Braves 5, Giants 4 – Austin Riley Is Here To Stay

This is my first post in at least a few weeks as work has been exceptionally busy, and your recappers have been doing a tremendous job. Thank you, guys. So I’ve got a few overall thoughts that are relevant to today’s game.

Kevin Gausman, even with today’s start, has been disappointing. It’s possible that all 3 narratives about Gausman are true: he was better than he showed in Baltimore, he pitched like he was turning a corner after being acquired by Atlanta, and he has disappointed this year. But his FIP so far this year (3.66) has been lower than his FIP with Atlanta last year (3.78). That’s been heavily influenced by keeping batted balls in line (H/9 and HR/9 have not changed much), and while his walk rate has increased (big reason for some of his poor outings), his strike out rate has shot up (6.6 with Atlanta last year; 9.4 so far this year). He’s probably been a little unlucky, and we might see that ERA creep down into a more aesthetically pleasing territory soon.

The Braves are finally putting some filth in the pen. Jacob Webb, Sean Newcomb, Touki Toussaint, and Luke Jackson carried the majority of the freight today (Blevins walked a couple and gave way to the righty Touks). With Blevins’ work included, the pen contributed 7 innings with only one run scored, a homer given up by Newcomb. The Braves, to their credit, have been willing to adapt to the dumpster fire of a pen to start the year, and the sheer existence of Newcomb and Touki in one-inning relief roles show that they’re willing to move away from their strategy of letting the starting pitching prospects and young starters simply be starters. And with these additions to the pen, including Dan Winkler and Anthony Swarzak, the pen has been, well, acceptable over the last week (3.72 ERA). And if you’re a subscriber to the Athletic (or you read the comments from earlier today), you’ll see that the Braves are employing some the best relievers out there in throwing filthy, spinny, nasty slide pieces.

Austin Riley is not just a power hitter. He’s so athletic and strong, he has — sorry if you’ve read this a million times now — “easy power”. His bat speed is so impressive that he seems to be much more of a complete hitter than I thought. His 2-strike line drive hit to right field today to provide the go-ahead run was a great example of that. That’s something I’d have expected from Freddie Freeman, to be honest. In short sample, it looks like strike outs will not ruin his game, he can supply legitimate power (none of his 5 home runs have been cheap), and he’s holding his own at both third and left field.

We took 3 of 4 on the road, and we’re doing it with many players who were not here when the season started. I would think at this point that the next significant addition to the roster will have to come via trade or ::cough cough:: free agency, because besides Touki becoming a dominant reliever, I’m not sure who from the organization will provide a significant contribution that is already doing so.

3 game set at St. Louis coming up (Mike Foltynewicz vs. Miles Mikolas, Mike Soroka vs. Daniel Hudson, and Julio Teheran vs. Jack Flaherty). Then that team from Washington has to come here and play us.

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101 thoughts on “Braves 5, Giants 4 – Austin Riley Is Here To Stay”

  1. From last thread, Joyce would have to be DFA’ed. I would think that Ender’s return would mean DFA’ing a very good player for us, which will be disappointing. Or…. you option Camargo.

  2. I think it could be reasonably argued that they are better off getting rid of Ender. Acuna is looking more and more comfortable in center. I’d rather have Joyce on the bench, to pinch-hit and start versus the occasional tough righty than I would having Ender being used as a late inning defensive replacement.

  3. You would just be selling really low on Ender. DOB speculates that the Braves wont don’t since you wouldn’t have a true backup CF.

    I wonder if Joyce has done enough to net a reliever in a trade. If you got Swarzak and cash for the rights to Vizzy’s rehab and a LHP that we DFA’ed, and you got Blevins for $1, could we get somebody of a slightly higher pedigree for an actual legit bench piece?

  4. If everyone continues to avoid injury, what do you do? You have Culberson, Camargo, Joyce, and catcher on the bench. It doesn’t seem the Braves are willing to remove a reliever and increase the size of the bench. Ender, at some point, will have to be activated from the IL and either optioned or put on the ML roster. Joyce is out of options. Camargo and Culberson are not. Duvall and Demeritte are hitting really well in AAA. Duvall, at some point, has a pretty credible claim to a major league roster spot, and you’d have to think the Braves would need to do right by him and give it to him or trade him (sort of like Oakland with Blevins). Do you trade Joyce and Duvall, get what you can, and keep Ender on the bench? Do you option Camargo and let Duvall spend more time in AAA? Or some other combination of those 4 events (like option Camargo and trade Duvall or something)?

