About the Lockhart Line Game Thread: July 8, Braves at Dodgers

I’ve mentioned it in the comments, but just to formally announce what the Lockhart Line is and how Jeff Francoeur has crossed it… The core Lockhart Line principle is that when a player acts out publicly in defense of a perceived entitlement to a role on the team, no matter how poorly he is playing, that player is making himself fair game for humorous abuse.

In June of 2001, Keith Lockhart went to the newspapers and complained about how Bobby wasn’t using him enough. In 2001, Lockhart hit .219 .289 .303 while getting 199 plate appearances. This came on the heels of three consecutive seasons of far below-average hitting in which Bobby kept running him out there far too often.

This led to the establishment of the Lockhart Line. Basically, when a player whom Bobby (or the organization as a whole) has been supportive of, often far beyond the point when I or most fans have called for their dismissal, finally gets demoted (either from a prominent to a lesser role, or from the majors to the minors), and then has the entitled audacity to complain about how he’s been treated, he has crossed the Lockhart Line. Once the Lockhart Line is crossed, I no longer see any reason to treat the player fairly. Instead of merely pointing out that he is playing poorly (“Francoeur Sucks”) I will make jokes at his expense and basically call him the whiny baby he’s acting like.

It says something about how Jeff Francoeur has behaved over the last week that he has done something that previously had only been achieved by Keith Lockhart and Dan Kolb. If I hadn’t been beaten to it, you can bet that Francoeur would have joined Lockhart and Kolb as the possessor of a borderline libelous blog attributing to him habits of mind generally associated with small children. If he was lucky.

UPDATE: You have to be &%#%$@$ kidding me.

Braves sign right-hander Tavarez | ajc.com

297 thoughts on “About the Lockhart Line Game Thread: July 8, Braves at Dodgers”

  1. No thoughts on the big Julian Tavarez signing? My faith in the organization is restored.

  2. Everyone should probably sit down for this one…

    I just heard on the radio that we signed Julian Tavarez.

  3. Also in response to “just b/c he played in New York…”

    Well if you can survive here, you can make it anywhere. Let’s face it…you have 6 of the top twenty newspapers in the country here, if you count the Wall Street Journal, of course all the television stations, countless sports talk radio all trying to get the scoop on each other. So the media attention is relentless and unmatched. I want even discuss the fans.

    So just because someone played in NY does have merit.

  4. what in the world??? the guy who I’ve made fun of for being the ugliest guy in baseball is now a brave??? I guess he’s not worse than Resop, Reitsma, Kolb, or even Nunez.

    Hey maybe they are hoping that he’ll…..well nevermind, I dont know what they’re thinking anymore

  5. On the bright side, his most similar pitcher through his current age is David Weathers, who’s been pretty solid over the past few seasons.

  6. paging Frank Wren – we need a whole new outfield, more power on the bench, and a backup catcher

  7. Well Tavarez will provide that veteran presence in the BP. Should make the younger guys feel like it is ok to give up 3-4 runs in an inning.

  8. I could think of worse players out there…I really think Bobby has fallen in love with a 13 man pitching staff, in which, he only uses 4 of the 8 relievers. Hope Julian’s arm and shoulder are in good shape

  9. 2 things:

    1) Didn’t the Braves once make Tavarez cry?

    2) Shouldn’t Wes Helms be part of the Lockhart, Kolb, Frenchy group? I seem to remember him whining quite a bit about his role–or lack thereof–back in the day.

  10. Fortunately, we only have a 12 man staff right now with the addition of Tavarez.

  11. Yes, we did make Tavarez cry once when we hammered him when he was a Marlin.

    He is also one of the ugliest people in MLB.

  12. I don’t recall Helms complaining, but then again this was pre-Lockhart, so the rule hadn’t been established. Also, he would have had a very good point, since he had almost identical skills to Vinny Castilla, was much cheaper and much younger, and was already on the ballclub.

  13. Maybe Taverez is going to play in the OF – or at catcher. I don’t like Jorge Julio at all, but I would prefer that we called him up. My guess is that Perry will be sent down and Francoeur will get a chance to start a new consectutive games streak. Seriously though, I know it’s a small sample size, but for being such a hot hitter at AAA, Perry has looked lost at the plate – not as bad as Corky, but in the Langerhans range.

  14. I couldn’t agree with Mac’s update more. I honestly was trying to think of somebody less than Tavarez, I only came up with The Farns, but I’d even rather have him back.

  15. From the previous thread on Namath:

    I understand that it was a groundbreaking game (although I may not fully understand the complete ramifications), but I just really don’t think that automatically qualifies him to be considered one of the greatest players in football history.

    I know the circumstances are different in a lot of ways, but Roger Maris isn’t really considered one of the greatest players in baseball history.

    You wanna say it’s a historical game and whatnot, I can appreciate that. But the fact that it was doesn’t automatically make Joe Namath one of the best QBs in the game. Nor does the fact that he slept with 90% of the women in New York.

    And while I’m on the subject of football, the Packers should really tell Brett Favre to go f— himself.

  16. I understand that Mark Redman may also be available again! I think I would prefer Taverez, but only slightly.

  17. My recollection is that he cried in the dugout late in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series.

    Mine too. I remember the shot of a very young Manny Ramirez trying to console him.

