Rafael Soriano

Soriano was limited to 14 innings in 2008, though he pitched well (16 K, 7 H, 2.57 ERA, 3 saves — but 9 walks) when he did pitch. He had three stretches of activity, one at the beginning of the season, one in May and June, and one in July and August. What would happen is that he would pitch, and then tell the Braves that his elbow hurt. They would shut him down, and send him to see the doctor. The doctor would give him an MRI and say that there was no structural damage. With rest, his elbow would stop hurting, and the Braves would start using him again. Rinse and repeat.

Not to make this personal, but in my recent exposure to the American medical system, I’ve had it reinforced (through three scans’ worth of a misdiagnosis) that sometimes there is no substitute for the human eye actually looking at the situation. Modern imaging equipment is a wonderful thing, and it saves lives and effort. But it has its limits, and the MRI — even the extra-special super MRI — didn’t see a real problem.

The Braves, ultimately, decided that he was a whiner, and started leaks to that effect. After Soriano was shut down for good, Dr. Andrews opened up his elbow and actually looked, rather than just give him another MRI, and found that Soriano had a displaced nerve in his elbow. The nerve was fixed, and a small bone spur removed, and the projection was that he would be ready for spring training. Recent reports differ on if he will or won’t.

When he pitches, Soriano is yet another fastball-slider pitcher; his fastball hits 100 on occasion. I am still not convinced that he wouldn’t be more valuable as a starter; he’s pretty much abandoned his changeup, though, and two-pitch pitchers don’t make good starters. (Chuck James, I’m looking at you.)

Rafael Soriano Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

198 thoughts on “Rafael Soriano”

  1. It looks like in the minors he started as many as 23 games in a season… so it’s not out of the question (though I don’t see the Braves doing that considering the starters they’ve got now and coming).

    I also think Chucky gave up the window installing job and was rehabbing… though I recall they non-tendered him at some point I thought they had also signed him to a minor league deal as well.

  2. The Braves completely screwd up both the Soriano and James injuries, instead of actually believing they were hurt they just called them wimps.

  3. But a negative MRI is pretty strong evidence. Lets not assume that it was all the Braves doing. I know that if it was me I would try my best not to have exploratory surgery. Even arthroscopy is invasive enough to put you on the shelf for a while.

  4. What bothers me is the assumption that he was whining. A negative MRI is strong evidence and doctors rely heavily on them to evaluate a patient. They’re not fool proof though andwhen an MRI doesn’t satisfactorily explain a patient’s symptoms, I’d expect the doctors to find a way to investigate it further, like a nerve conduction study because neuro problems don’t always show up on MRIs. I have no idea about the medicine but I wonder if an EMG/NCS would have revelealed the nerve problem without needing to cut him open. I also have no idea if they conducted one or not…probably did.

  5. From the previous thread-


    I appreciate your comments. I agree that, with a starting job in MLB, you don’t have the luxury of quitting on the team. However, I don’t think the comments of Jeff and (to use your example) Randy Moss are quite the same. Moss said “I play when I want to play.” That was a present tense statement. At the time, he was saying that he was currently doing that (playing when he wanted), and gave no reason to believe that he would change his behavior in the future. In the article/interview from which all this Francoeur controversy stems, Jeff said, “The last 30, 40 games I had the attitude like, ‘Screw it, I want this to be over.'” Later in the article he says (about his minor league demotion), “That was a humbling experience to be sure.” Then he is quoted as saying, “…for me to go to the next level and be the player I want to be I had to make some adjustments. I knew I could not go out there next year with the same approach and put up better numbers than I did last year.” To me, that sounds like a guy who regrets what he did and wants to change. To me, the bottom line is this – Jeff has been a poor player in recent memory, and he didn’t really handle himself well in the midst of it. Moss, on the other hand, was a fantastic player at the time of his comments, yet he showed no remorse, and more or less led people to believe that he would continue to slack off whenever he felt like it. Even though one (poor) player handled the aftermath of his bad attitude in a better fashion (Jeff), he is still being treated as harshly as the (great) player who handled it poorly (Moss). It all comes back to player performance, which I think should have absolutely no bearing on determining a person’s character. I think a lot of comments I have read on here are based on the premise that Francoeur still has the bad attitude, which by all accounts, he does not. Your last statement read, “His honesty’s nice, but what it reveals doesn’t speak well of him.” In my opinion, his honesty doesn’t speak well of something he DID in the past, not HIM as an individual. Having said all that, I think everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, and I appreciate the civil discussion.

  6. IF Francoeur turns it around, I will cheer loudly. Until he does, I doubt his ability to be a league average right fielder. I hope he proves me wrong.

    I don’t like what I perceive as whining. Hey, I love my job and I still moan about it when things go south. I don’t do it in the press, however.

  7. If he comes back and has a decent season, you’re probably right. But if he starts struggling again, don’t you think that it’s a decent assumption to make that this attitude will crop up again? I don’t think he’s a complete slacker (Randy Moss). but I do think he’s someone who has no idea how to handle failure. He had never had to before. And I don’t think that after one year, that character flaw is now magically fixed. If he starts failing again, it’ll rear its ugly head again.

  8. Nick, I guess what I’m saying is this – I don’t know if what we saw was a genuine character flaw, or simply a 24 year old kid dealing with the first failure in his life, and not exactly handling it in the best way. Based on his comments, I am inclined to believe that, if he does start struggling again, he WILL handle things differently. I also think that we have to give the guy the opportunity to show us who he really is, and not determine his character from a 3-4 month snippet of his life. All other indications (based on articles I have read, etc.) are that he is actually a really nice guy and a good person.[

  9. The Braves, ultimately, decided that he was a whiner, and started leaks to that effect.

    How do you know this?

