Phillies 7, Braves 3

ESPN – Phillies vs. Braves – Box Score – July 02, 2008

I hate this team. The right fielder (who sucks) in particular, of course.

In the third inning, already trailing 1-0 (after the usual botched scoring opportunities off of the legendary Adam Eaton) Jorge Campillo put two men on base, and there was Ryan Howard, who did Ryan Howard things to the baseball and it was 4-0 just like that, and I pretty much gave up then.

Ah, but this would be one of those “can’t get the hit to get all the way back” games. I kind of missed those with all the “never had a real opportunity to get all the way back” games lately. It got to 5-0 after a solo homer. Gotay pinch-hit for Campillo in the fifth and hit a solo homer to make it 5-1. The Braves loaded the bases with none out in the sixth. However, Francoeur, who sucks, was due up, and Bobby didn’t have the sense to hit for him with someone more competent, like Hudson or Reyes. Francoeur grounded into a double play. Somewhere, Chip Caray was pleased at these “productive outs”, what with the run scoring.

Chipper hit a solo homer (righthanded) to cut it to 5-3 in the eighth, but then the bullpen exploded, two runs scoring to make it 7-3, the big blow a triple off of Ring by Rollins. And then two men reached base in the bottom of the ninth. With two out, Chipper hit a grounder that should have ended it, but Ryan Howard did (defensive) Ryan Howard things and the bases were loaded. Teixeira turned on the first pitch and pulled it hard, but foul, and struck out 3-2 to end it.

Francoeur sucks, and at this point resembles a giant Brent Lillibridge, only with facial hair. If the fans really would turn on the team for sending him to Richmond, they’re not fans. Escobar was back in the lineup, going 1-5. Kotsay was 0-4 again and doesn’t look ready, though he’s still far better than Francoeur.

118 thoughts on “Phillies 7, Braves 3”

  1. I’ve been kind of in and out the last week or so. I noticed that Francoeur had a new Cal Ripken-esque batting stance tonight. When did he bust that out?

  2. RehabReject, I don’t care even if he breaks out the Julio-esque batting stance. The Prince of Suckage stinks so bad nowadays that girls should be running away from him now.

  3. Frenchy’s beard was actually shaved down a bit today… this look is intentional?! I guess it’s so he can show the fans that he’s very depressed, and we should stop booing him when he grounds into double plays with the bases loaded.

  4. If the Braves supposedly can’t send Francoeur to Richmond, can’t they send him to the bench? He is killing us.

  5. The fanbase’s love of individual players over what’s best for the team is going to be their undoing.

    And that we wouldn’t consider sending him down because of lost revenue is frightening. When I heard that Liberty Media was buying the team, I was afraid of bush league things like this.

  6. I don’t think that the fanbase is that stupid. I think that the suits think that the fanbase is, but the fans are the only people (well, DOB is now, but the fans were getting there first) willing to point out that Francoeur is killing the team.

  7. I think it’s a combination of the Braves’ general reluctant to demote Frenchy and Bobby’s unhuman-like patience/loyalty to his players.

  8. Who am I?
    .206 RISP
    .105 Bases loaded
    I’ve seen a 3-0 count only 11 times in 83 games
    I’m currently sporting a sweet, trimmed, molestor beard

  9. Mark Bowman:

    One primary reason that the Braves haven’t shipped Francoeur back to the Minors is the potential backlash they might receive from their fans, who have remained faithful to No. 7, despite the fact that he entered Wednesday night’s game against the Phillies hitting just .239 with a .294 on-base percentage and .383 slugging percentage.

  10. Ok, then it’s stupid front office and brainless Peanut. When is managing by fan reaction becoming a priority of the Braves? That’s what stupid team does…

  11. I don’t think that the fanbase is that stupid. I think that the suits think that the fanbase is,

    That would be my guess as well.

  12. Braves fans,

    Season got you down? Hopeless? Coming up short time and again?

    Well, stroll on over to the Tampa Bay Rays train. Watch yourself, ’cause it’s picking up steam, but there’s still plenty of room on board.

    Here are three reasons for Braves fans to take a shine to the new kids on the block:
    1) Like the Braves in ’91, the Rays are being propelled by young talent in a furious charge from worst to first.
    2) It’s the AL. It would be embarrassing to jump on the Marlins or Cubs or Phillies trains. The AL is like another planet.
    3) After completing the sweep of the Boston Red Sox tonight, the Rays lead the AL East against the game’s two outrageous financial Yankee powers. When in doubt, go South.

    Lastly, it seems that Baseball Prospectus believes they could use an upgrade in right field from journeyman-o-rama. Might we be able to interest the Rays in rocket-armed young OF.. Jeff Francoeur? Just peel off a blocked super prospect and he’s yours, Tampa. Act now and we Braves fans will throw our delegates to your World Series campaign.

