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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, April 02, 2004

Atlanta Braves

Released OF Gary Matthews Jr.

Do decisions based on spring training statistics that contradict a player’s entire career ever work out?  Little Sarge is no great shakes, but he’s a suitable 4th outfielder, something the Braves don’t feel they need.

Dan Szymborski Posted: April 02, 2004 at 03:39 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Colin Posted: July 06, 2001 at 01:42 PM (#551496)
Free Erubiel Durazo!

Seriously, though, it's sort of a scary time to be a Braves fan. Schuerholz is under pressure to make a big trade, and there aren't many decent prospects left in the system. The guy who thought a half season of Ashby to be worth Bruce Chen and Bret Boone and Mike Remlinger to be worth Denny Neagle AND Michael Tucker AND Rob Bell. Yikes!
   2. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: July 06, 2001 at 01:51 PM (#551497)
Dammit Colin, I try not to think of those things while at work.

As for Alcantara, give the Sox Wes Helms and be done with it. I'll deal with the jujitsu if it gets that bat into the lineup.
   3. Rich Rifkin I Posted: July 06, 2001 at 05:10 PM (#551499)
Atlanta just completed a trade with Cleveland. I think another one is in order. The Braves should send Kevin Millwood packing, in exchange for Marty Cordova.

Millwood has not been good (or healthy) for quite a while. But he is just what the Indians need: a front-line pitcher. Cordova is underutilized in the over-stocked Cleveland line-up; yet in Atlanta he would be the best corner outfielder on the Brave's team.

That's what makes for a win-win trade.
   4. Rich Rifkin I Posted: July 06, 2001 at 05:47 PM (#551500)
By the way.... I know that Millwood has been on the DL for almost 2 months.... and that he is now pitching on a rehab assignment in the minors. But I'm actually not sure if a player on the DL can be traded. Is that permitted? If not, the Indians can wait a few weeks until Millwood is ready to go. (I expect that he will pass a physical, too.)
   5. Rich Rifkin I Posted: July 08, 2001 at 06:08 PM (#551503)
All of this comes down to what value you think Kevin Millwood has in the future. If you think the Kevin Millwood of the next 3-4 years will be the Millwood of 1998 and 1999, then, of course, the trade I suggest is insane. However, I am not convinced that Millwood will return to that form. Muy guess is that he will improve, from a below average starter to an average one.

Here are Millwood's stats since 1999:

   6. Colin Posted: July 09, 2001 at 06:06 PM (#551505)
Mac - I wouldn't put Cordova for Millwood past Schuerholz, though the relative (for them) lack of depth in pitching the Braves face as the rotation ages may stop that. As for the rest ofthe Braves farm system, beyond Betemit and Giles do they have any real offensive prospects at all? Certainly not at 1B and LF, where the team is lacking, nor at catcher, where they may need to replace Lopez if he leaves as a free agent. And the OF is the most serious concern, because if AOL won't ante up for Andruw, the team is SOL out there.
   7. Craig Calcaterra Posted: July 10, 2001 at 06:06 PM (#551508)
Pokey? C'mon.

I can't imagine the Braves not giving Mark DeRosa a chance to lose the job before making a panic trade for a shortstop. Sure, he's only had 50 at bats, but DeRosa has gotten on base, showed a bit of gap power, and played a respectible middle infield. At Richmond, he walked more and had more doubles than Marcus Giles in fewer at bats. He may not be a long term solution, but the Braves would have been far worse off if they lost any other position player than Furcal.

As for trading Milwood, I would only do it for a known-quantity bat that makes less than BJ freaking Surhoff.
   8. Rich Rifkin I Posted: July 12, 2001 at 12:00 AM (#551510)

((Marty Cordova turned 32 today.))

((As a major league from the date of his birth up to opening day of this season, he was a .274/.346/.442 hitting wing outfielder.))

I don't disagree with what you wrote about Marty Cordova. However, I think the story of Luis Gonzalez shows that some guys figure things out rather late.

Today, Luis Gonzalez (who I think is 34) is challenging for a home run title, perhaps an all-time record. He's not just one of the better hitters in the National League; he's a sure-thing starter in the All-Star game.

Yet, a few years ago, most people thought of Luis Gonzalez in the same way you described Marty Cordova. Mediocre, getting old, probably never will be very good.

When Gonzalez was 29, the player in history he was most comparable with was Tito Francona, who finished his career as a .272 avg, .343 obp, .403 slg hitter. Francona retired with 125 home runs. When Gonzalez was 30, he was most comparable to Dan Ford, who hit .270, .324, .427, with 121 home runs in his career.

