Endless break open thread

Just looking around at the Braves’ drafts from the 1990s again. (Not counting 1990, when Bobby was GM and they drafted Chipper first overall.) Lord, are they awful. At least at the top — they did okay in the later rounds. This is what happens when you draft a high school pitcher from the southeast with your first pick every year. Were they using Matt Millen as a consultant? Anyway, the all-drafted-by-the-Braves 1991-2000 team, with rounds, including only players the team actually signed:

C Mike Mahoney (39th, 1995)
1B Adam LaRoche (29th, 2000)
2B Marcus Giles (53rd, 1996)
3B Wes Helms (10th, 1994)
SS Mark DeRosa (7th, 1996)
OF Kelly Johnson (1st, 2000)
OF Ryan Langerhans (3rd, 1998)
OF Jermaine Dye (17th, 1993)

SP Jason Schmidt (8th, 1991)
SP Kevin Millwood (11th, 1993)
SP Adam Wainwright (1st, 2000)
RP John Rocker (18th, 1993)
RP Brad Clontz (10th, 1993)

Notes:

  • I don’t know how it’s possible to go ten years and draft and sign only one above-average relief pitcher, but the Braves managed it, somehow. Not getting any catchers is a bit easier, but still quite an accomplishment. Mahoney was released by the organization after the 1999 season and played 46 games over three seasons with the Cubs and Cards, but is I believe the only catcher the organization drafted and signed in this ten-year period to play in the majors.
  • If I hadn’t expanded to 2000, it would have been really tough to fill out the roster.
  • The Braves did not spend a first round draft pick on a major leaguer of any quality between Chipper Jones and Adam Wainwright. This nine-year drought is one of the worst of recent years (since teams stopped blowing draft picks by signing free agents willy-nilly).
  • Of the four best players on the list — Dye, Millwood, Schmidt, and Wainwright — only Millwood did much of anything for the Braves. The sixth-best, DeRosa, also did most of his damage elsewhere.
  • Good base for a rotation (Jason Marquis would be the fourth starter) but the infield defense is really shaky.

185 thoughts on “Endless break open thread”

  1. It’s pretty amazing how they maintained their reputation as a pitcher development powerhouse when they basically didn’t develop and promote a good pitcher from 1997 (Millwood) to 2008 (Hanson).

  2. Fortunately, the Braves managed to restock through trades anyway. My favorite trend was the yearly CF-for-CF swaps that lasted for more than half a decade, as we traded Deion Sanders for Roberto Kelly, Roberto Kelly for Marquis Grissom, and Marquis Grissom for Kenny Lofton. But Schuerholz also managed to turn Melvin Nieves into Fred McGriff, Jason Schmidt into Denny Neagle, Brian Jordan into Gary Sheffield, Damian Moss into Russ Ortiz, Dan Meyer into Tim Hudson, and so forth. Galarraga and Brian Jordan were two of the only free agents of any note to sign with the team in the decade following the blockbuster Maddux deal.

  3. Also, they signed two all-stars (Andruw and Furcal) as international free agents at two of the toughest positions to fill, with another (Javy) having signed as a 16-year-old in ’97.

  4. Okay, I need some help/advise, please…

    I am planning to drive to Atlanta the upcoming weekend to catch the Saturday/Sunday game against the Brewers.
    Driving up from Cape Canaveral, I am thinking of staying Friday night in Savannah…Is there anything at all to do there in the evenings?
    Or would you recommend any other stop along the way to and from Atlanta – it’s a hell of a drive to do in one day… Thanks!!

  5. my grandfather passed away not too long ago and found a baseball today with some signatures, check this out

    avery, clontz, maddux, justice, and mcgriff are all legible

    I think Smoltz Chipper and Javy are here, but are faded really bad

    pretty cool

  6. Timo,
    I was going to say, Savannah’s not really near Atlanta. We’re talking maybe 4 hours.

    Speaking of Savannah, dunno if you’ve read the book or seen the film “Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil,” but there are a lotta sites to see from that.

