Tom Glavine

Let it go, Tom.

Tommy is now 42 years old. He will turn 43 on opening day. I don’t normally call for players to retire, and in general I am of the school that if they can get someone to pay them, they might as well give it a try. But he’s hurting the team. Someone’s going to get released to make room for him. He’s going to make starts that could have gone to someone who might actually help the team going forward.

Simply put, there is no evidence that Tom Glavine is still a major league-caliber pitcher. Last season, he managed 63 innings, in which he struck out only 37 — and walked the same number. I don’t know what’s worse. He allowed 11 homers, a huge rate jump. His ERA was 5.54, and he was lucky that it was that low — his fielding-independent ERA (Hardball Times calculation) was 5.90. There just aren’t any positives. If the Braves had a young staff, it might be worth keeping him around in a mentoring role, but they don’t.

Hit .105, nearly a career low; he had no extra-base hits, and so a .105 slugging percentage, which was a career low. He just can’t play Major League baseball anymore, and that’s it.

Tom Glavine Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

158 thoughts on “Tom Glavine”

  1. In all fairness mac, he was pitching through injuries. If he’s healthier than he was last year, he might be able to do somewhat better. I’m not saying he’s going to be the Glavine of 1998, but he could be the glavine of 2006 or 2007. I agree that he’s going to be soaking up an otherwise useful roster spot and that this deal shouldn’t have happened, but I like to think that he will be more productive this year than last.

  2. Early in the year, Glavine was actually pitching pretty well but not getting any support. After that, I think he was hurting. I personally would have liked to see him retire but I’m not sure he is doomed to be the disaster Mac suggests.

  3. The question is, how long does the team stick with Tommy if he doesn’t have it? If they keep trotting him out there while he stinks it up, then you are absolutely right, Mac. But if he doesn’t perform and he gets cut, we don’t spend the full money and someone else gets the playing time. I agree, he was hurt last year and went on the DL for the first time in his career. I’m willing to see what he’s got in the 5th starters role. It’s not like we are depending on him as we were last year.

  4. I’ve always been a Glavine fan—especially that last game he pitched for the Mets!—but you gotta cut bait when it’s time. So call me a little torn here.

    Would love to see him return & help, but today I’m with the doubters.

    On the Gorkys-to-NYY idea:
    Over our second pitcher at Rudy’s this past Sunday, AAR & I were discussing that very thing.

    From the previous thread, Mac said the same thing I said then: Gorkys would be more valuable to the Yanks.

    Also, it may not be Melky playing CF for them; it may be Brett Gardner, who’s not exactly an improvement over the Melk Man.

    There’s all kinds of baggage with playing in The Bronx, of course, but the idea works for me. I’d take Nady, too.

  5. What are the chances that Bobby pitches Glavine in the 3 spot just to break up all those righties?

  6. I really doubt that Tom Glavine is going to be the difference between this team making the playoffs or not. I’m cool with giving him a shot at being the #5 starter.

  7. #5, the only time it matters is the first time through the rotation. After that it doesnt matter, we’ll have 4 righties in a row.

    unless they decide to give extra rest to whoever is in the 5 spot

  8. According to Cox, they do plan on giving extra rest to tom glavine. He said he won’t have to pitch until the 19th or something and then he’ll be laid off for 10 days before his next start…

  9. I’ll give him a non-zero chance to be average this year.

    Since that’s pretty much what we’re shooting for.

  10. I’m fine with this deal. The guy had Hall of Fame ability at one point. I’m willing to see what he can do and the deal is constructed in such a way that it’s not going to cost the Braves much if he cannot hack it anymore. I’m probably too sentimental about this sort of stuff but I’ll be glad to see old #47 ride out for us one last time.

  11. Everybody’s buddy Terrence Moore’s latest quotes John Smoltz:

    Added Smoltz, “I didn’t leave the Braves, by the way. You leave when you’re given a choice.”

    I ain’t smart; but being from south Georgia, I recognize organic fertilizer when I step in it.

  12. Hmmm…

    I guess both, really. Intended as better than zero, I’m not sure you can actually have worse than zero when it comes to chance.

  13. DP @ #13:

    A little “I didn’t leave the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Braves left me.”, huh?

    Perhaps.

  14. Yeah, that’s about one quote too many from Mr. Smoltz. I think he needs to go ahead and wrap it up with the Braves bashing. Of course, I wore his tomato red Braves t-shirt yesterday, and I’ll still continue to wear it past when he’s inducted in the HoF as a Brave. Ballin.

  15. So I know Bobby would never even consider it, and I’ve never been a fan of the stretch to five-man even, but what do you guys think of a six-man rotation on this team?

    It surely would help Kawakami’s adjustment, and probably Glavine’s health too. Of course you could always work out some crazy calculus and still have Lowe, Vazquez, and/or Jurrjens pitch every 5th day if you wanted. If Campillo can pitch like he did last year, he’s certainly worthy of a few starts. Then if anyone gets hurt you’ve got a replacement tuned up and ready to go.

    Like I said, Bobby would never go for it, and I’m not sure I would, but it seemed like an interesting idea (someone will do it eventually,) and it does make a little sense given our situation.

