Grumpy game thread: July 3, Braves at Nats

Aaaaaggggh!I’m Braves announcer Joe Simpson, and I don’t like the way things are today compared to the way they used to be!

Stu will see you in the morning with the recap.

188 thoughts on “Grumpy game thread: July 3, Braves at Nats”

  1. From the previous thread:

    I don’t like the idea of trading Vasquez, mainly because I don’t buy Tim Hudson as a replacement just yet. He’s been sitting on the bench for like 1.5 years, yet he’s the guy we’re going to rely on when Vasquez is gone? And what about the next couple years? Yeah JJ and Hanson are awesome, but Lowe is old and Kawakami is getting up there too.

    There’s this Medlen kid down in the pen that might deserve a look at some point.

  2. Hudson is going have his share of struggles and if the Braves or Bobby Cox believe he will be 100% within the first of August, they’re insane.

  3. Lowe
    Vasquez
    Jurrjens
    Kawakami
    Hanson
    Medlen
    Hudson

    Trade from strength. Sell high. If the return is a legitimate, cost-controlled offensive threat at 1B or RF, you deal anyone but Hanson.

  4. KC from previous thread.
    Have visited: Kenyon College – snooty little liberal arts college in rural OH
    Denison Univ – see above.
    UVa – just beautiful. Charlottesville a picturesque college town.
    Will visit: Duke, Davidson and I’m going to ask her to entertain The Ohio State University as a backup plan. BTW this started because I queried BJ’s most ardent Vandy supporter about his alma mater.

    So it goes like this: Ouch I can’t hit I have ‘tendinitis’. Yes KJ you have ‘tendinitis’ after some rest a ‘rehab’ assignment in Gwinnet would be good for you. Sure says KJ sounds like a plan.

    Ok so figure this one out. I suck and am living off one season and 70 games of non suckiness but now I am a huge ginormous vacuum of horrid baseball play do I have ‘tendinitis’? No Frenchy you are completely healthy so go out there and do throw someone out. By the way we are looking to trade you to someone that needs a right fielder with a good arm. Thats why we keep running you out there every day. ????????

    On trading Vazquez. If we want to win something THIS year, no. And I wouldn’t trade Javy for a rental for example Matt, way overrated, Holliday. However if someone gives us a nice package of players with at least one quality regular, sure. The regular doesn’t have to be a super star but he does have to be at least a championship caliber player, under contract, and fill one of our needs. And the package has to have a good prospect or two decent ones. Of course my name isn’t Johnny Wren, but just an opinion.

  5. I love the idea of moving Vasquez for an impact bat that hopefully is locked up for at least a couple of seasons. He’s been terrific, but as others have said his trade value is never higher and he’s not going to be around long term anyway. I am very comfortable plugging Medlin into the rotation, and we may get something out of Hudson by the end of the season. Besides, if we were to make the playoffs, we’d need another bad moreso than a starter.

    I think there is a minimal chance Escobar gets moved. If so, I would think less of the Braves. The guy is just going through some maturity pains, and it’s as much management’s job to guide him as it is his to grow up. Talents like him don’t come along often, he’s affordable for a few more years, and there isn’t anyone to take his place. I think they’re just floating stuff out there about him for gamesmanship purposes.

    Regarding Francoeur, not sure about the status of his options, but would it not be more beneficial to demote him rather than DFA him since apparently no one wants him? It would seem they might get something out of him if he went down and improved his game. Maybe he would, maybe he wouldn’t, who knows. Maybe they just want to exorcise him from the organization. Either way, if Stark is correct, and no one wants this guy, it should be a pretty clear message to Braves management that he isn’t cut out to be playing RF for them every day. Maybe last night’s performance by Diaz will help accellerate a long overdue benching.

  6. 5 — Johnny, Charlottesville and the UVa campus are even more beautiful in the fall.

  7. OK, that’s it. I’m not taking anymore of this garbage from Bobby Cox.

    The old man is a f-cking retard. 29 other teams and according to Jason Stark, not one of them has any interest in Frenchy. NOT ONE. And yet, our Brainiac manager keeps running his useless butt out to RF game after game. Cox is a damn moron. The man has his head so far up his ass he couldn’t see daylight with high beams on.

    I’m so sick and tired of this crap. Cox is ruining the season with his blind loyalty. Any other manager in any other city would be crucified if he did this to his team by the local sports media. And yet, our Ass kissing friends at the AJC are blissfully silent. beautiful job people, just perfect!

    Just you wait until the game starts tonight. I’m gonna rip Cox a brand new butt hole during the game.

  8. 6 — Agreed that Escobar is going through some maturity issues, but the fact that he was in trade rumors in the offseason too might indicate that he was already grating someone’s nerves. He hasn’t exactly gotten better. For a club that doesn’t often put up with that kind of stuff, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go.

