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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Braves Suspend Dan Uggla For One Game

No, Braves fans, you can’t void his contract for being late.

The Braves have issued a one-game suspension to Dan Uggla, the team announced… Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez declined to comment on the specifics of the suspension but David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution hears it was due to Uggla being late (Twitter links).

... O’Brien speculated yesterday that with [Phil] Gosselin on the way up, the Braves could have designated Ugggla for assignment today.  The suspension gives Atlanta a bit of extra time to decide what they’re going with Uggla over the long run, as the club still owes him approximately $5.42MM for the remainder of this season and $13MM in 2015.

The second baseman hasn’t lived up to expectations since joining the Braves and signing that five-year, $62MM extension in January 2011.  Uggla has a .209/.317/.391 slash line and 79 homers over 1984 PA as a Brave and he’s seen his role decrease as his output has declined — he was left off Atlanta’s playoff roster last fall and saw his starting job usurped by [Tommy] La Stella and Tyler Pastornicky.  Today’s suspension is the clearest sign yet that Uggla’s time with the club is about to end and the Braves will have to eat the remainder of Uggla’s contract.

The District Attorney Posted: July 13, 2014 at 12:47 PM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, dan uggla, phil gosselin

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: July 13, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4749804)
One of those rare better never than late situations.
   2. Sweatpants Posted: July 13, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4749832)
The District Attorney Posted
Huh. I would have bet $600 that this was posted by Robert in Manhattan Beach, which would lead to another round of Sam coming in and complaining about Robert's anti-Braves bias and then trying to spin the Uggla situation as more brilliant GMing from Frank Wren.

Anyway, I haven't been following the team that closely this year. Is there some reason Uggla's still on the roster? I can't imagine anyone would take him in a trade. Are there rumors that there'd be a team-wide mutiny if he were released?
   3. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: July 13, 2014 at 10:36 PM (#4749835)
That's ugggly.
   4. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 13, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4749843)
One of my favorite players. Didn't make the majors until he was 26, and made 75 million.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: July 13, 2014 at 11:52 PM (#4749853)
I suppose because he's still signed through next year. He's started only two games since May 23 so it's not like they're silly enough to play him. Ramiro Pena (career 62 OPS+) and Tyler Pastornicky (66) have been the other backup IF so far this year so it's not like they have vastly superior options to ride the bench ... maybe it is best to hold onto him and hope a miracle occurs.

Still, I doubt he lasts the year. This might be the last straw and the AS break a good time to clean house. Alternatively there's a reasonable chance they'll pick an IF by the deadline and that will be the end of Uggla. If somehow they still have him next spring, he'll have to win a roster spot which seems unlikely.
   6. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 13, 2014 at 11:58 PM (#4749854)
Darwin Barney is available.
   7. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 14, 2014 at 01:20 AM (#4749861)
Josh Byrnes biggest mistake, leaving Uggla unprotected in the Rule 5 draft. Of course he had only been there a month, & Uggla was headed into his age 26 season having never played above AA, but that .297/.378/.502/.880 line in a difficult run scoring park and league seemed a bit too intriguing to just give away.
   8. bunyon Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:49 AM (#4749865)
Are these suspensions always announced? I have to think players show up late more than gets reported (based only on watching coworkers over the years). Even accidental and unavoidable lateness; or are managers understanding about such things (traffic, etc.)?

As for Uggla, I like him. It's too bad he sucks now. But I'd say he got everything he could out of that talent base (which I mean as high praise).
   9. Boxkutter Posted: July 14, 2014 at 03:43 AM (#4749868)
So when do they suspend Fredi Gonzalez for starting BJ Upton in the lead-off or 2-hole for almost the whole season. How many runs have been sacrificed having a 277 OBP guy making outs in front of Freeman and Good-Upton?
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 09:08 AM (#4749886)
Are these suspensions always announced? I have to think players show up late more than gets reported (based only on watching coworkers over the years). Even accidental and unavoidable lateness; or are managers understanding about such things (traffic, etc.)?

I'd have to think that, since players are scheduled to get to the stadium so far ahead of game time, managers are pretty understanding about being 10 or 15 or 20 minutes late. Unless the guy makes a habit of it.

If you stroll in a half hour before game time, that's going to be an issue.
   11. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: July 14, 2014 at 09:20 AM (#4749889)
What's the typical time to arrive for a game? 3 hours before? 4?

Obviously an hour isn't enough, but I have no idea of the expectation.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4749892)
What's the typical time to arrive for a game? 3 hours before? 4?