  5. Yes, Riley looks amazing, and I hope he hits 350 HR as a Brave over the next decade. Before we get too carried away, let’s take a look at Jeff Francoeur’s first month, July 2005. 46 PA, 5 2B, 6 HR, .413/.413/.913. Zero walks would show the plate discipline trouble that would hurt his career, but Riley only has one, and Riley already has 12K compared to Francoeur’s 11. Francouer was a good defensive RF, which I suppose is about equal to a decent defensive 3B. And Francoeur was 21 to Riley’s 22. Riley was somewhat better in the minors than Francoeur, but not tremendously so (at least before May of 2019). At the plate he reminds me more of a RH Ryan Klesko, but that may just be his size & power.

  6. I’ve got to think they will option Camargo for a short while at least. What if we traded Ender and Donaldson and maybe Camargo or Duvall for a true left fielder? How much more would we have to give up for Joey Gallo from the Rangers?

  7. @9 I don’t want to see Donaldson traded. He gives the order a veteran 4th place hitter, plays a solid 3rd; and really isn’t blocking Riley, given how well Riley’s taken to LF.

    I’d prefer they just trade Duvall for the best they can, and option Camargo.

    Long-term, it might make sense to low-key explore Camargo’s trade value. The OF will eventually be Acuna, Pache and Waters; with Riley manning 3B. Culby seems better equipped to handle the sporadic ABs as a super sub. If they could sign Kimbrel, and flip Camargo for one more quality RP… this team might be in business.

  8. @10 I don’t think he’d be untouchable, I just don’t think you’d want to see the price the Braves would have to pay in order to touch him.

  9. Sure wish the Braves traded Riley for Realmuto and his stunning .780 OPS here in 2019.

    At least the Marlins got their highly-touted A-ball pitcher. That was surely worth their long, obstinate hold out with the Braves.

  10. I would gladly take Klesko.

    Definitely acknowledge that Frenchy is the cautionary tale, but I do think that just like Frenchy, Riley is here to stay. I’m much more impressed with Riley’s shorter swing compared to Frenchy.

  11. Gausman has a lower FIP than Bumgarner while pitching his home games in a much more hitter-friendly park.

  12. @16 I don’t think that offer was really ever on the table from the Braves. The Phils’ haul is worse, so I think that was just a rumor.

  13. Interesting that you view Riley’s bat speed as a plus, as that had been the big knock on him as a hitting prospect. A “slider-speed bat,” similar to what they always said about Francoeur.

  14. I know our bullpen is a constant topic on here, but at least we aren’t the Nat’s!!! haha

    About the Nationals’ bullpen: Flirting with history, as @PaulHembo notes:
    Worst ERAs in the modern era (since 1920)
    1. 1930 Phillies 8.03
    2. 2019 Nationals 6.89
    3. 1936 Browns 6.88
    4. 1950 Browns 6.81
    5. 1936 Philly Athletics 6.61
    6. 1930 Pirates 6.53
    7. 1929 Phillies 6.43

    — Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 23, 2019

  15. Dusty’s early season predictions to crow about:

    Picking Fried to lead the team in wins

    Calling Soroka the pitcher with the highest upside

    Predictions to hang head in shame about:

    Thinking Riley is the prospect we should move in the right deal

    Being the most worried about the Nats in the division

  16. Duvall isn’t some AAAA hitter. He’s a major league hitter who seems to have been afflicted by some health issues the last few years. Those issues seem to be resolved as he’s doing nothing but smacking around the competition in Gwinnett.

    I’m nowhere near wanting to move on from Camargo. I’d option him to Gwinnett when Ender comes back solely to give Ender enough playing time to establish a trade to another team. Then bring Camargo back.

    I think if Ender shows any signs of life when he gets back into the lineup, both him and Duvall would make a nice trade package. Or Ender and one of our touted young pitchers.

    Duvall should be playing one way or the other, splitting time with Markakis in right. Or playing for another team after we trade him for an A-level prospect.

  17. So Luke Jackson is calling Austin Riley “the Human Cheat Code,” and as long as he’s the Kid Who Only Hit Homers, I’m gonna get as much mileage out of that nickname as possible.

    Rob, formal motion for Austin Riley’s official Braves Journal nickname to be The Human Cheat Code.

    Do I have a second?

  18. I’ve been looking at the Braves strength of opponent using 538’s ratings and looking at 14 game stretches (while ignoring home field advantage). For the entire season, the average rating of teams on the schedule is 1500.2.

