Nate McLouth

Nate McLouth Statistics and History –

Immediately steps in as the Braves’ best outfielder; he’s their third- or fourth-best position player after McCann, Chipper, and maybe Yunel, depending upon if Yunel has annoyed me recently. I haven’t seen a whole lot of him, to be honest, though when I do he seemed to be beating the Braves. However, his stats against us aren’t really that good. I tend to think that McLouth is better than his statistics. He has a low batting average on balls in play, .282 for his career and just .258 this year. With a more normal rate — even the career .282 — his line this year (.256/.349/.470) would look a lot better. And it’s not a bad line.

McLouth was a 25th round pick in the 2000 draft out of a Michigan high school. (In the 26th round, they drafted Ian Snell. Get two players of that quality in those rounds and — well, you’re still the Pirates, because most of their other picks don’t pan out.) McLouth started at the bottom, as high schoolers taken in the 25th round do, and worked his way up showing hustle, walks, a little power, and baserunning skill. In 2004, he hit .322/.380/.462 and scored 93 runs in AA, and in 2005 split time between AAA and the majors, earning a full-time roster spot in 2006.

But not a full-time job, because the Pirates, being the Pirates, thought that he was a bench player and should be backing up players like Chris Duffy and the 37-year-old Jeromy Burnitz. The trade of Injuries to Xavier Nady and finally giving up on Duffy helped open a spot for him and he hit 13 homers in 382 AB. Finally the Pirates let him have a full-time job in 2008, giving him centerfield. All he did was lead the league in doubles with 46 while also hitting 26 homers, score 113 runs, make the All-Star Team, and win a Gold Glove, though he probably shouldn’t have the latter. This year, his numbers are down but that’s a batting average thing; his other components are all basically the same as in 2008. He hits lefty (but throws righty); his averages against lefties and righties are about the same, but his secondary offense is much stronger against righthanders.

McLouth is an excellent basestealer, as good as is found outside of Queens; for his career, he is 64 of 69 in stolen base attempts. As I mentioned, he won the Gold Glove last year, but probably should not have. Basically all the metrics say that he is a below-average centerfielder, and he probably should be in right. That may be his ultimate destination after this season. He does seem to have improved some this season, and he rarely makes errors.

Best secondary averages, Major League centerfielders, 2008:


1 Grady Sizemore .448
2 Carlos Beltran .409
3 Mike Cameron .394
4 B.J. Upton .394
5 Nate McLouth .369
6 Curtis Granderson .363
7 Josh Hamilton .343
8 Chris Young .317
9 Torii Hunter .314
10 Cody Ross .312

UPDATE: Game rained out. Typical.

312 thoughts on “Nate McLouth”

  1. After sweeping the Bucs earlier in the season, the Mets are gonna drop all 3 in the Steel City. (Rainout to be made up l8r.)

    Also nice to see that the Pirates are kicking J. J. Putz while he’s down. He’s now replaced Luis Castillo as LPM*.

    * – Least Popular Met

  2. Our offensive upgrade (which FO and everybody here acknowledges) even after adjusting for BAPIP still has an ending OBP and OPS about where Diaz is.
    Granted McLouth is better in center than Diaz, and fixing center was more important, but doesn’t this show how much Diaz needs to be playing every day?


    We have upgraded center field and one line up spot by 150 to 250 ops points (Blanco / Schafer). We can upgrade leftfield a little by making the platoon strict, and on the 70% of days a righthander starts, we can upgrade right by 150 points (600 to 750, with 50 points being OBP). Why CAN’T these morons make that move?

  3. “Why CAN’T these morons make that move?”

    Because there is something special about Jeff Francoeur that transcends statistics and numbers.

  4. Diaz has a reverse platoon split this year, but has historically thrived as a lefty masher only. I think that’s his best role. There may have been a game or two where I wished he was starting, but all in all platooning him is a perfect example of accentuating what a player can do instead of putting him in a position to fail (which we, and he, did just last season).

  5. Although I hate most of our trades, this one is fine by me.

    This team isn’t winning anything this year and this move doesn’t change that. But McLouth is signed to a reasonable deal going forward and so could reasonably be expected to be part of the next good Braves team which you could never say of Tex.

    At least one of the guys Pittsburgh got will turn out to be pretty good but it’s unlikely we revitalized their farm system like we were nice enough to do for Texas.

    He headed for rightfield eventually, how about starting it today?

  6. This is from DOB:

    I don’t dispute GM Frank Wren when he says gun readings (83-84 mph, topping out at 86 mph a couple of times) on the scoreboard radar display were inaccurate at his recent minor league starts.

    He does not specifically say Rome (though I think something I saw earlier today did), but, unless I’m mistaken, Rome doesn’t have radar gun readings on the scoreboard. That’s not to dispute that Glavine’s a soft tosser–there’s no doubt about that, nor is there significant doubt that Hanson will perform better–just to say that Wren’s statement comes off like spin.

    Anyone know if Gwinnett has gun readings on the scoreboard?

    I’m going to Sunday’s game–the kid’s day thing–so I’ll get a look at McLouth. I’m sort of hoping there might be a rainout tonight that pushes back Hanson’s debut from Saturday.

  7. As much as most of us want Francoeur to get the boot, the infusion of young guys like him and McCann and a few bullpen arms had a lot to do with the Braves’ improvement in 2005. Maybe bringing in Medlen and Hanson along with a new face in McLouth will infuse some life into this team. Over the last few games it looks like we are at least trying at the end of the game. Given what I still think is mediocrity by the Phillies and Mets, I still think we have a decent shot at the post-season.

  8. There are gun readings at Gwinnett, but they’ve been having problems with getting accurate readings all year.

    EDIT: And yes, in the two Gwinnett rehab starts, it had him topping out in the mid 80s.

  9. This is sort of disturbing depending on how much stock you put on Keith Law (who apparently is the expert on everything).

    Jim (CT): I know you are going to talk draft, but can you give us a quick opinion on the McLouth to Atlanta deal?

    Keith Law: Like it a lot for Pittsburgh – Morton could go right in their rotation, Gorkys is a ++ defender with a chance to hit (he hasn’t been good this year but he’s also 21 in AA), Locke is a high-upside LHP with three pitches who has shown good feel and command in the past. That’s a lot of talent – and difficult-to-get talent, since players up the middle and LHP are hard to acquire in trade or free agency – for a guy who is, what, an average outfielder? Fringe-average? Since 6/1/08 McLouth has hit .256/.327/.447 if you exclude his 7 IBB, and he’s not good in CF.

  10. Well Keith law is also the guy who said the other day that the only reason Frenchie was on the Braves roster related to his hometown kid status, and that no other MLB team would have him on their roster. It is fair to say that Frank Wren and Keith Law do not see eye-to-eye.

  11. Seriously, Law is a complete outlier here. Commentary — mainstream and sabermetric — has generally been evenly divided between people who think it’s a good trade for both teams and people who think that the Braves pulled a fast one on a hapless organization. Law is the only person I’ve seen who thinks that the Pirates won the exchange.

  12. It’s a case of becoming underrated by first being overrated. He is probably not a true all-star, and definitely not a gold glover. But he also doesn’t suck, and he is above average.

  13. Law has consistently downrated McLouth. That isn’t new.

    And Law likes to take extreme positions (like his stuff on Francouer).

    I don’t think McLouth is any better than Swisher, who many on here have panned and I have wanted. But he isn’t worse either.

    I do think the guys we sent out had more upside and projectability than some (more like Law’s analysis).

  14. Law is overrating Morton, Hernandez and Locke too.

    Ready Sheehan’s post over at BP too. less than flattering take on Nate but still concedes that we now have an actual mlb outfielder out there.

    edit: Sheehan says that it should be Nate, Blanco, Frenchy for the deal to be most effective.

  15. Mac,
    She didn’t like the deal from the Pirates perspective. Thought they traded McLouth too soon and for too less. Basically reads like every other column that didn’t like it for the Pirates — Gorkys is redundant with McCutchen in the fold; Morton is back end filler; and Locke is a talented arm, but a long way from the big leagues.

    Joe Sheehan wrote in his recap of the trade that McLouth should replace Anderson, not Blanco.

  16. He’s half-right; he should replace Francoeur. ACHE has been better than Francoeur since he returned from his calf issues. That’s not to say he hasn’t been bad, just that he’s better than completely horrible.

  17. Now, if we can improve right and left without spending a lot of money or a lot of players. How?



    Diaz has an OBP for 3 years against righthanded pitchers of about 340. Francoeur about 295. Diaz has no power against righties, but he is still better offensively against them than Francoeur. And, Diaz has about a 50 point better BA.

  18. I think if ACHE bats mainly against righties the rest of the way he can 290/320/450 (maybe even a little better). I don’t think Francoeur will come close to that against righties.

  19. Law is vastly overrating the prospects. It’s possible that Morton could step into the rotation right away, but a)the Pirates don’t seem to think so, and b)he never would’ve been a part of our rotation, so who really cares? Hernandez becomes irrelevant, we’ve already obviously chosen Schafer, and there seems to be serious doubt about whether he’s ever gonna be able to hit. And Locke apparently has “a lot of upside,” but is also currently the owner of an above-5 ERA in a pitcher’s park. These are the kinds of prospects you have to trade if you’re any kind of a team with any kind of aspirations.

  20. #18
    Christina K thinks the Braves did a good job putting the package together to get a much needed OF. She still thinks more is needed in the OF. She also thinks the Pirates should have waited to see if they could have gotten something better.

    In another BP article, Joe S. thinks they need to keep Blanco up and replace Anderson with Mclouth instead

  21. I’m slightly more optimistic on Morton; I think of him as a potential “change of scenery” guy who may be better off in a small market on a crappy team, where there’s barely any more pressure to win than in AAA. I think it’s very possible he’ll be able to step in and look like a middle-of-the-rotation starter at the back end of their rotation. Everyone knows he has the stuff to succeed. Sending him to Pittsburgh gives him a lot less to get mentally hung up on, too.

