Braves One Year Wanker: Reggie Sanders

On December 22, 1999, Braves One Year Wanker Reggie Sanders was traded by the San Diego Padres with Wally Joyner and Quilvio Veras to the Atlanta Braves for Bret Boone, Ryan Klesko and Jason Shiell.

Braves One Year Wanker, Reggie Sanders: Dissecting the Trade

Firstly, if anyone were to dig up my thoughts on the matter at the time you will find I was thoroughly positive at the time. While I didn’t fancy seeing Joyner in the long side of a first base platoon (I don’t remember any of us foreseeing the Big Cat‘s revival from the cancer scare), the rest of this trade looked absolutely marvelous for the Braves — Veras was a plus defender with good on base skills and 2 seasons of arbitration control remaining while Sanders was coming off a 4 WAR campaign and a 903 OPS in Jack Murphy stadium in San Diego (where that was really hard to do). I really wanted to be rid of Boone and while I regretted giving up on Klesko, he had just gotten expensive and really couldn’t play defense even at 1st base.

Braves One Year Wanker, Reggie Sanders: Why We Hate Him

Reggie had a 2 hit game on Apr 14th, 2000 and then would go hitless for the next 2 weeks. His batting average would remain under the Mendoza Line until September. He hit his first homer of the season on June 4th. In all, over 377 plate appearances he managed just a 705 OPS most of which were in a semi platoon where he faced mostly lefties while BJ Surhoff got the righties. 11 taters and 36 rbi’s are not what anyone wants from a left fielder not named Sam Rice.

Come the playoffs, it somehow got worse. In the 3 game sweep at the hands of the Cardinal devil-magic, Sanders managed no hits and only 2 walks. He was a free agent afterwards and signed with Snakes where at least he was an integral part of the team that defeated the Yankees in the World series.

Why Reggie Sanders is the best of our Wankers

Make no mistake, Reggie put up one of the most craptastic seasons of any player during the playoff run. However, to his credit, he never once tried to deflect blame to others, never got upset by the media questions, never once acted as anything other than a model teammate. The Braves actually put in a competitive bid to keep him in Atlanta but he decided a fresh start would be best for his career and then put in several more quality seasons out in the desert. He retained close ties with Bobby and would return to the team during the Wren regime as a scout and special assistant to the GM. In other words, a great guy… but a one-year wanker!

Thanks for reading on Braves One Year Wanker, Reggie Sanders. You can find the entire Wanker and Wonder series here!

22 thoughts on “Braves One Year Wanker: Reggie Sanders”

  1. JC’d

    Timosays:
    April 21, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Hey there, another quick update. The German football/soccer “Bundesliga” will start playing again as of May 9th in empty stadiums. Players and associates will get tested regularly. Of course, the testing situation is in a much better state in Germany compared to other countries incl. the States. Still, interesting to see and if other leagues and sports will follow.

  2. Timo, that’s amazing news and thank you. The KBO in Korea is gearing up to play real baseball, too. Glimpses of hope, that’s really all we can ask for.

    I remember being really excited about Reggie Sanders and Quilvio Veras — they looked good on the back of their baseball cards, but for whatever reason, Sanders just threw up the worst year of his career out of nowhere. Seriously, he was one of the most consistently quality outfielders in baseball for a decade and a half, and his year with the Braves was the only year he sucked, until the absolute end of his career. Here are his WAR totals from 1992 to 2005. See if you can pick out his one year with us:

    2.8
    2.5
    3.3
    6.6
    2.7
    1.9
    1.9
    4.1
    0.2
    3.0
    3.1
    3.0
    2.4
    1.7

    Unbelievable!

  3. The deeper I got down the rabbit-hole of info on Sanders the more I came to admire the guy. Keith Lockhart is a peach of a human being. Jeffy has turned into an excellent announcer… at least we’ll always have Ken Caminiti…

  4. I remember being really excited about this deal. It had seemed like we had found takers for our disappointments (Klesko and Boone) for 3 guys that were better bets to be above average players. I think it was also fair to think that they’d all hit a little better than they did in San Diego, if I remember Qualcomm also being a pitcher’s park. Joyner wasn’t that much worse than Klesko was, Veras was a clear upgrade over Boone, and Sanders could have been a really nice piece.

    But, no.

    I know this is a family friendly site, so Ryan, feel free to remove this part of my comment if it’s not ok.

    I was a young lad when the 2000 season happened, and I had gotten my first girlfriend, and my terrible parents would let us hang out together when they were not home, ifyaknowwhatI’msayin’. She was 2 years older than me, and she had a car. Life was amazing. And this guy lost his virginity. And as we all struggled at this stage, stamina was the issue. So I needed something to take my mind off the proceedings, so mentally reciting the Braves lineup was what I chose.

