting the hits they did get (McCanns homer the other night, Yunels single in the 10th the other night, Chippers HRs, Tex’s today…all during clutch moments in the games), we just never put that distance between us and them when we had the chance. And like I said in my post above, when you do that against a team like the Phils – when Frenchy has 15 LOB and 0 RBI – you get swept at home.

  11. Other fun Frenchy stats, his OBP is 8 points lower this year than Andruw’s was last year. Take that Andruw haters. At least we got 368 HR and a cabinet full of gold gloves from Andruw during the previous decade, how did Frenchy earn such a long leash…this didn’t start this year: as bad as he’s been, he still hasn’t reached 2006 levels of suck.

  12. I’m almost regretting having MLB Extra Innings through DirecTV after suffering through this crap. Hopefully Chipper won’t miss so many games this year that it ruins his chances at .400 or even just a sub-.400 batting title because of a lack of plate appearances. That’s all I have to look forward to at this point. That, and seeing someone from the minors called up to replace Ate-a-ham F***-up “Porky” Filler as the backup catcher. I had to check Wiki to see what that bastard’s full name was so I could come up with a new nickname for him.

  13. Not being to see the Braves much, I looked forward to watching this game all week. What pissed me off, was that the “Super Subs” were starting today. You would think that the Braves would have put all the regulars out there, to make up for the loss of Chipper and to NOT get swept by the Phils. We have an off day tomarrow, so they would have gotten rest any how. I think without a doubt, we have the worst offensive outfield in the league. Can anyone back that up with some stats?

  14. Agreed. We might as well see what Sammons can do. We already know what “Porky” can do, and he’s not going to get any better.

    We might as well see what Brandon Jones can do. We don’t have to demote a hitter- just send Carlyle or Stockman down since Cox won’t let them pitch.

  15. Carlyle pitched today in a meaningful situation and did well. Charlie Morton needs to be on the first flight to Atlanta. I don’t care where he pitches.

  16. Looking through BP’s EqA Report:

    The Braves have gotten slightly above avergae work from Kotsay, Blanco, and Anderson (so far), poor work from Francoeur and Infante, and godawful production from Diaz and Norton. They combine to be 19 runs below average offensively (actually a bit worse, because Infante is compared to second basemen).

    I’d say the Nationals’ OF (Pena/ Harris in LF, Milldege CF, Kearns/ Dukes RF) is a lot worse than ours. Surprisingly, Arizona’s about even with the Braves- Byrnes and Burke have been ghastly while Upton and Young have been average. The Angels are a bit worse than Atlanta thanks to craptastic play from Gary Matthews Jr. and Garret Anderson. But that’s about it.

  17. Thanks Brian, I’m not a stats head, its hard for me to find those type of things.

  18. Can you play 130 games and still win the MVP? If not, I don’t like Chipper’s chances.

  19. If you could, I think Chipper probably would have won last year, Dan. Only possible way Chipper wins while missing 20 games this year is if he hits .400.

  20. When Utley has 50 HR and 130 RBI and the Phillies are 15 games ahead of the Braves in the final standings, it won’t matter if Chipper hits .450.

  21. If I was the front office, if for no other reason that to show the team that they may be getting paid, but it doesn’t last forever, I would DEFINITELY make a move tonight. Either demote someone, release someone, promote someone, trade someone, anyone to send the minutest of messages, i.e. that this bullshat isn’t going to be tolerated.

    Of course since this is the laidback corporate Braves, never too high, never too low, they’re probably having a BBQ at Frenchy’s East Lake mansion.

  22. Wow Frenchy is garbage. No power. Can’t hit for avg. Can’t steal bases. Is hit right field defense that great? Like someone said Guerrero has gotten a lot of days off this year b.c he is struggling. What’s the deal with Frenchy and all the playing time? Can BJones be this bad.

    Chipper….geez it’s not like we weren’t expecting this. And now that Smoltz is hurt and can’t call him on his “laidback” style…120 games might be wishful thinking.

    Damn Frenchy is terrible.

  23. Tough break losing Friday night’s game. It seemed to carry over to the weekend as the team looked flat and punchless, and plenty of backups in the lineup didn’t help much either. Even though Kelly Johnson’s disasterous miscue cost the team the game, the team still played very poorly in that game and throughout the weekend. I’m wondering if that one game will ultimately be the tipping point for this team, where they began to doubt themselves. Who knows, but the team sure looked soft on the weekend and couldn’t even muster any home swagger.

  24. And the sad thing is, I don’t believe the front office thinks we are out of it yet. I can see the Birdman trading away a handful of prospects for a quick fix, only to see us still finish 10+ out of the wild card, while this year’s version of Adam Wainwright wins RoY somewhere in 2010.

  25. Is there any reason whatsoever that Corky Miller has a spot on this roster?? That we are basically giving away 3-4 at bats each time that he starts??? Is there any F”ing reason????

  26. Supposedly he’s a great defensive player. He isn’t, but any catcher who can’t hit will get that reputation. Other than that, some have suggested that he has The Pictures, but he’s so bad he must have The Video.

  27. Man, we have flaws, and no real way to fix them. We have very little to trade without selling low. I would not make a move just for making a moves sake, but juggling lineups around and such should be done. Put frenchy in the 7 hole and KJ in the six and Esco 2 with Anderson/blanco in the first spot and 8th spot.
    Corky Miller, why? I just dont get it.

  28. If I was the front office, if for no other reason “that to show the team that they may be getting paid, but it doesn’t last forever, I would DEFINITELY make a move tonight. Either demote someone, release someone, promote someone, trade someone, anyone to send the minutest of messages, i.e. that this bullshat isn’t going to be tolerated.”

    i actually like this post chief. a move might stir things up a bit.

  29. You have to see the Matt Garza-Dioner Navarro confrontation after a shakeoff, HR sequence. Classic. I’m going to lift my glove to my face to cuss you right back and then we’ll fight in the dugout.

    The rest of baseball is just more interesting to discuss at the moment than our Braves.

    What else can you say but that the Phillies came, saw and kicked ass. I’m still amazed that Victorino’s throw got Blanco the other night. I just saw a replay and it was just phenomenal.

    Sorry, I’m just tired of reading/talking about injuries, underperformance and 1-run losses. Just a little variety.

    We’ll be better, but season long prospects without Smoltz are vastly diminished.

    (P.S. I’m all for Clint Sammons, backup catcher)

  30. I outlined our problems on the last thread. I think they are all fixable, some of which can be fixed within the orgainization. We do need to do something soon though.

  31. this is Andruw’s fault of course. this sucks.

    Reyes pitches well, we can’t hit. When we hit the bullpen can’t pitch. When the bullpen can pitch we can’t hit. It doesn’t help that we are fielding one of the weakest outfields in all of MLB. Some would blame Wren. I don’t. Consensus was that Diaz would produce, Frenchy would break out and Kotsay would be an offense/defensive place holder. Kotsay is our best outfielder statistically? Dang. Lots of Frenchy hate now but I have to blame Bobby for playing him so much. the guy’s only claim to fame now is that he is above the Mondesi line. Big deal….. But unfortunately there is no one to replace him anywhere in the Brave’s system.

    Well anything that can go wrong has gone wrong so hopefully a little good luck will come our way soon.