  18. Bennett must be expected to miss some serious time. I think Carlyle will move up in rank to the guy who pitches daily in any and all situations, and Tavares will fill the other half of Bennett’s job; being the guy to go out and throw 4 innings when our projected starter tears his pec or sprains his ankle on the dugout steps.

  19. I seem to remember Tavarez crying when LA was hammering his Giants on the last day of the ’93 season. Maybe he’s a guy who just cries. Hey Julian, “There’s no crying in baseball…”

    Nick,
    I don’ t think you’ll get too many people to say that Namath was one of the NFL’s greatest QBs, actually. During his time, when he was relatively healthy, he was one of the best in the AFL, along with Dawson, Lamonica, etc.

    His legacy & its impact on the league loom larger than the totality of his work, that’s all. Surely, ringless guys like Marino & Tarkenton were better.

  20. What about Tex to Boston for Youkilis & maybe a pitching prospect? Gold glove defense, .300 average, plus he seems ready to fight at the drop of a hat (unlike anyone on our current squad). Everytime we play against him he always seems to kill us, so maybe he rakes at Turner Field(?)

  21. tavarez last 3 years: 154.2 innings pitched, 93 earned runs and 5.43 era.

    Also, he has give up a whopping 18 “unearned’ runs in that span. Tim Hudson, in the last 3 years has given up 18 “unearned” in 546 innings pitched.

    It seems that tavarez doesnt rebound right away on a misplay. First lawrence. Then Jorge Julio. Now Julian Tavarez. How many has beens or never wases do we need.

  22. I just checked the waiver wire, and I couldn’t find Jonathan Papelbon on it. I’ll check again. Nope. Still nothing.

    Guys, if you need an arm in the bullpen, and it’s 2008, in July, and you’re only paying the league minimum, you get Julian Taverez. You guys are acting like we could have picked up someone better off the scrapheap.

  23. The signing of Tavarez makes it official that the Braves are trying to tank the season to get a higher draft position.

  24. #27 – I would trade Tex for Youk straight up, to bad there is no way in hell they would do it

  25. I’d do Tex for Youk straight up too, FWIW. That won’t help us from 08, but we’ll definitely be in better position.

    I don’t quite understand why signing an experienced reliever in hopes that he will pitch well is an indication that we’ve conceded the season. If that were the case, they’d bring up someone who might help in the future. Taverez tells me they’re trying anything they can to win now.

  26. I am fine with this. This is a lost season in terms of playoff success. So fill the roster with stopgaps, get the young arms some seasoning, and be ready for a push next year.
    I rather JoJo and Morton take their lumps this year, so they are in position to help the team when it gets serious.
    And I wouldn’t mind Jurrjens getting a 2 week break sometime in August.

  27. Rob, I don’t disagree with your analysis, but trying to win now by signing Julian Tavarez is like trying to lose weight by going to a Chinese buffet.

  28. I don’t care if the Red Sox do a Tavarez for Youkilis straight up. I would hate it. I generally don’t like the Red Sox, and Youkilis is the worst of the lot.

  29. mlb rumors….

    Braves Stuck In The Middle
    By Tim Dierkes [July 8 at 4:50pm CST]
    MLB.com’s Mark Bowman writes about the Braves’ trade deadline situation at the Trade Talk blog. The Braves are in that gray area between sellers and buyers at six games out.

    Bowman says Braves GM Frank Wren isn’t finding a reasonable deal for a power-hitting outfielder, but he’s also disappointed by the Mark Teixeira market. Bowman believes the picture will be clearer and the offers better a few weeks from now. He adds that the Braves would seek a first baseman in a Teixeira trade. Perhaps James Loney, Casey Kotchman, or Kevin Youkilis would work.

    If the Braves buy, Xavier Nady is one possibility. Bowman wonders if the Bucs could look to reacquire Brent Lillibridge.

    okay…so if there is any chance of getting any of those 3 for Tex, you have to make that move. Also, if you can get Nady for Lilli you do that also. I dont really see how it even hurts your chances for this year, much less next year

  30. Cubs just acquired Rich Harden for Sean Gallagher and possibly Matt Murton.

    So how is this even close to what they got for Haren? All speculations we’re saying that the A’s were looking for the same type haul

    so all the ace pitchers are coming to the NL

  31. I may be the only Braves fan who is thrilled that Atlanta has acquired Tavarez. Because he can pitch? Of course not. He hasn’t been good in many years and isn’t going to be in the future. Then why? Well with the retirement of Julio Franco, there are no longer any Braves older than me and, unless Jamie Moyer moves south, it is unlikely there ever will be again. But with Tavarez, I am convinced that at least there is a Brave who — like Otis Nixon before him — is clearly and unequivocably uglier than I am.

  32. AAR, FWIW, I don’t think Taverez will be that good. I just see it as a sign that the Braves are still trying to fill holes and catch lightning in a bottle. Shoot, in 2002 we had Chris Hammond and Darren Holmes in the bullpen, and there was no smart money that said they were even going to be remotely what they were. Of course, a lot has changed since then, but the point still stands. Relievers are so fungible that you might as well try a bunch out to see if a couple of them can get the job done.

  33. Taveras was crying in the dugout at the end of the ’95 series………..just when you thought he couldnt get any uglier…………..apparently Kolb is happy with his new job as a diver for Roto-Rooter.

  34. I don’t know what you want, Tavarez is the perfect fit for this team.

    BTW, didn’t Brian Jordan cross the Lockhart line too?

