Alternating Current: Braves 6, Mets 3

History In The Making?

There are few disputes about which teams are the best teams and the worst teams of all times, so long as you aren’t that particular about the rankings within those teams.  Wins pretty much answer the question: good teams have a lot and bad teams have few.  At the margins, you can argue that some teams were really lucky or unlucky and modify the metrics, but the Parcells Theorem (‘You are what your record says you are’) admits few exceptions.

But determining the most mediocre teams of all time is not quite so easy.  You can start with the teams who finished within one game of .500.  (You wouldn’t want to eliminate a team just because it played an odd number of games.)  In the Retrosheet Era, this leaves us with 83 teams.

But a really mediocre team should not just be mediocre for the season, it should be mediocre at finer-grained intervals.  Tfloyd asked last week whether any team had gone through a full season without having an 8-2 or better stretch or a stretch 2-8 or worse.  Ignoring last year’s abbreviated season, the answer is no.  So even the most mediocre teams manage to go 8-2 or 2-8 at least once a season: everyone does, though the Braves have not yet done so this season.    

So let’s look at monthly records.  For simplicity, I’ve put any March games in April and any October games in September.  The height of mediocrity would be to not only be .500 by season, but .500 by month as well.  It will come as no surprise, perhaps, that no team has yet achieved that level of perfection in mediocrity.  But we can rank teams by the lowest divergence in monthly winning percentage: the highest winning percentage less the lowest.  The most mediocre team turns out to be the 1975 San Francisco Giants —  they finished 80-81, and their record by month was

April10-11
May13-11
June14-17
July15-14
August15-15
September13-13

That is one mediocre team, no?  You can look at their roster and it pretty much screams, “Meh.”  They were never more than 3 games over .500 or more than 7 games under.  Their best month, May, had a winning percentage of 54% and their worst month, June, came in at 45%, for a difference of only 9% from best to worst.

But let’s look at your 2021 Hammers:

April12-14
May13-12
June13-15
July13-11
August??
September??

July isn’t quite done, and August and September could be anything, but there is a chance to make history here.  The Braves best complete month is May (52%) and the worst is April (46%) for a difference of only 6%.  Add to that the fact that the Braves have had no 10 game stretches with 2 or fewer or 8 or more wins, and this has a chance to be the most mediocre team of all time.  Even the 1975 Giants managed to put together a seven game winning streak in May and an eight game losing streak in September.  A really mediocre team wouldn’t allow either one to happen.

One other record which the Braves haven’t reached yet belongs to the 1974 Phillies.  From a win over the Braves on June 3 through a loss to the Mets on June 20th, the Phillies alternated Win-Loss for 16 straight games.  DG asked last night, and that’s the record.  After today, the Braves are at 13.  For the season, those Phillies finished 80-82.

And yes…. 1974-1975 was clearly, at least up until now, the most mediocre period for almost anything. “Love Will Keep Us Together” was the number one song for a month. I rest my case.

Chipwatch

I missed the first four innings, so if Chip said anything particularly stupid then, he gets a free pass. To be fair, if had his most brilliant four innings of broadcasting, I apologize. But of course the fifth, almost every fifth, would be incomplete without mentioning the win rule for a starting pitcher. Still-dead-to-me-but-nonetheless-recently-successful Drew Smyly had a four run lead going to the bottom of the fifth. Chip dutifully intoned his knowledge of the rules and two batters later Smyly was removed from the game. Chip “understood.” Exactly what’s to understand is unclear… Even to the extent that wins are still a thing (and they aren’t) the only time one ought to let personal considerations trump team considerations are when the team is eliminated. But for God’s sake, Chip! If you have an argument about why wins are important for a starting pitcher, make it. Such a case would have to show that pitcher fame, or pay, or anything, are more closely related to wins than to other metrics…. and they aren’t. PLEASE STOP. NO ONE CARES. Just ask yourself: who leads the NL or AL in wins? Is there any argument that either of them is the best pitcher in baseball? Charlie Morton is two off the lead: if he somehow ends up with the most wins, would you argue that he was anywhere near the best pitcher in baseball? deGrom has a chance to finish the season with more WAR than Wins. No starting-only pitcher has even come close to this. (Actually Tylor Megill might possibly do it as well, though in many fewer starts.)

MLB briefly (1980-1988) had a stat: the Game Winning RBI, sort of intended to parallel the win — ascribing a win to an offensive player. They gave it up because it was stupid. The win, whatever its merits when starting pitchers routinely went seven innings is clearly more idiotic now than the GWRBI was in 1988. It would be nice if MLB retired it like the GWRBI, but mentioning it every blessed fifth inning in which a starting pitcher is still in is: (a) wrongheaded; (b) emptyheaded; and (c) boring.

