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Monday, June 25, 2007

ajc: Schultz: Braves have bigger problems than squabble (RR)

Jim Leyland might be in a fogg about captology…but he sure knows his [hoot] when it comes to chemistry!

“I know that’s always been big with some people — clubhouse chemistry,” Leyland said. “That’s the most overblown thing in the world. It’s all bull. When I was in Pittsburgh, we had fights in the clubhouse. Did it matter? We still won three division titles. I’ve had teams that went out to dinner together and chapel together and they couldn’t win a freakin’ game.

“It’s big in the media, ‘Oh, he’s great in the clubhouse.’ Let me tell you something: I don’t give a [hoot] what he’s like in the clubhouse. I care what he’s like in the batter’s box, on the mound, or shortstop, or centerfield. People are different. Personalities are different. That’s OK.”

“Do I want my players talking about a teammate in the newspaper? I really don’t care if they do or not,” Leyland said. “But they’ve got to be held accountable — not by me, but by their teammate or somebody else. If some player wants to say, ‘Jim Leyland is a horse[bleep] manager, then say it. The next day I might say, ‘Maybe he’s right. But I think he’s a horse[bleep] player.’ I don’t have a problem with people speaking their mind.”

Repoz Posted: June 25, 2007 at 01:55 PM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, tigers

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   1. Who Swished In Your Cornflakes? Posted: June 25, 2007 at 03:15 PM (#2416589)
I love Jim Leyland.
   2. Sam M. Posted: June 25, 2007 at 03:20 PM (#2416600)
I generally agree with Leyland about "clubhouse chemistry" is vastly overrated (though there are exceptions even to that -- the catcher fighting with his starting pitchers IS a problem, Mr. Barrett), but I can't believe he really doesn't mind a player publicly slamming a teammate, except in very unusual circumstances. I'm with Cox on that part of it.

Schultz has it about right: the Braves have bigger problems than this revealing little glimpse of the frosty relationship between Chipper and Smoltz. Their slide is genuinely surprising to me, and I still expect them to recover and contend.
   3. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 25, 2007 at 04:14 PM (#2416643)
The Braves problems can be summed up thusly:

Andruw Jones and the first base slot have hit like Willie Harris. No, not the Willie Harris who is doing this year's Chuck Thomas impersonation in LF. The real Willie Harris. With Chipper doing his customary hurt a lot but an MVP when he's not thing the funk Andruw has been in has seriously hurt the team. They need Andruw to be Andruw, and they need to find some solution to first base that doesn't involve starting Chris ####### Woodward there.

Chris Woodward. Starting first baseman.

Play Saltalamacchia every day. Play Matt Diaz every day. Do something creative with the players on the roster who can actually hit. But do NOT start Chris Woodward at 1B. He shouldn't even be on the roster. Scott Thorman has pretty much run his luck dry too. I would suggest four man rotation - not strictly a platoon per se - of Diaz, Harris, Saltalamacchia and McCann at 1B, LF and C. But no more Chris Woodward, please?
   4. Sam M. Posted: June 25, 2007 at 04:25 PM (#2416655)
I would suggest four man rotation - not strictly a platoon per se - of Diaz, Harris, Saltalamacchia and McCann at 1B, LF and C.

Do you promise never, ever to piss & moan about the defensive follies you'd see from time to time at first base? That would be the price you'd pay for that solution, especially in the short term. And I'm sure ol' Smoltzie would smile and keep quiet about that when it blew up one of his starts . . . .
   5. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 25, 2007 at 04:27 PM (#2416656)
The Braves problems can be summed up thusly:

I would put it like this: Their best hitter is always hurt. Their second best hitter is in the biggest slump of his career. Their best young hitter isn't hitting. They regularly deploy two out generating machines at what should be hitter's positions.

The results shouldn't be surprising.
   6. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 25, 2007 at 04:29 PM (#2416658)
“I know that’s always been big with some people — clubhouse chemistry,” Leyland said. “That’s the most overblown thing in the world. It’s all bull...
This is going to ruin >>insert sportswriter name<<'s day.
   7. Honkie Kong Posted: June 25, 2007 at 04:31 PM (#2416662)
This team just needs a confidence boosting win. Some come from behind when down 4 win. They are not this bad..
   8. Sam M. Posted: June 25, 2007 at 04:40 PM (#2416669)
I would put it like this: Their best hitter is always hurt. Their second best hitter is in the biggest slump of his career. Their best young hitter isn't hitting. They regularly deploy two out generating machines at what should be hitter's positions.

