In his latest chat, Joe Morgan was asked the following questions and gave his responses. I post them now for our enjoyment and ridicule: Nick (Atlanta) Is there anyway Atlanta can make the playoffs? Joe Morgan (11:14 AM) It's going to be very difficult. They've dug a deep hole for themselves not just in the standings, but mentally. They were expected to be very good. So far this year, their pitching has not been great. Frank (Coram, NY) Do you think that The Mets can compete for at least the wild card? Joe Morgan (11:24 AM) Yes, I think so. They have shown that on occasion their pitching staff can dominate hitters and that they can generate runs. They hope that Beltran can come back and play. If they can stay close and get to the trading deadline, you never know. So, in summary, the Mets, with the worst rotation in the NLE have a chance at the post-season because of their pitching, but the Braves, with one of the best rotations in all of baseball, have dug themselves a hole too big to climb out of? That hole is all of 4.5 games back - in May, no less. The Mets? They are only 2.5 games back. Clearly, the Mets have time to make up 2.5 games, while the Braves have no shot at making up 4.5 games over the next 140 or so games remaining... Good lord, does this idiot even believe what he says?
Dallas Braden gives A-Rod the ultimate middle finger.
Atlanta has averaged 2.1 runs in Kawakami's three starts in 2010. The right-hander, who hasn't won since Aug. 31, allowed three runs and six hits in six innings of a 5-2 loss to New York on Friday. "After giving up that first run, a lot of pressure started coming toward me, because (the lack of run support) was in the back of my mind," he told the Braves' official website through a translator.http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/preview?gameId=300428124 Our starting pitchers recognize that our offense is terrible right now. It is a sad day when they feel like giving up 1 run is really really bad.
Freddie Freeman goes deep twice and Tim Gustafson has a Mark Buehrle-esque web-gem.
So, I came back to Virginia from Texas this week for my brother's wedding this weekend. I checked the Tides schedule to see who was in town, and to my sweet surprise, it was the Gwinnette Braves!...
A-Rod breaks an unwritten rule. Dallas Braden takes offense. A-Rod thinks A-Rod is too good for Dallas Braden to talk about. Seriously, the dude is on Tiger Woods-esque ground.
"Glaus needs to be benched." "Glaus has lost all of his power." "We still need a real cleanup hitter." "Start Hinske!"
...Andrew Heyward...I am watching Sports Center Live, and that is what they just called our new RF... Facepalm.
"I think we need him," Jones said. "I think we need him to be a contender in the East. We need him from Day One."Chipper Jones on our Future RF.
"Home runs, I know they're going to come," Heyward said. "I know that's part of my game; I'm not worried about that. But I was just happy about having a good at-bat because he made some good pitches. It was a good at-bat, a good swing."http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=300308106&teams=atlanta-braves-vs-detroit-tigers This is the best part about Heyward. He knows the importance of pitch selection and patience.
How the heck are Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman ranked in the top 3? If anyone else had their bank accounts, they would be good too. Also, how the heck is Frank Wren only #17??? I think this writer may be on crack.
"Everybody knows he belongs. It's just a matter of getting used to the big-league pitching, how quick the adjustments are made. But he's the best 20-year-old I've ever seen."http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/features/rumors?date=20100303#4809 Brian McCann on our RF phenom.
"Jason Heyward was born in Georgia, was a first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves, was seen as a hometown-kid-makes-good star since high school, has been given high marks for his makeup and is on the verge of breaking into the majors amid outsized expectations. Jeff Francoeur knows something about all that. He was born in Georgia. He was a first-round pick of the Braves. He was seen as a hometown-kid-makes-good-star, was given high marks for his makeup and broke into the majors amid outsized expectations. So Francoeur, traded to the Mets last season, has some sense of what Heyward is going to go through, and sometime this spring he intends to take Heyward to dinner and give him some advice. "The thing I would say to him is this: 'Just enjoy it, and learn to say no,'" Francoeur said. "I'm not saying that he should say no to everything, but he should say no to some media things, to some charity things. I would tell him 'Make sure you make time for yourself.'" The LAST thing Jason Heyward needs is for Jeff Francoeur to give him advice! Frenchy, you are gone, out, not on the team anymore. Stop pretending like you are! One sidenote: Comparing Heyward to FYF is wrong - Heyward knows what a pitch off the plate is and how it is a good thing.
let the kid pitch more, than start singing his praises. Look up the stats. yes I know that he is a rookie and he had a very good rookie season but both J.A. Happ and Josh Johnson had more wins last season with very respectable era's. They have both pitched more games than hanson career wise as well...http://myespn.go.com/s/conversations/show/story/4933888?body=&prosaction=newpost&status=ok Some douche-nozzle talking about Tommy Hanson over on the ESPN comments section. I really love it when people tell other people to "look at the stats" when they clearly didn't look at them to begin with.
