This year has to be better than last

It’s my birthday, again. I can neither confirm or deny that when I blew out the candles on the pie (yes, pie, banana cream) my wish was, “Trade Francoeur”.

Open thread.

161 thoughts on “This year has to be better than last”

  1. I posted this on the last thread just after Mac put up new thread.

    ububba, haven’t thought of Ray Oyler since I had a baseball card of him back in 1969. I just went and looked at his stats. The man must have had a great glove to get that many at bats with the way he hit (or didn’t hit) the ball!
    Click

  2. Anybody see this tidbit on why Julian Tavarez signed with the Nationals? His teammates must eat that stuff up.

    “Why did I sign with the Nationals?” Tavarez said told a group of reporters. “When you go to a club at 4 in the morning, and you’re just waiting, waiting, a 600-pounder looks like J. Lo. And to me this is Jennifer Lopez right here. It’s 4 in the morning. Too much to drink. So, Nationals: Jennifer Lopez to me.”

  3. Evidently, according to Sam, I’m a “whining child.” Thanks man. I too regard disagreement as healthy and vital to a strong republic.

    In other news, your case is at best wishful thinking, name-calling aside.

  4. Happy birthday, Mac. Here’s to a year of much better health & much better baseball.

    joelk,
    Never really saw Oyler play. But I have that ’68 Tigers team in APBA & I remember that he had a 9 fielding rating (out of 10) & he hit a robust .135.

    With him & 3B Don Wert, the ’68 Tigers might’ve had the weakest hitting left side of the infield for any WS winner in history.

    A bit of a weird team, actually. McLain won 31 games, of course, and No. 2 starter Earl Wilson hit 7 HRs. It was a pitchers’ year, even at the plate.

    Also, Happy St. Paddy’s Day. I tip a pint of stout to all. Well, much later on, I will, especially if/when Martin Brodeur breaks Patrick Roy’s record. (Overtaking “St. Patrick” on March 17—gotta love that.)

  5. Happy Birthday, Mac! I also hope your wish comes true.
    That Tavarez quote is great, by the way.

  6. Dammit, Mac. Everybody knows you have to keep your wish a secret or it won’t come true. Ah, well…happy birthday all the same.

    Jay, you have to love Tavarez comparing the Nats to a slumpbuster. It’s wonderful and funny and honest.

  7. In other news, your case is at best wishful thinking, name-calling aside.

    That right there is some strong, fact-based counter argumentation. Good job. Now don’t miss recess.

  8. Pie over cake is always a good choice. My wife and I had chocolate cream pie at our wedding as opposed to cake

  9. Bill James is playing around with a new system for ranking teams (it only works for teams from at least 20 years ago) and has the late fifties Braves as the third-best team of all time, after the Ruth/Gehrig Yankees and the Big Red Machine. Heady company.

  10. Don’t know if this has been mentioned but I just saw over at Deadspin that Fred Hickman is going to be hosting “Braves Live” this season. Oh boy.

    Happy Birthday Mac!

  11. “That right there is some strong, fact-based counter argumentation. Good job. Now don’t miss recess.”

    Class act, this one.

  12. Bill James is playing around with a new system for ranking teams (it only works for teams from at least 20 years ago) and has the late fifties Braves as the third-best team of all time, after the Ruth/Gehrig Yankees and the Big Red Machine. Heady company.

    A young Hank Aaron and a young Eddie Mathews will do that. Throw in some pretty good pitchers and you’re off.

  13. Class act, this one.

    It’s always so much fun when new kids meet me for the first time.

  14. @16,

    If the late fifties Braves are the third best team of all team and yet won only one World Series, it seems as if the Braves franchise has the corner on playoff disappointments.

    @8,

    1968 was the Year of the Pitcher and no one hit. But that’s why the Tigers moved Mickey Stanley, an outfielder, into SHORTSTOP for the World Series.

  15. With regard to the Braves of the late 50s and early 60s–I can remember Hank Aaron saying that they won two pennants, but should have won six. In those years, the Braves were consistently strong….

  16. #24 – difference there is that Chipper didnt get an extra $10mil for the Braves losing 90 games. My biggest complaint is that bonuses should be for good work and for profits. If you’re losing billions you cant justify bonuses under any circumstance.