The results shouldn't be surprising.


And yet, the team that last year buried the Braves because they had different (but equivalent) problems (in the bullpen) hasn't done it this time around. The Mets have kept you in it, and the solutions to the Braves' problems are very likely right there on the roster if -- as is very, very likely -- Schuerholz and Cox have the patience to ride out the current slide. Obviously, they're not going to win anything if the Joneses can't stay healthy (Chipper) and hit (Andruw). Which basically means there's little anyone else can -- or should -- do but see how many times Chipper can get himself into the line-up, and whether the mystery that is Andruw Jones can be solved.
   9. JPWF13 Posted: June 25, 2007 at 04:44 PM (#2416672)
Their best young hitter isn't hitting.


yes he is
oh you don't mean Kelly Johnson :-)
   10. TerpNats Posted: June 25, 2007 at 04:45 PM (#2416673)
And let's not forget the Phillies, Sam M. True, they have a track record of wresting defeat from the jaws of victory, and their rotation is now a mess, but one of these years they won't beat themselves -- and this year might well be it.
   11. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 25, 2007 at 04:45 PM (#2416675)
Do you promise never, ever to piss & moan about the defensive follies you'd see from time to time at first base?

No. What would be the purpose of visiting websites and newsgroups about baseball teams if not to piss and moan. But I would likely piss and moan _less_ about watching Saltalamacchia learn the position defensively - a solution with an upside of Salty getting at bats and, well, learning the position - than I would about Chris Woodward playing at all - a solution with no upside at all.

The Braves are still in the middle of things because the Mets are having an Andruw like season out of Carlos Delgado. Delgado is the more likely of the two to be "done."
   12. McCoy Posted: June 25, 2007 at 04:45 PM (#2416676)
but I can't believe he really doesn't mind a player publicly slamming a teammate, except in very unusual circumstances

He did say that have to be held accountable generally by his teammates. Which I would take as meaning that fellow teammates have to keep fellow teammates in line and that if he did it as a spokesperson for the team would probably have a different effect.
   13. Raskolnikov Posted: June 25, 2007 at 04:48 PM (#2416678)
I'm not so sure about the Braves offense if McCann isn't an elite player. Diaz, Francoeur, Thorman all have poor K/BB ratios, Andruw also isn't great in that ratio. That's 3-4 undisciplined hitters as lineup regulars. They need McCann to be great.
   14. Raskolnikov Posted: June 25, 2007 at 04:50 PM (#2416683)
but one of these years they won't beat themselves -- and this year might well be it.

I agree that the Phillies are the primary threat to the Mets right now. I'm still not worried about them. They still have a fragged rotation, a hittable bullpen, and Manuel as their manager. This upcoming series will be a telling one, but I still don't feel like the Phillies will hang with the Mets for long.
   15. Sam M. Posted: June 25, 2007 at 04:56 PM (#2416692)
The Braves are still in the middle of things because the Mets are having an Andruw like season out of Carlos Delgado. Delgado is the more likely of the two to be "done."

True. But does it really matter? Since Andruw is certain to be an ex-Brave next season, the real difference between he and Delgado going forward is nil. From the Mets' and Braves' POV, the value of a toasted Delgado and a departed Jones is the same: zero.

And Delgado's limp noodle of a bat isn't the only problem; missing Alou's bat has hurt, too. We've gone from clobbering left-handed pitchers to being anemic against them.

And let's not forget the Phillies, Sam M. True, they have a track record of wresting defeat from the jaws of victory, and their rotation is now a mess, but one of these years they won't beat themselves -- and this year might well be it.

