Memories for me and tfloyd, and a rainout

It’s Game 105 in 1966, and we will have the last recap of the Bobby Bragan managerial era: a walkoff loss to Fergie Jenkins who pitched the 11th and 12th innings in his 45th appearance of the year (after a cup of coffee with the Phils in 1965) in Wrigley Field before 7,266 rabid Cubs fans. Tony Cloninger started the game and went 9 innings with one walk and 7 strikeouts. He passed away last week, and it’s kind of amazing to me when you realize most of the 1966 team is still alive – I’m often surprised that I’m still alive, and I was 10 at the time. It’s kind of like discovering that your elementary school teachers are still alive – they seemed so old back then. RIP, big feller.

Robin Roberts started for the Cubs and was chased in the 6th inning, just in time for the Braves to take a 5-4 lead on a bases loaded walk to Aaron. Aaron of course homered (31), and he had 4 of the 5 Braves RBIs. Ernie Banks tripled twice but the hero of the game was a player I don’t remember at all, Byron Browne (career WAR -0.1, pretty much the definition of a replacement level player: he was a player ahead of his time, though, leading the league with 143 strikeouts in ‘66), who hit a two-out base-loaded single in the bottom of the 12 for his third hit of the day. Fergie Jenkins pitched two scoreless innings, only giving up singles to Aaron and Eddie Mathews, and getting slow fat Joe Torre to hit into a double play. (Torre was still OPSing .905 at this point, second only to you-know-who.) The Braves fell to 48-57 and changes were in the air.

Back to the present… And we have: THE RAIN

I haven’t seen this Netflix series, but it seems appropriate. One series I did watch this week is season 3 of Last Chance U. It’s not quite as astonishing as Season 1, but what the series lacks in innovation it makes up for with the astonishing real life character of Jason Brown No one interested in the underbelly of American athletics, or American life, should miss it.

And now the Braves come up here. I won’t be in town to catch one, unfortunately, but I heard that the Mets are playing some of their best ball of the year, and the changes they made at the deadline have them really preparing to put a push on at the end. Morale is high and the sky is the limit for Mr. Met and his confreres, so we’d better be ready.

Author: JonathanF

Alive since 1956. Braves fan since 1966. The first ten years were pretty much wasted. Exiled to Yankees/Mets territory in 1974 --- bearable only with TBS followed by MLB.TV.

146 thoughts on “Memories for me and tfloyd, and a rainout”

  1. Trading prospects for Realmuto this offseason is a perfectly reasonable idea. If the Nats, in their state of dire need, didn’t want to meet the Marlins’ asking price at the deadline, then I kind of doubt the Braves will be the team that goes there, but on its face it’s a perfectly reasonable idea.

    It’s just when you say things like this…

    They will have enough data by the end of the season to know who they really need to keep and everyone else will be tradeable – all the way to the top. The Shelby Miller trade in reverse. The only reason that trade seems so bad now is that Miller didn’t perform (injury).

    …it’s almost like you decorated the idea with garbage and set it on fire.

  2. If Realmuto were available for a non-insane price, the Nationals would’ve gotten him already. They’ve basically been standing on the side of the highway with a “Will Trade Prospex 4 Realmuto” sign for the last 10 months. The fact that it hasn’t happened should tell you that the Marlins are asking the moon.

    The Shelby Miller trade was not a reasonable payment for a starting pitcher. Immediately after it was consummated, people started referring to it as being up there with the Pierzynski trade among the very worst swaps of all time, and that was before Shelby Miller was revealed to be permanently broken.

  3. Last Chance U was quite good. Man, I can’t wait to see how the 1966 season shakes out.

    If Dansby doesn’t become the 4+ WAR star he was projected to be, then does the Shelby Miller trade normalize into just simply a “good” trade for Atlanta? And I say that with the assumption that no one knew Shelby was broken but Arizona had the ability to scout Dansby.

  4. No, because a big part of Dansby’s value is that his floor is way higher than most prospects’ floors. People didn’t really expect Aaron Blair to completely fizzle, but TINSTAAPP and that happens. But Dansby’s floor is Jeff Blauser’s career, and his ceiling is somewhere between Edgar Renteria and Tony Fernandez. He’s almost certainly at least a league-average shortstop. The value of that is very difficult to overstate, especially given the abominable crap we’ve run out there over the last few years.

    PLUS they gave us Inciarte, who was an All-Star last year.

  5. My mom is from Independence,KS where Last Chance U was filmed this year.
    It’s a cool little town. Laura Ingles lived there (Little House on the Prarie)
    The first night baseball game took place there (in the stadium they play football in)
    Also, Mickey Mantle played minor league baseball there. My grandfather talked with him several times.

