Another team from somewhere 1, Barves 0 (again)

Some may find this a sacrilege of a powerful moment in human history. Some may find it a violation of our “no politics” rule. Nevertheless, I am reminded of the words from the old spiritual as delivered by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Washington Monument 51 or so years ago. “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.” Not again will I have to attempt to recap this putrid stench.

I am about Aaron Harang like Marvin Webster (a made up John Boy and Billy “Big Show” character) is about Wyle Coyote. “I respect you man, because you’re out there busting your hump.” 7 innings, 1 run. No matter what, he will always be in my group of favorite Braves.

Why don’t the Barves just forfeit their half innings at what some call at bat? In post game interviews, they mentioned the integrity of the game. Barv. The integrity of the game would be better served by letting any and everybody else on the 40 man roster hit. This primary group couldn’t hit their forehead with a palm.

If you really want to know details, you can look them up, but it’s not pretty.

Oh, and I guess “We hated Frank Wren so now we will play better since he’s gone,” didn’t work either.

I tried to Barv, but could only do the dry heaves. There is no ability to call “Ralph.”

75 thoughts on “Another team from somewhere 1, Barves 0 (again)”

  1. JC’d from last thread:

    Texas has stated publicly that they will adjust payroll to account for low attendance numbers this year. So yes, they’re looking to move salary. They also have a terrible OF, a terrible C, and when Prince Fielder is playing 1B a terrible DH. There current OF consists of:

    Soo Choo (60 Day DL)
    Leonis Martyn
    Alex Rios
    Michael Choice
    Dan Robertsion
    Jim Adduci

    Their catcher is Robinson Chirinos. Their DH is Mitch Moreland. Their entire starting rotation was injured last year, Yu Darvish notwithstanding. They are an apt trade partner for us. Needs line up reasonably well for both sides. If the Braves agree to pay Upton’s final year the Rangers save 12-13 mil by moving Beltre to us, gain Gattis as a C/DH fix, and might actually find Upton to be an upgrade over Jim Adduci. (If someone in Texas could get him to make contact a little more often then Upton would convert more fly balls to HR’s in Arlington’s short porch in RF.)

    It’s not an unreasonable ask.

  2. @Previous thread

    I’m certainly not saying Bethancourt is Mike Trout or nearly close. I do think we’re doing that small sample size thing though.

    I think he’s going to be much much better defensively and at game-calling than Gattis can ever be. I’ll take a defense-first catcher who works well with the pitching staff over Gattis, who we can use to offload people and try and bring in players who can hit at other positions.

  3. 1. Looking at his career, I like Adrian Beltre. But getting older is going to make things worse, not better. Taking him on now is a high probability of taking on “tail end Uggla.” Age is MORE important in the post PED world. The position player aging curve appears to have moved left. In recent years they start dropping around 26. Yow!
    2. How Mark Bradley can say we couldn’t see Uggla being this bad but could easily see BJ Upton being this bad is incredible. EVERYBODY knew the Uggla extension was going to turn out bad. It just turned out worse. BJ looked like a better deal than Bourne, and really hasn’t been that much worse than Bourne. The BJ error was in not working a trade for a young centerfielder. I think if they had thought they could have gotten Span for what Washington put on him, that is the way they would have gone. And probably the price came down on Span once the Braves were out of that by signing BJ.
    3. This team has quit. I don’t know how to define when it is “on Fredi” or “on or by whatever.” But getting rid of Wren didn’t make them happy.
    4. The Braves Way needs to go with everything else.
    5. Schuerholz is a sanctimonious (insert expletive). HE ruined the farm system. He oversaw the drop of the team from contention. Wren started them back. in “real” (adjusted for general inflation or baseball inflation) Wren had decreasing payroll.
    6. If Liberty counts the ends of Uggla and BJ in the authorized payroll for the next GM, they won’t get any worthwhile outside candidates.
    7. If Liberty counts Uggla and BJ, the team will inevitably suck. And they need to understand that even if they think their profitability will go up if they go cheap, they do not know the Atlanta market.
    8. If Cox thinks Fredi is “fine”, then he obviously needs to be out of decision making.
    9. I am not yet sure that Bethancourt IS a plus defensive catcher. Passed balls have been seemingly routine. He seems to have the ability to control the running game. He will NEVER hit. So, if you get a haul for Gattis, you can move him, but if it isn’t a haul, you ought to keep him.
    10. Chris Johnson had never had a year when he hit lefthanders better than righthanders before 2013. Either he oscillates and rebound to his average self next year, or he doesn’t. He is not a lefty side platoon 3B.