I'm not forgetting them, and their sweep of the Mets while I was on vacation made me worry about them more than ever. But as you say, their rotation is really messed up, and that may be about the hardest thing to fix on the fly. I'm less concerned about the Phillies than I was 10 days ago . . . Put it this way: if each of the teams plays to their fullest ability, I still think the Phillies finish third, given the way their pitching has fallen victim to injuries.
   16. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 25, 2007 at 05:11 PM (#2416706)
But does it really matter? Since Andruw is certain to be an ex-Brave next season, the real difference between he and Delgado going forward is nil. From the Mets' and Braves' POV, the value of a toasted Delgado and a departed Jones is the same: zero.

Good point.

And Delgado's limp noodle of a bat isn't the only problem; missing Alou's bat has hurt, too. We've gone from clobbering left-handed pitchers to being anemic against them.

So one of your thumpers is slumping and the other one is an injury prone wreck who is being wrecked by injuries? When you get to the part about the Exodus I'm pretty sure I've heard this one before.
   17. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 25, 2007 at 05:24 PM (#2416714)
This season is over for the Phillies, unless the Mets' rotation similarly falls apart. A rotation of Hamels, Moyer, Adam Eaton and two guys who were pretty good in AA is not going to get them very far, even with the best offensive counting stats in the league (which they will probably achieve). Next year Mathieson will be back, and...Garcia and Lieber were going to be free agents anyway. I'm optimistic.

Let's see, how has the Braves offense changed from last year to this year:

C - McCann has lost 85 points of OBP, 170 points of slugging, and 60 points of OPS. Backup catcher has improved from Pratt to Sltlmc.
1B - last year LaRoche was good (OPS+ 133). This year ThorMan is bad (OPS+ 81).
2B - last year M Giles was pretty bad (OPS+ 90). This year K Johnson is pretty good (OPS+ 123).
SS - last year Renteria was good. This year he's even better.
3B - last year C Jones was great but missed 50 games, with Aybar and Betemit good backups. This year he's even better and has missed 20 games, with Orr and Escobar terrible backups.
LF - Langerhans is gone. Matt Diaz + Willie Harris has been distinct improvement.
CF - A Jones has lost 64 points of OBP, 150 points of slugging, and 47 points of OPS.
RF - Francoeur has improved a little bit. By which I mean that he has only 3 times as many K's as walks, whereas last year he had 6 times as many.

McCann's and Andruw's slumps are epic. ThorMan is not pulling his weight at all. The backup infielders are worse, and they're playing a lot. But every other position is actually improved.
   18. Honkie Kong Posted: June 25, 2007 at 05:35 PM (#2416732)
This is essentially last year's team, with a better bullpen. And we haven't been blown out of any race yet. But they really need to pick it up soon. Falling behind more than 5 games with 2 good teams in front of you will make it very hard to come back
   19. Chris Dial Posted: June 25, 2007 at 05:41 PM (#2416744)
Really, Brian McCann isn't a .330 hitter? get out!

You went a little light on describing the RIDICULOUS production from Diaz/Harris. It's preposterous.

Renteria is also playing a mile over his head.

Andruw is suffering from real skills decline. He got fat and slow, and now he's thinner, but still slow (with the bat).

Someone a few weeks ago popped off about the Braves team and their team EQA and offered to bet me that the BRaves EQA would end hte season where it was at the time, or higher (it was at .275). I jumped at it.

What's it at now? In a few weeks, Chipper is going to go on the DL, and it will get worse.
   20. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 25, 2007 at 05:43 PM (#2416748)
1. Cut Chris Woodward.
2. Cut Pete Orr.
3. Play Chipper at 1B. Back him up with Salty.
4. Play McCann at C. Back him up with Salty.
5. Play Diaz/Harris in LF.
6. Play Renteria at 3B.
7. Play Yunel Escobar at SS.
8. Play Andruw through it.
9. Spot Thorman a few starts against RHP in RF or cut him.
10. Find a real LH masher for the bench.

That maximizes defense and offense. McCann and Andruw have to hit or nothing is going to save it.
   21. Sam M. Posted: June 25, 2007 at 05:50 PM (#2416752)
If the Braves cut Woodward, Orr, and maybe Thorman, who exactly do they use to stock the bench? Should we look forward to the return of Lemke, Blauser, and David Justice?
   22. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 25, 2007 at 05:52 PM (#2416754)
You went a little light on describing the RIDICULOUS production from Diaz/Harris. It's preposterous.

