The Jadeite Jewel Consolation Bracket: Round One

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.
 
Your votes have chosen the top two plays, but we have all had to mourn favorite plays falling by the wayside in the process. Several plays received such adulation from Braves Journal voters that it seemed a pity to not give them their proper due before we anoint the grand champion. Some of your most beloved plays (as indicated in past votes) are back, to help us determine the ranking of Simmons’s top ten plays.

Consolation Bracket: You Shall Not Pass vs. Run At Your Own Risk

You Shall Not Pass

http://youtu.be/Bbbo7RlUVPk

Editor’s Pitch: I’m really not sure how Simmons got to this ball. He had to dive, obviously, but then he had to reach up to actually catch it. I wouldn’t have guessed his arms were long enough to make this play, but the one lesson I have learned from watching Andrelton for three years is to always expect the impossible. And this certainly looks impossible.

Previous appearance: You Shall Not Pass lost to A League of His Own, 29-15.

Run At Your Own Risk

Editor’s Pitch: When a ball splits the gap and bounces away from even the most accomplished of outfielders, you pretty much concede the runner on first will score and focus on keeping the hitter held to a double. Not Simmons. Michael Cuddyer was over halfway home, but Simmons, well onto the outfield grass, threw a perfect strike to the plate to nail him. The ball could not have landed in a better place for Brian McCann had Simmons walked it in and handed it to him. Just wow.

Previous Appearance: Run At Your Own Risk lost to Taggin’ Fool, 35-23

24 thoughts on “The Jadeite Jewel Consolation Bracket: Round One”

  1. I’m not sure what I think about us going for Olivera. 2nd and 3rd potentially has Peterson, Peraza, and Ruiz for the future. If Peraza moves to center, then we have Peraza, Markakis and Toscano for the future. I understand we can make trades and that none of these guys are can’t miss, but I really don’t see Olivera as can’t miss – especially since he’s almost 30 and has health concerns. It just seems better to stick with who we have, see who pans out, and wait to make a splash on the free agent or international market when we shed MBJ’s contract. Am I missing something here?

    Also, I know Toscano is supposedly having govt paperwork issues, but is there any reason for the deafening silence on this?

  2. td @ 1,

    I am puzzled but still pleased on the Olivera thing. But the health things are iffy. The biggest “iffy” is the blood disorder / fatigue thing. That could be permanent. For a position player UCL surgery is 8 months lost, so what is the big loss if you lose him this year?

    Olivera has a little of that Chris Johnson feel to him. That is, he might be pretty good, but if a Peraza (or Chris Johnson) or Peterson or Ruiz can be as good for less money (or in CJ’s case, previously sunk money), then what does he add?

    MAYBE the thing is sign Olivera since it is only money. If he overperforms (or hits high end of his projection), trade him or Peraza. If he underperforms, you can survive it.

  3. From the last thread:

    @42 – “My resting opinion is that all we’ve done is brought the “but then what?” phase on a year early.”

    A year early, but with a head start on rebuilding the farm system, which ain’t nothing. If you play out 2015, finish .500, Upton and Heyward leave, you are in a situation where the major league team sucks, the minor league system sucks, you aren’t picking high enough to get impact players in the draft, and you don’t have enough money to buy your way out with free agents. It’s hard to see a line where you rebuild a franchise in that state with any sort of speed.

    The way they played it, you punt 2015, but the farm system is a lot more of an asset, you’re picking higher in the draft, you have more international money.

    It seems clear to me that whatever the Braves did, there was going to be a year sometime soon where they were going to have to take their lumps, thanks to bad signings and poor amateur development. They didn’t have the organizational resources to compete into perpetuity without an infusion of cash that doesn’t seem forthcoming. (I don’t mean to say that’s impossible, but rather that I don’t see how you take the Braves as they were at the end of the 2014 season and do it.) They had the choice of whether that was going to be 2015-16, or 2016 and beyond.

  4. “I don’t see how you take the Braves as they were at the end of the 2014 season and do it.”

    Tanto, did you read through my Bizarro Braves stuff? Not that it’s a final word or anything, but I worked on a couple of specific answers to that concern.

    And for some friendly nitpicking: the “more international money” thing would have been part of the plan no matter what option we picked for 2015. The LaStella move was a winner all the way around.

  5. The thing about Olivera is that he only costs money — there are no prospect implications, as there would be with another free agent, and agreeing to a deal with him right now costs us essentially nothing, because any prospective deal would be pending a full examination by our doctors. Currently, the speculation about his health is subject to our near-total ignorance on his particulars.

    Personally, I think the Braves should be a lot more active in these areas. They may have thought they got burned on Kawakami, though in my view they got a league-average pitcher who pretty much pitched about as well as what they paid him. But the Braves are one of the more active teams in Latin America, and I think it’s important for us to continue to be active in markets that have been heating up more recently, like the Pacific Rim and Cuba.

  6. I’m worried about committing to a 4 or 5 year contract at this time. We have close to 90 million committed to the 2017 team already, and it’s fair to expect 26 MM to be sunken costs (CJ and MUJ), not to mention another 11 going to Markakis who I expect to be replacement level by then. I don’t know how much we’re expecting to spend in 2017 on player payroll, but another 10-15 MM contract could put us in a position where we have to trade a Wood or a Miller because we can’t afford their pre free agency arb salaries.

  7. @8

    You’ve done it!! You found the secret nickname!!

    MUJ = Mudge. Mudge Upton.

    Our outfield is going to be full of mudgecakes come June.

  8. As soon as I typed it, I though “MUJ, I could see that catching on”. My brother and I always referred to him as “Beej” while texting.

  9. We apparently released Tyler Pastornicky. Weird to think he won the OD shortstop position over Simmons just a few years ago.

  10. Good for Cody Martin. All he’s done is deserve it. He was a dark-horse 5th starter candidate for the Bizarro squad, too.

  11. After reading the first few comments in this thread, I was convinced that Hector had signed with us and promptly searched all the news sites for word of the deal.

    As John Prine sang, all the comments you made makes y’all bad boys again.

    Do behave.

  12. The end of the UCLA/SMU game might’ve been the worst call I’ve ever seen in my life. Whoever the ref was should never be allowed in a gym again. You can’t make a worse call.

  13. Heh. Mudge.

    Don’t worry guys–I can’t see Olivera signing with us, unless he’s the first int’l FA in history who wants to take less money to play for a worse team. We can’t even guarantee him more playing time than the other teams bc infield talent is one thing we’re not short on in our system. I am, however, puzzled by the mere attempt to sign him.

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