  35. OK, I have a confession to make. I’m going to a concert at Jones Beach Ampitheater tonight and the band is…Motley Crue.

    It’s a work-related thing, and that’s fine. But the thing that really bums me out…no beer in the place.

    Motley Crue, one of my least favorite rock acts of all time. Sober.

    Lord help me & go Braves.

  36. “Bowman believes the picture will be clearer and the offers better a few weeks from now.”

    Well no shit. The deadline is July 31st, I would imagine it would be cleared up by then.

  37. it could be worse ububba………you could get trapped in the middle of a liquored-up Motley Crue crowd…………. i dont go to concerts anymore unless i have a table and a pretty waitress bringing me drinks….. and i skip the bands where the tattoos onstage outnumber the IQ points in the first six rows.

  38. Agreed, Taveras is ugly. I guess Wren is trying to pull of a Schuerholz-like resurrection much like Franco, Jarett Wright.

    But I’m also thinking Ken Caminiti, Rico Brogna to name a few.

    This seems to add a level of desperation to the season.

    ~JB

  39. I knew the Cubs couldn’t go a year without having an extremely talented right handed pitcher who can’t stay healthy. Congrats, you picked up the AL version of Mark Prior, good luck with all that. They got Gaudin in the deal, who I think will end up being a better pitcher for them.

  40. The Cubbies got Oakland to throw in Chad Gaudin in the deal too — how is it that they can land a frontline starter and reliable bullpen guy (who was pretty decent as a starter last year, BTW) and we get Julian Tavarez?

    I feel like I’m in Wayne’s World in the scene where they travel to exotic places and all of a sudden the scene shifts, “Hi, we’re in Delaware……..Delaware.”

  41. @45

    I’m good with Jordan. During the past few years (when he was beyond horrible) I never heard anything.

    The only time he did bitch was during the Sheffield trade and he was a legit player at that point.

    Tavarez is a joke. This team is getting harder and harder to root for. How did our Smoltz, Hudson, Glavine, Jurrjens, James rotation and the Soriano, Moylan, Gonzalez anchored bullpen turn into this crap?

  42. Ububba, predicaments such as yours are why they invented the hip flask.

    Godspeed, and as Kris Kristofferson sang, don’t let the bastards get you down.

  43. I don’t get the Taveras hate. What, you’d rather have Abe Nunez out there? Seriously? What, you thought they were going to get Mariano Rivera or something? This move is fine. He’s a replacement-level pitcher. Replacement level is what you have left when half the Atlanta pen (and a good bit of the Richmond pen) is hurt. He’s free. There’s no cost here. What’s the worst thing that happens? He comes into a game we’re already losing and throws gas on the fire for two innings that a real reliever doesn’t have to pitch?

    When Bobby starts using him to close, I’ll join the chorus, but until then, who cares that the long-man in the pen is god-awful for 5 games until the All-Star Break?

    As for the Harden deal, my initial reaction was that it didn’t seem like too big of a haul for a guy with that much talent. But the big difference between the Haren and Harden deals is that Sean Gallagher is holding his own at the ML level as a 22-year old. That’s a MLB-read pitcher with a decent K-rate, cost-controlled for the rest of this year and 5 more. He’s the gem. And apparently the A’s like Matt Murton a lot. (Heck, I wanted the Braves to bring him in, but I guess if we had Frenchy would’ve complained, and we can’t have that, now can we?) The As got some great prospects but nothing nearly as proven for Haren. I am surprised that Rich Hill wasn’t included in some fashion. He seems like a “change of scenery guy, and from what I understand, he doesn’t have the best relationship with Pinella. Eric Patterson doesn’t impress me much. He’s a ML body; a nice reserve, but probably not someone you’d want starting.

    I really like the deal for the Cubs. Although they don’t have the best track record with oft-injured pitchers, they managed to clean out a lot of their “spare parts” and at the same time get two arms (one great, the other okay) for what amounts to one player that was going to be of any use to them this year.

  44. The Cubs raping Oakland doesn’t make me feel any better. Perhaps we can get Houston Street from them for Acosta and Corky.

  45. What, you’d rather have Abe Nunez out there?

    I’d rather have Abe Simpson out here.

    In seriousness, I see Tavarez as sort of a Buddy Carlyle type — a mop-up guy who can pitch a few innings, but should never ever be counted on in a jam.

    I’m impressed the Cubs were able to pull off the Harden deal. Everyone wanted that guy, but no one seemed to have the magic combination till they came knocking.

  46. before this season, everyone here pretty much agreed that for this team to be any good we needed..#1 a normal Smoltz year……#2 a normal Hudson year…..#3 10-12 wins from Glavine…….#4 Jurgens be a viable major league pitcher…..#5 Chucky figures something(anything) out…..or maybe theres a #6 and Hampton actually earns a couple of his millions……………well, 2 out of 6 aint bad. especially when you consider that the rotation hasnt been the main problem.

  47. 59 made me “LOL” as the kids say…

    In the bullpen:

    Abe Simpson: “Deeeaaaattthhh.”

    Eddie Perez: “No Grandpa, that’s Julian Tavarez.”

  48. “Tavarez is a joke. This team is getting harder and harder to root for. How did our Smoltz, Hudson, Glavine, Jurrjens, James rotation and the Soriano, Moylan, Gonzalez anchored bullpen turn into this crap?”