Diaz was surprisingly good last year too. (.327 average, OPS and OPS+ higher than this year's) Willie Harris is the preposterous one.
   23. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 25, 2007 at 05:54 PM (#2416756)
That maximizes defense and offense. McCann and Andruw have to hit or nothing is going to save it.

The team is better off with Escobar playing everyday than Saltala playing every day? Why not have Saltala start at 1b?
   24. bunyon Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:00 PM (#2416764)
If the Braves cut Woodward, Orr, and maybe Thorman, who exactly do they use to stock the bench? Should we look forward to the return of Lemke, Blauser, and David Justice?

You know, I'd be all for this. If you're going to lose, at least have some fun.

McCann and Andruw have to hit or nothing is going to save it.

This is pretty much it. There is no need for tactics and strategy. Either these guys produce or they don't. If they don't, the Braves lose.
   25. CrosbyBird Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:01 PM (#2416765)
But I would likely piss and moan _less_ about watching Saltalamacchia learn the position defensively - a solution with an upside of Salty getting at bats and, well, learning the position - than I would about Chris Woodward playing at all - a solution with no upside at all.

I cannot imagine a 1B with even decent offense who would be poor enough defensively not to be a better choice that Woodward. His 2007 line: .198/.221/.275. Tim Hudson has a higher OBP, Kyle Davies has a higher OBP and SLG.

Woodward was awful for us in 2006, but he's reached a new level of suckitude. He's so bad that Newhan is an upgrade.
   26. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:01 PM (#2416766)
Obviously the Braves will not cut their entire bench, but they have to get rid of some of the dead weight. Woodward is the obvious choice. He can't be the RH half of a 1B platoon with Thorman. That simply will not work. Orr is vaguely useful as a PR and Thorman wouldn't be useless as a LH pinchhitter in an all or nothing situation.

I am not sure Salty is ready to play every day in the bigs, his hot start notwithstanding, and Chipper will miss enough time at 1B to get him solid reps (along with his occasional start at C.) Escobar doesn't hit like Salty obviously but the Braves need a SS with real range and as long as Renteria is hitting like a 3B you might as well play him there.

But yeah, I'm taking Escobar's defense over Salty's offense assuming Andruw and McCann hit more than they currently are.
   27. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:14 PM (#2416772)
The question arises as to why exactly Craig Wilson was deemed worthless to this team.

I guess there was a reason.
   28. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:24 PM (#2416785)
The question arises as to why exactly Craig Wilson was deemed worthless to this team.
Well, mostly because he wasn't hitting. And he hadn't hit at all the second half of last year, either. Note that he only got a minor-league deal after the Braves let him go, and he hasn't made it back to the majors yet. So it would appear that the Braves are hardly alone in their estimation of his current worth.

And I was a big fan of the Braves' move to pick up Wilson this offseason.
   29. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:25 PM (#2416788)
Yeah, Craig Wilson was cut because he hit like the Yankees' Craig Wilson and not the Pirates' Craig Wilson.
   30. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:27 PM (#2416794)
"Saltalamacchia"

LaRoche for Salty?

"The question arises as to why exactly Craig Wilson was deemed worthless to this team."

The way he's hitting at AAA, there's something very, very wrong with Craig right now. I don't know what it is, but he can't be healthy.
   31. Honkie Kong Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:33 PM (#2416801)
I was on the EqA bet, and i am gonna stand by it till the dire end. was 270 something then, and I am sure it will be up there.

stop getting shutout #######!


I don't think Escobar is all that, and won't be averse to trading him in a rent-a-pitcher deal
   32. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:38 PM (#2416805)
Then I guess...somehow...it's almost inconceivable but......the Pirates won that trade. A lot of teams would like Chacon in their rotation right now, and he's the Pirates' swingman.
   33. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:42 PM (#2416810)
Then I guess...somehow...it's almost inconceivable but......the Pirates won that trade. A lot of teams would like Chacon in their rotation right now, and he's the Pirates' swingman.