  22. McLouth batting third, Chipper FOURTH

    1. KJ
    2. Escobar
    3. McLouth, LF
    4. Chipper
    5. McCann
    6. Anderson
    7. Francoeur
    8. Prado, 1B
    9. Jurrjens

  23. Glad to see the different take from Law. I don’t know if Locke is all that an a bag of chips (as Law seems to think he is), but there are some in the prospecting community who like him a lot. And despite his poor showing last year in Atlanta, Morton is definitely a guy who can be a solid rotation regular. Probably more back end than front, but he’s got the stuff. (Solid FB, 3 good off-speed pitches, etc.) Hernandez I see as a wild card. There are some who love his tools, think he can be an elite base stealer and dynamic leadoff threat. Everyone raves about his defense. Critics wonder if he’ll strike out too much at the major league level and whether the lack of power will turn him in to, I don’t know, a less overrated Jacoby Ellsbury? Not a bad thing to have, but still more of a 4th OF type than a guy you target when dealing away your best player in early June.

    I think the biggest criticism one can make of the Pirates here (and it’s one made in the article Mac links above) is that they didn’t wait, say, a month before making this deal. The only risk is that the Braves fall out of the race, but even then, I’m sure you won’t have trouble moving a guy like McLouth.

    So anyhow, I like the deal a lot. I think one reason many don’t like it for the Pirates is Morton tends to get underrated due to a lack of ML success. But he’s got great minor league stats and the stuff to back them up. I think he at least will be a pleasant surprise to dismayed Bucs fans.

  24. Anybody see Bobby in tears over the Glavine release?

    I just think this explains a lot.

    Wren was falling all over himself trying to say as often as he could “where BOBBY chooses” to bat McLouth.

    Look, just like Smoltz and Glavine, Bobby has earned much respect from Braves fans, but it’s time to move on. The longer we wait, the more we hurt the team.

    One more thing: John Kincaid is becoming more rancid with each passing day.

  25. Just heard on the radio that McLouth will be betting third and Chipper fourth tonight. No word on whether that means that McCann will get the night off or that McCann will be batting fifth and this will be the regular lineup.

  26. Wow @ that lineup.

    My initial reaction was, “That’s retarded”. And then I thought for a second and instead decided, “That’s brilliant.”

    Chipper 4th breaks up the lefties and puts your best 3 hitters (heck, best 5 hitters) consecutively.

    Seriously, how much more scary is that lineup with Martin Prado batting 8th instead of Jordan Schafer?

  27. Also, this is a bit worrisome from the Wheeler interview:

    BA: First round draft picks can command a lot of money. Are you nervous at all about the contract negotiations? Do you have a plan for that?

    Wheeler: I don’t know, me and my agent haven’t talked about it very much. We’re just gonna let it flow and everything. When the time comes around I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

    You’re a high schooler, Zach… you’re not s’posta have an agent just yet…

  28. It’s good to see McLouth batting 3rd and not 1st. I wonder if Yunel will lead off when Kotchman returns to the lineup.

  29. mraver,
    Agree with you about Morton and the lineup.

    I’m hardly Bobby’s biggest (realtime) fan, but I don’t see a problem with his emotional response to the Glavine release. That’s one of his guys. He won the deciding game of our only good WS. I’m OK with Bobby being upset that it came to this.

    Glad I’m not in Kincaid’s market anymore.

    I don’t think it’s worrisome at all. Agents and advisers are basically the same thing, and it’s MLB’s fault for making a stupid distinction.

  30. Also, just read DOB’s blog, and I couldn’t agree more. I’m a Braves fan, and if it takes us losing one game to treat Glavine right, then I’m okay with it. One game, let him get pounded, pull him, and be done with it. Heck, bring in Medlen aftewards to clean things up and let him go 5 or whatever to save the bullpen. But having Tommy rehab and go through those minor league starts…. Just unnecessary.

  31. @34 – The lineup to me looks good. The thing I don’t understand is that csg shows Nate in LF??? Where does that put Anderson? No way in hell he can play center…

  32. AAR – I don’t really buy that argument about Morton. I know it’s different when you’re pitching for the team that brought you up, but we were still 72-90 last year. He wasn’t pitching in a lot of important games, at least as far as the standings were concerned. I hope he works things out, but Pittsburgh has a better shot at winning their division right now than the Braves did last June.

    hank – I know a lot of people around here will look for any reason to call for Bobby’s head, but that’s just ludicrous. How long has Bobby known Glavine, 22 years? What do you expect Bobby’s reaction to be?

  33. @38

    An auld lang syne game might make everyone else feel better, but Glavine thinks he can actually contribute, which makes a farewell game a patronizing gesture. I think it’s better not to string him along.

  34. McLouth in LF makes no sense whatsoever. Not with Anderson and Francoeur both in the lineup. I’m almost convinced that’s a typo, in fact. As far as batting him third, I think Bobby’s trying to surround Chipper with the two best other hitters on the team, and I think it’s a pretty good idea. It’ll be interesting to see where they put Kotchman when he comes back, whether they bat him second and KJ sixth or Kotchman sixth and leave the top the way it is.

  35. #38 – and if he has an average outing, that will buy him another 4-5 starts with Bobby. Also that $1.25 mil that he wouldve gotten mightve been just what we need for the Mclouth deal. I dont buy that argument. Every, 100%, of the braves scouts said his stuff wasnt good enough. The Braves shouldnt have let it go this far, but he doesnt deserve a spot on the roster just because of who he is

  36. I don’t think it would have been a bad idea to give Glavine a three start window to prove he had something left. We could have called up Hanson and stuck him in the bullpen – limiting his innings while giving him some ML experience. It wouldn’t have been that hard to stretch him out had Glavine failed.

  37. When Kotch comes back I hope we see this


    wouldnt happen though

  38. @37: “Our only good WS”!?! Did you not watch the ’91 Series? It may not have had a good outcome, but that was the best World Series of all-time, and we could’ve easily won it if a break or two had gone the other way. Between predetermined home field advantage, Kent Hrbek’s wrestling prowess, and Lonnie Smith’s baserunning blunder.

    I do agree with you, that its silly to see Bobby’s emotional reaction to Glavine’s release as a bad thing… anyone that didn’t feel a little weird yesterday is either not a real Braves fan, or too young to remember when Tommy was the dominant Hall of Famer that he was in his heyday.

    @38: So you want to give Glavine an extra million just to postpone the inevitable? I really don’t see where people have such a problem with the way we dealt with the situation. If Glavine had been healthy to start the year he would’ve had his shot, and if he really wanted another shot with the Braves he would’ve built the contract around performance incentives instead of the roster bonus nonsense. As I said above, I was sad to see him go, but it was the right move to make for the good of the team.

  39. @47 – The problem with that is we sit 5.5 games out now. And obviously Wren is trying to compete for this year too. You give Glavine 3 starts and that is probably 3 automatic losses. It would have been just like having Reyes in there.

  40. sdp – It’s ok. We’ve had him for what, 21 hours? Schafer was up for 2 months and we were still seeing Schaefer Schaffer Schaefferr and so on and so forth.

    Joshua – I don’t agree that they would have been automatic losses, but ok. We just don’t know. I trust him enough that when he says he can pitch, I believe him. That is naive of me, sure, but his legacy should have been worth giving him a shot at losing three games for us.

  41. Cliff @24

    I’ll grant you Diaz is better than Frenchy, but a .396 SLG alongside that .343 OBP shows he’s still not a GOOD option versus righties, and he doesn’t have the arm for right field anyway. So it would be a bit like freeing Toby Mandela — a nice guy, and a whiz at small engine repair, but not exactly leadership material….

  42. I don’t remember where I read it, but I’ve heard a few people criticize Gorkys as being redundant in the Pirates organization because of McCutcheon… but who’s going to play center when they trade McCutcheon in a couple years?

  43. The Pirates do need a consistent influx of AA talent to sustain their chosen business model….

  44. I don’t get why people don’t think Diaz’s arm can play in RF. His arm is probably his best asset defensively.

  45. I find it interesting that people want to release Francoeur because he isn’t performing this year but they want to give Glavine $1 million in roster bonuses and one or more major league starts he hasn’t earned based on his performance because he pitched well in the World Series 14 years ago.

  46. Ron-

    How can you compare giving a future HoFer and franchise icon one start vs. giving some kid who was on a cover of SI but has mostly sucked 2+ years of starts?

  47. That one Glavine start would’ve cost $1 million—I get that.

    The Francoeur situation continues to defy logic.

  48. The impact of Francoeur’s arm is in what doesn’t happen — how many extra bases are not even attempted. I haven’t seen anything from Diaz suggesting he can make the throw to third from medium depth RF well enough to keep anybody from trying to go first-to-third on a single. He doesn’t make many bad throws, but there’s not a whole lot of steam behind them either. Francoeur would probably save 25+ bases per year over Diaz.

  49. @58: People don’t think Diaz’s arm can play RF, because it really can’t. He can fill-in there without embarrassing himself, but he’s just not an everyday right fielder. I do expect to see him there on a slightly more frequent basis, but I think he’s best suited starting 80-100 games a year, and being available off the bench when someone brings in a lefty specialist to face our murderer’s row of LHB.

    @61: The comparison is a bit of a stretch, but not as much as your “2+ years” comment. Jeff’s problems go back to the beginning of May 2008, so that makes it a year and a month. He also put up two calendar months of middling performance to end last year and begin this one, but I’m not looking to dredge that up while we’ve got so much more interesting topics to talk about today.

  50. Jeff’s problems go back to the beginning of May 2008, so that makes it a year and a month.

    This is like saying that in 1941, Joe DiMaggio had a 26-game hitting streak. He did, but it came right after a 30-game hitting streak.

  51. he’s just not an everyday right fielder.

    Neither is anyone else we are running out there, so you really can’t use that as an argument.

  52. Jeff’s problems go back to the beginning of May 2008

    It’s like you’re a Young Earther or something. Let’s ignore the historical record and twist it to fit my predetermined idea of what the truth ought to be.

  53. @68

    You can use it as an argument against making a change that wouldn’t improve the team.

  54. 66 — And I agree that Diaz isn’t a long-term solution as an everyday RF, it’s just that he’s an upgrade over Francoeur, regardless of Francoeur’s arm.

  55. I’ve seen 2 or 3 people take extra bases on Francoeur’s arm this year because he wasn’t paying attention enough to realise they weren’t stopping at second.

    Not really much point having an arm if you’re too lazy/stupid to use it when it should be.