  6. @6

    Priceless memories…Mantle and all he represented, a small town in middle America that made it on the baseball map.

  7. Mantle memories…

    Toots Shor
    may not be around any more
    but then neither are most of his denizens
    smothered by trollop and lazy carcinogens.

    ‘If I knew I was going to live this long I’d have taken better care of myself.’

  8. Fwiw, “The Rain” might be the best worst thing I’ve ever watched, as-in it’s so bad that it wraps around the spectrum and becomes ironically entertaining.

  9. @1 @2 @4 @5 First, I love how Inciarte is all of a sudden everyone’s darling when he was our goat-of-the-day for a while now. Second, you have to have a little reversible thought in your logic. Arizona was trying to get a TOR SP, an ace. And they gave away what was reasonable to do that. I am not saying that the trade was great for Arizona – I agree with you guys’ assessments. And there is every reason to believe Arizona made the trade essentially for the wrong guy (much to our benefit). I don’t recall exactly who their first choice was but Shelby was Plan B for them. What I was saying is that we are now in a position to make a Shelby-like trade (hopefully with more sensibility than Dave Stewart) and Realmuto is a great target and that we should make such a trade knowing full well what the gNats have been trying to do. Realmuto’s current performance, past history, young age, and our need at catcher all come together to make it a sensible thing to do even if we have to overpay. What we should NOT do is, if Realmuto falls through, pivot to Grandal and make exactly the same deal as we would have for Realmuto. That was Arizona’s big mistake. Grandal is a great Plan B and would be a perfectly reasonable target, but not at the same price as Realmuto. Grandal is a 2.5 WAR annual catcher whereas Realmuto is a 3.5WAR annual catcher.

    Everyone has been saying “we have too many holes this year to go all in” and I agree. But AA also played by that same rule book and did not go “all in” at the deadline – far from it – but he did fill enough holes….. long term…. that he set us up to only have very specific remaining holes over the winter. He did not need to fill RF or C right now because we have perfectly decent or better than decent assets there right now. He filled every hole that had no real plan for the future behind it.

    RF, C – fill in the offseason
    1B, 2B, LF, CF, most of the rotation and the bullpen – already resolved long term (with CF/OF having Pache and Waters coming through the system)
    SS, 3B – better than average solutions for the long term with potential for improvement from young, controllable assets (and Riley for next year)
    Bench – need backup C and LH bat
    Closer – wait and see
    Ace – wait and see

    This was the real genius of what AA did at the deadline. He solved every nickel-and-dime problem we had on the roster (including the Rule 5 crunch). And, because, we currently have really good assets in the areas of need for next year, we will have a chance to see what the rest of this team can do this year that will carry over virtually in its entirety to next year.

    I am quite certain and confident that AA will spend some very high end capital over the winter. Harper and Realmuto are Plan A and Pollock and Grandal are Plan B. Since Plan B are both FA, we could turn to trading for an Ace with prospects (deGrom??). Hopefully, Pollock and Grandal combined would be the equivalent cost of Harper.

  10. What if Swanson’s career ends up with a JJ Hardy trajectory? That would not be so bad…… Somewhere between Blauser and Renteria.

  11. Roger at 10,

    Grandal can be gotten for only money. Realmuto requires prospect capital. Then, the positives of those prospects to the Marlins will be felt in our division for the next 6 plus years, 18 games a year.

    A cash overpay for Grandal is not as bad as a prospect overpay for Realmuto.

    Another thing is that starting catchers must rest at least about 1 / 4 of your games to be effective. So, for a position player, they have the least opportunity to produce a positive.

  12. Let me add my name to the list of posters who would rather not pay the Marlins’ obviously extremely high asking price for Realmuto. Yes, he’s the most valuable catcher in baseball this season (by about ~1 fWAR thus far higher than Grandal and Contreras) and he’s been worth 3-4 WAR (top 3 or 4 catchers) for 3 years running… but with very few notable exceptions, catchers start falling off the aging cliff way earlier than most positions. Odds are that 2018 represents Realmuto’s peak, and he reverts to being a ~3 WAR guy instead of a 5 WAR guy for a few years before injuries and reduced speed take a toll on his productivity. The Marlins are hoping some team pays for 2018 Realmuto going forward; someone probably will this offseason but it likely won’t be the Braves.

  13. Spell check hates me but has a twisted sense of humor.

    Grandal for cash is likely a better buy than the superior talent for our farm system.

  14. I just don’t want to read about how we should make a Shelby Miller-type of deal. Ever. Pick a different trade. People here already don’t seem to appreciate that that trade changed the trajectory of the whole rebuild because Dansby was overhyped or whatever.

