238 thoughts on “Owpen thread”

  1. I see that Russell Martin signed for $3.9 million in his first arb-eligible year. McCann makes $3.5 million this year, which would have been his first arb-eligible year. That deal’s looking better and better.

  2. Stu, our # 1,

    Even better than you propose. McCann came up in 2005. So at the end of 06 and 07 he was (90% cerain) a “super two”. (he barely missed counting 05 as he came up around June 20 and around June 10 would have made that year count as well) This would have been his 2nd arb year as a “end of 3rd year” player.

  3. And now MLBTR has said that Huddy’s agent told ESPN that his ’10 option IS mutual, and not just a club option as DOB said it was. Either way I would expect the Braves to exercise it and Huddy to be OK with that if he’s coming off of surgery.

  4. On Hanson / #5 slot,

    If Hanson pitches before June 10, we have him for this season and 5 more. If he pitches after approx June 10, we have him for 2/3 of this year and 6 more.

    Don’t you guys really think the Reyes / Morton/ Campillo crowd (I am counting out Glavine as it now makes little sense to pay him, use the money on Ohman or offense) can make 8 starts over that 60 games (#5’s always have skips) to save a year of Hanson? Duh.

    Hanson has been at AA level 80 games or so and at fall league for 45 days or so. He can stand 60 at AA or AAA.

    Plus, the “overworked young pitcher” thing does count minor league innings lower. That is, for a pitcher that is good enough to be starting at ML level before 25, he probably dominated at minor league levels. Thus, he didn’t have to work as hard. Thus the innings aren’t as stressful.

    So, it wouldn’t hurt if Hanson’s first 8 starts were at the minor league level, thus assuring no more than around 160 ML innings in regular season.

  5. Charles P and others,

    I have felt since last August, and put it on this blog, that except for any innings Hudson puts out this year (09) he has pitched his last for the Braves.

    Cases

    1. Hudson does not pitch this year at ML level.

    If so, would you really commit 12 million to him? What about if Morton and Reyes are half ass, Campillo is sitll o.k., and Hanson is the real deal? If at least 1 of those 4 looks like a 180 inning sub 4 era pitcher in 2010, then why exercise on Hudson?

    2. Hudson pitches well in late 09.

    I thought that the deal was reported as mutual option earlier. If Hudson starts 6 regular season games at 3.5 or better era, and shows no ill effects, then his market value is set by Lowe. That is at least a 4 year offer at at least 14. Why would he take less? Why would the Braves offer 4 years at that money? If sentiment wouldn’t sway them on Smoltz for one year, why would it sway them on Hudson for 4 years?

    I may be wrong, but I still think I have the better odds on my side. I won’t run from my prediction.

  6. Cliff,
    Super Two status would require McCann to have come up prior to June of ’05, I think. Francoeur, for example, is arb-eligible for the first time, and he came up less than a month after McCann, IIRC.

  7. “Don’t you guys really think the Reyes / Morton/ Campillo crowd (I am counting out Glavine as it now makes little sense to pay him, use the money on Ohman or offense) can make 8 starts over that 60 games (#5’s always have skips) to save a year of Hanson?”

    Yes. I hope this happens.

    And somebody explain how signing Dunn for $5 million isn’t a great deal. Please. I’d give him 4 years/$20 million in a heartbeat. If the Dodgers re-up on Manny then there will be no obvious market for Dunn, driving down his price significantly. Red Sox, Giants, Mariners…? If we could bring in Dunn AND a cheap rental like Ankiel/Nady then I’d do an about-face and call the offseason a smashing success.

  8. Cliff,

    Well, the Braves had supposedly said that they would exercise the option from their end, and Hudson coming back may have incentive to take the 12M and build value (I can’t imagine “guy with 6 starts post surgery” = “guy with 7 years of 180+ innings” as far as value goes).

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/01/tim-hudsons-opt.html

    has DOB saying he ‘learned it was a club option’ and that they fully intended to exercise it based on Wren-versation, but also has that Huddy’s agent has now said it’s a mutual option according to Crasnick.

    I could easily see a scenario in which he’s done pitching for the Braves, but I could also see it being worthwhile for the Braves to want to exercise the option (case 2), and him being willing to take 12M for another year of rebuilding his value so he gets a Lowe deal when he’s 35 too. I think a lot of that depends on how the economics of the situation/country are going. One has to assume that the way this off season has gone for Veritek, Dunn, Burrell, etc has given pause to the “get me to free agency ASAP” mentality.

    Edit: Also, I agree on the hold off on Hanson to get an extra cheap year plan.

  9. This sob story in the AJC is still getting to me. I hate to keep piling on, cause I don’t dislike Francoeur personally and hope (though doubt) he’ll be good in 2009.

    For all Francoeur’s fruitless trips to the plate with the bases loaded, for all the head-sinking trips back to the bench, that July night was rock bottom. The can’t-miss kid went home to his wife Catie and cried. “I just had so many emotions running through my mind, there was nothing left to do but cry,” said Francoeur…

    Cry? Isn’t that a little much?

    “You can’t please everybody,” Francoeur said. “That’s one thing I’ve learned.”

    You can’t please anybody with a .294 OBP.

    After three months to unwind and regroup, people wonder what to think now too. Will Francoeur be back to the player he was during back-to-back 100 RBI seasons or the guy who looked lost last summer?

    Francoeur thinks they’ll see neither. “I think I’m going to be a totally different player than people have seen, even in my couple good years when I drove in 100,” Francoeur said….

    He thinks his 2006 and 2007 were good because of RBIs?

    His days of browsing fan comments online are fewer and farther between.

    I wonder if he has ever read this site.

  10. Dan,

    the crying thing makes perfect sense to me… ever since he was in HS he was on track to be a star making millions a year, but with how bad last year was, if he keeps it up, he may not stick in the majors.

    I would cry if I had potentially screwed up a job making $5-15M a year and was instead facing making minor league money in the sub-$100K/year range for a few years before having to leave even that behind.

    Hell, I’d cry over the couple of million in arbitration money he probably cost himself just this year if I were him (and if I didn’t cry on my own, my wife would make me cry over losing that much).

  11. It would almost be a kindness to trade or non tender him at this point. If he really wants to get tough, he needs to go somewhere where he doesn’t get the star treatment from mgmt and the local press doesn’t apologize for his play all the time. Another year like the last one and he will have come very close to writing his baseball epitaph.

  12. Ububba (from the last thread) –

    I know of the movie but haven’t seen it. Now that I live in LA, I see how System are heroes to the younger Armenian community out here (and in the Motherland too, I’m sure). I’ll check out the flick when I get a chance.

  13. He’ll always be able to find a place in professional baseball. It just may not be Major League baseball. I’m quite sure the Long Island Ducks would love to give him a contract.

    He’d just have to swallow his damn fool pride and accept that the minor leagues are for people like him. People who aren’t good enough for the majors.

  14. Here’s the thing – whoever made the decision to bring Francouer back after, what, 3 hours? deserves to be fired.

    Problem is, we don’t know who that is. (At least I don’t.)

    It was beyond obvious that the best thing for Francouer was to send him to the minors to rebuild his swing. The league had made adjustments to his hole-filled swing and he needed time and peace to respond to that. No biggee. Happens all the time.

    But instead of giving him that experience, the Braves essentially played directly to his biggest weakness (stubborn pride) by calling him right back up. If the FO had worn a sign that said “We’re wrong. Jeff’s right.” it couldn’t have been clearer.

    They’ve now done that with Andruw AND Francouer. Makes me strongly suspect Bobby was the driver in both cases and in both cases they’ve pretty much ruined a valuable asset.

    Whatever. Somebody needs to be fired for this. Let’s start with Pendleton.

  15. I think you guys are misunderstanding the Super 2 rules. I saw it explained very well on a site a couple of days ago. (Sorry I don’t have a link). You earn Super 2 status based on every player with at least two years service time. Of those the top 1/6 in service time earn the status. The cut off day for the year you were discussing may well have been around June 10 but it will vary from year-to-year.

    All that being said, put me down for starting the clock on Hanson later and keeping him in the Minors until late June.

  16. Yeah Dusty, I’ll freely admit I don’t know the rules (though somewhere they just explained the difference between Hamels and somebody on the Rays and how Hamels was up 19 days earlier and it has cost the team about $10M… interesting stuff).

  17. #17

    That’s right, and I seem to recall a conversation here a while back in which it was determined that McCann was not a Super 2.

  18. @11 – The nickname “Frenchy” is becoming more and more appropriate.

    There’s no crying in baseball!

  19. Instead of crying he should take some pitches, even if they’re strikes. Most likely, for a couple years, they won’t be.

    Edit: I think that the main issue I have with both Francoeur and the local media’s coverage of Francoeur is the evidently-shared notion that his 2006 and 2007 campaigns were in any way good. Last season, admittedly terrible, was not shocking, because it basically represented a worst-case scenario for the 2007 player. He needs to change completely, not regain what was (and what has never been). But if the Braves and Francoeur both think he was fine in 2006-7, then he will forever be prone to 2008 and never be good.

  20. in all fairness Frenchy’s 2007 raw numbers are pretty darn good for a 23 yo. It’s just when you wrap them between 06 and 08 and realize the only difference is a probably unsustainable spike in BA. Between that and the coddling, and of course, unfortunately good ’05, it would be easy to think you were just an adjustment or two away from being a star. To thine own self be true I suppose.