  56. There’s no such thing as regardless of their arms, though. Francoeur is terrible, but Diaz in RF vs RHP would be terrible in a different way. So why bother?

  57. I am not advocating Diaz to RF, but the why bother? question is fairly obviously answered by comparing offensive output of Anderson/Diaz/McClouth versus Andreson/Frenchy/McClouth. Just getting Jeff out of the lineup is a hefty offensive advantage. I’d like to see someone quantify why they think the defensive hit would outweigh the benefit.

  58. Even the Flat-Earth Research Society thinks saying Jeff Francoeur was good before May 2008 is indefensible.

  59. You know Francoeur has been scared shitless this week–Wren, Schuerholz, and Bruce Manno in the clubhouse multiple days this week.

    Also, Brian Barton was sent back to Gwinnett.

  60. This is pretty much what I was saying when whoever it was was arguing that it was so obvious that not playing Diaz over Francoeur was ruining the team that Frank Wren should try to do Bobby Cox’s job for him.

  61. @49

    I am opposed 100% to Chipper Jones in the cleanup spot. The best player should get a guaranteed first inning at-bat in my opinion.

  62. Actually, I concur on the 25 bases over a season tht it would cost. Probably 10 runs. But Diaz’ speed and coverage gets half of those back. And, his bat adds more than 10 runs back.

  63. I think the “don’t paly Diaz for Francoeur against righties” crowd think that (a) Diaz is a bad hitter against righties (he isn’t good, but significantly better than Francouer) (b) he can’t play well when he is full time (based on the first part of last year which doesn’t jive with 2 2/3rd other years of Braves ML play and doesn’t jive with his minor league record) (c) we ought to get somebody better (d) the defensive advantage is too great (without any quantification.

    Diaz will allow more doubles to turn into triples, but he will turn more doubles into outs as well. He is a plus fielder in range, Francoeur is a minus. So, Francoeur’s arm has to cash a might big check.

  64. And in Met World…
    After today’s Met loss in Pittsburgh, a usually serene Beltran called out his club for losing to a team that he said, “We’re better than.”

    Not this week, Carlos.

    After another awful outing, J.J. Putz is going to be seen by a doctor back in NYC, may not make the trip to DC.

    Met fans losing their mind of WFAN, all upset at the sweep and the fact that the Braves pulled off a deal & they haven’t yet.

    Yes, the sky is falling—probably only until they play the Nats.

  65. MetsBlog is required reading after a big Mets collapse, a series sweep by the Braves or a real bad team like the Pirates.

  66. I’m pretty sure that I would play Diaz over Francoeur, but I would also do a lot of other stuff which isn’t likely to happen. I just don’t think that it’s a big enough improvement to warrant going nuts over. It would make us slightly better in right. I would also point out that we have done it in a couple games this year, too. I’m gonna have to get used to not calling us the worst outfield in baseball anymore (assuming we’re not), but I will put it this way: Before today, moving Diaz to right would not have done anything to lift us out of being the worst outfield in the majors.

  67. @74

    OK, I’ll try.

    Frenchy vs. RHP splits (using ESPN’s 2006-2008, as it requires no math):

    vs. RHP (1432 PA)

    Now Diaz:

    vs. RHP

    The .042 difference in OBP translates to Diaz reaching base 20 extra times per 477 PA (a full season facing RHP).

    The .014 difference in SLG translates to Frenchy getting 7 more bases per 477 PA.

    If OBP is worth 1.5x SLG, call it (20 x 1.5 = 30) – 7 = a 23-base advantage for Diaz.

    If you accept my 25-base advantage for Frenchy’s arm over Diaz’s, and multiply by 0.7 (we face RHP 70% of the time), that’s about 18 bases saved in those games.

    Grand total = 5 extra bases per year with Diaz over Frenchy. Not to mention you’ve now got Anderson playing versus LHP, against whom in 06-08 he had a 713 OPS versus 799 OPS vs RHP, thus wiping out the already insignificant Diaz “advantage”.

    Edit: Regarding their respective range — Diaz may have the better range numbers now, but that’s compared to other LFs, typically the slowest outfielders. Put him in RF and compare him to some better athletes, and I don’t think he shows up any better than Frenchy. That’s what my lyin eyes tell me, anyway.

  68. The tarp is on the field, so that pretty much has to mean we’re gonna have a delay at this point.

  69. Playing Diaz against RH doesn’t mean Anderson plays against LH. The idea was to basically platoon Anderson and Francine, and have Diaz in there everyday.

    Which I’m for.

    If you’re going to say 25 more guys a year will successfully run on Diaz vs. Francine, how many outs do you suppose Diaz gets us on guys who would have played it safe against Francine? Diaz doesn’t have a BAD arm, Francine just happens to have a double-plus arm.

  70. @78 – I don’t really get the point of having your best hitter hit 3rd vs 4th if the argument is getting a guaranteed 1st inning at bat. I say this b/c if he was to get the AB in the 3rd spot and not the 4th, that would mean he came up to the plate with nobody on base and 2 outs. I would then venture to say that it would be more probable to score in this situation with a h0merun than a single or double. So I would say that you could just as easily put your biggest homerun threat there (which would now be Nate). Then if he were to get out, you get Chipper to lead off the next inning. On the other side, if he were still to get up to bat in that first inning, it would be guaranteed that a runner would be on base, which is when you want Chipper up there.

  71. I think Joshua’s right on the 3 vs. 4 for your ‘best hitter.’

    I’d venture to guess the odds of scoring a run are roughly equal with Chipper leading off an inning, vs. Chipper up with 2 out and nobody on.

    Plus with Chipper’s on-base skills, I’d also venture to guess Mac will have more AB’s with runner’s on if he’s 5 behind Chipper’s 4, rather than 4 behind Chipper’s 3. But that’s neither hither nor thither.

  72. Well, it’s not just the first inning, though, right? Over the course of a season, a guy’s going to get a few more ABs hitting third than he will hitting fourth. And you want your best hitters getting the most ABs.

  73. With numbers provided by the defensive statistics at, here’s a quick arm comparison of Diaz and Francoeur. Since Diaz has such a small sample size in RF, I’ve used all the corner outfield data, and only considered plays involving a play at the plate, since these involve pretty much the same throws from left or right. That is, this is the data for all instances with a runner at 2nd on a single, a runner at 1st on a double, or a runner at 3rd on a flyout with less than 2 outs:

    Diaz has faced 136 of these situations in his career. The runner was held on 47 occasions, and thrown out on 4. That’s 34.6% held, and 2.9% “killed,” for a total of 37.5%.

    Francoeur has faced 375 of these situations in his career. The runner was held in 151, and thrown out in 31. That’s 40.3% held, and 8.3% “killed,” for a total of 48.6%. If you only look at his numbers since ’08 began, there is a slight dropoff: 124 situations, 47 held, and 9 thrown out. That’s 37.9% held, and 7.3% “killed,” for a total of 45.2%.

    From ’06-’08 Francoeur, as the Braves everyday RFer, averaged 97 of these situations a year. The difference between Diaz and Francoeur’s arms in these situations alone, over an average season, computes to about 5 runners who score instead of being thrown out at home, and 5 more runners who score instead of being held at third. (Compared only to his ’08-’09 numbers that would be roughly 4 and 3 respectively.)

    This of course doesn’t include the average of 67 times in a year that our RFer will see a runner on 1st on a single, which Jeff has held 61% of the time, nor does it include the average of 20 yearly tagups from 2nd, which Jeff has held 69.5% of the time.

    Now, if both produce offensively as they have this year, then Matt’s extra 64 points of SLUG% and 77 points of OBP clearly makes up for the difference. If you look at their average production since the start of ’08, when Diaz was in an everyday role for the only time in his career, the trade-off is much less slanted: Diaz gives us an extra 12 points of OBP but loses 6 points of SLUG. (For those of you who want to look at splits, for their careers v. RHP, Diaz adds 28 points of OBP, but loses 20 points of SLUG, and since ’08 Francoeur crushes Diaz by 39 points of OBP and 61 points of SLUG.)

  74. Last year the #3 slot had 741 PA and the #4 slot had 719 PA. It’s more or less random what batting order position gets the final PA in a game, so basically each batting order position gets an extra PA in 11% of the games played, or about 18-20 extra PA over the course of the season

  75. EDIT 90 – reading what I wrote it seems ridiculous to assume the odds would be equal with Chipper leading off an inning vs. batting with 2 out and no one on. I think hands down the odds of scoring runs would be greater when he leads off vs. 2 out, no one on.

    You can say that if Chipper is hitting 4, then you guarantee his first AB will be in a valuable position: IE at least one man on (unless a HR was hit before him) or leading off an inning.. Hitting 3, his first AB is VERY often 2 out, no one on.

    It’s almost like getting to use his first AB as a pinch hit AB. You know that first AB will come in a reasonably useful spot.

  76. @67: How is it that way at all? If you want to include April of ’08 in with Francoeur’s troubles I won’t argue, but that still only makes it a year and two months, not the “2+ years” as was initially claimed.

    @69: Again, where do you get that claim? I’m not twisting anything, unless you want to make the case that Jeff’s 2007 was a bad year. There isn’t a person on this board that wouldn’t kill for that year from any corner outfielder on this team.

    @75: I didn’t say Jeff was good, only that if you’re marking the period of time in which he “mostly sucked” that it would begin in May 2008. Unless you’re using a terribly warped definition of the word “sucked,” which is becoming more popular these days… I actually saw Seinfeld do a pretty hilarious routine on that very notion the other day. If you are using such a definition, then we need to come up with a new term for as bad as Jeff has “mostly” done since May of 2008, because it is clearly at a much different level than his ’05-’07.

    @Mac: I just submitted a somewhat lengthy comment that isn’t showing up, is it hiding in there or do I have to type it out again?

  77. Here’s a fluke stat if I ever saw one. Here is the number of times each batting order position had the final Braves PA during last season:

    1 — 13
    2 — 17
    3 — 22
    4 — 9
    5 — 16
    6 — 16
    7 — 12
    8 — 36
    9 — 20

    Those are either walkoffs or outs made. Walkoffs being pretty rare, it looks like the #3 slot made the final out more often than any position besides #8.

    If y’all couldn’t tell, I have a lot of work I’m avoiding doing this evening….