  17. @28,

    Apparently, they choked the pennant away to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956, choked the WS away to the Yankees in 1958 (after leading 3-1-sound familiar?), and lost in a playoff to a much weaker LA Dodger team in 1959. There seems to be a dark cloud over this franchise.

  18. We’ll see what happens to Frenchy once pitchers are no longer just “working on locating the fastball” and move on to “working on getting big league hitters out.” I remain skeptical.

  19. #32 – exactly… at the same time though, people can stop raving about Brandon Jones performance in ST. He’s getting the same fastballs

  20. @32,

    Especially since he is still showing no power. He hasn’t shown much power for three years. Who needs a singles-hitting right fielder, unless it’s Ichiro?

  21. I hope you’re doing better, Mac.

    Hey, Jurrjens pitched 6 shutout innings today against the Mets, while Francoeur hit his obligatory single in 3 ABs.

  22. RE: WBC

    Been thinking about the WBC and the criticisms leveled on American fans for their (lack of) support. I’ve kind of changed my mind about it. I think that it’s wrong to say we (Americans) don’t support the players.

    We do. It’s just that we do it through the MLB season. I think that if all the best American players left the US and played in another country most of the time, we’d be a lot more supportive the times they did “play” representing the USA.

    However, they don’t. And to further muddle the picture, most other great players (regardless of nationality) play here too. Therefore, I think most Americans don’t really think of baseball on a national basis, whereas other nationalities are much more inclined to do so.

    In this context, I certainly can’t begrudge other countries’ excitement over the WBC and what it represents; however, I think that in America, we just have a completely different paradigm.

    I mean, I’d certainly be proud if the US won the WBC, but it wouldn’t even be a blip on the radar compared to the ecstasy I’ll have when the Braves win the WS this year. I can’t imagine any American Braves fan who would feel differently either.

  23. I enjoy the WBC, but it just distorts Spring Training too much. Or something. (Chipper getting hurt didn’t help my appreciation of the event.)

    How about this: players on the 40-man roster don’t go and we send minor leaguers instead? Venezuela, DR, etc. will object, I know.

    Just hard to fit it in. Maybe just suck it up and do what we’re doing now and get over it.

    It is having the side benefit of getting InPradofante some extra reps at 3rd and Schafer some reps in CF.

  24. I can’t imagine any American Braves fan who would feel differently.

    I can’t imagine any European Braves fan who would feel differently either. The WBC is of no interest whatsoever to ANYONE over here. As I German, I’d like to add that the WBC is all cool to me as long as the Netherlands don’t win!

  25. You’ll be happy to know that the US finished off Holland last night.

    BTW, I’ve been told that the Dutch still want their bicycles back. ;)

  26. Ha, Bicycles, good one Ububba.
    I would be interested in the WBC if it was run like the World Cup, put real teeth into it. The fact that it is so stretched out and held during spring training kill it and many of the best players do not go makes it an underwhelming experience.
    MLB should allow it to take place mid-season every few years, make the regular schedule 154 games those years and live with it. It would be great PR for all baseball and help cultivate more fans and players for the MLB.

  27. carlos beltran just robbed bmac of a round tripper. the hate for the mets grows deeper…

  28. Doesn’t MLB want us to see these games? Are they already popular enough that they can charge you to watch them? I’ll probably end up buying MLBtv this year, but I haven’t decided yet. Seems like the WBC games would be free on mlb.com. Maybe that’s just me.

  29. @49: There are just way too many problems with having the WBC in the middle of a season. If I was an owner there is no way in hell I’d let ANY of my pitchers participate, and I’d be reticent to allow any older veteran types, i.e. the Chipper Jones’ of the world, or high workload types, i.e. the Brian McCann’s of the world, to compete either. What I would rather see is baseball back in the Olympics with amateurs/minor leaguers playing… imagine that… amateurs in the Olympics… what a thought… You could even throw in some older retired players and unsigned players that want to make a case for another shot in the bigs. Sadly, the Olympics aren’t cool with that, so I think this is about all we’re going to get.