    Umm… People got hurt. Seriously. All of them. Save Hudson, Jurrjens, and Gonzo.

    Ethan: “I don’t like rooting for teams with people who get hurt on them!!!!1”

  49. How does a replacement level catcher hit in terms of BA/OBP/SLG? How can I figure out how many more wins the Braves would have with a replacement level backup catcher? Similarly, how would I calculate how many more wins the Braves would have with a league average RF?

  50. I’m tired of agreeing with mraver.

    Uhh….

    Gators suck.

    OK, I take that back.

    I quit.

  51. Well, the average ML RF this year (the average of the 25 qualifying regulars, including Francoeur) has 5.67 runs created/27 outs. Francoeur has 3.41. The major league average is about 4.54 runs/game.

    Francoeur’s offensive winning percentage (in the NL context of 4.49 R/G) is .366. (Baseball Reference makes this even lower, probably because they’re using the Braves’ offensive context, which is slightly lower than the NL, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.) The OWP for an average right fielder is .609.

    Now, I should know how to plug this into the team context, but right now my brain isn’t working.

  52. Okay, my math may be messed up here, but an average ML right fielder, using Francoeur’s 34 RC as a base, would have created about 57 runs using Francoeur’s outs. That probably understates the case. because the average RF would have made fewer outs, giving more PA to other players. But that would work out to about two wins, maybe two and a half once the outs are taken into account.

    Of course, the Braves have scored fewer runs than they “should have” given their OBP and SLG, and won fewer games than they “should have” given their runs scored and allowed. So this is obviously highly hypothetical.

  53. I get the whole injuries thing. It’s just that I was more excited about this season than I had been the past few, and thought that this team had the chance to be really good. There were injury risks, but if things came together I seriously though this could be a redux of some of the glory years of the 90’s. It’s just a little disheartening to see it come to signing a washed up Julian Tavarez on his third team.

    Now with Smoltz and Glavine probably done and Teixeira probably gone after this year…who knows when they’ll be back.

    But hey, Pittsburg and KC aren’t shedding any tears. Plus, you never know…

  54. And just to reiterate — the above is a “best case” scenario, in that it’s giving Francoeur every break I reasonably could. The real difference might be closer to 30 runs than 23, probably is.

  55. The C.C. era is about to begin… 1st pitch here we come. The Milwaukee fans go nuts on a first strike. Everyone’s pumped.

    I’m sure Hotlanta will do the same for Julian.

  56. So… 3 wins. So, if Francoeur were average, then we’d be, hypothetically, 45-45. Yeesh. People act like he’s the reason we don’t have the best record in baseball.

    I’d imagine a league-average backup catcher wouldn’t be much of a difference, to be honest. I mean, he really doesn’t get that many at-bats anyway, not enough to seriously alter the landscape of our team.

  57. Yeah, I’m right there with you, Ethan. I was really optimistic going into this season. I figured Frenchy would be decent with a chance of being great, I figured Tex + Chipper would be as good or better than Utley/Howard (well, I was half right, I guess). I figured Diaz would tread water (instead of drowning), I figured the bullpen would be tops in the league and the rotation would be fine if we could just find someone to fill in for a couple starts when Smoltz or Jurrjens (’cause he’s young and all) couldn’t go.

    I heard them complaining on ESPN earlier about how hard the Yankees had been hit by injury. When they actually got around to naming off who’d been hurt, I kind of laughed, seeing as how it paled in comparison to what the Braves have dealt with.

    The thing that gets me the most is how much of a shame it is to waste the season Chipper’s having, and how he won’t even have a shot to win the MVP unless the Braves make the playoffs.

    I dunno. I’m just trying to keep looking at the positive (Jo Jo, Jurrjens) and recognize that some times, the ball’s just not going to bounce your way.

    But hey, we’re one crazy 2nd half winning streak away from being in the thick of it. I’m just not going to get too invested in it. :-)

  58. Francoeur’s the biggest problem, but not the only problem.

    A baseball team is a system. The Hamster’s offense is awful, it might be worth a game versus even a below-average backup… but the real problem is that McCann is being overworked covering for his worthless ass.

    And it’s hard to say that it’s really three wins, because, again, it’s a system. I think that the badness of the outfield has a multiplying effect, pushing Bobby into these one-run strategies which are ultimately suboptimal, but seem like a good idea when you’re having trouble scoring even one run.

  59. From DOB:

    “no surprise here: Francoeur is in the lineup.

    Glavine is getting ready to throw some in the outfield, first time he’s thrown since going on DL.

    Tavarez is here, dressed and ready.

    Perry is, as expected, the guy moved to make room for Tavarez on the 25-man.

    Smoltz moved to 60-day DL opened spot on 40-man”

  60. 2-3 wins down the run sucking vortex of the out machine. I can’t put that all down to management because a reasonable person could have assumed that Francouer would continue to improve based on last year. That still has to be a black mark on the team’s management. I wonder how long it would take to affect a change in the Brave’s hitting philosophy to emphasize plate discipline more. We are going to be left in the dust by the team’s that do recognize the importance of that aspect of the game.