  78. So, we get to see Jeff Francoeur’s unbelievable life story as someone born with a silver spoon in his mouth during the delay

  79. I have no confidence that this game will be played tonight. It’s raining in Atlanta, it’s raining in Anniston, it’s raining in Birmingham, it’s raining in Tuscaloosa, and it’s raining in Jackson. has it raining until at least 11 PM.

  80. Rain delay programming — “Spotlight: Jeff Francoeur”

    Sometimes they update these things. I think I’ll watch in case the following question is asked:

    “Jeff, last night in the seventh inning you came up with the bases loaded and two outs, with a tiring pitcher trying to gut out one last batter and preserve a one-run lead. For the Braves, the momentum was turning. For the Cubs, a real sphincter test. And yet, in this most tense moment of the entire ballgame, the catcher did not even bother to give a pitch signal, just a derisive wave and a target anywhere outside the strike zone. The pitcher was basically ordered NOT TO THROW ANY STRIKES with the bases loaded and a one-run lead. Please to explain??”

  81. not raining in my area in Bham, doesnt mean much but we havent had a drop all day. Got the DVR extended just in case, got two softball games tonight

  82. They’ll cut O.J. Simpson out of The Naked Gun, but they won’t stop the Jeff Francoeur Spotlight. What’s wrong with this world?

  83. the radio rain delay just featured a caller referring to the out machine as a “great hitter”–as if Chip wasn’t blech enough

    re the rainout possibility–has JJ already warmed up? I’m hoping not and that all starters get pushed back a day

  84. Well, I’ll try to recap the comment that I just managed to bury in Mac’s censors, or delete on my own somehow.

    Comparing the arms of Diaz and Francoeur, looking only at situations involving a play at the plate: runner at 2nd on a single, runner at 1st on a double, or runner at 3rd on a flyout with less than 2 outs. These situations require pretty much the same throw from either corner, which allows us to get around Diaz’s miniscule sample size in RF.

    Diaz in his career has seen 136 of these situations. The runner was held 47 times, and thrown out 4. That’s 34.6% held, and 2.9% “killed,” for a total of 37.5%.

    Francoeur in his career has seen 375 of these situations. The runner was held 151 times, and thrown out 31 times. That’s 40.3% held, and 8.3% “killed,” for a total of 48.6%. If you only look at ’08 and beyond, his numbers do have a slight drop, and a closer sample size to Diaz. 124 situations, 47 held, 9 “killed,” or 37.9%, and 7.3% respectively, for a total of 45.2%.

    From ’06-’08 Francoeur averaged 97 of these situations a season, so in an average season we can expect Diaz to allow roughly 5 more men to score that Francoeur would throw out, and 5 more that would’ve been held at 3rd if Francoeur was in RF. Looking since ’08, the numbers would be 4 and 3 respectively.

    This of course ignores the average of 67 times that our RF will see a runner on 1st on a single, and the average 20 times that he will see a runner tag up from 2B on a fly out. Francoeur has a career average of holding 61% and 69.5% of the runners in these situations, while Diaz has no correlating statistics.

    Now, if both players produce offensively as they have so far this year, then Diaz’s extra 77 points of OBP and 64 points of SLUG clearly makes up more than this difference. However, if we look at production since 2008, when Diaz was an everyday player for the only time in his career, Matt adds 12 points of OBP, while losing 6 points of SLUG. If you prefer to look at splits v.RHP, again Diaz is well ahead of Francoeur in ’09, though that’s only in a 56 PA sample size for Matt. If you widen it to look at ’08-’09 then Francoeur crushes Diaz by 39 points of OBP, and 61 points of SLUG.

    (It’s amazing how much more succinct I can be when I’ve already written it once…)

  85. There isn’t a person on this board that wouldn’t kill for that year from any corner outfielder on this team

    Talk about being the tallest pygmy! That is without a doubt the most humorous bit of logic twisting you’ve come up with yet. Because our OF is horrible, a year with just miserable rate stats is somehow desirable – sheesh!

  86. “Cuz I know he’s got a Gold Glove out thare and he’d be hard to replace.”

  87. @104

    Very interesting, and that significant advantage (which in itself outstrips any range advantage that Diaz MIGHT have) on equivalent throws would be only be exacerbated on throws to third, which Francoeur can make easily and Diaz IMO cannot. I’m as convinced as ever that we’d be replacing the worst RF in the NL with the worst RF in the NL.

  88. @105: 2007 had no “miserable rate stats” to speak of. Jeff’s 2007 OPS was above average for a major league hitter, and at the median of major league right fielders. His defense was particularly excellent, and his run production was leaps and bounds ahead of the general OPS curve. 2007 was a good year, not a great year, but nowhere near the abysmal production that he’s averaged since May 2008.

  89. what’s the weather like in atlanta? I’m 15 minutes east and it’s not raining at all

  90. well watching the Francoeur spotlight and noticed two things he should start trying.

    1. go back to the aliminum bat
    2. get rid of his toe tap that he has now

  91. Jeff’s 2007 OPS was above average for a major league hitter

    A ML hitter – NOT an ML RF. A fact you consistently overlook. Median RF 2007 = 111. Jeff = 103.

    In any event, this is all moot WRT to your position which is fixed.

  92. I live probably five miles northeast of Downtown (North Druid Hills for those who know the area), and it’s been raining here pretty hard. The radar continues to look really awful. There’s at least an hour’s worth of rain left if it holds together. I’m guessing we’ll play, but it won’t be ’til 9:30 or 10.

    EDIT: And they had the tarp on at 6:30, so Jurrjens shouldn’t have been warming up yet.

  93. 3. Hope opposing teams start using high-school pitchers. Particularly ones that go to Brookwood.

  94. @104
    replying to this piece from gadfly:

    “Diaz in his career has seen 136 of these situations. The runner was held 47 times, and thrown out 4. That’s 34.6% held, and 2.9% “killed,” for a total of 37.5%.

    Francoeur in his career has seen 375 of these situations. The runner was held 151 times, and thrown out 31 times. That’s 40.3% held, and 8.3% “killed,” for a total of 48.6%. If you only look at ‘08 and beyond, his numbers do have a slight drop, and a closer sample size to Diaz. 124 situations, 47 held, 9 “killed,” or 37.9%, and 7.3% respectively, for a total of 45.2%.”

    break your numbers down into a full season (every inning of 162 games)
    diaz has 100 chances and holds/throws out 38
    francoeur has 104 chances and hold/throws out 51.
    so, in a roundabout way, diaz gives 13-14 runners per year an extra base, which is less than 1 base every 10 games. i dont know about you, but having diaz play every day in right field would be worth a whole lot more than one base for the opponents every 10 games, which would probably equate to about 4-5 runs difference in a single season.

    so, your move….

  95. God, I want to crawl through my radio and beat the shit out of some of these MORONIC fans.

  96. ryan, that’s only on plays to the plate, which Gadfly compared because they are roughly equivalent throws from LF or RF. Plays at third base would skew even more severely to the guy with the vastly better arm. Add a few extra singles stretched into doubles, and I really think it’s easily over a 10-run difference between the two.

  97. I unspammed the comment.

    Is it possible to make it so Gadfly’s pro-Francoeur posts end up in the spam filter?

  98. The people that call the rain delay radio show almost make me embarassed to be a braves fan. Hell, I’m embarassed just to be listening to the same medium as those guys.

  99. Raining hard 1 mile from Turner field at my house. Radar doesn’t look good.

  100. congrats to the big unit tonight and his win #300.

    Anyone else even close to getting there still in baseball?

  101. last game the cubs play in ATL and Im sure they dont want to waste another one of those off days, Im sure we’ll have a real late start

  102. I turned off the radio–I’m in the office trying to get some work done and don’t need to be distracted by the bozo callers

  103. There’s a curfew. My guess is that it will clear for about an hour and there will be pressure to start, but the worst of the rain will be after the clearing. It is still raining here in Tuscaloosa, and there’s a solid blanket of rain over the eastern half of Mississippi.

  104. Is it possible to make it so Gadfly’s pro-Francoeur posts end up in the spam filter?

    I usually don’t mind them, they are mildly amusing – if of course you are mildly amused by someone making a fool of himself. However eight paragraphs is a bit much. We get it already, you don’t understand how to use stats in context. Enough already.

    Yes, the radio-caller just called Francoeur the “new Dale Murphy.”

    Yeah, Gadfly is just the tip of the iceberg I guess. Every fanbase has a delusional faction, but the Braves seem to have more.

  105. @119
    no, reread gadfly’s post
    “Comparing the arms of Diaz and Francoeur, looking only at situations involving a play at the plate: runner at 2nd on a single, runner at 1st on a double, or runner at 3rd on a flyout with less than 2 outs. These situations require pretty much the same throw from either corner, which allows us to get around Diaz’s miniscule sample size in RF.”

  106. @124

    Doc Halladay is 32 and at 140-67. It would not be a stretch to see him get to 150 by the end of this year.

    If that happens, it’s averaging 15 per over the next ten years. A lot can happen, but I’m not going to count him out.

    Also, Sabathia is at 122 and while he’s significantly younger than Halladay at 28, his body type would seem to raise flags, IMO. In any case, if he continues his career average for wins in a season, (16) it would put him at 300 between his age 39 and 40 seasons.

  107. The next-highest active pitcher is Moyer, who has 250, is 46 years old, and appears to at last be done. Pettitte has 220, and he’s 37. He has a reasonable shot. 300-game winners tend to clump. We had Carlton, Sutton, Ryan, Niekro, Perry, and Seaver all rougly contemporary. Then there was a gap, then we had Maddux, Clemens, Glavine, and Johnson.

  108. I would’ve thought Peavy had a chance, but he has not only the potential for a career-flameout injury, but the statistical profile as well: Don Wilson, Kevin Appier, Jose Rijo, Mario Soto, etc. Only Fergie Jenkins in the Hall among his top-10 comparables.

    Actually, Halladay may be due a season out to injury as well. So tough to predict pitching more than a year or two out.

  109. Pettitte could do it, but he’s been threatening retirement for what seems like 3 years now.

    Kind of a sorry way for McLouth to debut. So it goes.

  110. Yes, the radio-caller just called Francoeur the “new Dale Murphy.”

    Yeah, Gadfly is just the tip of the iceberg I guess.

