The biggest crowd that ever saw a baseball game filled Braves’ field, the greatest ball park in the country to overflowing at its opening [yesterday]. Boston defeated St. Louis, 3 to 1.
According to official estimates, the crowd numbered between 46,000 and 47,000 persons.
The raising of last year’s championship pennant was participated in by President Tener of the National league and many of the club-owners, by members of both teams and by Mayor Curley.
I can’t imagine the Cardinals were excited by the idea of raising the Braves’ pennant.
The Braves followed the old John Schuerholz-Paul Snyder-Bobby Cox model by focusing on athletic, “high upside” players in the June first-year player draft. They chose high school players with their first four selections, and invested 24 of their first 31 picks in pitchers. Assistant general manager John Coppolella calls the surplus of arms a “happy coincidence,” but acknowledges it is appropriate given the organization’s pitching-rich history.
“We see Max Scherzer getting $210 million on the free-agent market,” Coppolella said. “We believe free-agent pitching is one of the most inefficient uses of money, and we know how volatile pitching is in every sense of the word, so our goal was to load up on a quantity of quality and try to build our organization for long-lasting success. Nobody knows whether all of these pitchers will have major league success, or even if they will stay healthy, but we do know that they offered us the most upside of any other potential acquisitions.”
The Cleveland Indians have traded outfielder Michael Bourn and outfielder/first baseman Nick Swisher to the Braves in exchange for third baseman Chris Johnson. The Indians are sending money to the Braves as part of the trade….
Essentially, these are players who have fallen out of favor in their current situations swapped for each other. Problem for problem(s).
Where the money comes in would be here:
Bourn/Swisher: Due $29 million in 2016
Johnson: Due $16.5 million through 2017
Swisher might see time at first base with Freddie Freeman injured while it’s possible Bourn sees time as a starter on occasion at any of the three outfield spots, but this move wasn’t about upgrading the 2015 Braves..
The St. Louis Cardinals found themselves in a pickle in 2000. Looking for young arms to add to the organization, St. Louis struck up a deal with the Montreal Expos to send Britt Reames and another player to Montreal for two pitchers. They just had to decide who to send: Fernando Tatis or Albert Pujols. Obviously, the Cards sent Tatis and the next season Pujols won NL Rookie of the Year before becoming one of the best players in Cardinals’ history during his stint with the organization.
JULY 30: The Dodgers will indeed pay the final two installments of Olivera’s signing bonus, tweets David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That means the Braves are essentially taking on Olivera on a six-year, $32.5MM contract that began this season. He’s earning $2MM in 2015, of which about $754K remains, so their total financial commitment to him will be about $31.25MM over the course of five and a half years.
JULY 29: The Dodgers, Marlins and Braves have reportedly swung what appears to be one of the most complex three-team trades in recent history, though nothing will become official tonight. The “basic” structure of the deal (though there’s nothing basic about this move) is as follows: the Dodgers will receive right-hander Mat Latos and first baseman Michael Morse from the Marlins. They’ll also add top prospect Jose Peraza and pitchers Alex Wood, Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan from the Braves. Atlanta, in turn, will receive Cuban infielder Hector Olivera, lefty Paco Rodriguez and minor leaguer Zachary Bird from the Dodgers. The Braves are also picking up Miami’s Competitive Balance Round A pick in next year’s draft (No. 35 overall). The Marlins will come out of this deal with three minor league pitchers — Kevin Guzman, Jeff Brigham and Victor Araujo — plus the financial relief of shedding the remaining $14.3MM that is owed to Latos and Morse.
A year after Arizona gave Toussaint a $2.7 million bonus as the 16th overall pick in the 2014 draft, the Braves assumed about $10 million owed to Arroyo to get Toussaint for themselves.
Arroyo is unlikely to throw a pitch for the Braves; Gosselin was included so the Diamondbacks would get something, besides financial relief, in return.
Clearly, the Braves believe it is more than $10 million. And it should be no surprise that Hart found a way, within the system, essentially to buy a prospect.
Late in spring training, the Braves acquired Trevor Cahill, a fading and overpaid right-hander, from Arizona for a prospect. The Braves assumed $5.5 million in that deal and then made a separate move with the Diamondbacks on April 6, sending away another prospect in exchange for the 75th pick in the draft.
Some in the industry believe those moves were related because draft picks can be traded only during the season, but the Braves have denied the link. In any case, Cahill has since been released, and the Braves drafted a college pitcher, A. J. Minter, at No. 75.
Mets get some help. The Braves save some cash and add more pitching depth to their minor league system.
Stuck among the National League’s worst offensive teams for most of this summer, the Mets on Friday saw their season-long hunt for offense finally bear fruit. The club announced late Friday that it has acquired third baseman Juan Uribe, utility man Kelly Johnson and cash from the Braves, in exchange for pitching prospects John Gant and Rob Whalen.
Q: So it’s not as if you expected a better record.
A: I’ve never made any false promises that we were built to win this year. We felt we had an energy and a good makeup. But you don’t trade your closer opening day, trade for draft picks, trade middle-of-the-order bats and expect to win. I won’t lie to fans.