    **This message has been approved by exasperated Braves fans.**

  13. Somebody mentioned in the previous game that Skip and Pete were on the radio saying send Francoeur to the minors.

  14. Yeah, uh, no thanks. I’d rather follow this piss-poor Braves’ team than the Rays. Heck, the Braves are averaging more fans than the Rays are for home games this season, so it seems people in that area don’t even care about the Rays themselves.

  15. Maybe baseball isn’t meant to be watched everyday? Perhaps its too painful?

    If anyone wants to join the Oakland band-red-flyer-wagon let me know. Tickets are like 6 dollars for lower level, hot dogs are 1 dollar, and there are only about 12 people at the game.

  16. I would have to disagree, I think most “fans” are that stupid. How many intelligent Braves fans do you know that aren’t on here, or other Braves blogs ?? I think most Braves fans are pretty casual, and don’t realize exactly how terrible Frenchy has been this year. I think most Braves fans, like I said not on here but in general, just think he’s “going through a slump.” I think that if I polled most baseball fans that I know and asked them “name the right fielder who has been the worst in major league baseball,” probably not many would guess Francoeur because he continues to play everyday. Maybe I need to know more people, but that’s just my opinion. Seriously, why do people cheer for him so loudly when he comes up ?? I hear a few boos, and granted they’ve been getting louder lately, but it’s nowhere near where it should be. How many other fanbases would that happen with ?? The Yankees fans booed Derek Freaking Jeter when he had a bad first month of the season, let alone a terrible first half. The Braves, for the most part have always had a fairly apathetic fan base, and I think that’s the viewpoint of Atlanta sports fans in general from other parts of the country. Like I said earlier, I’m not directing that to anybody on here by any means, I just think that’s the way it is.

    With all that being said, there’s no excuse for continuing to run him out there everyday. We all agree on that.

  17. Also, if Peanut is reporting it, then that leads me to believe that sending him down is at least being seriously discussed, which gives me hope that the right thing will happen, which I can’t say I was real confident of a week or two ago.

  18. If Francoeur was hitting .270 and doing everything else as badly as he is (double plays, no walks, no power, bad defense), maybe fans would let it slide. But even the most casual fan can realize that he’s not helping when he’s hitting .236 and even Joe Simpson has noticed that he’s sucking the life out of the offense.

  19. If it was Philly, they would be throwing batteries at Jeffy. (Not that I would condone that!) But that would hurt his feelings.

  20. It does seem they are more concerned here with losing customers than winning games. But, like most “conventional wisdom,” that is probably a false assumption.

    jj3bagger, you might be on to something there. Float the idea out there through the mouthpiece. So when it happens the more casual fan might have heard about the possibility of it happening. Good risk management, actually.

  21. Lillibridge with facial hair….I like that

    Actually, I think jj3bagger has a point: most fans are casual and while they may only begin to be sensing that the Prince of Suckage really stinks (good one, KC) many probably do not see him as a huge problem. Of course, the 0ther side of that observation would surely be that if the Prince were sent to Richmond, they would not be unduly upset.

    What Bowman is repeating is a very silly argument because Atlanta has seen far worse from the Braves, and fan base fully recovered.

    My explanation is that the front office is in Denial. They have been ‘true believers’ and they are having trouble interpet reality when it is offered to them night after night….It is far better to make some noise about offending the ‘fan base’–many (like everyone here) are not offended, but quite pissed off…

  22. Gotta love this quote from Bobby Cox in the AJC article about the game:

    “We’re not here to talk about Frenchy. We just lost the damn game.”

    Uh, Bobby, do you think the guy who went 0-4 with 3 Ks and a rally-killing bases loaded double play had anything to do with that?

  23. Mac, I think you’re giving most fans too much credit, I bet if you ask a lot of them at the ballpark, “Jeff Francoeur is hitting .236, do you realize he may be the worst regular in the National League?,” a lot of them would say:

    1) Yeah but he plays “Gold Glove” defense.
    2) He’s fourth on the team in the RBI.
    3) He’s still really young.
    4) He’s dreamy.

    I think the Braves management are more worried about how fans will respond to a giant chopping cow than their right fielder who is costing the team games that they can’t afford to lose.

    On a side note, if you would have asked me before the season, “The three pitchers that are pitching a probable make or break series with the Phillies in July are Charlie Morton, Jorge Campillo and Jair Jurrjens, how confident are you?” I would have responded not very. That’s not an indictment on those three rookies, because two of them will hopefully be in the rotation for years to come, that’s just asking a lot of them.

  24. In an attempt to change our luck, I just changed the default theme. I’ll try anything at this point. If you hate it, you can use the theme switcher to go back to the old one.