    Or maybe it was Gadfly who called in and said that?

  111. Mussina, by the way, almost certainly would have won 300 if he hadn’t retired — he stopped at 270 with a twenty-win season. With the Yankees’ offense, all he had to do was be average for two years.

  112. Mussina’s comp list:

    1. Juan Marichal (866) *
    2. David Wells (863)
    3. Curt Schilling (860)
    4. Jim Palmer (855) *
    5. Carl Hubbell (855) *
    6. Kevin Brown (844)
    7. Jack Morris (838)
    8. Clark Griffith (831) *
    9. Jim Bunning (826) *
    10. Andy Pettitte (824)

    Hell, I’d vote for him.

  113. Also, Tommy John surgery completely changes the landscape of this sort of thing–plenty of great pitchers in the past decades could’ve added 5 or more seasons onto their careers if Dr. Andrews had been at his business back then.

  114. Thinking of a nickname for McLouth…how bout the Barack Obama for the Braves.

    He brings HOPE and CHANGE! Go Nate go! Yes we can!

    Hopefully he can manage money a bit better

  115. The rain seems to be moving in from the south, or at worst south-southwest. So hopefully the fact that it’s raining in Alabama doesn’t matter all that much.

    Also, I’m pretty sure that you couldn’t have kept Mike Mussina out of the Hall if he had won 300 games. That number pretty much means automatic entry. Blyleven would be in no problem if he had 300 wins.

  116. Since we’re in rain delay, I should point out that the “Burn Notice” season premier is on the USA Network.

    Love that show.

  117. I don’t know why I’m turning this into “Mac talks about Mike Mussina”, but if Mussina had hung around for those two more seasons, he’d have had basically the same argument as Don Sutton. Sutton won one ERA title, won 20 games one time. Mussina led the league in wins once, won 20 games one time. Sutton made four All-Star teams, and his highest finish in the CYA voting was third. Mussina made five All-Star teams, and his best CYA finish was second. If Mussina had won 300 games, they would have had to put him in, just like they had to put Sutton in.

  118. There is end in sight on the radar, but it’s still moving very slowly, so it still may be raining for another 30-60 minutes. After that, they’ll be able to play if they want to, it looks like. Where are the Cubs flying to tonight? That may factor in.

  119. you’re right sansho. typed before i thought. ok, so my point gets weaker, but is having francoeur in right field worth 14 runs in a year compared to having matt diaz (just strictly talking plays at the plate). matt diaz will get to more balls negating those extra runs. if anyone hasnt noticed, diaz is pretty damn fast now since the weight loss. given the same situations and same place in batting order, it would be reasonable to think diaz can produce at least 20 more runs than francoeur in a year, whether it’s scoring them or driving them in.

  120. It is POURING right now by the stadium. I’ll be shocked if they go ahead and play.

  121. @149

    Eff the Cubs. The sight of all their fans in our stadium drives me into an irrational fury.

  122. Burn Notice was a riot.

    Hey Url, check out my new Waylon-caster!

  123. At a certain point it depends on our own observations. I’m not impressed with Diaz’s fielding or arm, and I know he can’t hit righties enough to start at corner OF against them. If we make a change, it should be a positive one.

  124. Hey mac – my last comment didn’t turn up. Can you de-spam it?

  125. Mac, are you telling Vincent Padilla to not look back?

    Wonder if the Phils would consider bringing him back.

  126. Wow, Bobby is batting McLouth third. I am amazed with some of the things Bobby is doing this year…it’s so unlike Bobby that I have always known…because it actually makes sense!

  127. @160

    It really is the best option. Having Chipper split he and McCann balances out the lineup well..

    Black Hole of Suck

    I agree that I’d like to drop Escobar down in the lineup, but I think KJ is also better in that position, and unlike KJ, Escobar excels hitting leadoff. Also, saves us from a DP once a game.

  128. Holy crap, I guess I never really noticed that Pendleton has been the hitting coach since the 2002 season.

  129. It’s a reasonable argument from Pendleton, I suppose, but I don’t really see the successes that necessarily means his way offers the best chance for success. Much as i love to get after Frenchy, you can make an argument for seeking outside help with his results from doing it TP’s way to date.

  130. @165 From that article:

    “But this is the same Pendleton who walked off the field in Cincinnati in 1993 because he didn’t think Braves pitchers were protecting their hitters. The man does have a code.”

    He should teach Chipper doing the same thing.

  131. I don’t think it was just that Pendleton was jealous that Frenchy had gone to someone else. I think it’s that he was hurt that Frenchy wouldn’t even tell him about it beforehand.

    Yet another example of Jeff Francoeur thinking of himself before thinking of the organization.

  132. That’s actually not too bad as off-day makeup games go. We had off days on four-out-of-five weeks during this month, and would’ve had one three weeks in a row before this broke it up. And we’re only flying back from Boston, not the West Coast, and we were coming home anyway.

  133. Boy, to me, that makes a tough stretch even tougher. That means we go: Reds (who have had our number lately, it seems), Red Sox, Cubs, Yanks, Red Sox, off day, Philly.

  134. You used to not be able to buy a drop of rain here in the Southeast. Now it rains almost every damn day.

  135. Good call on the rainout BTW. It just started pouring again here in North Druid Hills, and looking at the radar, that rain that I said might pull out in 30 minutes at 9:15 is still not gone, and in fact it’s obviously re-intensifying.

    EDIT: An off-day really wasn’t gonna make that stretch any easier. I’d just as soon get the game in when we have a glut of off-days.

  136. @171

    Spot on comments. I used to always tell my “better half” that Francoeur came across as
    phony, you know, the kinda guy who is a jerk, until somebody shows up with a camera and/or a microphone. My wife dismissed it as me being a Parkview-hater…..but I digress. I think we saw the real Francoeur during his struggles last season and during the contract arbitration and yes, from his turning to the hitting coach of an opposing team. But ultimately his real or perceived character deficiencies would not be an issue if he could actually play.

  137. I don’t think we could find a better catchphrase for the Francoeur era than “It is what it is.” Thank you for your masterful problem solving, Jeff.

  138. @177

    I was thinking the same thing. I haven’t lived permanently in Atlanta since 2000, but while I was there, I can hardly ever remember Braves games being rained out.

  139. Greetings from Glen Burnie, Md…

    I like how Frenchy seems nervous these days.

    BTW, this town is deader than Dillinger.

  140. Schafer went 3-4 tonight with a homer, a walk, stole a base, and scored 4 runs. He’s batted leadoff in both games.

  141. @187

    Mid level prospect. My impression has always been a good pitcher but without impact stuff/strikeout pitch to be an impact guy in the big leagues.

    But that’s more of just the feel I’ve gotten about him. Don’t really have an in depth scouting report.

  142. The idea that the Pirates got the better of the deal is silly….

    Maybe Schafer will get it together, but I hope that the Braves keep at AAA until at least September….

  143. I had thought that ‘mid-level’ might have been a good description of Osuna. However, with the combination of his impressive numbers in 2007 and 2008 and now his rapid promotion, I am wondering if he has been undervalued all along. I hope so….

  144. Phillies won again. Still early, but they seem to be running away with the division. We better get on a roll soon. Our schedule looks really soft in september. If we can hang in there long enough, we might have a shot.

  145. It seems like the past couple years there have always been one or two series with the Mutts or the Fils that if we swept would put us right in the mix for the division

    However, the result always turned into us getting swept and putting the final nail in the coffin of the team.

    I really hope this team is different. The left field platoon, while not great, is tolerable and I really think that this team is a replacement player replacing Frenchy away from serious contention. It’s been said before, but Willingham would be definite coup.

  146. Tom and Ethan, I still don’t believe this team has enough to make it to the playoff this year, but I am getting quite excited by what happened yesterday…or two days ago now.

    I have been very high on Osuna since last year. He has been putting together all the numbers one would hope to see from a pitching prospect. Whether he is legit or he is another Chucky will remain to be seen.

  147. Stephen, there is no urgency to rush Schafer now. I think he will still be all right.

  148. Also, Tommy Hanson preview. Lot of hype. I’ve had an irrational attachment to him for awhile though. I remember during the day of the Teixeira deal, when the news was trickling in…Hanson was the one guy I didn’t want us to have traded.

  149. Ethan, I am excited, but even the most talented pitching prospects will struggle in the beginning. So, I have no expectation on him. I am also looking forward to see how Medlan will perform out of the bullpen.

  150. TP ripping Jeffy in public. Wow. He wouldn’t comment on it when it happened, but now that Jeffy’s sucking he opens up. Classless. What Jeffy did was classless as well. He didn’t have to tell anyone about his trip to Texas, but he wouldn’t shut up about it. It was clearly a shot at Pendleton, probably orchestrated by his agent. Sometimes you’ve just got to be the bigger man, especially if you are a coach. But, maybe Pendleton is facing some real heat.

    It’s clear that the talking points are out and Jeffy’s now officially in the club doghouse (of the, hint hint, Marcus Giles is a souse variety). Bobby pinch ran for the former safety with a rocket scientist. I won’t be surprised if Norton goes to the DL (or even released) and either Brandon Jones or Blanco become his new platoon partner. Possibly, Matt Diaz will get some starts in right. A trip to the minors is not out of the question. They’ve lost faith in him, what do they care if it hurts his feeling again. I think it’s the beginning of the end. Though I doubt the Braves will release or trade him this season, I doubt he’ll be back for another season.

    Also interesting was during the game the other night, one of the announcers (I can’t recall whether it was TV or radio) said that Jeffy told him he’s going back to his “grip it and rip it” philosophy, and “just trying to have fun.” Great!

  151. He had a different philosophy? All I’ve seen is him swinging at just about everything already.

  152. Osuna has an issue, which doesn’t show up in the numbers. He has a lousy fastball, and lives off his breaking ball. Hence the lack of hype despite the numbers

  153. @197 I agree the full court press is on from the Braves talking heads in the press. Sort of preparation for the separation. Much like the job they did on Marcus Giles. But how much longer? I mean damn. How long do you have to be so totally terrible at your job before you are replaced? It is the greatest mystery of 2009.

  154. Francoeur’s approach is more “grip it and whiff it.”

    Even without TP ripping him and others dropping hints, the release of Glavine ought to be a shot across Francoeur’s bow that performance not sentimentality is paramount.