In another minor criticism, Chip and Jeffy praised La Gran Calabaza for hitting the ball hard in an extended at bat against Edwin Diaz for the last out of the game. It was an exciting at bat. But the time to praise him for a tough at-bat is long, long past. And they didn’t mention, either today or at the time, that his prowess at the plate had to have been at least a minor factor in getting Almonte thrown out at the plate the play before. At some point, rooting for a guy has to confront some hard truths.

The Rubber Game of A Five Game Rubber, Which Isn’t A Thing

Austin Riley continued his assault on Mets pitching, an assault that would have been oh-so-much-better with a mere flyout sac fly in the 8th last night. Chipper had Shea — it appears Riley has CitiField. Almonte and Swanson homered as well.

As I said, a 5-1 Braves lead lasted two batters into the 4th, when a single and a homer put the outcome at risk. In a somewhat interesting decision, Martin’s leverage index was lowered by being called on to get two outs with nobody on and a two run lead. After Chavez got out of that inning, Matzek then pitched two innings. It’s almost as if they decided the way they were managing the bullpen wasn’t working and they thought they’d try something else. Well, they gave the other method 100 games to try it out.

La Gran Calabaza got his strikeout appearance out of the way in the 6th. Again: good leverage management. I’m baffled. Maybe they’ve finally decided to start taking the season seriously.

Luke pitched the 8th, flawlessly. That left The Fresh Prince for the 9th in his traditional spot with a three run lead. (Obligatory Chip mention of the save qualification rule.) The leadoff double by Villar and line drive caught by Pederson off Drury suggests that maybe this spot could get some rethinking as well.

But Smith held on. The last two batters were the forgotten Marx Brothers: Nido and Nimmo. In a joke of a season, always close with a joke.

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.

166 thoughts on “Alternating Current: Braves 6, Mets 3”

  1. When Anderson comes off the IL I nominate Smyly for the bullpen. Braves (mostly) win when he pitches. Logical to get him into more games.

  2. Two base hits away from sweeping 5 games. What a waste. Lots of hugs though.

    The deadline awaits.

  3. Why did Chavez get the win and not Matzek? The starter didn’t go five, but the lead he left with held up, so it’s the official scorer’s decision as to who pitched most effectively. Matzek went two scoreless innings, so he seems more deserving than anyone else.

    Not sure I understand what you wrote about Martin’s leverage index. Did you mean Chavez, who replaced Smyly with nobody out?

    A Chip thing from last night: more than once he called Drury a former Brave. Drury reached Low-A Rome in the Sally League before he was traded away, so I’m not sure that makes him a former Brave. Former Braves farmhand or former Braves prospect, sure.

  4. There’s the proof. Thanks, JonF…

    So far, the 2021 Braves are actually… fascinatingly mediocre.

    (And don’t forget that 1975 was lamer than just Captain & Tennille — it was also the era of Pet Rocks.)

  5. @3: Ooops. You’re right of course. It was Chavez, not Martin. I’ll fix, and it makes my point worthless. I’ll still take the two Matzek innings and the Panda at bat in the 6th, though.

  6. “Major Major had been born too late and too mediocre. Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three. Even among men lacking all distinction he inevitably stood out as a man lacking more distinction than all the rest, and people who met him were always impressed by how unimpressive he was.”

  7. I’m still waiting for the “Freddie Freeman for 3 top 100 prospects” news to come across the wire.

  8. No point in “buying” regardless now unless they’re controllable pieces. This team ain’t going to get past LA or SD not now probably not ever.

  9. @3

    The official scorer is instructed to pick the pitcher (other than the starter) who, in his opinion, had the most to do with his team winning the game. That pitcher is undeniably Matzek, it’s not even a question. I mean, I can’t tell the official scorer what his opinion is, but he’s wrong if he thinks Chavez.

    Unfortunately, a lot of official scorers don’t take this situation seriously at all and they just automatically give the win to the first guy in after the starter unless that guy is terrible. It’s lazy and stupid, and doesn’t do anything to disprove JF’s argument that wins no longer matter.

  10. @10 There’s no doubt in my mind we would be buying if Acuna and Soroka were healthy. Call me naive, but I think we’d have added pieces.

    At this point, I’d love to see what Morton would bring back. Brad Hand brought back a FV 40 catching prospect. Gallo brought back a top 100 prospect, and NYY’s 8th, 20th, and 22nd prospects. Morton is not Gallo, but he’s better than Hand.