    I think he comes off as a douche. Would like to see the Braves keep him, though. Especially if someone can teach him to run the bases.

  9. UVa is great but Washington & Lee is THE university of Virginia. :-)

    [Hey with all the Vanday and Alabama homerism someone else might as well chime in.]

  10. I was *this close* to going to W&L for law school.

    Kevin (from the last thread),
    I was very consciously trying to tap into Mac’s style. I’m just so dang wordy.

  11. @8

    The Braves put up with more than their reputation gives them credit for. They put up with Andruw Jones all the way through loafer-gate in the late ’90s, keeping him until his free agent value was notably higher than his contributions on the field. Ditto J*hn R*cker. That guy made Escobar look like choir boy helping old ladies across the street and yet the Braves dealt with his insanity for years. They parted ways, again, when his performance on the field ceased to validate his distractions and antics. I think you’d be hard pressed to find an example of Atlanta trading away a productive player simply to get rid of his “clubhouse cancer” or whatever. If they trade Escobar I suspect it will be because they think they can improve the team.

  12. Of the players the Braves have traded in the last 15 years, the “attitude” issue was cited in the cases of Justice, Rocker, and Spooneybarger that I can recall. Of course, most of that was conjecture among media and fans. It’s hard to really know to what extent attitude issues played a part, unless you can find a money quote, which I don’t recall seeing and don’t feel like searching for.

  13. 11 — I hope that would be the only reason to make a trade.

    10 — Stu, I was going to say that Mac’s recaps are more succinct and yours was more detailed. Not wordy, just a different style.

    9 — W&L is also beautiful. I made many trips over 501 as a runner for an electrical construction company that was working on a new parking structure there in 2000.

  14. On the Vazquez idea:
    What teams are in contention, have a good 1B or corner OF signed beyond this year (with a capable replacement for said player), and a need for starting pitching?

    Brewers? (I don’t think we can get Braun, but what about Fielder, whom Gamel could replace? Too expensive?)

    Rockies? (Hawpe?)

    Angels? (Rivera isn’t worth Vazquez…but maybe Rivera + Brandon Wood or some other prospect?)

    Blue Jays? (Rios is kinda meh and a little too pricey for what he brings…but maybe if a prospect were thrown in.)

    Rangers? (Cruz? Davis?)

    c. shorter,
    Tomorrow’s will definitely be more brief, as I’ll probably be reconstructing the story of the game from Gameday. Any detailed descriptions during the game would be most helpful…

  15. @12

    Of that list, only Justice was productive when he was traded and he was packaged off with a declining Marquis Grissom for a premier lead-off hitter and a quality LH set-up man. At the time the consensus was that they should have traded the declining Fred McGriff (and installed Ryan Klesko at 1B) so maybe there was some “attitude” push on moving Justice rather than the ever-lovable Crime Dog, but it was a reasonable baseball trade regardless.

    Trading Deion Sanders three years after his last vaguely productive season doesn’t count for me.

  16. Freeman, Medlen, and Vazquez could get you Braun. I just don’t envision any scenario in which the Brewers are motivated to trade him, contenders in need of pitching or not. He’s a once-in-a-decade breed of an offensive player and they’ve got him on a nice contract for several more years. I would be stunned if they would even discuss him.

    Fielder would be more realistic because he’s a Boras client. But I don’t think they’d give him up cheaply due to that fact. It doesn’t look pretty, but I feel like they’d take Vazquez, Kotchman, and a low-level “sleeper” for Fielder.

  17. It doesn’t sound like the Rangers will be taking on salary, as they just got a loan from MLB to cover payroll. Otherwise they would seem like a viable trade partner.

    The Rockies seemed destined to be sellers early on, and Atkins was being rumored about almost as soon as the season started. Fortunately, he’s been so terrible that nobody is going to get suckered into trading for him now. I hope. Their pitching has been surprisingly good this year. They do have a lot of OFs, and Hawpe isn’t just a Coors creation, but he is a lefty, so I don’t know.

  18. It may be due to the fact that the Braves haven’t had high draft picks until very recently, but the front office deserves some criticism for not getting their hands on and developing an impact offensive player since Andruw Jones (and even he wasn’t drafted).

  19. Grissom was 29 and had just set personal highs in almost every offensive category. Justice had had a poor ’95, then was hitting brilliantly before getting hurt in ’96. Embree’s career ERA was about 6 at the time of the trade. Lofton was a great player at the time, but IIRC the consensus at the time was we weren’t getting equal value. And none of our mainstays was due a big raise in ’97, either.

    The trade did clear a spot for Andruw, which surely was a part of the point.

  20. I thought the reasoning at the time was that we needed to free up some payroll to be able to keep Glavine or some other pitcher. No?