    Myopia is a hell of a drug:

    First, I love how Inciarte is all of a sudden everyone’s darling when he was our goat-of-the-day for a while now.

    In a down year, Inciarte has outproduced Shelby for his entire AZ tenure. And for the record, Shelby gave the Diamondbacks 100 innings of putrescence before getting injured.

    The Diamondbacks are in a dogfight for their division right now. They need all the help they can get. Just don’t tell me the trade didn’t hurt them. It’s painful to read.

  15. Grandal for cash is likely a better buy than the superior talent for our farm system.

    High five.

  16. As always, JonathanF, appreciate the ’66 memories. I especially appreciate the fact that you don’t let a little thing like a driving rain storm get in your way.

    As I mentioned before, I think, I have a soft spot for Big Tony C. My ten year old self was convinced he was as good as Koufax, Gibson, and Marichal. He wasn’t, of course, (not even close) but he did sign my little league glove–and none of those HOFers did.

  17. @22: Ah, but was Lemaster as good as Koufax? Of course he was, as next week will demonstrate.

    And thanks…

  18. @13, Andrelton was wonderful. But let me just remind you what happened in 2016 after he left us:

    Erick Aybar, 90 G, .242/.293/.316
    Dansby Swanson, 36 G, .305/.364/.445
    Chase d’Arnaud, 19 G, .188/.227/.232
    Daniel Castro, 19 G, .182/.224/.182
    Gordon Beckham, 11 G, .156/.263/.219

    Total: .239/.293/.316

    Shelby was not one of the 5 best pitchers in baseball. At best, at a push, you could have made a case that he was one of the 20 or 30 best. They paid a price so risibly incommensurate with his value that that trade has become shorthand for a front office screw-up, and everyone in that front office was fired fairly shortly afterwards.

    Or, another way of looking at it is: judging by the immediate post-trade reactions, 28 teams thought that deal was horrifically lopsided, one team fired their general manager, and one team was us. That is the trade market. Those are the teams who establish fair market value for players. Don’t try to make the Shelby Miller trade seem reasonable in retrospect. It wasn’t.

  19. They didn’t have a proper GM back then. It was that simple. Same reason why we got Tocki. We happened to be there to take advantage of it. That’s all. There is no need to over-analyze it.

    I really want Newcomb to do well because I want to forget about the trade that got him here.

  20. Pass on Realmuto. ~150 years of baseball history say that this is likely his peak and that you’re buying with prospects, his declining years. It’s not that important a position anyway, given the fact that 25 of the league’s other catchers suck. Nobody steals bases anymore, and pitch framing is probably overrated by SABR folks. He’s also always played on crappy teams with literally no one in the stands and less than zero pressure. You have no idea how he will adjust to a real MLB environment.

    Just get a positive WAR C with great leadership qualities and use the TINSTAAPPs for someone else.

  21. In many cases, you can extend the productive lives of catchers with great bats by giving them time at 1B or DH. Unfortunately, the Braves have neither of those options (which is why McCann and El Oso Blanco moved to the AL).

    On a side note – I think the fact that Realmuto isn’t a prolific power hitter is the real, underlying reason that Chief isn’t dying to get him. If JT was a classic middle of the order slugger like Gary Sanchez, then Katie bar the door, if we don’t acquire that guy then I QUIT! Flowzuki out-homered Realmuto by a substantial margin last year, thus Realmuto cannot be the best answer for the Braves at catcher.

    PS – I’m rooting for us to keep filling the catcher spot with low cost, short term options until William Contreras is ready (thinking, 2nd half next year).

  22. Kind of in disbelief that this group would rather spend a couple hundred comments talking about a catcher who would have to be, at this point, an offseason acquisition than to discuss the current season and actual potential August acquisitions (a bat for the bench).

  23. I think Adam will be a better addition than William, Robert, Shelley or David. We clearly got the best Duvall available.

    And how would you like to be the Phillies’ announcers having to alternate between saying Odubel Herrera and Asdrubal Cabrera?

  24. Every time we discuss about trading for a power bar from the Marlins, I remember Dan Uggla.

    I will leave that for AA to decide because he is a competent GM. The more I watch Gausman the more I like him.

  25. kc @ 33,

    Which bar did we get from the Marlins? It must not have been one of those loaded with models on South Beach.

    The TRADE for Uggla was good. The EXTENSION was bad.

  26. Good catch… I amended the above. Her work in The Shining and Brewster McCloud OPSed 1.200, but her peak has passed, I’m afraid.