  16. Smoltz is the best. Perhaps my second favorite Brave I’ve cheered for in my day. I was ticked he left, but I’m definitely way less worried about it now than I was the day of. I can understand how difficult it must be for him to move on. But, I agree, the bashing should stop (even if for no other reason than for helping him move on).

    Go Braves.

  17. Another random thought occured to me the other day (and so you guys get to hear it):

    How much do you suppose Glavine’s desire to return this year has to do with a desire not to go into the Hall of Fame the same year as Maddux?

    Just imagine what that would sound like: “Greg Maddux was the best pitcher of his era. Eight-time All-Star, four consecutive Cy Young Awards, and winner of more games than any pitcher in the live-ball era not named Warren Spahn. Holds the Major League record, winning 18 Rawling’s Gold Glove Awards, including 13 consecutive from 1990-2002. From 1988-2004 he strung together a record run of 17 straight seasons with 15+ wins. Voted as the unanimous Cy Young winner in 1995, he anchored the Braves’ Big Three Starters that led Atlanta to its only World Series Championship of the 1990s.

    Oh, yeah, and Tom Glavine pitched with him… sometimes… He was good too, just not AS good.”

    I doubt much of that really went through Glavine’s mind, but I wonder…

  18. From the last thread, spike:

    Nady would make sense only if A) he’s signigficantly cheaper than Swisher (or some other quality LHB) to acquire, and B) the team develops the balls to sit whichever of Diaz or Francouer is hitting worse.

    I just assume Francoeur’s job is safe. I think he’d absolutely play before Diaz, but is it worth giving up a prospect with real apparent trade value for what I expect to be a marginal increase in production? I just don’t think so.

    12—Amen.

    And, finally, to John Smoltz: I love you, but STFU. Enough already.

  19. Well, I thought the rest of what Smoltz had to say was interesting… is the JS front office methodology only workable if you’re winning? Arguably Bobby was the one who put together the first winning set-up for 91 and then when JS took over he was mostly dealing with bringing in guys to a winning team. Is there some front office organizational philosophy that needs to be rethought in light of us not being the NL East monsters any more? Some has to do with $$$ I’m sure, but there is a chance that they’re approaching the players in a way which just won’t work if you’re not already winning.

  20. Oh, Stu, we are in agreement on this. The only reason Nady is even viable in any sense is that he can hold his own against RHP (770 OPS) while Diaz AND Francouer are overmatched(706/719 respectively). An effective platoon partner for Diaz and Nady as your starter (never happen, I know) is a non-embarassing outfield situation.

  21. My gosh, people, it’s not like we’re talking about some scrub. Nady is several times the player any of the Braves’ outfielders is. He’s hit 20 and 25 homers the last two years, and from the right side. Last season, Braves outfielders combined hit 27 homers. He slugged .510; last year, Braves outfielders slugged .367. He’s not a star, but he’s a good player, unlike every Braves outfielder, and he’s well above the major league median for a corner outfielder. And you people are acting like it’s not worth a prospect the Braves don’t need to get him to play for free.

  22. worst self inflicted wound by any professional franchise ever:

    Discuss…

    I’ll start with the Lion’s alienating Barry Sanders.

    In the words of Stu, “yeah, seriously, how do you suck so hard that you make perhaps the greatest nfl player of all time just walk away from the game?”

    Stu’s submission was the Red Sox selling Ruth to the Yankees.

    Any others suggestions? I need something to think about for the next 2 hours.

  23. Oh, and nothing compares to the Cleveland Cavaliers of the late seventies, who were so badly managed that the league had to give them draft picks just to find someone to buy the team.

  24. I later clarified that I think Sanders might be the greatest NFL player among non-quarterbacks.

    I also threw the Red Sox (for selling Babe Ruth to the Yanks) into the ring for discussion.

  25. Nah, the Red Sox’s biggest self-sabotage was being the last team to field a black player (after giving Jackie Robinson a tryout and having an option on Willie Mays).

  26. If I were the GMs of the MLB teams, I’d send out a memo to all my pitchers in the organization that during spring training when Jeff Francoeur is batting, you throw nothing but meatballs down the middle for him to mash, knowing that if he’s successful in spring Bobby will trot him out there for 162 games in the regular season, thus increasing my own team’s chances for victory.

  27. Yeah, and if they’d had Willie to go with Williams, the Yankees’ fifties dynasty doesn’t happen. Given that there were baseball reasons to ditch Ruth (he was being a jackass, he was trying to get sent to New York anyway) but only racist reasons to not sign black players, the later decision is much the worse.

  28. Is there a category for worst series of unbroken Front Office gaffes?

    If so, I give you:

    The Cincinnati Reds from Marge Schott on.

    Which reminds me:

    What does walking a tightrope and receiving a Lewinski from Marge have in common:

    Whatever you do, don’t look down.

  29. Mac, the spirit of the question has nothing to do with moral wrongness—it’s about which move screwed the franchise the most. Hard to argue that a 30-years-later screw-up did more damage than awarding Ruth directly to the Yankees.