  10. When multiple Braves beat writers are quoting “sources” as saying that Soriano isn’t working hard enough to pitch through “soreness”, I’m pretty sure that the Braves are leaking to make him look bad.

  11. Sheets probably needs elbow surgery. So the Brewers didnt get the 1st round pick for Sabathia and now they’ll get nothing for Sheets. Dang, that sucks

  12. I thought we already knew Meyer was willing to cheat in recruiting. I’m surprised Kiffin even knows the recruiting rules having been coaching so long in the NFL.

  13. Apparently Phils and Mets are both in on Ohman… which means I hope that he strings them along for a little while longer and then signs with the Braves so we don’t have to face him (not the same as facing Smoltz will be, but going to a division rival would suck even if he hasn’t been with us that long).

  14. having been coaching so long in the NFL

    Not sure if you were being sarcastic or not, but as far as I know, the Oakland job was it for him in the NFL. He was at USC for several years prior.

  15. Let’s please not compare Randy Moss’ “I play when I want to play” and Francoeur saying “screw it” for 40 games.

    Randy Moss was the best player at his position in the league. If Manny Ramirez doesn’t play hard for a few games, you live with it. You call him a dog, but his contribution to winning helps you overlook some of the lazier plays.

    Francoeur sucks and has always sucked. To give up because you suck is so much more unforgivable to me than to play lazy in LF the day after hitting 2 HRs in a night game or whatever.

    Another quote from Jeffy in the article was something like “(the fun) was robbed from me”. Again, this implies someone inflicted hardship on him. More entitlement, like he’s owed some great career with all his scary talent. There was no fun taken away. The fun left when he sucked to depths none of us had ever imagined.

    Sorry but this guy is forever on my shit list after those statements. Will be fun to watch him hit .260 and hit 19 HRs. Douche.

    Soriano and the rest of the bullpen I have high hopes for. There are a lot of ifs, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to hope Sailor/Soriano/Aussie all come back strong. They are all recouping post surgery…it’s not like they tried to duck surgery in favor of rehab and are trying to pretend they are as good as new.

  16. @22 Absolutely. His use of passive voice is as indicative of his mindset as his description ‘humbling.’ I don’t buy that he’s humbled for a second. A humble guy doesn’t whine to the media and complain about his bad lot and deride others for stealing away his fun. A humble guy shuts up and learns, hopeful that he’ll get another opportunity–which he would have. What we got in the end was pretty much the same abominable player who had been an albatross all season long. And my guess is we’ll get a variation on that player for as long as we trot him out there.

  17. Kiffin was called out by Spurrier and now he’s calling out Meyer who’s won two NC’s the last 3 yrs. All of this coming from a guy who hasnt coached one game in the SEC and who looks more lost than Shula ever did

  18. I’m very much with Mac on the “Doctors often over-rely on information from scans like MRIs, even though they’re no where near 100% accurate” front. As a nation, we do way more scans than we need to, and these often lead to mis-diagnoses (though more often it’s in the “better open this guy up!” and it turns out nothing’s wrong side).

    Interesting thing about Sori and Gonzo- the newly-minted Baseball Prospectus Team Health Matrix has Gonzo as a larger risk to miss time this year than Soriano.

  19. Florida – 77
    Tenn. – 3

    Bama – 44 (QB issues)
    Tenn. – 0

    Tee hee.


    UT – 14
    UK – 3

    for the 25th year in a row. Oy.

  20. “If Manny Ramirez doesn’t play hard for a few games, you live with it. You call him a dog, but his contribution to winning helps you overlook some of the lazier plays.”

    Double standards like that are precisely the reason that so many athletes (like Manny) appear to be as spoiled as they are. ‘You can be lazy and lose a couple of games for us as long as you make some good plays and win a couple more.’ Oh yeah, that’s admirable.

  21. Sheets agreed to a two-year deal with the Rangers last week, failed his physical and now needs elbow surgery will be out 9-10 months.

    Thank God the Braves passed on this guy. I’m surprised anyone wanted this gigantic injury-risk.

  22. @ 31

    I didn’t say Manny was admirable. I said you can live with some of his antics because of his numbers.

    If a player puts up no numbers yet pulls the same antics, what’s the advantage to having him on the team at all?

    Also, “double standards like that” are not the only reason athletes are spoiled. Years and years of false adulation and obscene money make them spoiled.

  23. Ill admit I wanted to take a gamble on Sheets, glad we didnt. Also glad NOW that we didnt get Burnett or Furcal. Both contracts look bad in this market esp with their injury history

  24. Doctors might do fewer scans if they didn’t possess the knowledge with 100% certainty that they will get sued if they miss a diagnosis and haven’t done the scan.

  25. I’m starting a vigilante group and looking for volunteers.

    Our group’s mission is to find and torture (first offense) those who publicize private acts for profit or amusement.

    I’m still working on a name, but “PhelpsGetstoWatchYouDie.com” is a candidate.

    Any takers?

  26. @29 why direct that at me?

    Although I guess it proves me right. Kiffin was in the NFL far too long to remember the college recruiting rules.

    It has no bearing on us all knowing already that Meyer was willing to cheat, because we weren’t relying on that incident to come to that conclusion. We just rely on our hatred for Meyer’s and Florida’s success to come to that conclusion.

    **By “we” I mean only those people who whom the above actually applies. Gator fans actually have to rely on facts to know that Meyer is a cheater as blind hatred and jealously don’t apply. Whether those facts actually exist in the world is beyond me and I don’t care, since I group myself in the first category.


    I’m starting a website called ParisHiltongetstowatchHankonlywatchOneNightinParisandChargehim50bucksforit.com

  27. if tommy hanson pitches in atl this year, i am no doubt rocking a blonde wig with 2 other buddies doing the same. somebody say, “mmmmmm bop”?