  27. tfloyd, at 35,

    quick search of ESPN sortable stats for LH hitters, all positions, non qualified for batting title (to make sure you get part timers and people that have been hurt) sorted by OPS or BA gives us 2 of the top 5, already. Jesse Biddle and Kolby Allard.

    After them, the next one I saw that was plausible was Carlos Gonzalez who is opsing a little over 800 this year and could at least handle a few innings in the outfield. And that will depend on the Rockies folding. They will almost certainly put him on revocable waivers and Braves ought to put in a claim.

  28. I am amazed that no one seems to have really read what I said when I said Shelby was not the right guy to make that trade for. I also mentioned that Grandal as a Plan B would only cost cash and we could pivot to an Ace trade. I hate being indicted for an inaccurate reading of what I said.

    There was a good article over at WOW over the winter about what determines a playoff team is how many players they accumulate who produce over 2 WAR. Concentrating productivity is very valuable and Realmuto does that the best at the C position. Further, Realmuto is controlled through 2021 and nothing tells us that we have to sign him past that if Contreras is ready. Trying to muddle through with pickups is completely wrong.

    This whole age-declining for catchers argument is insane. Kinda defies the whole “we love Flowzuki” argument. And the fact that some are clamoring for the return of McCann. That and AJs whole resurgence at what? 38 or 39. Good thing the CWS didn’t listen to that when they decided to sign Fisk as a FA some years ago. To me the legacy meme is that good catchers can successfully hang on and produce longer than the average position player.

    @29 I was hoping Jackson would be ready next year. I don’t think Contreras will be ready until 2020 or 2021. Having someone like Realmuto to mentor him in his first year would be really good. If Jackson had panned out in a big way, I would not be so interested in Realmuto.

    @21 Royals have been very public that they plan to build around Perez and he’s not available.

  29. @35 Adam Lind is a lefty bench bat who was just released from the Red Sox. I don’t know what his deal is this season — I’m reminded of Matt Adams when looking at his numbers. I know nothing more about Lind than his stats, which have seemed reasonably good vs RHP.

  30. Dude, I read what you wrote. There might be a player that the Diamondbacks should have traded that king’s ransom for. But a) they misevaluated their own talent (they said Touki Toussaint’s “value” was the signing bonus they paid him!) and b) they misevaluated what they were trading for (Shelby wasn’t as good as they thought).

    What you’re saying is that you hope the Braves start trading some of their hot prospects for major league talent. Wishcasting is fun. But there’s a reason that all of the guys you want did not get moved at the deadline: their teams were afraid to trade them because doing so would be a teardown and it would have told fans they’d given up on the season. We would have had to overpay the Nationals a LOT for them to be willing to rent us Bryce Harper. It would not have been worth it.

  31. @39 Concentrating productivity is an excellent way to construct a roster when you’re trying to make a playoff-caliber team. However, having that WAR concentration be in a single dude who is your regular catcher is a rather fraught proposition – they can’t start every day and are somewhat banged up, basically all season long, as is the nature of the catching position.

    Also, the age-declining argument for catchers is 100% sane, and there is no conflict whatsoever in holding that truth in your head at the same time as being happy with the Braves and Flowzuki. Neither Flowers and Suzuki are great, but as part-timers they make a perfectly passable whole. Last year’s Flowzuki output was unexpected and not sustainable, but they’re doing OK this season. More importantly, they’re cheap and on short term contracts so if a better arrangement presents itself (Alex Jackson, Grandal, etc.) then the Braves are free to act as they see fit. I would only want to resign Flowers or Suzuki on one year deals going forward, as either could fall off a cliff production wise at any time. It’s totally possible to catch lightning in a bottle over the short run with an older catcher like Pierzynski, but even that was just 1 season of good play (2 WAR) followed by a -1 WAR partial year and retirement.

    Realmuto is Arb2 next year, Arb3 in 2020 and then a FA. He would be a great addition to the Braves – I would be ecstatic if he were currently a Brave – but the cost, I assume, is too high right now. The Marlins will inevitably sell Realmuto to some other team (Red Sox?), and that other team will quite likely sign Realmuto to a contract taking him well into his thirties that will become an albatross contract by the end.

  32. I’m against trading a boatload for Realmuto, too, but not because I expect him to fall off a cliff. Realmuto is pretty dang athletic, and it’s my impression that unusually athletic catchers tend to age much better than “normal” good ones (like McCann, for example). I think he’ll be good for a while.

  33. To put this Realmuto conversation to rest, who can name one currently active catcher who has continued to produce 4+ WAR seasons passed their age 30 season?