    The one good idea I have heard, and I may have heard it here but I’m not sure, is to hold the preliminary rounds in early spring, and then hold the semi-finals and finals over All-Star weekend. I still think you’d have a hard time finding a decent starting pitcher, but maybe you could have expanded rosters and a 2-inning limit on pitchers or something… which of course would ruin the game entirely…

  30. @16: I have a lot of respect for Bill James, but I can’t fathom even the slightest understanding of why someone would undertake such an endeavour… unless it is simply some sort of academic exercise existing more for the process than the results. You simply can’t statistically compare teams from such disparate eras. Baseball in the ’20s was so vastly different from baseball in the ’50s, just as baseball in the ’50s was vastly different than baseball in the ’70s. Those kinds of comparisons make great bar room conversations, but really poor fodder for statistics.

    As for wishes: Is there really nothing you guys would rather fix than trading our rightfielder? How about maybe finding a leftfielder first, or ensuring the health of our team…

  31. As for wishes: Is there really nothing you guys would rather fix than trading our rightfielder?

    Sure. Whatever it is that has kept the organization from developing a useful major league pitcher since Kevin Millwood. Let’s fix that.

  32. Happy b-day Mac. Hope your wish will come true!

    If David Wright does not play for the Mets, I will like him much more. He is definitely not a choker like ARod.

  33. just saw the finish to the USA game, no lack of emotion there. Awesome to see, great game

    even though Wright is a Met, I can pull for him today. Things change when they wear the USA jersey

  34. @55: I wasn’t calling James out for his statistics… I’m sure the statistics are done well. What I’m not as sure about is how confident we could be in conclusions drawn from statistical analysis that spans such disparate eras of the game. It just seems like an impossible task to me, but I’d be interested to see what sort of methodology he comes up with.

    @56: Haha, yeah, see there’s something… though we have developed, or at least found, a decent reliever or two… I think that might be on the way out though with some of the guys I’ve seen this spring. *knocks on wood, repeatedly*

  35. Gadfly, besides the freedom of speech, I believe we also enjoy freedom of wish too, right?

  36. Gadfly,

    Do you understand the concept of normalizing statistics? In other words, you adjust the stats to control for differences in conditions? It’s done all the time in statistical analysis in all kinds of area. I’m quite sure, without looking at what James did, that this is what he did. Obviously, you can’t directly compare teams statistically from, say the 1960s to the 1990s because of the different environments. But you can normalize the stats so that you are comparing apples to apples. That allows you to make meaningful comparisons between eras. Obviously, there is still going to be room for debate, but you really ought to know something about statistical analysis (and I’m certainly not a statistician but I work with economists and have some understanding of how its done)before you dismiss his conclusions. It’s not easy, but that’s what statistical analysis is all about.

    As for the WBC, I have become a believer although the current format leaves a lot to be desired. It’s certainly better than watching these meaningless exhibition games and it was actually fun rooting for guys I would normally root against. But that had to be weird for fans of particular MLB teams rooting for one of their players to strike out or get a hit against another of their players.

  37. Andruw’s ST line

    .308/.379/.500

    MLBTR saying that Texas has no intention on having him on their opening day roster. I doubt he’ll take a minor league assignment and someone will give him another chance if he’s released

  38. G-Money is what I have called Glavine since about the early ’90s. It used to be because he was “money” when he took the mound. The nickname took on a different meaning when he went to the Mets for a few extra shekels. Now, I am not sure it fits.

  39. I dunno, guys.

    The sheer joy exhibited by USA’s Major League players last night is no small thing. That scene of someone (Yuke?) high-stepping with David Wright’s helmet is absolutely priceless and, as a lifelong baseball lover, is something I’ll always remember.

    For all it’s warts, if the WBC can give me moments like these, I’ll be back. With my wallet.

  40. I love it, I hate ST games, esp when I cant watch any of them. To see rival players enjoying the games that much, is exciting. These guys want to win, its not an exhibition or about money and when they are playing for their country its awesome to watch. I do agree w/ Chip that there is too much down time between games and it’d be a little better if it was played after the WS every year

  41. csg,

    I agree on the USA thing… even for Wright (who I’ll admit I like as a player). He is, for the Muts, what Francouer was supposed to be for us… a face of the franchise “bring in the girls” ballplayer who could do his job very very well.