  30. I disagree. I’m not talking morality, necessarily, I’m talking how stupid the decision was. The decision to not sign black players — which didn’t totally wash out until John Henry bought the team! — was far stupider than the decision to trade Ruth. Many, many people in 1918 thought Ruth was going to fall apart soon. Nobody knew he could last as an outfielder, or that you really could hit home runs consistently like that. By 1949, everybody knew that black players could make it in the major leagues. The Red Sox didn’t have one until 1960 anyway.

  31. OK, Mac, but the question isn’t about stupidity, either. Again, it’s about which one screwed the franchise the most. No. Contest.

  32. Just wanted to throw this out there and see if anyone can explain.

    If you type into google image search “death by jacking off to porn” without the quotation marks, a picture of Lindsay Lohan comes up.

  33. I still disagree. You’re talking about one player — the greatest of all time, but one player — against a whole class of players, including in particular one of the few players who has an argument to be classed as the GOAT instead of that player. It’s arming the Yankees (actually, not just with Ruth — half the Yankees’ first championship team in 1921 was former Red Sox) versus unilaterally disarming before them. And the Yankees of the fifties were far more successful than the Yankees of the twenties, largely because the Red Sox, the team that should have been challenging them, was surrounding Williams, Stephens, and Doerr with inferior talent on purpose.

  34. Well I’d say the Clippers and teh Bengals are teh worst run teams in pro sports. The Expos/ Nationals is the worst run team baseball team ever.

    #6
    That sucked when Jordan was batting 4th, we were only winning division titles. He wasn’t a complete bust while he was with the Braves.

  35. I think Mac makes a great point on the race issue. Boston really is a racist city (or was more so 35 years ago)

  36. 1921 New York Yankees Statistics and Roster – Baseball-Reference.com

    This is a remarkable team, the first pennant winners in the Bronx. I was going to post about them last year, but I never got around to it.

    Anyway, in addition to the greatest player of all time having the greatest season of all time, the following Yankees were also ex-Red Sox:

    Wally Schang, catcher, the team’s second-best player;
    Carl Mays, ace pitcher, had killed a guy a couple years before;
    Waite Hoyt, #2 starter, and just 21 years old;

    This was nothing. Their first world champs, in 1923, were even more populated with former Red Sox, with the additions of Herb Pennock, Joe Dugan, Everett Scott, Joe Bush, and Sam Jones. The pitching staff was basically Bob Shawkey plus former Red Sox. If you look at it this way, as more than Ruth, I think Stu has an argument. They got very little, except cash, for all this talent.

    Oh, and most of the other members of this team (Bob Meusel and Wally Pipp’s backup first baseman being the exceptions) were acquired via trade rather than purchased from the minor leagues. If anyone ever bought a championship, it was these guys.

  37. “Just a question of history repeating” – who sang that?

    Dix, you are one funny dude.

    Twisted, but funny.

  38. #48

    Had to look it up. Shirley Bassey. Then I had to look her up.

    #29

    I’ll submit Connie Mack’s failure to develop a farm system or hire a general manager. The A’s were the worst for the longest, I believe.

  39. For me, this team colour just doesn´t have that something to grab my interests. Besides, no more watching baseball. Well then, why do I visit braves site? There are Mac and someone on common ground in many ways. Sometimes, I feel like drinking Coca-Cola when I’m thirsty.

    By the way, would you mind asking non baseball question? What’s difference between best regards and kind regards? I just think almost same thing but could you explain this one, please?

  40. hankonly,

    If you’re going to insist that we replace Roy Williams’ 5 Putt Word with the name of that institution in Durham, at least spell the name correctly.

    dook – No capitalization.

    That is all.

    Seat Painter UNC ’86

  41. Not much difference between the two, brule. If I had to split hairs, I’d say that “best regards” is a more professional phrase. I often use “best regards” in business communications, but I don’t think I’d substitute “kind regards”. Unless I was asking for money — then it might work.

  42. I just wanted to comment that on a video game the Twins offered me Francisco Liriano for Jeff Francoeur.

  43. I don’t think it’s fair to say the Expos/Nats are the worst run baseball team ever. That migtht be true for the last few years, but unitl then the Expos were very well run and were often very competitive. If was really MLB that drove the team in the ground. They certainly aren’t being well-run now, but I think it’s a stretch to say they are the worst-run team ever, considering the Pirates have 16 straight losing seasons and the O’s have 10 or 11. The Nats were .500 as recently as 2005.

  44. I think it would be wrong to have a thread about Tom Glavine without thanking him for Game 6 of the 95 WS. So, Tommy: Thank you. (but it may be time to hang it up, I hope you proove me wrong)

    Does anyone else think Andrew Jones and a cheap one year salary with incentives based on not sucking isn’t looking too bad right now?

  45. Thanks a million, sansho1. Sometimes, I am also in chaos between British English and American English. Anyway, You’ve made a big impression, sir. Can I ask guestions from time to time if you don’t mind? hehehe.

  46. How can anyone look at Glavine’s numbers over the past year and a half and not think this is ridiculous? I hate to have nothing new to add, but I agree completely with everything in the write-up. Oh, and I agree also that the refusal to sign black players, and with them, one Willy Mays, was as dumb if not moreso than the Ruth thing. Although I’m not sure the point was to expose Boston as a racist city.

