145 thoughts on “Jeff Francoeur, power hitter”

  1. From previous thread:

    I’m sorry, but Mike Mussina was never a dominant pitcher.

    Just because you are very good relative to the league doesn’t make you dominant. Pedro Martinez was dominant. Randy Johnson was dominant. Greg Maddux was dominant.

    Mike Mussina was very good & worthy of a HoF discussion. It wouldn’t be a travesty if he made Cooperstown—I just remain unconvinced.

    Chipper Jones ’08 BA > Jeff Francoeur’s ’08 SLG

  2. This was the most depressing thing I’ve read in quite some time, from DOB’s blog:

    “Hitters who came to bat with the most runners on base: 1. Justin Morneau, 558; 2. Garrett Atkins, 515; 3. David Wright, 508; 4. Mark Teixeira; 5. Carlos Beltran, .498; 6. Jeff Francoeur, 494; 7. Ryan Howard, 483; 8. Carlos Delgado, 480.

    So I took that stat and went and looked at what all those guys hit with runners on base and how many RBI they finished with in 2008.

    The envelope, please:

    Morneau: .330 with runners on, 129 RBI.

    Atkins: .256, 99 RBI.

    Wright: .290, 124 RBI.

    Teixeira: .303, 121 RBI.

    Beltran: .283, 112 RBI.

    Francoeur: .203, 71 RBI.

    Howard: .309, 146 RBI.

    Delgado: .285, 115 RBI.”

  3. Ok but lets not kid ourselves. You just made a list that has Morneau, Atkins, Wright, Teixeira, Beltran, Howard, and Delgado on it to compare with Francoeur.

    Francoeur obviously does not compare with All-Star players in anything other than # of ABs with RISP

  4. I read that too Bethany, and it is upsetting, the bum never should have been in the position in the first place, but how misearbly failed in the position is startling.

  5. That’s hideous. If a healthy Matt Diaz (hell, a healthy Mike Hampton) were getting those at-bats, we’d probably have been a contender.

  6. @3

    Ugh, I wonder if there is a way to translate into wins the difference between Wright and Francoeur in those situations? I kind of have a grim curiosity to learn how much his ineptitude cost the team.

  7. Ok, forgive me here, but at lunch today all of my UT friends were saying that Lane Kiffin is going to be the guy in Knoxville, and that it wasn’t official, but an announcement would be made on Monday. I am used to hearing their banter, but today they seemed like they actually heard this from somewhere reliable, but none of them could tell me where. Has anyone else heard anything substantial about this? I am not a UT fan, per se, but I am always interested. One of these guys also said his son (who goes to UT) had called and said that this was also well known on campus. Did I miss something? Where are they getting this?

  8. From what I hear, Kiffin’s been in Knoxville on a couple of occasions in the last two weeks. On the other hand, I remember when Steve Spurrier was supposedly in Tuscaloosa two years ago.

  9. I’d heard Kiffin would be going to Syracuse.

    I think that Bethany’s table just illustrates how much Francoeur hurt this team in ’08.

  10. Glavine may have won two Cy Young awards, but Mussina had seasons that were just as good. His 1992 season stacks up well against Glavine’s, although Glavine’s 1998 was really amazing.

    Mussina spent his career in baseball’s toughest division in baseball’s tougher league. He recorded 200 more Ks than Glavine in 850 fewer innings. He played in front of some remarkably poor defensive teams, including ones that kept Ripken Jr. at SS long after he had the range for it.

    Don’t get me wrong, Glavine pitched for much longer with similar if not strictly superior results, and for my money, I’ll take Glavine’s career over Mussina’s. But if Glavine is a slam dunk HoFer, Mussina’s certainly got to be a clearly deserving case.

  11. For Glavine’s HoF column, you also have to mention his 1995 World Series MVP. He pitched one of the the greatest WS clinchers in history.

    Although lots of folks point to his 16-K performance vs Cleveland in the ’97 ALDS or his big start in the “Jeter flip” ’01 ALDS game vs Oakland, IMO, Mussina’s defining post-season moment was his relief work in Game 7 of the ’03 ALCS, the Aaron Boone game.

  12. Thanks for the link Mac. And it’s not really big-time. They won’t let me swear over there, and until I’m allowed to drop F-bombs with impunity, I still have worlds to conquer.

    BTW: there’s a mockup of the site somewhere in the ether right now, and it doesn’t show Braves Journal on the blogroll. It will be there by the time it goes live on Monday, however.