It seems that Cashman has the touch of death right now. He's traded for Wilson, Sanchez, Ohlendorf, Gonzalez, Vizcaino, Abreu, and Lidle since the middle of last year. And one of those guys actually died.
   34. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:44 PM (#2416814)
And one of those guys actually died.

Yes I laughed, and yes I feel bad about it.
   35. HowardMegdal Posted: June 25, 2007 at 06:52 PM (#2416826)
It seems that Cashman has the touch of death right now. He's traded for Wilson, Sanchez, Ohlendorf, Gonzalez, Vizcaino, Abreu, and Lidle since the middle of last year. And one of those guys actually died.

This is excellent.
   36. hankonly Posted: June 25, 2007 at 07:33 PM (#2416861)
Uh, pitching anyone?

I realize when the Braves hitters are in the midst of EstrogenFest 2007 it's hard to look at the pitching, but what has happened after that encouraging start is that they've become the Phillies - all parts of the game are threshold level and when it goes bad it goes really, really bad.

At least in Atlanta, it dies with a whimper and not with the gnashing of teeth or booing of cancer cures ...

The counterintuitive solution is always the most interesting (if not the most effective), but the idea of moving Escobar to short and Renteria to third (Chipper to first) is fairly appealing in that it changes the equation to reach the critical mass of winning. And if Andruw is terminally unwilling to hit the damn ball to right, you could put Harris in center and Diaz in left and become the Enos Cabell-era Astros and spray the ball all night.

None of this matters, however, if the Braves don't add a number 3 starter. James and Daviess are of an age and (promising) skill level to be very good 4- and 5- level starters, but they're not top of the rotation guys. Not yet, anyway.

Sigh. Paul Byrd sure would look better in a Braves uni now than he did when he was wearing it ...
   37. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 25, 2007 at 07:36 PM (#2416864)
Willie Harris is not a solution. He will not have a BABIP near .500 all year.
   38. Chris Dial Posted: June 25, 2007 at 07:41 PM (#2416871)
I was on the EqA bet, and i am gonna stand by it till the dire end. was 270 something then, and I am sure it will be up there.

It was 275, and it's going to end up about 265.
   39. More Indecisive than Lonnie Smith on 2nd... Posted: June 25, 2007 at 07:56 PM (#2416878)
Really, Brian McCann isn't a .330 hitter? get out!

You went a little light on describing the RIDICULOUS production from Diaz/Harris. It's preposterous.

Renteria is also playing a mile over his head.

Andruw is suffering from real skills decline. He got fat and slow, and now he's thinner, but still slow (with the bat).


no one was claiming that McCann is a .330 hitter. But for a guy with a career XBH% of ~45% in the minors and about 40% last year, one would think his OPS would be a *touch* more than mid 600s.

[edit: true on Harris/Diaz; however, Diaz is hitting about like he did last year in platoon...Harris is the real outlier there.]

Renteria has adjusted his swing back to his STL days--Giles-esque, if I may. He won't maintain the average to quite this level, but his OBP is terrific and his defense going to his left is much improved. I'll take the slight decline that is due.

Andruw is not slow with the bat, if you've been watching any games at all. He's pulling the ball just fine, but one the ground or popping up. I've now seen three different crews (ESPN, TBS, and the local Cleveland crew) all comment on his larger-than-typical-Andruw uppercut. It's there, and it's REALLY ugly. But the speed, Dial, is still there. (oh, and yes he's fat, yes he's slow, and yes he's a mediocre fielder. just so we're clear.)
   40. Corn On Ty Cobb Posted: June 25, 2007 at 08:01 PM (#2416880)
Andruw hasn't lost a lick of batspeed. His problem is mechanical, which is the job of a hitting coach to help rectify.

Dial doesn't know what he's talking about, as usual.
   41. I Left Tim Raines Down In Africa Posted: June 25, 2007 at 08:03 PM (#2416881)
It was said on the radio that Andruw and Terry Pendleton knew what was wrong, that his hands were getting through the zone too quick and he was pulling things foul, but that they didn't know how to correct it.

Let's see, heavier bat, hands further back, a timing mechanism, a more closed stance...any of these ever occur to anyone?