  28. I simply don’t understand why the Braves seem to have any interest in Tom Glavine. I understand for nostalgia’s sake, but if that’s the case, why not Smoltz? It seems Smoltz is much more likely to rebound from his injury. But regardless, our remaining money needs to go towards our outfield. Easily.

  29. Kiffin taking on Urban and other SEC coaches is just for show for the Tennessee fans. On that note, so far we love him for it. Of course if they don’t like it, I guess they could put in for a job on the staff.

  30. “Of course if they don’t like it, I guess they could put in for a job on the staff.”

    Smitty, I think Spurrier, Saban, and Meyer would have more fun knocking him out of his job. Thats a lot more likely. Hell, in his last game coaching for the Raiders the man tried a 76yd field goal….

  31. 44 — Could we use him in relief for a few appearances just so they could play that when he came in?

  32. Fantastic Lakers/Celtics game.

    Pau Gasol was meant to play off of Kobe. As someone who’s suffered through Josh Smith, it’s really nice to see intelligent play from a big.

  33. Again, fingers crossed on the bullpen. A badass Gonzo/Sori combo would be sweet, but who the hell knows for sure? Hopefully, our rotation won’t be as taxing on the bullpen. Seems to be the plan.

    Just finished a rather long travel day. But before I hopped the plane, I picked up the Torre/Verducci book. Almost finished with it, and I gotta say it’s very entertaining & a terrific look at the recent history of MLB, not just the Yankees.

    While I can understand why some folks might have issues with Torre for co-writing it, the book isn’t really a tell-all. Overall, it’s a really solid document of the time and something most baseball fans will find worth reading.

    The Torre stuff can be spicy, but Verducci’s explanations of how baseball evolved is what, to me, really stamps the book as a window into modern MLB. Lotsa good sources.

    Kinda nice to have 12 hours travel time & a 500-page book to fill it. Will offer more when I finish.

    From previous thread, I noticed the bit on The Cramps’ Lux Interior. Really bummed about it.

    Stories? Nothing crazy. Saw them twice, once fairly recently. About 2 years ago, they played the Motherfucker party in NYC—yep, that’s the name; just reporting the news, folks—and they were great: Ivy looking like the coolest gal on the planet, as usual, while Lux writhed and slinked and howled. Yep, they totally kicked ass.

    Got a better story, but it’s second-hand. I’ll email that one to you or tell you over beers. Anyway, here’s Lux in all his Elvis-From-Hell glory: http://tinyurl.com/yqzkzj

    Re: Kif/Urb
    I’m with sansho on the UT/UF scat fight. Keep flinging it, orangefolk.

  34. I like our bullpen’s potential. If we are in the race, it might be a monster for us in the second half of the season.

    For what it is worth, I would much rather have Ohman and Boone Logan…

  35. @39, Soderbergh?


    R.I.P Lux.

    I’ll never forget him doing a big-time helicopter belly spin on top of a double 8×10 SVT bass rig while chugging a gallon of cheap red in the process. At Sloss Furnace. Awe-inspiring, really.

  36. #43–I can’s see the Braves signing Glavine at the expense of a right-handed power bat. I certainly hope that the way Wren paid for Lowe does not preclude the Braves from picking up the corner outfielder of their choice….

  37. I don’t really get why people are so sure Atlanta overpayed for Lowe. No one was offering $60/4 at the time, but no one was offering Ollie Perez $36/3 before he signed, and no one was offering Burnett $82/5 two weeks before he signed, either. And frankly, since Lowe is a better pitcher than both of those (significantly better than Perez, better AND significantly less risky than Burnett), I’m not sure how you can make the case that no one else would’ve offered Lowe something close to 60/4. It’s hard to imagine that the Mets wouldn’t have done something like 45/3 or 50/4 (if not higher), putting them dangerously close to Atlanta’s offer. Given the lack of success we’ve had at getting players to come here when their offers were close, I can swallow an extra $2M a year to get it done.

    And I don’t think that $2M is going to keep us from signing anyone we need even half as much as Lowe.

  38. I would have rather overpaid (dont think we did) for Lowe and had the ability to compete this year and set up an awesome rotation for 2010, then to let the Mets or Phils lock him up and make it that much harder for us to be competive

  39. Dix,

    It was directed at you because you linked it, that’s all.

    It’s digging a hole on this board to even stand up for Meyer- go on with the bashing.

  40. csg, you forgot Kamakawi. Somehow, I have a feeling that Vazquez will only be with the Braves for one season. Vazquez will have a good season with the Braves in 2009 and Wren will sell(trade) high.

  41. kc @ 65,

    Heavily dependent on (1) where we finish this year and (2) how many of Reyes, Morton, Hanson, Parr, and Campillo are still around and how good they have looked,
    and (3) what the FO decides to do about Hudson.

    I really don’t see Hudson back. If Hudson doesn’t look like “the man” this year before the season is out, do you want him at 12 million over Vazquez at 11.5, assuming Vasquez is good this year?

    If Hudson is “the Man” before the season is out do you think he will take a 1 year option rather than try to get 3 to 4 years committed? Do you think the Braves will want a long term commitment if the “young uns” have proven themselves?

    This mutual option and this injury still don’t compute up with me to the conclusion that Hudson is back next year.

  42. kc,
    The thing is, I expect Vazquez to be our best pitcher this year. I honestly expect an All-Star appearance for him. I don’t know how the rotation will sort out, but I really don’t expect us to trade Javy next offseason.

  43. @69

    I actually thought you were making a pretty subtle and hilarious joke just then.

    You know, a very sly imitation of Lane Kiffin accusing another of something they didn’t actually do and then apologizing…

  44. Well, Kiffin didn’t really apologize:

    “My comments were not intended to offend anyone at the University of Florida.”

    That’s so lame. Just say you were wrong and apologize.