  13. Francouer should bat eighth next year until further notice, at which point he should bat ninth.

  14. Someone, I think Stu, mentioned Notre Dame apologizing for treating Willingham poorly in the firing. You do realize he just got canned at Washington right? They allowed him one more year than he got in South Bend, which was nothing more than an extra year to run their program into the ground.

    Goodness, how big of a mess would Washington be in if they’d had Weis instead? I shudder to think about it.

    The thing that people unfamiliar with this situation miss is that Willingham wasn’t fired from ND solely for his record. It was a combination of poor play and utterly inept recruiting. The ultimate example of this is that Notre Dame wasn’t even recruiting Brady Quinn. He only wound up there because Ndukwe’s (a receiver recruit) father suggested that they might want to take look at the quarterback throwing his son the ball. The fact is Willingham spent more time playing golf than he did on the recruiting trail and that was ultimately his undoing. He made the mistake of thinking that Notre Dame would recruit itself. Obviously it doesn’t.

    You realize that the only winning Weis has done was with Willingham’s players, right?

    Willingham is obviously not great. But (a) he wasn’t the first not-great coach in the history of the program but he was the only one they fired before his first contract expired; and (b) he’s clearly better that Weis.

  15. beware, this kid will be punting for Michigan in the future, and frequently!

    Which is more impressive, decking the skinny punt returner, or effortlessly punting it from one 15 yd line to the other?

    With all of the punting Michigan is likely to do, it’s a good thing we have a possible All-American on the roster, and this beast coming up behind.

  16. Dix — I went to the OSU-Michigan game on Saturday, and the people in my section were drunkenly chanting “Zoltan! Zoltan! Zoltan!” each time Michigan went three and out.

    If Zoltan is that big a celebrity, the kid in your video will be a super nova.

  17. Zoltan is a favorite player of many Michigan fans. Partially because he is one of the most talented (at his position) of any player on the team. Also because his name is Zoltan Mesko. In a college football world of ever increasing uniqueness of names, I think Zoltan Mesko is a pretty special one.

    I don’t know where his parents got the name, but I like to think it was from the raven in Stephen King’s first book in the Dark Tower series, The Gunslinger.

  18. I was at the game with a girl who had never been to a college football game before. When Mesko’s name was announced she said “so what is he, a Transformer or a Bond villian or something?”

  19. According to Wiki:

    Zoltán Meskó de Széplak (12 March 1883-10 June 1959) was a leading Hungarian Nazi during the 1930s.

    Michigan’s Zoltan is Romanian.

  20. As far as first names, kinda…

    A former friend of my family was a Hungarian refugee, escaped in 1956 & all that, and that’s what she told me.

    I did a European business trip & returned telling her that I hung out with a Hungarian guy named Zoltan & she replied that Zoltan was a very common name when she was growing up in Budapest.

    Zoltan Mesko is pretty good, but for a great college football name I always liked Sonny Sixkiller.

  21. Zoltan is also Hal Sparks’ character in Dude Wheres My Car. It was also my nickname on my team in high school.

  22. A rose may be a rose, but the marketing thereof requires adroit branding – you know, like naming your kid Zoltan in the Midwest.

    It’s like the great composer Guiseppe Verdi. Fairly rolls off the tongue.

    Translates to Joe Green.

  23. Watch the video of the punter if for no other reason than to see the hit he puts on the 5’6″ kid returning the ball.

  24. ESPN news is reporting that the Cubs will no longer pursue Peavy. Lou Pinella states “Starting we dont need, we are set.”

    I guess this really doesnt mean much, except that Towers has got to be getting frustrated. When you pitcher will only go to five teams, the package wont be as great

  25. Just makes it far more likely that we get him in the end. The Cubs don’t want him, the Yankees don’t want him, he’s running out of teams he can trade him to.

  26. Dix,

    You were right about the “moronic” comment. It was a knee jerk reaction on my part. Sorry I took it personally. I too look forward to the friendly banter in the future.


    I’m not sure why other people find those restrictions annoying. I think most fans of Notre Dame see those restrictions as a point of pride, not a hindrance or reason to make excuses.


    “Goodness, how big of a mess would Washington be in if they’d had Weis instead? I shudder to think about it.”

    Are you serious? If so, you need change the channel. ESPN is not your friend. Yes, Weis’ won with Willingham’s players (something Willingham couldn’t do) but the cupboard was left bare after Quinn’s class. He has done the exact same thing at Washington. I could sit here and throw out #’s, rosters, etc. that would convince you but this board isn’t the place for it. Just know that the argument you made above is an incredibly uninformed one.

    “Willingham is obviously not great. But (a) he wasn’t the first not-great coach in the history of the program but he was the only one they fired before his first contract expired; and (b) he’s clearly better that Weis.”