    I saw on MLBTR that the Rangers weren’t likely to put him on the roster and I’m curious what other teams might do. We were clearing out a closet this weekend and my son came across an Andruw sticker card from Upper Deck from 1997… made me nostalgic. I hate to see somebody who was as good as he was, go downhill so fast. I hope he’s invested wisely and can live off the money he’s made already if he can’t come back.

  42. The WBC has too many problems. It really needs to be retooled, bad. On the surface, it is a good idea though

  43. Not sure how YOUR day is going so far, but…

    1) my wife flew to Rochester NY last night to be with her dad while he had his esophageal C surgery today
    2) A friend came over to watch our kids today while I went to work.
    3) The 14+ year old dog has had seizures of some degree while I’ve been at work and is now at the vet’s office.

    So along with all the usual joy of work? I get to try and keep kids happy while their mom is gone for 5 days (longer than she’s ever left them), AND likely get to make the “do we put the wife’s dog down” decision while she’s out of town. There is just NO way this is going to go well.

  44. Whatever it is that has kept the organization from developing a useful major league pitcher since Kevin Millwood. Let’s fix that.

    TINSTAAPP. The late 80s, early 90s was the exception, not the rule.

  45. On pitcher development (this may be about the 4th time I have expounded on this in various versions, so the long time regulars are certainly excused in skipping over it).

    The Braves had Johnny Said as either their major league pitching coach (early 80’s , Joe Torre years) or minor league pitching coordinator (say 84 until 94) for a long time. He was, more than any other person (as accredited duly by the student) the teacher and mentor of Leo Mazzone.

    Rob Neyer made the case about 4 years ago that of all major league pitching coaches, (by taking Cy Yong winners, 20 games winners, aggregate era standing, etc.) that Johnny Sain is the best major league ptiching coach of all time. And, it wasn’t close.

    Sain’s basic modus operandi was to take mediocre pitchers and make them pretty good, and to take below average pitchers and make them average. This was primarily done by emphasizing the lower outside corner, reducing walks, and getting them to focus on a plan and stick with that plan.

    The negative of this was that because the Braves could produce above average pitchers out of dreck, they didn’t tend to go all out to get better talent. Also, I fear that Sain’s philosophy wouldn’t translate as well to high talent, great stuff pitchers.

    Only AFTER the failures to win World Series in the late 90’s did the Braves realize that they would not break through in the post season without more “power pitchers”. By then, the decline had already started.

    Capellan, Teheran, Stockman, Hanson, Morton, Locke, and Rohrbaugh are all products of (when acquired) the change in philosophy.

  46. #70 – Charles, rough day there bud…

    My prayers will be with your wife’s dad. I hope the surgery goes well. Hope your dog is okay also

  47. I had a crazy idea for how you could schedule the WBC in November: a single-elimination Sweet 16.

    Of course, if you could move up the MLB season a few days, and move back the Asia series a few days, you’d be able to fit two weeks of serious double-elimination WBC in mid- to late-October, early-November, with no problems. It’d be much better than what we got right now.

  48. Except that you’d run into the Pro Bowl Effect. Who wants to play right after the end of the season? Certainly not the best players on the best teams.

  49. I think the biggest reason players would be against a post-post-season WBC would be the guys who DIDN’T play in the post-season. They’ve all been home for 6 weeks. That’s too long a gap to stay fresh, and too-short to get healthy. Then you play two-weeks, then you’re off 8-10 weeks, and then Spring Training again.

    Of course a lot of Latin players suck it up and play a few weeks of Winter Ball, Caribbean Series and whatnot.. But it’d be a tough sell to American players.

    EDIT: That sounds like I’m against it, but I certainly think it’s better than doing it during Spring Training. I just think a lot of US players look at it like “Well, I’d be playing ball anyway in Spring Training, so, it doesn’t take any of my personal time from me.”

  50. Braves-Mets is on MLB Network starting now, in case anyone didn’t know… At least it is in my market; I don’t think they broadcast different games in different markets on MLB Network, though.