  21. Chris DAvis of the Rangers is awful.
    Nelson Cruz is an interesting case, he actually has more road HR’s than home.

    I dont see a good fit for Vazquez anywhere, the teams that could afford him wouldnt want him, BOS, NYY, maybe the Tigers?

  22. Davis is having a bad year, but he’s got power, which would be a nice addition.

    The Brewers and Fielder (who makes $6.5 million this year and $10.5 next) would be a really good fit, actually, salary-wise. I’m sure we could chip in some money to offset the difference.

    Hawpe, FWIW, is paid $5.5 million this year and $7.5 million next, with a possible $10 million team option in 2011. (He can void the option if he’s traded.)

    All these guys are lefties, though, which isn’t ideal. Better than a crappy righty (like Stenchy or Atkins), of course, but with McCann, McLouth, KJ, and Kotchman (and Schafer, Heyward, and Freeman), a righty would be much better.

  23. The Big 3 didn’t earn much more in ’97 than they had in ’96. Klesko and Javy each got $2 million raises in their first arb year, though — I missed that in researching the earlier post.

    (Man, were we loaded with talent back then….)

  24. If the Brewers trade Fielder and put Gamel at 1B, that leaves a black hole (Bill Hall) at 3B. And they’re already cutting down on his playing time, Gamel’s defense notwithstanding.

    EDIT: Maybe they put Alcides Escobar at 3B? This is giving me a headache.

  25. Bobby just cant help himself can he, why Jeff over ACHE or Blanco?

    1. McLouth CF
    2. Prado 2B
    3. Jones 3B
    4. McCann C
    5. Escobar SS
    6. Diaz LF
    7. Francoeur RF
    8. Kotchman 1B
    9. Kawakami P

  26. @29 does bobby like to play with an 8 man roster.. atleast Nasty Nate is back in the lineup. Ole Bob-o sits at his desk with a pitchfork & devil horns & laughs like a madman when he starts Jeffy & says “TAKE THAT BRAVES FANS BWHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!”

  27. competent, maybe, but still the worse option

    vs LH

    ACHE .333/.360/.417/.777
    Jeff .306/.326/.412/.738
    Diaz .323/.392/.462/.853

    we all know Bobby doesnt look at the stats anyways

  28. Diaz is in the lineup, though.

    And Stenchy’s defensive advantage is enough to outweigh ACHE’s offensive advantage, IMO.

  29. yeah, but I would assume that Jeff’s numbers are only close by what he did in April. Anderson has been hot and Jeff has been Jeff as of late

  30. OK, how about this:

    Francoeur has a 1.350 OPS in 15 career PAs against Lannan. (ACHE’s never faced him.)

    Bizarrely, lefties (.863 OPS) have had much better success against Lannan than have righties (.698 OPS) during his career. But, still.

  31. well since Detwiler is pitching that doesnt matter. When Lannan is out there, Ill be okay with it

  32. Conrad’s promotion provides the Braves with the opportunity to play Prado at first against LHPs. Do it, Bobby.

  33. Anderson has half the ABs Jeffy has, so their numbers aren’t exactly on equal ground.

  34. 10 — Stu, I was going to say that Mac’s recaps are more succinct and yours was more detailed. Not wordy, just a different style.

    I probably wouldn’t have noticed it wasn’t Mac if it weren’t for the weird superscripted inning callouts.

  35. Joe Simpson: “What I’m looking for is for the Braves to be aggressive against Ross Detwiler and get some runs on the board early for Ken-SHEEN Kawakami”.

    Sigh.

  36. Woohoo… I actually get to watch the Braves on TV… albeit with MASN announcers… but the Braves nonetheless

  37. 36—Ha! My mistake. I still don’t have a problem with it; our defense is much, much better with Francoeur in there.

  38. Yes, he is. We gain with his bat no doubt but his glove is an absolute brick.

    This inning could easily be over.

  39. This is the kind of game that sucks all the good vibes we just developed right out of ya.

  40. We must be vastly better against teams over .500 than against those under it. Don’t get this club at all.

  41. McCann looks like he needs a day off. Sometime in this series would be good, and Ross could get some time facing a lefty.

  42. No, but I just got here. What the hell is KK’s problem? He carves up Toronto, Boston, the Yanks- and gets pummeled by Washington?

  43. Washington can hit. They only have one legitimate major league pitcher, though. (Lannan)

  44. now that the lefty is out, the smart thing to do would be to pinch hit for francoeur when he comes up. lord knows he will come up with runners on.

  45. yunel back to his old ways: dropping the bat to show he didnt go on a 2-0 count, flipping the bat on a double, and proving his arrogance needs to be dealt with and not traded.

    francoeur on the other hand, still sucks.