    I would love to see you back (b) up. How many Notre Dame games have you watched over the past 7 years? Judging by the quoted post I’m going to guess not many.

  27. For what it’s worth, I’ve heard that Kiffin rumor, too. I’ve also heard that he would be bringing Monte Kiffin on as defensive coordinator. There doesn’t necessarily seem to be any substance to it yet, but it’s getting more specific than any other rumor I’ve heard thus far. For instance, I’ve heard iand read on several UT message boards and so forth that it’ll be announced on December 1 (which would be Monday, after the Thanksgiving holiday). So, I dunno…take it for what you will.

  28. I’ve watched a few, dirt. And I’m fairly well informed regarding recruiting and rankings. And I have more than one friend who is a well-connected Notre Dame alum, so I know plenty about what goes on in South Bend.

    Willingham was not good. Weis is terrible. They have been treated differently. Willingham, in fact, was treated differently—not in a good way—than any other head coach in the history of the program.

    As for the recruiting, sure, Weis has done “better” by and large. But that’s sort of irrelevant, isn’t it, when you can’t win with those “better” players? Seems like you (and many of your ND bretheren) would rather be 6-6 with a roster full of future NFLers than 9-3 with a roster of “lesser” players. Whatever floats your boat.

    Like I said before, I love Notre Dame apologists.

  29. all i know about Mussina is that he was apparently a badass in Baltimore when i wasn’t paying much attention to them and, as a lifelong hater of all things Yankee, i hated to see him show up against a team that i was rooting for. and for a last season, how many guys retire when they’re one of the top ten(or five) pitchers in the league? i know……ask Sandy Koufax. is Mussina hurt or does he just want to go fishing all summer?

  30. dirt,
    Because people find everything about Notre Dame annoying—it doesn’t have to make any kinda sense. Trust me, non-ND people do not want to hear it.

    But I must say, I do find the musings of Bob Kuechenberg (and the reactions to them) very amusing.

  31. The good news for Vandy, Alabama, and other SEC teams concerning the Kiffen rumor I heard is that he’ll bring Orgeron to be his defensive coordinator. Will make it pretty easy to score on the Vols in the future.

  32. ububba,

    Point taken about people not wanting to hear it. This will be my last football post. I never intended for this discussion to carry on so long.

    I heard mention of the Kuechenberg situation but never really followed up on it. It just didn’t interest me. I did dig up a few things before typing this but didn’t find anything of real consequence. Is there anything in particular you want to point out?


    I have to admit that I am surprised that anyone who has payed any attention at all would feel that Willingham didn’t deserve what he got or that his teams in anyway outperformed Charlie’s.

    Willingham’s first season (his only good one) was all smoke and mirrors. Over the course of his three seasons the team got progressively thin and disorganized. Combine the on field performance with the crap recruiting and well… I don’t see how anyone could argue he should have been retained. Sure, if you want to debate the point of him being the first to not finish his contract then there isn’t much I can say other than he didn’t deserve to and there are numbers to prove it. The damage that would have been done by allowing him to neglect recruiting for another season and a half is not something that could be justified or maybe even overcome.

    As for being an apologist, I think I am anything but. They stink right now and I would be surprised if Charlie gets it turned around; however, I have no doubt that he is better than Willingham. Look for him to hire a new O-line coach in the off-season and if that doesn’t remedy the running game he will be kicked to the curb just like Ty.

  33. sorry dirt…….just before i wrote that, i saw the man on ESPN and his appearance might disqualify him from being a janitor for me. classy enough?

  34. I don’t think I’ve seen this discussed here. What do you guys think of the supposed interest in Ty Wigginton? At first glance his numbers look decent put then again I’m no stathead.

  35. Pass. He’s a corner infielder and we don’t need another corner infielder, and he’s a defensive liability in the outfield. You could live with that if he was a good hitter but he’s not. He’s a 30 year old who just had a careeer year in a bandbox.

  36. Lane Kiffin. Wow. Never underestimate the idiocy of ADs. You have two slam dunk candidates in Leach and Butch Davis, yet you go crawling up Lane Kiffin’s tree. My goodness.

  37. dirt, FWIW, by “apologist,” I don’t mean one who says the football team can do no wrong; I mean one who defends the university’s actions despite clear evidence that it acted, at best, inequitably.

  38. For those who haven’t seen it yet, DOB thinks we’re hard after Burnett:


    I’m actually a little bit pleasantly surprised. I was beginning to think we weren’t going to seriously try to compete with the Yankees for him. Still, six teams is a lot of teams to beat out, especially when we may only have an inherent edge over one, at most two, of them.