  51. Well, that was an enjoyable inning from the Mets announcers.

    The points of “conversation” included:

    1. Kelly’s bad defense at 2nd (but he’s an okay bat)
    2. Chipper’s injuries
    3. AND…how Livan Hernandez’s 79 MPH fastball actually legit because he can “locate” it.

    Great start for the game.

    EDIT: Kelly’s not helping himself in the bottom of the 1st

  52. The only homers worse than the Mets announcers, are the Red Sox.

    Even Hawk Harrelson calls it what it is, SOMETIMES.

  53. Look at that! Kelly Johnson still can’t field the ball up the middle… calling Glenn Hubbard…

  54. The WBC should last two weeks and the teams should be seeded in a bracket by order of finish in the last WBC. Have 16 teams (two sides of 8). USA, Mexico, PR, Cuba, Canada, Venezuela, DR, and Panama are the Americas Bracket. Korea, Japan, China, Chineese Taipei, Austrailia, South Africa, Italy and the Netherlands are the World Bracket.

    Double elimination you play four games in five days with a 28 man roster (mostly for pitchers, with three alternates) in your bracket. You take three days off and you play a best of five championship roud Americas vs. World the second week.

    Roster moves can be made only if a player is hurt and only after the second round and before the championship round and the player must be on the alternate list.

    Everyone gets from four to nine games. Players aren’t gone from their MLB teams that long.

    The world teams can play there side of the bracket any where in the globe. Americas teams stay here. Championship game takes place in wither LA, SD or Arizona.

    That is how I wold fix it

  55. @61: I wasn’t saying anyone couldn’t wish for what they want. Only that I’d have at least 3 or 4 baseball related wishes before I got to “trade Francoeur”…

    @62: I’m not dismissing his conclusions, which I haven’t seen. I do understand normalizing statistics, but I just don’t think anyone could possibly normalize for all the many disparate differences between the 20s and the 50s, or the 50s and the 70s etc. Do we alter stats from the 70s because of expansion, air travel, better strength and conditioning, better equipment, minor league and advanced little league development systems, the inclusion of black and more international players, lighted stadiums, astro-turf, and amphetamine use… and by how much? That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too, there are hundreds of other differences.

    His conclusions should be interesting, and I imagine he’ll be able to identify the upper echelon with a good deal of confidence. I could probably do the same thing by polling the local sports bar though. When it comes to making fine-toothed distinctions between the upper echelon teams, I’m much less confident.

    More importantly, Tommy Hanson’s breaking ball is FILTHY.

  56. Just tuned in to MLB,tv. Don’t know who the mets announcers are but is one of them drunk or does he have a natural slur?

  57. That would explain the slur, sorry Ralph, you were one of the great ones!

    Also, Mac did you have a ncaa bracket up somewhere? I can’t seem to find the link now.

  58. There was a time when Kiner was a pretty entertaining TV color guy for the Mets.

    I remember seeing a Mets game on WOR from ’81 or so. Dave Kingman was playing RF & a blooper was hit in front of him. He approached the ball like it was radioactive, then proceded to drop it and kick it until the hitter went to third base.

    Kiner: “Let’s face it: Kingman needs a map and a flashlight out there.”

  59. Smitty, I like that plan.

    #77, you’re right that the layoff between the end of the regular season and the start of my proposed WBC is a problem, but it’s a fact that the vast majority of USA players are going to be from playoff teams. Whenever their teams get eliminated, whether it’s the end of regular season, the DS, the LCS, or the WS, they can go down to Florida and work out together and hit BP for a couple weeks.

    The thing about the Pro Bowl effect is you’re already seeing it here. Plenty of star players begged off of playing in March. The difference is the guilt factor. In March, teams were all but asking their best players not to play. In November, the guys who seriously don’t want to be there don’t have to be — but they’ll just be exposed as jerks. Their teams won’t be holding them back.

    Thanks for the link, CharlesP.

  60. That’s priceless ububba! For those of us that saw Kingman play, that happened far to often!

  61. I can see why the Mets graphics guys would think Heyward is 29. I can’t wait ’til next year. (Not that I’m giving up on this one.)

  62. joelk,
    Kingman wasn’t much better at 1B either.