  32. its about time that Chipper makes some comments, I’m guessing these are towards Frenchy. Almost certain of it….

    “They got guys who go up there with a game plan,” said Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, who missed Sunday with a strained right quadriceps muscle. “They got guys who work at being a tough out. Over the course of nine innings, they wear you out. That’s what division champions do.”

    “Their hitters put big at-bats up in crucial situations,” Jones said. “They got big base hits. When they needed to put a ball in the outfield, they did it. We just couldn’t do it. When we needed a hit or a big at-bat, we struck out or hit into a double play.”

    “I don’t know about everybody else, but I’m worried,” Jones said. “I don’t want to come back from this road trip and be out of the race. We’re playing the Cubs in first place, the Angels in first place and the Rangers, who are pretty darn good. They’re the best offensive team in the American League. It’s not going to be easy. Some people in here better start picking it up.”

  33. I was just thumbing through our minor league teams,
    they stink.
    we do not seem to have a heck of a lot coming up, some decent looking arms, but nothing in the field.

  34. mraver,

    name 10 legitimate Braves prospects, not suspects.

    And based on the way Lillibridge looked when he came up, it doesn’t bode well for him. He literally looked like a Little Leaguer against Cy Young.

    We don’t know what Schaefer can do when he’s not on roids, Morton has warts, Hanson is probably pretty legit, Gorkys Hernandez is a maybe.

    You see any Jay Bruce’s down there, you let me know.

  35. i don’t care if we have the best system, if you look at what is in our higher levels, i dont see anybody who is ready for a promotion. Yeah, maybe a backup catcher, Gorky Hernandez, but is he better than Anderson or Blanco?
    People are calling for changes but there is not much to change with, our best prospects are in A or lower and that does not translate into anything.

  36. AAR:

    I posted this on there, but I will post it here too.

    Well,

    You are right. I like Frenchy and think that in the past he has been given too many lofty expectations. However, I don’t feel like he, directly, is the problem. It is a deeper issue with this team that comes from two areas. First, I think our farm system is terrible at developing hitters. Guys like McCann and Chipper consult their dads when they are having problems at the plate. Can you name another really good hitter the Braves have produced in the last 10 years? Furcal and Andruw were both stubborn and it was no secret that they didn’t listedn to coaches. Kelly Johnson could be a great hitter, but he is being told to do one thing when he is a diffrent type of hitter. Thus, our second issue; Terry Pendelton.
    I have heard too many stories about the Braves where Chipper is working with the hitters, or in the past Julio Franco. I may get hung out to dry for saying that about TP, but come on. This team, outside Chipper and McCann, should all be hitting better than they are, not just Frenchy, though his struggles are most noteable.

    That is just how I feel. I think I have a good baseball eye, but I don’t know everything.

  37. Frenchy should be benched, but an OF of Anderson, Blanco and Norton is scary – bad.

    Corky Miller may have a great throwing arm, but for every 1 caught stealing, he seems to have two passed balls (one or both of them may be called wild pitches, but they’re truly Prados). I would prefer having a b/u catcher who can actually catch and hit. Please release him now! If he catches everytime Campillo pitches, that’s like having two pitchers in the batting order. Campillo needs more help than that.

  38. A topic that hasn’t been touched on much (rightfully so, as it’s not the biggest problem) is that Boyer and Acosta both seem to be going through a dead arm period. This should be a surprise to nobody, considering how much they’ve been used so far.

    Bobby’s going to have no choice but to use Stockman more in higher leverage situations soon.

  39. One team bites the dust, another grabs the glory & punches its ticket for Omaha.

    Congrats Georgia Bulldogs. Good luck in the College World Series.

  40. There wasn’t a lot of good news on the farm either. Morton got beat–in fact, all the Braves’ teams lost, but at least (or at most) Jeffrey Locke pitched well at Rome….

  41. Braves14–I really hope that we get to see Stockman pitch…he may have problems that are not obvious from his numbers, but he certainly looks like someone who has earned his shot.

  42. It’s all about expectations. So far this season, the Braves seem to have overachieved. I mean how can you win with an outfield consisting of Anderson, Blanco, Norton, Infante, Frenchy and of starting pitching including Glavine, Campillo in the long run, Reyes and the rookie Jurrjens? just the guys we did not have abvailable most of the season would be a top team on its own. After watching the Braves play the Marlins and Phillies, I have given up believing they would win the division. I love the braves but the team is just too weak with its current roster. Sad but true.

  43. I think that if everyone were healthy they could make a run–but injuries are part of the sport. No one should be all that surprised because Wrenn did not do enough to build up the team in the offseason. A number of people on this site lamented the things the Braves did (and did not do) over the winter and so anybody who is surprised that this team is mediocre has indeed been living with inflated expectations.

    Obviously, I would love to see Chipper redeem the season by chasing .400, because I just do not see this team winning more that about 88 games (and that is being generous)….

  44. Rowland’s Office, which I seldom visit, joined in the Frenchy bash and pretty much echoed the sentiments expressed at Mac’s tavern. More gloom and doom, Rob, even if C. B. closes by saying he’s an optimist.

  45. As everyone knows the main problem with the Braves is the offense. In particular 3 players. Frenchy, Diaz, and Tex. That’s the bottomline. No one expected Blanco to hit .300 or even be playing everyday and he has come crashing back to earth. So are the numbers with hitting in scoring positions…probably what you figured:

    Norton: .389???
    Chipper: .356
    Anderson: .333
    Yunel: .315
    Tex: .294
    Diaz: .293
    McCann: .274
    KJohnson: .262
    Kotsay: .259
    Francouer: .240
    CMiller for fun: .200
    Blanco: .143 Damn….

    So the lack of hits with RISP is not our imagination. And that .240 is actually a little higher for Frenchy than I thought. Miller and Blanco…no comment.

  46. Wow, Miller’s average with RISP is .140 point higher than his season average!!!

  47. I would not be surprised to see the same thing happen to Anderson…

    Corky Miller–what more is there to say, except that despite the differential mentioned I do not want to see him with baserunners on…

  48. Oh–and Corky is only .40 behind Frenchy–which really does say something about the whole situation.

  49. Yea I expect Anderson to slide also, for the Braves sake that he pretends at least up until Kotsay gets back. Who knows he may replace Blanco…

  50. Sigh.

    The original commenter was right. It’s time to find the best deal we can for Tex.

    The Official Rebuilding Period has begun, hate it or not.

    Might as well face facts and start before everybody figures out that’s what we’re doing …

  51. I agree with AAR’s take on Francouer and also with Smitty’s point about the organization. The Braves organization seems to value aggressiveness over anything else in hitters and certainly far more than plate discipline and ability to get on base. IMO, the teams that have done best in the playoffs over the last few years have power pitching and selective hitters that can run up pitch counts and make tough outs. The Braves have had neither. Until the last few years, they had such dominant (regular season) starting pitching that their offensive problems, although apparent, didn’t really matter until they got to post-season.

    But let’s not discount something else. Maybe the Braves are just in a down cycle. It’s really hard to maintain excellence for so long; even the Yankees are having problems. I think the Braves are still in a transitional phase from the relatively free-spending TBS days to being more of a mid-market team. They are still hamstrung to some extent by the big contracts given out when the payroll was larger (although Andruw is gone).