The fact remains that Andruw is what he's always been: a pull hitter looking to go deep. He's not fundamentally sound, and never has been, but if you can put up with a .258-.263 AVG each year with your 40 homers and 120 RBI, he's probably a good fit.
   42. Mike A Posted: June 25, 2007 at 08:09 PM (#2416884)
Andruw's PrOPS is .800, which is a sight better than his actual OPS. He's certainly had an off year, but he's been unlucky as well.
   43. Sam M. Posted: June 25, 2007 at 08:09 PM (#2416885)
Andruw hasn't lost a lick of batspeed. His problem is mechanical, which is the job of a hitting coach to help rectify.

It was said on the radio that Andruw and Terry Pendleton knew what was wrong, that his hands were getting through the zone too quick and he was pulling things foul, but that they didn't know how to correct it.


If my hitting coach said that, he'd be my ex-hitting coach quicker than you can say, "Walt Hriniak." Are you kidding me? Implementing the solution might be a #####, but you sure as hell better know how to correct it or you have no business being a major league hitting coach.
   44. Corn On Ty Cobb Posted: June 25, 2007 at 08:12 PM (#2416889)
I'm in the fire Terry Pendleton camp, with Andruw Jones and Jeffy Francoeur as exhibits A and B.
   45. More Indecisive than Lonnie Smith on 2nd... Posted: June 25, 2007 at 08:12 PM (#2416890)
Pendleton NEVER ####### EVER had any business being a major league hitting coach. Batting title be damned, he had the patience of Cecil Fielder at a buffet.
   46. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 25, 2007 at 08:19 PM (#2416893)
Pendleton NEVER ####### EVER had any business being a major league hitting coach. Batting title be damned, he had the patience of Cecil Fielder at a buffet.

Even worse, he had the patience of Terry Pendleton at a buffet!
   47. Chris Dial Posted: June 25, 2007 at 08:39 PM (#2416917)
that his hands were getting through the zone too quick and he was pulling things foul

these are things that are common with a guess hitter. A guess hitter that is compensating for being slower to get the bat there (he can't wait to recognize the pitch). It leads to flailing at pitches he cannot hit.

He can still swing very hard; he just cannot wait as long to do it because he's slower with the bat.
   48. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 25, 2007 at 09:09 PM (#2416949)
A rotation of Hamels, Moyer, Adam Eaton and two guys who were pretty good in AA is not going to get them very far

According to John Kruk, having Alfonseca close games means they can move Brett Myers back to the rotation.

Of course moving Myers back to the rotation would be the right move, but I can't imagine anyone would make that move because of Antonio Alfonseca.
   49. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 25, 2007 at 09:12 PM (#2416954)
The best part of Dial's wishcasting is that it's presented with such conviction. He's not just talking out of his ass, he's shouting.
   50. hankonly Posted: June 25, 2007 at 09:48 PM (#2416989)
Seems like a year ago, but it was only a month or so ...

Someone throws Andruw a high, outside fastball. Mon Dieu!! Andruw locks that back shoulder and sends a missile to the right center stands with barely any effort.

I start singing, "Oh, Happy Day" because I am sure in my belief that this is the sign he needed that God and Scott Boras are telling him that homeruns to right count just as much as those to left. Sadly, I'm now the Christopher Hitchens of Andruw Jones as he backslides into the career-threatening contortion that is his current swing.
   51. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 25, 2007 at 09:51 PM (#2416992)
A guess hitter that is compensating for being slower to get the bat there (he can't wait to recognize the pitch). It leads to flailing at pitches he cannot hit.

This sounds a lot like your approach to analyzing Andruw Jones.
   52. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: June 25, 2007 at 10:02 PM (#2417003)
Its all about Chipper, AJ, and McCann. McCann has been banged up from the start of the year, dating back to that assinine bunt attempt where he got nailed on the ring finger (thanks Bobby). AJ had some better-looking ABs lately and just by law of averages should be better from here on out. BTW, how much $ is he losing right now? A mill a week? Who knows with Chipper. Get what you can from him, then give him a week off sandwiched around the ASB and hope for the best?

Moving Salty is just not worth it unless they can add a decent pitcher with service time left or an equivalent pitching/CF prospect. I'm not holding my breath.

Try to add a Paul Byrd/Dave Bush-type for a couple B prospects. Just someone who can make their starts and be OK three of every 4 turns.