    In the ’82 season, there was a game at Shea where the Braves were down a run with a runner on third and two outs in the 9th. A ball is hit to Hubie Brooks at 3B, who throws a long hopper to Kingman at first.

    Kingman turns his head toward right-field and blindly swipes at the ball. Doesn’t come close. E-5 with no help from the 1B, tying run scores, Braves win in extra innings.

    If you’ll remember, Atlanta won the division by one game that year. I’ll always thank Hubie & Kong for that.

  63. Doesn’t it seem that Hanson seems a bit like Glavine this spring? Now before harping on me for making that comment, let me explain… He appears to struggle a bit in the first inning or so until he hits his rythm and just kills everyone from that point forward. I think it’s been like that in almost every start. Anything he can do to correct that?

  64. Anthony Lerew’s a Royal… the only thing that doesn’t surprise me is that Jairo Cuevas wasn’t involved in the transaction.

  65. @99,

    ububba,

    IIRC, that game was just after the Braves had gone through their horrendous 19 of 20 losing streak and fallen out of first. That game helped get them restarted.

    @100,

    If Hanson has a Glavine-like career, I’ll take his first inning struggles.

  66. Cubs are retiring #31 and splitting it between Maddux and Fergie Jenkins.

    Does anyone else find this weird as hell?

    Cubs can retire his number all they want, but he’s going to the Hall as a Brave

  67. Marc,
    You’re right.

    I looked it up & I mis-remembered it slightly. The game was at AFC & the Braves won the game in that same inning on a bases-loaded walk to Murphy. But the Hubie/Kong Show made it happen.

    Nothing like the ’82 Mets to get a new winning streak started.

  68. well Josh might have had the CF job at one point, now I think he’s probably lost it. Schafer has another 3 for 5 day and added another SB, he’s at .419avg. He’s beating out Anderson in every category right now. He needed a great spring and he’s having one

  69. Nats just signed Beimel for $2 mil and cut Shawn Hill, Im guessing Ohman will want as much

  70. Lerew a Royal–big surprise there eh? That one was easier to call than a Francoeur swing at a ball a foot off the plate.

  71. @104,

    ububba,

    I find it disturbing that I can remember details of games almost 30 years ago but can’t remember names of colleagues in the office. :)

    That was the streak in which Jerry Royster made one of the worst errors I have ever seen (along with KJ’s dropped pop up) to blow a game at LA. The amazing thing was the Braves were able to actually recover and win the division. To me, that season showed what a good manager Joe Torre was.

  72. Speaking of weird games and comebacks, does anyone remember a game against the Dodgers where the Braves made this comeback in one inning on dinkers and dribblers through holes that about made Lasorda have a coronary? I just remember the camera’s having a ball with the reactions by Tommy in the dugout. I don’t even remeber what year it was but Murphy was still a Brave.

  73. So, what do you think the Braves will do? Keep JAnderson in CF, give Blanco a shot, or use Schafer?

    I know it’s wrong of me, but I kinda want to see Schafer out there.

  74. Yeah to be honest, I was firmly in the Josh Anderson camp. But Schafer is playing great, has all the upside, and to these eyes, he looks ready.

    One way or the other, we’re going to have a left-handed hitting centerfielder who can’t hit lefties. Might just as well be Schafer.

    Be nice to find a trade partner for Anderson rather than waiving him, though.

  75. You can bet that a lot of Braves coaches and scouts are evaluating whether Schafer can make to start the season in Atl. I have no idea if he’s ready or not – he definitely needs to cut down on the Ks.

    My sense is that Janderson won’t make it. No walks in over 40 at bats is not a good sign. We’ll either start out with Blanco or Schafer. I still wouldn’t be surprised if we traded Francoeur for someone with more power. If we did this, we could absorb either Schafer’s learning curve or Blanco’s lack of power a little easier.

  76. Marc,
    I’m right there with you. I can tell you what Frank Tepedino did in 1973, but useful stuff? Not always.

    And that Royster error was a real gutpunch at the time—routine, game-ending grounder, right through his legs.

    joelk,
    From that era, I seem to recall plenty of shared anguish. For every Bob Watson walk-off HR, there was a big moment from the likes of Jack Fimple and RJ Reynolds.