  155. I perceive Pendleton’s statements as unprofessional. If the reporter asks you that kind of question, unless they have proof Francoeur didn’t go to you first, you say something like “Look, everybody works out in different ways in the winter. If it helps him, great.”

    I do believe they are trying to quell the riot before moving him. However, letting the “Glavine Storm’ come off first makes it harder on PR. But, is Bobby on the page? If he is, then why don’t we see more Francoeur bench time. Make him blow up. Then, move him.

  156. Then release/trade/demote/bench his sorry ass already!

    Hey Cleveland are you listening???? DeRo isn’t worth a major league pitcher, dumbasses. Try Jo Jo Reyes on for size guys. He’s a lefty with great stuff and a good minor league resume.

    edit: on the PR value of trading/benching/releasing/demoting Frenchy. It would be great. Braves fans everywhere rejoice! Bobby and Wren declared geniuses! Common sense once again rules.

  157. Seems to me Pendleton was just being honest when asked a question. People complain about the lack of candor and then complain when they are honest. You can argue about whether or not Francouer did the right thing, but there is no reason Pendleton can’t express some disappointment. And even if he shouldn’t have said it, this doesn’t even hold a candle to some of Francouer’s idiotic comments–which actually make him seem mentally deranged at times. Admittedly, however, Pendleton is older and should be more mature, especially since Jeffy is increasingly acting like a six-year old.

  158. @206,

    How about letting fans take a round of batting practice? Now, that would be worth the money.

  159. 206 — Hmmm. Let me know when they start letting you shag flies. That would be fun.

  160. I am so freaking excited about the dawning of the Tommy Hanson Era.

    208—Good for Bradley. I’m still a fan of John Smoltz the person, generally speaking—I think people look for reasons to tear guys like him down—but it’s about time that someone in the media called BS on his behavior since signing with the Sox.

  161. I’m sort of kidding about TP — I’m just holding a grudge about the Marvin Freeman thing, really.

    I’ve become an unabashed fan of Frank Wren. He is busting up this country club with absolutely no sentimentality, and that is exactly what needs to happen. Nobody wheedles his way back in by appealing to the good old days anymore. If our entitled right fielder and a rehabbing Red Sox pitcher don’t like it, they can go hang.

    Bradley seems to get this. Of course, Bradley is one journalist who knows the writing on the wall when he sees it, having embraced all the changes in the newspaper writer’s mission more fully than most.

  162. I’m a TP homer, but I think his statements were reasonable. I don’t mind a coach being candid about their disappointment. People moan about Bobby blowing smoke, but when a coach isn’t 100% supportive of a player’s decisions, people get mad about that too.

  163. @211,

    I just think it would be a really cool promotion. Maybe not for the Braves, but up here in DC for that Nats, who don’t offer a major league product anyway and can’t draw flies now. I mean, really, paying $75 to watch BP up close?

    Re Smoltz: I have thought for some time that he is a douchebag and he continues to show it. He hides his nastiness behind a patina of religion. I feel bad for Glavine and he is a class act, from what I can tell.

  164. And sansho, I’m with you on Wren. Looking over that list they’ve posted over at Rowland’s Office of Wren’s moves to date, the dude has done a good job.

  165. CB is a bit of a sentimentalist over there, Stu, but I like them. I can’t resist tossing an occasional bomb, though….

  166. I think Wren is handling things pretty well. I don’t think I’d be singing the same tune if some of his targets came through (Burnett, Furcal). I’d still like to see how the RF situation is handled, though.

  167. I’ve noticed. I’ve never commented, but I lurk frequently. I enjoyed your Glavine bomb.

  168. Braves fans should be delighted that their GM wants to win. There is some disagreement as to whether this particular team can win this season. I think we can. Wren has just finished a very good deal and resisted the temptation to let a Braves’ HOF icon start a farewell tour at the expense of the team’s chances to win. Keep on trying Frank. Eventually there will be someone ready to give up a right handed bat.

  169. 221—I think the A’s are ready to give up Holliday. I just don’t know that we have a match, financially or prospect-ally.

  170. I think Frank Wren has been a top-notch GM for us. The Smoltz debacle was unfortunate, but it was the right decision on the Braves part. There was no good reason to throw $5-6MM guaranteed to Smoltz and hedge on him being healthy in order to contend.

    With Glavine, I think the Braves wanted to appease the fanbase and go into the season with a good stock of arms because of the uncertainty with a pitching staff and once it became apparent that Tom Glavine wasn’t going to be any more effective than Jamie Moyer, the Braves made the smart decision to go with Kris Medlen and Tommy Hanson.

    I think he’s doing a fine job and most contempt for him is unwarranted. However, the only contempt I’ve seen for him have been from the people who can’t get their heads out of the 90’s. There’s also a contingent of rednecks, mainly on Facebook, who blame him for the Furcal debacle, also.

  171. I don’t think Bradley approached TP, I suspect it was the other way around. Those are deliberate on-the-record comments made at a specific time.

  172. By the way, Charlie Morton made his first start for AAA Indianapolis last night: 7.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 7 SO, 1 BB

  173. Jordan Schafer went 3-4 last night, including a solo HR, a walk, four runs scored, and a stolen base.

    Rumor has it he called up Frank Wren wanting the “Francoeur” package.

  174. Just read the piece by Bradely. Seemed petty to me in a lot of ways. He could have made his points (“Smoltz likes to personalize things that happen around him, blow it out of proportion, and spout off about it.”) without, you know, personalizing it. It totally read like a hit piece, even though I’m inclined to believe some of the stuff he read. It sounded like he was saying, “I had a fight with Smoltz long before the Braves did! So see! I was right!” (About what, I’m not sure.)

  175. @228:

    Good for Charlie.

    Also, thank you, Tom. It’s been a hell of a run. If you’re still pitching, best of luck to you (unless it’s against the Braves).

    As far as TP goes, he’s always getting ripped for lack of production. I think he’s right to say that it’s up to the hitters when it’s crunch time. If they’re not getting it then, it’s not his fault. Frenchy seems to me to be a basket case regardless. If TP could fix him, then I think he’d be a lock for the HoF as a hitting coach.

  176. I’m pretty happy with Wren’s moves, but the signing of Glavine was fall back insurance and nothing more. Given what Glavine is to this organization, I think they owed it to him to tell him that from the beginning and not pull the rug out at the last minute. He may not have signed on to a deal like that, but you don’t jerk guys around who will be first ballot HOF’ers wearing your hat. The handling of this smelled of JS.

    Hopefully they handle TOM with a more direct approach when that day comes, and hopefully it will happen soon.

  177. Totally agree, mraver @231. I expect journalists, even when writing opinion pieces, to be you know journalistic about it. Kudos for acknowledging his view is colored, I suppose, but I would think you should just recuse yourself in that instance. A poor messenger indeed.

  178. I think Bradley is just trying to convey that Smoltz is the kind of guy who expects special treatment, and so we shouldn’t put much stock in his opinion. Fits with everything I have heard.

  179. I agree with JC. Maybe Bradley is biased, but it’s not as if Smoltz’s recent public behavior doesn’t support what he wrote.

  180. 231 & 233—Fair points. I’m still glad someone called Smoltz out, but it would have been better if it were someone without a personal axe to grind.

  181. I remember that public spat where Smoltz pretty much called out Chipper for not playing through an injury (without mentioning his name), then refused to apologize for it while pretending it was a generalization. I always thought that was a lie.

  182. This is so unfortunate that a guy like John Smoltz is at odds with the team he spent so much of his career and life with. I suppose there’s still Maddux, but I wish Glavine and Smoltz could be on good terms with the Braves. That way, we have guys who can step into a leadership role with our organization and be good for us even after their playing career. It’s just unfortunate that these guys are getting into battles with the Braves over shrewd business. I hope all this blows over and we can remember the Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz era in the best of light. Before that, Glavine and Smoltz gotta shut their mouths.

  183. If Smoltz thinks the Atlanta media is bad, wait ’til he gets a load of the Boston media when it turns out he’s washed up.

    EDIT: And let’s not forget the whole “homeboy upstairs” episode.

  184. And Glavine went on the radio this morning and said that the money for McLouth came from releasing him. Yikes, it just gets uglier.
    If money’s that tight, we would have to find someone to take half of Frenchy’s contract before we got Willingham. Or something like that. I don’t know if Wren is even looking at Willingham, but if money’s an issue, Willingham is making 3 million this year…

  185. You know what? This just makes the Garret Anderson signing look that much worse. We’re giving this schlub $2.5M, and the worst part is, Wren had to have known how tight money was going to be when he made that signing. Also, despite the past month of relatively good pitching, it makes the Kawakami deal look a little more weird.

  186. The Phillies are seemingly able to play .700 ball with one pitcher.

    If we are indeed chasing the Wild Card, that looks like tough duty.

    OT: Anybody want to trade Marvin Williams for Rajon Rondo? Seems the Celtics have been infected by the Marbury pixie dust.

  187. Funny all that complaining about the money is coming from Glavine. What goes around comes around Tom.

  188. The Kawakami deal was a timing issue. He signed before we knew we had Lowe.

    If I allow myself to believe that we knew we were going to get Lowe when we signed Kawakami (which ended up being overkill), then I get annoyed…but I don’t think I have reason to believe that.

    But, yeah, the Anderson signing was not good. What’s he doing that Brandon Jones couldn’t do? And we could pay Ross or Willingham with that money…

  189. Also, in that interview, Glavine seems to ignore the fact that we went with a better pitcher.

  190. #238……once agaiin, screw Smoltz and Glavine. especially Smoltz. after getting paid 500K per inning last year, he thought he was entitled to anothr pass at the money trough………….all the Braves have done is make them rich beyond belief…. dont think for one second that either of these guys care half as much about their history with the Braves as you do.

  191. I give Glavine a pass. To be forced into retirement after working your tail off is brutal. He wanted to come back and show that he could still succeed, and he’s frustrated and disappointed and probably a little sad that he wasn’t given that chance.

  192. @245 – Wouldn’t you if you were Glav?

    The Anderson signing was as much a desperation signing as the Kawakami and Glavine signings were. None of them have really worked out that well.

  193. 249—Well, I’d rather have spent KK’s salary on a bat, but he’s pitched well for us.