    This VU fan does love the fact that he’s already drawn Mike Slive’s ire, though.

  45. I’ll have to admit that most of my issues with UT over the last several years have more to do with Fulmer and his committment to academic fraud. I was really wanting to like Kiffin, but he hasn’t gotten off to a good start.

    Even if Meyer had committed a recruiting violation he should have gone to him first and then Slive before he broadcast it to everyone.

    Also, his trash talking Saban was just dumb. What good does it do his program to say that Saban only did well in recruiting because of Lance Thompson and now UT has him? It would be much better for him to shut up and then let his recruiting do the talking next year.

  46. @73, td,

    Yes, it appears that Kiffin wants to take the level of discourse in the SEC from that of World Championship Wrestling to that of World Wrestling Federation.

  47. #65 – KC, I didnt forget kawakami. i just didnt know which one out of Vasquez and Kawakami would get traded. You may very well be right about Vasquez being the one to go

  48. csg,

    I don’t see Kawakami being traded. I think that the Braves are trying to be “accessible” to Japanese players and loyalty (both ways) is a bigger cultural expectancy. It would send a bad signal if they traded him (unless he asked for a trade).

    Plus, Braves should get SOME jump in revenue from Japan (some of the item sales and re-broadcasts are not MLB owned, but not much of what goes over is club revenue). Based on other stars coming over and the fact that there are way more of them now, I would guess it as around 2 million.

    I also really think there will be an uptick in Japanese expatriates in the Southeast attending Braves games, particularly when he starts. He may pick up 500 to 1000 extra people (at 40 estimate total revenue that is some nice spending money). So, K K’s true cost is awfully low.

  49. I don’t know about re-broadcasts of games – there are too many players now for that. But I will say that having spent a lot of time over there, each night on the news they have a rundown of what the Japanese players did that day. It would certainly raise brand awareness, as they say.

  50. I know most of you guys are Hawks fans, so I wanted your take on the Orlando Magic this season, do you feel like they may be able to compete for a title?

  51. Well Tennessee has been on ESPN all day for Pat, Bruce Pear interviews and the Kiffin thing. Works for me. The Tennessee fans are eating it up. I love the fact that he is taking on our rivals coaches and messing with them. It is fun! This is what the SEC is about.

    In away, Kiffin is like our Spurrier.

  52. Why should Kiffin apolgize? He was at a booster thing getting the fans in it. Only Urban Myer would cry about something like that. Is there a bigger pouter in the league? My gosh. Everytime someone does something he doesn’t like, he throws a tantrum. Like the time Georgia ran on the field. Spurrier would have just run up the score. Myer goes around acting like Richt should be shot. Then he starts complaining about sportsmanship while he gose out and runs the score up on someone.

    What a bitch.

  53. The Magic are good but won’t get through Boston or Cleveland in the East, especially with Jameer done for the year. Don’t think they could beat LA or SA if by some miracle they even reached the Finals.

  54. I will also be happy as long as Kiffin keeps on getting publicity for saying stupid things and not winning ballgames.

  55. It has been an interesting start for Kiffin, for sure. In addition to pissing off Florida and Alabama fans, I can say that LSU fans aren’t too enamored either due to some recruiting goings-on this past week. He seems to be a loud-mouth jerk, and not in the same endearing way that Spurrier is. At least he backed it up with winning, prolifically at times. Kiffin has yet to coach or win a game in the SEC, and was an awful head coach in the NFL (admittedly in a terrible organization).

    Another day in the SEC…..

    The longer this goes on the more I don’t see why we want to spend money on Glavine. We have all positions but 5th starter filled, and we don’t need an ace in that spot. Just a solid six innings or so. At the very least, Campillo can give us that for most of the season or until Hanson gets the call.

    Best case scenario: sign Ohman, find left field bat (trade or sign). Let Glavine walk.

  56. Why should Kiffin apolgize?

    You mean for something other than the fact that he called a guy out for cheating when the guy wasn’t cheating? See, when you accuse something of doing something they didn’t do, the adult (right) thing to do is apologize, even if the person you were wrong about is typically a jerk.

  57. I think UT is going to have a fairly protracted “return to glory” phase. Longer than, say, Michigans, because Michigan really can out-talent the rest of its weaker conference. In the SEC, the minute you give an inch the rest of the conference takes a mile. UT is going to have a hard time making that ground back up I think.

    Not as long as Notre Dame though, which is currently entering year 15 of it’s return to glory phase.

  58. so, who’s surprised that Bobby Cox is pushing hard to get Andruw back??? I’m guessing this means it’ll happen

  59. Well AAR, to be fair. The Braves have said they’d give a minor league deal to him, so if he had the choice of a minor league braves deal or a yanks deal I would think he’d take the Braves offer over the Yanks one (ohhh, how convenient would it be for him to play a month or two at AAA in Gwinnett only a couple miles from his house?) IF he’s going to take a minor league deal.

  60. I thought he gets the Dodger money no matter what, and whoever signs him is paying him above and beyond the dodger money. And for him it would make sense to, if he can’t get a major league deal, take the deal with the team he has the most positive history with.

  61. No, whatever he’s paid comes out of what the Dodgers are paying him. He’ll get the minimum if he gets a major league deal, which might mean a little more upfront, since some of the Dodger money has been deferred, but it’s really nothing in the context of what he’s going to get.

  62. First Francouer and now Andruw? I’m sure Cox will angle to get Glavine back, as well.

    After three lousy seasons, your clout quotient should be down to zero.

    Really, truly, it is time to replace Bobby Cox.

  63. This off season has apparently addled my brain more than usual. I thought it was “get him for league minimum and dodger’s pay their part” for a while but then I thought somebody (DOB?) had said the contract was re-structured in such a way that he would get whatever anybody else gave him on top of the $5M for ’09… BUT I guess the sticking point now is that nobody is even offering him a major league deal even for minimum right? If I recall MLBTR right the Braves/Rangers/Yanks have all given him a minor league offer but nothing for the majors and he wants that just to rebuild his value.