  25. I don’t want to have to do this…but I think it may be time for another Phil Collins strike.

  26. First of all what “fans” at the ballpark, we are 10th in the NL in attendance. Most Braves fans, such as myself and most of the rest of everyone on here don’t live in ATL and seldom get to go to games.

    A while Francoeur is definitely terrible, the main problem is that he plays EVERY DAY, and until recently was hitting in the 5 or 6 hole. Plus, he is surrounded by several other automatic outs and perhaps one the worst organized benches in all of baseball. We always have at least three utility infielders, none of which can really play SS (Gotay, Prado, Infante) except Lillibridge, who looks 14 and hits like one.

    Corky Miller. ’nuff said. This is the guy we cut Javy Lopez, let Brayan Pena walk, and keep Clint Sammons in the minors in order for him to be on the roster and flirt with the .100 mark.

    Then there is Greg Norton.

    Blanco has been a pleasant surprise. Diaz has been hurt all year and was struggling with being an everyday LF, as most would’ve predicted.

    Before I get more frustrated, I just wonder if anyone in our front office (as well as Bobby) has ever heard of a spreadsheet or even looks at stats.

    Our OF is simply horrendous. Heyward won’t get here soon enough. Nor will Schafer. or Gorkys, surely at least one of them will pan out and be the well above-average hitter that we need.

    We simply have poorly built team, with too many old players that have been bitten by the injury bug, we’ve had poor luck with injuries, and way too many players that were rushed and should still be in AAA.

    The real sad thing is that we could be really good, considering how bad the NL is…okay, I’m done venting, for now.

  27. Anyone have Frank Wren’s email address? Maybe if we keep spamming his inbox he’ll realize that the real fans don’t want Francoeur in Atlanta anymore.

  28. I have already concluded that it would be a good idea to be a Rays fan. I have followed their farm for a while, not to mention they have David Price on the way.

  29. “Yeah, uh, no thanks. I’d rather follow this piss-poor Braves’ team than the Rays. Heck, the Braves are averaging more fans than the Rays are for home games this season, so it seems people in that area don’t even care about the Rays themselves.”

    Come on now, everyone loves the Rays. They’re picking up attendance. Tonight was a sellout. And anyway, that team is awesome. I love Longoria… but yeah, this is easy because I’m a Braves fan and I can root against the Yankees and Red Sox without impunity.

    “It does seem they are more concerned here with losing customers than winning games. But, like most “conventional wisdom,” that is probably a false assumption.”

    Huh. Last I checked, winning baseball games brought fans to the ballpark. If the Braves go 76-86 and then, in a Houston Astros-like attempt to tread water, put some more supplemental pieces around their aging base–going 83-79–their revenue will continue to be mediocre. If they build a solid team again, which IS possible, they can solidify some of the growth they’ve experienced over the past few years. Both businessmen and baseball fans should get that.

    All of that means doing what’s best for the team. What is best for the team is what is best for revenue in the long run. And what is best for the team is dealing with Francoeur.

  30. The Rays are around to stay. I was telling my friends last season they’d be good soon. I went out and bought one of their new hats back this winter and really got made fun of. I thought it would be next season before they really started coming along.

    When is the last time someone saw this caliber of collection of young talent? Kazmir/Shields/Garza/Longoria/Upton/Crawford/Navarro are all under 26 years old. The only players they have past their primes are Floyd & Percival. They are still loaded in the minors, but they won’t be having any more #1 picks again anytime soon.

    I cant’ help but think what-if they had Josh Hamilton. They’d have of the best lineups in baseball to complement great pitching and stellar defense. It would like Iwamura/Crawford/Upton/Hamilton/Longoria/Pena/Floyd/Navarro/Bartlett…wow

    If its and buts were candy and nuts…

  31. Who would you guys rather have – Andruw of last year or Franceour of this year?
    AJ of 07 – .311 .413 .222
    JF of 08 – .291 .379 .236

    As bad as AJ was, I’m surprised the comparison is so close. Actually though, I think Andruw was much worse than his final stats most of the season and batted 4th for a long time.

  32. I am happy for the Rays and the fans in the Tampa Bay area. That said, the best thing about them is they are not the Yankees and I will support (as I always have) whenever they visited the Bronx.

    Happily enough, I am a Braves fan to stay–come Hell or High Water. Having lived through the 1970s and 1980s, I have seen our team far worse–but not as frustrating as the 2008 version.

    I believe that the Braves can also have a good future–if they don’t throw it away….

  33. At least Andruw player true GG-caliber defense in a more important position, thus making Francoeur look beter in right. He also hit 26 home runs, Francoeur is on pace for what? 15-16. Then again, Andruw was expensive and apparently his ego was to big for Bobby to move him down.