DFA Woodward for Brayan Pena who can play C/1B/3B/LF (not well), so Bobby feels OK with using Salty more liberally. DFA Orr for a decent PH, even if he has zero defensive value. Theres a enough versatility with Harris, Escobar, and Pena for the roster to retain flexibility. DFA Paronto in order to clear a roster spot for Joey Devine. Start him as a righty-killer.

I'd hope that Thorman picks it up soon. He took about 400 ABs to get used to a level in the minors. The kid has a ton of pop and despite being overmatched in the bigs he still has IsoP of just under 200 for his MLB career. However, Salty needs to start against lefties.

There isn't much the Braves can do besides patch smaller holes and make the roster slightly more efficient. Salty isn't worth 16 starts from Mark Buerhle.

BTW, on McCann. Was in the top-10 in SLG% for age-22 seasons. Other names on the list? Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Boog Powell, Eddie Matthews, Joe Kelley (from 1894), Vlad Guerrero, Johnny Bench, and Shoeless Joe Jackson. I think he'll be fine. That being said however, I wouldn't mind giving BMac a couple weeks off to rest and heal. Additionally, he hasn't been going the opposite way with authority like last year. Too many ground balls to 2nd base this season.

Oh yeah, fire Terry Pendleton.
   53. J. Michael Neal Posted: June 25, 2007 at 10:45 PM (#2417044)
This team just needs a confidence boosting win. Some come from behind when down 4 win. They are not this bad.

Well, the Tigers were the perfect team to practice on, but you went 0-2.
   54. Chris Dial Posted: June 26, 2007 at 12:03 AM (#2417177)
The best part of Dial's wishcasting is that it's presented with such conviction. He's not just talking out of his ass, he's shouting.

What wishcasting am I doing? That Andruw is sucking like there's no tomorrow? Oh wait, he *IS*.

Dig in. Feel free to put your money where your mouth is.
   55. More Indecisive than Lonnie Smith on 2nd... Posted: June 26, 2007 at 12:16 AM (#2417219)
Dial, you do present things as if you're the sole arbiter of truth. It's not that we don't think you're smart adn care a lot about the Mets; those things are clear. But you could realize that you're being a bit of a smart aleck--and yes, there are worse things coming from the Braves fans in this thread, and they're to blame, too--and just be smart without the aleck.

For example, on 6/5/07 you wrote:
I doubt the Braves will proceed to go belly-up this June as they did in June 2006, but the Braves certainly lack the talent the Mets have, and aren’t likely to keep up, much less catch the Mets.


That was a fine way of saying that you think the Mets are better, that the Braves are merely pretenders two months in, yada yada yada. Why not rest on your prognostic powers rather than resorting to annoying snark-baiting of the trolls like Sam "I repeat myself because I'm angry" Hutchenson (who also, incidentally, can be quite interesting when he's not out to sound like a jerk).
   56. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2007 at 12:33 AM (#2417255)
Perhaps now would be a good time to point out to those who don't know that Chris and I are friends, have been since before BaseballPrimer.com was a glint in Jimmy's eye, have been poking sticks in each others eyes re: this Mets/Braves thing for damn near a decade now (which, admittedly was more fun in the mid- to late-90s) and will make a point of having dinner with each other's respective families any time we're in the others home town. The sushi is better in Atlanta but the triangle doesn't completely suck for food. So maybe some folks are taking this little flame war a little too seriously.

Also, there is only one "n" in my last name and it is the final letter.
   57. More Indecisive than Lonnie Smith on 2nd... Posted: June 26, 2007 at 12:42 AM (#2417282)
Perhaps now would be a good time to point out to those who don't know that Chris and I are friends, have been since before BaseballPrimer.com was a glint in Jimmy's eye, have been poking sticks in each others eyes re: this Mets/Braves thing for damn near a decade now ...

Also, there is only one "n" in my last name and it is the final letter.


1. good to know--and it's not as if I've never repeated myself (nor muttered to myself the same general sentiment about Smoltz's "views" as you). As long as Dial's cool with it, so am I.