Who are the most popular baseball players? How does one determine this? Is Johnny Damon one of them? Here are some things that I dug up: from www.associatedcontent.com There...
Buster lists the top 5 rotations in baseball...guess who isn't one of them... "And keep in mind we're talking about pitchers No. 1 through No. 5, not just the top one or two, in which case my vote probably would go to the Mariners (with Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee), the Cardinals (with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright) or the Giants (with Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain). Here goes ... Getty Images Last season, Jon Lester was 7-2 with a 2.82 ERA and 94 K's in 89.1 innings pitched after the All-Star break. Momentum into 2010, anybody? 1.Red Sox: Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz, No. 6 Tim Wakefield. On paper, a strong group -- if Beckett has a season worthy of a contract drive, if Lackey succeeds in making the transition to the American League East, if Matsuzaka can finally get on the same page as the Red Sox staff and if Buchholz continues to improve. 2.Yankees: CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, Javier Vazquez, Phil Hughes. As usual, Burnett is the key for this group; it could be the best if he pitches at an elite level. 3.White Sox: Jake Peavy, Mark Buehrle, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Freddy Garcia. Peavy looked great in his three starts down the stretch this past season. More on that in Wednesday's blog. 4.Angels: Jered Weaver, Scott Kazmir, Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana, Joel Pineiro. Lackey is gone, but if Santana is healthy, this could be an excellent group. 5.Cardinals: Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Kyle Lohse, Brad Penny, somebody else. Penny, by the way, appears to be in great shape and is motivated to have a big season. Let's add this: 5a. Phillies: Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ, Jamie Moyer. The Phillies would have been No. 1 if they had Halladay, Lee and Hamels 1-2-3. Others in the conversation: Braves (whom I probably would have placed at No. 3 if not for the trade of Javier Vazquez), Giants, Rays (depending on how Matt Garza and David Price develop), Diamondbacks (depending on what Brandon Webb does)."
This is located in an Insider article, so I will post some of the highlights: "There is plenty of experience in the revamped Braves bullpen with closer Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito in the twilight of their careers. Braves manager Bobby Cox, who has plenty of miles on the odometer as well, will try to avoid overworking his seasoned relievers. "I don't know if you can pitch them four days in a row, but certainly at times I think you can go three," Cox told David O'Brien of the Atlanta JC. "Depends on the number of pitches they throw." The plan could call for other relievers, such as Peter Moylan, to get some ninth inning work as well. " Keith Law has this to say: "As much as I'd love to see a manager run his bullpen in such an old-school fashion, without rigid role designations like 'closer' or '8th inning setup man,' this sounds to me like a back-door way of admitting that Atlanta doesn't know how much Billy Wagner's elbow can take this year. The Red Sox used him on back-to-back days once last year, and while he should be stronger in 2010, there are no guarantees on how his elbow will bounce back from normal closer usage." Hmmm...All of a sudden, I don't feel as excited about the BP situation. I figured that Wagner was back to full strength, considering the speed with which we signed him and the amount we signed him for. The thing that scares me the most is what Cox said about "They may not have 4 nights in a row in them, but they certainly have 3". That should scare all of us.
Jason Heyward has received the top ranking in several of the major prospect ranking lists, including MLB.com, ESPN.com KG and Keith Law. The expectations are high, the praise abundant. Here...
Ferguson Jenkins says Mark McGwire owes an apology to all those pitchers who gave up his home runs. The Hall of Fame ace sent an open letter to The Associated Press this week, telling the former home-run king: "You have not even begun to apologize to those you have harmed." "How many pitchers do you think he ended their careers by hitting numbers of home runs of them?" Jenkins said during a telephone interview Wednesday. Jenkins also maintained he would have known how to handle the bulked-up McGwire, who hit a then-record 70 homers in 1998 and followed with 65 the following year. "It's tough to hit a home run off your back," Jenkins said. "In my era, Seaver, Gibson, Drysdale, Carlton, there were so many guys that would have probably knocked him on his butt. He wouldn't have hit home runs the way he did in that era."http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4846734
Not that I give a lot of credibility to Mel Kiper, but he has released his first mock draft (with probably 30 more to come) and has the Jags keeping the 11th pick and using it to land my boy, Jason...
Ok, I'll start this off by admitting that I borrowed stole this idea from the good folks over at the Good Phight. Basically, this is going to be a complete team of players who we, as Braves...
An interesting tid-bit from Buster Onley's blog: Glaus vs. McGriff OBP SLG HR RBI GM Glaus' avg. season 2005-08 .364 .500 30 90 142 McGriff's avg. season 1994-97 .366 .504 28 98 142 I hope that formatted correctly....