    The more I think about it, we really need Jordan Schafer to be the real deal in CF. I just don’t want to see us trade away the farm again, for almost anyone. We don’t have very man A-type prospects, at all levels.

  34. My point is that the ‘bottom line’ is not mutually exclusive with winning. The latter will lead to achieving the former. If the Braves keep losing, there won’t be enough Francoeur fans to matter. But if they win, they can easily afford to lose those idiots who come only to see him (and color me skeptical about the ubiquity of these people).

  35. I’m not advocating this at all right now, but the sad thing is a Schafer-Hernandez-Heyward outfield right now couldn’t possibly be worse than the outfield that has been run out there on most nights.

  36. Interesting tidbit:

    Plenty of teams need relievers, and the Mariners have a few. Baker names Mark Lowe, Sean Green, and Arthur Rhodes as available parties. Just about any team in contention might be interested, though Baker names the Braves and the Rays.

  37. If they won’t show up to see B-mac then they can go pound sand, as far as I’m concerned.

  38. Thank god I had to work tonight and got to miss the game I guess.

    Also, I really like the new site layout. I think this is one of the first times I’ve ever gone to a usually visited website that had been redesigned and actually liked the new design better. So thumbs up to whoever’s responible.

  39. The last thing we need to do is trade away good prospects for more relievers. Sure, it would have been nice if Ring could have retired Rollins and kept the Braves in the game, but the bullpen is not the problem.

    It would be disconcerting to think that the Braves front office believes they can turn the season around by pursuing firesale relievers….

  40. This trading deadline will be a good reflection of what Wren is thinking about the Braves future. JS has always been very tight in trading away prospects. We will see how Wren will act.

    As of now, I think only signing Barry Bonds will make some difference. This team needs something dramatic whatsoever to happen. This team is lacking life, not talents.

  41. KC–Very tight? He certainly traded away a significant number of players–especially in recent years….

    You are right about the trading deadline: we should learn a lot by the end of the month….

  42. Besides last year, I think the assessment has been fair. I think JS was too tight in his early years which costed the team’s best chances in winning more World Series.

  43. @16, Folks, the idea is not to abandon the Braves at all, but to look around and enjoy something not so gloomy as well.

    I can manage following/rooting for the Braves AND Rays; I’d never advocate pure abandonment of my childhood team (unless the Braves left Atlanta or something.. unless they came to Birmingham).

    Just wanted to clear that up, though most understood I think.

  44. Until recently, I think that he has been very smart with most of these trades.

    However, he has traded a good number of players for very short term benefit. The one which sticks in my mind (and negatively) was the trade for Daryl Ward. In 2006 with the Braves out of the race, he sent Luis Atilano for Ward. Now, Atilano may never play in the majors–but at least he had a pretty high ceiling. We had Ward for less than a month. The Belisle for Mercker deal is another.

    Maybe he should have used prospects to pick up another lefthander in 1996 when Pedro Borbon went down, but I don’t blame the Braves’ World Series woes on JS’s trading philosophy.

    Of course, it was nice when we picked up McGriff for prospects….

  45. I know everyone seems to dislike the idea of trading for relievers, but think what our record in one run games would be if we didnt have to throw Acosta and Boyer out there in close situations…..just a thought

  46. There is no need to trade for any reliever. They just need to give Stockman a chance.

  47. Well, Stephen, from A Pena to Reardon to Farnsworth to Mercker to Baez to Wickman to Dotel, JS has done that again and again. The only one who really got away in those trades is Max Ramirez. We will see how good he will be. How surprising that the Indians traded him away so easily.

  48. For the most part I agree that these were good trades for the Braves, but that is also why I don’t see him as a conservative trader.

    Last I checked Max Ramirez was having a monster year–but two organizations have traded him away…time will tell….

  49. I believe Frank Wren is hoping this team can play around .500 ball with what we have and make it to the offseason.(not necessarily the post-season)
    IF our pitchers continue to develop we will be in great shape in the long run. Young guys like Jo-Jo and JJ, Morton may be a decent 4, Hudson can still throw for a few more years, we have a good bullpen which may improve if Bobby does not kill them.
    We will gain money to spend, then he can make some OF,1B or whatever moves are necessary.
    The infield is solid, at least up the middle.
    As far as our minor league OF, let them play in the minors and develop, maybe a september call up for a cup of coffee, but let em play down their.
    I know everyone involved with this team is frustrated but what realistically can they do to make them better for the long run right now, who do you trade of value to make yourself a legitimate contender? I think we better get used to this team till ’09.

  50. There once was a right fielder named Francoeur,
    whose career the Front Office believed would soar,
    but in his swing was a terrible hitch,
    which caused him to flail at each pitch,
    so now we hope they will show him the door.