  21. On the question as to whether or not to bring Hanson up this year, I think it would be dumb to bring him up at ALL this year. I think we have 3 capable arms for that 5th starter spot until he is ready. In fact, in my mind there should be no question who gets the spot to start off the year. Campillo should be the resounding answer to our 5th starter b/c he earned it with the year he had last year. If he falters then give on of the other guys a crack at it, but it should be his to lose.

  22. @25 – If you can’t reach for the stars when you lead the league in HR and RBI, when can you?

  23. I would prefer Campillo to start out as the long reliever. He could get a spot start here and there, but I like him better out of the pen. He had a decent year last year, but he faded pretty badly toward the end. I don’t know, but I’d rather spend 2 million on Glavine or give Morton a chance.

    Realistically, we’re just going to have to wait til spring training to see how it pans out.

  24. @29 – I can agree with that. I just have a feeling he fell off last year b/c he hadn’t been used to pitching that many innings. If that was the case, he should be a little better suited for it this year. I love Morton’s stuff, but I’d rather see him in long relief until he gets his act together – if for no other reason than I think his stuff is better suited for relief than Campillo’s. I could be totally wrong here, I just think Morton would benefit more from the move to the bullpen and maybe he could get straightened out. If he figures this pitching stuff out he could just be another dangerous arm for our future starting rotations.

  25. I also think the only argument that can be made for Reyes at this point is that he would be the lone left-handed pitcher in the rotation. Not sure how much an all right-handed rotation would factor into our chances, but I’m sure the change could help.

  26. It stuns me how well Francouer’s agent seems to play the AJC. Every time the pendulum swings toward the recognition that he is a player of great gifts but greater flaws, you get a puff piece like that one. That could have been written for Ladies Home Journal. I honestly wonder whether the writer has ever heard of OBP or OPS (or even cares).

  27. well Teixeira just signed for 22.5. The Phils are offering 14.

    Consider (taken from a post a MLBtraderumors by GoPhils)
    Howard averages more HRs per full season than Tex hit in his best year.

    Howard has averaged 144 RBI per year in his three full seasons; Texiera has averaged 113.

    Texiera’s career average is .290; Howard’s is only slightly lower at .278.

    Howard’s career on-base percentage is slightly higher than Texiera’s and his career slugging pct is much higher.

    Texiera’s OPS is .919. Howard’s is .970.

    Howard has won one MVP, finished second in the voting once and fifth the other time. Texiera has never finished in the top 5 and has finished in the top 10 only once.

    We might agree that these aren’t the best tools to rank players with, but if I am Howard, why not make the case and let the arbitrator decide or the Phils up the ante? He won last year.

  28. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but if I were the Braves, I’d submit something like $11.73 to the arbitrator as a proposed salary for Francoeur. It would of course guarantee that he’d get what he asks for, but it would be well worth that extra million bucks or so to send a message, IMO.

    If I ran a team…

  29. Stu, I don’t think he would be there for you to offer arbitration to if you ran the team. Or if 80% of us ran the team.

  30. We offered $2.8M?!!!

    I am beside myself. Is it impossible for a player to get paid less? I do not see how he is worth it. I think he is heading towards non-tender territory. He will have to improve a lot to be worth next year’s arb figures.

    You suck, so we will only give you an 800% salary increase?!?!?

  31. John Sickels likes a guy we have named David Francis. (Baseball-reference has him listed as “Ross Francis.” His full name is Ross David Francis. I’m not quite sure which one he goes by.) Here are his stats in Danville after being drafted in June last year:

    53.2 IP, 5-3 in 11 G, 8 GS, 38 H, 18 R, 14 ER, 2 HR, 17 BB, 69 K. That’s a 2.35 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 6.4 H/9, 0.3 HR/9, 2.9 BB/9, 11.6 K/9, and a 4.1 K/BB.

    Here is the excerpt from Sickels’s book:

    David Francis, RHP, Atlanta Braves
    Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-1 WT: 200 DOB: February 8, 1988

    SLEEPER ALERT!! Francis was a 12th round pick in 2008, out of Walters State Community College in Tennessee. As you can see, his pro debut was quite successful in the Appalachian League, with excellent K/IP, K/BB, and H/IP marks. He’s not a soft-tosser, either, hitting 94 MPH at times. His secondary stuff need work, but his command was better than expected in pro ball, and I think he is a significant sleeper. Grade C+; keep a close eye on this one, he could break through.

  32. I just have to keep telling myself that all this will be over in a year, that he’ll be gone in a year… gone in a year…

    A man can dream.

  33. Isn’t it too late to non tender? Now you see why arbitration drives GMs crazy. Frenchy ‘loses’ if he gets 1 MILLION 400 THOUSAND MORE than he made last season. For sucking. In a big way. Yikes.

  34. Baseball is one of few professions that after years of getting significantly worse at your job, you ask for a huge raise.

  35. 12 — CharlesP — nice work. heh heh.

    That is a pretty unbelievable figure for Francoeur. As always… I’m in the wrong line of work.

  36. Wow, from Frenchy weak to Diaz weak? That sounds like pretty good progress Mac.

    $4M for Frenchy?! If I am Frenchy, I would fire my agent.

  37. Prince is only asking for $8M? I think Boras has soften his approach recently…Frenchy is hardly half of Prince Fielder.

  38. And even worse: McCann will make 3.5 million in 2009. If Francoeur gets what he wants, he’ll have a higher salary than McCann.

  39. Frenchy is NOT going to win his case. I am sure his agent is just placing a high watermark for negotiation purpose. I strongly believe, for once, Frenchy and the Braves will agree on a deal before the hearing.

  40. I just had to come onto Bravesjournal tonight after I JUST saw the Frenchy story and add into the chorusbashing this MORON. What an idiot.

    Frank Wren can win back some Braves fans if he tells this dumbass to take a hike and become a mediocre nothing in K.C.

    $4 million????????

    BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. Arbitration is mostly based on service time, and Francoeur has been in the league longer than KJ, McCann, Jackson, Zimmerman, Fielder, etc., if I’m not mistaken. The guy is trying to make money, and there’s nothing wrong with playing the arbitration system. The Braves may lose even offering $2.8M. That’s just the nature of the system.

    I’ve gotta call some guys out on here about something, though. It’s absolutely obvious to me that some of the people on this board are not athletes, and I would venture to say that they may not have a single, huge passion in their lives. Francoeur is an athlete. Say what you want, but the guy has made it to the highest level of his sport, and he’s excelled at times. He’s had to absolutely work his butt off to get there. If you don’t believe me, then you have no idea how even the most gifted athlete trains.

    To make fun of an athlete for crying is incredibly ridiculous. An athlete crying because he’s totally sucking it up is something to really respect, in my opinion. I’m glad Jeff was crying. I’m glad that he was so incredibly frustrated with himself that all he could do is cry. If he went home and had sex with his wife and drank a few Budweisers, then I’d expect people to rail him. The guy has busted his tale to get where he is, and he’s upset that he’s not succeeded. Look at the guy; he thought that bulking up would him develop more power. How many of you guys have even put on, say, 15 lbs of straight muscle in less than 6 months? I worked out everyday this summer, and put on 25 lbs in less than 4 months. So, maybe I can just see how hard the guy is working. And, this offseason, he’s taking all of that work to bulk up, and trying a different approach to get himself in business. Why aren’t we at least giving the guy some respect?

    It seems like some people on here don’t have something that means the world to them, that desperately want to succeed at it, and just can’t process someone crying and being public about it. I guess some people maybe have their own insecurities. I guess some people live really mediocre lives. I guess Rich Rodriguez is right; some fans just need to get a life.

  42. Actually Rob, Frenchy came up after KJ and McCann.

    I personally never criticized Frenchy for not working hard. To me, he is just not the smartest baseball player on earth.

    …and Scott Diamand is a Canadian? That’s news for me…

  43. rob,
    attacking armchair fans for criticism is a weak argument. you dont know anyone personally to make that assumption about peoples’ careers or lives.

    most of us have jobs and are damn good at them. there’s nothing wrong with anyone saying he wasnt any good last year, the previous years, and doesnt deserve the money he has requested. he also didnt make any fans when he publicly criticized the braves organization.

    unless you are jeff francoeur, personally attacking the board for criticisms about jeff is absurd. criticize opinions.

    btw, if he were to go home and have sex with his WIFE(which by my accounts is absolutely fine no matter the religion) after a few beers, i would say that’s a pretty good way to deal with bad day and deserves no criticism.

  44. @59

    Making broad statements about people you don’t really know based upon a few comments on a newspaper article seems kind of arrogant.

    Francoeur is a professional athlete. I, along with all the other baseball fans, pay his salary. Criticism comes with the millions.

    Frency plays a game for a living. It’s great that he cares, but give me a break. When he’s struggling to provide for his family, then I’ll feel some empathy. Everything I’ve ever seen about him suggests that he’s an extremely talented guy who’s had an attitude of entitlement since he was drafted. That’s my opinion of him as a baseball player. I feel as though I’m entitled to it, regardless of how you feel and whatever PR fluff pieces the media spits out.

    I don’t care that he cried, but if he’s making a public statement related to his profession, then there will varying reactions to it, and rightly so.

    I played a year of college ball and couldn’t hack it. It sucks, but you move on. You find other passions. I wouldn’t expect you to know that, but I also wouldn’t expect you to make bullshit comments that are backed by your vague interpretations of a few lines written in a blog. Take a step back and get over yourself.

  45. I’d love to get Frenchy, and his agency, to slow down on the PR and spend the remainder of this off-season working on some of the exercises in this awesome WSJ article about how Larry Fitzgerald became such a bad MF.