    [sarcasm]
    Now for something completely different, what prevents the teams from placing a backstop a foot or so behind the batter’s box and designing it so that balls tend to ricochet back towards the mound? You could go with an extra fielder with nobody on base and also have more super-premium box seats. How awesome would that be? [/sarcasm]

  61. And finally — well, not finally, I’ll probably think of something else soon — look at the difference in the runs an average RF creates and the actual runs scored. I think that puts the lie to the statement somebody made that there’s no difference anymore between what outfielders hit and what second basemen do. Just because our second baseman hits like an ordinary outfielder (almost exactly, a little above the RF average, 5.8 RC/27) and our outfielders hit like second basemen doesn’t mean that this is normal.

    Discuss: the Braves would be better off with KJ in right field, Prado or (if healthy) Infante playing second base, and Francoeur off doing something else.

  62. 71 — rob, i know you’re just trying to bring some reality (and i appreciate that, it’s often needed)… but i was just trying to bring some levity. by the way… ryan braun just hit a bomb off of redman.

  63. Hey, there’s still hope — I hear the Hampton era is due to start again soon.

  64. I think the Braves would be best to keep KJ at second and acquire/develop a real RF.

  65. Agreed, but the terrifying thing is that Prado hasn’t just been better than Francoeur, he’s been a lot better — better, in fact, than an average 2B. Infante’s been a bit better than Prado. Gotay’s been worse than Francoeur, but at least his OBP is above .300.

    I don’t really think that Prado and Infante are really that good — but then, I think Gotay is probably better than he’s looked. And any of them is probably a better hitter than Francoeur ’08.

  66. I would have tried Kelly in the outfield by now. If you are going to go with a glove man it may as well be at an important defensive position like 2B, not that Francoeur has been much of a glove man this year but that seems to be one of the positive points that people bring up about him. All glove no bat 2Bs have to be fairly abundant but based on recent events I don’t have much faith in the Braves ability to find one.

  67. I do think the Braves need to get a stopgap guy in RF until Heyward is ready. Blanco/Diaz is a sufficient stopgap in left (assuming Diaz hits like he can when he returns).

  68. You know what gets me about this team? Coming into the season, I thought we would be pretty good but that the outfield was an obvious weakness. And the thing is, the rest of the team has performed well, but the outfield has been far, far, worse than I ever would have dreamed, and has dragged down the team more than I previously thought possible.

    The infield includes the best hitter in baseball at third base, the best catcher in baseball, top ten players at second and short (the latter playing the best defense in the game) and Teixeira, who even with his poor start is a fine hitter and seventh in the league in RBI (thanks, Chipper!) Pitching? Second in the league in ERA. And they’re below .500 because of an outfield sinkhole. Terry Harper and Claudell Washington were superstars compared to these jokers.

  69. I think the Jordan Schafer suspension set the Braves back. I think they had planned for him to be up already.

    Leave Kelly Johnson at second base. His defense isn’t as bad as his reputation and the Braves’ offense doesn’t need another no-hit glove man. At second, Johnson is very valuable.

    Heyward could probably out-hit Francoeur in the majors right now.

  70. But Schafer was supposed to be up for Kotsay, and Kotsay’s the only one of the outfielders in full control of his limbs and bowels. Not that he’s great, or that his bat would be acceptable in a corner.

  71. Braves’ outfielders: 17 homeruns COMBINED so far this season.

    Adam Dunn: 22 homeruns ALONE so far this season.

  72. I don’t think Blanco is anything but a fourth/fifth outfielder. You might be able to survive with him in _center_ if he’s surrounded by above average players in LF and RF. Might. He’s extremely substandard as a left fielder.

  73. Oh, and once again — late night game, I’m old and have to work in the morning, recap when I get up. Let’s get some runs. Okay, how about some hits?

  74. Yeah, I think Mac’s about got this one pegged. Blanco would be okay as a glove guy in CF if you’ve got the rest of the squad covered for offense. But he’s not an every-day player on a contending team. Kotsay has been fine. But when your Best Current OF is Kotsay/Blanco/Infante (could’ve been our savior if not for his damn hamstring), you’re in trouble. Even moreso when said “best case” is on the DL a collective full season.

  75. I hate to do this, but Joe Mauer’s huge advantage in OBP over McCann probably makes up for McCann’s advantage in slugging, as long as both stay healthy. McCann’s the second-best offensive catcher in baseball.

  76. Well Schafer has been set back quit a bit. Except for walking he really isn’t doing anything.

    Mac, I agree. The outfield was going to be below average barring a breakout from Frenchy but well….. we all know what has happened.

    I think that if Tex had started out hot we could have carried at least 2 weak outfielders but since he didn’t well we all know what has happened.

    It would be tempting to move KJ to the outfield but although Prado WAS hitting pretty good before he was hurt I am not sure that he is really that good. Leave KJ at second, hope that Kotsay can return to form and Diaz???? starts hitting a little who knows.

  77. I like Blanco. He’s not a great player but at least he is good at the most important aspect of the game. He covers lots of territory in the OF and he’s also a rookie. Sometimes those guys get better when given playing time. I do agree that his performance looks alot better when he’s in CF. At any rate, I think he’s got a bright future and compared to other players we trotted out there he looks like a stud.

  78. Tavarez doesn’t bother me, if he can give some of our regulars a break for a few weeks great, wont cost much, doesn’t hurt any long term plans(if they have any).
    I still wont beat on Wren this season. He got JJ for Renteria, that will go a long way for me.
    This offseason is where he gets to work and puts his stamp on the organzation.