  11. Some time around 2018 the Braves and Padres split and became variants of one another ala Loki. Both began as teams at the end of a rebuild with some bright young talent to build around.

    The Padres are the variant with an owner and GM with a goal of winning a WS. The Braves are the variant with a goal of being good enough to sell tickets.

  12. @12

    I could not be less interested in trading anybody for anything even closely resembling a prospect.

  13. It may be nothing, but Cristian Pache is not in the Stripers lineup tonight.

  14. @12–Agree completely. If Soroka and RAJ were healthy, we’d probably be in first place right now. Soroka brings you an extra 2-3 wins so far, and Ronald may have done enough to win a couple of these close losses since the ASB. They would certainly be the favorites going forward–and AA would definitely add.
    Even without them, this club is close enough that he may yet add something significant between now and 4:00 tomorrow. But without Acuna, the chances of doing much even if they win the division aren’t good, so I don’t expect him to part with any of the top prospects.

  15. @17- Do you have any insight on what AJax would have to do to get called back up? There is no way he could be worse offensively than either Smith or Vogt, and it’s my understanding his defense is likely superior as well.

  16. If we had gone out and got a stick and a reliever we would be tied for 1st place. .. we are sitting doing nothing again .. disappointing .

  17. @ 20 – Or we could have gone out and got a stick and a reliever that made very little difference in the short term but cost us way too much in the long term. I’m impatient myself, but I would still rather we wait a little while and not do something stupid. If it means standing pat, I’ll be partially okay with that. We still have Ynoa, Anderson and D’Arnaud coming up in the next few weeks.

  18. @Rob – do not sleep on Saban. This year’s team will revert to original Saban. Great defense and just enough offense to win. It’s been years since they had a corps of linebackers like they have now. Bryce Young will be the next great QB and they have some sleeper RBs.

  19. The range of outcomes for the Braves makes this one of the most interesting deadlines I can ever recall. We could in theory trade Freddie Freeman or give up tons of prospects — Pache isn’t in the AAA lineup tonight BTW — for players that could help us immediately. Or maybe there’s a handshake deal to trade Freddie but bring him back AND trade prospects to go all in for 2022. Or we just trade for a right-handed fourth outfielder type and tread water. Or we do nothing and Chip says d’Arnaud returning is just like making a big trade and that we should absolutely not worry about Drew Waters’ 30% AAA strikeout rate.

    I personally think we’ll make some surprisingly big moves, even without Acuña . The Mets aren’t that great and it’s almost a certainty either the Dodgers or Padres (or both!) will have to be in the Wild Card Game. If you make the right kind of trade — José Ramírez comes to mind — you can improve for this year and next.

  20. Riley currently has 2 less homeruns, 2 more RBIS, 2 points higher batting average, and 8 points lower OPS than Freeman. If you would have told me this a few months ago I may have believed it could happen but would have thought that Freeman would have continued his path of regression. I’m pleasantly surprised.

  21. @18 Keep in mind all teams have their fair share of if’s, or should the Braves be the only ones that count?
    Best to keep reality in mind if you seek accuracy.

  22. Brilliant work JonathanF. I was wondering if this team would be setting a record for its mediocrity. I now want them to break the Phillies win-loss streak. That would befit this team, to break a meaningless record that we will all quickly forget. Rather like how I want to forget this season.

    Oh, and I love that Catch-22 passage.

  23. @Nick

    What about Morton + whomever for a AA OF that’s a FV 60 and could compete for an outfield spot next year?

  24. I used to hate the Yankees and Dodgers, mainly because of the October ass-kickings they laid on the Braves. Now I’m honestly just jealous. They have ownership that wants to win. There are exactly zero rules in MLB stopping other teams from buying/trading for the players the Yanks and Dodgers get.

  25. Glavine elected to the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors along with Biggio and Ken Griffey Jr

  26. @27 I wonder what that cost him. Misdemeanor, yea and Bichette does not commit many errors.
    The Braves are making some great moves.
    Of course than can wait till next year for a catcher, third baseman if Riley DH’s. A center fielder, left fielder, bench, and bullpen. No need to rush as S D and L A become much better. Your right, much different ownership. Ones who give a damn and one who does not.

  27. There are teams that are 9 games out making moves .. we are 4 and stand pat .. we lead league in attendance and they making money and they hoard it …

  28. Now we gotta pay Ozuna .. his contract … this team is close but they won’t roll the dice …

  29. The Dodgers are giving up Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray, their top 2 prospects. Ruiz was 16th overall per BA and Gray is 59th. They also gave up 2 lesser prospects.