  51. Stephen, what I meant is that I believe JS was very tight in trading top prospects within the organization. Nieves was included in the McGriff trade, Schmidt was used in the Neagle trade, Odalis Perez was used in the Sheffield trade, Wainwright was used in the Drew trade, Dan Meyer was used in the Hudson trade, and Salty was used in the Tex trade. Whenever JS included a top prospect in the organization in trade, he is always getting a sure thing in return. He may be less tight in trading the lesser prospects, but my opinion is that he is tight in using the top ones unless he is getting the sure thing in return.

  52. If I were Frank Wren:

    1. Release Corky Miller…immediately, go ahead and call up Clint Sammons, sure it would be better for him to play everyday, but we could at least get a grasp of what he is able to do at the MLB level.

    2. Send Francoeur to Richmond indefinitely. Give Brandon Jones a real shot to see if he is at least “platoon-worthy” as a corner outfielder or possibly “showcase” him while his stock is still relatively high.

    3. Put Blaine Boyer on the DL just to give him some rest before Bobby completely blows his arm out. This is a guy that I think projects to being a serviceable middle-reliever. Bobby seems to have forgotten that the guy has thrown barely 6 innings, over the past two years!

    4. Assuming we stay at our current level as the trade deadline approaches, and fall out of the WC contention, look to trade Will Ohman for whatever you can get. He is having his second best season of his career this year and I don’t really see him getting much better. He could be replaced next season.

    5. Keep Teixiera for the remainder of the season unless someone completely blows me away with an offer I can’t refuse. Try to resign him with all the money that will open up at the end of the year, if he bolts…you have several draft picks to help restock the farm. Note: At quick glance, I don’t see too many teams (focusing on the AL) that have a strong enough need for a Teixiera, and would also give up enough to get him. NYY, TBR, BOS, CWS, maybe LAA, but again…would they give up enough for him?

    I hate looking ahead to the offseason already, but its hard not to, given the way the team is performing right now, with no promise of improvement, especially as injuries continue to mount up. The good news is, again, we should have plenty of money to work with, even after yearly increases, arbitration, etc. We will have to bring in a middle-of-the-order bat if (when) Teixiera leaves, and though the market will be very small (and it will be very expensive) we would really need at least a #2 caliber starter to complement Hudson and go along with Jurrjens and hopefully Reyes, with the #5 spot left up to a battle between the likes of Campillo, Morton, James, etc.

    We could really use a true leadoff hitter (as could most teams) so we could have Escobar or Johnson (who can hit almost anywhere in the lineup) at the #2 hole or #6-7.

    Sorry for the length, but one more note: I’d very seriously consider ignoring the mass hysteria it would cause and go around the collusion that seems to be in place by MLB front offices, to keep Barry Bonds out of baseball this year.

  53. RE:#2

    so Francoeur’s new batting stance? did I witness the premiere last night or had he used it in previous games?

    anybody?… Bueller?

  54. Will Ohman is my favorite Brave after this quote in reference to Dan Iggla: “His strength is, he takes an absolute porn hack,” …. I’m not going to say he doesn’t have an approach, but the approach of swing-hard-in-case-you-hit-it is working.”

    Ok so was at the gym last night and became absolutely depressed reading the Sporting News Magazine. They believe the Braves should trade Tex to get some of what they lost. And they talked about how well Harrison is doing, how good of a hitter Salty might be, Andrus stolen bases and the other prospects progress. Frankly as bad as Francouer has been…Tex struggles have hurt the Braves even more. He has been subpar to put it nicely.

    Since I didn’t see the game, I looked at the box score and was in absolute disbelief to see Boyer in another game. The Union should file a grievance or something. This young man will be ruined.

    If the Braves can’t beat Kendrick and Eaton…who are we kidding.

  55. Changing gears here:

    It seems that Oakland, Miami and (perhaps) Tampa will never support their teams no matter how well they do. (What those teams have done with their spartan budgets is truly amazing and worthy of a serious management study.)

    What cities remain that would be good homes for these intrepid but unloved franchises?

  56. I am torn between wanting the Braves to recover and wanting them to fall far enough out of the race to avoid any futile trades.

    I looked at the lineup last night and was thinking that this team should be really good. I still think it is, but for whatever reason, we just keep coming up a little short of a victory.

  57. @30 I think you’re being too hard on the bench. Gotay and Miller are awful, but the rest of the bench is good, lightyears ahead of what we had last year. Norton is a great pinch hit bat, even if that’s all he does well.

  58. @61,

    Somebody did a study like that. I ran into it either on JC’s site or on THT or on ESPN about 5 or so years ago. Basically it wss, “now that the Expos have gone or decided to go to Washington, where next makes sense? (and specifically, on the Marlins possibly moving)”

    It was driven by population, TV market, and disposable income.