  47. From DOB’s column today:

    “Frightening stat: Francoeur (11 homers) and Mark Kotsay (3) were the only Braves outfielders with more than three homers in 2008.”

    I think I just puked all over myself. One thing is for sure: if we’re going to contend this season, that stat has most definitely got to improve.

  48. Not to mention, (3) isn’t more than three last time I checked. Chalk one up for Gadfly.

    oh – and more sloppy reporting from the beat writer :-)

  49. We will be overwhelmed with pitching come the middle of the season. Now we just need to be overwhelmed with power hitting and base stealing. :(

  50. I’m always up for some Marvin Gaye.

    This is probably a ububba question: Did Marvin’s preacher father shoot him because of “Sexual Healing”?

  51. A quick Google of “Marvin Gaye Murder” will tell you more than you need to know about that sad tale. But the short answer is no.

  52. @63

    Pretty spiky (spike-y, heh) Chipper quote at the end there. Basically, thanks for wasting our time Junior. Ouch.

  53. Not sure the actual reason, but I’m guessing it wasn’t rooted in some notion of morality: Marvin was a depressive cocaine abuser & his dad was a crossdressing alcoholic.

    But yeah, one of my favorite singers ever.

    Watched a little bit of MLB Network’s presentation of the ’95 WS. I had forgotten what a good series Luis Polonia had and that Carlos Baerga made the last out in 3 of Cleveland’s 4 losses.

  54. I really wish I could get the MLB network here. Today was the perfect day to veg in front of the tube.

    Watched “A Face In The Crowd” for my entertainment tonight. What a great movie. Elia Kazan, 1957, starring a young, up and coming, comedian named Andy Griffith as a drifter-turned-celebrity that reaches for the highest rungs of power. Very prescient.

  55. Never saw that one.

    MLB Network is the new crack. I’m DVRing a few things a week.

    They have these hour-long shows dedicated to particular seasons. So far, I’ve seen 1968, 1993 & 1995. This week, they showed 1982. Got to re-live those first 13 games.

    But now, I’m gonna watch “The Graduate.”

  56. 1995 world series highlights on MLB Network start at 11pm CST, 12am EST tonight.

    Red Label and the 1995 world series, that’s a good Friday right?

  57. No one saw it, apparently.

    I think I like it better than Network, a very similar film which has always been a favorite. Andy is simply amazing. Totally walking the tightrope. You’ll never look at him the same way again, that’s for sure.

    And reading about seeing ’82 again gave me the goosebumps. Why can’t they port this to the internet? I’ll gladly pay.

  58. Mac–Interesting discussion–it might help to consider the distinction between a question and a doctrine. Unfortunately, I am not sure that Red Sox racial policies were a question in the 1950s, 1960s 1970s and possibly the 1980s; instead it was a matter of doctrine: limited African American players on the roster and in the organization. I cannot prove any of it–but I think that these pollcies extended to the Celtics as well.

    I might add that one of the things which you to frist tick me off and then provide me with sport would be to hear northerners in the 1970s and 1980s talk about racism in the South–while forgetting how racially charged Boston was. Therefore, when you refer to a “whole class of players’ the sad reality is that many were never even considered–because of a management doctrine….

  59. Many times it is inherent in the corporate culture, even to this day. The best-in-class companies got rid of that stuff a long time ago, though.

  60. Wow, 95 Indians. Thome, Manny, Albert Belle, Kenny Lofton, Vizquel, Carlos Baerga playing well…..and we beat them. That’s a testament to the value of great pitching if there ever was one.

  61. Boston is still racist, look at all the whites that will likely be on their opening day roster:

    Varitek/Bard
    Youkillis
    Pedroia
    Lowell
    Lowrie
    Bay
    Ellsbury
    Drew
    Beckett
    Lester
    Wakefield
    Smoltz/Penny
    Masterson
    Papelbon
    Kotsay
    etc.

    Only a few other players (Ortiz, Okajima, Matsuska, Lugo, Saito, etc.) are not white.

    Then there is your McHale, Ainge, Bird, etc. in basketball, the town is a joke.

    As an University of Alabama alumnus, I would honestly cheer for a team made up of former Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, and LSU players over the Boston Racist Sox. I’ve lived in Alabama my whole life and never saw a Red Sox hat before 2004. Now, they are everywhere. When Boston comes to Turner Field, its like a home game for the Sox, which is a sad. Nothing screams doosh like wearing a Green Red Sox hat, in my mind.

  62. bamachum–I really like your post–the Celtics (and the way people in the Northeast used to identify with them )were quite problematic for me.

    But–if you thnk that Green Red Sox hats scream doosh (and they do) the amount of pink and red Yankee caps that I see in the Middle East takes it further for me….

  63. @59

    That’s very flattering, brule, thank you. Feel free to ask anytime — there are several good writers on this board. But no more of that “sir” stuff, okay? :)

  64. @80
    But both of the Boston teams you refer to are excellent. Isn’t the goal to put the best team on the field as possible?

  65. K.C. Jones, Sam Jones, Bill Russell, Robert Parish, Tiny Archibald, Cornbread Maxwell, etc., etc., ad infinitum. Damn racist Celtics.