  79. If you look at his numbers as a whole, Schafer’s also got a lot of extra-base hits. Which is very encouraging. But lately, yeah, he’s not done much but strike out. (Frenchy exposure perhaps?)

  80. @98

    Mauer also gets the benefit of DHing a few days each month. I don’t know how to account for that but it’s got to help him somehow. What if we take out any production that he’s tallied up on the days that he was the DH? Does that swing the numbers back in McCann’s favor?

  81. Why would McCann even try to get on base when he’s had Francoeur behind him the majority of the year?

    Count me in the group that would love to see KJ go to RF and have an Infante/Prado 2B platoon.

  82. Meanwhile, former Brave Matt Harrison is having a heck of a start to his first start. One hit/one strikeout through 3 innings.

  83. Looking at tonight’s pitchers, they almost have the same ERA and they do have the same WHIP. Billingsley obviously Ks more hitters. I hope the Braves hitters apologize to JJ in advance.

  84. The few days at DH do more than just add offense on those days. They help him on every day. He’s fresher when he’s catching, and Mauer still gets scheduled days off. That’s the thing about the AL; if you manage your lineup right, you can keep your whole lineup fresh, especially your catcher.

  85. just heard about the Tavarez signing. we now have a member of the “all time ugly” team that my boys and I have compiled. We call Tavarez “Freddy” (as in Freddy Kruger) — he’s a walking/pitching nightmare.

  86. Don’t sound so skeptical, jea. It’s not like he hasn’t been fixed. I expect at least 6 homeruns tonight.

  87. Chipper has a 6 pitch walk. Blanco, Esco, and Tex give them 3 outs on 4 pitches. Very nice

  88. poor Vince Scully isn’t getting a chance to say anything much about the Braves batters. Swinging at the first pitch really crimps his style.

  89. Holy crap could a Double A weekend really have taught Jeff some patience?

    Naw…

  90. hey, they did change his mechanics. He doesnt just have the bat sitting there on his shoulders anymore. He also didnt look like he was extremely trying to pull that pitch. I’m pulling hard for him because this offense is crap right now and I’ll take anything from anyone

  91. This must be the “let’s see how often we can go three up, three down” series.

  92. I hope he does turn it around, and yes, I think it should say something about TP. I’ve never been too fond of him as a hitting coach. And then there’s the people that have been quickly anointing him Bobby’s successor.

  93. I came here for a “Frenchy sucks!” and I was disappointed. It is early, though.:-)

    Taveras always reminds me of the bad guy racer in Grease. Maybe crossed with the banjo playing kid from Deliverance.

    And man, AJ looks like hell. Really, really tired in the face.

  94. My mom thinks TP should be the manager, but she remembers the glory days.

    When JJ perfects his slidder, he is going to be Pedro

  95. Not to go Tim McCarver here, but if you’re Matt Harrison, you can pitch seven innings in Texas giving up two earned, you’re going to win a lot of ballgames. If his bio photo, he just looks like he’s left handed.

  96. I think Cox believes Joe Simpson’s BS about how Kelly Johnson cannot hit or do anything at the plate in any spot expect the seventh-hole.

    Leadoff? Awful. Third? Wets himself. Sixth? Lost at the plate. But seventh? Just right.

  97. Smitty, when the GM signs a guy who’s allowed 22 runs and 46 baserunners in 20 innings and thinks he’s solved a problem, your hitting coach is not your biggestt concern.

  98. I’m sorry, but Yunel was totally screwed up in that at bat. The one thing that /definitely/ wasn’t happening was him getting walked or pitched around. They want to make it Yunel’s job to either get the guy home or get himself out, and not let the NL batting leader take that particular opportunity.

  99. Blanco leading off: .690 OPS

    Kelly Johnson leading off this season: .740 OPS

    Not to mention Johnson’s .268/.372/.441 (.813 OPS) line in 306 leadoff spot at-bats in 2007.

  100. Quick survey: worst major market team in baseball the last 20 years ?? My vote is for the Dodgers. There’s really no excuse for not winning a single postseason series with the amount of resources they have. Why do they seemingly always get a free pass for as anemic as they have been since ’88 ?

  101. jj3bagger, what about Texas? DFW isn’t exactly a small market anymore, and the Rangers have been less consistently competitive than LA.

  102. Man, if Jurrjens keeps throwing 94-95, we have us a star on our hands. He was by no means supposed to be throwing that hard when we got him.

  103. For some reason I was thinking Infante is a switcher hitter or channeling my inner Cox with the platoon.

  104. DFW is the fifth largest market, the Rangers should be better and have no competition for fans.

    What about the Cubs, they should have atleast been to a few WS in the last 80 years

  105. Smitty, I guess my point was the Cubs have won playoff series lately, I’ve blocked them out of my mind for the most part, but they have. The Dodgers, unless I’m wrong, have won exactly one postseason game in 20 years. They have won two divisions and two wild cards in 20 years, with a virtually unlimited payroll (non-Yankee/Red Sox division) and won like 80 rookie of the year awards, so seemingly a pretty good farm system throughout the years. They have a ton of fans every year, just seems like they never get criticized at all for not accomplishing much lately, that’s all that I was saying.

  106. FWIW, the Rangers have three division titles since ’88. I also give them a pass somewhat on the basis that they ran into the Yankees in the mid-to late ’90’s, which not many teams had success against those teams.