    Among the currently active fWAR leaders at catcher, I believe only Russell Martin and Victor Martinez have done it, and each only did it once after 30. All of them saw steep decline passed age 30…

    The last catchers to be [that] productive well past 30 were notable steroid users (Piazza, Pudge), and I think those days are gone. Only a fool would sign Realmuto to a long term contract…

  34. The problem with going after the top guy(s) at “scarce” positions is that they cost a ton more. Most catchers in the league suck. The best are going to be at what, 4 WAR? We just need around 2 WAR there, and it won’t cost a fortune. The +2 delta will definitely cost a fortune.

    It’s the same reason a ton of HRs from 2B cost so much re: Uggla.

    I feel like the best way to improve our overall team WAR is through pitching – it’s where we have the most room to improve. Let’s spend there first and then see what’s left over.

  35. @44/45 – Jonathan Lucroy was JT Realmuto before it was cool! I’d say that’s a pretty good comp.

    Lucroy put up 13 fWAR in 2012-14 (age 26 to 28), 7 fWAR from 2015-17 (age 29 – 31) and he’s at .6 fWAR this year with a .640 OPS.

  36. @42 Still not reading what I wrote. I said it was correct and appropriate to not make any of these deals at the deadline. These are deals I believe the Braves will push heavily for in the offseason. I never ever wanted to trade for Harper because we still have Nick. I want to sign Harper. I did NOT want to trade for Realmuto now because Flowzuki are still here and filling the role.

  37. Athletically, Lucroy was never in Realmuto’s league. Realmuto is more in the Posey/Molina/Pudge category. (Catcher SBs and/or positional versatility are good measures for what I’m calling catcher “athleticism,” FWIW.)

    And who has advocated signing him to a long-term contract? He’s controlled through 2020 (his age-29 season), and the discussion is about whether to trade for him.

  38. @47 That’s not unreasonable logic but what I’m getting at here is the “pivot to winning” mentality. Sure 4WAR catchers are expensive but 4 WAR is worth it (i.e. they are worth it) and we can afford it. If we don’t succeed, Grandal will be just fine and, as I said before, allow our assets to go chasing the Great White Whale of an ace pitcher.

    Our pitching will improve itself because we have so many high ceiling potential prospects. The FA pitching market is weak and the aces will cost even more than Realmuto. In my opinion, we got our pitcher in Gausman who is or can be equivalent to Fullmer or Archer or anyone in that class of pitcher (a step down from the ones listed in the prior thread). Of the pitchers listed in the last thread (purported aces), none of them are really available. The closest may be deGrom and Corbin. And Corbin is about to be a FA so he’ll only cost money.

    But why not develop our ace from within? We have so many high ceiling pitchers, one has got to hit at some point.

    So, if we’re choosing between deGrom and Realmuto, I would think deGrom would be much more expensive and less likely to be available. Assuming deGrom costs significantly more than Realmuto, I would prefer Relamuto. At the same cost, perhaps deGrom is better. Or it may turn out that neither the Mets nor the Marlins will deal at all then you have to go to Plan B.

    But, overall, I believe the Braves will be able to sign one high value FA and will need to trade for other high value players. Harper, Grandal, and Corbin (and Machado) will be FA. Realmuto and deGrom will have to be traded for. Pick one from column A and one from column B and I’ll likely be happy.

  39. The Mets aren’t going to trade deGrom in the offseason after refusing to do so at the deadline…unless there’s a big front-office shakeup.

  40. Well, technically the Mets are currently in the middle of a “big front office shakeup.” Sandy Alderson stepped down last month to deal with his cancer diagnosis. The Mets are currently being run by a committee of three people (last I heard) and that’s never as good (for focus and execution*) as having a single guy in charge and making final decisions. It’s one thing for a GM to go to ownership and say “we’re crashing, we’re going to suck, it’s time to cash in deGrom and rebuild” and then make the deals required to do that. It’s a completely different thing to do that same thing and then have three different people agree that “deal X” is the right one for a player of deGrom’s talent.

    *the downside of one man, one decision type management, of course, is that if that one guy is an idiot…

  41. @54, I’m not sure it’s possible for us to get deGrom, but in a vacuum I’d take him over Realmuto every time. He’d make us post-season favorites (or at least in the discussion). Pitching prospects are a giant collective unknown. deGrom is already great, likely better than any of our prospects will ever be. I’d trade 3-for-1 for him. The Mets probably won’t though, unless they can somehow fire the Wilpons.

  42. Jake deGrom’s most similar pitchers (BB-REF) at age 29:

    Virgil Trucks (969.6)
    Johnny Sain (967.7)
    Tanner Roark (966.8)
    Yu Darvish (966.6)
    Corey Kluber (959.0)

    That’s more valuable to anyone than JT Realmuto.