    The stretch just completed from the first game of the Dodgers series to the first game of the Giants series was the hardest 14-game stretch of the season coming in at 1529.1 average opponent. The Braves went 8-6 in that stretch.

    The easiest stretch is coming up starting with the last game of the Nats series and going through the last game of the Pirates in Atlanta series (1468.6 average).

    The hardest month was Mar/Apr (1507.8) followed by May (1502.6), Sept (1502.0), July (1500.7), June (1499.4) and the easiest is August (1489.4).

  19. Duvall is your true left fielder.

    If Austin Riley is the new Ryan Klesko, and Adam Duvall is his defensive caddy, then Adam Duvall is to Austin Riley as Gerald Williams was to Ryan Klesko, and thus Adam Duvall’s nickname should be Vanilla Ice.

  20. Those ratings are based on the fact that the games with the Nats are back-loaded. More than 10% of our remaining games are with the Nats.
    Close to 20% are with the Nats and Marlins. The Marlins have played better the last ten days, but that’s from a really low base. But if the Nats remember how to play baseball and stop tripping over their extremely low-hanging genitals those games will not be walkovers.

  21. At this point, the big question becomes whether the Nats will actually seriously work hard to extend Rendon or do what they should have done last year with Harper, and move him at the deadline for a serious return.

    https://www.mlb.com/news/potential-trade-fits-for-anthony-rendon

    I think it’s super unlikely because the Lerners are cheap and petty but hate making lose-now win-later moves. Still, man, I am giddy just thinking about the fireworks.

  22. 28 – Actually at the time I plugged in their numbers (I ran this late last week) the Nats were still ahead of ATL 1517 to 1510.

    The computers still like the Nats so they aren’t being discounted like you would think.

    Today’s ratings have ATL at 1520 and WAS down to 1511 but I ran the ratings with last week’s numbers (not the best way I know but I was really just looking for a decent snapshot).

  23. The site tagline has spoken. When it speaks, it is unflinchingly rigid. Except for when we jinxed the Braves by telling Hader to get rekt, and then the next day… he did not get rekt. Nope.

  24. I watched the replay of Austin Riley’s RBI hit in extras. That was a sweet piece of hitting in case you haven’t seen it. Took an 0-2 pitch low and outside to right for a clean single.

    But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about how effortlessly terrible Chip Caray’s color commentary is.

    After a competent enough call of the actual RBI single, he emphasized Riley’s short tenure as a hitting machine by adding the exclamation, “What a week plus!”

    That’s an awkward enough turn of phrase, but it had a secondary effect of making me think he was using the word “weak” rather than “week.” It took me a moment to consider what he was referring to. What’s a “plus” in that context?

    Anyway, my personal nickname for Riley for the time being is “Weak Plus.” :p

  25. Speaking of announcers, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but in my opinion, Joe Simpson on the radio so far has been surprisingly… fine! I miss Don, of course, but something about the medium seems to have livened Joe up a bit– there are times when he actually seems excited about what he’s doing for a living, and genuinely enthusiastic about the fun young team we have. I think it also helps that in radio broadcasting, so much time needs to be spent describing the nuts & bolts of the action that there are fewer windows/opportunities for extraneous grumping. He’s not great at play-by-play (and as much as I love Don, that’s not his thing, either), and he still grumbles about the shift, of course, but I feel like I have to give credit where it’s due.

  26. @24 I’d agree that Duvall isn’t one of those AAAA types. I don’t know that I’d say he should be playing one way or the other, though. Outside of his power, he’s just a bit “meh” as a hitter. His two best years in Cincy he had a low average, and an OBP that wasn’t particularly noteworthy.

    Kakes also really doesn’t need to be in a strict platoon, I wouldn’t say. I’d like to see him get some more breathers, but that was supposedly the plan without Duvall factored into the equation early in the year. The plan has just failed to come to fruition thus far.

  27. At this point, the distinction between Camargo, Duvall, Ender, and Joyce are so marginal that no one outside of the training room and day to day managerial staff meetings really has notable reason to make that decision.

    Mostly, it’s just an exercise of “the grass is always greener with the other guy.”