    Their conclusion as I remember was:

    1. West Palm Beach (if Marlins left Miami). High disposable income. Too far for personal attendance to factor into Miami.

    2. Portland

    3. San Antonio.

  59. Fun with referrer logs… The four most-common search terms bringing visitors to this site are:



    % visits
    braves journal
    650 15.38%
    332 7.85%
    francoeur sucks
    329 7.78%
    200 4.73%Keywords


    % visits
    braves journal
    650 15.38%
    332 7.85%
    francoeur sucks
    329 7.78%
    200 4.73%

  60. Tampa will support the Rays…give it some time. Look how long they have been bad.

    If the Marlins could have a stadium in Miami…that would make a difference. The stadium is in the middle of nowhere.

    Oakland needs a stadium also…look what a stadium did for San Francisco. Plus Oakland is more like a Cleveland that a typical West
    Coast team.

  61. I don’t disagree, Kevin, but unless Kotsay proves to be healthy over the next 3 weeks, I don’t know that there’s much to offer. Ohman and…Teixeira, maybe, depending on what’s offered in return. I’m firmly in the do-not-trade-Hudson camp.

    Also, seriously, this team can re-sign Teixeira at $20 million per season and spend an additional $30 million dollars (like $15 million each on Ben Sheets and Adam Dunn) on free agents next season and only have the team payroll go up $10 million.

  62. scratching my head………..why does anyone here give a ratsass how many people go to a game in Oakland??or Miami??……… seems to me that not long ago the Braves were catching hell in the national media for not selling out playoff games. almost made me feel guilty for not going. almost

  63. Good Point Mac–and maybe for once the All Star game will come as a relief and not an interruption….

  64. Tampa will support that team, and, in fact, next year will show a HUGE mark-up. That’s not a bad market at all. Wait and see…

  65. oh……………….he sucks?? thats the first i’ve heard of it. i thought he was just having a bad week/month/year/career………….hey, it happens.

  66. Nice new look. But, it’s hard to read the black print against the dark gray backgrounds on the side-bars.

  67. I just changed it for reasons of superstition. You can get the old look back by choosing “Cutline 3-Column” under Theme Switcher (top left sidebar).

  68. if we lose tonight, I really think it changes everyone’s mindset. Being 5 games out doesnt seem that bad and it seems like thats still within reach. However, 7 games and being swept by the Phils twice at home just might be the beginning of the end on this season. This season has been terrible from the start with all the injuries, bullpen being overworked and bad in close situations, and the inability to make contact in certain situations. I say we sell no matter how we are at the break. Ring, Ohman, Kotsay, Tex, should all have value to some of the contending teams. Call up Schafer and Brandon and let them get some experience. We really just dont have a 1B in our system thats even close to having MLB talent right now.

  69. Speaking of the theme switcher…I swithced to the old green and white layout about a week ago and now I can’t find the theme switcher to change it back. Where is it? Not on the top left.

  70. I don’t want to sound like a fair-weather fan but I really enjoy watching the Rays. Growing up close to St. Pete and now going to school near St. Pete, I’ve always watched Rays games and have gone to the Trop dozens of times. Just like bamachum, I told a lot of friends that TB was going to be good soon. I had said that they were one starting pitcher and one closer away from contending. Since they landed their closer and then also added Garza and Sonnanstine, I think that’s why they’re even better than I imagined.

    I don’t really fault them for getting rid of Hamilton. At the point they got rid of Hamilton, they had to rightly look at him as sunk costs. And with an organization like TB, you have to pump your resources to people that have a good shot at playing. Hamilton’s life was a mess, he’s since become a Christian, and he’s really gotten things together. Right now, he’s one of my favorite players and I’ve been really cheering for him.

    I was watching a Rangers game, and I’m beginning to think I’d rather have Saltalamacchia at first and the rest of the talent than Tex. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and there was no way anyone could have thought Tex would fall off so bad, but watching him strikeout last night to end the game was really deflating.

    Back to the Rays, they look kind of like how I think the Braves probably looked in the early 90’s. Of course, I was like 5 then, so I’d have no clue, but it just seems like that.

  71. The theme switcher is a widget, and that theme doesn’t allow widgets. You would have to delete the cookie (I’ve no idea what it is, so you’d probably have to flush all cookies) to get to the default.

  72. Stu;
    I appreciate your thoughts. We seem to disagree about the value of Adam Dunn. My view is skewed by familarity; I see a lot of Reds games and I don’t like his defense. Also, I can’t ovecome my distaste for high K totals. Adam doesn’t care, the Reds don’t care, so maybe I’ve got the problem! But you made me take a second look.

