I’m Not Gonna Let it Bother Me Tonight: Braves 2, Nimble Urbanists 6

As the noted philosopher from Doraville, Ronnie Hammonds, said:

I’m not gonna let it bother me tonight.
I’m not gonna let it bother me tonight.
The world is in an uproar and I fear there’s no end in sight,
But I’m not gonna let it bother me tonight, NOT TONIGHT.

I won’t take this time to get into the seasonal retrospectives other than to thank Mr. Copenhaver (as successor to Mac and Alex R, also known as “another Alex R.”) for keeping the house alive. Still a great virtual bar.

Mike Foltynewicz came back on his 4th day after having only thrown around 55 pitches on Thursday. Good managing by Snit. If it is win or go home, if you have a pitcher who can pitch really a whole lot better than anybody else and he can be solid enough to go, that is who you pitch.

Yes, The Trolley Dodgers got 1 in the first. A two out walk followed by a double and a strikeout. Then it stayed that way until the 4th.

Johan Camargo and Tyler Flowers both walked. Ender Inciarte bunted them up. Charlie Culberson hit a ground ball, but right at Justin Turner. Two outs and no advance. Snit pulled Folty for a pinch hitter. Kurt Suzuki got a single and the Braves led.

The Dodgers got 2 to go ahead in the 6th and 3 to make it almost impossible in the 7th.

And thus it ended, but wait until next year.

36 thoughts on “I’m Not Gonna Let it Bother Me Tonight: Braves 2, Nimble Urbanists 6”

  1. Weakening your rivals by signing their departed FAs is an underappreciated offseason strategy.

  2. I wasn’t able to watch yesterday’s game, which may have been a blessing, but what was the talk about Julio all about? Did he not get to pitch in the series? What did Snit say about him? Thanks.

  3. Julio pitched relief yesterday.

    In other news, the Dodgers seem to be primed to make that whole “MLB banned our GM for life” second place for “getting the hammer dropped on you for shenanigans in South America.”

    FanGraphs summary of longer SI article

    Quoted quote (from the original SI article:)

    Collectively, the documents [provided to the Grand Jury] offer a vivid window into both this netherworld and the thermodynamics of the operation: How Caribbean smugglers traffic Cuban nationals to American soil, using third-country way stations. How the underground pipeline ferries Cuban players to stash houses in countries like Haiti and Mexico before they can seek lucrative contracts with MLB clubs. How teams interact with buscones, the unregulated street-level agents who often take a financial stake in Latin American players.

    The dossier given to the FBI suggests the extent to which some MLB personnel are aware of—and brazenly discuss—this unscrupulous culture and the potential for corruption. While both the league office and other teams are mentioned in the files obtained by SI, the Los Angeles Dodgers, a franchise with extensive scouting and development operations in the Caribbean, figure most prominently in the dossier[.]

  4. There was a Teheran sighting last night and he looked good. Personally I would have gone to him right after you pulled Folty. I think that was a mistake by Snitker.

  5. A certain Alex Anthopolous became the Dodgers’ VP of baseball operations in January 2016.

    From the article:

    Plus, the Dodgers’ internal communications cited in the SI story regarding illegal activity were from 2015 and 2016, after the Dodgers cleaned house.

    In other words, for current and former Dodgers employees — including people like Gabe Kapler (who ran the Dodgers’ player development system from 2014 through 2016) and [Andrew] Friedman — getting banned from baseball may end up being a best-case scenario depending on the extent of their involvement and whether they knew or should have known about the illegality going on in their operations.

  6. If I were making a list of people who should be very, very nervous, Anthopoulos would be lower on the list than: Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi, Josh Byrnes, Stan Kasten and Ned Colletti.

  7. The other thing, and the thing that pulls the Braves org deep into this investigation, is that the whole sordid thing seems to flow entirely through the pursuit and signing of Hector Olivera. I’m honestly slightly more certain that John Coppolella is in the fire here moreso than Anthopoulos.