  28. Few things in baseball are more enjoyable than watching the Nationals struggle. It’s like watching a no-hitter and a grand slam all rolled into one! If I had the choice of watching the Braves win a World Series, or the Nats go 0-162, I’d have to think on it. I’d absolutely take the Braves winning a World Series. The fact that I’d have to think about it makes me realize how much I detest that club, though. Lol

  29. That’s interesting, cph. The thing I like best about Frenchy is that he disagrees constantly with Chip, but in a way that doesn’t sound like he’s disagreeing. Chip doesn’t engage back because Chip is always deferring to former ballplayer opinion. This keeps the conversations short. The problem with Joe is that he and Chip agreed, and then went into mutual mastubatory mode on the nuances of their agreement. The worst moment for Chip this season was exactly such a session when Joe briefly returned: the Ballad of CC Sabathia.

  30. @35 I almost agree with you, except I’m not willing to toss Camargo’s name in there with those other three. I only prefer to trade Camargo because he appears to be the least suited for sporadic playing time, and would seem to be likely to bring the best return.

  31. The thing that always impressed me most about Jim Powell is how much work he did to put Don Sutton over. Don Sutton is, to put it very kindly, a genial but flawed color commentator. It takes a superlative play-by-play guy to bring out his strengths and hide his weaknesses. Jim can do the same thing with Don.

    Powell doesn’t look like he’s breaking a sweat, but he’s as good as it gets at making his partner look good.

  32. Yes, if your criteria for who’s up or down this week is “we need coverage at SS” then that bumps Camargo, and Culberson in a pinch, up above Duvall, Inciarte, and Joyce. If your need that week is “we need more pop than defense off the bench” then Duvall and Joyce bounce to the top, etc. The point is, outside of previously formed fanships and small sample outputs of someone against AAA pitching, the decision is always going to be “week to week, based on need.” That’s what managers are there for, and it’s not something that lends itself to internet driven second guessing.

  33. I’m a Camargo fan, unashamedly so, and I think Johan just needs regular playing time to establish value. That said, there are few untouchables. For the right deal, I’d flip Johan. I’d still root for him though.

    Nice recap, Rob.

  34. Austin Riley, 38 PA’s: 389/421/833 (1.254)
    Jeff Francoeur, first 38 PA’s: 395/395/868 (1.263)

    Riley’s OBP is “higher” due to one (1) walk, and one (1) HBP

  35. Picking nits, but I believe Riley’s HBP came on ball 4, so it counts as a HBP, but he really did work the walk.

    It’s an important comparison though. I think there are reasons to be encouraged that the two should have different career trajectories, but we should temper expectations a bit.

    There is probably as much a chance that Riley exceeds Acuna’s career WAR as the chance that Riley fails to surpass Frenchy’s, is that fair?

  36. I think Riley has shown more in the minors, and in his brief stint in ATL, than Francoeur did. I think it’s reasonable to have higher hopes for him than Frenchy. But it’s also reasonable to temper the hot takes of “the human cheat code” with knowledge that he is not the first, nor will he be the last, prospect to burst upon the league and bash in his first two weeks.

    Jose Oliva came up in 1994 and hit 406/472/969 with 5 HRs.

  37. @44 Unlike Riley, I don’t think Frenchy ever had a healthy BB% coming through the minors.

  38. Yeah, eventually Riley will have to settle in. He won’t always be on fire. The day will come when we forget whether he’s done anything lately. It happens with all players.

  39. @42, Matt Joyce’s career SLG is .431 and Johan Camargo’s is .439. I do not believe that Matt Joyce is the answer to any question, much less the “we need more pop than defense off the bench” question.

    (Lest you think that I am stacking the deck against Joyce, who was pretty good in 2016 and 2017… he was really terrible in 2015 and 2018 and mediocre the rest of the time. Since his surprise 2012 All-Star bid, he has 2396 PA from 2013-2019, over which his batting line has been .232/.336/.408. I’m unconvinced that there is any context in which he’s a better option than Johan Camargo.)

  40. Matt Joyce: Hey, Skip, I know this would be a really bad time to be away, and believe me, I wish this wasn’t the case, but my uncle passed away and…

    Snit: Oh, thank GOD! We need a roster spot since our pen is completely taxed. Has anyone else died? You can have all the time off that you want.

