Spo_bs_atlantabraves_1006

biggentleben

  • joined Mar 19, 2008
  • last login Jul 26, 2014
  • posts 42
  • comments 6359

Lifelong Braves fan and former Minnesota Golden Gopher athlete stuck in rural South Dakota

A Fan Of...

  • MLB Atlanta Braves
  • NBA Minnesota Timberwolves
  • NFL Pittsburgh Steelers
  • NCAAF Minnesota Golden Gophers
  • NCAAB Minnesota Golden Gophers
  • NASCAR Jeff Gordon
  • MMA Brock Lesnar
User Blog

Who is your most likely August trade candidate?

21
  1. Wandy Rodriguez
  2. Josh Willingham
  3. Carlos Pena
  4. Kerry Wood
  5. Brian Fuentes

Best Braves pitching since....

7

With his 10th win Saturday, Tim Hudson gave the Braves a trio of double-digit winners before August 1st. I was curious the last time this happened. You have to go back 10 seasons to the summer of 2002 when Glavine, Millwood, and Maddux did it. Interesting that this year's bullpen has often been compared to the amazing bullpen of that 2002 season behind the starters.

FanPost
24

Trade market (not just for Braves)

Okay, first off, a quick primer.  Remember that July 31 means very little as far as trades go.  July 31 simply means that any player acquired had to have passed through waivers already.  Some major...

Sick of the Jeter talk

29

Yeah, so am I, but probably for a different reason. Two of my favorite players and one of the most exciting players in recent history to watch all have valid reasons to be in arms when there is the comment that Jeter is going to be the first Yankee to get to 3,000 hits. Dave Winfield - 1172 games as a Yankee, over 5000 PA, career 3110 hits Wade Boggs - 602 games as a Yankee, 2600 PA, career 3010 hits Rickey Henderson - 596 games, over 2700 PA as a Yankee, career 3055 hits It is frustrating to me how much ESPN and other national media is all about Jeter. The man is not an All-Star anymore (he should be hitting 9th), and his fielding has been poor his entire career. Jeter is absolutely a HOF player and one of the better players we've seen in recent memory, but I'd take a peak Barry Larkin over Jeter anyday and Larkin isn't viewed as a sure Hall of Famer. With Chipper nearing a huge milestone as well, can we take the focus off of Jeter for just a second?

So what exactly constitutes an ace?

10

After this term has been bantered around on here for the last few weeks, I happened to hear a really good explanation of how I felt on the issue in the BP podcast (HIGHLY recommended, by the way) with Kevin Goldstein. An ace is a guy who if you surveyed all the managers/GMs/baseball people in the know for their top 10 in the game, his name would be among the 5-8 most mentioned names. Statistics from year to year may waver, but people making the game plan know who the real aces are. We aren't talking about the #1 pitcher, or an opening day starter, or even the first starter in the playoffs. We're talking about the true elite of the elite. I posed this question to an unnamed MLB beat writer that I know and he wagered that a good explanation is that if you would consider taking the guy ahead of a power-hitting first baseman when drafting a REAL LIFE team (emphasis mine, to deter those only thinking in fantasy terms), he's ace-quality. To me there are a small list of aces in the game right now, and here's my list: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia - 34 years old - 179 career wins, 137 ERA+, 6.8 k/9, 3.67 k/bb Felix Hernandez, Seattle - 25 years old - 79 career wins, 131 ERA+, 8.2 k/9, 2.92 k/bb Cliff Lee, Philadelphia - 32 years old - 111 career wins, 114 ERA+, 7.1 k/9, 3.19 k/bb Tim Lincecum, San Francisco - 27 years old - 62 career wins, 138 ERA+, 10.0 k/9, 3.09 k/bb CC Sabathia, New York - 30 years old - 168 career wins, 124 ERA+, 7.5 k/9, 2.72 k/bb Justin Verlander, Detroit - 28 years old - 94 career wins, 120 ERA+, 2.87 k/bb Adam Wainwright, St. Louis - 29 years old - 66 career wins, 140 ERA+, 7.5 k/9, 2.91 k/bb Next two on my own list are Jon Lester, Boston, and Josh Johnson, Florida. What would be your list of the aces in the game?

How to get what we expected from Dan Uggla

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Dan Uggla is currently hitting .180/.247/.339 after Saturday's showing. Obviously this isn't what the Braves had in mind when they traded for Uggla and then signed him to a very nice deal. However, one has to wonder what it would take to get him to the level we expected? Uggla's career line was .263/.349/.488 with Florida, averaging 31 home runs, 100 runs, and 93 RBI per season with an average 73/152 bb/k rate. At his current pace, Uggla would finish with 23 home runs, 69 runs, and 56 RBI, which would still place him in the top class offensively among second basemen in those categories, but not what he's getting paid $9M for this season and $13M per in the future to produce. He's on pace for a 52/141 bb/k ratio as well. His strikeout rate is actually similar to last season's improvement, and even at current pace of 141 would be his fourth straight season decreasing his strikeout total while playing nearly every game along the way in those seasons. So, down to the nitty gritty. What would Uggla have to hit to get to his career averages? to his career best 2010? last, for a fun question, to a .300/.400/.550 season? The first question requires knowing that Uggla has played 78 games so far this season and come to the plate 317 times, an average of 4.064 times per game. He has averaged 155 games played each season of his career, so his high game total is nothing to be surprised by. While you cannot predict an injury, to base these predictions, we'll assume 155 games, which would give him 630 plate appearances at his current pace (which would be a 3 year low for Uggla). Just over half of those plate appearances have already happened, which will leave us at just under half a season to project out. To reach his career average coming into 2011 (.263/.349/.473), Uggla would need to go .357/.454/.610 from here on out with 20 home runs, 67 runs, and 66 RBI, with a 48/84 bb/k rate. To reach his career best numbers (.287/.369/.514, 33/113/105 with 92/123), Uggla would have to hit .407/.492/.693 with 22 homers, 80 runs, 78 RBI, and a 67/58 bb/k rate. To reach .300/.400/.550 would be a whole new level of production: .434/.556/.767. Now, how feasible is any of this, well, here are Dan's best MONTHS by each slash stat: AVG - .356 5/06, .347 5/08, .319 8/10 OBP - .427 8/09, .425 5/08, .402 5/06 SLG - .827 5/08, .706 6/06, .614 5/07 In other words, the production just to get career averages is something he's only sustained for one MONTH at best, so expecting such a rate for 3+ months would be out of line, but if he pulled off his career averages at this point, he would have to be high in the ranking of NL MVP.