    Meanwhile, non- Hispanic African-Americans on the Braves 25-man roster include … ?

  66. African-Americans now make up only 8% of major league ballplayers, or two per team. With such low participation overall, it’s inevitable that a few teams will have no African-Americans at a particular point in time. So how can you draw any conclusions about intent?

  67. Pitching’s more likely to fail, too. If everyone he has signed is healthy this year, he looks pretty good, but there’s a fair chance that that won’t happen.

  68. #85–Sure, the percentage of African-Americans playing in the majors has dropped steadily–but with a brief exception of the mid-60s when George Smith, John Wyatt, Reggie Smith, George Scott and Joe Foy played for the Red Sox–the franchise had comparatively few African-Americans.

    Basically, the Red Sox were very late to integrate: I could be mistaken about this–but Pumpsie Green was the first African-American to play for Boston–an event which occurred in 1959–by which point every other team had broken the ‘color barrier’.

    #84–See #85

  69. KC–I think it will be interesting to see the grades that Little Frank Wren gets–but, yeah, we need to see the season start first. At the very least, it has been an offseason to remember….

  70. Everyone knows about the red sox’ hesitance with the black players, but the Yankees of the 50’s weren’t exactly a bastion of forward thinking integration either. with the notable exception of Elston Howard of the late 50’s and early 60’s.(how did he sneak in there?)………i dont recall any other black players until much later. since i’m too lazy to look it up, enlighten me if you can.

  71. its a B. no one thought we’d compete this year. He’s added 4 starters to the rotation. Only traded one prospect who was blocked. Kept Yunel and KJ. Didnt give into the demands from other owners via trade. His only downfall was leaking the Furcal mess. I dont blame him for the Peavy (didnt want to come) or Griffey thing

  72. B+ is as low as I can go. This was a bad team that now had a reasonable shot at the post-season.

    Wren made some good deals to rebuild the rotation. He handled himself poorly in the media a few times, and I think Glavine’s money could have been better spent, though it’s not an awful move. I’d like a better outfield, but an excellent infield and pitching offset that.

  73. #95–We have yet to compete ‘this year’ and if we don’t improve the outfield I doubt that we will.

    To be fair, trying to assess an offseason is a bit like attempting to rate a draft–it may take some time (more than a year in some circumstances) to really make a reasonable evaluation….

  74. I think JC has got it right – yes there is work to do, but we have no outrageous financial commitments, a good rotation, good MI, good bullpen. This team is a couple of players (yes, hard to get, expensive, good players but still) away from from being very good. Wren has done nothing to damage that, and has put the team in a position to improve dramatically should a deal for a quality OF (or two) come along at some point. We have trading chips and a bit of money, and are not bad as currently constituted (not great either, but hey, it’s a Frenchy thing).

  75. B+ at least from me. I think Wren deserves credit for adding competitive pieces without giving up much at all. We have a chance this year, and 2010 onward still looks very good. At the beginning of the offseason it seemed like this team had to either play for 2009 or go into rebuilding mode. I think he’s split the difference nicely.

  76. The Yankees’ first black player was Elston Howard in 1955, which is still four years before Green. The Yankees of the fifties had so much talent that they could get away with being racist (selling away their other first black acquisition, Vic Power, for being “mouthy”) but it came back to bite them in the sixties, and really until Steinbrenner bought the team. Say what you will about Steinbrenner, he never had any problems with black players that he didn’t have with white players too.

    If the Red Sox had been anywhere close to as aggressive in pursuing black players as the Indians and White Sox, they would have been the team of the fifties, not the Yankees.

  77. The Derek Lowe signing could come back to haunt us, but Wren had to sign him after the Smoltz PR disaster.

  78. @92

    I know they were late to the party, but since ’03 they’ve had at some point Damian Jackson, Ellis Burks, Dave Roberts, Pokey Reece, Jay Payton, Coco Crisp, and Willie Harris.

    (Braves since ’03 — Sheffield, King, Thomas, Wise, Hollins, Jordan, Ward, Harris)

    That’s not a lot, but it’s not nothing either. I’m just hesitant to level the charge of present-day racism in the larger reality of there being so few available black players.

  79. DOB just posted players on the 40-man-roster, who are out of options:

    J Anderson, OF
    B Boyer, RH
    M Gonzalez LH
    D Lowe RH
    A LeRew RH
    G Norton util
    D Ross C
    R Soriano RH
    P Stockman RH

  80. I really don’t get the hispanic versus non-hispanic descent separation here. Are you somewhat less racist by having one or the other? If you fielded a squad of hispanic descended black players, would that be considered the same as fielding an all white team? It’s a distinction without a difference in my book.

  81. Spike,

    I hope you don’t think this team is a “couple players away” from being very good. We need much more than a couple good players. We need an ENTIRE outfield.

  82. sansho1–I am normally hesitant to level the charge of racism, but in any case I am not talking about the present. I am refering to the Red Sox in the generation since Jackie Robinson changed baseball.

    I think that you can add Brandon Jones to Atlanta.

    #102–Absolutely right!