This is not an Insider article, so I will post the whole thing here... This is Keith Law's take on the Soriano trade. "Rafael Soriano was one of the two best relievers on the market, with former teammate Mike Gonzalez, and the Rays are fortunate to get someone of his caliber on a one-year deal for the price of a cheap middle reliever. The Rays' pen, a strength of the 2008 pennant-winning club, was a major weakness in 2009, and Soriano helps them in almost any role as someone who throws strikes and misses bats; last year, nobody in Tampa's pen came close to Soriano's ability to do both of those things, and his arrival allows Joe Maddon to shift J.P. Howell to work in the seventh and eighth innings depending on matchups. You will still hear whispers about Soriano being less than tough, especially when he blows his first save, but he didn't show any propensity to melt down in 2009 in a full year of closing. The trade is worth a couple of wins on paper -- maybe more if Soriano's used in a highly-leveraged way -- and with Soriano likely to make somewhere between $7 million and $7.5 million in arbitration, he should be a good value. Jesse Chavez -- Atlanta's addition -- is a three-pitch reliever with an above-average fastball and a solid-average changeup; he has shown plus control throughout his pro career, making him a good bet to be an average middle guy, although he doesn't miss enough bats to be a late-game reliever. I'm a little surprised this was the best offer Atlanta could get for Soriano, but they also seemed desperate to move him immediately rather than wait out the winter and run the risk that they couldn't trade him. The lesson here for clubs wavering on offering arbitration to a Type A free agent is that having the player accept against your wishes is not the end of the world. If the player is good and his market was hurt by the Type A designation, you should still be able to dump the salary, at the least, if not actually trade him for something of value. Atlanta's decision to offer might not look like the right one because Soriano accepted, but it was the right call, and I'd rather take the risk of having a good player accept than throw away the chance for two high draft picks the way Dodgers did by not offering a deal to Randy Wolf. "
Jerry Crasnick just reported that Soriano accepted the Braves' offer of $6.5M - $8M. "jcrasnick: Soriano apparently felt more comfortable with a sure thing from Atlanta -- one year and $6.5 to $8 million -- than going out on the market Monday December 7, 2009 11:38 jcrasnick 11:40 jcrasnick: The Braves weren't planning for this, and now they can try to trade Soriano. But any deal before June 15 would require his consent. "
This is not good!
Yesterday, I posted a link that said the Braves were interested in Takashi Saito. Today, ESPN has a couple more entries that may or may not concern the Braves and their offseason plans: 1. Justin Duchscherer - The article doesn't mention the Braves, but I started thinking about him as one of the low-risk, high impact type of player that could fill the back end of the bullpen. He is coming off of two major surgeries, so a bullpen seems like the logical landing spot for him this year. 2. Mark DeRosa - For Mark, I will just copy/paste what the article says: "at least two teams have expressed concerns about DeRosa's range at third base and that one NL East team has approached him about playing the outfield regularly. " Could that "one NL East team" be us???
"Former Dodgers closer Takashi Saito has drawn interest from eight major league teams, according to a report on NPB Tracker. The website that tracks Japanese players lists the White Sox, Cubs, Braves and Mets as among the suitors for Saito, who finished last season in Boston. The Red Sox declined a $6 million option on Saito for 2010. Saito could be a fit with the White Sox if GM Kenny Williams is indeed intent on moving closer Bobby Jenks, who is eligible for arbitration. " From ESPN.com's "Rumors" section. I just hope that the other 7 teams reportedly interested in him don't drive the price way up, and if they do, I hope we have the intelligence to just back down. No closer is worth wasting millions on, IMO.
Ok, I have avoided making a fanpost for quite some time now, but I had a thought today, and I want to hear what you guys think on the subject. First, I want to say that I don't want this to turn...
Considering that this is from Buster Olney, I would almost bet that 0% of this is true. "Some rival executives are convinced that Atlanta's Javier Vazquez, who was arguably one of the four best pitchers in the National League this past season, will be traded in the weeks ahead. Vazquez will make $11.5 million next season before becoming eligible for free agency, so the Braves might be compelled to move him now to take advantage of his value. Atlanta needs a right-handed-hitting outfielder, and the other possible trade pieces on the Braves' pitching staff -- Derek Lowe (who is owed $45 million over the next three seasons) and Kenshin Kawakami (owed $13.3 million over the next two seasons) -- do not generate much enthusiasm among some rival talent evaluators. Vazquez went 15-10 in 2009 with a 2.87 ERA, 238 strikeouts and just 44 walks in 219.1 innings after posting ERAs of 4.84, 3.67 and 4.74 in his previous three seasons with the White Sox. The Braves have other pitchers around which to build their staff -- Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson and the newly signed Tim Hudson -- and probably could get a decent young hitter in return for Vazquez." The fact that he says that the Braves should trade Vaz for a OF bat tells me that he really doesn't have a grip on this situation. Why would Atlanta trade for a piece when we have that Heyward kid? Anyone the Braves bring in would be nothing more than a seat-warmer for a year at the extreme most. I wouldn't be surprised if Atlanta locked Vaz up for another couple of years. That would be the smartest move they could make. Hopefully the FO wont bank on 2 youngsters to be the anchors of this rotation just yet...
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