  64. Hmmm

    Caribbean Series box-score lines of the week
    • The Dominican’s Jorge Sosa, in a wild 12-9 loss Wednesday to Mexico:

    4 1/3 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, faced 25 hitters and allowed 12 to reach base.

    • Mexico’s Adrian Gonzalez, in the same game:

    6 AB, 3 R, 3 H, 4 RBIs, 3 home runs off of three different pitchers.

    I was trying to watch some of that series last night on MLB TV before my wife took over.

  65. Front Office: So, Bobby, what do you think we should do about the left field situation?

    Bobby Cox: I always thought Mondesi was a gamer. Can we call his agent?

    Front Office: He’s 38 and hasn’t played in four years.

    Bobby Cox: So how about Langerhans? Think we can get him? Get em’ Langy!

    Front office: He sucks.

    Bobby Cox: I know you’re going to like this one: sign Eddie Perez to play left field, and then let him catch for Maddux when he pitches.

    Front Office: (kills self)

    (The End)

  66. Andruw Jones is looking for a team that will give him playing time. One of Stark’s sources says Braves manager Bobby Cox is “lobbying harder for Jones than the rest of the baseball operation.”

    Well this isn’t shocking at all.

  67. Fans: So Furcal left, what do we do about shortstop now?

    Bobby Cox: How about Renteria? He will rebound in the NL I can feel it.

    Front Office: It’ll never work. To get the Red Sox to pay his salary we’d have to trade Andy Marte and….

    Bobby Cox: So?

    Front office: Okay, fine.

    Fans: You’re a fool Bobby. Making the front office trade an untouchable and sure-fire prospect like Marte for a cruddy shortstop who has a contract that’ll make him completely untradeable for anyone good. Marte is our new Chipper. It’d should’ve been old man Chipper! Who is gonna play third when he is on the DL…..

    (Maybe Cox isn’t so dumb.)

  68. 91, 92, 93, and 95—DOB did say that whatever Andruw is paid will be in addition to the money the Dodgers owe him, so that his incentive is still to go to the highest bidder.

  69. Yeah, it certainly makes more sense for Andruw to return to the Braves, the only organization he was ever good for, where he has a couple people actively fighting on his behalf, where he lives, where he won’t get eaten alive by the New York press…

    But, again, he doesn’t have a whole lot of options. It’s gonna be a minor league contract, and presumably, he could have had one of those already.

  70. Would a (potential) outfield of Gregor Blanco in left field, Andruw Jones in center field and Jeff Francoeur in right field be the worst offensive outfield of the liveball era?

  71. $1 mil no incentives? Im fine with that offer. I dont like the $2mil, with incentive to reach $5-6 that was reported that Glavine is looking for. Honestly, I hope he doesnt accept and we just move on with Hanson, Campillo, and Morton

  72. I wonder how many homeruns Adam Dunn would hit in NPB. Has anyone even made him a legit offer yet? I realize he has issues with the glove but it seems like people used to overlook that kind of thing with players that have 40HR power.

  73. Just seems like clubs are waiting for Manny Ramirez to sign somewhere and then the other 2 prize corner OFs (Dunn & Abreu) will get sorted.

  74. THe offer to Glavine looks fine–as long as we have enough money to acquire a bat.

    I am afraid that the Braves may trade for someone like Dye or Nady and give up additional prospects to get the trader (in this case the ChiSox or Yanks) to pick up most of the salary.

    I really wish that we could just sign Abreu or Dunn–but these players may be out of reach….

  75. KC–Usually the prospects (Lillibridge is a happy exception) that other clubs want are not the ones we want to trade….

  76. Front-page of si.com reporting A-Rod failed a drug test..

    That’s probably going to be kind of a big deal, huh?

  77. According to CNN.com, A-Rod tested positive for Steriods during his 2003 MVP campaign….what an A-Hole…..

  78. I’ve been trying for several days to whip up enthusiasm for Andruw. Not there yet.

    I remember that a fly ball to center meant an out. Then I remember how “it’s all Andruw’s fault” became a catch phrase. Except when his 50+ home runs almost got us to a pennant and it was all his fault.

    I remember how young he is and think that it’s quite possible that he can change. Then I remember him WHEN he was younger, that year that Bobby Cox fined him for boneheaded actions until Bobby was sure he’d taken all Andruw’s money. Some people never learn, I guess, but I’m probably talking about me as well as Andruw.

    Because I can’t help it. I hope he takes our minor league contract and I dread it at the same time. And I’d rather have “the old Andruw” at 75% than either Dunn or Abreu.

    Fan is still short for fanatic.

  79. why is Arod an a-hole for using roids? most players that season probably did also. has he ever said he didnt take them? Im not defending the guy and I think he is an A-hole, but just for different reasons.

  80. Csg-

    He was an A-Hole before I heard about this, but it just adds to his overall A-holeness…..

  81. Don’t forget what team led the NL in HRs in ’03, and by a wide margin (hint: you’re a fan). The growing # of publicized positive tests from that year could come home to roost, big time. Just sayin’….

    Edit: I’ve always liked ARod the player, and have tried (not always successfully) to ignore the personal stuff. But a positive roids test hurts a little, because it’s been my hope that he would pass Bonds on the HR list, and do it cleanly, like Aaron did. I think Hank deserves that.

  82. I think most people knew/thought he took roids. Im not surprised by the news and all these media sources shouldnt be either. They are acting like its the biggest shock in the world right now. Lets move on…

  83. Is anyone surprised about the A-Fraud deal? I’m not. In 2003 he won AL MVP and had the most home runs. Anyone pick up the Joe Torre book yet?