  83. @80: Jacoby Ellsbury is the first Native American of Navajo descent to play in the majors, he’s not white. Mike Lowell was born in Puerto Rico, of Cuban descent. There’s also Javier Lopez from Puerto Rico, Delcarmen who is of Dominican descent, and Ramirez who is from the DR. All of them will likely be in the ‘pen for most of the season.

    As for the Celtics, Bird was the 6th overall pick in 1978, even when the C’s knew they wouldn’t get him for a season. Two picks later they selected Portland State University’s all-time scoring leader, Freeman Williams, and traded him in a deal to get Tiny Archibald.

    In 1980, they traded back in a deal to get Robert Parish, and drafted McHale with the 3rd overall pick. The only black all-star taken after McHale was Andrew Toney (8th overall.) If they were really going to go the racist route they probably would’ve picked the regrettably named James Earl Ray (5th overall.)

    I can’t stand bandwagoners, and Boston, and America in general, has some deep-seated racial issues, but I just don’t think you can paint the modern incarnations of organizations with that wide a brush. They know how to run a business, and .

  84. So Chief, you’re saying three and I am saying two. Doesn’t sound like we’re very far apart at that. And further, most teams don’t have 3 good outfielders. I believe if we got league average or better production from the corners (platoon partner for Diaz, space aliens abduct Frenchy and we trade good but not great prospects for Ludwick) this team would be as good as any in the division. It’s very doable.

  85. The Celtics are an interesting case. There is very little argument that Bird was one of the greatest players of all-time, that the lineup that included him, McHale, and Ainge with Walton as the sixth man was one of the greatest of all time, if not the greatest. So they were obviously doing some things right. The argument that I have heard and that has some cogency is that the Celtics tended to just take any white guy they could get to fill out the end of their bench, which caused depth problems (especially when Walton fell apart again and all that was left was Greg Kite). To be honest, I don’t know that there’s too much to this.

  86. Mac, and others,

    The “racism on the back of the bench in the NBA” argument looked frequently accurate 10 to 30 years ago. Tthe lst guy or 2 or 3 on the bench that were usually white were usually not as good as the best black players in Europe and the CBA. I don’t think that was a Celtics problem.

    Also, the Celtics were the first major sports team to have a black coach, Bill Russell. I don’t think Red and the lower front office were anything other than out to create the best team. Maybe a few money people at the top or off to the side looked at it that way, but not Red.

  87. The MLB Network is showing Gaylord Perry’s 300th win. I just saw Joe Simpson hit into a double play. He didn’t even try and hit the ball the other way.

  88. something that will NEVER happen again dept……..in either ’80 or’81. the Celtics had an all white team on the floor in the NBA finals………..Bird, McHale,Roby, Ainge and Chris Ford.

  89. It would have had to have been 1982, because that was Ainge’s rookie year. And it would have had to have been the conference finals, because they lost those to the Sixers.

  90. ububba @74. I can’t stop watching it, until Harold Reynolds comes on. I forgot what a dope he is.

  91. Mac is absolutely right. Gorkys Hernandez is a duplicate player. By far his biggest use to us (potentially his only use to us), is as a trade chip. Why would you not trade him for a piece that we absolutely need if you can get it for FREAKING FREE? I really don’t understand. Do you want us to have the worst outfield in baseball? Are you waiting for a super mega awesome deal to come along that is “worthy” of Hernandez? I’m sorry, but it’s just silly. We haven’t a more overall tradeable player right now than Gorkys Hernandez. Why in the hell wouldn’t we trade him for something that we need? And if you like Hernandez enough that you think we should eventually try him at CF, fine. Then that makes Schafer tradeable. But there is no possible way that any sane person should think that we should keep both.

    Also, I’ve never really gotten this whole “I hope the Derek Lowe deal doesn’t come back to bite us in the ass” thing. The Derek Lowe deal is the only thing giving this team even a faint glimmer of hope this season. Without that deal, this team would have absolutely no chance this season, and everyone would know it. Can we worry about the financial implications of the fourth year later, please? There’s no way it’s coming back to bite us this year. And even if we do have to wind up eating his fourth year, there’s also no way that it wasn’t the right thing to do.

  92. I still find it odd that Derek Lowe is an Atlanta Brave. I’ve always liked him and it just gives me chills of how good he can be at times. I just hope this isn’t the year he decides to act his age and break down.

  93. so if we dont start Glavine until April 19th or whatever can he start the season on the DL? That should keep him from getting that $1 mil incentive for being on the opening roster, correct?

  94. I think Schafer is the one we sould move. Let him play some in the spring, but not too much. Have Bowman do about 30 stories on him with quotes like these:

    “Jordy is going to be a special player,” said Bobby Cox. “We are going to have to find a way to get him some AB’s.”

    “You should see the kid swing in BP.” said Terry Pendleton. “He looks like a young Eric Davis.”

    Then someone will over pay for him. I saw him a few times this past year and he really didn’t stand out to me. I think he is a little over hyped. Best time to move him is now.