  30. @38–I’m not surprised the price is that high; this is a huge haul. Turner has become one of the top players in the game, and he comes with another year of control.

  31. Think about this in another way. I’ll bet we have a lot of games against the Nats and Marlins coming. Should be easier to put a streak together. And the Nats just waylaid the Phillies.

    Don’t get me wrong. I hate hearing everyone else make moves and we’re doing nothing. I do think it’s consistent with AA’s MO that he made his “deadline moves” before everyone else did. And Joc has been a great addition and seems to be a great teammate.

  32. “Jeff, Tom, the Braves didn’t make any moves at the deadline, but with the Nationals and Marlins deciding to sell, that’s almost like acquiring a Gallo or Turner.”

  33. I’m jealous of the gnats. Ruiz will probably be their starting catcher for the next 6 years at least. It reminds me of when they got Wilson Ramos for a relief pitcher at the deadline. He might even end up being Scherzer’s catcher if they re-sign him. I can’t believe they traded Turner …. that is shocking. I wonder if the Dodgers trade one of their players away.

  34. @37 They aren’t really that close. They can’t even win 2 games in a row.
    They are a mediocre team. I would sell except they need to keep that park full.

    Hopefully Ozuna still gets a jail sentence and a long mlb suspension. When the suspension is up maybe they can find a team to pay 1/2 of the contract. I was hoping he would go to jail for a few years.

  35. Thanks JonathanF.
    How about Riley?!

    Really looking forward to the series against the Brewers. Exciting matchups with Burnes, Woodruff against Touki and Muller. On paper, we should lose this series so why not beat two of the best MLB pitchers and finally start that streak. Go Braves!

  36. Two to three teams trying to win championships, 27 other teams hoping to be competitive makes for a very depressing scenario.

    Not really sure why the other 27 teams even bother to field a team.

    What a joke.

  37. @47 Two of those three are just trying to get past each other. They have no choice but to try to win the World Series by winning the West.

    And the Yankees are 8.5 back. Good for them for trying.

    We’ve known this for years and you’ve said it yourself: you’d rather be terrible or elite. The Braves are neither.

  38. Plus, Chief, why would the Braves need to add when they have the best pitcher in baseball? 😎

  39. @48 Honestly, the Braves are in the worst possible position in sports.

    .500 is death. And frankly it is boring.

    The last week of the season if you’re hovering around. 500 you should be hoping to lose every game.

  40. I’d rather be elite than mediocre, but I don’t think there is any advantage in Major League Baseball in being terrible. I’d rather be a Braves fan than a Pirates fan.

    And being elite (that is, spending the most money) is no guarantee of winning the World Series on a regular basis. How many WS did the Yankees
    and Dodgers win in the last decade?

    Having said that, I share in everyone’s criticism of Liberty Media. There is a positive relationship between a higher payroll and success on the field. But smart decision making, good player development and scouting, and even just luck can offset higher payrolls.

  41. And having higher draft picks doesn’t mean much at all in player development. So losing doesn’t get you any real advantage.

    Washington did a smart thing yesterday for their future. But that’s because of the excellent prospects they got in return, not because they will likely lose more games the rest of this year and get a marginally better draft position next year.

  42. Agreed.

    There’s definitely some value to picking at the top of the draft. But especially after the first round, each team is choosing players based on internal reports and signing strategy, and different teams probably have radically different boards for how they want to solve that optimization problem. Tanking greatly attrits fan support and can damage revenue while providing no guarantee of draft value. The Phillies tanked and drafted Mickey Moniak 1-1.

    In general, I think there’s a huge value to remaining above 70 wins. Any lower than that, and you’re digging yourself a hole that’s dangerously hard to get out of.

    (Then again, the Detroit Tigers went from 43-119 in 2003 to 95-67 and an AL Championship in 2006, so there are exceptions to everything.)

  43. If there’s one thing that still massively overrated by fans in baseball strategy, it’s draft position. (I think it’s somewhat overrated in football as well, though not massively so, and basketball gets it about right.) Note that while GMs in football routinely make trades to improve draft positions and GMs in basketball treat high draft picks like players who already start for them, higher draft picks in baseball represent somewhat better lottery tickets. There’s just too much slippage in (a) evaluation, (b) luck, and (c) the marginal talent of the 10th best prospect in the country over the 30th best prospect (virtually none) to obsess over tanking to improve.

    The one thing tanking does (IMO) is to allow you to get younger — to allow you not be saddled with the uncompetitive contracts of Rizzo and Bryant because you can’t bear to part with what gave you a WS, or at least gave you a good run at a WS. And even there you aren’t tanking on purpose… it’s just a side effect of getting too young too fast.