  46. MASN: “You do not have to throw a strike to get him out…”

    So true… so true…

  47. Two outs + Francoeur = Three outs.

    Honestly, just when you think you’ve beaten Frenchy’s incompetence to death, he demonstrates it anew.

  48. Prado is still hot & Nick Johnson still has a silly mustache.

    Went to the Yanks/Jays game today. A rare pitchers’ duel, but still we got the regulation 3 HRs—Cano, A-Rod, Wells. (The park is averaging somewhat more than 3 per game.)

    But a beautiful day to see a ballgame & I’m thrilled to get a 6:35er in DC for the Bravos. Let’s keep scoring, fellas.

    Edit: Maybe next inning. Francoeur is a disaster.

  49. Man he really SUCKS!!! I used to play with a major leaguer who call rally stoppers a ZIPPER!!!

  50. Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg has already homered tonight. this guy is having an unreal start to his professional career.

  51. Ouch. He didn’t swing at the first pitch (fastball down the middle). Then swings at two pitches one mile away. The guy has no clue.
    Are human sacrifices legal in the states????

  52. Hint to Snitker: if Francoeur is one of the next two hitters scheduled and there’s 1-out, just pretend there’s 2-outs. Because there are effectively 2-outs.

  53. schafer pulled from the game in gwinnett. i wonder if he got hurt or he’s involved in some transaction.

  54. Negrote, the joke I’ve heard (and spread) is that he kills more rallies than the Chinese Army.

  55. If this team wants to call themselves a “contender” then they had better sweep this worthless Washington team.

  56. #89
    It’s a 4th of July thing. Everybody’s wearing them.

    Yanks & Toronto had ’em on today. It looked like the LA Angels were playing the Texas Rangers.

  57. I would not be surprised to hear Schafer and someone else traded for a real OF.

    Something is brewing, I hope.

  58. Freeman and Heyward up to Miss. Sumoza and Rodriguez from Rome to MBeach. Doubt this has anything to do with Schafer.

    Now Rome will really be an offensive wasteland.

  59. That was a really bad move. He takes the out, and he has 2 outs with the bottom of the order coming up.

  60. MASN thinks Willie Harris will be rated high enough to be worth draft picks in free agency…

  61. Bunting Diaz to move the runner for the Out Machine is inexcusable. We have a Brooks Conrad sighting.

  62. BP 2009 on Conrad:

    Despite hitting 69 home runs during his last three years at Triple-A for the Astros, Conrad got nary a whiff of the big leagues, being categorized as an undersized, light-on-tools hacker who plays four positions, none of them well. He hit another 28 bombs last year to add to his Pacific Coast League star status in his first season with the A’s organization and finally got the call for a couple weeks. He wound up showing that his reputation is there for a reason, and at 29, his window is closing.

  63. PH homers in consecutive nights. When’s the last time that last happened for us?

    For the record, Francoeur is 0/4 with 6 LOB.

  64. Annnnd now Moylan starts to let it slip away.

    Edit: That could’ve been worse, but one run per inning isn’t going to be good enough unless we score some more.

  65. trade brooks conrad right now. his value will never be higher.

    martin prado is a beast.

  66. did anyone just hear that? charlie morton throwing a one hitter. good for him.

  67. @151: Totally agree. Bunting with McCann should be grounds for a mental examination.

  68. Is Cox getting close to some bonus for career sacrifice bunts we should know about?

  69. Bunting with your cleanup hitter and taking the bat out of the hands of your #5 hitter generally isn’t a good idea.

  70. Remember the days when the Braves could throw any ole hack in the outfield and get above league average production? i.e. Charles Thomas

  71. Nice eye, Matt! Now, we’ll get at least one run, unless Jeffy’s found a way to drive in negative runs. (You just know what’s the sort of thing he works on- ‘How can I be even more worthless?’)

    Oops- Anderson pinch-hits. Cox has at least one neuron firing.

    Oops again- Anderson performs his tribute to Frenchy by failing to drive in a run.

  72. Francoeur played his last game in Atlanta as a Brave last night … I hope.

  73. Pinch-hit for twice in two games, can hear the clock ticking down on Jeffrey’s time with the Braves.

  74. Ah, what an utter failure the Mets are this year. It warms my heart, especially since everyone had crowned them to chase down Philly for the NL East.

  75. We’re about to have the same record as the “utter failure,” so forgive me if I don’t celebrate too much.

  76. I should have prefaced by saying said we are also an “utter failure” for a team with a $100MM payroll.

  77. I get the feeling that the Braves & Mets are headed in different directions, though.

    Good night tonight & thanks to the Bucs.

  78. Gonzalez and Soriano have each pitched in three of the last four days and four of the last five games. God help ’em if it’s a close game tomorrow.

  79. One weird thing, Don said sometime around the fourth inning that it was going to be one of those games that the Braves would end up winning 9-8.

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