    Matt Joyce: Well, no…

    Snit: Then get out of here! I mean, my condolences…

  41. Someone should write a post comparing and contrasting Riley and Frenchy’s minor league careers…

  42. Draft
    Frenchy: Drafted 1st round (23rd overall) in 2002, age 18 years and 5 months, assigned to Rookie Danville
    Riley: Drafted 1st round (41st overall) in 2015, age 18 years and 2 months, assigned to Rookie Danville

    Rookie Ball, right after draft
    Frenchy (Danville): .327/.395/.585 (38 G)
    Riley (Danville): .351/.443/.586 (30 G)
    Riley (promoted to Gulf League): .255/.331/.500 (30 G)

    Sophomore year, A-ball (Rome Braves)
    Frenchy: .281/.325/.445 (134 G)
    Riley: .271/.324/.479 (129 G)

    Third year, High-A
    Frenchy: .293/.346/.506 (88 G)
    Riley: .252/.310/.408 (81 G)

    Third year, Double-A (after midyear promotion)
    Frenchy: .197/.197/.342 (18 G)
    Riley: .315/.389/.511 (48 G)

    Third year, Arizona Fall League
    Frenchy: .283/.301/.404 (25 G)
    Riley: .300/.364/.657 (17 G)

    Fourth year, Double-A
    Frenchy: .275/.322/.487 (84 G)
    Riley: .333/.394/.677 (27 G)

    Fourth year, after promotion
    Frenchy in MLB: .300/.336/.549 (70 G)
    Riley in AAA: .282/.346/.464 (75 G)

    Fifth year:
    Frenchy in MLB: .260/.293/.449 (162 G)
    Riley in AAA: .299/.377/.681 (37 G)
    Riley in MLB: .389/.421/.833 (9 G)

  43. Yeah, Frenchy never showed either elite power or plate discipline in the minors; Riley’s power was actually elite. The hope would be that a guy with Frenchy’s athleticism would basically continue to translate tools into skills, and maybe there’s an alternate universe where that happened. But skipping AAA just killed him.

  44. I remember people complaining that Frenchy was doing okay in the minors but his fast start in Atlanta reinforced bad habits and stunted his development. The numbers above really seem to support that. Up until year 3 Riley and Frenchy had a very similar trajectory (Frenchy with less power) Something happened to Frenchy after year 3 and his obp never was the same.

    Really appreciate you sharing those numbers. Overall I feel a little better about Riley after seeing those numbers.

  45. One thing that gives me hope, for Riley, is that several minor league coaches talked about how good Austin is at making adjustments. Frenchy, on the other hand…

  46. So who is available? Swarzak? Blevins? Tomlin? Wright?

    Not liking our chances tonight.

  47. @42 Doesn’t being able to play SS almost always give a guy more value, though? Obviously it wouldn’t be ideal, but in the case of injury, I’d think a manager would stick a P in a COF spot if he absolutely had to. No manager wants to sub someone unfamiliar with the position in at SS, though. So one of Culby or Camargo has to always sit above Joyce and Duvall in the pecking order.

    You can paint Duvall, Joyce and Ender as interchangeable parts because all 3 are OF. Ender can play CF, which would probably make him a bit more valuable if his bat wasn’t garbage this year, and his glove hadn’t slipped. You still almost have to have him though in the absence of an alternative back-up plan in CF, I guess.

    I’d still try to flip Camargo for a competent RP right now though, while Ender’s hurt. Ender hasn’t resumed any baseball activities, to my knowledge. If they give him a decent rehab stint, there’s time without pressure. If something comes together, everything is easy.

  48. Back to the discussion on Matt Joyce. He has been fine as a bench bat and in most years he would fully deserve a roster spot. This year it just appears that Duvall is a better option. A bench of Culberson, Inciarte, McCann/Flowers, and Duvall/Markakis could be one of the best we’ve seen in a long time. Hopefully we’ll find a trade partner for Inciarte and we’ll get Camargo back soon.

  49. Folty needs to pitch deep tonight, or you just largely turn it over to Wright to finish, I guess. Blevins and Tomlin aren’t the greatest of options, and Swarzak doesn’t instill much confidence either.

  50. Man, thanks Alex. That was great to look at it side-by-side at their respective ages.

  51. This is a moot point until Inciarte is healthy.

    Duvall is a good depth piece right now. And — knock on wood — someone else is likely to get hurt at some point, so we may need all of these players.

  52. Would have to think Jackson and Touki are definitely not available. Hopefully Newcomb can close, and working backwards from there, Swarzak, then Wright with Tomlin pitching a hypothetical 6th and Blevins based on match-up.