  43. They won’t trade him before next year’s deadline, at the earliest. The reason they kept him now was because they want to try to run it back next year, building around the rotation.

  44. That pretty well sums up my feelings on talents such as deGrom — why would anybody ever trade one away unless it was the final year of the contract and they already knew they couldn’t resign him? In fact, the Mets should go out of their way to keep him, if possible and not too unreasonably expensive. Replacing him will be near impossible.

  45. @53 Disagree – Lucroy seemed plenty athletic (when he was younger; haven’t seen him since he moved to the AL) smacking extra base hits all those years for the Brewers while playing an excellent catcher. Catcher SBs are team/player strategy specific (not that Molina or Posey steal/stole a ton of bases relative to Lucroy) and “positional flexibility” for catchers is code for whether the manager sticks his C at 1B in order to keep him bat in the lineup more often (in other words, a function of offensive productivity not ‘athleticism’ per se).

    Pudge, Yadi and Posey are all notable outliers at the C position and there’s no real basis for tying Realmuto to those guys as opposed to comparing him to, I dunno, every other catcher in the modern era.

  46. One of Flowers or Suzuki will be your starting catcher next year. You should probably get used to that idea now.

  47. @64 I will not and there’s no reason to believe that. If 2019 is the year for the switch to get turned on, I think it’s much more likely only one of those two will be the backup catcher and the other will be somewhere else.

  48. 62—They’re MLB players, so they’re all athletic. Duh. But there are BMac/Lucroy/Piazza types (probably 95+% of catchers), and then there are outliers. My estimation is that Realmuto is an outlier.

    Buster Posey was a college shortstop, by the way. That’s the kind of athleticism/positional flexibility I’m talking about — not whether a guy gets a few games at first to keep his bat in the lineup.

    “JT Realmuto is Jonathan Lucroy” is just scouting the statline. That sometimes works! I don’t think it will prove correct here.

    EDIT: Hey, look, an article that gets at what I’m trying to get at on Realmuto (I didn’t know he was a high-school shortstop!): https://www.mlb.com/news/jt-realmuto-is-baseballs-most-athletic-catcher/c-238865506. Literally the first result when I sophisticatedly googled “athletic catchers.”

  49. (But, again, who really cares what he’s going to look like at age 32 when all that’s relevant from the Braves-fan perspective are his age-28 and -29 seasons?)

  50. Also, catchers are sometimes moved off the position when they get older, for some combination of their bat is good enough and their legs are too important. So they may try to save his legs by moving him to first, the way the Giants have with Posey. (Or to third, the way the Cardinals did with Joe Torre, or the Tigers did with Brandon Inge.) By and large, though, to paraphrase Aerosmith, squatting to catch is hard on the knees.

  51. This is just my educated guess, but I think we have better odds of signing Bryce Harper in free agency than acquiring Realmuto.

  52. I mean “Upton here! Upton here!” wasn’t really all that long ago. We will sign someone big. There’s too much pressure not to. Hopefully it’ll work out better than our last few attempts.

  53. That’s probably true, but I would think the asking price on Realmuto would need to come down quite a lot. We’re talking about 2 years of a talent like Realmuto, whereas they probably aren’t selling it as such (maybe…).

    Also, the Braves have been players in free agency prior to the rebuild, yeah? I’m not pretending that the Braves are going to become big spenders for Bryce Harper with an A.Rod-esque contract offer or anything such as that — I expect them to be wise spenders, though, and not just looking to trades to fill gaps. The money is probably there for the spending, however AA chooses to use it, I think (and I hope).

  54. @55 One of the “GMs” for the Mets said on MLB Network Radio that they would look at offers for Thor and deGrom this offseason.

  55. When water on the Earth’s surface is heated by the Sun, it evaporates and turns into water vapour which rises into the air. When the air cools it condenses around some dust or other particles in the air, called condensation nuclei. These small droplets then become visible as clouds.

    Some droplets fall through the cloud and coalesce into raindrops on their way down. As more and more droplets join together they become too heavy and fall from the cloud as rain.

  56. The smell of fresh rain is called petrichor. A rain shower that re-evaporates before reaching the ground is called a virga.

  57. Vapour, Sam? Which website did you cut and paste from? Or has soccer internationalism corrupted your orthography?

    And bonus props for cliff. One day I’ll tell the story of the guy in the bottle club in 2007 in Ho Chi Minh City singing Creedence songs, that one among them.

  58. @70 You may be correct. I think Harper’s the #1 priority anyway. After that, we can trade for deGrom or Realmuto.