  4. I’ve pointed out elsewhere, and will repeat here, that I strongly suspect that Bobby doesn’t believe Fredi has had a real chance to “manage” the team and be his own man, due to Wren’s “micromanaging.”

  5. I don’t see anything to support the statement that Bethancourt is a plus defensive catcher. He appears to have one tool at this point, throwing. They really have to get it right if they are going to move Gattis this offseason.

  6. The Braves Way needs to include more contact hitters. I despise the Cardinals, yet I admire the way they play baseball. They have some power (the two Matts: Holliday and Adams), but it’s guys like Carpenter, Jay, and Craig (when he was with them) who get the job done. Same thing with the Giants. If we are, indeed, in a new dead ball era, shouldn’t the Braves look at restructuring the team accordingly? Are the days of living by the three-run HR over?

  7. No, it’s not enough. You have to adopt an approach at the plate that makes the most of your limitations (if you choose to look at things that way). Matt Carpenter doesn’t swing for the fences. Neither does the Giant SS with the greasy hair—Crawford? Gosselin is a good example of the player I’m talking about. He looks like he can help the team. It’s the approach that matters, and I don’t believe that many of the Braves have adopted it. Probably too much ego.

  8. Andrelton IS NOT the main culprit in this lost season. He will improve on offense, though probably never to the Tulo or ARod level. Early in the season, however, it was written on here, and not by me, that Simba’s upside was Ozzie on defense (with a better arm) and Jeter on offense. That may have been wishful thinking, but I believe he will hit better in the future.

  9. @12 – Agreed. Andrelton helped kill the offense but he was an even bigger reason that the bubblegum-and-duct-tape pitching staff looked pretty good. He’ll probably be better at hitting in the future than he showed this year.

    Also agreed that contact hitters who don’t try to swing for power aren’t necessarily very good though – case in point: Chris Johnson.

  10. I have every confidence that Andrelton will turn it around. He’s already made some adjustments. His work ethic is too strong for him to allow his poor hitting to continue.

    Singles and doubles. Gap power. When Johnson was going well last year, he hit mostly singles. How many Braves can hit to all fields? To me, a player’s ability to hit to all fields is a more vital asset to the team than his ability to hit the ball out of the park.

  11. Andrelton HAS to get better. His second half .203/.240/.278/.518. I don’t care how good his glove is, this team cannot carry that bat. He may not be the main culprit but he was one of the 3 amigos that weighted down this years offense.

  12. The Rangers are not going to take BJ Upton. Period. No outfield could be bad enough that adding BJ Upton would not make it worse. That is the way it is when you are one of the four or five worst players in the league. But more to the point, the Rangers may be thin in the outfield in 2015 but they are stacked with outfield prospects all through low A, high A and AA. Half a dozen of those are legit four or five tool players. Seriously the Rangers might have ten OF prospects that are better than our best OF prospect. They are not going to plug up an OF spot for the next three years with BJ fucking Upton.

    And dwelling on their current outfield situation ignores their surplus of riches on the infield. They can easily trade one of Odor or Profar for a quality major league ready outfielder.

    Likewise, they might be interested in Gattis (any AL team would be idiotic not to be), but they are not going to value him as anything much more than a DH and possibly a very short-term, part-time solution at catcher. Arguably one of their top two or three prospects (in a stacked system) is a catcher. Jprge Alfaro is two years younger than Bethancourt, has put up much better numbers at every level, and his defensive strides this year seems to have vaulted him into the elite prospect level in the eyes of the scouts. Sure, Gattis still has plenty of value as a DH, but here again with Gallo, Beltre and Fielder the Rangers already have plenty of options, and that is even before including Ryan Rua, who if nothing else absolutely can hit lefthanded pitching.

    Nevertheless, even if the Rangers really did want Gattis, we would be better off getting some of their young, cost-controlled players and simply eating BJ’s contract.

  13. Chris Johnson 2013:

    547 PA’s, 165 hits, 119 singles, 34 doubles, 12 homers, 116 k’s, 29 walks

    Chris Johnson 2014:

    593 PA’s, 148 hits, 114 singles, 25 doubles, 9 homers, 153(!) k’s, 23 walks

  14. Yep, Edward, the Ks are killing us. So are the lack of walks. But you don’t need everyone on the team to be a power hitter, do you?