    I never thought the team was that good to be honest. I think the front office made some nice moves–Renteria for Jurrgens was brilliant and letting Andruw go was smart. But there are still a lot of holes in the lineup and in the pitching staff and, obviously, injuries have not helped. I’ve harped on the offense for a couple of years because, despite putting up big numbers at times, it still struggles to score runs consistently and late in games. This isn’t new; even after acquiring Teixera last year, the Braves still had trouble scoring at times.

    What bothers me the most is that the Braves have performed pretty much the same way going on 400 games. Winning becomes a habit as it did with the Braves in the 90s but losing also becomes a habit. Until the Braves show that they can win, I will have to assume that this is what they are, probably a slightly better than .500 team.

  52. from the website…

    Tidbits
    Mike Gonzalez allowed one run on two hits while pitching for Triple-A Richmond on Sunday. The left-handed reliever is hopeful that he’ll be activated from the 60-day disabled list within the coming week. … Top prospect Jordan Schafer ended his 50-game suspension last week, and he has been swinging a good bat. Both of the homers he hit for Double-A Mississippi on Friday were opposite-field shots. Mississippi manager Phillip Wellman told Atlanta third-base coach Brian Snitker that the balls were hit so hard that it looked like a right-hander had hit them. … Atlanta closer Rafael Soriano’s right elbow was bothering him again on Sunday. He’ll be evaluated by the coaching staff again before Tuesday’s game

  53. We were half-heartedly building a team for now over the last 12 months. I think we are better off looking two years down the road. I do not want to see any more Feliz’s or Andrus’s go for an ill-conceived half season dash.

    The Braves have been just finding a way to lose for the last two years. Cox has traditionally gotten more out of his clubs than he should have. Has he lost his touch or is the law of averages catching up with him? Or have we just assembled a group of guys that lack that extra intangible we had for years?

    I still say we stand pat and see if we can fix our problems internally. If things do not get considerably better by the end of July, sell for goodness sake.

  54. I also perceive that Francoeur is becoming a critical figure for this organization, to the extent that any one player can. It is clear that the Braves are willing to invest a lot in him, believe in his talent, and are willing to be patient.

    I fear them offering “face of the franchise,” a long term contract at the expense of other young players. It could spoil the next 4-5 years in the way that Hampton’s has possibly cost us the last three.

  55. Parish,

    I really don’t think the Braves are that stupid. I think there’s a reason they haven’t signed him yet. They may like the way he draws fans but I doubt they are completely blind to his lack of development. But they really don’t have a lot of options at this point. Maybe I’m giving the front office too much credit.

    I don’t see the Braves “selling” for two reasons; first, with the wild card, it’s almost impossible to really be out of the playoff picture unless you are the Nats; and, second, they really don’t have much to sell. It would be hard to get much for Teixera with a half year to free agency and with the way Giambi has been hitting, I doubt the Yankees are in the market. I’m sure they could give him away but they would probably be just as well off taking the draft picks. They could probably get bits and pieces for some of the relievers but not much else. As for the rest of the team, the guys that would be in demand are the young guys that they wouldn’t trade anyway, except for Chipper, who the Braves aren’t trading. I think the Braves are more likely to be buyers actually.

  56. I think the poster hit it right on the head when he talked about plate discipline. And the Braves should know this. The Yankees, the Red Sox, the Angels, the A’s and as we saw with the Phillies made themselves very tough outs by showing plate discipline. I think this needs to be an organizational trait, not just Chipper’s and McCann’s. It is actually beginning to be sad watching Frenchy struggle like he is doing.

    Now that Smoltz is gone, and I doubt Glavine and Campy really offer anything great during the rest of the year. And Tim Hudson is really a number 2 at this point in career. So we may go into full rebuilding mode by trading Tex, but what about Chipper? I mean does he really want to go through a rebuilding phase.

  57. We do come into money next year by losing Hampton, maybe Tex. I still want to keep him, his track record is very good, sometimes you have to take a chance.
    We could get smoltz money too, he should retire, how much could we really depend on him next year anyway?

    We still are in it though, Tex gets hot this team can change a lot.
    if not, we are a 500 team.

  58. As much as I did not like the trade for Tex, I am not sure that I would flip him for prospects at this point. I doubt we would get much and we have nobody to play 1B. The time to have traded Tex was during the offseason–but we missed the opportunity.

    More imporant, perhaps, as bad as things look now, it is not impossible for us to have a decent season.

    I also like the idea of getting draft picks for Tex because I believe that the rebuilding period will take time and needs to begin from the bottom up….

  59. We would have to offer arbitration to Tex and then have him refuse and go on the open market–at least that is the way I think it works. There are others here who can be more accurate about the rules.

  60. We don’t get the picks in a trade, oldtimer. We’ll get compensatory picks (probably their first rounder + another at the end of the first round) when someone else signs Tex.

  61. I thought he meant trade him for picks, I misread and will blame the heat, my classroom is creeping in on 90 degrees as I watch my students take their final exam, poor bastards.

  62. Mac or anyone else, there are a lot of highlights at RedLasso, including Yunel’s deke of Bruntlett in the 9th inning, one of the few bright moments of the night. It’s worth linking to.

  63. This team would have to be in the absolute dumper (standings-wise) before they deal Tex & it would probably be at or close to the trade deadline. Until then, I’m certainly not gonna think about it.

    Hey, at least we didn’t get swept 4 by the Padres.

  64. Yea so much for the rejuvenated Mets….Willie is probably gone by the all-star break. Especially if it looks like the Phillies are running away with things. Also the Yankees are playing much better. What has gotten into Giambi? I thought his career was over…

  65. Trying to guess what will happen between now and the end of July is probably pointless. I expect Tex to stay until the end of this year, then sign elsewhere for the big money. We should get a couple of high picks out of that to start restocking the farm system.

  66. The Yankees can thank KC pitching and a home stand for their improvement. They will be play better, but they have their problems.

    To be fair, I did not know that Damon had a 6 hit game in him anymore…

  67. Its all sounding like a broken record. We had almost the same problem last year at this team. Our starting pitching was good enough for us to hang around in standings, then we traded for Tex and the Phils and Mets left us behind.

    I’m afraid that were in the same boat again…not good enough to be buyers, not bad enough to be sellers. Ugh…..

  68. To change the subject, the Braves signed DeVall; does anybody out there know who else they may have inked?

  69. Mariners fire hitting coach:

    ” The Seattle Mariners have fired hitting coach Jeff Pentland.

    The team said special assistant Lee Elia is taking over his duties on the road trip at Toronto.

    In Monday’s announcement general manager Bill Bavasi said he hopes a “different voice” will help underperforming hitters at the plate. The Mariners rank 13th in the American League in batting with a .248 average.

    The 61-year-old Pentland was in his third season as Seattle’s hitting coach.

    Elia is 70 and in his eighth season with the Mariners. He was hitting coach from 1993-to-1997.”

    Courtesy of ESPN…

    We will never here that come from the Braves…and a different maybe all that is needed.

  70. Yanks have taken 2 of 3 from the Royals… the lone Royals win was 2-1, with Kyle Davies giving them 6.2 innings of one run ball, with Mahay getting the hold.

  71. Bill Shanks said on his site that he expects Charlie Morton to start Saturday night against the Angels. Take that for what it is worth.