  194. Beggars can’t be choosers, but Spilborghs’ numbers speak for themselves.
    HOME: .288 / .826 AWAY: .245 / .727

    @250 – He’s been alright. I expected maybe 170 innings and a 4.35 ERA. I guess he could meet that. But it’s hard for me to be too upbeat about his numbers when a bat would have done us so much more good.

  195. Listening to the Glavine interview on 790. I envision the interviewers fanning him with palm branches and feeding him grapes.

  196. Anyone begrudging Glavine for being upset two days after he got screwed over, essentially, is being a little ridiculous. I don’t know if the McLouth trade had anything to do with him being released or not, but if it did, I have no idea why Wren didn’t site that as one of the reasons, to both Glavine and the press. If that’s the case, it makes it seem a little less asinine to release Glavine after stringing him along for several months. If something came up and he needed the money now, you can understand it. If he just sat on his ass, watching this train wreck coming from a mile down the road and did nothing about it until it blew up in his face, like he’s claiming he did, then Glavine deserves to be upset.

  197. Why the heck would we give up anything of value for .263/.328/.443 Ryan Spilborgh? I would have to think that a Coors-deflated Spilborgh’s production could be found on the free agent market. I know that we’re desperate for any improvement over Anderson and Francoeur, but there are better options than giving up something of value for replacement level OUTFIELD offense. Just my two cents…

  198. Like many others, I thought it was a bad idea to sign Glavine. That said, I recognize that it was a tough ending for Glavine; nonetheless, because he chose to leave Atlanta after 2002, my feeling is that he does not deserve any kind of special treatment. He should accept the realities of the sport like everyone else must. Baseball is a business: live with it…

  199. I don’t think people are remembering very well the part the team had in letting Glavine leave. It’s not like Glavine devilishly went running to the New York Mets to spite us. There were several issues with how the team treated him in the negotiations that caused him to leave. Selective memory, though, of course. Besides, I would think it was unprofessional if they did to anybody what they just did to Glavine. Because it was unprofessional. The fact that they did it to Glavine made it worse, but they shouldn’t be leading anybody along like that.

  200. Glavine has no clue. He doesnt know where McLouth’s pay is coming from. Im pretty sure Frank and Bobby didnt say we arent calling you up becuase we are trading for Mclouth. He can speculate and thats fine, but he needs to realize that he cant get MLB hitters out anymore

    Jo Jo for Spil – sure why not

  201. I don’t have a problem with Glavine being upset. He did work hard and he is a competitor. Unfortunately, those are the facts of life. No one likes to be treated unfairly, but at some point I think you need to say, I’m 43 years old, I’ve had a great career, made tons of money, now it’s time to go spend that money with my family.

  202. Guys,

    If Glavine hadn’t gotten hurt (again), he would have joined the rotation on April 18.

    Our pitching needs on April 18 were significantly different than those on June 4.

    I thought it was a mistake to sign Glavine at all this year (I see Bobby’s hand in this), but surely even Smoltz can see this is the best move for the team.

    It’s unfortunate for Glavine, but the fact of the matter is he continued to break down and time had passed him by.

    This entitlement crap is really getting old (along with Glavine and Smoltz. And Bobby.)

  203. I like the things McLouth has had to say. I’m glad he was upset the first day, I’m glad he was disappointed to leave behind his teammates. I liked what he said about ‘I hope I fit in with those guys as well as I have here.’ And I like how the next day, on arriving in Atlanta, he was happy to be in a place where winning is expected.

    He seems classy. I remember not liking the quotes out of Tex both times he was traded. McLouth seems like a quality pickup.

  204. And maybe (hopefully) next week he will say that to himself. But these are the first interviews he’s given since he was released unceremoniously less than two days ago. I think you have to cut him a little bit of a break.

    EDIT: @262-Then release him in April when his shoulder thing happened. Let him know what is going on. Tell him: Look, it’s becoming obvious you and Hanson are gonna be ready at about the same time. If another rotation spot doesn’t come open, I sincerely doubt there’s gonna be a spot for you. Tell him that he can retire right then and there, we can release him right then and there, or we can send him on rehab starts and see where it goes, but that you can’t make any promises. Don’t send him on rehab starts, make him think he’s coming back and then pull the rug out from under him. He was just as washed up in April as he is now. Nothing changed.

  205. Glavine may not know that the Braves dumped him because of the roster bonus and that they’d rather spend the money on McLouth… but he has good reason to suspect that this is the cause. I don’t blame him for being upset, this was handled very badly. But is there a good way to handle it?

  206. I find it interesting that Glavine and Smoltz think that they deserve some kind of special courtesy becuase of their past contributions to the Braves. Its obvious that they don’t read papers or peruse the news. Even the sports pages. There are dozens of stories about bitter divorces between teams and stars. Companies and long time employees. Founders and the companies that they founded.

    That both of them are bitter the Braves made sound business decisions when they are in their 40’s, coming off injury with little leverage in the market is pure hypocrisy. Back when they were in their late 20’s entering their prime had they left for a huge paycheck elsewhere it would have been no hard feelings, baseball is a business.

    edit: you are correct. there is NO good way to fire someone. No way at all.

  207. The only thing the Braves could have done differently was to not offer the contract at all.

    Hindsight etc, etc. I don’t recall if we’d yet accumulated our surplus at the time of his signing. I believe we had. So that’s a question mark.

    But once he was signed, and then he was injured.. I suppose they could have cut him then, but it still would have led to a media backlash.

    They just waited as long as they had to before making their decision. They’d paid 1 mill for their insurance policy, they were going to keep it in effect for as long as possible. Can’t fault them for that..

    I guess the flaw was, if we wanted a 1 million dollar insurance policy, we shouldn’t have used a guy like Glavine like that. That’s what the Tony Armas Jr.’s of the world are for.

  208. The money was my biggest deal with Smoltz. Here’s a guy who was paid $14,000,000.00 in 2008 to pitch a total of TWENTY-EIGHT innings, who had earned over $130,000,000.00 in this game and he gets his feelings hurt over a few million bucks the Braves weren’t willing to risk on his surgically-repaired, half-destroyed shoulder. Sorry, I don’t care what kind of Braves legend you are, that doesn’t sit well with me and it probably doesn’t sit well with 95% of the “working class”, the class that paid a lot of John Smoltz’s salary over those years.

    So, he went to Boston, a place where they can risk a hefty chunk of change on a guy who may never pitch worth a damn again.

  209. Weldon at 251,

    My belief is that any Coors field player’s stats to judge by are “road only” until that player proves otherwise. Witness Holliday this year.

    Similarly, any Padre pitcher is “road only” (like Jake Peavy).

  210. As to how to handle the Glavine thing better.

    If he really was a “back up plan” then he and the public should have been told that. “We like Tommy. We want him around. We think he has a chance to contribute. We aren’t sure. But we are willing to see because we have 4 youngsters that don’t have proven ML experience. But, at the end of the day, if we are convinced that one of the youngsters can help this team win more, that is who we will go with.”

    If Glavine couldn’t take those words in January, pass.

  211. On Bobby,

    There is more to managing a team than filling out the line up card and picking your nose on national tv (which Bobby does)

    There is the issue of running the clubhouse and every player who comes here loves playing for him.

    Does he make some bad calls from time to time or calls that I don’t agree with? Yes. However, he really knows all of these players and has seen them hit and throw way more than all of us put together.

    In reality, he is playing with the hand he has been delt, and that is all you can ask. Right now we are the third best team in the east talent wise and we are in third place. With the additions we just made, we might be able to move up to second or catch Philly.

    You don’t win as many division titles as he has with talent alone (see the Yankees)

    I understand why he plays Frenchy alot. You have a 25 year old former all world prospect that was brought u pway too soon and you are stuck with him. He isn’t going to get any better sitting on the bench all the time. Does he need to go to AAA? Probably, but that isn’t Bobby’s call. I know he has some say, but come on.

    Are there better managers than Bobby. Yes, but not too many.

    In addition, and I am guilty of this too, but why do we keep killing Jeff? He isn’t the one who decided to be called up two years too early.What do we want him to do retire? Could he work on some stuff? Yes. Is he? I would assume so. Could he be a solid big leaguer? I think so.

    Before the trade I think this was a 82-85 win team at best. Now, we might be a 85-90 win team if we make another move and get hot. This is just reality. We won 14 years in a row, we had to cool off at some point.

  212. Glavine is buying into his own hype just a bit much for my taste. Sure, he’s a HOF and I’ve enjoyed every single year he’s been here.

    Sure, Frank Wren could’ve handled things a bit more diplomatically…but then again, Tommy could’ve retired after last year. While I appreciate Tommy’s apparent remorse for leaving Atlanta in the first place, he can’t really make up for that decision or time at this stage in his career. Glavine, we love ya, man…but let’s move on.

    From the AJC:

    Glavine said Braves officials sometimes “don’t look at players and take into account what they’ve done on the field, what they’ve done off the field, what they’ve meant to the organization, what they’ve meant to the city, and say, ‘wait, these guys deserve to be treated a little bit differently than this business model we have.’”

    Glavine is a bit full of himself, methinks. Sure, he may be entitled too having had the career he’s had. But sheesh.

  213. Nick got it right – they should have just released him in April when he had his setback. That would have been less messy and a helluva a lot less embarrassing for Glavine. As it is, you made the guy jump through hoops for absolutely nothing, and they knew he wasn’t going to throw 88 or anything like that. Wren should have known that it was going to be a Hanson or Glavine choice in June, and Glavine deserved better than to be an insurance policy. So yeah, it could have been handled better. It would have hurt to have released him in April, but this is worse.

  214. I don’t blame Glavine for being upset, but I also understand Wren and the FO in this. Let’s say Glavine begins to pitch, and after a terrible first few starts, improves a little, but is still well below average. If that happens, at what point do you ask him to retire? Knowing Cox, he would do everything possible to keep him around and would continually say something like, “Tommy is throwing great. Except for one or two pitches and some bad luck, he could easily have twice as many wins.”

    I don’t know if this is the exact way it’s handled, but my feeling is that once a player gets on the team, Cox has the major voice in whether he gets sent down or released – and definitely how much he plays. Given Cox’s “patience” with Francoeur, it would be easy to see Glavine pitching all year with an ERA of close to 5 and 2 or 3 wins to show for it. We could do better than that with Medlin and we’ll definitely do better with Hanson.