    His “Most comparable batters” are an impressive list. What he does well, he does very well–HR’s and walks. At age 28, I feel comfortable that I know what he brings. I just don’t think we’ll need to pay what he’ll probably get.

  73. Well, the Braves are going to have to pay someone to hit for power, and I am an unabashed fan of Dunn. HRs and walks, for me, far outweigh strikeouts.

  74. Oceanside —

    That’s my post, and I lurk here every day (used to post more) so it’s not surprising that it reflects a lot of what gets talked about around here.

    I’ll forward you all residuals for your contribution the moment someone pays me for that post!

  75. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and there was no way anyone could have thought Tex would fall off so bad, but watching him strikeout last night to end the game was really deflating.

    Tex, career Pre-All Star Break: .278/.366/.513
    Tex, 2008 Pre-All Star Break: .273/.377/.490

    We got just what we paid for with Tex. It’s not enough to make this team a winner. If we trade him we’ll never get near what we paid. It’s doubtful we could get back a Neftali Feliz level talent much less the rest of the haul we sent over.

  76. Who will be the power threat when Tex leaves? The farm system has no answer. On the current roster, Chipper will be 37, McCann is the catcher and shouldn’t be counted on to hit 30 HRs. Atlanta is not LA where the ball dies, they need a legitimate power threat. Wow how did it get to this.

    I agree if we lose tonite…then sell. We have no shot at the wild card, too many teams ahead and plus this is not a playoff team.

    The Braves need a Paul O’Neil type leader, someone with heart talent who is an everyday player. But we have been saying that for about 10 years now. But to get swept by the Phils twice at home, should cause some disturbance in the clubhouse.

  77. Teix trade was great if it put us over the top, last year or this year; it was horrible if it did not. It made sense to try and squeeze one more title from the old core; it just didn’t work out.

    The problem is, if you let him go now (and I think some team will way over-pay), who do you build around, for the next good Braves team? McCann? I think he is the best catcher in the NL, but how long do catchers stay great? The new core of McCann, Yunel, and Kelly J. just doesn’t seem like a winner to me, and let’s hope they don’t intend to build a team around the worst RF in MLB.

  78. I always forget that you have to offer arbitration to FA in order to get the picks. If Tex gets injured or doesnt perform in the 2nd half the way he should, is there any way he would accept arb or is he already guaranteed a long term deal with someone unlike Druw?

  79. Robert,

    It’s not unreasonable to expect Teixera to increase his pre-All Star numbers going into the prime of his career, especially when he increased his post-All Star numbers last year. With the huge second half Tex had in Atlanta, I don’t think you could have said definitively that Tex’s OPS was going to plummet a couple hundred OPS points simply based on his career numbers.

  80. “We got just what we paid for with Tex. It’s not enough to make this team a winner. If we trade him we’ll never get near what we paid. It’s doubtful we could get back a Neftali Feliz level talent much less the rest of the haul we sent over.”

    And that is why this is so depressing.

    Matt Diaz with all his power to the rescue. THANK GOD!!

    LA Dodgers are 40-44, Furcal is going to have back surgery and yet they are 1.5 games out of first. Arizona’s collapse has been epic.

  81. Oh he’s gone, but at least it looks like we have the payroll flexibility to at least offer arbitration to collect the draft picks. Since the Maddux fiasco, there have been a few times the team was so broke they didn’t even offer arbitration to guys that were obviously leaving because they couldn’t risk the 0.01% chance they might accept.

  82. Wouldn’t we be crazy not to offer Tex arbitration? If he took it, he would be playing again for a contract, so you would have his attention for that year. One more year here from him would really help bridge to the next 1B in the minors (Kaahlue? Freeman?); there is no one near ready, now.

  83. Paul O’Neil type? I always wanted to punch him in the face. heh heh. I get what you’re saying about a firey leader, though. It’s just not the way the Bobby Cox Braves do things. For better or worse… which, of course, depends on how the team is playing lately. If the Braves ran off 10 in a row then they’d get praise for being a cool clubhouse that doesn’t panic. If they continue like they are then they’ll all be blamed for not showing any heart. It’s how it goes.

  84. With the huge second half Tex had in Atlanta, I don’t think you could have said definitively that Tex’s OPS was going to plummet a couple hundred OPS points simply based on his career numbers.

    I’ll take the larger career sample size every time. You can have the 240 PA sample size from last season. I’ll be right more.

  85. Feels like we’ve been waiting for that 10 (or 8 or 7) game win streak for a few years now.

  86. You take career stats exclusively. I’ll take a synthesis of career progression based on normal curves and career stats. But, hey, sorry to bother you Robert.