My guess remains that he is now coming into his own as a hitter. But obviously, I could be wrong and Marty may just be another Dan Ford.
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 12, 2001 at 12:55 AM (#551511)
Perhaps a point in favor of Cordova's improvement being for real is the fact that he's had quite the slew of non-serious but hampering injuries for the last 5 years which could very well have stunted his offensive growth. It's not like 338/379/535 for half a season is horribly out of line with the 309/371/478 he hit in 1996.

Tthe various injuries sure have slowed Cordova down quite a bit, though, haven't they? I never thought of him as fast, but he was quick enough to cover centerfield passably at one point.
   10. James Fraser Posted: July 15, 2001 at 11:38 PM (#551540)
Somehow it doesn't strike me as being in the same league as Ripken or Gwynn's announcements...
   11. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 16, 2001 at 04:29 AM (#551541)
Pitchers everywhere are mourning...
   12. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: July 18, 2001 at 03:18 PM (#551543)
Early word is that Rico's retirement makes Jimmy Rollins the clear favorite for "Phillie Team MVP". Brogna's work through the All-Star Break had muddied the waters for that award.
   13. Josh Posted: August 01, 2001 at 01:27 PM (#551663)
Braves fans have to love that Boone-Klesko for Sanders-Joyner-Veras trade now. A year and a half later, all three of the Braves acquistions are gone.

Atlanta would've been steamrolling this year, ala Seattle, if they would've kept Boone and Klesko.
   14. Colin Posted: August 01, 2001 at 01:45 PM (#551664)
The real odd thing about the Klesko trade was that in the preceding world series, the Braves had been just owned by righthanded pitching. Torre was able to manage circles around Cox to get platoon advantages, and I guess based on that sample the team decided Klesko was no longer an asset against righties. So they traded him for...a righthanded hitter, leaving Chipper, to this day, as the only real power threat against righties.

Of course, San Diego did something the Braves would never commit to - playing Klesko every day at first base. No throwing his body around in the outfield, no threat of a platoon being implemented after every 0-fer against a lefty. As a result, his splits against lefties have improved somewhat (albeit still not good), but his performance against righties has been amazing.

Of course, it may have just helped him to get out of the "aggressive hitting" environment of Atlanta, where patience is not the world's biggest virtue.
   15. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 01, 2001 at 05:26 PM (#551665)
I've said this a million times in asb-ab, but it bears repeating. The Boone-Klesko-Scheil for Veras-Sanders-Joyner deal *wasn't that bad of a deal*. It turned out really crappily for the Braves, but going into it they were giving up Klesko, whom they undervalued and wouldn't play regularly, Boone, whom despite his alien-possession year in Seattle *sucked* (San Diego didn't even offer him a contract), and a spare part of a minor league pitcher. In return they got a quality offensive and defensive OF (who then proceeded to have the worst year of his career), a solid top-of-order leadoff guy with good OBP skills (who proceeded to blow out his ACL), and a backup LH 1B to spot Galarraga (who was decent in the role.)

It looks a lot worse in hindsight, with Klesko blossoming in SD and Sanders imploding in Atlanta and Boone having his wet-dream season in Seattle, but at the time (the only valid time to critique the deal, really) it was solid baseball.
   16. Josh Posted: August 01, 2001 at 06:53 PM (#551666)
At the time of that deal, Veras and Sanders were DL-regulars, something that has continued since then. They knew the risks, and they paid for them dearly.
   17. Alan Shank Posted: August 01, 2001 at 07:44 PM (#551668)
"I don't think anyone could have predicted that Boone would have this type of season (BTW, look how much bigger he is this year, I wonder if he's popping andro?)."

I also follow track and field quite closely, and have for almost 40 years. There is a great deal of steroid use in track, although they are making progress with testing. Almost all of the world records in weight events and women's running events date from 1990 or earlier. One of the indicators of steroid use is a sudden improvement from an established level of performance at an age where an athlete has already peaked. This is often accompanied by an increase in muslce mass and definition.

I began wondering about Boone when his production, which I initially thought was just a statistical freak, just kept on going at an unprecedented (for him) level. I haven't seen Boone enough to judge any increase in his build. His brother, Aaron, has a .206 ISO this year, compared to .157 for his career prior to this year.

This is NOT an accusation. Boone may drop right back to his usual level next year, as Brady Anderson did, but if he continues like this, steroids, andro, whatever, might be a possible explanation.
   18. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: August 01, 2001 at 09:35 PM (#551672)
Ray Lankford. Quilvio Veras. Quilvio Veras. Ray Lankford.

Red rover, red rover....