    Also, lotsa bars in downtown Savannah. It’s a pretty town, really nice town square. (Don’t mind the mosquitos.)

    csg,
    When I was a kid, my mom’s friend had a son who joined the Army & he gave me a stack of old Sports Illustrated mags.

    In that stack, there was program/score card from the 1969 Braves/Mets NLCS.

    On it, there was one autograph: Henry Aaron.

  7. ububba,
    Thank you… sounds not bad… Yeah, I know, it’s not really close but looking at the map, taking the I75 straight instead, there’s nothing really worth stopping for, is there and then it would be a 8-9 hour straight drive Saturday AND Sunday return…

  8. Yeah, you can blaze up 75.

    And nothing against the fine people of South Georgia, but I can’t really recommend stopping to see too much on I-75 (in places like Fitzgerald or Tifton) for anything more than a restroom.

    Unless, of course, you’re into peanuts or animal husbandry.

  9. Obviously timo I don’t know what you are looking for. Savannah is a physically beautiful city with 4 successive historic areas blending from the river back as federal, ante bellum, Victorian, and Queen Anne for about 10 blocks wide and 40 blocks deep. The Oglethorpe plan of squares is great.

    Food and miscellaneous party sites along River Street in Savannah(some a little better than others, but most food offereings are pretty good). Only drink the Chatham Artillery punch if you don’t have to drive. 755 Drayton at Forsyth Park for a little more upscale experience with a jazz club upstairs (or Eizabeth’s on 38th as I remember the street).

    Henderson Village on I-75 two miles west of Exit 127 (about 5 miles south of Perry)is a small town re-created as a cluster of cottages for a hotel operated as a “European gentlemen’s country retreat” by a German billionaire (he wanted a decent restaurant when he came to his American farm). About 8 years ago the property manager told me their wholesale cost of wine inventory was $750,000. Not really any action at all there (unless you want to hit the skeet range), but good food and a quaint, quiet place.

    Also downtown Macon has the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

  10. Thank you, Cliff. I’ll check out your recommendation on the jazz club, I guess.

    Henderson Village sounds cool, too, but living in Germany, I am happy not to see any in Georgia ;-)

  11. Heyward says the thumb felt fine in BP and that he’ll be good to go on Thursday unless the Braves want him to go on a short rehab assignment.

    He would have been fun to watch in the HR Derby.

  12. Good news about Heyward, and agreed, it would be fun – but I am just as happy he’s not messing with his swing and trying to come back from a thumb injury at the same time.

  13. Here’s a Manuelism from our boy Charlie: “I like him [Prado] in the leadoff hole, but I like him in the second hole.”

  14. It really kind of depresses me when I think about the fact that Charlie Manuel has as many rings as a manager as Bobby does.

  15. per mlbtr, Braves have interest in the following….Ross, Bautista, Willingham, and Hart

    nothing surprising

  16. It warms my soul to see Andrus and Felix on the Al team. Thank you Mark we have nothing left to show of you…

  17. well, I can find something that can help eliminate about an hr of the allstar game

    still cant believe Charlie didnt invite Bobby in his final season

  18. @34 – i agree. but part of me wonders if he was invited and declined, something we’d never know. charlie, while not brilliant, has never struck me as a bad guy. i too, find it hard to believe he didn’t ask bobby, and it makes me wonder, as i said if bobby declined, which i believe, would be exactly in line with his personality…

  19. You know why baseball is struggling with the young folks? One of my reasons would be that it is 830 EST and I am having to watch some chick I have never heard of, butcher a song I don’t like anyway, and we are no where close to first pitch.

    To be fair about the draft, Jermaine Dye was traded for Michael Tucker, in one of the worst moves the braves ever made.

    Oh yeah, Adam Wainright was traded for a one year rental of JD Drew. I still say those two deals hurt the brave more than any. If the braves had Dye on the roster, then the Braves would not had to have to trade for JD Drew, then the Braves would still have Wainright on the team and Lowe would not be forgetting how to win for 15 mil per year for the next 2.5 years.