    I’d still rather be the Braves with their one WS than the Marlins with their two — shedding contracts as soon as they win something… and suffering in between.

  44. Bleacher Report just said we are buyers for bullpen help and a bat, so it must be true…

  45. Given Acuna’s injury, this probably wasn’t the year to push all the chips to the middle of the table. It’s demoralizing as hell to watch other teams go for broke, though. I figure we’ll add a piece or two before the deadline, but nothing that really moves the needle. Some years are snakebit – this one is for us.

  46. @51- TFloyd, I’ll turn your question around and ask you: How many cheap-ass teams have won the WS in the last decade?

    By my count it’s the royals as the lone exception.

    KC (twice), CLE, TEX, NYM, HOU, TB mark the 7 of past 20 teams to even reach the WS who didn’t have a top-10 payroll that year. Those teams went 1-6 in the series.

    No, a high payroll doesn’t guarantee your team will win a WS. But a medium-to-low payroll practically guarantees your team won’t.

  47. I guess they decided no matter what they did.. they are not gonna be better than LA , SD or Mil .. so if so why not sell Morton, Smiley …

  48. @29

    Eh…maybe if you’re guaranteeing he’s actually going to seriously compete for a starting outfield spot next year. But since he’s a prospect, you can’t really guarantee that. And even if he does, he’ll probably have growing pains and the like…look, I think we’re past this point. We’re in a World Series window and we need major-league ready players.

    Also, on a separate note, there is very little as overrated in baseball as draft order. Truly, intentionally losing toward the end of a season to improve your draft order is almost completely pointless, and is definitely not worth the hit to your dignity as an organization. Like, it doesn’t help at all. In a draft with 20 rounds where the players don’t get picked in order of talent because of slot issues and the like, who really cares about draft order? I kind of see it as another example of football fans misunderstanding a nuance of baseball, to be honest.

  49. It was a bit of hyperbole about the last week, but I stand by my POV that the Braves are going nowhere as currently constituted. From ownership to management to player development. It’s all various degrees of moderately flawed to broken.

    In some ways, its a credit to the ML level coaching staff to have held things together even as well as they have. Hanging around the hotel last weekend and briefly interacting with the staff at breakfast, etc. in the lobby, I can see how they have done that.

  50. So I am onboard with Chief.

    This organization’s goal hasn’t been to go for it all in almost 20 years. We had a big window the last two seasons and we stuck our toes in the water instead of jumping in.

    Just trying to win the division and see what happens doesn’t work. Saving these prospects for the future? When is the future exactly?

    The Dodgers have all the money to spend, but they also develop and scout talent better than anyone. Why can’t we?

    If we can win the World Series over the next 2-3 years and play .400 ball for three after, I am good with it.

    What has our “elite” front office done? Beat the Mets and Nats over 162 games to win the division? Who cares. We were 12 outs away from going to the promise land and did little to upgrade the roster.

    I say call the Cubs and get Bryant, Kimbrel and Hendrix.

    Prospects come and go…flags fly forever!

  51. @60: Of counterintuitive note there is that it’s much more likely that the division winner will be us/Philadelphia than that it’ll be the Mets.

  52. Well, we were better now than 10 minutes ago because Panda was gone, but this certainly will help

  53. The team is marginally better now, which may be enough to actually compete in our wretched division.

  54. Braves State Media spent six months telling us Duval was just lucky last year and not that good.
    Now they are reminding us he was once an All Star and not for his injury last year, we are world champs.

  55. Why would Cleveland want a panda who can’t play baseball? Don’t they know they’re a baseball team?

  56. I won’t shvt on these moves (I was ready for some new deck chairs if nothing else) but these aren’t the moves I was referring to when I mentioned orgs trying to win vs. compete.

    Should have just spent the money to re-sign Duvall in the first place.

  57. Duvall has some weird platoon splits this year. He’s OPSing .805 in full time duty against RHP and .663 against LHP.

  58. Rosario and Duval to Braves. And Panda goes to Cleveland. I guess one of the new guys can come up with some sort of mask; the masked hugs were the only contributions Pablo had made since the first weeks of the season.

  59. I’d put money on Panda never suiting up for the Guardians. He’s there to offset some of Rosario’s salary, and to allow Atlanta to get rid of him without having to release him.

    I’d also say 25% chance he’s back on the bench as a coach before opening day 2022. Somebody’s gotta give out the Panda Hugs.