    I still think we have too many high end pitchers in a roster crunch. I am just not sure at this time who we could trade for that would make sense and be available other than deGrom or Realmuto (or Thor or Wheeler). For hitters, Realmuto is really the highest performing, controllable offensive player on a bad team. I suppose the Reds might trade Suarez or Senzel or Gennett. For pitchers, after the Mets, maybe the Twins’ Berrios and Gibson or Cards’ Mikolas. The Rays will want a deGrom return for Snell.

    There’s just not that much high end talent that is controllable and available.

  59. @75 Lowe was the biggest signing by a non-Yankees team in terms of years and average salary (total contract value) that offseason.

    Do you believe Liberty Media is going to pocket the increasing revenue from the team and leave the front office to work out the details with limited remaining funds? Ie. The team is making more money, but the budget will only be ~$130 million and the team won’t commit to a super long expensive contract.

    I ask because I don’t get the reference to Liberty Media’s history if they’ve supposedly remained hands off and the team has mostly been victimized by a horrendous TV deal. Listening to McGuirk and some dude from Liberty Media gives me the impression that the team is coming into more money for the payroll… that the team is actually worth far more than they thought when the bought it from AOL. /shrug

    Even if those guys aren’t to be believed, wouldn’t it be stupid to signal an increase in spending and then not do it? Like, the Braves kinda have a lot of money this offseason…

  60. I suspect MadBum is the only ace available, even in the offseason. He might even pass waivers ala Verlander last season. He has 1 year left on his current deal and would likely cost something like Fried and Peterson as the Giants will still be in win-now mode next year and would require MLB-ready talent in return.

  61. Belated thanks to cliff @38 for answering my query re left handed hitters. Now knowing that we already have two of the top five left handed hitters, I’ll stop thinking about waiver claims.

    BTW, did I hear correctly that Allard in his first ML at bat matched his hit total for his entire professional career?

  62. All this expensive talk re catchers should focus now on our very own Contreras and clearing a managed path for him to come up next September, check his numbers. That’s a workable timetable for him.

    We very likely tried the other way first, with Realmuto, but were rebuffed. Fine. Plan B, one that we totally control.

  63. We took back, what, about $5M in salary at the deadline for ‘18? Not sure they could take on the rest of Bumgarner’s salary.

  64. Excellent example of Chipness:
    “Here’s a quirk. Markakis has more RBIs on the road than at home.”
    Then…
    “which stands to reason because the Braves have played more road games than home games.”
    So, not much of a quirk? (Not to mention that most players have more RBIs on the road than at home (once adjusted for park effects) because they bat 9 innings on the road and 8.5 (on average) at home.)
    Chip Caray: reading things he’s handed and then trying to “analyze.”

  65. @103

    It’s Nick Green.

    Also, they’re not gonna overturn this.

    UPDATE: I’ll be damned. One 50-50 one finally goes our way!

  66. The thing about Chip Caray is that I don’t get the sense that he disagrees that he’s here because his father paved the way. Whether you call that “nepotism” or not, Chip is firmly in his place. I’m old enough to remember when he was on Twitter, and he used to constantly acknowledge the calls of nepotism and that he was not as good as his dad by simply agreeing that he is not as good as his dad. And in some ways, I respect that a lot. He has no delusions of grandeur that he is Skip Caray or Harry Caray, and he seems to be content to be a very fortune and cromulent announcer who is just along for the ride. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, he doesn’t think he’s the smartest guy in the room, and he simply seems to be enjoying the game in front of him.

    He’s also bad at his job.

  67. @106: You are very generous to Chip. It depresses me to think how the Braves had one of the best crews ever in Skip, Pete and Ernie (what a perfect combination they were, with differing skill sets that meshed so well; we didn’t deserve them). And now we’re going to be defined indefinitely by Chip and an uninspired Joe Simpson. Joe used to be really great with the old crew…now he’s just got Chip to bounce off of. Not very stimulating.

  68. I don’t mind Chip at all. He’s a bit green. He doesn’t always think all the way through what he’s saying. I bet he improves with age, and I’m just glad his voice doesn’t grate.

  69. @116

    Maybe Chip is a Galapagos giant tortoise, in which case 53 isn’t even one-third of the potential lifespan.

  70. @117

    I think he’s made some outstanding pitches this inning, though, amidst probably not throwing quite enough strikes. Great pitches to strike out Bautista and Conforto.

  71. Brad Brach will definitely help this bullpen, bottom line. Pretty confident in that after seeing him pitch a couple times now.

  72. As annoyed as I get on a nightly basis by “Chipness”, I must say I do enjoy his excitement when a Brave jacks a home run.