    Hey spike, sure love ol’ Ted and the Mighty Joe Hamm. Great guys. Was John Dunn the bass player?

  46. I, like many others have stated don’t have anything personally against Frenchy. I will just say that over the last year, it’s getting harder and harder for me to have much sympathy when/if he struggles.

  47. @59 – Frenchy may be a professional athlete and Frenchy may work hard, but that doesn’t mean he’s earned any empathy from any of us. The guy has acted like a royal ass at times. And I mean royal b/c he seems to think we should treat him as if he were a king. He refuses to say that there is anything wrong with his game and acts like his demotion to the minors was a completely uncalled for. “What, you send me to the minors? Do you know who I am? Don’t you know that RBIs are the most telling stat in a hitters game and I use to be able to do that?” Give me a break. If he would have taken his lumps when he should have and admitted that his demotion was warranted then most people wouldn’t say anything about it. And then to come out with those Arb figures knowing that you were one of the WORST hitters in the game is absolutely asinine. Don’t you think he thinks a little too highly of himself??? The guy turns down contract extensions for 2 years saying he wants to wait until he shows everyone what he is capable of (meaning he wants to wait until he breaks out and can make more money), but when he fails miserably at it he still figures he deserves more money? Give me a break. Anybody in any other profession who performs as badly as he has would have been fired.

  48. And I’m not saying I’m not willing to give him another chance either. The kid just needs to grow up if you think he deserves empathy from us.

  49. I suck at sports. I haven’t played baseball or basketball since junior high. About the only sport I’ve played since then is tennis — badly. There is no doubt that Jeff Francoeur is a better athlete than me. But that’s not the standard by which he’s being measured.

    Some fans feel — and can argue persuasively — that what a player does on the field is really the only thing that matters, and that their attitude or off-field behavior is really their business and not the fans’ concern. I don’t agree, but I understand why some people would feel that way.

    But Jeff marries a questionable attitude — which seems to be characterized more by criticism of the team’s treatment of him and by a refusal to accept the team’s contract offers than by anything else — with questionable ability, as he has been an abominably bad baseball player for most of his career (the last two months of 2005, all of 2006 and 2008).

    My criticisms of him, therefore, are several. If he had an abhorrent attitude but were extraordinarily productive, I have little doubt I’d bite my tongue and cheer for him. If he had a great attitude but still couldn’t hit, I’d root for him to succeed. But he combines deplorable results on the field, which I criticize on baseball grounds, with petulant, whiny, entitled behavior off it, which I criticize on personal grounds. I don’t mind that he cried. What I mind is that he still doesn’t seem to accept much personal responsibility or reflect much heightened understanding of what went wrong. It wasn’t the breaks of the game, and it sure didn’t look like an extended slump. It looked like a guy who simply was not good enough to play with the big boys.

    If he wants to play in the major leagues, he has to earn it, because there are thousands of kids who would kill to be a starting right fielder. His entitled attitude rankles the hell out of me, because if there’s any aspect of our society that should be a complete meritocracy, it should be sports. We cast off Smoltz because we didn’t think he’d be healthy enough or productive enough to keep. If we’re not going to keep Smoltz because we doubt he’ll produce, we’d damn sure better not give Frenchy an everyday spot in the lineup unless he earns it.

  50. “We cast off Smoltz because we didn’t think he’d be healthy enough or productive enough to keep. If we’re not going to keep Smoltz because we doubt he’ll produce, we’d damn sure better not give Frenchy an everyday spot in the lineup unless he earns it.”

    …..preach it brother!

  51. Frenchy is the Natural. He is Roy Hobbs after that lady shot him and he fell off the earth for a long time, except with less tallent.

  52. When I saw the piece on the Braves website indicating that Frenchy and the Braves were ‘far apart’, I knew that this would be a fun day for Braves Journal….

    The 2.8 million is a true outrage–and, yes (not to change the subject, but I cannot resist), that is more than they were going to guarantee Smoltz…

  53. I would love to hear what an arbitrator would have to say about Frenchy’s performance. I don’t really think they say anything about performance, just assign a salary figure, but I’d love to hear it nonetheless.

  54. OK, it’s after midnight & I’ve enjoyed this day thoroughly, so…time to pile on Jeff Francoeur.

    I read the AJC story & it seems to me that the author gave Jeff plenty of rope to hang himself. Sometimes, if you just quote someone accurately, that says plenty, probably more than you can add as a writer.

    I went to his website, which had been updated as recently as December 2008 (with his area appearances). Interestingly, however, his 2008 numbers had not been updated on the stats page. Webmaster’s fault?

    For the record, I don’t really care a whole lot about Francoeur’s private life or how smart or dumb he is. (As far as I know, he’s never said anything hateful.) I would just like to see him be a better baseball player.

    If he needs “the blogs” for motivation to improve, perhaps even learn the strike zone, fine. Go for it. Shock the world.

    Of course, I’d like anyone wearing a Braves uniform to succeed, but I have a feeling that, come this summer, I’m going to wish he was another club’s problem.

    BTW, Colbert is comic gold.

  55. AAR–I believe that Francis was the Danville pitcher who had an amazing game: a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts.

    Clearly, he is one to watch–as may be Richard Sullivan who the Braves promoted to Rome at mid-season….

    While it is early, we really picked up some arms in the 2008 draft….

  56. OK, it’s after midnight & I’ve enjoyed this day thoroughly, so…time to pile on Jeff Francoeur.

    I read the AJC story & it seems to me that the author gave Jeff plenty of rope to hang himself. Sometimes, if you just quote someone accurately, that says plenty, probably more than you can add as a writer.

    I went to his website, which had been updated as recently as December 2008 (with his area appearances). Interestingly, however, his 2008 numbers had not been updated on the stats page. Webmaster’s fault?

    For the record, I don’t really care a whole lot about Francoeur’s private life or how smart or dumb he is. (As far as I know, he’s never said anything hateful.) I would just like to see him be a better baseball player.

    If he needs “the blogs” for motivation to improve, perhaps even learn the strike zone, fine. Go for it. Shock the world.

    Of course, I’d like anyone wearing a Braves uniform to succeed, but I have a feeling that, come this summer, I’m going to wish he was another club’s problem.

    BTW, yes, Colbert is comic gold.

  57. Francouer’s entitled attitude isn’t all his fault. The Braves have created a monster by making him the poster boy for the team before he actually accomplished anything. By making the local hero the center of their marketing campaign the organization has given Francouer that sense that he is more important to them than his performance on the field.

    Its too bad. Petulance aside I think that Jeff is a nice kid. I also think that he wants to get better and I hope that he does for the team’s sake. But if he doesn’t then I hope that Bobby does the right thing and puts a someone that is playing better out in right field.

  58. @48 – I meant Frenchy would be non-tendered next year. Frenchy will be in position to earn $5M – $7M next year through arb. There is no way he improves enough in 2009 to be worth that. The only reason to keep him is for the promise of his development. You could probably sign a much better vet for $1M.

  59. #76 – the problem with the World today, its always someone else’s fault. Nope, its all on Frenchy. He controls his own actions, not the Braves. He’s said he’s learned something from last year, Im waiting to see what that is

  60. Though Frenchy’s is the highest, all of the arb requests seem higher than what I remember from just last year. Weren’t players and teams reaching compromises in the range of $2M in the first year of arb for most regulars?

    Is the baseball economy that much better than the rest of ours?

  61. Just guessing, this is what I think these guys will earn in the one year contracts.

    Frenchy – $3M
    KJ – $2.75M
    Kotchman – $2.75M

    What did you assume, Stu?

    This makes me really happy we signed McCann, though I think he will end up underpaid relative to these players, which is unjust.

    It also makes me think that the Braves need to buy out the arb years of players like Jurrjens and Yunel straight away.

  62. McCann may be underpaid, but he’s got guaranteed money coming to him. Frenchy may be very upset with himself for turning down that long term deal after this season. I hope he can turn it around, but Im skeptical

  63. Usually, don’t they split the difference between the player request and the team offer and sign a contract?

    I think it makes sense for the Braves to do that with KJ and Kotch, but I think they would win the arb case with Frenchy. He would have to come to his senses and accept something less than the midpoint or I would take him to arb and let him have his $2.8M.

  64. Yeah, the first-year-arb guys fooled me badly. Also, Dusty raised the point yesterday that Huddy may well cost $2.5 million more than I thought in ’09 because of a deferred signing bonus.

    I guessed high on Diaz and Gonzo (by over $1 million combined), though, and by an aggregate million or two with all the pre-arb guys. All in all, I’d guess we’ll end up with about $2 million more committed to the payroll after arbitration than I projected.

    Should still be plenty for a LF bat, especially in this market, if the payroll didn’t decrease…

  65. I just think it’s funny that we made Francoeur cry. You know it was us. I wonder if he cried because he was sucking at baseball, or if he cried because he realized people in the internet didn’t like him.

    If it’s the former, fine, that’s respectable and hopefully it motivates him to improve. If it’s the latter then it confirms everything we’ve complained about Francoeur since he was sent down to the minors.

    Stu is right but he overstated how much we should have offered Francoeur. $11.73 dollars is too high.

    He had 11 homers and 71 RBI, so we should only offer $11.71 dollars to him. Don’t pay that extra 2 cents until he proves he has balls worth a penny each.