  8. Thank you, Cliff.

    So Anthopolous was around for two+ seasons while the practices were so severe that the organization was internally keeping score of how bad it was. It would be hard for me to see how the Prez of Baseball Ops (Friedman), General Manager (Zaidi), Director of Scouting (Kapler), Senior VP of Baseball Ops (Byrnes), and one of the owners (Kasten) are any more culpable than the VP of Baseball Ops (AA). Colletti was not GM at the time. If all of those people are in the cross-hairs, then AA would have to be. AA was right there in the middle of the org chart.

  9. It appears this international scouting pig sty has plenty of muck to go around. Walter O’Malley is probably turning over in his grave. Coppolella appears more and more to have been a sacrificial lamb, despite MLB’s denials. MLB in New York may not have been aware of the federal probe, but surely they were aware something was fishy was going on in the Caribbean.
    We only heard that Coppy was accused of manipulating signing bonuses and stashing players. That goes hand in hand with what the Dodgers (and who knows else) are alleged to have done involving the buscones as relayed in the Fangraphs article.
    BTW, if you’re going to ‘rate the corruptness of your scouts’ as purported, at least have sense to bury it behind attorney-client privilege.

    Finally, although 2018 ended on a bit of a down note, I think the season was remarkable. My expectations were a 75-77 win team so I’m not going to complain about the results. I might quibble about some of the how it happened, but that’s with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight. Hats off for a rewarding season.

  10. Coppolella appears more and more to have been a sacrificial lamb, despite MLB’s denials.

    This. We were never really given a clear picture of the extent of Coppy’s misdeeds.

    Hey, maybe Hart will get his now.

  11. I still don’t get why the Braves would be implicated in any improprieties with Olivera’s signing. They didn’t sign him!

  12. If they threw a few Braves officials in jail for the Olivera trade itself, I’d find that perfectly OK.

  13. If we were deep into signing Olivera before he went to LA, we were in bed with the same human trafficking network that LA engaged during that signing.

  14. Right. And there’s the rumor that the subsequent trade for Olivera is somehow tied to all of this, but I couldn’t begin to try to understand how that connects.

  15. The effect of the punishments we incurred were felt most quickly with the realization that we have less young talent to trade to fill immediate needs. So while the Dodgers may not have a player on their roster right now that they acquired through unsavory means, the cheating absolutely gives you a nice security blanket of depth for which you can use to be more aggressive with your major league roster. And if that has allowed the Dodgers to become more of what they are, then there had better be some stiff punishment on them, and someone(s) from their FO needs to be given the Coppy treatment. I just hope AA is not part of the punishment. And along that vein, I simply hope that if AA was involved, MLB will go light on him considering who it will ultimately affect: the Braves, whom they’ve already punished.

  16. I wouldn’t mind LA having to return Alex Wood to the Braves as part of their punishment.

    That horrendous trade was definitely criminal activity.

  17. Sounds like the old joke about the NCAA – It’s so mad at the cheating at (Alabama, FSU, LSU, The Ohio State University, insert favorite rival here) that Kent State is getting five years probation and a bowl ban.

    MLB is gonna be so mad at the Dodgers, the Braves are gonna get smacked down (again).

  18. I too am unsure of how the trade back for Olivera was supposed to be part of the under-dealings, but if it was, that would seem to be really, really, bad. Because if simply trading for Olivera somehow conferred a favored status back on Atlanta (with the network of trafficking, etc.), then we’d be essentially saying the Braves *bought the rights to Olivera as a human being* in order to smooth over rights to *other human beings* in the future.

    I mean. The paychecks are really big, but we’re talking about a slight step above slave trafficking if you’re treating “I have this guy stashed in my minors, so I’m a goodfella yah?…”

    This entire thing is just morally horrifying.

  19. One problem is that it looks like it’s the US government, not MLB, that will be doing the punishing this time.

  20. Didn’t the Dodgers pay a LOT more of a signing bonus that the Braves were offering?

    If so, then I can see an argument being made that the overpay was to curry favor with the buscones, and not about Olivera the player at all. And the trade was dumping Olivera on Atlanta when he turned out to be not good.