  60. The Panda return is just salary offset as he would have had to be DFA’d anyway (and it takes care of the 40-man spot). I recall there being a pretty big Rosario bandwagon either last year or over the winter. Considering his track record, he seems to be a great “buy low” candidate. If he does marginally well the rest of this year, he might sign cheap over the winter. Seems a lot like 2018 Duvall.

    Speaking of which, a Duvall/Pederson platoon could be really good. And sure does improve the bench whichever one is on the field.

    I guess Rosario is on the IL right now with an ab strain.

    I sure think we will eventually miss Alex Jackson. I strongly believe he will figure it out, but he is expendable with Contreras and Langoliers in tow. He is one of the best AAAA players around. Good defense and extra strong bat at AAA while being lousy in the majors.

    Rosario seems to have splits too so there may be some idea of a double platoon in the OF although Rosario seems to be the worst defender among the bunch. I wonder who goes down (or out) when Rosario is activated.

  61. So funny how it was all over the net that the Marlins would not deal with the Braves.

    Get one reliever and it will be a pretty good deadline. Gain a little for not much outlay. Pederson, Vogt, Duvall, Rosario, and ? is not a bad haul for this type of season.

  62. @77 .. I think Duvall and Peterson both play…with Almonte in relief and as PH off bench. Now we gotta bring up Contreras and Release Smith …

  63. @79 I was hoping Jackson would get another shot along with releasing Smith. I think Contreras will not be back this year as the original plan was for him to get daily ABs at AAA this year and compete for a job next year.

    It seems more than possible now that these moves plus the return of TdA and Ynoa are what is the attempt to fill all the holes we have/had. When TdA is activated, Smith will go and catching will be TdA/Vogt. Ynoa will come back and I think that will initiate the release of Tomlin. The rotation will be set when Anderson comes back (and Davidson).

  64. So, basically, we just dumped Inciarte and Panda for Duvall and Rosario. That seems like a real win.

  65. I don’t think AA is done. I’m assuming we’ll hear about a new reliever or two in the next couple of hours. But not Kimbrell.

  66. Peterson,rf
    Freeman,1b
    Riley,3b
    Albies,2b
    5.Duvall, lf
    Swanson,as
    Voit, c
    Heredia,cf

    Almonte, Adrianza and Smith on bench ..

  67. So far this is about as good a deadline as you could have hoped for. Given the absence of RAJ and the team’s other struggles, it didn’t make sense to part with your top prospects for one year rentals. In other words, AA isn’t hanging on to the top prospects because he is too enamored of them.
    This team’s window still has several years left. With Ronald and Ozzie’s contracts (and hopefully Freddie’s extension), along with several years of control over Riley, Fried, Anderson, Soroka (fingers crossed), Touki, Ynoa, and Davidson, with Langeliers and Contreras coming along, there is a lot of talent under team control for a while. It will be necessary to part with some young talent to fill out a championship caliber roster, but this July is not the time to do it. The coming offseason is a good time to sign a big free agent and/or trade for an established star. That will be the time to judge AA’s efforts to field a team that can win a championship.

  68. Most team went from an Edsel to a Porsche
    Braves went from an Edsel to a Chevy.
    Still better than they were, but WAY behind the West.

  69. @89: There is literally no set of trades which would have made us competitive with the Dodgers, beyond a trade between Liberty Media and Guggenheim Baseball Management of the entire franchises.

    Despite our infirmities, we might still possibly face them again in the NLCS. What exactly do you see as the benefit of raising our chances of beating them in the NLCS from 30% to 32%, which is the highest change reasonably possible?

  70. I know reasonable minds can differ, but I’m firmly in the camp that wants my team to be competitive year in and year out, as opposed to the boom or bust approach epitomized by the Marlins of the late 90’s and early oughts. I don’t think those two WS championships would be worth all those other .400 seasons.

    And my earlier point today is that going “all in” is not a guarantor of winning the World Series on a regular basis. Those two Marlins teams got lucky. The Braves just didn’t win their division every year from 1991 forward; they had the best record in the NL every year but one for the rest of the decade of the 1990’s. The Braves were all in and still only won the series once.

    Don’t get me wrong–I want my team to be in the top 5-8 in payroll, not 12 or 13 as they are now. Our market can support spending more.

  71. I am beginning to wonder if the Cubs or the Nats will be able to field a 25-man roster after today. I was sure hoping the Braves had a chance at Ian Kennedy or the like but nooooooooooo.

  72. The Angels have reportedly made Yglesias available. He’s probably the best reliever left after Kimbrell.

  73. I’ll amend my comment @92–I’d rather be top 3 in payroll like we were in the 90’s. But even moving to 5-8 could make a big difference.