  39. Kuechenberg is an old crank who keeps popping off about Weis and his former NFL team, the Dolphins.

    Jason Taylor had had enough & offered a funny quote: “He needs a hug and a hobby.”

  40. So, could we afford to get Burnett and Peavy? Or would signing Furcal ruin that, seeing as that is what the Braves are set on doing? I wish I could kick Brent in the shin for not playing Winter ball, I blame this mess on him.

  41. If you turn on ESPN, you can see UNC making Oregon look like the Washington Generals on muscle relaxers. This would be the Oregon team that blew out Alabama last night. Gottfried really has to go.

  42. dirt,

    It’s the baseball offseason, all topics are fair game and we talk about football here all the time. This board needs an ND presence to stick up for the Irish (as well as a target for our cries to cue the crying leprechaun and lap up the tears of unfathomable sadness)

  43. I suppose those are the same ads that say that Paris Hilton’s is 127. I hate those ads, and I could say something about IQ testing but it would get political so I won’t.

  44. I am concerned about Burnett’s makeup. He’s a guy who strikes me as a hard thrower, not a pitcher.

  45. Then again, when I look at his stats from the last few years with Toronto, I realize that maybe he’s learned something since the time he was a Marlin.

  46. I know a guy on the Marlins’ team of physicians, and he once described Burnett as a “dumb hillbilly.”

    Whenever I think about Burnett, I think of this one AB against Chipper early in his last season with the Marlins. Burnett had thrown two pitches and gotten two outs in the first inning. Pete explained that Burnett, thinking Chipper would make him throw at least three pitches, would throw a first-pitch strike, assuming he could get it by Chipper. Pete also predicted that Chipper, knowing what Burnett was thinking, would be waiting for that strike.

    Sure enough, Chipper hit a bomb on the first pitch, a fastball down the middle.

  47. yeah, we’re gonna do that to ND tonight as well…

    and seeing that Zeller is out (who was out best player the first two games of the year) and will redshirt thanks to a borderline dirty foul, and broken wrist, in the Kentucky game.

    and seeing that Hans isn’t 100% yet…and Roy even benched him last night for missing a wide-open teammate…

    we’re gonna slap some teams around this year…

  48. I would hope so, given that it’s totally inconceivable that you will even be challenged in any game all year (scroll down to “Can anybody give Carolina a game?” for the kicker). Oh, Mark Bradley, will you ever stop engaging in ridiculous hyperbole? (See his Matt Ryan is the best rookie QB in NFL history five games before the end of the season column for another dose of classic Mark Bradley hyperbole.)

    That said, UNC is clearly the best team in the nation this year, and they are heavy favorites to win the NCAA title this year (about as heavy as it’s possible to be this early in the year, really), but I’m always amused greatly whenever anyone does something stupid like say a team in the freaking ACC and with one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country will only be challenged in one conference game and one non-conference game all year. That’s just kind of silly.

  49. Marino & Roethlisberger were obviously better rookies overall, but by Bradley’s narrow definition—a rookie QB who starts every game—he may end up being right.

  50. The Heels are showing signs of greatness this year. And while it’s not a given they’ll win the NCAA title, if they play defense like they did last night in the first half, it will take a truly inspired effort to beat them.

  51. Seems like Burnett thinks getting out of the AL would be a good career move. I guess if you can survive in the AL East, the NL is a piece of cake. So maybe he takes a lower offer to not have to face the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays.

  52. Marc,
    4 of the 6 teams he’s considering are in the AL East. I don’t think he’s just dying to get away.

    Adam R,
    Me too! I always think of that AB. I still want that dumb, nipple-ring-wearing hillbilly.

  53. Heels – impressive. Let’s see how they do against, say, Pitt or Connecticut. They really haven’t played anyone with a defense yet. Sorry about candy-ass Zeller.

    Anyone notice that as soon as Piniella bleats that “we don’t need starters” the Padres shift into “well, the Cubs might still be involved in a three-way deal. Harumph.”

    Pretty soon it’s going to be Francouer and Jo-Jo straight up for Peavy.

    I thought the SEC was down last year. Oy.

  54. wait??? whats this nipple-ring thing???

    Is Mike Hampton the only pitcher to ever receive an 8 yr deal?

  55. If you look at Burnett’s split of last year, he absolutely had no problem facing the Sox, Yankees, and Rays.

  56. The best I can see us offering for Burnett would be 4 years at 70 MM with a 5th year vesting option if he pitches something like 750 innings over the length of the contract.