Bad news on Freddy Freeman.
Q: Freeman was supposed to be back a while ago. What happened?
A: It’s more serious than we expected. I’m hoping he’ll be back before the first of August but he may not be. He’s working hard to get back but it’s a slow-healing injury and it still gives him pain when he swings. He dinged it, played four or five days with it, and we have him a few days off. We gave him an injection and thought he would be back in two or three days but it was no better. We did further tests and found it was more serious than we thought.
If he’s not already on your prospect radar, it’s time to put him there.
MLB.com ranks Albies as the Braves’ fifth-best prospect and considered him to be the top speed prospect on the World Team roster that was assembled for the Futures Game. The 18-year-old shortstop has played just 137 games at the professional level, but in the course of doing so, he has given the Braves reason to believe he has special talent.
Albies has batted .343 with a .410 on-base percentage and 47 stolen bases (60 attempts) through his first 137 games at the professional level. Despite being one of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League, he has hit .331, compiled an .812 OPS and proven successful with 25 of 33 stolen-base attempts with Class A Rome this year.
Thirty years ago today (and tomorrow morning), announcer John Sterling was well on his way to being beyond insufferable…
The voice on the other end of the phone was tense. The message was a newspaper editor’s equivalent of a naked threat.
“Need that story.”
It was 30 years ago today. More importantly, it was past 4 a.m. and I was on deadline in the press box at Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium, trying to find language that would capture the history I’d just witnessed.
The Mets and Braves had staggered to the finish line of a 19-inning game that’s remembered as one of the longest and craziest ever played. The Mets won, 16-13, but the NFL-like score leaves out the incredible details – like the 43 players used by both teams, the 46 hits, the 37 runners left on base, the 22 walks, Keith Hernandez hitting for the cycle (albeit in 10 at-bats) and Gary Carter catching the whole way.
And me? I was a beat reporter at the New York Post, back when the tabloid had seven editions, including its sports final at 1:45 a.m. designed to include West Coast results. But the edict came down when the Mets and Braves blew past the last deadline – they would hold for the final score.
Little did my editor know what he’d gotten himself into. Already, because of rain, the game was delayed by nearly two hours – first pitch wasn’t delivered until 9:04 p.m.
“When we get to the Trade Deadline, we won’t look to ship out everyone who is on a free-agent contract or everybody who is over the age of 30,” Coppolella said. “We’re going to look to make good solid baseball trades that will be made in the best interest of this franchise. I don’t know if we’ll be as active as we have been previously. We’ll see what comes up at the Deadline, but by no means will we totally gut this team.”
He was a 24-year-old rookie middle infielder who hit 23 homers while playing half his games in Petco Park. How do you not want to lock that guy up? The only real question is when to stop offering him more and more years on the extension. He had a 113 OPS+ when he was 24, which meant it was reasonable to expect even more from him as he entered his prime, and that even more would mean he would be a perennial All-Star.
Instead, he was one of the worst everyday players in baseball last year, hitting .210/.280/.333. He’s hitting .210 again this year, and he’s doing it with even less power. There was a glimmer of hope last year, as Gyorko got relatively hot after the All-Star break, but he lost his job to Cory Spangenberg this season and was banished to the minors again. He’s 26 now, and he’s been a .220-or-worse hitter for almost two calendar years now. He’ll make $13 million in 2019, which is an absolutely stunning amount for a player struggling this mightily.
Even when the problem with a pitcher is hard to diagnose, like with Cahill and Romero, there’s still an element of assumed risk that’s easy to understand because pitchers are supposed to be fragile and mercurial. Gyorko reminds us that hitters can be just as weird, and considering how far removed we are from the version the Padres thought they were locking up, it looks like the problem had more to do with poor evaluation and overreacting to a fast start. It’s the new front office regime that has to pay for it, too.
Uggla is known for his hugs. Freddie Freeman, with the Braves, is perhaps more well-known for his many on-field hugs, but Uggla said he taught that to Freeman. Fans have held up signs at games such as “I Want a Huggla from Uggla” at games. His nickname is, sometimes, Huggla.
“That’s one of our pregame things: hugging before the game,” Harper said. “I don’t konw. Hugs for Uggs, right? That’s what everybody says. I’m a big hugger, too. I hug [Drew] Storen out there every time he closes a game.”
Uggla also shares a daily hug with Tyler Moore. Why?
“It’s a hard place to be in, man,” Moore said, referring to the major leagues. “Getting a little bit of love every day won’t kill anybody.
man met Reyes after Friday night’s Gwinnett Braves-Columbus Clippers game and agreed to go to a bar with him.
The woman said Reyes then paid for a hotel room because he didn’t want the women to drive after they had been drinking. One of the women fell asleep upon entering the room, and Reyes allegedly pinned the other to the bed and forced her to have intercourse.
The woman later called 911 and reported the incident. Court records show rape and kidnapping charges were filed Saturday.
Reyes, 24, is out on bond and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 2.