    BTW, Steinbreinner was an a-hole.

  20. eh, if we are going to complain about trades, Ill put the Tex deal up to either the Drew/Dye deal. Looking at both Andrus and Feliz in this game helps to solidify that stance. I dont like discussing previous deals though

  21. The Wainright deal is the worst deal ever. The braves traded a true front of the rotation pitcher who would still be under our control, or under a reasonable contract if the front office was wise enough.

    Okay imagine Wainrigh, Hanson, and Jurgens. Now imagine what the braves could do with the extra 15 mil lying around….kept Vasquez, kept Tex, etc.

    Edit: I forgot about lockhart in the deal, and hindsight is 20/20. I will say this, it was not as bad as the Wainright deal.

    Just imagine…….

  22. dont know if I can believe that

    Drew carried the Braves to the playoffs, Im sure we got draft picks for him. It would be nice to have Wainright though

    Tex didnt get us to the playoffs, we got Marek and Kotchman instead of picks, and lost Andrus and Feliz

  23. Drew’s 2004 was a legitimate MVP caliber season and Eli Marrero was outstanding for a role player that year. It was another deal for the short-term and won us the division. I really doubt the Braves would have won 96 games without those 2.

    St. Louis also got Jason Marquis in that deal, who probably had his career year in 2004.

  24. Well, in context Marquis was about as good in 2009 for the Rockies — and made the All-Star team. He hurt his elbow after three starts this year, and who knows if he’ll come back, but he’s put up an ERA+ over 100 four of the last five seasons now, and is 94-86 for his career. That’s four more wins than Ben Sheets, who’s the same age, and Carl Pavano, who’s three years older. It’s more than Gil Meche or Aaron Harang or Carlos Silva, who are all about the same age.

  25. There were rumors that Marquis and Leo clashed, which is probably why he never got a real shot in Atlanta.

    There really wasn’t much reason to use a toasted Shane Reynolds over him in 2003.

  26. Sheesh, nobody remembers (or conveniently forgets) that Dye sucked for two years after that trade (OPS+ of SIXTY GODDAM THREE), while Tucker gave us two years of 100 OPS+. By the time Dye got around to not sucking, he was an expensive, and then he went right back to being pedestrian. 3 great years (2 at age 32 and 34) and two pretty good ones out of fourteen, and for 75M. Anyone who thinks Dye was a big loss just hasn’t looked at his career totals very closely.

  27. Why is McCarver asking Girardi about Cliff Lee and Jamie Moyer, neither of whom are Yankees?

  28. The Braves finished ten games ahead of the second-place Phillies in 2004. They likely would have won the division with an average right fielder.

    Still it was a good trade. The Braves got more than what they wanted out of J.D. Drew for one year: .305/.436/.569

  29. ‘The Wainright deal is the worst deal ever. The braves traded a true front of the rotation pitcher who would still be under our control, or under a reasonable contract if the front office was wise enough.’

    Wainwright wasn’t considered a potential true front of the rotation pitcher at the time of the trade. Context. Adam was our top pitching prospect and a former number 1 that was in his second year in AA. He wasn’t bad but certainly not a great minor league pitcher that scouts thought had the tools. Drew was the injury riddled enigma that the Cards wanted to unload. He managed to stay healthy was an essential element in a division championship team. Wainwright manages to fulfill his promise. Win Win for both teams.

  30. No, McCarver, I really doubt having 14 NL pitchers to 13 for the AL makes any difference at all.

  31. I hate sound like a conspiracy theorist, but Kuo throwing that ball high past first base kind of looked intentional.

  32. you’d think Hanley could take his earings out for a couple of hrs, you’d also think Hart could shave his face a bit too though

  33. Spike: I mentioned in the post I linked to — or maybe in the comments to the post, I don’t recall — that Dye was terrible those years, and that the Braves, who were trying to win, would not have been able to play him. The Braves presumably would have played Andruw full-time in right in 1997 if they hadn’t made the trade, and would have been in trouble in 1998 when Andruw moved to center. We’re talking a choice between Dye and Gerald Williams.