  87. I’ll take a synthesis of career progression based on normal curves and career stats.

    He’s 28, the track record is there. He had a hot streak when he first came over as NL pitchers didn’t know how to deal with him. But that’s over now so he’s back to being the fine 130-140 OPS+ player that he is. To suddenly think he became a 160+ OPS+ player simply because he changed zip codes doesn’t make much sense.

  88. Right now I think Philly just has all the confidence in the world that it will beat Atlanta. And it started last year.

    No McCann, KJ, and Yunel are not enough to build around. Speaking of streaks, when will KJ hit one of his hot streaks? I honestly thought this would be his breakout year average and power wise. Guess not. But he is nowhere near the problem. First base, rightfield and leftfield have been disasters.

    Wait..Carl Crawford is still only 26 y/o?

  89. First base was a major problem the first two months of the season. Last month, it wasn’t a problem. Left field, center field and right field are the problems.

  90. Joe (Reno): Best SP in the minors not named David Price and has not made their MLB debut?

    Keith Law: (1:49 PM ET ) Pretty big dropoff with Wade Davis’ stuff and #s down. It’s guys like Tommy Hanson, Trevor Cahill, Rick Porcello (still mostly projection there), maybe Hellickson.

    Hey, now!

  91. Random Braves Journal poster, not too long ago: “Keith Law is biased and doesn’t know what he’s talking about!”

    Me, right now, not caring particularly about intellectual consistency: “Keith Law is the smartest human being alive!”

  92. Tim: (Atlanta, GA): Is Jason Heyward becoming a cant miss prospect like Justin Upton? He may not have the same pedigree but his outstanding tools match his great production and could be in High-A soon.

    Keith Law: (1:08 PM ET ) Yes, he’ll probably be in my top 10 prospects this offseason.

    Hey, now (2.0)!

    (Although this is less surprising, at least to me, than the one I posted above, it’s still nice to see.)

  93. Speaking of streaks, when will KJ hit one of his hot streaks? I honestly thought this would be his breakout year average and power wise. Guess not. But he is nowhere near the problem. First base, rightfield and leftfield have been disasters.

    Wait..Carl Crawford is still only 26 y/o?

    Carl Crawford, corner outfielder, Age 26:
    Career OPS+ of 103

    Kelly Johnson, middle infielder, Age 26:
    Career OPS+ of 109

  94. And there’s your answer about who you build around. Unfortunately, KJ probably won’t be here when Heyward comes up, and McCann will probably be on the downside. But a core of McCann, Yunel, KJ, and (hopefully next year) Schafer isn’t a bad starting point. There are a lot of pieces in the minors right now.

    The problem is that a team that is so good at finding up the middle players is so very bad at coming up with guys for the corners. You really shouldn’t have any problem filling left field or first base with ordinary hitters to match the all-star caliber players in the key positions. Also, the right fielder is bad.

  95. #85 – F-ROD has 34 saves before the all star break and we are last in MLB with only 13. We had only 36 saves last season also. The most frightening stat was the one showed the other night. We havent had back to back saves since July 23-24th last year

  96. It’s not the bullpen, though. There haven’t been many real save opportunities (close games with a lead in the eighth and ninth) this season.

  97. I have high, but not unrealistically high, expectations for KJ. I figure he’ll be a .285-.295 with 15-20 dings and a pretty good OBP guy for many years to come. Likewise I think Escobar will be somewhere in that range as well. McCann I expect to be a bit above that mark, and I DO think that’s a good core to build around. It would be NICE if we had another Chipper develop, but come-on how many hall-of-fame level guys are out there? not many. Isn’t that how the Rays are winnings? A bunch of GOOD guys doing well, but no super-stars per-se carrying the team. Hell the argument could be made that it’s probably better to be a team with 9 good guys than one with a couple great guys and a bunch of hosers so you’re not totally screwed when your big gun comes up hurt or slumping. It would be NICE to have another bat with some pop in it (and we hoped Frenchy would develop into that sort of a guy), but we’ve got enough young guys with decent power to build around that I don’t think it’s highly necessary to go hunting for a bruiser.

    Oh, and I didn’t catch the thread last night, but had to comment on the great look of incredulity on Smoltz’s face when the booth guys were giving him a hard time about the trivia (I believe his comment was “I did PLAY the game.”).

  98. Re: 112… no kidding Mac… the key with a SAVE is you have to A) be ahead and B) win the game… neither of which are this season’s team’s strong suit. On the off chance we win a game it’s generally a Pythag hosing blow-out.

  99. Awww, Carl Crawford corner outfielder vs. former corner outfielder KJ. The comparison in not one I was looking for. I was just stating it seems that Crawford has been around for a long time. Such similar numbers until you look at the stolen base totals..9, 58, 59, 46, 58, 50, and 21 in ’08 so far for Crawford. Not bad.

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