    If he takes that, then you have a rotation of Burnett, Jurrjens, + some mix of potentially Reyes, Morton, Campillo, Hanson. There is also the likely possibility of Smoltz/Glavine/Hampton being around, though I think the lesson has been learned to not rely upon them.

    According to rumor then, the team has anywhere from 22.5 MM to 27.5 MM left to spend.

    Barring a trade, the infield and bullpen look set (though the Ohman situation will have some impact). The outfield still looks pathetic, and the rotation has a question mark the size of Frenchy’s ego.

    What do you do next?

    If you trade for Peavy and then sign Furcal, there is nothing left for the outfield. I guess you could sign a Raul Ibanez plus a Randy Wolf, but that doesn’t really make me think 2009 WS Champs! It almost seems like we have three holes and are making do with only two plugs.

    I know it’s been said before, but Hudson’s TJ surgery is really a ball buster.

  57. Ethan,

    What do you do next?

    (1) You let Ohman, Hampton, and Glavine go.

    (2) You take Yunel off the table in the Peavy talks and wait for Towers to cave—Gorkys, Reyes/Morton, Flowers, and Locke is still more than he’s getting from anyone else.

    (3) You take advantage of the crazy (non-)market and sign Adam Dunn, even though he’s a lefty.

    Assuming Burnett costs $17-18 million and Dunn costs ~$12 million, and you get ~$5 million in insurance money for Hudson’s contract, you’ll still have ~$8 million for Smoltz and be able to stay under $100 million total. And you’ve got a rotation of


    and a lineup of


    …and you are good.

    Not that this particular series of events would ever happen, but it’s an example, and I do think there are other ways to build a good team even if you pay Burnett big money.

    (FWIW, I still like the idea of targeting Vazquez and Dye, if you could get them without giving up Heyward/Hanson/Yunel/Schafer…which I suspect you could.)

  58. Lefties would own that lineup so hard. Not saying it’s a bad lineup, but I’d expect 8 IP 0 R 2H 0BB 10K lines with regularity from Hamels, et al.

    I think Dunn gets a bum rap as a player, but I don’t think he’s a particularly good fit for this team, which already has a fair number of OBP/walk guys, so that’s not a particularly pressing need. What we really need is RH power from the OF for cheap. What we need is Raul Ibanez. He’s such an obscenely good fit for this team it’s shocking. If we can get him on like a 3-year deal for less than $10M per… do it. And from everything I’ve heard (hot stove stuff, which is often times complete hogwash), he could probably be had for much less.

    That failing, I’d like to see a deal for Vazquez/Dye if we can get it cheaply enough from the ChiSox. Take on a bunch of salary, give up a few prospects (Flowers, Hernandez maybe, and Reyes, something like that) and address two huge needs.

  59. Aubrun’s yards per play differential:

    2004: +1.8 (6.4/4.8)
    2005: +1.0 (6.0/5.0)
    2006: +0.6 (5.5/4.9)
    2007: +0.3 (4.8/4.5)
    2008: -0.2 (4.6/4.8)

    that’s a 5 year decline and it mostly all on the offense. With a new OC coming in and probably implementing a new system, that doesn’t bode well for Tubby.

  60. mraver,
    I don’t really disagree with you re: Dunn, it’s just that he seems to be such a bargain…

    As for Ibanez, I don’t get the love. (Especially for 3 years!) You know he’s a lefty, too, right?

  61. Stu,

    I agree it would be smarter to take Yunel off the table. I just don’t think it will happen. While none of us really know, there’s been way too much smoke for me to think there will be a Peavy trade that does not involve Yunel Escobar.

    The Dunn situation (or lack thereof) is mind boggling to me as well. It’d be nice if the Braves could get over themselves and pick up the guy. Again, everything I’ve heard from Peanut/DOB seems to indicate that it isn’t an option.

    IMO, this offseason will be the one upon which much of Wren’s future reputation will be based. He’s definitely made some moves that are encouraging, (the Renteria trade was a heist that he doesn’t get enough credit for) and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a move that exceeds expectations; however, from an outside view, it seems like he’s positioning himself in a corner from which the tenable options are limited.

    That beings said, the offseason is early, no one has signed anywhere, and no one really knows anything. This past week of hot stove has been boring though and the hours till the four day weekend and Turkey Day can’t can’t go by fast enough.

    My aunt makes unbelievable pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Highlight of the day. Anyone else have something they’re looking forward to?

  62. I agree, Ethan. The point wasn’t that those are the moves that will be made, but that similar moves are possible. It’s going to kill me when we trade Yunel for Peavy, because I’ll always believe he didn’t have to be included to get a deal done.