    Call me naive, but I believe the FO when they say money wasn’t the major consideration.

  215. Cliff, I agree. But you do have to take into account that there are some pretty serious pitcher’s parks in his division (Petco, Chavez Ravine) so it’s not that cut and dry looking at his road numbers. The real Spilborghs is probably somewhere in between his home and road splits. I’d give up JoJo for that kind of production.

  216. I don’t believe Frank Wren when he says that it wasn’t about the money. 1 million bucks means a lot more to this Braves FO than it did 10 years ago.

    While I love the McLouth move…very impressed with what Wren pulled there…I fully believe he misrepresented (read LIED) to Glavine about his standing coming into the year. And it’s a shame it all happened this way.

  217. Even Spilbourghs’ road split, or his neutralized line (.278/.347/.441) is a significant upgrade on ACHE and Jeffy. But I wouldn’t give up a whole lot for him.

  218. @277 – Any post about a potential Frenchy replacement should end with that caveat.

    Can you imagine how many home runs JoJo would have given up at turn-of-the-century Coors? He would have broken records.

  219. @278

    Yep…if money isn’t really an option…why didn’t they trade Kotchman for an OF in the offseason and sign Dunn at 1B coming into 2009.

    Maybe they ought to let Frank Wren be the designated Trade Specialist for the FO (as he’s doing pretty good in that dept) and designate an aide as a Current Player/Free Agent Specialist.

    Tongue firmly planted in cheek for sure…but Frank is no diplomat. He lies like a politician though.

  220. Maybe we could pry Hawpe away from them now and have the most bad ass lineup vs. RHP in the league

  221. If he’s a “fifth” outfielder, then I think Spilborghs could be had for a PTNBL.

  222. Players act as if they became great players out of altruism for the organization. Glavine made great contributions to the Braves because they happened to draft him; if some other teamh had drafted him, he would have made similar contributions. But he might not have been on, what, eleven division winners and a WS champ. Obviously, he had a ton to do with that, but so did the organization. IN exchange, he made multiple millions of dollars. The point is, he did what he did for himself and, as many have pointed out, when it was in his best interest to do it for someone else, he did so. I have no problem with that.

    I think it is very unfortunate how this worked out, although I don’t know how it could have been handled any differently. I don’t begrudge Tommy for venting in the press. But it’s not as if he were laid off from his employer with just a gold watch.

  223. Penny might be interesting just to keep him away from the Phillies, if nothing else, especially if it means bye-bye to Frenchy.

  224. @281

    The next move should be for another OF. Period.

    Although, I wouldn’t mind Dannys Baez 2.0

  225. I can’t imagine KK would be happy in the pen…his interpreter probably wouldn’t shut up for weeks.

    He’d be the most expensive long reliever in the bigs, wouldn’t he?

  226. “My belief is that any Coors field player’s stats to judge by are “road only” until that player proves otherwise. Witness Holliday this year.”

    Holliday has a road OPS this year of .862, which is right in line with what he did in Colorado, and makes him fairly close to an elite player (and don’t forget that road only rockies players don’t get to count the road games they would polay for someone else, in Colorado, which I imagine is a pretty big factor for an NL west guy, who plays there 9 times a year.

  227. Kawakami has pitched much better the past couple weeks. I’d like for him to get the ball a few more times out before we call him a failure. And it’s not like he has been less effective than has Penny.

    But again: what in the hell do the Red Sox want with Francoeur?

  228. re the Olney story:
    A salary exchange is the only reason I can see to do the deal. Or

    Get Penny to deal him for a right fielder. Didn’t the Indians want an MLB ready pitcher?

    Maybe why Bobby keeps running Stenchy out there: so the Sox can see if he can be salvaged.

    Wild ass guesses.

  229. Francoeur has “talent”–I mean, you don’t get to the majors without talent, but I use that very loosely. I think the Red Sox would like to get into that “talent” and put him with their hitting instructors and hope to strike gold so they could rid themselves of J.D. Drew.

  230. 290 – That scenario makes a lot more sense than anything I can come up with. Except I don’t know of too many teams that could take on Vazquez’ salary, have an extra right fielder, and plan to compete this year.

  231. A thing to keep in mind (or at least ponder briefly) with the “emotional outbursts” from Glavine and Smoltz is that part of what makes a HOF player is the psychological make-up to feel entitled to get every batter out. It’s almost a soldier mentality necessary, if you get to existential and introspective you may be a better/happier person, but there’s a fair chance you won’t be able to do your job as well. There ARE guys who can do that separation of mental states (“this is the business me”,”this is the personal me”,” this is the warrior me”), but PART (not all) of what makes them great athletes is that psyche that lets them believe for a second that they can do the impossible.

    The player who can be a warrior on the field, but a humble man in every other respect is the exception not the rule (especially in a culture in which the professional athlete has become further and further removed from the “Every man”). This doesn’t mean it won’t take the shine off some of our heroes, but it might make us a bit more forgiving as they move from what is sort of a perpetual adolescence in professional athletics into a more “real” world.


    Cutting Glavine was the best move baseball wise and financially. But it makes us look like a crap organization. I believe Glavine when he says, “they told me that if I got ready to pitch, I had a spot on the team”. He would not have done rehab like this for a try out. They made a commitment to him. Wren threw a gigantic fit and acted like an imbecile when Furcal broke a handshake agreement to get more money. Wren cried to the media and swore off dealing with an agency that represents 50 MLB players. Now, the same guy is reneging on a commitment to a home grown, Hall of Famer, that’s going into cooperstown in 5 years wearing an “A”. It makes the entire organization look pathetic.

    As for the trade, its great, but no props to Wren. Pittsburgh hasn’t had a front office in 15 years that could leave home without wearing their helmets.

  233. Exchanging Penny for Vazquez as the No. 3 starter would be a pretty serious downgrade in that department, wouldn’t it? I think if we think we’re contending (and we obviously do), we’re not getting read of Vazquez. Getting Penny and then flipping him is interesting, though.

    Incidentally, I never remember us being in on one of these three-team trades. I wonder why that is. Did Schuerholz just not like doing that way or what?

  234. The AJC must have sprung a leak.. it’s dripping in here.

    And yeah, Penny is a downgrade from Vazquez. But he’s paid half as much. And Vazquez could net an all-star, Penny wouldn’t.

  235. doubledawg, couldnt disagree with you more. The Braves gave Glavine a $1mil guaranteed offer, plus incentives if they determined that he could help the team. All the Braves scouts said he wouldnt be effective. Say what you want about Wren, but he’s trying to put our best players on the field. Thats what a GM is suppose to do.

    We all know that if Glavine had pitched 5IP and 5ER Bobby would say he’d get better and we’d be stuck with another 4-5 starts from Tom while our cheaper better option is stuck in AAA. Tom was signed to giv us depth in the rotation and hoping he could make a comeback. He couldnt and its time to move forward

  236. People bashing Frank Wren…what’s the alternative? Who is this fantasy GM you’d rather have that never gets burned and always makes a deal where his team wins? Who is the teflon GM that has never looked bad?

    It tends to get frustrating when fans hold players/execs up to fictional alternatives that always make the correct decision and never leave grey areas. If Glavine would have started one game and got hurt and we couldn’t have made a legit OF deal as a result…Wren would be getting murdered on this board. The guy is doing a good job.

    Releasing Glavine makes us look like a crap organization? Guess what? Make the playoffs and we’re not a crap organization anymore. Just win baby.

  237. doubledawg, Wren didn’t throw a “gigantic” fit–he was rightly upset, did a couple radio interviews, and that was the last of it.

    And it was SCHUERHOLZ and McGUIRK, not Wren, who talked to the media and swore off Kinzer & Teller and Wasserman Media Group.

    If you’re going to have a burning hate for Wren, at least get things straight.

  238. I also don’t really buy the whole “Cox would’ve shielded him and we couldn’t have gotten rid of him if we’d called him up” thing. In fact, “I don’t really buy it” isn’t strong enough. I think it’s complete BS. By all accounts, Cox tried to do that with Glavine anyway and it didn’t work. He also tried to do that when they sent Jeffy down and it didn’t work. Wren is the GM. Cox can give his input, but it’s obvious that personnel decisions like that rest with Wren and they are final. To say that we couldn’t call Glavine up because Cox would have forced him into the rotation for the rest of the year is a complete cop-out, essentially blaming Cox for something he hasn’t even done and removing all blame from Wren for handling the situation as shittily as he possibly could have handled it.

  239. Thinking about it, I don’t hate a move that replaces Vazquez with Penny, if it nets us a real power bat. It gives us replacement for Vazquez plus a prorated portion of 6.5 million to spend.

    We’re getting more from Vazquez than we anticipated. Penny is no slouch, even if he isn’t Vazquez. If he isn’t effective, we still have Medlen, and we still might have Huddy coming in August.

    Remember we were going to have a roster crunch when Huddy came back anyway. One of Vazquez and Kawakami was going to have to be traded or Hudson’s option declined (isn’t his option the same as Vazquez’s salary next year?). If Vazquez goes now and Penny holds it down… then we still have an abundance to deal with come August.

    FWIW I was in favor of using the option on Huddy and trading Vazquez in the offseason. I’d rather trade an 11 million dollar pitcher for a bat than let one walk away a free-agent. I guess that all depends on Huddy’s form when he comes back.

    But if trading Vazquez NOW gets us a bat for this year AND next, why wait? Especially if we can use Penny until Huddy’s ready.

    It could definitely work.

  240. Nick, yeah putting our best players on the field is just a terrible idea. What he should do in the future is keep all of the players happy and stay a .500 team at best. Wren made a decision to call up Hanson and trade for McLouth instead of calling up Glavine and spending money on a lost cause. Get over it

  241. Wow, Glavine says he feels betrayed in the Bowman article on

    Holy ironic cow, Batman…this is ridonkulous.

  242. My barber says:

    ATL gets: Hawpe, Jason Hammel and DeRosa
    BOS gets: Peralta, Prado, and Corpas
    COL gets: Jo-Jo, Frenchy, Travis Denker
    CLE gets: Penny, Lugo and Medlin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.