  21. Let the Hot Stove begin:

    Freeman $21
    Teheran $11.2
    O’Day $9
    Inciarte $5.7
    Flowers $4

    That’s $50.9 under contract

    Arb (just released from MLBTR)

    Gausman $9.2
    Folty $5.5
    Vizzy $4.8
    Duvall $3.1 (possible non tender candidate)
    Winkler $1.6
    Venters $1.5 (he’s really still arb?)
    Freeman $1.5
    Culberson $1.4
    Ramirez $700K
    Lindgren $600K (non tender?)

    Even if we tender them all that’s 10 spots for $29.9M bringing us to $80.8

    Pre Arb

    Acuna
    Albies
    Swanson
    Minter
    Sobotka
    Newcomb
    Touki
    Wilson
    Soroka
    Fried
    L. Adams
    Biddle

    That’s 12 guys, the min in 2019 is $555K so we will say 600K on average adding $7.2 for a total of $88 million.

    Payroll this year was in the $130 to $140 range and I’d say it should be closer to $140 next year giving us $52 million to spend.

    Should be enough for Harper, Corbin, Zuk and Herrera. Have at it.

  22. Sign Harper or Machado.
    Sign Kershaw.
    Trade excess pitching prospects for Realmuto.

  23. I posted the link around the same time Dusty posted that.

    And that’s 27 spots, so just based on that, someone from the list will be removed, and free up even more payroll. Teheran seems to be, by far, the most likely to be traded.

    It’s been 4 years, and I’m looking forward to roster predictions that I don’t include Nick Markakis.

  24. I do believe we need to do one big FA signing, and one big trade to concentrate WAR.

    The position that helps the most is either RF or LF (you can move Acuna to right). The only difference maker by FA seems to be Harper. “Bad Harper” is a 5 WAR player. “Good Harper” can get up to 8, probably. There is no other position where money can make this big of a difference.

    I would prefer to get Grandal. But can we slot Grandal and Harper? Also, if Boras does his usual attempt to wait it out, Braves have to move on.

    On the potential non tender candidates, I believe that you only owe 20% if you release them by the end of spring training. That might impact Duvall.

  25. I don’t think Kershaw is going anywhere. Besides, not sure I’d want to pay for the down slope of his career, particularly given the injury risk. Let the Dodgers spend the money.

  26. I would put Acuna in CF while he’s still got young legs, and try to surround him with power on either side. Inciarte can’t be in this lineup if we have Albies and Swanson too.

  27. While I too will not be sad to see Markakis go, there is a part of me that wonders if this organization will be savvy *or* bold enough to replace his stat line.

    .297 BA
    .366 OBP
    93 RBI

    Will not be easy to replace without spending REAL money.

  28. Rob tells me he’s going to post a postseason recap. But wait, wait! I want one more recap!

    Fortunately, under the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, Game 5 took place. Herewith, my recap from one of these worlds:

    It was a chilly 28 degrees in LA for Game 5 of the Braves-Dodgers Divisional Series – That’s right, Hell had frozen over. Clayton Kershaw was unavailable because his contract has a minimum temperature clause. The Dodgers decided to pitch Alex Wood instead. Other than a home run on the first pitch all four times Freddie Freeman came to the plate, he pitched a perfect game through 9.

    The Braves decided to pitch Ryan Flaherty so that he had a possibility to be of some value. Rene Rivera caught him, as he always does. These two moves alone greatly strengthened the bench hitting, particularly by moving up Max Fried as the lefty pinch hitter off the bench right behind Lucas “Just Foul” Duda. (That’s really unfair to Lucas, but “Just Foul” was an available nickname once Duvall was left off the roster, although the meaning was actually different.)