    Also, it’s bad news for us if the Angels sign Sabathia. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

  63. Yes,

    It would be extremely bad if Sabathia signs with the Yankees. I can see Hank going into an insane rage and doing somethings completely irrational

  64. The only way the Peavy/Furcal scenario makes much sense, IMO, is if the Braves are willing to cut ties with the role players who cost a couple million apiece. If they’re willing to let Ohman, Norton, Hampton, and Glavine walk, and non-tender or trade Diaz, that opens up enough available funds to legitimately contend. You could, for example, afford to add Peavy, Furcal, Dye, and Vazquez, (and still have some money for Smoltz) if you sacrificed all those other guys.

    It’d be worth it, IMO, because that would make for a pretty good team. I doubt they’re willing to let all those guys go, though.

  65. @83 – If we keep Francoeur, outside of Dunn, our outfield looks very weak. I hope that Schafer has turned the corner, but I’m not convinced. I don’t mind a platoon situation (Diaz is a good candidate) in one OF spot, but having two high risk outfielders isn’t good.

    Actually a Dunn/Blanco or Anderson/ Francouer outfield doesn’t look like much of an improvement (definitely not defensively) over last year’s beginning of year outfield of Diaz/ Francouer/ Kotsay. Obviously Diaz’s injury and poor start made things really bad, but given that Kotchman is a downgrade at first over Tex, this lineup still puts us in the position of needing a breakthrough year from Francoeur.

  66. Looking forward to? Don’t know about that… but it’s good to have extra time to try and actually get some work done. Ugh.

    Were you guys talking about those IQ ads that sometime list the same person twice with wildly differing IQs. I’m guessing they’re just ads trying to get you to click on them to prove you’re smarter than the average fan of team X or football player Y.

  67. Mike Mussina is a classic example of why the O’s have been so bad for so long. Angelos let him go because he didn’t want to pay enough to keep him but then he signs Albert Belle to a ridiculous contract and he is out of baseball in three years. Before anyone complains about TW or Liberty Media as owners, remember, it could be worse.

  68. @95

    Not to depress anyone, but wasn’t it Wren who signed Belle? That seems like the timeframe when he was their GM

  69. @96,

    That might technically be true, but Angelos or his idiot sons were calling the shots, I guarantee. I think Wren should get a pass on anything that happened when he was in Baltimore. Losing Mussina changed the dynamic of the franchise.

  70. I am in Budapest, Hungary right now! I will ask some Hungarians what their first names are. I will probably get beaten up. Anything for Braves Journal. Will let you know…

  71. Do we know that for sure, AAR? I know that’s been the assumption around here, but I don’t recall seeing that confirmed by anyone in the know.

    The Ascanio-for-Infante-and-Ohman deal was pretty darn good, too.

  72. Stu,
    I think we’re thinking along the same lines for 2009. If we can get Peavy for Hernandez/Flowers/Morton/Locke, we can still overpay for another pitcher and still have enough money to sign Dunn.

    Sure lefties will own us, but we should pound righties to dust. If Frenchy breaks out (bear with me here) we have a RH bat. If not and we’re in the hunt come July, maybe we can rent a guy like Dye for the stretch run.

    I think this is about the only scenario that makes us competitive in 2009 without mortgaging the future.

  73. Gah! For some reason, I had it in my head that Ibanez hit from the right side. That chances things quite a bit. I still think he’s a bargain, though. Dye/Vazquez really seems like a more useful trade for this team to make. Most importantly, IMO, neither players have long-term strings attached that would limit the Braves’ options down the road. I’d much rather pay those two ~25M per anum for the next 2-3 years than give Burnett a five-year deal that could really screw payroll up.

  74. If the Angels sign Sabathia does that possibly make one of their young guys available? I remember them being long on starting pitching already, but Garland is a free agent, so maybe they don’t have an extra.

    If one of those is available, couldn’t this give us a possible matchup and get Brandon Wood as a “throw in” (maybe he is s shortstop, if not, he can cover for Chipper’s injuries)?

    I sense that the Angels and CC are living out that R & B song that goes like “if it feels this good being used, you can use me up.” That is, CC needs all the options he can get, even if the Angels don’t end up being the place. The Angels need pressure on Teixeira to sign. Boras loves to wait and Arte Moreno doesn’t.