    As for the Braves: sign Glavine, Orlando Hudson and Andruw Jones (minor league contract).

  84. I suppose that there will be some who come to this site who will be surprised that A-Fraud tested positive for steroids. Assuming that this information true, it just adds to A-Fraud’s luster. It also make me wonder, why we are finding out about it now….

  85. has he ever said he didnt take them?

    Many, many times. You should really check your facts. From MLB.com:

    SI.com’s report is not the first time that Rodriguez has been connected to allegations concerning MLB’s drug policy. Each time, Rodriguez has unequivocally denied having used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing substance.

    “I’ve never felt overmatched on the baseball field,” Rodriguez told CBS’ Katie Couric in December 2007, shortly after the Mitchell Report’s release. “I’ve always been a very strong, dominant position. And I felt that if I did my work as I’ve done since I was a rookie back in Seattle, I didn’t have a problem competing at any level. So, no, [I never was tempted].”

    Asked in that “60 Minutes” interview if he witnessed steroid use or had suspicions, Rodriguez responded, “You hear a lot of things. I mean, I came up in 1993. And you heard whispers from the ’80s and ’90s. But I never saw anything. I never had raw evidence. And, quite frankly, I was probably a little bit too naïve when I first came up to understand the magnitude of all this.”

  86. I just love how they name 1 name out of 104 on the list. Now I think A-Rod is an A-Hole just like the rest of you, but he doesn’t deserve to be singled out on his own – just like Bonds didn’t. If you’re going to come out and name some names, name them all. Just stupid.

  87. I think that’s a cop-out. The guy is the highest paid player in baseball, pulled that silly stunt of opting out of his contract in order to get even more money, which to my mind is simply an ego-trip. All the while he knew he had failed a drug-test; or if he didn’t know he did, he knew he had used steroids, and was familiar with the kind of backlash it would bring if it got out.

    But for 5 years since, he’s sought the spotlight; put himself front and center.

    Damn right they singled him out. Just the way he likes it.

    And besides. He’s the best player, so he’s the biggest story. What are you going to say? It’s not his fault he’s the best player in baseball? Well, yeah, it is, now. He was the most talented guy out there, and cheated to get even better.

    He deserves whatever comes down the line with this.

  88. As Mel Allen might say, “How ’bout that?”

    What’s also interesting to me is the bit about union man Gene Orza reportedly tipping off players (including A-Rod) about other “unannounced” tests.

    On that, my question is: Is it possible that MLB allowed Orza to know the dates of the unannounced tests and the names of the players targeted because it half-expected him to pass on the info?

    He, apparently, violated an agreement with MLB by alerting the players, but it did cross my mind that it’s certainly not in MLB’s interest to bust its biggest stars. This is rooted in a Federal issue; it’s not something that MLB is volunteering.

    Yup. I’ll be done with the Torre/Verducci book today. It’s really very good.

    Also, in it, there are some references to A-Rod’s remarkable physical transformations during his time with the Yankees. No accusations, exactly, but it was emphasized & worded in such a way that it raised my eyebrow.

    The descriptions of A-Rod’s physique in the book seem to be consistent with the SI-reported effects of Primobolan, which “improves strength & maintains lean muscle with minimum bulk development” with few side effects. Perhaps most crucially, it’s less detectable than other steroids. (I wonder if the “slimmed-down” Javy Lopez was using something like that in 2003.)

    I’m sorry, but I’ll say it again: This steroid stuff is not inconsequential.

    If you get busted, tough. I don’t care if other players were/are doing it. (I hope my guys weren’t doing it, but my instinct & my own eyes tell me that some of them were.) It’s a choice you make and a gamble you take. Your reputation & your legacy each take a hit and, frankly, they should.

    Who says this is over? This is just one news day. Of course the biggest star in the game is going to be the top story.

    Just because someone else might get away with it doesn’t make A-Rod’s ’03 test any less positive.

    And 4 independent sources on this story? Folks, that’s busted.

  89. I just want to hear the rest of the names is what I was getting at. He would have still been the top story if the rest of the names were out there. I just want to know. Not that it matters anyways.

  90. Yeah and isn’t Rudy Jaramillo supposed to be a pretty good hitting coach?

    Who’s in the Texas outfield besides Hamilton?

  91. “Many, many times. You should really check your facts. ”

    why check my facts? I was asking the question. Thanks for answering it for me

  92. And 4 independent sources on this story? Folks, that’s busted.

    Wow, some coincidence they all came forward at the same time, all insisted on anonymity, and all only named Rodriguez. Works for me – Guilty!

  93. Oh, and wasn’t this test conducted with an assurance to all players that it was to assess the depth of steroid use, and was never to be released, and in fact destroyed? And there’s absolutely no possibility that this could be a false positive, or even mistaken correlation between sample and owner? I’ve got some anonymous sources that say he’s a child molester too.

  94. As for the Braves: sign Glavine, Orlando Hudson and Andruw Jones (minor league contract).

    Orlando Hudson? Why? That’s kind of a down-grade from: “power-hitting left fielder.”

    Kind of hope Andruw goes to the Rangers. That’s a good place to hit, isn’t it?

    It’s not like Andruw’s problem was too many warning-track flyouts.

  95. “Assuming I’m healthy — which right now there’s not a reason I won’t be — there’s a lot of upside having me in that slot,” he said.

    “I understand that [competition] is there,” Glavine said. “But at the same time, I think if I’m healthy and doing what I’m capable of doing, I’m a better option than those other guys.

    “I think I make a rotation stronger. I understand those guys are waiting in the wings, and somewhere down the line they’re going to be productive in the rotation. But I think if all things are equal, I’m the better option.”


    I think I agree with Glavine here that he is a better option that Campillo or Reyes.