  15. @17

    Gattis is extremely valuable even if he’s only a DH. (He isn’t only a DH; he’s actually a perfectly capable major league catcher, but whatever, we’ll play by your rules.)

    A .359 WOBA in 400 plate appearances would make him the 5th-7th best DH in the AL this year among DH’s, depending on how much you weigh the number of plate appearances.

    That’s a lot of good at bats. He’s a really good hitter. And he doesn’t cost very much.

  16. @20

    No. I need everyone in the line-up to get on base at least 30% of the time they come to the plate. And 7 of them to get on base 33% of the time. And I need them to know how to bring a run in from third with less than two outs.

    And then comes power, which is important, but not as important as the other stuff.

  17. @16

    Yeah, Andrelton Simmons is not a contact hitter. Or to be more precise, he is a contact hitter but refuses to play like one. If he would stop with the gigantic windmill swing on every single pitch and start working on making more contact, he’d be a perfectly serviceable Major League hitter whose bat the team could afford to carry. We’ve seen that he has the capability of not striking out very often, so I think it’s there. He just needs to spend the winter working on it.

  18. @21, that’s not how a lot of teams use the DH. Many teams use the DH the way fantasy owners use the “Util” slot: as spillover. When a player gets older but is still under contract for a lot of money, they’ll slide him into DH where he’ll do the least harm. Most teams don’t go looking for a DH as a free agent or a trade target — it’s where they put a guy who’s already on the 25-man roster and can’t play defense.

  19. @27

    I looked at all players who had 100 or more at bats from the DH position. Gattis improves any AL line-up significantly if he catches, and he improves most of them on DH days. Anyway, I was writing from a perspective that someone else proposed.

    @26

    “but they are not going to value him as anything much more than a DH and possibly a very short-term, part-time solution at catcher.”

    See Alex’s comment @27 for how they’ll look at him if they’re looking at him.

  20. Yeah. Gattis’s best hope is for something like a Victor Martinez/Mike Napoli situation: play some catcher, play some first base, play some defense. He’s cost-controlled for a while and he has big league power: he’s a player who has value. The trouble with trading him is, the cupboard’s pretty bare. We already need offense. It’s hard to get rid of what little offense we have.

  21. As a vocal minority, I prefer a Gattis-Heyward-Dear God Anybody but an Upton outfield.

    I know I’m stupid, but I don’t want Justin or BJ or even Kate on any team I root for. Given my druthers, I’d take Kate.

  22. Don’t be silly and say things about cousin Kate that you don’t mean.

    @30

    I don’t think I could. I wouldn’t mind not trading Gattis, if we find other ways to fill in the rest of the offense. But if he stays he’s got to catch. Freddie’s got 1b on lock-down and the man cannot play any other position.

  23. Evan Gattis: 393 PA, 95 Ks (24.2% K rate); Slash line of 269/323/504 (827 OPS)
    Justin Upton: 621 PA, 165 Ks (26.6% K rate); Slash line of 269/342/484 (826 OPS)

    I’m at a loss how you could love the one that gives you 400 appearances of a SLG heavy 827 while hating the guy that gives you 630 appearances of the same production, only tilted slightly more towards OBP. It can’t be stylistics; both are hard swinging RHB who K about a quarter of their PAs. I mean, for all intents and purposes, Evan Gattis and Justin Upton are the exact same hitter, only Upton plays every day.

  24. I don’t hate him really. I just don’t like him, and I have no quantifiable reason for my dislike. Have you ever felt like that about a player, Sam; or all your likes and dislikes founded in logic?

  25. Despite his infuriating, if occasional LF follies, JUpton can play for my team. It’s more about the lineup that surrounds him…

    Also, FWIW, my likes are more irrational. After all, I did head the Rafael Ramirez Fan Club.

  26. It bears mentioning that Justin Upton is no worse defensively in LF than Evan Gattis is behind the plate.

  27. I’ve heard that Kate is a slap hitter like Heyward. Hell, if she can play CF reasonably then get it done uhhhhhhhh.

    @37 Thank God it wasn’t the Andres Thomas fan club. I sure hope we don’t return to the days like those when Raffy was, you know, one of out starters.

  28. Nobody on this team should be untouchable this offseason. We can finish below .500 without them as easily as with them. I’m not hanging up the phone if anyone calls about Freeman, or Heyward, or Teheran…

  29. Raffy could make a great inning-ending play in the hole, then kick a tailor-made GIDP the very next inning, and his demeanor remained the same. He was a Dominican Alfred E. Neuman.