  107. it’s “let’s see how many average pitchers we can make look like hall of famers” week.

  108. In fairness to Billingsley, he’s pretty dang good.

    I agree with Smitty. Fire TP’s worthless fat ass.

  109. Maybe I’m still bitter about Hideo Nomo winning the ROY over Chipper, that could be it.

  110. We had one of these weeks last year:

    June 19: Red Sox 4, at Braves 0
    June 20: Red Sox 11, at Braves 0
    June 22: Tigers 5, at Braves 0
    June 23: Tigers 2, at Braves 1 (Chipper solo HR)
    June 24: Tigers 5, at Braves 0

  111. TP has to go…this inconsistent, well actually there bad every game, but 2.9 runs on average for the last 10 games and only 1 hit in the last 13 innings. The best swings have come from the player that he couldnt fix and someone else in the system made some changes for him in three days…

    meanwhile, thanks KJ

  112. and yes, I will also blame TP for these guys not knowing how to bunt properly. It falls on the players too, but they dont even look like they have the fundamentals to get the job done

  113. shocking, really. we cant get a bunt down. what are those things called when a player crosses homeplate? splerfs? we need a splerf.

  114. Bases loaded, one out, and our two best hitters up. So do we score one run or none?

  115. A bases-loaded extra base hit! We haven’t seen any of those in a long time, I don’t think.

  116. That was Yunel saying, okay, I get it, I should have swung at that 3-2 pitch. So I’ll make up for it here.

  117. okay I know, its all my fault. I’ve stayed old school here with the themes and all. I just changed to blueline before Yunel came up and look what happened. I take full responsibility for our lack of offense and talent

  118. wtf is chipper doing out there? the guy is watching these strikes go by the past 3 games

  119. Vin Scully has noted a couple of times the vasty disparity between Tex’s offensive production in days games as compared to night games. Does anyone think there’s something to this?

  120. “That was Yunel saying, okay, I get it, I should have swung at that 3-2 pitch. So I’ll make up for it here.”

    yunel can’t speak english so i highly doubt he said that……

  121. Chipper has not looked very comfortable the last couple of nights at the plate, but honestly, up until this last inning, no one else for the Braves has either. If Chipper looks uncomfortable, I just assume the pitcher is doing a great job.

  122. It does seem like he’s swinging harder. I noticed that in his second AB. He fouled a ball off and nearly fell over.

  123. Duchscherer is ridiculous this season. Pitched a complete game tonight and only gave up 2 hits, no runs, and sporting a 1.78 era

  124. Martin was set up down and away (of course) and Billingsly missed over the heart of the plate. He hit a bad pitch solidly, which he hasn’t been doing lately.

  125. By the way, regarding Mauer: according to B-R, he hasn’t actually DH’ed this year. He’s started 77 of Minny’s first 89 games; McCann’s started 79 of the Braves’ first 91. So they’re pretty much even on that score.

  126. He’s pitched a helluva game. The late movement on his pitches has been spectacular tonight.

  127. Did we lose the edit function?

    Testing…1…2…3…check…

    Edit: OK, there it is. Not that it will help my clumsy grammar. ;-)

  128. I’m a little concerned about his workload. IP last three years: 142, 141, 142. He’s currently at 111 this year. He’s missed time with shoulder issues the past two years. The Braves better slow it down a notch. If they’re out of it, I wouldn’t mind them doing what the Giants did last year with Lincecum and just completely shutting him down in September.

  129. Skully knows an incredible amount of insider information on the ATL players… we don’t even get this inside info from the home broadcast guys

  130. Scully is like that for every visiting team. He does his homework and then some.

    And then there’s Chip Caray.

  131. I love Scully. Last season, when the Braves played the Dodgers, I learned more about the Braves the first time through the order than I had in the three months prior of listening to the Braves crew.

  132. What are the odds that Boyer’s arm completely falls off? Where the hell is Tavarez? This situation is tailor-made for him.

  133. We had damn well better be using Tavarez or somebody other than Gonzo in the ninth. It doesn’t have to be Tavarez, but preferably it would be.

  134. That’s the way Scully is about every team. I posted something about him last night, but I learn something new about the players every single game he broadcasts. To borrow a line from Skip about Maddux, “he is the best folks. He is the best.” Of all-time that is.

  135. It’s been so long since we’ve been comfortably ahead late in a game that I had almost forgotten how infuriating Bobby’s bullpen management was.

  136. Gonzalez pitched 2 innings the day before yesterday after pitching consecutive days for the first time 2 days before that. A guy who is just coming off elbow surgery should not be used this often.

  137. I’d almost say that it’s been so long since we had a comfortable late inning lead, Bobby wouldn’t know what to do, anyway.

    Almost.

  138. Did you guys see that “investigation” that uncovered all the straight-up factually wrong things Chip said during the ALDS last year? He was flat-out, dead wrong on so many things it was embarrassing to say he does our games.

  139. “No announcer is perfect. A mistake now and then is expected. The best ones realize that they’ve made errors and often do their best to fix them quickly…Then there is Chip Caray, TBS’s lead baseball announcer”

  140. Tavarez on display. Did this guy win a World Series with St. Louis? If so, that’s discouraging.

  141. When was the last time one of our infielders threw a ball to first that did not arrive on a bounce?

  142. wtf is Cox leaving this sack of …. in for? not only is he going to blow a lead but he’s going to kill McCann in the process (hmmm … maybe it’s a good time to play Corky)

    btw, shouldn’t he have done a couple of minor league games before pitching in the bigs?