  34. I don’t think Hudson is going to pitch tonight on 2 days rest unless this goes into extra innings.

  35. @75, Sort of, I guess – I may not be fully comprehending here – you are now presuming that the Lofton trade gets made anyway (and for the same pieces), and that he isn’t resigned or extended if it does. I just think the notion (and I am not claiming that you are saying this) that the Dye trade was “one of the worst moves the braves ever made” is just unfounded.

  36. Who do you guys follow on twitter for baseball info?

    Whether for good info or for entertainment value…

  37. @79 Well, right – but you don’t think the two moves were related enough to where if you kept Dye, but you don’t see him as the answer, the Lofton trade is done anyway? The Lofton trade was to me pretty clearly done with the idea that Tucker or someone else was going to be your starter. Now, JS thinking of Tucker as a starting RF, let alone a long term solution is definitely a demerit. There had to have been better options out there, perhaps even standing pat with Marquis and Justice. But Tucker for Dye in any reasonable context was not a disaster by any stretch.

  38. I follow CyborgHanson48 for entertainment. Pretty hilarious but hasn’t been as active lately.

  39. I don’t know why I even watch this crap… this is the problem with the “All Guys Who Had A Good First Half” Game. We’re looking at Hong-Chih Kuo, losing pitcher, and when the NL had a real chance to score, they send up Chris Young and Marlon Byrd. Does anyone seriously think that these are among the best players in the league? Really among the best players, and not just guys who got hot for three months?

  40. Speaking of the best players in the league…

    Spike, at the time, everybody thought Dye was ready — remember his superficially impressive (that is, Francoeuresque) numbers in his callup.

  41. I’ve been waiting a lot of years for a Brave to come in and be a hero at the All Star Game.

    That hit gave me goose bumps!

  42. Who’s got two thumbs and doesn’t care about the All-Star game? This guy!

    No one has this kinda time on their hands, but I would love to see how our All-Draft team for the same period compares against the rest of the league. At the very least, how we do against the NL East. Like Mac said, we really hit it big with our international signings. Add to that Yunel Escobar, and live arms we’ve flipped in the past (Juan Cruz, anyone?), and we’ve done pretty well.

  43. WHAT THE EFF?!

    McCann-Do Attitude
    Ryan McCann’s bases-loaded double has the NL on the verge of its first win since 1996

    That’s what ESPN.com says. Ridiculous.

  44. @102
    i’m normally the same way, however with all the braves represented and the hopes of a world series berth, i’ll continue to watch.

  45. 105 — And they have a picture of Ryan Braun instead of “Ryan McCann” above the headline. Hilarious.

  46. @100, 104 I seem to recall Furcal very nearly hitting one out at the end of an ASG when the NL was down 1.

  47. Could this finally catapult McCann’s popularity to the level he deserves? Big hit on a national scene has to do great things for his street cred.

  48. #106 – agreed. And ESPECIALLY since as of right now, one of our guys has the chance to be tonight’s hero. And the first NL win since 96? Uhh, this is kind of a big deal tome and an especially big deal if our boys make it to October.

    I like that EX Brave Adam Wainwright is on to get the 7th for the NL. Let’s go Adam!

  49. I guess I’m in the minority that actually enjoys the All-Star Game. Yea there are always the players that shouldn’t be playing, but for the most part I feel like they get it right.

    I dunno, I like seeing guys like McCann and Prado share the same field as guys like Pujols and Howard. And I rarely get to see someone like Longoria or Price play so its kind of fun to watch this. And hey, we’re watching Wainwright pitch to McCann, which is what a lot on here wish we could do every fifth day.

  50. Matt Holliday is a terrible OF. He’s a DH in the wrong league. Can he quit embarrassing himself on national television?

  51. I have to admit, I really want the NL to win now. And I suppose I actually do care about the ASG now. Amazing how one swing quickly changed that.