  95. Let’s get nuts..

    Okay, so here’s the poor schlub who was released by the Mariners when Griffey decided to go back to Seattle, OF-Michael Wilson:

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/statistics/players/cards/?pl_id=84522

    Let’s see. He’s A) an outfielder, B) right-handed, and C) hit .276 avg/.388 obp/.549 slg/.937 ops with 26 2Bs and 27 HRs in 119 games (406 at-bats) for Double-A Southern League West Tennessee.

    He’s had some development delayed by injury, missing nearly all of 2007, but John Sickels rates him a C+ prospect this year, writing:

    Wilson fell off the radar after an injury-plagued 2007 season that saw his strike zone judgment collapse in Double-A. He rebounded nicely in ’08 showing excellent power, the willingness to take a walk and a much improved strikeout rate. Wilson is never going to hit for average, but if he can keep knocking homers and drawing walks, he’ll be productive. He is particularly devastating against southpaws, hitting .331/.442/.614 last year against left-handed pitching. He’s also made strides defensively, using his speed better in the outfield and making more accurate throws. Given his age and erratic track record, I don’t want to create excessive expectations here, but Wilson does have tools, and his skills took a step forward last year. I rather like him, though until he faces Triple-A pitching we can’t be sure if he will maintain his progress. Grade C+

    Umm, let’s snatch this guy up if for no other reason than the irony if he turned out to give us something for nearly free. Thanks, Griff.

  96. 118–Hernandez is a player with a pretty high ceiling and no one knows whether he or Schafer will prove to be the better player. We don’t even know whether either will have a major league career.

    Again, we dont’ know how well that Lowe will perform or for how long. We do know that we have committed a significant amount of money to him for four years.

    All of that said, there are times when it makes sense to trade prospects for ‘rental’ players. There are also circumstances which favor a different approach: namely, retain prospects for rebuilding for the long term. In recent years it made sense for the Braves to rent players for short term gains. Sometimes these traes pay off and then again they often don’t (witness the Angels trade for Tex). However, since we have losing records in 2 out of the last 3 seasons, it makes more sense in my view to build for the long term–while hoping to be competitive in 2009.

    At the same time, if the Braves must trade prospects, then it makes more sense to trade pitchers because the strength of our system is pitching. We can afford to trade Locke or Rodgers or Evarts or Diamond because we have another wave of young arms right behind them. Unfortunately, the same does not hold for position players.

    The Braves’ future has gotten brighter but it remains to be seen which prospects are the ones to lead Atlanta….

  97. Cary–Why not? The Mariners have demonstated time and again that they are terrible judges of talent. I am hoping that O’ Flaherty will be the latest example, but Wilson might fit well at AAA for us….

  98. ‘If they were really going to go the racist route they probably would’ve picked the regrettably named James Earl Ray (5th overall.)’

    That’s just deep right there.

    I watched Hank Aaron’s SportsCentury on ESPN Classic today. I think they should make every young person watch that episode in school and I think the world would be a better place for it.

    Anyway, I agree with Cary, you wanna get nuts ? Let’s get nuts and have the Braves sign Michael Wilson and at least let him play in AAA somewhere.

  99. I don’t want the Braves to trade Gorkys yet. Wait ’til next winter when his value should become higher.

    Honestly, neither Nady nor Swisher excites me…may as well give Brandon Jones a final chance to prove himself.

  100. Michael Wilson may well be another Diaz…so why do we need another one? Of course, I don’t mind if he can be obtained cheaply.

  101. I’m sorry, did anyone actually watch Brandon Jones last year? Why does anyone think he is capable of being a major leaguer?

    Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of sitting on your hands to see which prospect pans out.

  102. I’m with KC on the Brandon Jones issue. He still deserves a chance, I personally think he’s got a lot of potential. Let’s think about the future a bit here before we consider trading out all of our prospects for players that will carry a hefty price tag.

    Like I was saying before, SPRING TRAINING HAS NOT EVEN STARTED. We don’t know what anyone will look like. Everything is a prediction at this point. None of us can see the future.

  103. @130 – It’s not the money that Swisher is owed this year that scares me – it’s the remainder of that contract.

  104. deal soriano and prado to the yanks for swisher. it opens up 2 spots: one for swisher and one for either stockman, bennett, or carlyle. i’m still pushing for jo-jo to be the loogy this year, but i like boone logan’s name better for the role. introducing your 2009 LOOGY:

    “BONE LOOGAN”

  105. Uh-oh. Sounds like Chipper Jones has been taking batting tips from Joe Simpson.

    Talking about Andruw Jones: “He looks great. I hit with him this winter. He’s lost some weight. If he can stop trying to hook the ball around the left-field foul pole, he’s going to be all right. He has such great power to right-center. If he can try to go that way instead of pulling too much, he’ll be back.”