    If memory serves, I went to a Dodger game in 1983 or ’84 where Chris Chambliss hit a grand slam in the first inning & we lost 10-4.

  77. 100 – Joshua, I believe that most of Hanson’s control problems have been in the first inning. I think that was consistent throughout his 2008.

    I think he walked 3 batters in the 1st of the AFL Futures game before striking out 7 and no-hitting the other team through his 3 innings of work. 3 walks in the first. No one even reached base after that.

  78. I should say further that I don’t think Hanson has a control problem so much as he has a problem settling down.

    I also support Schafer in AAA for two months.

  79. @116

    I can respect that. I can see a scenario where Blanderson gets us into the month of June. But if the club is close, and the CF position is barely serviceable, I’d like to see Schafer up.

    All I’m saying is, I would no longer be shocked if Schafer broke with the club. And if pressed for an opinion, today I’d take Schafer. Several weeks for things to change, though.

  80. Schanderson should start the year in AAA. With Xanderson managing, that is bound to happen.

  81. all —andersons are confusing me

    we’ve got

    Xanderson
    Schanderson
    Blanderson
    Ganderson
    Janderson
    Shanderson
    Tanderson

    am I missing any?

  82. Josh Anderson (whatever you call him) has no more options left. He won’t start in AAA unless he clears waivers. I wish we could trade him, but I think releasing him is the more likely option. IMO, his slight power advantage over Blanco is not enough to overcome his diminished OBP. Maybe he gets a chance for a month or two, but I will be surprised if so.

  83. Well when I said “blanderson” I meant “Blanco and/or Anderson.” I felt that was fairly obvious in context.

  84. It’s all pretty silly, obv. But a certain sign that the real season can’t start soon enough.

  85. Blanderson. How appropriate.

    This Anderson thing is starting to remind me of a book I read about a thousand years ago called Breaking Balls. The owner of a baseball team called the Washington Dudes has an infield made up entirely of guys named Smith. Two of them had changed their names because the owner offered them bonuses to do it.

    I can see a Chanderson and McCannderson in our future.

  86. Just wondering–if a 5th starter isn’t needed over the first two weeks or so and if Glavine starts on the DL, it would be possible to keep both Blanco and Anderson for the first two weeks. It kicks both the CF and the 5th starter decision down the road for two weeks. I’m assuming LF is a platoon of Diaz/Jones with Anderson on the DL.

  87. I am with AAR and others: let Schafer start the season in AAA…Spring Training numbers don’t mean all that much….

  88. Frank,

    I would assume that’s not a likely scenario. Read this:http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090315&content_id=3993388&vkey=news_atl&fext=.jsp&c_id=atl

    Sorry. I don’t know how to paste a link.

    Now, my question is what people think about the possibility of a trade when Hudson returns.

    Assuming Hanson pitches well then there is no place for Huddy. If you throw in a high level prospect like Medlen and an outfielder like Ganderson with Hudson then i would assume you could get a handsome return(power bat for the outfield). Not to mention that trading Huddy would free up of good deal a money. This is why I wouldn’t say this team is rebuilding. Certainly they aren’t starting the season with all parts in place but I think they are positioned perfectly for an end of the season run if the first half goes well.

  89. If there is one thing I like about Wren, it’s that he doesn’t like to rush prospects. We have no reason to rush Hanson and Schafer. Give the chance to Janderson, he deserves a chance. Let Tommy finds out he can no longer be productive. Let us find out more on JoJo and Charlie.

    We have plenty of options before we need turn to Schafer and Hanson.

  90. 133: I think it could work…

    Position players (14)
    C: Brian McCann, David Ross
    IF: Casey Kotchman, Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar, Chipper Jones, Martin Prado
    OF: Garrett Anderson, Gregor Blanco, Jeff Francoeur, Matt Diaz, Josh Anderson
    UT: Omar Infante, Greg Norton

    Starting Pitchers (4)
    Derek Lowe, Javier Vasquez, Jair Jurrjens, Kenshin Kawakami

    Relief Pitchers (7)
    Mike Gonzalez, Rafael Soriano, Peter Moylan, Boone Logan, Blaine Boyer, Manny Acosta, Buddy Carlyle

    And if Tanderson starts on the DL then the Braves could carry another pitcher such as Bennett or O’Flaherty.