  72. Back from 9 days in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle and Alaska cruise). Went from 40’s in the mornings and 60’s in the afternoons to 70’s and 100’s. Ouch.

    I have been attacked before on the notion that the Braves do not sufficiently stress OBP, but now I see many saying that. If you look at the minor league box scores, the typical night is 2 to 3 walks. Over nine innings, that means the average pitcher we are facing has great control. They need walk limits that, if the team doesn’t get 5 in a night, everybody gets stadium step discipline (manager can waive if an opposing pitcher is really “on”).

    The upper cupboard is mostly bare. Charlie Morton is an o.k pitcher right now, but no better than Glavine, Reyes, Campillo. Thus, why start his clock. He can still improve some there.

    Brandon Jones and Lillibridge are really playing themselves out of contention. There are a few relievers at Richmond that might be 4th righthander types. Diory Hernandez is, maybe, breaking out at Richmond. Barbaro might be a monster as an AL DH.

    Schaffer has really jumped out at Mississippi. Otherwise, he could help if we don’t get Kotsay back and sericeable in the next couple of weeks.

    Gorkys has added power to his game this year. His SLG is over 600. A lot of it is triples and doubles which could be leg bases, (and he is hitting home runs on the road), but it is still a great development.

    Hanson has urvived since he went up to AA. He needs the rest of the year there. By the end of the year, I think he will be cruising fairly well again.

    Evarts has been on fire. Rohrbaugh is also a keeper.

    Heyward is on most people’s lists of possible number 1 prospect in all of baseball going into next year. I hope they send him to Myrtle at mid season. Freeman is good. Sombody needs to work with Cody Johnson on strikeouts (video, 2 strike swing, whatever).

  73. Bill Shanks says lots of things. Some of them are even true.

    (I don’t even know Shanks, and I’m not familiar with his site. But he hates me for some reason so I figure I should fulfill my obligations and say mean things about him. It’s kind of weird.)

  74. I really wish that we could have traded Lillibridge and Brandon Jones last winter….I am beginning to fear that other teams understood their weaknesses better than we did (although Lillibridge’s were not hard to see).

  75. For subscribers, Joe Sheehan has an article up at Baseball Prospectus about the Braves’ struggles in one-run games. While he starts out by wondering whether the Braves’ season reached it’s “tipping point” last weekend, he concludes positively:

    “One of the notions I’ve toyed with and dismissed over the years is finding the fulcrum point in a team’s season, the point at which their championship hopes went south. For a team like the Royals or Nationals, that point comes as early as a key loss in April. For, say, the 2007 Mets, it would be Billy Wagner not coming out for the ninth inning, leading to a loss, or perhaps Tom Glavine’s last-day implosion. You can usually even narrow it to a single play, or pitch.

    I bring this up because I think I may have seen the Braves’ fulcrum point this weekend. It was Friday night, to be exact. With two men on and two out in the ninth, and the Braves leading 2-1, Chris Coste lifted a pop-up to the right-field line. Kelly Johnson ran to the line, got under the ball… and dropped it, the ball smacking the palm of his glove and bouncing out. The tying run scored on the play. An inning later, the Phillies got two runs, and held on in the bottom of the frame when Shane Victorino threw out Gregor Blanco trying to score the tying run on a single with two outs. The Braves would lose the next two games, despite being tied in the eighth in one and tied in the ninth in another. A fraction from trailing the Phillies by 2½ games Friday night, they’re now 6½ out.

    At 6½ games behind the Phillies, the Braves are not nearly done. Better performance in close games—or just a little better luck—will be part of their closing the gap. They do need some help in the bullpen; Soriano’s return will make a difference as long as he can be used aggressively. If Mike Gonzalez can also come back next month, that would give the Braves two power arms who, at their best, have been dominant. With Will Ohman and Blaine Boyer available for matchups, that would make for a strong bullpen in the season’s second half.

    At the plate, the Braves are in decent shape, although they could use a masher in an outfield corner…. With the Greg Norton experiment failing, the team has gone defense in left, which isn’t such a bad idea given that the pitching staff leans towards fly ball-oriented once you get past the top two starters.

    It is, in fact, that part of the staff that will probably make or break the Braves. With a good offense and an improving bullpen, the Braves don’t need the back of their rotation to be dominant; they just need it to keep them in games. Last year, they didn’t get any production from that part of the staff, which left far too many innings to be thrown by the back of the bullpen. As long as Tom Glavine, Jo-Jo Reyes and Jorge Campillo can keep pitching into the sixth and not allow four or more runs while doing so, the Braves have a chance to make the postseason for the first time in three years.”

    For Braves fans, there aren’t a lot of surprises: the ‘pen hasn’t been great but not horrible either, and the offense has sucked late in games/close situations/2 outs RISP/any other measure of “clutch” hitting.

    I think it’s clear at this point that we need to get a bat for the OF. But at the same time, I’m not sure it’s time to dump Diaz. Ideally, we could tread water until both he and Kotsay returned, but if this road trip starts going poorly, that may not be an option.

  76. Never heard of Bill Shanks either. I remember last year on here so many people were saying trade Escobar, because we had Lillibridge. Now look where we are.

    So basically if I am reading the above posts correct, no help from the farm.

    If this Morton guy is not a power pitcher, I am not that excited about him.

  77. Help from the farm is on the horizon–but it probably will not make a decisive impact this year. Morton might be useful–but until he gets it done in the majors I am not convinced.

    Morton may not be a power pitcher (though he apparently has great stuff), but then neither were Glavine or Maddux.

  78. Tony, I’ll admit I was wrong on Esco. I didn’t think he’d be nearly this good, or Lillibridge this stagnant at AAA. But my feeling last year was just that Escobar was brought up as a showcase, to drum up his trade value — then Edgar got injured, and he played too well to be jettisoned.

  79. things i’ve been wrong on: esco was indeed ready for fulltime, and kotsay wasn’t terrible (unfortunately… the back problems have come into play as many of us expected would be a distinct possibility)

  80. Bill Shanks said on his site that he expects Charlie Morton to start Saturday night against the Angels. Take that for what it is worth.

    Shanks also said the last time Chipper Jones got hurt (not this time, the time before when it was Chipper’s back) that he was a lock to go on the DL. Never happened and Chipper was back in in a couple of days.

  81. He also said that the Braves had traded for Mark Teixeira, which would have been a good thing except that he said it before the 2006 season.

  82. I’ll admit I like Esco from the beginning b/c I love his approach at the plate. Not trying to pull everything, and taking what the pitchers give you. I think eventually he will hit more HRs.

    Glavine and Maddux weren’t power pitchers, but they were Glavine and Maddux if you get what I’m saying.

    Right now, I like the make-up of Reyes and Jurrens(sp?) ….they just seem tough and good to build on.

  83. Besides, who’s spot would Morton take? Hudson? Glavine? Jurrjens? Reyes? Campillo?

    As for Smoltz, if he doesn’t retire, the Braves probably will (and should) give him a contract of some kind. It won’t be for 14 million like this year of course. And why not? He’d probably still be at least the Braves’ second best starter or best relief pitcher.

  84. I almost google Bill Shanks…but then I resisted the temptation. Google could be so tempting and dangerous sometimes.

  85. “It’s always the same…it’s just a shame…that’s all…..that’s ahallllll”

  86. Just having the Braves do something different would lift my spirits, but Mac’s idea of shooting someone would really give me a boost.