  75. I’m probably about to delve into another topic where a large portion of the people on here disagree with me, but I don’t think the lefty-righty thing means nearly as much as is being talked about. It does matter to a certain extent, but it shouldn’t stop you from getting the best player. Only if all other things were equal would I worry about the lefty-righty thing. You worry about getting the best players first. I could be wrong, but I think that if we somehow had a lineup consisting of the eight best left-handed hitters in the game (bear with me…I’m speaking hypothetically here), it wouldn’t matter that we didn’t have a right-handed hitter. While the several games a year where a left-handed curveballer completely shuts us down are annoying, they’re not what caused us to fail last year, and they’re not what caused us to miss the playoffs the year before. Plus, that’s more about Bobby Cox playing a bunch of crappy righthanders instead of KJ, McCann, etc., than it is about our lefties not being able to hit lefthanded pitching IMO.

  76. Several points from the article (in no particular order):

    -doesn’t surprise me that Jeff thinks books suck. Books involve reading and some quasi-intellectual activity. Not for Jeff.

    -Davies, Boyer, Francouer, and McCann–one gone, two suck, one real good.

    -I think Bobby makes decisions based on whether the player’s face has “winner” written all over it. God knows you wouldn’t want to replace a guy with “winner” written on his face with someone else that can actually hit.

  77. Nick,

    The problem is, things aren’t equal. If you had the 9 best lefthanded (or righthanded)hitters in the game, it probably wouldn’t matter much. In the real world, thought, it’s not about having 9 Chase Utleys or 9 Barry Bonds. It’s about lesser guys that have significant left-right split difference. There is a reason that Chipper is a switch hitter–it’s a big advantage hitting from the opposite side of the pitcher. If you bring in a guy that has proven that he can’t hit lefthanders and you put him in against lefthanders, what’s the point of that. The fact is, someone like Adam Dunn does not hit lefties very well, so if you have a lefty-dominated lineup already and you bring him in, how does that help the team when they do face lefties? You are saying it’s only several games a year, but several games can be the difference between making and not making the playoffs.

  78. It’s pretty simple. The Braves hit .273 .350 .421 against righthanded pitching. They hit .264 .335 .381 against lefthanders. That’s an enormous difference. Against righthanders, they hit about what Kotsay did overall; against lefties, they hit more like Brandon Jones. (I was going to say Francoeur, but they weren’t that bad.)

  79. Nick,

    If the choice is 33 year old Burrell or 29 year old Dunn for 5 years and 13 million per, you would rather have Dunn.

    But, to the extent that the market is efficient and weights skill sets properly, the Braves REALLY need a right handed (or very low split differential) hitter.

    As to “it didn’t make the difference in 07 and 08”, I am not so sure. I know about 2/3 of the way through the season (before Tex trade and Hudson injury), the Braves were 550 ish against right handers and 400 ish against left handers. Bring performance against left handers up, and we were right in the hunt.

  80. Mac @ 109,

    Aren’t your OPS differential numbers roughly the difference between Yunel and Infante? Between slightly above average player and significantly below average?

  81. The difference is greater than the difference between Escobar and Infante. Infante actually had a higher slugging percentage than Escobar last year (.416 to .401) but there was a big OBP gap. Meanwhile, the Braves’ greatest problem was a lack of power against lefties.

  82. The other problem is that there isn’t a righthanded slugger on the market that’s particularly good this year, or at least really even close to Dunn in my mind, other than Manny (who we’re not getting). I mean, you already said it: If my choice is between Burrell and Dunn, I want Dunn.

  83. Amen, Nick. Give me a good lefty over a average to below average righty every time. Here was the heart of our order in 1995: Chipper, McGriff, Justice, Klesko. We did pretty good that year. Sure we got LOOGYed from time to time, but so what? Talent prevails.

  84. A creative GM would explore other avenues to address the need for a right handed power bat. Just because one isn’t readily available via free agency doesn’t mean you ignore the problem and sign a left handed power bat instead.

  85. But Nick,

    Is Burrell for 12 million for 3 years worse than Dunn for 13 million for 5 years? That is the problem.

    We say Heyward is untouchable. He ought to make it to ATL June 2010 (or earlier). Burrell would be easy to deal to an AL club for a DH at that kind of price. We also have Schafer, who may have enough bat for a corner, and Gorkys.

    Maybe the move is Diaz / Ibanez in left. Schafer / Baldelli in center and WHEN the Frenchman caves, sort those 4 plus Blanco out and come up with an outfield.

  86. Jeremy, play GM and pick a good RH OF and speculate what that player may cost in trade. Then weigh that against signing Adam Dunn and keeping your prospects.

  87. All reports I’ve read indicate that Dunn is going to sign for something like 3 years at between $11 and $13 million per. Such (relatively) cheap production…

  88. Jason at 114,

    Actually, we got LOOGY’d to death in the post season in 1993, 1996, and 1997. And McGriff had almost no split and Chipper holds OBP, but loses power when he bats right handed.