  143. 253 — Thought the same thing. Tavarez bears a striking resemblence to Freddy Kruger. Not sure what’s more frightening — Kruger appearing in your dream or Tavarez making an appearance in a baseball game.

  144. D/L’d three, including two relievers (Acosta/Bennett). Alas, Tavarez is on the mound, and it is an atrocity.

  145. Allow me to refer to myself, #59:

    I’d rather have Abe Simpson out here.

    Julian Tavarez, if they gave out prizes for ugly, you’d win the blue ribbon. Instead, you pitch like you look.

  146. The guy hasnt pitched in the majors since june 14th give him a bit of a break jesus you people are insane… what did you expect? Lee smith?

  147. They sent Jason Perry down, which is something we haven’t touched on yet today, but makes absolutely zero sense. If it was so damn important that we bring Francoeur back up because we have so few outfielders, why the hell is it that we can then send Perry down to sign Julian freaking Tavarez?

    The fact that Gonzo is pitching in this game is really not a good thing BTW, in case there was a doubt in anyone’s mind. Let’s hope we’re winning by eight runs again tomorrow and use Nunez this time or something.

  148. over/under on how many days jules is on the roster?

    I’m setting the line at 25.5 & praying for the under.

  149. hey, Lee Smith, there’s an idea … yeah, I’d much rather have Lee Smith than Freddy any day.

  150. It certainly wouldn’t be a Braves victory without burning through as many relievers as possible to ensure that the odds of winning the next game are decreased.

  151. no, I expect him to get sharp with a few minor league appearances

    I also expect him not to kill out all star catcher.

  152. Um, Jon K, how about pitching just good enough with an eight run lead so the manager isn’t forced (although that may not be the word) to bring in the closer. I don’t think that’s asking too much of anybody. My hatred for Tavarez continues. Its not only that he sucks, but he’s a total douchebag.

  153. The guy hasnt pitched in the majors since june 14th give him a bit of a break jesus you people are insane… what did you expect? Lee smith?

  154. so are we really going to have comments about every single AB from Frenchy? how long should I expect this to continue

  155. Actually another Alex… you have a player who was dropped by 2 different clubs. Dont you think that if he could come in consistently and get three outs he would have stayed on one of those teams? The guy is a work in progress and is a long shot… anyone who thinks he was just gonna come in after being out of the majors for almost a month and get 3 outs is out of their minds. They signed the guy simply because they needed another pitcher in the bullpen, not a guy who is expected to do anything

  156. I suppose some solace can be taken in the fact that there’s an off-day on Thursday, but after the 17-inning affair, it was imperative not to overtax the bullpen today and yesterday. Campillo did his job with 7 innings and Nunez pitching a meaningless inning, so mission accomplished in that regard. Then tonight, despite having a 6-1 lead after 6, a 7-1 lead after the top of the 8th, and a 9-1 lead heading into the ninth, Ohman, Boyer, and Gonzalez all end up having to take the mound. Unacceptable.

  157. @284,

    Until he stops sucking. And then we’ll post about how much he rules. When you desire the spotlight, don’t be surprised (and whine) when it finds you. That’s just how it works.

  158. ugalaw, the I will agree with you to a certain point, the fact that Boyer and Gonzalez had to be used per se, is debatable. I see where Bobby is coming from as far as wanting to absolutely make sure that the game was won in the ninth, but I don’t think he’s in the majority in bringing in his ‘closer’ with a 6 run lead with two people on base with two outs to go.

  159. I suppose we should all blame Tavarez for bobby having to pitch gonzalez? How about we blame Wren for signing him?? Let’s focus the blame on the people who brought him in. That’s two very questionable moves in the past week by Wren… 1 was bringing Frenchy back after a joke stay at AA and the other is this Tavarez signing. Yet in retrospect, you really can’t blame Wren all that much for the Tavarez signing since he was caught in a bind now that bennett and acosta went down. Don’t get mad at the fact he stuck tonight because stats don’t lie, the guy has stunk. Too many fans on here have unrealistic expectations. The guy simply is not pitching that well, his confidence is way down and he is struggling with control. It’s not a coincidence that no one else was getting in line besides ATL to sign him.

  160. Why do I have the feeling that wireless was available in the Braves dugout/clubhouse and Tavarez has graced our presence under the handle of “Jon K”?

  161. ugalaw, c’mon now, it very well could have been Manny Being Manny disappointed that Julian is no longer a teammate.

  162. Jon K can’t be Tavarez but a Jon BB could be

    Jon’s right that no one should expect Tavarez to be good, but IMHO his performance was poor relative to what should be reasonably expected. Jon’s also right that blame for signing him and immediately throwing him in lies with the organization/Wren.

  163. On a side note, Jason Shiell’s wife is happy Jon K is standing up for Julian.

  164. haha I’m not standing up for the guy. I’m just pointing out the fact that everyone is freakin out at how bad he pitched and is rippin the guy, when truth be told he shouldn’t been signed in the first place. Blame Wren… you take a guy who can’t pitch, two teams have thrown him to the wolves, bring him back after a month outta major league action and throw him into action with a new catcher and a new team… it spells disaster.

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