I sort of recall 3 hours (4PM for a 7PM game sounds right), but I'm not 100% sure.
   13. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: July 14, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4749898)
For a 7:10PM home game, the Braves have batting practice from 4:40-5:50PM. So 4PM would probably be the absolute latest.
   14. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: July 14, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4749905)
I've mentioned before that I don't begrudge the Braves going into the season with Uggla at second. You were basically praying for a dead cat season where he drew enough walks and smacked enough homers to hit something like, say, .220/.340/.430. He was around that level last year before he cratered. And then, at the end of the season, maybe some desperate team trades for him as a one-year gamble and agrees to take a little more of the contract than they otherwise would have.

That's obviously not a good plan, and God knows it's failed. But the Braves didn't have better options going into the off-season; Pena can't really hit, his small sample size performance last year notwithstanding, and while I kind of like Pastornicky's bat he was coming off a torn ACL. In hindsight the best bet would have been to just go with La Stella from Opening Day, but there was understandably a bit of skepticism about how well his skill set would translate.

But it's over now, and considering how rarely the Braves let Uggla play they obviously know it. Puttering along with a 24-man roster in a tight division race just isn't going to cut it.
   15. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4749912)
Since Gosselin was already on his way to the ballpark before Uggla was suspended, it seems likely that Uggla was about to be DFAed. Unless they were planning to send Wood back to the minors to get a start in during the ASB and stay on schedule. (The problem with the Wood theory is that he'd have to be down for 15 days, and the Braves don't have any scheduled off days next week, so they'll be needing five starters.)
   16. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4749913)
Since Gosselin was already on his way to the ballpark before Uggla was suspended, it seems likely that Uggla was about to be DFAed. Unless they were planning to send Wood back to the minors to get a start in during the ASB and stay on schedule. (The problem with the Wood theory is that he'd have to be down for 15 days, and the Braves don't have any scheduled off days next week, so they'll be needing five starters.)
   17. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4749947)
Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!)


And the Critter Caucus continues to expand, especially if Greg K is considered a member.
   18. BDC Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4749967)
Middle infielder batting careers most similar to Dan Uggla's:

Player           dWAR   PA OPSRbaser       Pos
Gil McDougald    14.0 5398  111    8.3     456
/H
Ian Kinsler       9.2 5196  111   34.8    
*4/DH5
Eddie Stanky      8.5 5436  109    3.3    
*4/H65
Robby Thompson    7.5 5235  105   13.7     
*4/H6
Kid Elberfeld     7.1 5273  105   
-6.9     *65/4
Johnny Pesky      6.6 5515  107    8.3      654H
Cecil Travis      5.1 5416  108   
-4.7  *65/H974
Davey Johnson     4.3 5465  110  
-10.8   *43/H65
Carlos Guillen    0.4 5277  111    2.3 
*65/4D37H
Dan Uggla        
-4.1 5356  108    4.2     *4/HD 


Dang, that is some excellent company.
   19. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4749970)
Of course, they could all outplay him right now, the dead ones included.
   20. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4749975)
Dan Uggla and Johnny Pesky similar? I know what you mean, but jeeze. That's like saying adam Dunn (8100 PA, 16.8 WAR) and Juan Pierre (8300 PA, 16.6 PA) are similar.
   21. bfan Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4749984)
I've mentioned before that I don't begrudge the Braves going into the season with Uggla at second. You were basically praying for a dead cat season where he drew enough walks and smacked enough homers to hit something like, say, .220/.340/.430.


I think they waited too long to admit that, for whatever reason, Uggla's skills were baked and get La Stella up, to fill the black-hole in the line-up that was Uggla. La Stella has been terrific in his tenure in MLB; he is an OBP machine for a line-up that begs for such. This hit skill was not a surprise either (see the baseball prospectus piece on La Stella); the kid has hit forever.
   22. TJ Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4749988)
Uggla had to sit out a game due to suspension? How could you tell?
   23. BDC Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4750062)
Well, these lists always need grains of salt. Pesky & Travis had similar career length only due to war service, for instance. Davey Johnson went to Japan mid-career. Kinsler's still going strong. Stanky is closer, as he didn't go to war and didn't break in till he was older. Bottom line, Uggla had a very decent offensive career for a 2B.
   24. Colin Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4750086)
I read this statement today from Mark Bowman in a story about Uggla, and the AJC beat writer echoed a similar sentiment yesterday:

"Sources have indicated that releasing Uggla would impact some of the club's other financial commitments and loans."

Can anyone here offer any speculation at all as to how this could possibly be the case? I'm at a loss to imagine how this could be the case.
   25. BDC Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4750099)
releasing Uggla would impact some of the club's other financial commitments and loans."

Can anyone here offer any speculation at all as to how this could possibly be the case?