    Is anything happening on the Braves’ day of rest? Rumors would be nice to ponder.

  87. I sort of want Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux to retire at the end of the year…I would love to make that 4 hour drive up to Cooperstown in 5 years…

  88. Mac, I think you just got guilt by association thing through BravesBeat. I think it’s funny how factions always rise up on the internet. For example, for years Baseball Prospectus and Baseball Primer (BTF) had lots of bad blood. Unless you were around back then (and even the worst of it was before my time) you probably wouldn’t know there had once been such animosity. I know of the same squabbles in other areas of the web, but I won’t mention them for fear of outing my nerdiness.

  89. Interesting idea on Baseball Prospectus.

    Skip Hampton’s rehab outings and make him the closer.

  90. watch out – Thorman has 5HR’s and 7RBI’s in his last 10 games. Hey thats almost as many HR’s that Frenchy has all season

  91. Yankee Killer Dept.:
    In his 4 games at Yankee Stadium Fri thru Mon, here’s Jose Guillen’s line: 9 for 16 (incl. 3HRs & 2 2Bs), 6 R, 10 RBI.

    That includes scoring the winning run Friday, hitting a GSHR on Saturday (in a loss) and hitting a game-winning HR in the 9th today off Mariano Rivera.

    And you thought Shane Victorino had a good weekend.

  92. We bitched at Thorman for good reason last year, but I tend to think he’d have an even chance of outperforming Francoeur, and have little doubt that he’d be an improvement on Norfante.

    Francoeur only has seven homers, but to be fair that’s more than half the outfield total.

  93. Thorman is hitting .252 .280 .439 with a 50/9 K/BB ratio at Richmond this year. He wouldn’t be an upgrade on Norfante or Anderson.

  94. We need this:

    Got my hair cut today and heard the following from my barber.

    ATL gets: Aaron Rowand, Danny Ardoin, Vinnie Chulk
    LAD gets: Garrett Atkins, Lillibridge,
    SF gets: Juan Pierre, Brandon Jones, Lillibridge, and Cash (LAD)
    COL: Randy Winn, Clint Sammons

  95. REDO!

    ATL gets: Aaron Rowand, Danny Ardoin, Vinnie Chulk
    LAD gets: Garrett Atkins, Lillibridge,
    SF gets: Juan Pierre, Brandon Jones, , and cash (LAD)
    COL: Randy Winn, Clint Sammons, Blanco

  96. check these numbers out…here is the SLG%’s for our typical bench players.

    .063 (Miller)
    .243 (Gotay)
    .275 (Norton)
    .311 (Diaz)
    .331 (Blanco)
    .365 (Infante)

    At this point something needs to happen to try and get some power back on the bench. Bring Thorman and Barbaro up. We have plenty of defensive guys that cant hit so lets try something else. Why not call up the 28 year old Jason Perry? I havent heard of him, but 15HR’s in 173Ab’s is impressive. His line for the year .312/.416/.680/1.081 OPS

  97. Smitty,

    Why would Co give up Garrett Atkins? Why would SF want Piere, Lillibridge and Jones? So many holes in that proposed trade. Nice try by t

  98. Hell, who knows, my “barber” threw that together really fast with names no one is talking about.

  99. I confess to sending an e-mail to my Mets fan friend this afternoon, thanking her team for sucking in new and excitingly the same ways and keeping the Braves company in “.500 land”l… or something like that.

  100. Wow I am so excited!! The Cubs vs the Braves on ESPN Wednesday night…My 1st live Braves games since…on forgot. They were on TBS yesterday.

  101. Heard a lot about ya guys, thought I would drop off the newest one I heard this afternoon:

    ATL gets: Raul Ibanez, Jeff Clement
    SEA gets: Chris Duncan, Lillibridge, Bryan Anderson
    STL gets: Ryan Rowland-Smith, Chuck James

  102. I second the Jason Perry thing, not necessarily because he will be amazing but because I thought he was exactly why you had a AAA- so you could stash players there who might potentially be useful for a short-term callup, even if maybe they can’t stay in the majors as a full-time player. Running him out to LF seems like a much better option than what the Braves are doing now. I just don’t see the risk, really- if he’s terrible, well, you’ve learned something and it is not as if you forfeited useful production from the “regulars.” And if you catch lightning in a bottle, then ride that, or trade while the value is high, or whatever- just do SOMETHING…

  103. Former team with best home record (Braves, also worst road record or something) facing the current team with best home record (Cubs)… should be fun fun fun!

  104. Heard a lot about ya guys, thought I would drop off the newest one I heard this afternoon:

    ATL gets: Raul Ibanez, Jeff Clement, Nick Stavinoha
    SEA gets: Chris Duncan, Lillibridge, Bryan Anderson
    STL gets: Ryan Rowland-Smith, Chuck James

  105. I really think we need a few players that can energize this team. A few years ago McCann and Franceour not only played well, but they brought new life to the team. Barbaro could provide some help offensively (although we don’t have anywhere to put him defensively) and the only others guys that could help are Schaefer (probably too early given the suspension) and Morton (although even our 4th and 5th starters have been pretty good so far).

    Bottom line is, I don’t see anything or anyone outside of a trade bringing new life to a team that seems to give up at the end of the game or finds ways to lose after scoring a run or two late.

  106. How far have the Diamondbacks fallen? Well since you ask the question…the Giants at 28-35 are only 5.5 back and the Padres at 28-37 are only 6.5 back. And Peavy is coming back, so other teams can probably can forget about inquiring about Maddux.

    Baseball is such a long season….

  107. But Rufino, Where are we on 40 man roster spots? Somebody would have to go.

    And on the 40 man, can you “retroactive” to it?

  108. Cliff,

    That is a question that I cannot answer. I am uneducated on roster mechanics, I don’t really know what can be done there. I think Smoltz is still on the 40-man, for example, which doesn’t make sense to me but I am sure that there are rules which I am ignorant of- hopefully someone on here will answer your question.

  109. Mac,

    Sorry about the way that “of course Mac beat me to it” came out, I didn’t mean to sound snide- my bad on that one.

  110. By the way, looking at the 40-man roster, who are Jairo Cuevas and Jeff Ridgway?

  111. With nearly 100 games left in the season I would say 6.5 is pretty close, especially in that division when everyone thought the Dbacks would run away and hide.

    Uh-oh…the Phillies are trying to get Erik Bedard from Seattle. Great another lefty to give the Braves fits.

  112. So what you want about Ozzie Guillen, but since his tirade the White Sox have won 7 straight…and guess what the offense has awaken.

  113. Ozzie Guillen is not a good person, and I’m glad he’s not in my league. He’s benefiting from the precipitous, unforeseen collapses of the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers, and winning accolades for being a genius, when in fact he’s a profane bully. He may be able to manage, but he’s a grade-A jerk.

  114. I propose a new Bravesjournal bylaw: Anyone who states that they have given up on the season has their account converted to read only status.

  115. I don’t like Ozzie either just for the record. WOW…Brian Lawrence has power too!!

    Finally a decent outfield.