    Flaherty walked the first three men every inning until the 9th, but somehow gave up no runs. Twice, Yasiel Puig ran into triple plays, and he was caught stealing 3 times, each time attempting to carry out a walking “I’m invisible so you can’t see me” steal. He was declared safe (the umpires couldn’t see him) but his image was clearly visible on replay in Chelsea. In the least likely part of this recap, they overruled the call on the field in the Braves’ favor. Justin Turner just missed scoring on a sac fly when a swarm of bees emerged from his beard, temporarily blinding him and causing him to miss home. Matt Kemp dropped dead of old age coming home from third on what would have been a grand slam, and his corpse was passed by the other two baserunners and the hitter for another triple play. In the bottom of the 9th, though, up 4-0, the Braves mysteriously activated Dan Kolb and put him in because Flaherty had reached 325 pitches. The rest is history, or at least a Many Worlds version of it.

    Interestingly, since the win came in the bottom of the 9th, only 187 people were left in Dodger Stadium, including the two teams and their coaches.

    Wait until next year.

  29. I could see Puig doing that.

    Not to get political or anything, but I do find it interesting to note that the Braves were eliminated on Columbus Day.

  30. @23 There’s a lot more decisions than that.

    Among Pre-Arb need to include

    Camargo
    Allard
    Carle
    Dayton
    Gohara
    Jackson
    McCreery
    Parsons
    R. Sanchez
    Wright
    R. Ruiz
    Reed
    Tucker

    A lot of guys need to be released/waived and brought back on minor league contracts to empty out the 40-man or released outright. With the prior 27, that’s 40 total.

    My non-tender list would be as follows:

    S. Freeman
    Ramirez
    Lindgren
    L. Adams
    Dayton
    Jackson
    McCreery
    Parsons
    R. Sanchez
    R. Ruiz
    Tucker

    That leaves 11 roster spots to play Rule 5 with and add FA players over the winter. Any of the above might be worth a minor league contract. Some may be able to be traded before being released. It might be nice to stock up on unknown lower level players as much as possible.

    That leaves the following:

    Freeman $21
    Teheran $11.2
    O’Day $9
    Inciarte $5.7
    Flowers $4
    Gausman $9.2
    Folty $5.5
    Vizzy $4.8
    Duvall $3.1
    Winkler $1.6
    Venters $1.5
    Culberson $1.4
    Acuna
    Albies
    Swanson
    Camargo
    Minter
    Sobotka
    Newcomb
    Touki
    Wilson
    Soroka
    Fried
    Biddle
    Allard
    Carle
    Gohara
    Wright
    Reed

    That’s 30. Of the 30, the following can be optioned to the minors.

    Wilson
    Allard
    Gohara
    Wright
    Reed

    That leaves 25. A full roster with all positions covered except 2nd catcher. From that point what comes in has to have something going out.

    There are 7 potential starters left. First out is Teheran by trade and one goes to the bullpen.

    There are 8 bullpen options (plus a ninth from the starters) so someone else is going back to the minors or getting traded. O’Day is certainly a trade candidate if he starts Spring strong. Carle may go back to the minors.

    The first thing to do is make a big trade – I would hope for Realmuto. We would trade Teheran and some of the pitchers on the 40-man, specifically two of Gohara, Allard, Wright, Wilson and then whatever else is required.

    If we sign Harper then Duvall goes – I think he has options remaining.

    If Riley is brought up then Culby has to go out or to the minors.

    If we sign a reliever, either O’Day must be traded or Sobotka has to go to the minors.

    This roster is so full of current or potential talent that it’s going to be very hard to make improvements. Every improvement will come at the cost of a solid major leaguer.

  31. @35 Oops, miscounted. There were 29 and 24 instead of 30 and 25. We could keep Culby. Bench = Flowers, Camargo/Riley, Culby. I guess one reliever needed to go out so I’d also have Duvall or Reed on the bench and one less reliever. Probably Sobotka and Carle to the minors. Unfortunately that leaves no lefty hitter on the bench except for Camargo being a switch hitter. Seems like Tucker might be a candidate.

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