  66. Okay, I’m away on vacation/work in DC, and I’m sure I’ve missed much (and quite certain I was not missed at all)… Just stopped in to make sure that I hadn’t missed an Andruw Jones signing, or maybe a Tim Hudson medical miracle, and sadly I only have time for one comment:

    @11: Francoeur’s 2006 and 2007 WERE good because of his RBIs (2007 was good for other reasons too, most notably some great defense.) Now I’m not saying that because Jeff produced a bunch of runs in ’06 and ’07 (and ’05) that we can predict he will again, but that isn’t what the AJC was saying either. They were simply saying that a guy driving in runs is a good thing, and if you’re going to argue with that notion you obviously don’t understand baseball. While RBIs may not be a stable predictive stat, it is a great measure of past success (albeit lineup dependent, though I don’t think anyone is going to argue that Jeff’s spot in the lineup in those years was all that far above the average run producers’ spot.)

    Thank you, that is all, now have at it you always dependable Frenchy bashers.

  67. Gadfly brings up a good point. RBI numbers might, in fact, be the true measure of a corner outfielder’s offensive value to a club.

    Agree? Disagree?

    How do you measure “clutch RBIs”? Is it possible?

    I know that I felt like Andruw’s RBIs often seemed inconsequential – as did Bonds’ homeruns. (I referred to him as Solo Bonds for many years …)

  68. If we had offered $11.71, we would have a down-the-middle compromise figure of around $2M, which is what I would expect Frenchy to get paid next year. I think it is more than he is worth, but it is what I would expect.

    Rob Cope, in regards to your rant against this board for its treatment of our rf, I think you are missing something.

    A part of becoming a professional and performing at a high level is taking personal responsibility. If Francoeur blames anything else besides himself, he cedes the ability to improve. I do not respect that, even he has gotten to the Major Leagues.

    I really don’t care about the crying. And up until mid-season this year, I was on record as saying we cannot give up on the guy because he is still quite young and has natural talent.

    It was the prima donna act that became so public when he was demoted that lost me. When you are having the worst season possible and instead of accepting an opportunity to get better for your team and your career, you claim mistreatment, you lose me.

    To tell the truth, I was still willing to give Francoeur the benefit of the doubt, thinking that he had just spoken out of emotion. I kept waiting for him to correct his statement and turn the focus on himself, but, in 6 months, it has not happened.

  69. Oh, and “Owpen thread”?

    The drugs have made you far less fearful of the atrocious pun, Mac.

    Hope you’re feeling great!

  70. Gadfly & hankonly-

    The problem is that Frenchy had more rbi opportunities than nearly anybody and converted on less.

  71. While RBIs may not be a stable predictive stat, it is a great measure of past success

    Really, I think you’ve outdone yourself this time. I have no idea what you mean by this. Actually, I’ve reread your entire post a few times now, and can’t really determine if there is any actual logical premise in there. RBI’s are good, well that’s fine, nobody is arguing that, but how exactly are you quantifying Jeff’s performance as “good”, relative to say, anybody else presented with that set of at-bats? I think I can quantify that his 2 year performance was actually quite pedestrian (275/318/447 OPS+ 95), and that pretty much any average RF would have done better. I guess it’s just bashing to point that kind of thing out.

  72. Yeah, RBI is a great measure of past performance, assuming you control for context.

    Why would you give Francoeur credit for driving in twice as many runs as, say, KJ, if he had more than twice as many opportunities to do so? Makes no sense. If you’re not controling for opportunities, RBIs are a totally worthless relative measure.

  73. “If you’re not controling for opportunities, RBIs are a totally worthless relative measure.”

    What I want to know is: does the arbitrator know that?

  74. By the way, Stu – disappointing game last night. I was hoping we would be able to beat Tennessee on the home court, but alas.

    Ogilvy did not show up, but George Drake looked really good.

  75. Yeah, be glad you weren’t there for the game, Parish.

    Like I said at the beginning of the year, this VU team is young and will be very up and down—but, ugh. UT is not good. Our offense is just putrid.

    In AJ’s defense, he’s playing hurt and we can’t hit an outside shot, so he has no room to operate. But Chism destroyed him last night.

    And if George Drake is your player of the game, you know you’ve got a double-digit loss on your hands.

  76. I admit that I do not have a thick skin and criticism like athletes or politicians get would bother me–but I’m not an athlete or politician (and maybe that’s why Richard Nixon should not have been a politician). But if you are going to be a professional athlete, you need a thicker skin than Frenchy is displaying or you need to do something else. His prima donna attitude–which he seems to wrap around a goody-goody, All-American boy personna–is increasingly annoying. Alex was exactly right–you can either be a good player with a bad attitude or you can be a bad player with a good attitude, but you can’t be a bad player with a bad attitude. At 25, this kid needs to grow up. Now, I will acknowledge that I know a lot of 25 year olds in the real world that need to grow up as well–but they aren’t making millions of dollars.

  77. Stu,

    I’ve got to argue with your contention that UT is not good. There is a lot of talent on that team, they just haven’t been able to put it together. Obviously they miss Lofton and J. Smith who could always be counted on for a big three, however I think Bruce is trying to teach this team to be less reliant on threes. The other obvious difference is defensively UT’s been atrocious, and they have gone away from the pressure defense and are not forcing turnovers. This has allowed opposing guards to be comfortable and have they have been having career games as a result. While I’m not sure if it will be successful, the new style is taking some time to sink in and is an obvious attempt to make UT a better tournament team and they have been taking their lumps early, hopefully with an eye towards peaking late.

    All that being said, if you guys still had Foster you probably would’ve won by 15.

  78. random thoughts from DOB…

    By David O’Brien

    January 21, 2009 10:09 AM | Link to this

    Bayou Brave: Don’t know who the agent was who floated that $5 mill-a-year prediction for Dunn, but it sure seems way low to everybody I’ve talked to, and that figure is sure getting a lot of mileage out of a seemingly unfounded guess by an anonymous agent. I’d be shocked if Dunn was signed for $5 mill a year, much less for under $5 mill a year in a multi-year deal. The guy has hit 40 homers for four straight years. I mean, come on….

    18 Wheels, yes, I’m fairly certain Francoeur would be a the hearing.

    I’m also of the mind that he and Braves will get something done before it comes to that. Of all the guys who’d want to avoid the hearing, he’d probably be atop the list, given all that’s transpired in the past year or so.

  79. The guys at metsblog point out too that with Nady getting $6M+ it seems highly unlikely Dunn will take less than about $10M. If Dunn would take the $10M for a year I think I’d still be on board with it (keep Diaz as the back-up for LF, and somebody speedy for defense late in games). I’m not a real Dunn fan, but think he fits fairly well what we need (a bat with some bop) even if he’s lacking in defense (if a bat with bop and defense were available I’d be happy to have them instead, but that doesn’t appear to be on the market).

  80. I feel like my points have been missed, so I’ll try again.

    I am not saying it is not acceptable to criticize Francoeur’s on field performance. I will be the first person to do that. He was an atrocious baseball player last year. He was statistically one of the worst players in baseball, and played a non-premium defensive position while doing so. He has also not gotten better since his first half season, which has killed us.

    With that said, making fun of him for crying is absolutely unacceptable. Instead of being broad, I’ll just mention the person I have a problem with for doing so: Dan.

    Cry? Isn’t that a little much? @11

    No, it’s not a little much. That shows the kind of attitude he has: a positive one. Baseball has never meant so much to me that I cried over it, except for once (my senior year, we lost to Chipper’s old HS, and I thought that was my last baseball game). The fact that the dude is crying over his performance shows that he has a good attitude. The fact that he’s busted his tail to get stronger, and then has reversed all of it by slimming down and trying to be quicker and more athletic should also show that he realizes he’s not the player he needs to be, and is working hard to get there.

    How are so many people missing that? Some people are still hung up on him being mad for being sent down to the minors out of nowhere (meaning, no warning or anything) after having started in the major leagues for 2 season. If you were at your job, and you were full-time for a couple years, you legitimately thought you were doing a good job and no one told you otherwise, and then one day they came up and demoted you, wouldn’t you be mad? Now, if he wants to be mad, he’s entitled to that, but he shouldn’t have said anything to the media, which I agree with most people on. But at what point, as a fan, do you just drop it? At what point do you see the guy has worked his tail off, which, in my opinion, is a HUGE sign that he realizes he’s not the player needs to be.

    I’m sick of defending Francoeur, but I see that the guy is working hard to get better, and as Braves fans, we should be cheering for him to get better. And don’t tell me you wouldn’t try to make $4M if you could, regardless of your work performance. If everybody here could make $4M next year, they would do it, and don’t try to tell me otherwise.

  81. Rob, I appreciate the fact that Frenchy is trying to get better and I hope he does. It doesnt bother me one bit that he cried over his struggles and Im actually glad to know he cares that much. This statement I dont agree with though

    “If you were at your job, and you were full-time for a couple years, you legitimately thought you were doing a good job and no one told you otherwise, and then one day they came up and demoted you, wouldn’t you be mad”

    At my job, if I wasnt producing then I’d be out of a job. There is no way Frenchy thought he was doing a good job and/or producing. He even admitted to sucking. He should be grateful that the Braves allowed him to get sent back to the minors and he should’ve understood why. He also shouldnt ever talk aboout the organization in a negative way to the media. With that said, I think the braves could’ve and should’ve handled the situation differently. They should’ve told him before hand (which they might have) that they were considering the demotion to work on things.