  116. I mean, maybe the Rockies really like Sammons. Atkins isn’t really the biggest cog on their team, maybe they have people who can replace him. If I’m the Giants, while Pierre does suck, I would definitely rather have him than Randy Winn. The Dodgers get Garrett Atkins, who is definitely a good player, and Lillibridge, who could turn into something…who knows? And we give up some young players, most of whom are blocked anyway (certainly the case with Sammons and Lillibridge) for something we really needs, which is an outfielder with some experience and who doesn’t suck.

    I’m not saying that it’s going to happen. But there’s no reason why that deal wouldn’t make a certain amount of sense for everybody involved.

  117. Frenchie is a local golden boy, and there aren’t any alternatives in AAA right now (I’m sorry, but Brandon Jones .260 average with a .711 OPS in AAA just do not excite me-you don’t get a pass to MLB in Atlanta because your last name is Jones), so Frenchie has a lot of room to fail some more, this year. I am just convinced he will never be a really good MLB player; the ingrained lack of pitch selection has been too much to overcome against MLB pitchers. The question was whether frenchie would grow and adjust to tougher MLB pitchers, or whether they would grow and adjust to his strike zone (1 foot outside). I guess we have some pretty good data to decide who adjusted better and faster. He will still hit some mistakes for HR’s, but I cannot see him ever growing into more than a middle to bottom third of the league RF, and that isn’t what wins you championships.

  118. And I think that Lawrence signing is a decent low-risk move by us. If he turns out to actually do well at Richmond, we can think about moving him into our rotation. If he still sucks (far more likely), there was no harm in trying.

  119. The Braves’ brass has adjusted well to last year’s fiasco at the bottom of the order, which, as Mac repeatedly pointed out last season and during the offseason, was the main reason the Phillies and not the Braves won the division. They seem to have league-average pitching down. I am fine with the Lawrence signing, especially as Campillo deals with a nagging blister.

    But now of course hitting has moved to the top of the list of reasons ‘why the Braves can’t escape mediocrity.’ Statistically, as has been beat to death, they’re ok, and that probably is why Joe Sheehan almost dismisses it as a problem. But we call can see – and this includes both the stat-heads and ‘statistically disinclined’ among us – that the lineup is either poorly constructed or ineffective. *At best* this team can’t beat a lefty. And with a black hole in the entire OF, they’re one Chipper slump (or injury), or perhaps even one McCann slump or injury, from being left in the dust.

  120. I get tired of the stat geeks that seem to dismiss actual results of games or attribute it to luck–good or bad. Sheehan acts as if winnnig or losing is arbitrary. It’s not–the Braves have done specific things to lose those games. The extremity is flukey–usually you would expect to win some close games even when you play poorly like Friday night–but it’s not as if the gods are striking Braves home runs out of the sky.

  121. The Padres have been doing the camo-gear thing for years. San Diego is a Navy/Marines town, so it’s their “tribute to the troops.”

    But I agree. They look ridiculous.

  122. Gromar Norfrancoeur! I love it. Let’s take it Further:

    Joramar Norfranblancerson

    Or stay with Gromar Norfrancoeur and have another player named Gregosh Blancerson

  123. A picture of Dan KolBB is on the AJC’s Braves homepage under the heading “What Could Be Worse?” I had hoped I’d never have to see him in an Atlanta uniform again.

  124. remember when we almost traded Andruw and Ortiz for Magglio. He probably wouldnt have been resigned as an FA, but he would be a great addition to this lineup right now.

    Possible OF’s to get traded – Holliday, Nady, Winn, Ibanez, Griffey, Dunn. At this point I would welcome any of these guys

  125. Ozzie Guillen is crazy. I’d hire him for the intimidation factor alone and would give him an entrance theme like Jordan’s Bulls of the mid 90’s, complete with smoke machine and laser show. I thoroughly enjoy his antics.

  126. Right in the middle of 98-100 degree heat wave here in NC, and the freaking A/C decides to stop working.

    Sheesh. If you guys read a story about a fat man electrocuted by sweating on his keyboard while bashing Jeff Francoeur, that will be me. And you guys will have another thing to lay at Frenchy’s feet as well.

  127. I have to disagree with you guys who say that Franceour will never make it because of his pitch selection. He seems to have improved quite a bit in that area this year except when men are on base. With runners on he tries to win the game by himself and he ends ups swinging at pitches way outside or in the dirt. I think this is a mental block that can be corrected.

    IMO, if Frenchy has a problem that can’t be cured, it’s his length of swing. I’m still not totally convinced that he won’t be above average one day, but if he can’t cut down on the length of his swing, he may never be much better than he is now.

    I also know that swing length and pitch selection are related, but I think the root problem is the length of Franceour’s swing.

  128. Why hasn’t Bobby brought Chuck James back up yet? It’s been two weeks since we last sent him back…

    Just kidding.

  129. Guys I know our outfield is bad, really bad and it is ugly, but I think you are overlooking the fact that our infield is very good. Every hitter on the infield is above average (as soon as Tex decides to hit this year). So we have 3 below average hitters out of 8. That ain’t too shabby and you can’t expect to have a complete lineup of above average hitters. They happen to come from historically hitting positions, but that just means you have to get that production from other places (2b, ss, c). We don’t have the Yankees or Red Sox or Tigers payrolls.
    And as has been pointed out had The Out Machine turned his corner and Kotsay and Diaz we might have had an average OF which would be enough in theory. Though that would not have been in character of our “luck” so far this season. I think maybe Chipper has taken it all.

    However, I can’t watch The Out Machine hit in the 5 hole anymore. 15 men LOB in one series. Drop him to the 8 hole please so that we don’t waste all of these chances. Why worry about pitching to Chipper and Tex and McCann when you know that Frenchy will bail you out and get you out of the inning.

  130. here is a realization that we probably all need to grasp. Tex isnt much better than the numbers he’s putting up right now. Every stat is right along with his career numbers, except is slg% is slightly down. It isnt going to change very much

  131. Pirates Outfield:

    Bay .289 .404 .547; 14 HR,
    McLouth .303 .394 .578; 14 HR
    Nady .320 .384 .523 ; 9 HR

  132. Pirate’s outfield is legit, and that’s why I have Nady and Bay on my fantasy team. We’d do well to pick up one of those guys. I think Nady would be the best bet; he’d come cheaper than Bay, and I think he’s more likely to sustain his performance than Nate McLouth.

  133. Only thing about Nady is that he’s historically been significantly better in the first half than in the second. Not really sure why, but it’s something to bear in mind if we were to try to acquire him.

  134. Another tough night on the farm with Rohrbough getting lit up:

    http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_06_09_crdafx_romafx_1&t=g_box&did=milb

    Given how well he pitched last year and his late start this year, I fear that he is not completely healed from his injury. He ought to be much stronger at Rome–not weaker.

    Between Barrett, Rohrbough and Evarts the news from Rome has not been good. The fact that Chad Rodgers got hit hard last week doesn’t help either.

    I am really glad that we have drafted a fleet of new arms….

  135. I think that when the 2008 season ends Tex will have pretty good numbers. However, the troubling thing is that he is 28 and one might expect this to be a career year for him.

    The Braves should offer him a decent contract, but not go overboard trying to sign him.

    The best thing about Tex at this point in the season is that his numbers have almost certainly frustrated Boras….