  74. Blargh , our Kevan Smith nightmare continues.
    Won’t be sad if Alex Jackson mashes against the braves.

  75. The Braves have improved themselves today. I’m kind of relieved the Mets and Phillies haven’t done more (still 40 minutes left). Baez is good, but not great, and they are still LOLMets; although Gibson and Kennedy will help the Phils, the gains are pretty marginal.

  76. With Braves Country ™ and the size of the Atlanta Metro area (isn’t it like 6-8M people!), there should be no reason that the Braves aren’t at least in the top 10 year in and year out for payroll if not higher. Just moving into the next tier of payroll would make this organization so much more competitive.

  77. Hope the Mets paid a lot for Baez. He’s so exciting and so inconsistent.

    @100 population at least that much and growing very fast. Last I saw roughly fifth to seventh largest in the nation.

  78. For Baez, the Mets reportedly traded their #1 pick from last year, Pete Crow-Armstrong, a 19-year-old OF who’s recovering from shoulder surgery.

  79. So…. basically we’ve taken on salary and have given up literally nothing.

    Umm, yeah, I’ll take that.

    (Pending seeing what we gave up for Rodriguez)

  80. I mean, we probably gave up something for Rodriguez. He’s a stud and he’s cheap.

  81. Bryse Wilson and Danny DeVito for Rodriguez

    Edit: I’m being told it’s Ricky DeVito. Eh, what’s the difference.

  82. Rodriguez will be the big one. I’m betting we gave up something significant there. Under control until 2024.

    Someone among Arcia, Almonte, Heredia, and Adrianza is going to be very unhappy soon.

    Not sure what we’re getting in Soler. He’s been not good this year and he is as bad a defender as Rosario. Soler/Rosario might make for a good DH combo next year. All the OFs are rentals except Joc has an option. I gotta believe Arcia is the first one out. Maybe Heredia next if Joc or Duvall can play CF.

    I don’t think we will miss Kalich. He seems to be a RH AJ Minter to me……

  83. Someone among Arcia, Almonte, Heredia, and Adrianza is going to be very unhappy soon.

    Good. It’s probably not Heredia though. I would think it’s either Arcia or Almonte.

  84. Overall fairly impressed. If you’re not going to make major moves these are good trades.

  85. Bryse will probably get a real shot with the Pirates. Good for him; good for us. AA seems to be okay at his job.

  86. @119 We just turned over 15% of our major league roster with players significantly better in the aggregate than their predecessors.

  87. Just saw the Rodriguez deal. That is SO GOOD. In AA I trust.

    Soler seems like a reasonable back of bench flier. Lord knows Duvall, Soler, Rosario can’t be worse than Heredia, Almonte, Adrianza.

  88. With Soler onboard, they can play Duvall/Soler against lefties and Pederson/Rosario against righties. And whoever is not playing is a better bench option than we’ve had. And it could be good prep for the DH next. The fact that they’re all rentals means that we can wait out the results of the Ozuna matter before making any decisions on next year’s roster.

    Including guys that are on the IL this year, I count at least 7 legitimate SP candidates for next year excluding both Morton and Smyly (or Bryse). We didn’t need Bryse.

    If you keep Heredia and Adrianza then Arcia and Almonte are optioned out. Someone from the 40-man may be DFA’d. The DFA for Inciarte had to be with all of this horse-trading in mind. AA had to know which deals would end up getting done.

  89. Agree, Roger. Didn’t need Bryse. Muller, Ynoa, Tucker were now all ahead of him. And we are pretty loaded with the next wave coming.

  90. I’d rather keep Arcia, a true SS, in case Dansby goes down. Arcia’s the best utility infielder we’ve got.

  91. So Rosario/Soler in LF and Pederson/Duvall in RF. And Rodriguez will probably be the top setup guy. Nice job today AA.

  92. B-Ref says Almonte was released by the Braves but I haven’t seen that anywhere else.

  93. I would guess we have to wait a day before putting the new guys in the lineup with travel and COVID protocols.

  94. Makes sense that Almonte had to go. You need to keep Heredia to play center. Arcia is good shortstop insurance and Adrianza should also get the nod over Almonte for his positional flexibility.

    Although both Pederson and Duvall have played center in the past, I assume neither is good enough to do so now.

  95. I have no idea who is on the team anymore if anyone wants to volunteer to do an explainer sometime. That will be helpful.

  96. Javier Baez is a great talent but I think he is overrated and I don’t like him. That has to count for something.

  97. #134
    Atlanta, as it stands.