    Its over now, but Frenchy could at least apologize for his comments and say that the relationship has been fixed. If he’s on the field next season, then I’ll pull for him to succeed

  82. “But at what point, as a fan, do you just drop it? ”

    Id like to think now could be the perfect time, but it’ll continue

  83. @104 – If you were at your job, and you were full-time for a couple years, you legitimately thought you were doing a good job and no one told you otherwise, and then one day they came up and demoted you, wouldn’t you be mad?

    If Frenchy thinks he was legitimately doing a good job then there is no hope for the guy because he is dumb as a rock. He shouldn’t need anyone to tell him that. How do you expect him to be able to change his approach to hitting if he isn’t smart enough to even realize that his current approach is stupid and doesn’t produce any results. All I hear him say is that he’s had 2 good seasons (yay, I had over 100 RBIs for 2 years) – but if he doesn’t realize that this isn’t the true measure of a hitter, then he’s hopeless.

  84. Dusty,
    We’ll agree to disagree. There are a lot of athletes on UT’s team, but I don’t think there’s a lot of talent. Tyler Smith is awesome. Wayne Chism is great when his head is straight. Lots of ordinary, incohesive, totally unintimidating guys everywhere else. I was expecting Hopson to scare me, but he’s not very good at all. They play no defense.

    They’ll probably get a little better, and with Smith and the down SEC, they shouldn’t have much trouble making the NCAA Tournament, but that is emphatically not a good team. They don’t scare anyone, and I don’t see that changing at any point this year.

    Rob Cope,
    Respond to your email!

  85. Ethan — 77 — wow! Jon Miller, Joe Morgan, AND Steve Phillips?! My guess is that nobody could find the mute button fast enough.

  86. Ethan–Thanks for the post. I agree: we should be so lucky. However, I am doubtful that a pitcher who has played his entire career in Japan and then comes to the U.S. can be reasonably projected.

    With sone luck Kawakami should be a solid #4 for us….

  87. If you want $4 million, asking for that much using the current arbitration system isn’t the way to get it. The side that is closest to the figure that the arbitration panel thinks is best will win. Going high actually increases the likelihood that he’ll end up at $2.8 million. If I’m the Braves, I put $2.9 — $3 million on the table (in the hope of avoiding the expense of the hearing) and say “take it or we’ll see you at the hearing.”

  88. Can we stop pretending we know why Francoeur was crying? It says he was sent down, went home to his wife and cried. Maybe he cried because he worked so hard at the game that the whole situation was frustrating. But maybe he was crying because he felt he was wronged by the organization. Maybe he was crying because this was the first time in his life he actually considered he sucked.

    It’s wrong to call Francoeur less of a man for crying, but it’s equally wrong to imply that he’s more of a man or has a more robust life than anyone else just because he has something to cry over.

  89. signing Dunn for a 1 year, incentive-laden, 12 million deal would immediately put us on par with the Mets. actually, we’re probably better than them with Dunn in a walk-year. he’d be trying to prove everyone else as wrong and make a lot of $ next off season.

    as much as i hate rentals, he would allow us to keep Anderson/Blanco in center and have them bat 8th without much of a drop-off. i mean, a lineup of:

    Escobar
    KJ (Prado)/Kotchmann
    Chipper
    Dunn
    McCann
    Kotchmann/KJ (Prado)
    Frenchy (i think he’s bound for a better year…something along .260/20/75 with an OPS of .320)
    Anderson/Blanco
    Pitcher

    while being lefty-dominated, can still win 80-85 games with out bullpen. PLUS, if Chipper goes down, which he probably will, Dunn can slide still be protection for whomever we put in the 3 hole.

  90. Tried to post this last night, but it didn’t come through for some reason:

    OK, it’s after midnight & I’ve enjoyed this day thoroughly, so…time to pile on Jeff Francoeur.

    I read the AJC story & it seems to me that the author gave Jeff plenty of rope to hang himself. Sometimes, if you just quote someone accurately, that says plenty, probably more than you can add as a writer.

    I went to Frenchy’s website, which had been updated as recently as December 2008 (with his area appearances). Interestingly, however, his 2008 numbers had not been updated on the stats page. Webmaster’s fault?

    For the record, I don’t really care a whole lot about Francoeur’s private life or how smart or dumb he is. (As far as I know, he’s never said anything hateful.) I don’t care if he cries. I would just like to see him be a better baseball player.

    If he needs “the blogs” for motivation to improve, perhaps even learn the strike zone, fine. Go for it. Shock the world.

    Of course, I’d like anyone wearing a Braves uniform to succeed, but I have a feeling that, come this summer, I’m going to wish he was another club’s problem.

  91. Here’s a question I keep asking myself: in all of these lineup projections I’m seeing, McCann is in the 5-hole, even when there isn’t a better or comparable hitter to put ahead of him. What’s wrong with hitting McCann 4th? He’s got tremendous power.

  92. mraver–sorry, I posted before I knew that you asked a question. I have wondered the same thing–especially if we don’t get a power bat….

  93. I think Kent gets in, but not first ballot.

    I mean, if you look at his numbers and compair them to the other second basmen all time he is up there and if you compair him to his peers in this era, he has a solid case to get in.

  94. Why not? He was the best hitting second baseman of his generation. That should be enough to get him in, right?

  95. RE: Frenchy
    Others have said it better, but I’ll echo the party line. He is a bad baseball player. I truely hopes he gets better at it. I don’t think he will. Who cares if he cries?

    RE: Kent
    His stats look good, but I doubt he gets in. His contemporaries include Alomar and Biggio who will both get in. There is also glut of HOF-worthy players retiring right now. Add that to the fact that he’s a Grade-A Jerk and he won’t get the votes.

  96. Yeah Smitty… looking at it a bit more I think he gets in. He’s just not one of those first ballot “obvious” guys like Rickey. I think the fact he moved around so much in his career is why I didn’t think of him as a HOF guy (easy to see him as “oh yeah he’s good”, but because he’s moved around so much I didn’t remember how long he had been around… or how long ago ’92 was).

  97. Funniest part of Kent’s BBRef page:

    July 29, 1996: Traded by the New York Mets with Jose Vizcaino to the Cleveland Indians for Carlos Baerga and Alvaro Espinoza.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!

  98. On the baseball ref page, look at the simular players. Most of those guys are in or will be.

    Jason is right, the writers will hold his asshole attitude against him. If he were a stand up guy like Biggio, there would be no doubt. I still think he gets in.

  99. Funny that Kent’s 5 most similar players (by sim scores) are catchers:

    1 Carlton Fisk (881) *
    2 Ivan Rodriguez (861)
    3 Yogi Berra (848) *
    4 Johnny Bench (829) *
    5 Ted Simmons (824)

    I think he’s a no-doubt hall-of-famer.

  100. I don’t think there’s really a solid argument for keeping him out of the Hall. Overshadowed by Bonds’ mammoth head in SF but his bat was consistently way above average for a 2B wherever he was.

  101. To clarify: I think he *should* get in the HOF. I just think he won’t. His attitude will cost him, plus his competition on the ballot will be guys like: Bonds, Thomas, Biggio, Bagwell, Griffey, Piazza, Pudge, Sheffield, Walker, Galaragga, Maddux, Glavine, Unit, Pedro, Clemens, Riveria, Hoffman, Schilling… You get the picture. If he gets in at all, it will take a loooong time.

  102. Was Kent a 3B for awhile? Or is my past catching up with me?

    (I searched – and found – Steppenwolf’s “The Pusher” on YouTube last night … )

  103. Kent is an HOFer. There’s no doubt. And Biggio and Alomar deserve to make it too. Those three players are probably among the top 10 second basemen of all time, and if you don’t think the top 10 guys ever to play a position deserve to be in the Hall, then we have different conceptions of the HOF. Especially now that Joe Gordon made it in this year.

    Here’s the real question, though: what about Sweet Lou Whitaker?

  104. @104 You are in dangerous territory trying to make Frenchy’s situation analagous to our jobs.

  105. Kawakami – If better than average NL pitcher is our number 4, that’s good. Right?

    I don’t think it makes up enough for our powerless offense, though.

  106. KLaw’s top 100 prospects are up:

    #3 Heyward
    #9 Hanson
    #65 Freeman
    #67 Schafer
    #88 Hernandez
    #97 Locke

    And for (not) fun:

    #4 Neftali Feliz
    #39 Elvis Andrus
    #51 Tyler Flowers
    #77 Max Ramirez

    I’d put the comments up, but they’re behind the subscription wall. I don’t know if there are issues with that kind of thing. Mac?

  107. Alright, I know I said I wouldn’t be back, but sadly (for you guys,) things are a little slow out here in post-inauguration DC… so I’ve got time for one more comment:

    First off @91: I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic, but regardless, I didn’t say that RBIs were “the true measure of a corner outfielder’s offensive value to a club.” There are many ways to measure a player’s current value, but RBIs, alone, are not among the best. However, when judging the success of a game, or a season, or a completed career (which I called “past success”) they do serve as a good metric, though some attention should be given to context, which I will address in a second.) For instance, let’s say you just played a game, Game 7 of the World Series. Nothing matters except whether you won or lost. Would you rather have your RF had gone 5/5 with no RS, or RBIs? OR would you prefer he had gone 0/5 with 1 RS, and 2 RBIs? Now, obviously, if you’re picking players to play on your team next year you’d certainly want the first guy (based on this game only of course,) but given the game just played any manager worth his salt would know that the second guy did his job well. Someone else might have done it better, but that isn’t the point. That being said Frenchy did his job well in ’06 and even more so, in ’07.