  136. with all due respect, Frenchie is on base for 38 walks this year; he had 42 last year. He is NOT getting better at pitch selection; he is going backwards from a WAY too low number to start with.

    it will be interesting to see if Frank Wren tries to lock him up for several years, because he is a local kid. he is by most statistical measures the worst RF in the NL right now, and very replacable (just not from our farm system, right now). I guess we will see whether Frank Wren gets his baseball knowledge from Baseball Prospectus or Atlanta Magazine.

    Me? I wouldn’t spend very much on Frenchie…using money for a below league replacement player just doesn’t seem a very good strategy to me.

  137. The Braves have been trying to lock up Francoeur for two years. He has been unwilling to sign, because he thinks he is worth more than the Braves will offer. Unless he turns things around this season, I think he’s going to regret it. The Braves would be smart to let him go to arbitration for the next three years. If his popularity and performance remain the same then no team will be able to outbid Atlanta for his free agent services, and he still won’t be expensive as an outfielder.

  138. Didnt Francois turn down a lucrative offer this past offseason?

    While we all agree we need a new outfield(ers) is there any realistic players we can target? I keep see Ibanez from Seattle, I dont think he can play D though.
    Any thoughts?

  139. I certainly hope that the Braves come to their senses about Frenchy. In fact, he does seem to have regressed this season and he has less power than in 2006–so I am not too worried that they will throw away lots of money on him. Still, they may be beholden…

  140. It really may be the 1st real test of the Frank Wren era; do we over-pay a local kid because he comes from parkview HS and has nice counting stats (who wouldn’t get RBI hitting behind Chipper and Tiex), or do we understand that teams locking up players like Ryan Braun and Evan Longeria are dealing with a different level of player? I would assume Jason Haywood should be ready to take Frenchie’s spot in 2 years?

  141. Do we make a run and/or do we want Adam Dunn? His no trade clause shriks on Sunday.

  142. Good point about Tex; he is a good player but not as good as he played when he came over last year. That’s why you have to be careful about not overpaying.

    It’s nice to talk about players we would like to have but the other team has to be willing to trade them. I don’t see why the Pirates would want to give up any of their outfielders; they are still within sight of .500, which would be a big deal for them. And how much would you want to give up to make the deal worth their while? You have to target players that you have a realistic shot at getting. And, these days, it’s much harder to make a deal during the season because most teams are at least marginally in contention.

    I don’t think the Braves are going to throw the bank at Frenchy just because he is a popular local boy. I don’t think they are that stupid. If they are that stupid, it doesn’t bode well for the future.

  143. adam dunn would be our all in bet for this year, and is a perfect fit to step into 1B if we cannot re-sign Tiex after this year. There is no one on the farm for a while at 1B, and he could man the position for the next 3 years quite nicely. he is kind of the anti-frenchie, too…uber strike-zone judgment.

  144. Smitty–that is almost poetic: run/Dunn….

    If we are going to try to muster a serious effort to get into the postseason, then we need to acquire more firepower. I am not sure we have all that much to trade–unless we decide do part with Hayward, Freeman and Schafer–to get the big bats that we need.

    It would be nice if we could trade the likes of Lillibridge, Brandon Jones, Diory Hernandez, Martin Prado and/or pitchers such as Parr, Cofield, Sencion or Heath to get some top bats, but I don’t see it. I just don’t think many of these prospects are attractive enough to other teams.

    I would not want us to have to trade Morton, Jo Jo or JJ either–as they do give us some young arms for rebuilding.

    Of course if we could flip Frenchy….

  145. In my best dreams, Ichiro plays right for the Braves; in my nightmares, Barry Bonds plays left and Sammy Sosa plays right.

    Wake me, please.

  146. I’d almost rather have a Bonds/Frenchy/Sosa outfield over the current craptastic trio that we currently trot out there…..

  147. Yeah, we’d lose our one run games 13-12 instead of 2-1. That Bonds/Frenchy/Sosa abomination might possibly be the worst defensive outfield ever.

  148. Boras just pisses me off. I don’t know how you can look at a guy who’s playing with Chipper Jones, who is happy to be hitting .420 and making like 11 million, and say “you deserve double that for the next 8 years”.

  149. It’s because Chipper is a freak, and that’s why he’s so loved in Atlanta.

    In other news, the Escobar-Church collision has put Church on the DL three weeks later.

    That’s what you get for going in too high…

  150. In my worst nightmares we move Chipper back to the OF and he gets a major injury within a week. I think I would become a Cubs fan if we got Bonds. I’m not sure if Bonds and Sosa would be much worse than Nort0n and Thorman (if we call him back up – please don’t!)

    I’ll have to say that I think Josh Anderson can be pretty good as a 4th OFer. He doesn’t have any power, but he reminds me of the Diaz of last year with speed. Of course, I don’t know if it will last, but he’s looked pretty good both last year and this year.

  151. Do you think Chipper would turn down an extra 11 million this year? Do you think Teixeira should turn down 22 million if someone offers it to him?

  152. Well he kinda did, Stu. He re-worked his deal and has inevitably lost money in the process. But I understand what you mean and I agree. I think Chipper deserves some praise for re-working his deal, but you know someone would have given him more.

  153. Rob, in November of 2005, coming off of seasons in which he only played in 137 and 109 games, and at age 33, Chipper worked with the Braves to restructure his deal such that two $15 million option years with $5 million buyouts (’07 and ’08) were guaranteed at $11 million per season and an additional option year was added. Under the re-worked deal, his ’06 salary went from $17 million to $11 million.

    I don’t think Chipper turned down much of anything. He gave up $16 million in guaranteed salary in exchange for $22 million in guaranteed salary over the same period of time. I think he did what he thought was in his best interest at the time.

  154. I really think we need to replace Pendleton. PR nightmare, I know, but dammit when hitters continue to make the same fundamental mistakes over and over again you’ve got to make a change.

    I thought it might have just been Andruw’s thick skull, but this team has better hitting talent than it is showing. Again.

    Also, is there any way to pry Peavy away from the Padres?

  155. I’m one who has defended the Chipper “altruism” in the past (still do really, this is just a thought game), but he COULD just be crafty enough that he’s taking the long view.

    Anybody think the fans wouldn’t love to see him back as the manager 3 years after he retired? Don’t be greedy now and he can write his own ticket for the future with this team.

    Heck he could run for governor in this state and probably win. Beloved sports figures in this state can continue to make money after retirement with car dealerships and restaurants. I’d stop by Chipper Jones Dodge for my next minivan purchase.

  156. Phils, Marlins, Cubs, and of course Braves all have hitting coaches that played for the Braves (there may be others, I’m too lazy to keep looking them up). Though none of them seem to have better stats as a batter than Terry did… for whatever that information is worth.

  157. Speaking of a “Chipper Jones Dodge,” maybe we can figure out how to get a car to run on the wind produced by Frenchy’s whiffs that could be sold there. Heck, the way gas prices are, we need to come up with creative solutions.

  158. Thats not a bad idea oldtimer…..something to shake things up. I think sometimes players get a little lax with Bobby because he is so even-keeled. Maybe a little Bull Durham speach would work….”what does that make you??? Lolligagers……”

  159. meanwhile Willy Aybar is hitting .306 and slg .551, granted its only in 49AB’s, but I would gladly take him back

  160. Francoeur has combined the worst of the 2006 version (low OBP) with the worst of the 2007 version (fewer homeruns) into one awful player.