  73. I only heard an inning or so of Green, and he definitely needs work, but…he was nowhere near as bad as Lemmer — who fails at voice, accent, vocabulary, analysis, and timing — is.

  74. I don’t mind Chip at all.
    He’s a bit green. (Yeah… he’s only been doing MLB play-by-play since 1993. Maybe by 2028…)

    He doesn’t always think all the way through what he’s saying. (Good thing he doesn’t have to speak extemporaneously then)

    I bet he improves with age (most 53 year olds do, after all… )

    and I’m just glad his voice doesn’t grate. (except for the content, he’s fine)

  75. @119 @120 @121 The Mets swung at some outside pitches, though. I’ve seen this before. When he’s stretched in an AB, he eventually grooves something. He did get back to some good pitches, but the Good Brad I saw a couple of years ago was untouchable. If he can string a few innings together, I think he’ll regain his form. The stuff is still there. And he excels at set up and not so much at closer.

  76. @128 Agree, I was thinking the same thing. Couldn’t throw the four-seamer for strikes but the cutter was right on target.

  77. Chit. He’s been at it even longer than that.

    Chip Carey’s Career includes:
    1989–1998: Orlando Magic Play-by-play[7]
    1991–1992: Atlanta Braves play-by-play on TBS and Atlanta Braves Radio Network[7]
    1993–1995: Seattle Mariners Play-by-play[7]
    1996–1998: Major League Baseball on Fox Studio host[7]
    1999–2000: Major League Baseball on Fox Play-by-play[7]
    1998–2004: Chicago Cubs Play-by-play on WGN-TV and FSN Chicago[7]
    2005–2009: Atlanta Braves Play-by-play on TBS, Peachtree TV and Atlanta Braves Radio Network
    2007–2009: MLB on TBS Lead play-by-play[7]
    2010–present : Atlanta Braves Baseball[6]

    Y’all can tell I’m just trying to give him some benefit of the doubt. He says a lot of things and seems to begin to backtrack midway through what he’s saying as though he realizes he’s made a mistake. I chalk that up to “being green” because it’s like he’s trying to do something that’s just not something he’s very experienced at — rather, it’s like he’s trying to do something like sound really knowledgeable when, really, well he’s really not… take the Markakis “quirk” he was spouting… why not just say “This is the split on Markakis. He’s had 46 RBIs on the road versus 42 at home (or whatever), but he’s actually played more games on the road this year due to all the postponed games. He’s been really consistent home and away this year.” Simple.

  78. The offense went completely to sleep after the 3rd. This performance tonight from everyone was just what was needed to beat the Mets, probably not some better teams.

  79. Just to point out, Nick actually *has* hit better on the road than at home this year, adjusted for park effects: 152 OPS+ vs. 129. Not that it’s a giant difference. But again, Chip’s problem is that he has some numbers in front of him which he feels he needs to fill dead air by “analyzing.” As he actually pointed out after I made my comment, Pete van Wieren used to actually *prepare*. That might help.

  80. Yeah, *preparation* makes a big difference. I miss Pete’s observations. I remember when our broadcasting crew actually sounded smart…

  81. @136 I consider 50 to be relatively young for a baseball announcer.

    Stupid Phillies just walked it off with a 3-run homer.

  82. Ernie and Pete were real professionals, and Skip was a stellar comic foil. My father hated his silliness and would mute the sound when Skip was on. I think I might like Chip if he didn’t talk so much.

    I hate the Phillies.

  83. Phillies can’t even drop back in the standings correctly. How do they ever expect to be taken seriously?!

  84. Really like how Ender came in late defensively.

    Also, apparently Paco Rodriguez got picked up by Minnesota, which I know because he was just released by Minnesota.

  85. Always enjoy your recaps, tfloyd.

    You’ve achieved something rare tonight, posting the recap of a night game the same day/evening it was played. In your case you had an hour plus to spare.

    I had been doing this for two seasons now on Saturday nights and squeezing it in just before midnight usually. but, coincidentally,in the last week i proved to myself that something written near midnight was demonstrably worse than that done at 7 the next morning. Additionally something posted late at night generally gets no audience till 7 the next morning so why bother!

    But well done you. Any comments/input from other recappers would be welcome. We few, we precious few.

  86. Chip is terrible and somewhat likeable like a clumsy puppy but Joe is the absolute worst. Hope they replace him with Paul Byrd next season. He’s the worst.

    Also, reading this thread top to buttom thjis morning… This is exactly why this place is the best on the internet. Thank you all!

    And it’s hard to believe for me that we’re even discussing getting JTR. There should be no question. We’re loaded with prospects. No minor league prospect should be untouchable for him. THere is no reason to believe that he will fall off a cliff at age 28-29.

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