    Frenchy’s 170 Runs Produced in ’07 rank in the upper echelon of the Majors, tied with Albert Pujols, in only 19 more PAs. Does this mean Jeffy is better than Pujols? NO WAY, but it does suggest that he did his job. How did he do this, without putting up the gaudy OPS numbers that Sabermetricians love so well? By producing hits when it mattered, racking up a .341/.389/.527 line with RISP, even hitting .333/408/.494 with RISP and 2 outs. Maybe Jeff was just lucky throughout all of those 208 PAs, or maybe he’s a better hitter when he isn’t swinging for the fences like Delta and others would like him to do. (Just for comparison, since he was mentioned Kelly Johnson had 66 less PAs with RISP than Jeff, but also hit a much less impressive line of .282/.394/.470)

    Just check out his splits on baseball-ref, and it looks pretty clear to me that Jeff succeeds when he isn’t trying to do too much; when he can just sit back and play the game the way he always has. I think that played largely into his struggles last year, with the departure of Andruw, the troubles with the pitching staff, and the specter of arbitration ahead. Hopefully he can overcome this, because professional sports are high pressure enterprises, but I think this will come with age and experience. I would certainly think some sort of life coach, or mentorship would be a good step in the meantime. What’s Dale Murphy up to these days, anyways?

    I hope this answers #94 and #96 above, but in case you want a more direct synopsis: Frenchy had more opportunities, but also performed better when given the chance than KJ. Next time, back up your assertions with stats, or you’re just going to end up looking silly.

  108. Don is far better than Joe (just my opinion). I never understood why Don was the odd man out. No matter what Don said, I always thought highly of his opinion because he was such a good player. When Joe’s offering hitting tips, it just adds to the pain.

  109. Cool. I always liked Sutton too. I mean he wasn’t without his flaws, but he often gave great insight as to what a pitcher was trying to accomplish.

  110. Ethan, that speaks very well of our scouting, drafting and international operations.

    If not for our inferior (of late) trading operations, we would have 3 players in the Top 10.

    It’s really awesome and bodes well for our organization down the road if we can keep that staff together.

  111. nevermind, more pain per AJC

    The Braves have hired Jim Powell for their radio-broadcast team and are working to bring back Don Sutton to be his new partner, according to several people familiar with the negotiations.

    Sutton is still under contract with the Washington Nationals, where he’s spent the past two seasons. The Braves were trying to reach a settlement to permit him to return to Atlanta, where the Hall-of-Fame pitcher worked 18 seasons as a Braves television broadcaster through 2006.

    The Braves had planned a news conference for Thursday to introduce the new radio-broadcast team, however that was postponed after difficulties arose getting Sutton out of his current contract.

    Braves television broadcasts will again be handled by Joe Simpson and Jon Sciambi on Fox Sports South and SportsSouth, and by Simpson and Chip Caray on Peachtree TV.

  112. Gadfly,
    I’m sorry, but that is so convoluted that it’s not even worth responding to. Anyone who would spend that many paragraphs saying nothing meaningful probably can’t be convinced of his errors, anyway. LOL at *us* looking silly.

  113. Gadfly,
    Unfortunately, as Frenchy demonstrated this year, hitting well with RISP (clutchiness) is not a repeatable skill.

  114. @142

    Yeah, we’re tied for second with 6 along with Tampa Bay. Texas has an absurd 9 out of 100. It’s funny; Oakland, with all the talk of their revamped farm system, only had two.

    NL East

    PHI- 4
    NYM- 3
    FLA- 5
    WSH- 1

  115. I’d put Kent just outside of the Morgan-Carew-Collins Hornsby-Lajoie group, but he is easily in the top 10 offensive 2B of all time. I don’t think his defense was particularly bad enough to drag him outside of this group. In handily I would hope.

  116. @137,

    Gadfly,

    Your hypothetical really argues against your point because it shows how context dependent RBIs are. If, in the example above, the guy goes 5-5 but had no RBIs and no runs scored, it’s obviously because he came up with no one on base. Granted, he could have hit a home run but everyone acknowledges that home runs are a legitimate measure of production. For the guy to go 0-5 with 2 RBIs, he obviously had to come up in situations with runners on third with less than two outs. OK, in that situation, the infield is probably playing back, the guy hits a weak ground ball to the right side and the run scores. Can you legitimately say that his performance is better than a guy that goes 5-5 (or, to prove the sabermetric point) 2-4 with a walk. Can you really say that the first guy performed better than the second? The whole point about RBIs is that some positions in the batting order are obviously going to have more chances for RBIs than others; if you are hitting third or fourth, you should get more RBIs than a guy hitting ninth; similarly, if you are in a lineup with guys taht get on base a lot, you should have more RBIs. The point is, the RBI number is, without more context, essentially arbitrary; you don’t know whether a guy getting 100 RBIs should really have had 120 or, conversely, whether a guy with 90 RBIs would have had more in a different context.

    With respect to Frenchy, I don’t buy this stuff about hitting better with men on base. If that’s true, he isn’t much of a ballplayer because he is throwing away a lot of at bats. But, more generally, any given at bat is essentially arbitrary because a hitter has only so much control over what happens. If the pitcher makes three perfect pitches, he is probably going to get the hitter out, no matter how good the hitter is or how “clutch” he is. That’s why taking a small sample size (of hitting with runners in scoring position) is misleading. You don’t know whether Frenchy’s performance in those situations is really due to him bearing down or just to randomness; for example, pitchers may have made bad pitches disproportionately in those particular at bats that happened to occur with runners on base. Moreover, if it’s true that he hits better with runners on base, that’s not necessarily good because it assumes that the only important hitting situations are those with runners on base. Clearly, that’s not true; David Justice hit his home run with no one on base in the World Series. You can’t say that wasn’t a clutch situation even though no one was on base. The reason OBP is important is that the more often a player (or team) gets on base, the more likely he is to score a run. If he is sitting on the bench after popping up leading off the inning, he obviously isn’t going to score and the likelihood of the team scoring that inning is a lot less.

    I don’t agree with the more extreme sabermetricians that RBIs mean nothing; clearly, it means something that Hank Aaron set the career record for RBIs. The point is that, if all the other measurements of performance are bad other than RBIs, it’s misleading to say the player had a good year because there is no way to break out the player’s performance from the team context.

  117. Intersting tidbits from Callis’ chat today:

    Scott (Hartford, CT): Thanks for the chat. Who would you say are the five prospects most likely to help major league clubs this year?

    Jim Callis: (2:04 PM ET ) David Price, lhp, Rays
    Matt Wieters, c, Orioles
    Colby Rasmus, of, Cardinals
    Tommy Hanson, rhp, Braves
    Matt LaPorta, of, Indians

    Jeff (Ann Arbor): Between Schafer and Hernandez, which do you think is the more likely player to end up in center long-term for the Braves? Is the other going to hit enough to justify a shift to a corner OF spot? Thanks.

    Jim Callis: (2:21 PM ET ) I prefer Schafer. Hernandez doesn’t have enough pop for the corners, so he may wind up as trade bait. The Braves also could play Gorkys in CF and Schafer on a corner, but that wastes some of Schafer’s defensive ability.

    Andy (Dallas): ETA for Jason Heyward?

    Jim Callis: (2:58 PM ET ) Opening Day 2011.

    jw(nh): Well that’s just wrong: NO ONE is more feared than Jim Ed. He is more feared than fear itself… This year who has a better major league season Hanson, Scherzer or Kershaw?

    Jim Callis: (3:03 PM ET ) Kershaw.

    Kevin (Las Vegas): If you blend your AL & NL Top 10s posted on BA.com, where do Bumgarner, Feliz, Hanson, Anderson, Cahill rank?

    Jim Callis: (3:05 PM ET ) My top five minor league pitchers and their rankings on my personal Top 50: Bumgarner No. 4, Anderson No. 7, Cahill No. 8, Feliz No. 9, Hanson No. 10.

  118. Gadfly –

    I agree with Stu’s sentiment that there is nothing worth responding to in that post. However, I will respond to one thing anyways…

    For instance, let’s say you just played a game, Game 7 of the World Series. Nothing matters except whether you won or lost. Would you rather have your RF had gone 5/5 with no RS, or RBIs? OR would you prefer he had gone 0/5 with 1 RS, and 2 RBIs?

    There is no way you can compare the 2. All that means is that the guy in the second scenario came up when there were men on base and the guy that went 5 for 5 didn’t. What, did the guy that went 0/5 hit a groundball to short that allowed a run to score from third? I guarantee that guy who got a base hit would have had that run score as well if he had a guy at 3rd. All you’ve shown there is that there were people on base in front of the guy that went 0/5. Doesn’t make sense at all.

  119. what’s amazing csg is that none of the novels are MINE… I’m usually the guy who posts the 1200 word essays on “why I’m an idiot”.

  120. Gadfly – no, not being sarcastic at all. Just trying to figure out a legitimate metric to go with my gut feelings.

    As I said, Andruw’s RBI totals (and Ryan Howard’s, btw) always felt overstated as compared to their true value to the team. But I can’t prove it to my satisfaction. Hence the search for context.

    I enjoy your postings.

  121. The organization was ranked 4th:

    4. Atlanta Braves: Still one of the best and deepest systems in the game despite the trades for Mark Teixeira and Javier Vazquez. Scouting director Roy Clark and his staff are among the game’s best, with a knack for finding talent beyond the first round while they remain quietly productive on the international front.

    True or False: Roy Clark is the most valuable employee within this franchise

  122. AAR may I just say AGGHGHGH NOT GATSBY!!! I have a most strong dislike for that book (which causes me to receive rather a lot of grief from my fellow book loving circle of friends).