FanPost
17

Pick your All-Star rosters

Basic roster rules need to be followed: 34 players per team, every team must be represented.  I've provided a list of worthy candidates below the jump, but don't feel confined to just that list. ...

Chipper says Heyward needs to play through pain

23

While I appreciate Chipper's openness about this, and he even worded things so it's not a harsh remark by any means, but why make the comment publicly?

Gary Carter fighting cancer

+

While he played for two of the Braves current division rivals for the majority of his career before spending 2 of his last 3 years playing for division rivals at the time of the Braves, this Braves fan is praying for good news for Kid.

Baseball training

30

The linked article is old and has plenty to criticize about it, but there is some interesting takeaway from that article as it is still a top 5 find when researching "baseball strength training" through Google, Bing, and Yahoo search engines. A comment in this week's "Things Read In Other Moms' Basements" article really struck me in how far behind baseball STILL is compared to other sports in the area of strength and conditioning. When I hear someone talk about "dangers of weight lifting" or "adding arm strength to add power" or "too bulky" within the game of baseball, I absolutely cringe. I'm not sure how many of you have been inside pro baseball facilities and college facilities. I can tell you from two that I saw this last year that the new clubhouse strength training area in Target Field in Minneapolis looks like an elementary school gym compared to the Nebraska football weight training facilities (and Nebraska has an entire separate facility for non-football athletes). The lack of knowledge in the game of baseball about how to properly strengthen an athlete is astounding. Perhaps this is based in the hallowed tradition of the game and the fact that we like to trust our eye in viewing the ol' ballgame, but new statistics have intertwined into the common thought of the sport and taken evaluation of the result of the game to a new level. Perhaps it is finally time to take that next step in developing the players for the game as well. I did a lot of my own training to go from an overweight farm boy to a walk-on lineman for a Big Ten football program. Surgery ended my pursuit, but the knowledge I gained in that pursuit sparked an interest in me that I've never really lost. I still subscribe to magazines and podcasts about power lifting. I lift for exercise and to encourage myself now in my weight loss after recovering from surgeries. The basics of the motions of baseball are this: there is about a six-inch area of the body of a baseball player that will make him a more powerful hitter or pitcher, and no, this isn't a dirty comment! From about an inch above the belly button to the top of the thigh/hamstring is the most important part of a baseball player. Core strength and strong hip rotation will provide additional MPH on a fastball and distance to a fly ball. Football and track have known for years how to develop this. Take a look at a discus thrower on the international stage. The guy will be built for sure, but he will look NOTHING like a shot-putter for good reason. A great discuss thrower will do laps around any baseball player in core strength, yet both rely on that strength as the primary source of power for their sport! The big picture things that baseball needs to move toward are three-fold: 1. Heavy weight is not the enemy. Guys who are 230lbs with low-fat are described as "thick" and that is never a good thing. Also, finding out a guy can bench press 335lbs or squat 515lbs is viewed as wasted training time or even an injury risk! 2. Machines don't cut it. Weight machines are good rehab items because they limit range of motion so as to not overextend muscles. They are VERY poor muscle developers for that same reason. Free weights require the body to take the weight through the entire range of motion. Emphasizing weight machines is like telling every hitter and pitcher to complete their action with no follow through. You drastically increase the chance of injury with such limitation. 3. Multi-muscle lifts are key. Those places that have moved away from machines are still mostly focused on dumbbell lifts for their players (other than bench press, oddly). Dumbbell lifts are auxiliary lifts, not primary. A bench press is a good example. If you do nothing but bench press for upper-body workout, you will develop larger biceps, triceps, shoulders, neck muscles, and chest muscles. Lifts that are awesome for the core are squats, deadlifts, and power cleans. Those lifts require intense focus on form and muscle control, much like repeating an ideal swing or pitching mechanics. That's a very, very basic outline of strength conditioning in baseball. I could expand on this topic for page upon page, but I'm curious to what everyone here thinks. Is this the next SABR-esque movement in the game?

FanPost
20

OT: 2011 Fantasy Baseball Positional Rankings

Part of my major involvement in fantasy sports over the last 20+ years was writing for an online site that no longer exists on fantasy baseball by doing a breakdown of top 10/25 lists by position. ...

FanPost
40

Braves lineup averages

With some questions about the lineup, I thought I'd do a little research.  Each projected starter's career splits at different batting order spots (with significant at bats)   Based on the stuff...

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