2. My apologies for the name error.

Greg Ward (Braves fan for 29+ years of life)

p.s. and your favorite sushi place in Atlanta is: _________? (Just curious, we'll be back there in a week for a wedding)
   58. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2007 at 12:52 AM (#2417308)
I love Ru San's on Piedmont. The Midtown location isn't bad. Either is a great place for good fish for a nice, inexpensive price. For a little more upscale MFSushi on 10th is a good bet. I wouldn't waste my time or money for Strip (Atlantic Station, overpriced, more of a fake club vibe than anything else) or any of the other "high end" places.

I also strongly suggest either of the Six Feet Under locations (catfish and seafood, oyster bar, local brews) though I'm partial to the one on 11th (just up the street from my house.) If you want the best jerk chicken in the south go to Eats on Ponce.
   59. More Indecisive than Lonnie Smith on 2nd... Posted: June 26, 2007 at 01:03 AM (#2417334)
Thanks for the heads-up. The best place we went was this little dive just north of 285 off Roswell Road. I'd recommend it, but it sounds like you have a full lineup. Oh, and another place just north of the Roswell-Peachtree Road intersection, Genki or something like that...but the parking was atrocious and the valet dinged our car.

I miss Midtown. And The Flying Biscuit, too.

You ever go to Nuevo Laredo for Mexican? Best reasonably priced, margaritas I had (other than the top shelf at Agave in Cabbagetown, which is out of this world) when not living in Texas.
   60. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 26, 2007 at 01:18 AM (#2417386)
I live four blocks away from Nuevo Laredo. We go there often. We go to Figo for pasta when we're in the mood. I like the Buscuit well enough and they're supposedly building one with a block of me (new development at Howell Mill and 75.) But if I'm looking for breakfast or brunch I'll more often go to the West Egg (newish place @ Howell Mill and 14th) or the Silver Skillet on North at 75. Also I forgot one of my favorite places in the city: The Real Chow Baby at Howell Mill and 11th. All you can eat build-your-own stirfry. Just great food.

And yeah, I'm pushing the west side because, ya know, I live over here and stuff and we gotta shouts the love for the neighby. If we expand up through the Roswell Road corridor we can find a few other places, but why would you want to go up there? I do absolutely love Muss and Turners on Cumberland Pkwy and South Atlanta Road (in Smyrna/Vinings.) Probably the best kitchen in the city.
   61. HowardMegdal Posted: June 26, 2007 at 04:39 AM (#2418055)
This thread has taken an unexpected turn in the past few hours. Damn you both for discussing sushi- it is now too late for me to get it tonight. Hmm- perhaps to the supermarket...
   62. Perro(s) Posted: June 26, 2007 at 05:10 AM (#2418099)
Internet blowhards are more interesting in person.

As for the Braves, their hitting will rebound. Andruw will snap out of it. I remain more concerned about their starting pitching.
   63. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: June 27, 2007 at 02:32 PM (#2419585)
I like West Atlanta too, used to live in Howell Station (now live in Midtown). Nuevo Laredo rules, but don't go on a weekend, the lines are too long.

BTW, I'm not a sushi fan, but my girlfriend is, and she votes for RuSans as well. There's also a Ru Sans in the new Edgewood shopping center on Moreland.
   64. Chris Dial Posted: June 28, 2007 at 01:43 AM (#2420658)
Sam and I go way back. I remember when he bought his first computer with a shift key.
   65. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 28, 2007 at 02:06 PM (#2420915)
They all had shift keys. I just refused to use them. It was a moral-aesthetic decision, thank you very much.
   66. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 28, 2007 at 02:08 PM (#2420921)
I was unimpressed by the fish at Edgewood. Maybe I caught them on a bad day or maybe that location doesn't have the kitchen staff trained properly. Not sure, but I didn't think Edgewood's Ru Sans measured up to the Midtown (Piedmont and Monroe) or Buckhead (Piedmont and Lenox) locations.
   67. Honkie Kong Posted: June 28, 2007 at 08:29 PM (#2421483)
Ru San's is too loud IMO.
MF Sushi or Matsuri on Ponce are both good. There is a place on Cheshire bridge starting with K, forget its name, which is pretty good too.

And Chow Baby is awesome :)

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