  123. One more!

    Scott C. (tucson): Who is the best minor league pitcher in the Braves’ syetem not named Tommy Hanson?

    Jim Callis: (3:13 PM ET ) Cole Rohrbough, with Julio Teheran poised to make a run at that title.

  124. Another example of the confrontational genius of the late Andy Kaufman: He would begin his “comedy act” by opening a copy of “The Great Gatsby” & read it until the audience expressed an extreme desire to kill him.

  125. Even though eh isn’t paid by the team, DOB is the most important person in the organization. The way he hypes some of these guys (like Schafer and Flowers) is wild. It seems like we have Mickey Mantle in the farm and traded Killebrew to the white sox.

    He is the real mouth piece of the team, not Peanut

  126. I’m a bit late on the Kent discussion, but I never understood all the talk about him being so great. Basically they took a first basemen and put him at second. His stats compared to similarly sized players (mostly first basemen) are not that impressive. Granted there are many firstbasemen and outfielders who couldn’t play second, but there are plenty of others who could. Kotchman would suddenly not look so bad if he played second, which I think he could do as well as Kent. Anyone disagree strongly?

  127. Hey, lefty Don Mattingly once played second. Of course, nothing was hit to him. I guess I should have chosen a right-handed weak hitting 1B for my analogy.

  128. Ill take a .290 hitter with 27 bombs with a.500 sluging average at any possition on my team. He was really a third baseman they put at second. It shouldn’t matter, he played most of his games at second, a possition that has more wear and tear than first base and he put up really good/ great numbers for 17 years.

    If he found to have used HGH or roids, then he might not get in.

  129. Hmm, do you really think 2B has more wear and tear than 1B or 3B? Perhaps on some double plays (Marcus Giles comes to mind). It certainly doesn’t have much wear on the arm and there are quite a few less balls fielded due to so many right handed pull hitters (I think). I played 2B growing up and didn’t think it compared that much to the other positions. Of course, I never played at a high level.

  130. There is a lot more running. There are some long throws; the double play turn and cutting off a throw. The take outs on double plays.

    He also has hit more home runs than anyother second baseman ever! When youa re the all time leading home run hitter at your possition (other than pitcher) you get in the HOF.

  131. You really think someone like Ryan Howard or Jason Giambi could’ve held down 2B the way Kent did?

    He was like Mike Piazza: way better offensively than most players at his position to the point where even if he’s clearly among the worst in the league defensively, he’s still a huge boost to your ballclub. Kent’s a HoFer for sure. If anyone could just put a 1B at 2B and have the kind of success the Giants, etc. did with Kent, don’t you think everyone would be doing it?

  132. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA, James Willis (a life long Aubbie and former player + their best recruiter) has left the Auburn Tigers for the one and only Alabama Crimson Tide!!!!

  133. Actually, my use of Gatsby was a sort of silent tribute to Kaufman.

    Here’s the opening to my actual favorite book:

    At the hour of the hot spring sunset two citizens appeared at the Patriarch’s Ponds. One of them, approximately forty years old, dressed in a grey summer suit, was short, dark-haired, plump, bald, and carried his respectable fedora hat in his hand. His neatly shaven face was adorned with black horn-rimmed glasses of a supernatural size. The other, a broad-shouldered young man with tousled reddish hair, his checkered cap cocked back on his head, was wearing a cowboy shirt, wrinkled white trousers and black sneakers.

    (NB: the copyright hasn’t come close to expiring, so that site isn’t operating within the bounds of American law, exactly.)

  134. “When youa re the all time leading home run hitter at your possition (other than pitcher) you get in the HOF.”

    Smitty, this statement cinches it for me.

  135. Actually, Wes Ferrell is the career home runs hit leader for a pitcher, and I think he probably should be in the Hall.

    CAREER
    P

    HOMERUNS HR
    1 Wes Ferrell 38
    2 Bob Lemon 37
    3 Red Ruffing 36
    T4 Earl Wilson 35
    T4 Warren Spahn 35
    6 Jack Stivetts 33
    7 Don Drysdale 29
    T8 John Clarkson 24
    T8 Bob Gibson 24
    T8 Walter Johnson 24

  136. I think Kent gets in–but I believe that since he was one of the least liked major leaguers, it may take some time.

    What I like about Kent is that the Mets got rid of him not once, not twice, but three times!

    Also, he got a relatively late start with very few ABs before he was 25.

    The player in the Braves system that was compared with Kent was Eric Campbell–but at this point I just hoping he becomes a solid big league 3B.

    I will be pissed if Kent does not make the HOF….

  137. Ethan, because I enjoy giving you crap, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but good thing Gary Pinkel has ‘the borders closed’ of Missouri, wouldn’t want to let all those top recruits get away:

    http://tinyurl.com/awf9mw

    They also have CO with (3) 4 star kids in state, and MO with (3) 4 star & (1) 5 star. Still don’t see much difference, but I am glad for you Pinkel’s closed down the borders.

  138. Well, for some reason I thought Kent was 6’4″, so I always thought he was big for 2B. I guess that is not that big, though about the same size as Teixeira. It’s just that Kent averaged 27 homers in a 162 game schedule. That doesn’t really impress me or make me think of Hall of Fame. In fact, that is Miguel Tejada’s average. I guess the message I am getting is that 2B is one of the best routes to the HoF because the expectations are lower than 1B, 3B or the outfield. I would say SS & catcher have lower hitting standards than even 2B, but they are so much more important defensively.

  139. Josh, it is the defensive spectrum issue.

    Catcher and Shortstop ARE the clearly most difficult. Then, second base and centerfield (which position DOESN’T get the credit it deserves in HOF voting as the players are lumped in as “outfielders”. Wynn, Murphy, Dawson all spent time as plus CENTERFIELDERS).

    Then, Third base, right field, left field, 1B, and DH.

    It is also related to why the Braves want to successfully complete the KJ at 2nd deal. He is clearly more valuable if he can adequately play 2nd to stay there.

  140. Averaging 27 HRs at 2B is HUGE, even when you compare it to contemporaries who also hit in the “steroids (and a bunch of other stuff like juiced balls, shrinking parks, and diluted pitching that we’re going to ignore to focus on STEROIDS ’cause that’s more sexy)” era. He was clearly better than his peers, and is among the best historically. I don’t see how you can argue based on his numbers that Kent shouldn’t be in.

  141. Good morning, Mac. Hope you’re feeling stronger. Mind your doctors and wife, and get well soon.

  142. My favorite opening line is from The Cask of Amontillado:

    “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.”

    Talk about being off and running.

    About Kent — I wonder what effect the new concentration on defensive metrics will have on his candidacy. There’s a lot of new stuff that seems to place greater emphasis on defensive value that wasn’t around for Kent’s career, but might prove to be part of the prism through which Kent is judged when the time comes.

    I wouldn’t discount the possibility that his candidacy is at its peak of popularity at the present moment. The new defensive metrics aren’t just for wonks, after all — look at the unexpectedly tough market faced by all the bad-fielding corner OFs right now (Ibanez excepted — thanks, Philly). There’s already a real-world impact to this stuff.

  143. @188,

    Sansho,

    Maybe you could replace the name “Fortunato” with “Francouer” to update it. :)

  144. Really wonder what’s going to happen to the craft of literature.

    This device before me seems to have sapped all the energy I had for reading – and it was considerable.

    I think after I read “Jitterbug Perfume”, I kinda figured I’d never enjoy another book as much, so I just switched to other media.

  145. Hey guys, yeah, you’re stuck with me one more time today.

    First @167: Thanks hankonly, I’m glad someone does. I guess I’ve gotten used to not being taken seriously around here, so I apologize for doubting your sincerity.

    @144: I’m sorry if my writing wasn’t succinct enough. Sadly, as I said before, I’m on a vacation/work trip out in DC, and only have a small time in which to order my thoughts. I’ll try again below.

    @148: Again, sorry if I wasn’t clear, I don’t have time to reread/critique my work from yesterday, but I wasn’t making the assertion that the firs guy (5/5) did not perform as well as the second. The point I was making was that the second guy did his job, plain and simple. Sure, he could have done a better job, and the all things being equal the first guy may have done a much better job in his place, but ultimately at the end of the game the second guy produced runs, which is what you ask of your offensive players. I can think of a handful of players off the top of my head that were great at stranding runners on third, it isn’t as easy as you suggest to get them in. So, I’ll stress again, I wasn’t saying that based on that performance, or on Frenchy’s 2007 season we can predict that he WILL be a good player, only that we can say he DID his job when given the opportunity.

    The theory that Frenchy hits better “in the clutch,” isn’t exactly what I believe. I believe that Frenchy, naturally, is a line drive-gaps hitter; an athlete, not a power hitter. Given the way he has been handled by the media/sponsors, he’s bought into the notion that he should be a 30+ HR masher, which is why he bulked up before last season. Given situations where a long fly is needed to drive in runs he presses himself, and has bad results, but when a single will suffice (i.e. RISP) he’s able to focus on just getting that done. Just check out the Bases Occupied splits on his baseball-reference page, it jumps right out at you.

    @151: While the above response generally works for you too, I’ll add another bit here. Perhaps the hypothetical would work better if the two players went 4/5 with 0 RBIs, and 0 RS, and 1/5 with 1 RBI and 1 RS, respectively. For further illustration we’ll say that Player A got all 4 hit with no one in scoring position, and with no one around to drive him in behind him. Player B got his hit with a runner in scoring position, and was driven in. Again, if I’m picking a player for next year’s team, I’ll take Player A (assuming a longer, similar track record,) but Player B performed his job well on that single day, and shouldn’t be overlooked as a significant part of the win.