    Andres Thomas, conversely, was both lousy & charmless.

  30. I remember thinking Andres Thomas was going to be the best SS ever when he first came up. The Braves were so bad that every single prospect was always the next-coming. It was the only thing to look forward to. Brad Komminsk hype? I was all-in.

  31. I used to get a baseball book every year that outlined the teams players and the top prospects. Rowland Office was our top prospect for a couple of editions. The book was a soft cover about the size of a school dictionary. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of it.

  32. What a quandary. Is the core team good enough, are there enough of them to build around? Assuming no more money the answer may be no. If the budget is increased then maybe yes. I dunno.

  33. @ 44

    Probably a Sporting News publication, although could have come from Elias.

    Anyone remember when Pat Rockett was to be our savior at short? A first round draft pick, played less than a full season in Atlanta (and nowhere else).
    Or Earl Williams at 3b/c.?

    There is a long list.

  34. This may have already been covered but is there some reason all of our regulars are still playing? I assume it’s the whole integrity of the game thing since we are playing Pittsburgh, but can we not give Terdo or Doumit a start somewhere? If I’m Milwaukee I’m begging the Braves to try something to change it up.

    Draft pick update right now ATL is tied with NYM for the 15th pick (would be 14th but Houston gets the #2 pick for the Aiken debacle). Could get as high (low?) as the 12th pick as ATL is only 1.5 games in front of MIA.

  35. A 46,

    Earl Williams actually got us a lot. The Orioles got hit with that. We got Davey Johnson and Pat Dobson and maybe somebody else for Earl Williams.

  36. What a quandry. Is the core team good enough, are there enough of them to build around?

    I keep saying, this is what happens when you abandon WAR. Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good leaves you with no way to measure how valuable players are.

  37. Mets announce Terry Collins will return as manager & they’ve extended GM Sandy Alderson thru 2017. Make of that what you will.

    It’s also been reported that Wally Backman will be on the coaching staff–one assumes that’s just so Collins will always be looking over his shoulder.

  38. Fredi’s firing will come, either this year, or next year after the Braves stink again under his “leadership”.

  39. I’ll be very surprised if Fredi is retained for next year. But I don’t think it matters much who the manager is – the team isn’t good.

  40. Gary Sheffield ripped Heyward and BJ in a radio interview, calling them “dreadful” and saying they look out before they step up to the plate. Hmmm.

  41. Interesting tweet…

    @ZachKleinWSB
    “on-camera #Braves players/officials being nice. Off-camera..haven’t found one who wanted Wren around. “great day, just wished it was sooner”

  42. For heaven’s sake, the players aren’t supposed to like upper management. He’s the guy who has to cry poor when shopping them to other teams, sending their friends back to the minors, and lowballing them in salary negotiations. Wren’s job is to build a roster that wins ballgames. It really doesn’t matter if they like him, so long as they don’t hate him so much that they’d dog it or hold out just to spite bim.

  43. We lose the 37th pick of 2014 (this winter.) We do not lose the pick from this season (the 2015 draft.)

  44. @53

    In what context? I trust Sheff as a great hitter, and probably a guy with a good eye for great hitters. I don’t trust that he has actually been watching the Braves very much this season. That’s just the knee-jerk, though. You only need to be able to read a few box scores to say BJ Upton looks dreadful.

  45. A cheap way for the Braves to increase television viewership, without the need to spend a lot of money buying a quality product (team), would be to simply replace Caray.

  46. Make that “is articulate.” Also, who got the error on the botched throw to second? I was out of the room.

  47. We apparently don’t expect Hart to take it, according to the broadcast. So weird.

    EDIT: Hard to not take this as: they want to show Coppolella they don’t think he’s totally ready.

  48. MLB network says he’s mulling it over. Tough beat for mil fans, 150 days in first and you don’t make it.

  49. if it wasnt obvious that these guys wont play for Freddie before .. it sure is now .. talk about giving up … Freeman states he is starting to feel bad for starting pitchers !! Just now starting to feel bad … hell where has he been ????

  50. Christ, even if we all agreed it’s not Fredi’s fault, he doesn’t seem to be able to mitigate it much.

  51. My final recap of the season is up. I’ll be without Internet access for the rest of the season, so you guys will have to ride out the rest of this agony on your own. I’m hoping the next time I watch the Braves play, it will be on their way to their fourth World Series championship. What is the point of fandom if you can’t dream a little?

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