That's a nice new stadium you're building, I'd hate to see anything happen to that stadium, I got a nephew likes to play ball, you got a place for him on your team, right.
   26. Ron J2 Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4750186)
#9 Best I can tell it would cost between 2-3 games to bat B.J. leadoff all year. Closer to 2 in all probability.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: July 14, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4750368)
Primey for #25.

As to #24 ... Not a clue. I assume released players are still paid on whatever payment schedule the contract calls for rather than all at once. Even so, how could the structuring of $5 M this year and $13 M next year really impact the financial status of a $200M + revenue business with a value of probably well over $1 B?

I suppose there could be a restriction on a loan that it can only go to current employees and direct expenses, not former employees and pension obligations? But surely that would just mean the Braves would have to pay Uggla out of account B rather than account A.

If loony financial structuring is forcing roster decisions things have really gotten out of hand.
   28. greenback calls it soccer Posted: July 14, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4750379)
If loony financial structuring is forcing roster decisions things have really gotten out of hand.

Or somebody did a really poopy job of negotiating the loan covenants. At the very least they could dump him the way they dumped Derek Lowe.
   29. SOLockwood Posted: July 14, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4750381)
If loony financial structuring is forcing roster decisions things have really gotten out of hand.


Connie Mack says, "Hello."
   30. bobm Posted: July 14, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4750414)
For a 7:10PM home game, the Braves have batting practice from 4:40-5:50PM. So 4PM would probably be the absolute latest.

(Ramon) Castro out of lineup after late arrival

06/08/08 [...] The Mets reserve catcher was removed from the starting lineup shortly after noon, shortly after he arrived at PETCO Park for the 4:05 p.m. ET game against the Padres. His late arrival was neither excused nor unnoticed.

Caught in the West Coast-East Coast time tunnel, Castro thought game time was 4:05 p.m. -- which it was on the East Coast, but 1:05 p.m. PT. The three-hour time difference got him, and his infraction embarrassed him.

"I was in the shower when [a hotel employee, contacted by the Mets] knocked on the door," he said. "It was 11:45. I was going to get here at 1."


Tardy Castro is Yanked, Fined

Hilariously, Castro claimed he thought the game started at 4:05 p.m. local time because it said “4:05" on the Met-produced pocket schedule he carries with him.
   31. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: July 14, 2014 at 08:54 PM (#4750421)
If loony financial structuring is forcing roster decisions things have really gotten out of hand.

There's a Mr. Wilpon on your private line, something about wanting to sell you a pyramid.

So, does Uggla's day of suspension fall during the All-Star break?
   32. Sweatpants Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:06 PM (#4750448)
It was for yesterday's game in Chicago.
   33. BDC Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:36 PM (#4750457)
I have some sympathy for Castro, silly as his mistake sounds. I nearly panicked when my iPhone calendar showed a flight time 2 hours off last week - till I realized that the phone was adjusting a time I'd entered while I was in a different zone. Probably always best to ask a friend :)
   34. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:47 PM (#4750458)
His 2011 season has to be one of the weirdest in history:

first 86 games (through July 4): 173/241/327
followed by a 31 game hitting streak 345/409/715
then 210/312/358 for the last 21 games of the season

he still ended up with an OPS+ of 107
   35. Sunday silence Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:19 PM (#4750463)
he had the lasik surgery in the middle of last season right? Hmm. Did that every help him?
   36. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4753790)
Apparently he has now been released.
   37. The District Attorney Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4753791)
Annnnd, gone.

EDIT: Wow
   38. Swedish Chef Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4753826)
He's not worth a shot even at minimum wage, but I'm sure some team will give him a chance.
   39. The District Attorney Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4753829)
he had the lasik surgery in the middle of last season right? Hmm. Did that every help him?
I suppose we can't disprove that he'd be even worse than 472 OPS without it, right?

He's not worth a shot even at minimum wage, but I'm sure some team will give him a chance.
Chef, there's something I've always been wondering: What does "uggla" mean in Swedish?

Just for kicks, Uggla contract extension thread
   40. Davo Dozier Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4753831)
He's not worth a shot even at minimum wage, but I'm sure some team will give him a chance.

"Some team"? Come on, Swedish Chef. Don't be coy.

You know ####### well that Dayton Moore is going to pick him up.
   41. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4753834)
Hell, he'd be an upgrade over the rotting corpse of Raul Ibanez.
   42. Swedish Chef Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4753836)
Chef, there's something I've always been wondering: What does "uggla" mean in Swedish?

It means owl. It used to be a noble surname, but I'm sure that it also was used as a soldier name (surnames they gave soldiers to tell them apart) as they quite fancied bird names, so Dan is probably not the descendant of some down-and-out Swedish nobleman stranded in the New World.

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