    Now I really must be off, hopefully I can check in sometime soon. After Don Sutton is back with the Braves!

  146. The beet is the most intense of vegetables, hankonly.

    I’m with you, though. I’ve committed myself to writing some book reviews this year — partially to keep my writing chops, but mostly to get back to more book reading.

  147. jj @183,

    What I said was that Missouri has a fairly unique situation in that they are in a state with 2 major metropolitan areas (KC, StL) and have no real in-state competition from another college.

    Locking down the borders won’t guarantee that Mizzou is successful, but there is no way they will be if they don’t. Of the top 15 recruits (at least 3 star) in the state, Missouri has commitments from 11. By way of comparison, Colorado has 3 of their 15. Missouri isn’t close to being the best state for college football recruiting, but it also isn’t close to being the worst.

    We will never be able to directly compete with Texas and OU in Texas, the FLA schools in Florida, or USC in California. Even if the talent isn’t as plentiful, closing the state borders is essential for Missouri to have any chance of sustained success, and Pinkel has done very well at that.

    Though really, the few years will depend on whether the 5 star QB from StL that we got last year is the real deal.

  148. “Alexey Fyodorovitch Karamazov was the third son of Fyodor Pavlovitch Karamazov, a landowner well known in our district in his own day, and still remembered among us owing to his gloomy and tragic death, which happened thirteen years ago, and which I shall describe in its proper place.”

    This is fun.

  149. This is just an unrelated observation based on an isolated incident that occurred in my personal and/or work life and is not in any way related to this blog or directed at any one specific poster on this blog:

    It’s hard to take someone seriously when they take themselves too seriously.

  150. “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”

  151. “With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description.”

  152. It’s not a novel, but…

    Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
    mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
    che la diritta via era smarrita.

    In the middle of the journey of our life
    I found myself in a dark wood,
    for the straight way was lost.

  153. “Gerald began–but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them “permanently” meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash–to pee. “

  154. 200 — that may have won an award for bad writing, but I swear that kind of convoluted syntax is the norm in the majority of secondary works written in Italian.

  155. riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

    I love this blog.

  156. “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million mils is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”

  157. Wow. From Jeff Kent to A Confederacy of Dunces by way of Master and Margarita in 50 posts. Have I mentioned lately that I love this place?

    Somewhat on topic: John Walsh over at THT did his annual outfield arms report, with Frenchy ranking as the ninth-best arm among qualifying right fielders, saving approximately two runs — however, it should be noted that in ’07, he saved 13. Coupled with his UZR of -6.8 (2.8 in ’07), it’s clear his defense took a step backwards … though none of us would have had anything to say to the contrary.

  158. #210

    “I am a sick man . . . . I am a wicked man. An unattractive man. I think my liver hurts.”

    (Pevear-Volokhonsky translation)

  159. I’m certain that, just as Mac intimated that my suggested trade for Guillen of the Royals was crap, he will also say that Brautigan is crap: in watermelon sugar the deeds were done and done again as
    my life is done in watermelon sugar.

  160. 205 — Remy, I have not. Now that I’ve finally passed my prelim exams, I might get some more time for pleasure reading. I’ll look into it. But I’ve got a number of sports related books lined up first, including some mindless ones.

  161. Call me Ishmael….and call this

    Given situations where a long fly is needed to drive in runs he presses himself, and has bad results, but when a single will suffice (i.e. RISP) he’s able to focus on just getting that done.

    small sample size of a situation that most hitters outperform their career averages masquerading as self fulfilling prophecy

    – “Moby Dick of a Right Fielder”

  162. 100 years of solitude reference…the first sentence no less…

    on bravesjournal…funny

    @ 197, fwiw.

  163. Swimming against the tide, here …

    I think Gadfly is on to something as regards our once and future right fielder. And, I think it’s relevant to what happened to Andruw.

    I remember a brief line in a story about a long ago Braves Spring Training. It made reference to Rafael Ramirez changing his swing to try to hit more homers, quoting the diminutive shortstop as saying, “They only pay for homeruns around here.”

    If Francouer and Andruw would have remained content to hit hard line drives all over the park, they and we would be far better off today.

    But the zeitgeist (and chics) dig(s) homers, so both have altered their bodies and swings to try to accommodate. Apparently with our hitting coach’s blessing. Oy.

    Let Jeffy be Jeffy – an athletic outfielder with decent range and a great arm who hits a lot of doubles. I’ll take that right now.

    But we still gotta find a cleanup hitter.

  164. Hankonly and Gadfly and other Francoeur defenders.

    Until last year, I resisted the tide on this site as what I preceived as overly negative to Francoeur. Last year changed my perspective.

    As a 24 year old Major Leaguer coming off a bad year (the first 30 days of 05 don’t count) and a better year 23 year, I expected a slight step forward. That would have been a slight reduction in BA, stable OBP (slight walk increase) and slihgt increase in ISO. If so, Francoeur goes from VORP of .5 to 2.0 (Acually, nt a bad number for a 24 year old right fielder).

    However, he dropped off the map. This is not good. This is not likely of recovery. The rest of that story (the “whys”) follows in the next installment of our tale of woe.

  165. Power IS valuable. Other than Don Baylor (who I realy thought was good), I don’t know of any recent Braves hitting coach that has stressed power over BA. No, I think that comes from agents and also from sabermetricians (who have GREAT justification, as follows).

    Generally, walk rates drop at the ML level for players without power (think Gregor Blanco). Why? Because if all they are going to do is get a single then 70% of the time they are probably going to make an out. So, a quality major league pitcher will make sure he does not walk them.

    Generally, players with power potential increase their power to higher rates AFTER they increasse their walk rates. That is, when you hit that ball 8 inches off the plate and 2 inches below your knees and dink it over the second baseman’s head, that is a single (Francoeur like;?) There is NO WAY most players ever hit a really bad pitch hard (maybe Vlad, but who else?)

    So, for Francoeur to get better, he needs to (1) increase his walk rate and (2) increase his ISO.

    The problem is, last year Francoeur was so bad at pitch recognition that catchers could and did stand up behind the plate to get the pitcher to pitch higher. I, now, do not see how he gets better.

  166. I don’t know about stressing it, but the main statistical marker of the Braves until recently was that they were usually among the leaders in both home runs hit and fewest home runs allowed. They pay attention to this stuff, even if they don’t make a big public deal about it.

  167. Dunno how this got started, but…

    “It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him.”

    Regarding that SI article, anyone who calls the signing of Lowe “desperate” rather than “one of the best moves of the off-season” is not paying attention.

  168. Per DOB:
    Several of the Braves top prospects are on the list of non-roster invitees they just announced, including Hanson, Heyward, Freeman and of course Schafer.

    Here’s the list: RHPs Rafael Cruz, Emiliano Fruto, Tommy Hanson and Kris Medlen; LHPs Francisley Bueno, Mariano Gomez and Juan Perez); catchers J.C. Boscan, Phillip Britton, Alvin Colina and Matt Kennelly; INFs Brooks Conrad, Freddie Freeman and Brandon Hicks, and OFs Jason Heyward and Jordan Schafer.

    Sounds about right. A little suprised to see Heyward and Freeman there so soon though.

  169. Heyward was there last year if I remember correctly. I’m pretty sure I saw him bat on one of our ESPN televised games.

  170. I think this is a way of rewarding Heyward and Freeman for terrific years and telling them that the organization is really happy about them. They’ll be cut to minor league camp in a few days.

    … unless, of course, they go Pujols and make it impossible to send them back down.

    “I first heard Personville called Poisonville by a red-haired mucker named Hickey Dewey in the Big Ship in Butte. He also called his shirt a shoit. I didn’t think anything of what he had done to the city’s name. Later I heard men who could manage their r’s give it the same pronunciation. I still didn’t see anything in it but the meaningless sort of humor that used to make richardsnary the thieves’ word for dictionary. A few years later I went to Personville and learned better.”

  171. @227 – It was just the tone in which the article almost made it seem it was a BAD signing. But no, the two aren’t mutually exclusive because we were getting desperate. But the signing was a good one.

  172. The MLB Channel is like crack.

    Anybody catch Olney(?) discussing Adam Dunn? Said one GM he spoke to said he wouldn’t take him for $2 M per year, much less $10 M due to his lack of every other baseball skill besides hitting.

    Sounds like the perfect DH.

    Which brings up this:

    As much as I hate it, if the NL doesn’t adopt the DH soon, the talent disparity between the leagues will be unbridgeable.

    The fact that the NL won the World Series this year is an anomaly, not a predictable event (remember, they were playing the Rays).

  173. I vote for two parts of Mac at 231 and 1 part of hankonly at 229.

    The DH gives an AL team the advanrtage in signing a bat. Like Dunn, for example. If he can’t play left and can’t play or doesn’t want to play first, where do the Braves put him?

    But more of the problem is bad management in the big market clubs.

    And, one formerly big market club conceding the high ground and becoming a middle market team, the Braves. During the TBS run, the extra revenus was powerful. And, as long as Ted owned, he was looking at it partly to compete like Steinbrenner (it wasn’t just to make a profit).

  174. I’m not a true stat head, but I’d like to know what the Runs Per Game difference is between the two leagues. Is there proof the DH makes the AL better?

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