    Rafael Furcal, Quilvio Veras, Chipper Jones, Andres Gallaraga, Javy Lopez, Andruw Jones, Brian Jordan, Reggie Sanders

    Rafael Furcal, Quilvio Veras, Chipper Jones, Andres Gallaraga, Javy Lopez, Andruw Jones, Brian Jordan, Reggie Sanders

    Rafael Furcal, Quilvio Veras, Chipper Jones, Andres Gallaraga, Javy Lopez, Andruw Jones, Brian Jordan, Reggie Sanders

    Rafael Furcal, Quilvio Veras, Chipper Jones, Andres Gallaraga, Javy Lopez, Andruw Jones, Brian Jordan, Reggie Sanders

    Rafael Furcal, Quilvio Veras, Chipper Jones, Andres Gallaraga, Javy Lopez, Andruw Jones, Brian Jordan, Reggie Sanders

    Rafael Furcal, Quilvio Veras, Chipper Jones, Andres Gallaraga, Javy Lopez, Andruw Jones, Brian Jordan, Reggie Sanders

    Rafael Furcal, Quilvio Veras, Chipper Jones, Andres Gallaraga, Javy Lopez, Andruw Jones, Brian Jordan, Reggie Sanders

  5. Rob, I think that’s the only time someone announced Reggie Sanders in 2000 and he didn’t strike out!

  6. I never lost the hope that he could break out any moment, but the slump got into his head and it just never happened. Good guy, no hard feelings. He seemed to want to be a Brave, unlike his platoon partner.

  7. @4 – One good thing about these days is that one is only expected to go through the order 3 times.

  8. Sabermetricians often suggest that the particulars of batting order don’t much matter: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/how-significant-is-batting-order/. But Rob, you’ve offered a perspective on its importance that I’ve never contemplated. Nor do I wish to continue to contemplate that use of it.

    @7–Ha! At a certain age, one might be expected to be an opener only–not even getting through the lineup once.

  9. A cry for help!
    After ending 7 years of a bad marriage, I now have time to watch baseball again. If and when…
    Lost most of the 2010’s, with only a daily check on the Braves. Seeking recommendations for books on teams of the last decade. How did the Natspos get a title?!
    Thanks for your help. Go Braves!
    kevindoclee@yahoo.com

  10. Can’t help you on books of recent baseball history, Kevin, but I’m halfway through the new Yogi Berra biography and enjoying it. Excellent historical/cultural context regarding The Hill, an Italian immigrant community in St. Louis where he and Joe Garagiola grew up. And it never ceases to amaze me what players back then had to go through every year to get paid.

    It’s not perfect — Chapter 2 reads like a rewrite of Chapter 1, and there are some statistical gaffes (Jackie Robinson is said to have stolen 29 bases in 1947 without being caught, when in fact he was caught a league-leading 11 times…was ’47 one of the years that the NL lacked CS data at one point?). But the writing is engaging and Yogi was of course a very rootable player.

  11. Kevin, I truly don’t know how the Nats won a title, but I think it may have been because our own bledsoe reverse jinxed them with his book about their curse:

    It’s actually a really fun read, I recommend it, and has some truly delightful recent history of their many playoff failures before hell froze over last October.

    Don’t know about the new one, but I really enjoyed Allen Barra’s Yogi Berra biography. His Bear Bryant biography is great too. And the best sports book I read all year was Warren St. John’s Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, published in 2004, in which the author (an Alabama native and Bama fan since childhood) decides to buy an RV to try to understand SEC tailgate culture from the inside.

  12. Also, there are Mac’s three ebooks of annotated Braves Journal content:

  13. Barra is a superior writer and I’m sure his Yogi bio is the better one, although I have not read it.

  14. I don’t have any evidence to support this, but I always got the feeling that Bobby and Klesko didn’t get along.

  15. How about the 1890 New York Giants, with Lew Whistler, Dick Buckley, and Pebbly Jack Glasscock?

  16. AAR, I wouldn’t touch that one with Dick Pole.

    PS: The fact that Johnny Dickshot’s nickname was Ugly puts him ahead of Pebbly.

  17. I’m not sure whether that’s a particular competition in which I’d rather be ahead, or behind.

  18. Back to baseball (and basketball). Tfloyd’s question in the last thread about players who had success in both sports got me down some BRef rabbit holes. Dave DeBusschere had two seasons as a pitcher for the White Sox at ages 21 and 22, and I was sorry to see that BRef didn’t have similarity scores for his first season. 18 relief IP with 23 BB and a HB gets your attention, and not in a good way. Only 5 hits and a 2.00 ERA is interesting, though. There’s only one kind of pitcher I can imagine who could put up that combination of numbers, and especially put up that combination of numbers and be given the chance to pitch 24 games (10 starts) the next year. That’s got to be a Mauricio Cabrera, Juan Jaime line – close your eyes and throw really hard and hope the umpire guesses strike often enough. Nope – only 8 Ks in 18 IP. That’s got to be a record if you could figure out how to define it – lowest ERA*K/BB or something. Maybe you could multiply it by the under-.110 BABIP.

    DeBusschere seems to have actually been an ok strikeout pitcher, having gone 10-1, 2.49, 8.9 K/9 in A-ball the same season and having a couple of decent years in the PCL after his two years with the White Sox – 15-8 and 15-12, ERAs under 4 both years, 6.5 K/9 both years. He was decent his second year with the White Sox. That first try with the White Sox, though…

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