  96. I think I agree with Glavine here that he is a better option that Campillo

    Comparing their ages, injury histories, and performances from last season why do you think this is so?

  97. Because one was a near-30 rookie who spent most of his career in the Mexican league and turned into a pumpkin the last month or two of the season when the league figured him out. Campillo’s first half, in my opinion, was a Jorge Sosa-esque fluke.

    I do think there is a decent shot Glavine could do what he did in 2007. Certainly a better gamble than Andruw Jones.

  98. @146 – Could it also be possible that he just got fatigued towards the end of last year? I don’t think he was used to throwing that many innings. I don’t hear you saying that Jurrjens was a fluke b/c of his tailoff last year. Not saying you are wrong necessarily, just that it would be a mistake to dismiss it as such outright. I, for one, just don’t know what to make of it – it could be either or. But for me, given his nice changeup and his superb ability to locate his pitches, I’d take the chance that it was the number of innings.

    The only reason I’d take Glavine over any of the options is if you were hell bent on having a left-hander in your rotation and Reyes just simply wasn’t cutting it. I’d like to see at least one of those others log some major league innings – that’s the only way for them to get better because they have already proved themselves in the minors (minus Campillo of course).

    Edit: And I think at least one of them will make the bullpen (keeping my hopes up for Morton there).

  99. I think campillo will be really good in a long/middle relief and spot starter role. I’m not totally opposed to signing glavine as long as it doesn’t cost us the abilty to get a decent OF bat or completely eliminate our chances of signing Ohman, it might be nice to have a veteran starter around for the sake of orienting the new guys.

  100. Glavine should be happy he didn’t have a second half for the league to even further figure him out. Campillo may well be a fluke, but Glavine is toast on a stick.

  101. Spike,
    Why are you apologizing for this man?

    Who says these sources came forward all at once? They’ve only been reported all at once.

    What difference does it make if the sources had an axe to grind or not? Like it or not, the very nature of investigative reporting is tied to anonymous sources.

    BTW, getting 4 independent sources is at least 2 more than many publications require. Do you think SI would “go to print” with this if it wasn’t completely convinced of its sources’ stories?

    FWIW, I was watching one of the SI authors on MLB TV a little while ago & she said that the story & the sources’ info evolved “over time.” She also gave A-Rod an opportunity to respond (in person) & explicitly asked him if these tests could’ve been a false positive.

    Of course, he didn’t offer much response & I’m sure we’ll get an official reaction from him fairly soon. Whether it becomes an actual confession or a Clemens/Bonds level of cringeworthiness isn’t exactly an even bet, in my estimation.

    The privacy issue is valid, but IMO separate, as it relates to the positive test & how we should evaluate A-Rod’s status/legacy. It’s certainly an issue within the union, something that Fehr & Orza are taking hits for today.

  102. Not apologizing – just noting the witch burner mentality that applies to anyone getting tagged with the “cheater” label. These 4 ANONYMOUS sources – all of whom are acting illegally by the way in releasing court sealed records, have produced nothing but their word to SI. Nothing shady there. There is zero corroboration of anything other than someones name purportedly being on a report that no one is allowed to see. Just for the sake of argument, if the report is wrong, or the sample flawed, or these sources simply not being correct, where exactly does Rodriguez get to go for his reputation back? Can you honestly say that he isn’t damned in the eyes of many regardless of what the truth turns out to be? And what blowback will these ANONYMOUS sources suffer in this regard? I was under the impression that our sense of fair play was informed by being able to face one’s accusers. The fact you can just drop a dime on somebody and get them damaged without even having to give your name makes me want to retch.

  103. It’s certainly an issue within the union, something that Fehr & Orza are taking hits for today.

    The UNION???? It’s your fucking US gov’t seizing evidence it had no right to and then leaking it that should be taking the hit here.

  104. Jurrjens is a lot younger and more touted than Jorge Campillo. And I don’t think Jurrjens declined quite as severely.

    Campillo’s combined ERA in August and September 2008 was 5.93.

  105. Spike,
    The union is being raked over the coals by their own players today. The evidence could’ve been destroyed, but it wasn’t. According to reporters on MLB TV today, that was something that the union could’ve insisted upon.

    Again, it’s: “…two sources familiar with the evidence that the government has gathered in its investigation of steroid use in baseball and two other sources with knowledge of the testing results.”

    This certainly isn’t Watergate, but an anonymous source helped break that all-too-true story. This time they have 4.

    Again, all I can say about someone who gets caught cheating is…tough. If it’s all false, sue SI.

  106. Campillo makes the league minimum, not 2 million bucks. The Braves do not have the payroll to take a 2 million dollar gamble in the hopes that a 43 year old in steady and obvious decline who is coming off arm surgery can possibly be their fifth starter.

    Any and all remaining funds should be spent on an outfielder.

  107. Given that he wasn’t much better than Reyes or Morton last year, and was a little worse than Klinger, I don’t see much evidence that Glavine would be better this year, even if Campillo turns into a pumpkin.

  108. Not to belabor this (why do people always say this right before they do it?), but all there is is an alleged name on a piece of paper. The sample doesn’t exist, we know nothing of the test conditions, we know nothing of how this “report” was compiled, it wasn’t a double test, which is required in all other sports in order to pursue an allegation of this type, and his accusers are all “anonymous” sources who are breaking the law in releasing this data, He has no recourse against SI, because all they have to prove is that they didn’t know it was false in order to be held harmless. If he did do this, fine, let the chips fall, but this is patent character assassination at this point. the evidence is double hearsay (I heard it from a guy who won’t give his name) and just against everything this country’s legal system is meant to protect against. I am astounded that folks are willing to let their opinion of the subject color their view of the process that is taking place here.

    Well, I am just going to watch Brazil again and try and get over it I guess.