  91. KC–I miss Atlanta as well and it would be nice to go to a Gwinnett game as well. That said, I planning to visit my brother in North Carolina and stay in the area long enough to see both the Danville Braves and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans….

  92. I think we need one more player in our fantasy baseball league, right now we have an odd number, and I don’t think yahoo allows that in head to head leagues.

    League # 96336
    password ‘chipper’

  93. Also, in the good news department: the New York Mets are “closing in” on Livan Hernandez as their 5th starter.

    Just in case you forgot, Livan lifetime vs. the Braves (regular season, not counting the Eric Gregg game):

    25 G, 3-15 W-L, 151 2/3 IP, 168 H, 96 K, 68 BB, 5.52 ERA, 1.56 WHIP.

    Anything that puts this guy in the Mets rotation is a Good Thing.

  94. OK, do I understand the WBC as it stands correctly?

    Korea and Japan play today to decide who wins pool 1.

    The loser of that game plays Venezuela on Saturday, the winner plays the US on Sunday. The winners of those two games play in the Championship on Monday?

    I went into last night’s game thinking it was do or die for us (probably because I’d missed the previous game so hadn’t caught where the standings were and just assumed since the other teams with 2 losses had been eliminated that we would be to).

  95. Happy college basketball day!

    Took off work; we just tapped the keg.

    This is gonna be a day for champions…I love March Madness

  96. I’ll be pulling for all the SEC teams (even yours, Smitty) and then Gonzaga, Wake, and whoever is playing Louisville.

  97. wtf.. Tanderson, Xanderson? I’m definitely out of the loop

    .. and how come nobody has suggested Branderson for Brandon Jones.. hmmm? hmmmmmm?

  98. To gain the extra year on the arb clock, for how long do the Braves have to wait until they call up Schafer? Until June?

  99. I know I shouldn’t bother responding to Gadfly since he’s obviously either a troll or a plant for the Braves/Francoeur/Delta camp….

    …but since no one else has addressed his post @88…

    ” I do understand normalizing statistics, but I just don’t think anyone could possibly normalize for all the many disparate differences between the 20s and the 50s, or the 50s and the 70s etc. “

    Apparently, you don’t understand normalizing statistics.

    You’re right, you couldn’t “normalize for” all of those arbitrary factors you listed, which is why its useless to compare any of those raw countable stats you Frenchy apologists are so fond of (or even any raw rate stats) from different eras.

    That’s where “normalizing,” comes into play. Just like in today’s game, when comparing the value of players at different positions, you compare them to the league average – that is the normalization. By comparing a team or player to the other teams or players of that time, you are able to compare their respective value in common terms. I’m not sure why this is so hard to grasp for you. As someone else already said, this is a well-established and extremely common statistical practice.

    But I guess when your mind was made up before you started, you can convince yourself of anything you want. I just hope you’re getting paid for this crap.

  100. Anyone else kickin it at home and watchin Bball all day?

    I might not even make it into the shower. I’m kickin it w/ the puppy on the couch right now, talkin shit all across the interwebs, got cbs permanently locked on the big screen, friend comin over w/ the brews in a second. Kickin it in the daytime like this reminds me of college; unfortunately, it’s not as common as it was back then. It’s also gorgeous outside. Too bad I’m gonna be inside watchin basketball all day. Rock and roll. Who’s with me?

  101. Got the LSU game on channelsurfing at work. Gonna pop in today & tomorrow for the SEC teams.

    LSU seems to be in a mood to blow it today.

  102. Could we use some of the stimulus package to burn down the University of Florida?

  103. “Could we use some of the stimulus package to burn down the University of Florida?”

    Perfect; collect stimulus money from the successful (tax-payers) to punish the successful (national champions). I think you have captured the essence of what 2009 is all about.

  104. In life & college football, successful to some is “criminal” to others.

    FYP. ;)

    Really, quotations should be around both words to avoid breaking Mac’s rule.

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