  106. new stab at opening day roster.. considering griffey will not be in a braves uniform and moylan or soriano will probably start on the dl, i will take a new opening day roster approach:

    Mccann
    Kotchman
    KJ
    Escobar
    Chipper
    Diaz/Schafer
    Anderson
    Francoeur

    Lowe
    Vazquez
    Kawakami
    Jurrjens
    Glavine

    Norton
    Ross
    Infante
    Prado
    Diaz/Schafer

    Gonzalez
    Soriano/Moylan
    Campillo (long relief)
    Boyer
    Acosta
    Jo-Jo (still pushing for him to be our LOOGY)
    Stockman (he’ll put up incredible numbers this spring and break camp with the team)

    this puts carlyle, bennett, b. jones, brooks conrad, o’flaherty, and logan all without spots on the opening day roster, which is the reason why we should make a trade for a legit outfielder.

    trading for swisher, although frank says we are going to go “in-house” for the outfield positions, has to be a priority. he can play all 3 outfield positions and first base, giving everyone on the team adequate rest. getting rid of soriano and his 6 mil contract should also be explored. swisher and soriano are both undervalued for poor ’08 campaigns and prado’s stock is probably as high as it will ever be. no money lost…why not?

  107. There are deals where we trade Hernandez that would be good for us and there are deals where we trade Hernandez that are bad for us. Talking about trading a specific player without the context of a deal is pointless.

    In general, I don’t think the Braves should be looking to move top-teir prospects (like Hernandez) for vets like we were looking to do when we got Tex. Especially not right now. If we find we’re in a very good position come deadline time, it might not be a bad idea to move Hernandez depending on a host of different factors (like the player being acquired’s ability and contract status, how Schafer is looking, etc.). But at this point, I’d just like to sign Edmonds for a couple million and see what the OF is looking like come May.

  108. ryan-

    I really don’t think Schafer will be brought up to play in a platoon. With his potential, you want to make sure you give him a chance to learn how to hit lefties, even if it delays him 3 months or a year.

  109. What’s with this board’s hatred of hitting to all fields? Joe Simpson does not have the copyright on hitting to the opposite field. Yes, there are guys who are successful pulling the ball 80% of the time, but most players need to use the entire field to be successful. Andruw is one of those people, and we should respect the massive amount of hitting coaches who don’t employ the “pull the ball at all costs” mentality, and check our disrespect for Joe Simpson at the door.

  110. @138
    I completely disagree. I think schafer, unless the braves make a trade, has a leg up on any of the other left-handed hitting options, especially if anderson ends up in center. if he has a good camp, schafer will be in the mix.

  111. http://tinyurl.com/8t5gkq
    j.c. on andruw when he was hot. it’s not hatred to hitting to all fields. it’s just hatred for andruw trying to hit to all fields. he has, many years, been a successful pull ball hitter. he has not been successful listening to joe simpson or terry pendleton telling him to hit opposite way, which is why i think he has struggled the past few years.

  112. I wouldn’t be surprised if we picked up Anderson….Schafer should spend at least a couple of months at AAA–he needs to learn to hit lefthanders….

  113. Garrett Anderson is 20 pounds of suck in a 10 pound casing. I don’t even think the ATL FO is so sabremetrically disinclined not to notice it. .774/.704 OPS RH/LH platoon split last year, 815/751 lifetime – whoopee. A move of stunning stupidity if it happens

  114. Anderson is definitely a worse option than Griffey. That said, I guess I don’t have a huge problem paying him like $1 million for one year to split time with Diaz.

    PECOTA’s weighted mean projection:

    .274 /.319 /.440

    Which really isn’t very good (although better than Diaz’s), but doesn’t take account for platoon variation, so maybe knock the first two up by 10-15 points and the SLG by 20-30. Of notes is that Anderson has less of a platoon split than most LH batters, making him a less-ideal guy to platoon.

    I still say Jim Edmonds is the right answer to this question, even if he costs more.

  115. nevermind….

    Now I’m hearing from someone I consider reliable that the Braves might already have a deal in place for Garret Anderson. I’m trying to confirm. Just want to be clear — MIGHT HAVE A DEAL DONE — not saying they definitely do. That’s what I’m hearing, however, that it might already be in place.

  116. Good call on Scott. He’s not likely to get a lot of playing time in that Baltimore OF, and they do need additional arms. Any else wanna do JoJo or Morton for Scott?

  117. Scott is slated to be their starting DH. Who would BAL slot in his place if he were traded?

  118. #149 – my apologies, that was DOB’s quote from his blog. Sorry it didnt show his name for some reason

  119. MAC, time for a new write up, Garrett Anderson

    David O’Brien

    February 22nd, 2009
    3:51 pm
    It’s a done deal, Anderson’s going to be here as early as tomorrow. He’s en route today, I’m told. Whether that means he’ll be introduced tomorrow, not certain. But likely.

    Important thing is: He’s signed. And this isn’t a friend telling us.

    or maybe you can change it in the glossary to Furcal/Griffey/Anderson rule

  120. Mac,

    Don’t write it up until after the press conference or after the picture (non “photo shopped” version).

  121. A poster on DOB’s blog may have hit it. I don’t know that I agree with it.

    Apparently Edmonds is too much of a show boat for Bobby Cox and Anderson is just a regular solid citizen.

    However, in the field and at the bat, Edmonds would have helped more.

    Does anybody know if Garret Anderson can handle right field? I don’t believe so. That may be the other reason they are getting him. To make SURE they don’t have another option to Francoeur.

  122. I think he is a solid pick up in the role we are going to be using him. He hit well in the two hole and was solid in the second half last year.

    Plus it gives Schafer a chance to get better and he is better than Brandon Jones.

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