  89. Cliff, where are you getting your numbers? If the choice is Burrell at 3/36 or Dunn at 5/65, I’d go Burrell everytime.

  90. But Stu,

    If Dunn is looking at those numbers, how can Burrell not be looking at even lower numbers. More age, not quite as good of a fielder, not quite as good of a hitter (until you factor in “handedness”).

    Say the possibility is Burrell for 2 years at 10 per year, vesting option if 500 PA”s both years at 10 million. Is that a bad deal for this club to make?

  91. I just don’t see the love for Dunn. Sure he has tremendous power (something the Braves surely lacked), but I didn’t see him take the DBacks to the post-season last year. He’s just not that good of a player. Besides, Manny looks better than him in the outfield.

  92. That’d be a great deal, Cliff. But (1) Burrell’s probably a better fielder than Dunn (though neither is good); and (2) I don’t think he’ll come more cheaply, at least on a per-year basis.

    Anyway, DOB has said that neither is near the top of the Braves’ wishlist, so it’s probably pointless to discuss.

  93. “Anyway, DOB has said that neither is near the top of the Braves’ wishlist, so it’s probably pointless to discuss.”

    True. However, we are after AJ Burnett and Rafael Furcal.

    Welcome to the Frank Wren era.

  94. He also went from 1 homerun in every 11.6 at-bats to 1 homerun in every 18 at-bats when he moved away from that bandbox in Cincy…

  95. What’s Burrell going to do when he leaves *his* bandbox? Truth be told I don’t like any of these “solutions” either. But trading away Escobar so we can sign Furcal looks like the worst path avaialable. Ugh.

    Dye/Vasquez looks like the best short term solution, I just wonder what it would cost in prospects.

  96. Well, you’re talking about taking on $23 million of 2009 salary, so I don’t think it would require any elite prospects.

  97. I think we could get Dye/Vazquez for basically the Peavy package less Escobar. Maybe toss in Flowers. That’s a deal I make.

  98. Headed out to Eastern Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving. I’m sure I’ll get a bellyful of kielbasa & Phillies talk—I’m guessing my cousins will have the WS DVD already cued up for me.

    Of course, I’ll attempt to drag them back into the familiarity of their special kind of sports misery—I’ll try to discuss the Eagles.

    Happy Turkey Day everybody.

  99. I just don’t see the love for Dunn. Sure he has tremendous power (something the Braves surely lacked), but I didn’t see him take the DBacks to the post-season last year. He’s just not that good of a player.

    Alex Rodriguez didn’t take the Yankees to the playoffs last year, either. Look, Dunn isn’t a pretty player. He doesn’t hit many singles. He’s a crappy fielder. But he hits 40 homers a year every single year, walks a ton, gets a ton of RBIs, and because he doesn’t hit a lot of singles he’s going to get paid way less than a comparable player who gives the same offensive production in a far more graceful manner.

    As I said last year, he has virtually the same career OPS+ as Mark Teixeira, but while Dunn may get $40 million for 3 years, Tex is likely to get $140 million for 6 years. The difference between the offense those two men produce in the middle of the lineup is, honestly, not that great. The difference in cost is staggering.

  100. You were talking about Francoeur or Franceour, whoever!! when I visited here before. You know ….What a coincidence!!!

    By the way,,, Boyer does suck in some way in my opinion. I have lost faith in him. No more..sorry to annoying his fans.

  101. The way Bobby used Boyer last year was insane coming off a surgery. He clearly has good stuff and was a good reliever before his arm fell off.

  102. Dunn at $11 million per year is a bargain. Diaz can always spell him (or move Dunn to first to replace Kotchman) against tough lefties.

    Maybe we should just bean Hamels until they don’t pitch him against us anymore.

  103. We can just use the Ted Lilly “Oh, oops, it must have slipped out of my hand multiple times in a row” excuse.

  104. I’ll tell you what: I am thankful for this forum, Mac and everyone who contributes.

    No word yet on whether my wife and/or employer agree.

  105. I think you all are outlining the problem with fooling ourselves into thinking we can compete in 2009. We start forcing round pegs into square holes. Dunn may be the best player available, but he is not the right guy for us.

    Say it with me – “Two year rebuild.”

  106. oh…

    UNC just slapped the #$@$ out of ND…the #6 rated team in the country…who had just beaten the #4 team in the country…

    is there any doubt that UNC and UConn (who, if Thalbeet gets in foul trouble are pretty mediocre) are the 2 best teams this year?

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