  109. smitty…i’ve heard your grandma’s “cutter” is pretty awesome…

    if you know what i mean…

  110. If Wren does decide to drop his pursuit of Ohman, I think it’s a mistake. Does anyone have even a shred of confidence in Logan, O’Flaherty or Ridgeway?

  111. I don’t have much confidence in Ohman repeating his success. Giving Ohman anything more than two-year is a mistake imo. So I will see what Ohman will end up getting before I conclude if Wren is making a mistake on this one or not.

  112. Spike, I don’t know any more than you do. (Here’s a helpful ESPN video on how this came out.) But SI is usually a pretty reliable publication. SI’s editors know the identities of their sources, and wouldn’t have specifically granted each one anonymity in print unless they believed that the information was correct. The use of anonymous sources should never be cavalier or flip, and it’ll never be preferable to named sources, but it’s legitimate tool in journalism. Just because SI isn’t revealing who these guys are is no reason to dismiss the report on that basis alone.

    Of course, if SI had a recent history of getting steroid stories wrong, or getting egg on its face for being overly gullible toward the sources to whom they grant anonymity, you’d be right to be wary. But I don’t think that’s the case.

  113. #162–I am not totally sold on Ohman (I wish the Braves had traded him in July), but the other lefthanders hardly inspire confidence. O’Flaherty at least makes an interesting darkhorse….

  114. What’s not to be sold on Ohman? Just look at what he has done the past few seasons – you don’t have to look at last year alone. Away from Wrigley, he has been death on left-handers.

  115. I’ve always hated the state of Texas, but damn, they took hampton and andruw off our hands…

  116. I hope that this Ohman business does mean we’re nearing a deal for an outfielder, and I’m hoping that outfielder is Bobby Abreu. I’m just not so high giving anything up to get nick swisher, save for the fact that Nick swisher would allow for Matt diaz to get plenty of ABs against LHP, whilst removing Kotchman from the lineup while abreu will likely start every day.

  117. I will tell you what, Andruw just looks stupid right now. He took a minor league offer from the Rangers with 1M in incentives, but he has to be full time player to get the Mil. He has to compete with FIVE other players over there for a starting role (almost all of which I think could beat him out at that point). And he took that over a minor league offer from this team – a team that your would only have to beat out four 4th outfielders. Really?

    That’s not to say I’m not happy about it – we certainly dodged a major bullet there.

  118. If we do sign abreu we could have to potential members of the 300/300 club in Bobby Abreu and Jeff Francouer. Abreu is only about 50 HR away from 300 homeruns and 300 stolen bases…

  119. I think that Abreu doesn’t go below $5 million. On the other hand, if his value has indeed fallen so drastically, then I wonder what it would take to sign Manny….

  120. But really, what would we do with swisher AND Abreu? Would we use swisher in center, or would we trade Diaz and/or Francoeur?

  121. “Let’s get Abreu and Swisher.”

    Couldn’t agree more. This is what I’ve hoped for all along–getting two guys, one to play CF and another to play LF. After all, it’s not like the Braves aren’t gonna need above-average production from those positions to make up for the black hole in right. Swisher and Abreu give you a shot to do that, whereas Blanco won’t.

  122. Yeah, Adam, I’ve never disagreed with that; I just didn’t know whether we could afford multiple OFs. If the rumors on Abreu’s pricetag are true, it seems like we can.

  123. But swisher isn’t really a major league caliber center fielder, and I doubt we have the money to sign both of those guys, we’re talking 9-12 million here… not 5-8.

  124. So we have $7mil. At $5 mil per get Abreu for 2/3 yrs if possible. However long he’ll accept at that price sign him.

    Anyone thinking that the Braves may move Jo Jo to the pen for the loogy role

    Jo Jo vs lefty (career)
    34IP 28H 15BB 32K .224BA

    Ohman vs lefty (last year)
    29IP 21H 8BB 28K .200BA

    Jo Jo’s BB are a concern, but I dont see him holding down a spot in our rotation and there really isnt anything for him to learn at AAA anymore

  125. csg,
    Where’d you get the $7 million number?

    Abreu at 3 + Swisher (5.3) is 8.3. I thought the last we heard was that the Braves had between 5-9 million. Also, presumably we could sweeten the pot and get the Yanks to pay part of Swisher’s salary.

  126. Would Gorkys/Boyer be too much for Swisher? Would that be enough for them to pay for some of Swisher’s contract?

  127. That’s the very deal I proposed a couple of weeks ago, csg. Seems about right to me. Don’t know what it would take to get them to chip in some cash.

  128. Stu, I wouldnt give up much more than that even for them to pay some salary. If Wren can show that it’ll immediatley improve the club, then liberty should give them an extra mil or two. Its a fair deal in my opinion. The Yanks didnt give up much for him and he had a down season. Now they have too many Of’rs and need to move one.

  129. The Howard deal seems strange to me — every time a team buys out a player’s arb years, they also try to buy out the first couple free agent years, and usually throw in a couple option years for good measure. The Phillies must really have felt like they had no leverage.

  130. If they lost their arb case to Vaughn this year, they would owe more than the contract mount every remaining year.

  131. I would be terrified that Howard’s (rapid) decline continues, and that last $20M just ends up as good money thrown away.

    And when I talk about his decline, I realize he’s still hitting HRs. But his OPS dropped about 90 points from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2007 to 2008. I don’t expect that to continue linearly, but at this point, he’s just “solid above average” for his position, certainly not elite. The Phils are basically betting that he turns this around in his age 30-32 season. I’m not sure this is a bet I’d like to take, espcially in a market like Philly where $20M can really put a dent into your payroll.

  132. i’d buy season tickets to watch Moes’ brothers play. but if i ever see another Howard pop-fly homer to left field in Philly, i might go crazy.

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