  161. CSG, I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but not that long ago it looked pretty convincingly conclusive that he beat his wife. If that’s true, I don’t want Willy.

  162. Francoeur’s VORP is -0.6. Only Lillibridge (and his 8 plate appearances), Norton, Diaz and Corky are worse.

  163. I wonder what kind of lineup Bobby will put out tonight against a lefty and no Chipper.

  164. Altruism is relative I guess. When you have made millions and millions and have a huge ranch, I think you can afford to take a little less. It’s nice what Chipper did, but let’s not get carried away; it’s not like he went to Africa to build hospitals. He wants to win and recognized that the Braves ownership wasn’t going to have a huge payroll. By the same token, I don’t see the teams rewarding players that exceed expectations out of the goodness of their hearts. It’s a business.

    As for managing, you can probably list on one hand the number of great players who were successful managers. Joe Torre–probably a very good but not great player-is the only one that really comes to mind as having a lot of success.

    As for Peavey, cripes, why not trade Manny Acosta for Albert Pujols? Why do you think these teams are going to trade the cornerstones of the franchise?

  165. yeah against a lefty, it’ll be

    Escobar
    Johnson
    Frenchy
    Tex
    Norton
    McCann
    Infante
    Blanco or Anderson

  166. Quote from Jason Start article about the prevalence of home teams winning this year:

    “The Braves are 25-11 at home,” another AL executive said. “And there is nothing about that park or those fans that would give them an advantage.”

  167. It’s not that the Braves have an advantage at home, it’s the disadvantage their opponents have due to the free strip club passes the team puts in visiting hotel rooms. The Phillies, unfortunately, accidentally swapped rooms with a group of tourists from Utah.

  168. Ouch!! Did he have to rail against Braves fans like that…lol. But it’s true.

    In regards to Chipper, for what he did in 1999…he should be able to do anything he wants in the city of Atlanta. He basically carried that team with a little help from BJ.

    Lilly, Dempster and Gallagher? On paper you would think “damn the Braves have a chance”, but it’s on the road and for some reason the Braves offense vanishes at Wrigley. Maybe Chicago is too much fun..after all it is BMcCann favorite road town.

  169. Yes, the Braves hometown advantage is having Cheshire Bridge Road in the immediate vicinity.

    I wouldn’t imagine too many visiting ballplayers hit the Clermont, even A-Rod.

  170. it’s a cruel world when the phillies are on top of the division. I can’t stand Philly. That place is nasty.

    I think we’ll sign Frenchy to a reasonable contract b/c he’s not a high risk at his young age. If he were approaching his mid twenties, it may be another issue.

    I’d rather not entertain the thoughts of getting Adam Dunn. There is no excuse for striking out as many times as he does regardless of how many home runs you hit.

  171. Philadelphia is like any other major city. It has its nice parts & its other parts.

    Although there’s a unique element of self-administered misery to its sporting scene, I actually like the town & find it very manageable.

    And there’s nothing like going to a Phillies game for people-watching.

  172. Mike,

    thats one thing that kinda bothers me about the all-star game is that some many underserving player from primarily large market teams get to start, though the don’t even deserve to be there. (Alfonso Soriano)
    At least Jose Reyes is trailing big-time.

  173. Marc,
    Are you ever in a good mood? You’re an Alex-R.-like rant machine. I love it.

    I think we’ll sign Frenchy to a reasonable contract b/c he’s not a high risk at his young age. If he were approaching his mid twenties, it may be another issue.

    He’s 24.

    There is no excuse for striking out as many times as he does regardless of how many home runs you hit.

    What about this one: Over the course of his career, he’s been about 31% more productive than the average major league hitter.

  174. I love Philadelphia. Even in the five years since I left, it’s become even more beautiful and cosmopolitan. More restaurants and outdoor eateries and bars and a better theatre and music scene with each passing year. Great town and passionate – albeit sick and twisted and excessively violent – sports fans.

  175. Buster Olney mentioned today that Bavasi just couldn’t deal Bedard this soon after acquiring him. But, if Bavasi were to be fired (which should have happened long, long ago), would the next GM…

    a. have the clarity to actually realize that they cannot win as presently constituted, and
    b. have the testicular fortitude to deal bedard for prospects just after they acquired him? it’d be a strong move to show the old regime is out and had no idea what it was doing, but it’d be a tough move to spin the PR for.

    I know it’s a pipe dream, that Bedard hasn’t exactly been on fire, and that he (from what I’ve read) doesn’t have the warmest personality in the world, but this may be the only way the Braves (or anyone, for that matter) could pick up an ace level pitcher without spending bazillions in free agency.

    Thoughts? I know Stu would be all over this scenario.

  176. “What about this one: Over the course of his career, he’s been about 31% more productive than the average major league hitter.”

    Not sure what that means, but the old adage ‘lies, damn lies, and statistics’ comes to mind. To punch right back, in 2006 he was basically a league-average replacement player and this season he is actually ever-so-slightly below that level. Francoeur is not just overrated: he’s actually bad. Like, AAA-level bad.

    In fact, while last season’s trade-off of home-run hitting power for a bit more plate-discipline could be rationalized – insofar as many of us assumed the power would come back, especially with improved plate discipline – this season we’re seeing how the power may never arrive and that the discipline, pathetic as it is, probably won’t ever improve enough to be even league-average. He’s just bad. Everyone, stat-heads and most other baseball-related people, agree. If the Braves are stupid enough to lock him up it may be a deal breaker.

  177. If Jeff simply batted 7th or 8th, it wouldn’t be a big deal—-the problem is that Bobby insists on keeping him the 5th/6th hole even the 3-hole the other night.

    We have above-average hitters at C, 1B, 2B, 3B, and SS, their are gonna be holes somewhere, ATL’s just happens to be in traditionally hitting spots (corner OFs). Whereas, defensive positions C, 2B, SS we have excellent hitters relative to others at their postion not named Hanley Ramirez or Chase Utley.

  178. Philly is a good town, my friends and I have made road trips there the las three years for a Phillies game and have a lot of fun there.

  179. It is not that the Braves have holes that is the problem. It is that the holes are so fricking deep and in places where holes are easy to fill.

  180. Adam M,
    Surely you know me better than that. The bit you quoted was in response to criticism of Adam Dunn, not Jeff Francoeur.

  181. Let’s trade Corky Miller and Resop for a quality starting pitcher and a box of Gatorade bars. Hey, if the pitcher doesn’t work out, at least Tex will have something to eat in the 5th or 6th inning.

  182. The Braves need a true leadoff hitter with an approach that works for the spot in the lineup. Escobar is much more relaxed in the #2 hole…401 OBP vs. a .322 as leadoff. Calling Brian Giles?

  183. 256 — true, true. How tough can it be to find a guy that hits lefties and plays acceptable LF defense?

  184. I would still like to know why we managed to carry both Corky and Resuck. In particular, why did we let go of Bryan Pena and keep Corky?

    At last year’s winter meetings Wrenn claimed that he was looking for a backup catcher. I thought that he should have been more ambitious and looked for a quality starter (yes, Bedard would have been great), but I now recognize that this was actually a valuable goal…

  185. At this point, I’d trade Corky Miller for a dangling participle and a split infinitive. Being such a terrible catcher, I’d do anything to immediately get rid of him.

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