    If Wright offers 2 one-inning scoreless relief outings before hypothetically being sent down, do you consider keeping him up and DFA’ing Blevins, instead? I would be extremely happy with the trajectory of the rebuild if we keep calling up a starter from AAA to “cover” the pen only to leave them up because they’re pitching well. Then do it again with Wilson. I’d think at some point a lightbulb would go off with these AAA guys that with Fried, Soroka, Folty, Gausman, and Teheran, for varying reasons, not being guys in jeopardy of losing their rotation spots, they would think, “Well, I’d like to be a starter in the big leagues, but I’d like to be in the big leagues more,” and begin to prepare mentally for one-inning relief spots.

    And then do it with Weigel.

    And then do it with Ynoa.

    And then do it with Anderson.

    And then do it with Muller.

    And pretty soon, you’ve got some nasty, nasty arms in the pen. Awfully right-handed… but still!

  53. I forgot Winkler, who wasn’t mentioned in the tweet. I guess he is the closer tonight.

  54. @64 No one is really mentioning the fact that Duvall is hitting the way he his with regular ABs, though. Plus, as Sam said, it’s AAA.

    Matt Joyce is doing his job as a bench bat. I’m not sure why the push to replace him with a guy who didn’t handle the sporadic ABs well last year? If it ain’t broke…

  55. @72 – I don’t think that’s a terrible signing. As long as you don’t count on him as a key piece, I think he can be a good part time player and bench bat. Give him 3 games a week and I think he’ll be fine.

  56. The Nats are no better than the Marlins. Playing tonight to see who gets out of last place. Maybe we could poach Doolittle off of them.

  57. @68. And then in the second half O’Day and Gohara might be able to contribute. And Allard has had some recent good starts at Gwinnett and might play up coming in as a situational lefty out of the pen. Carle seems to have straightened himself out in AAA. The Braves have way more possible plus pieces to plug in than our competitors.

  58. Acuna’s swing is hot trash the last few days, I hope he isn’t another high maintenance swing guy like Heyward is :(

  59. I don’t know if Swanson’s homerun is good or bad news. According to Chief this means he’ll only hit 3 more max for the rest of the year.

  60. After tonight’s game we are only 2 games off last year’s pace. Last year, we were 31-21 and this year, we are 29-23.

    This year’s team has a better upward trajectory and more staying power. We may win more than last year.

  61. Any single player can carry the Braves at any given night. Except maybe Ozzie right now. But he’ll get hot once Dansby or Riley cool off again for a while.
    This is so much fun. Great game by Folty. Go Braves.

  62. Comparing this year to last year, with Fried, Soroka, and Gausman for the whole year, we have a much higher ceiling with our starting pitchers. I’m still not sure how our starting pitchers took us so far last year.

  63. Dansby has simultaneously increased his power while cutting down on his strike outs. That’s hard.

  64. Minter has 10 K’s in 5.1 IP for Gwinnett. No runs given up. He should be back soon.

  65. @92 While looking at last year’s game logs I noticed that we still had Socolovich games to lose and McCarthy and we were still going through the Bautista experiment. Camargo had not yet established himself. And we didn’t get Gaus, Brach, Venters until the end of July. Heck, we didn’t really have Acuna until the end of July.

    If Folty keeps up performances like tonight, I’d put Folty, Soroka, and Fried against anything the Dodgers could throw at us. If we get some high end bullpen upgrades, anyone would have a hard time beating this team.

  66. Adam Duvall is on pace for a 40+ homer season in AAA while Demeritte and Jackson are on pace for 30+ home runs. What is going on in AAA?

  67. The recent rash of Acuna/Riley comparos here, besottedd by numbers, get it all wrong of course and are oblivious to the much more profound point of where history will take them both.

    We are lucky to have Acuna in our ranks but he will never be the total baseball package Riley will become. The head is missing, no metrics for that.

    Riley will be chasing bigger game, are you able to grasp this name? George Herman Ruth no longer stands inviolate with his weight, his whores, his hot dogs.

    Under the strict ‘behavior clause’ I have recommended to AA his playing career will extend into his mid forties where i envisage him breaking away from his greco-roman style laps of honor in home games to pinch hit as the crowd rises in worship.

    More later, I know you find that hard to believe. There is much more planned – detailed, lucid, shrewd – but quite bereft of numbers past or present. The eyes have it, are yours in good shape?

    Last game in SF…hit a 2 run homer that ties a game that was getting late…made a diving catch which prevented a winning run which he effectively turned into a solo shot…won the game going oppo which you guys seem to have noticed.

    All was going well till yesterday’s Ofer plus error. Ah well, plus ca change.

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