    Mets could catch lightning-in-a-bottle w/ the Baez rental — he could also play 2B or 3B if/when Lindor returns — but we addressed more needs, esp. w/ Rodriguez.

    Bravo, AA — maybe we get to pay attention all the way to Oct. 3.

    BTW, the last 3 games of the season are at home vs NYM.

  98. deGrom had a setback too

    Almonte and Heredia weren’t gonna cut it, but they had their moments. I appreciate their contributions, but these OF additions are helpful.

    We gave up nothing that will come back to haunt us and the team is better. It has been a horrific season, but the guys deserved a chance. AA gave them one without giving anything up. No way I’d want Kimbrel over Rodriguez with the prices and control involved. That was a helluva trade by AA

    Days like today remind me why I like AA and trust him to pull the trigger on the all in moves when its appropriate

  99. I may have been premature in declaring Riley a marginal big leaguer. Keep it up, Austin. I like crow.

  100. Feels like the last week has highlighted a philosophical split among the fans on here.
    The two camps being:
    A) Give me a competitive team every year. Alright if they’re never elite. Playoffs are a crapshoot.
    B) Give me some peaks where the team goes “all-in” for the championship and I’m willing to suffer through some fallow seasons. Flags fly forever.

    I do wonder if your preference for the former or latter changes based on championship recency? Let’s make a college football analogy. LSU fans have witnessed championships in recent memory. They are much more likely to look fondly on a string of competitive 10-wins seasons and enjoy the trip. Georgia fans, however, haven’t won a title in 4 decades and likely view a string of 11-2 seasons as failures to reach the mountaintop.

    Where you stand as a Braves fan might depend on your age or disposition. But I’d think a 26-year championship drought, despite plenty of seasons north of .500, warrants a bit more urgency toward building a juggernaut for a really competitive window, and sacrificing some prospects to get there.

  101. @141 We’re watching and following baseball. I watch all the Braves games I can. My feeling is more localized than globalized. When I watch every game, I want to have the feeling that the Braves have a better than 50% chance of winning each and every day. So, yeah, it may be disappointing to not win a championship but there is more than championships to enjoy watching and following a team. I’d rather be competitive every year.

    Maybe my feelings are colored by the many years of watching the Braves flail in the 70s and 80s, but I enjoyed the 90s much more than having only one championship. But I also like consistency or roster too. More recent times with so much turnover makes the game less interesting to me.

  102. If not for the hit against the shift it’s still 4-0. Whoever calls the defensive shifts should be fired to make this a perfect day

  103. I’m ok with all of the trades except the Richard Rodríguez trade. I HATE that one. RR has been bad since the ban on sticky stuff. Check his stats for the last 30 days. It would have made more sense to just put Bryse in the bullpen. Plus they gave up DeVito, a decent prospect. But good for Bryse. He is finally off of that stupid shuttle. Really hope he finds success in Pitt. Now everyone can quit whining about him.

    It looks like Kranitz has worked his magic with Touki now. Can’t wait to see what he does with Rodríguez.

  104. @147 I’ll co-sign everything posted here, from RR/ Bryse to Kranitz/Touki.

    It’s going to take the Mets seriously crapping the bed for the braves to have a chance. Something like the NL east division winner ending up with 82 wins.

    Leaving Newcomb in, they already punted this game.

  105. AA should have insisted that he throw Newcombe in to literally any of these trades today.

  106. I guess it is too much to ask that the curse of losing every other game be lifted since most of our new additions aren’t playing yet. I’m hoping for the curse to be lifted early next week.

  107. I am watching from a Lodge in WV. The WiFi is terrible. I am going to see if they can do something tomorrow. this is annoying.

  108. I sure thought that we might break the streak after the first two innings. But not tonight. Ugh. I guess we can’t expect Touki to be great every time out.

  109. So Duvall, Rosario and Soler are all free agents after this year ???? Rodriguez is the only one arb eligible ??

  110. @JonathanF: After tonight’s 9-5 loss, I am counting the streak of alternating wins and losses at fifteen, all since the All Star break – which would mean that the Braves are only one game away from tying the record.

  111. JeffY: You are correct. I’m a better computer programmer than counter. It’s kinda interesting that the suspended game would have broken the streak one way or the other!

  112. IIRC, Duvall’s contract with Miami had a low 2021 salary, a higher 2022 option, and a 2022 buyout almost as high as his 2021 salary, so they wound up paying him less for 2/3 of the season than the Braves will for 1/3 of the season, or 1-1/3 years if the Braves pick up the option.

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