  52. Mike N, I agree, kinda cool, and let’s face it, for us Braves fans, this is the first time an All Star has mattered since 2005.

  53. Tim McCarver talking about rally monkeys makes me realize there are commentators as annoying as Chip.

  54. I second ububba. I’m completely OK with the fact that our best starting pitcher and best reliver either won’t play or didn’t even make the trip. What matters is this team’s health and energy in the 2nd half.

    But B-Mac getting the NL off the schnide tonight would sure be nice.

  55. Amusing how just plain bloody worthless some of these players look. Did America really need to see those 7 seconds of Michael Bourn?

  56. See above on the “All Guys Who Had A Good First Half” Game, except that Bourn didn’t even have a good first half. Nothing puts the lie to the “star” idea more than things like Michael Bourn, all-star leftfielder.

  57. The NBA has the Idiot Fan Problem (bet you a dollar that Iverson somehow gets voted in as a starter again) but plays it right with not letting every team have to have a rep. The Astros are a terrible organization with lousy players and deserve none of this nation’s interest.

  58. Last Friday night, I went to the Dodgers/Cubs game & sat in Mannywood, next to the Dodger bullpen.

    Up close, I watched Broxton get warm. That guy is a 300-pound beast. It was like watching a pachyderm stuffed into double-knits. Just outrageous heat.

  59. Why on earth was David Ortiz still on 1b? You telling me with a 74 man roster, there was no one left faster than David Ortiz?

  60. Joe Girardi is a super-genius. “Hey, let’s lose the All-Star Game with A-Rod sitting on the bench!” Hell, they might have won if he’d used him to pinch-run!

  61. So how can they snub McCann now? Give the MVP to Broxton? Or Marlon Byrd for taking that important walk?

  62. Obviously, the National League is the superior league. We now have empirical proof of this. Mathematically speaking, the NL is three times as good as the AL.

  63. #147

    I don’t think they’re going to snub McCann and I’m pretty sure Byrd and Broxton would back McCann for MVP of the game.

  64. Hes pretty clear cut – yeah, I do think. The NL doesn’t win tonight without McCann’s double. It’s black n white.

  65. I checked Fangraphs, and McCann’s double was by far the biggest play of the game, with the caveat that I can’t figure out how to calculate the difference between an out and a hit on Byrd’s assist.

  66. Would it be wrong if I wrote a good, old-fashioned Steinbrenner rant about how the AL All-Stars let down the fans and the league and he’s embarrassed for them?

  67. best Steinbrenner quote….

    “The National League needs to join the 21st century,” said Steinbrenner to the Associated Press after the injury.

    “I’ve got my pitchers running the bases, and one of them gets hurt,” added Steinbrenner.

    “He’s going to be out. I don’t like that, and it’s about time they address it. That was a rule from the 1800s.”

  68. That wouldn’t be wrong at all, Mac. Do it.

    I’m definitely in the minority. I LOVE the All Star Game, the same way I love ’87 Topps, USA Today’s Sports Section and Appetite for Destruction. It brings me back to my summers of old. As a kid I looked forward to the All Star Game probably more than any night of the year.

  69. “Would it be wrong if I wrote a good, old-fashioned Steinbrenner rant about how the AL All-Stars let down the fans and the league and he’s embarrassed for them?”

    Please do this.

  70. apparently the Brewers asked the Giants for Bumgarner or Sanchez for Corey Hart. Whats our equivalent? Medlen? hell no

  71. BTW, 6 Georgia guys on the NL squad tonight:

    Matt Capps (Douglasville)
    Jonathan Broxton (Waynesboro)
    Brian McCann (Duluth)
    Marlon Byrd (Marietta)
    Adam Wainwright (Brunswick)
    Brandon Phillips (Stone Mountain)

    Not bad.

  72. Aside from the McCann double, my other favorite plays from the game were the heads up quick tag play by Phillips and the nasty throw from right by Marlon Byrd to get Ortiz. I like Scott Rolen’s first to third too.

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