Makes sense to me.
   19. Colin Posted: August 03, 2001 at 07:57 PM (#551673)
   20. Colin Posted: September 01, 2001 at 02:29 PM (#551706)
A poster in the Braves newsgroup put the Franco signing in contest:
   21. Ron Johnson Posted: September 05, 2001 at 03:54 PM (#551708)
Remember that old Bill James article on Phil Niekro? Written (of course) in the mid 80s, he came up with a list of players younger than Niekro. Going back to Von McDaniel (whose rookie year was 1957)

Wonder who among retired players younger than Franco had the earliest debut?
   22. Brian Posted: December 03, 2001 at 06:41 PM (#551908)
Of all the teams in MLB, the Braves would have one of the easiest times fudging their books to show a loss. Since TBS and the Braves are now part of one AOL/Time Warner conglomerate, the Braves could 'sell' their broadcast rights to TBS for a nominally low price. Without broadcast revenue, it looks like the Atlanta Braves Baseball Club has lost money, but overall AOL/TW earns a profit off them.

Not that they're the Yankees or anything, but they're not really in the red, and there is no fire sale on the horizon.
   23. fables of the deconstruction Posted: December 04, 2001 at 06:39 AM (#551912)
Nurse: Will it work Doctor?
   24. Big Ed Posted: December 04, 2001 at 02:11 PM (#551913)
This is going to kill the White Sox. Keith Foulke's price just went up a couple of three million a year. He's in his arbitration years this year and next, and the Sox were penciling in about $5 million per year. Probably closer to eight or more now.
   25. Colin Posted: December 07, 2001 at 02:17 PM (#551978)
I dunno, but as I posted in teh Braves newsgroup, is there anybody who thinks the Braves couldn't have gotten as much as Bako for the league minimum? Could've gotten a little service time for some minor league vet, too. Sigh.
   26. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: December 09, 2001 at 12:59 AM (#552006)
2 years, $8 million. $4 million per year for Vinny Castilla. Other than signing Chipper and Andruw longterm, which both players wanted to do and took less than market value to get done, the last good move John Schuerholz made was.....

Greg Maddux as a free agent.

Pathetic. Anyone wants a reason the Braves are constantly also-rans and runners-up, look no farther than the GM's office. Given a core of All-Star calibre young players and HOF pitchers JS has signed mediocrity after mediocrity after old, broken-down, doesn't get on base mediocrity.

   27. jlp Posted: December 09, 2001 at 01:40 AM (#552007)
Somebody shoot me. Or better yet, Schuerholz. Just kidding. Mostly.

I will reserve final judgement on the Braves' offseason until I see what else they do. So far, though, I am not a happy fan.
   28. Brian Posted: December 09, 2001 at 07:03 PM (#552010)
"...the last good move John Schuerholz made was.....Greg Maddux as a free agent."

Let's give Schurholz a little bit of credit here. The Fred McGriff trade was a good one.

As a Braves fan, I'm happy he could resign the core free agents (Andruw, Javy, Smoltz), although Smoltz is getting more than he deserves. Still, the way he's handled arbitration cases (why do you NOT offer Burkett arbitration?) and the Vinny signing, it looks like another bad winter down in Atlanta.
   29. Colin Posted: December 09, 2001 at 08:03 PM (#552011)
   30. Darren Posted: December 10, 2001 at 09:34 PM (#552013)
If I'm the Reds, I jump on that trade. Whatever your other payroll problems are, a #2 starter for $3.1M is a great value. Worst case, you trade for him then trade him for cheaper players.

Hey, do you think the Braves would have any interest in Everett, Tony Clark or Brian Dabuach? I'd love for the Sox to deal one of them for Millwood.
   31. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: December 10, 2001 at 10:31 PM (#552014)
re: acquiring Fred McGriff

Much like signing Maddux when Maddux decided he didn't want to play for the Yankees, trading for Fred McGriff while San Diego is gutting its roster isn't a stroke of GM genius. It's obvious. And as Colin points out, it has still been 8 years since a certifiably good signing, even if you give him McGriff.

re: Everett, Tony Clark or Brian Daubauch

Rumor was the Braves/Sox were talking about a Daubauch deal during the World Series, but it didn't pan out. I could never see a Bobby Cox team trading for a clubhouse presence like Carl Everett. Which leaves resurrecting Daubauch now that Clark is on board in Boston, or dealing for Clark. Either of which is possible, but nothing more than wind and rumors right now.
   32. Brian Posted: December 11, 2001 at 12:29 AM (#552015)

Not all fire sales consist of teams giving away talent for free. Everyone and their mother know the Marlins had to dump after '97, and they still got some pretty impressive talent in return. Schurholz ended up trading three non-entities for McGriff, and thats a positive, fire sale or no.

Of course, its a moot point now. As Colin points out, its just moving up the 'last good move' date up to eight and a half years, rather than nine.

Anyone here think Schurholz gets credit for picking up Burkett? Yeah, I know nobody here would have predicted his getting possessed by space aliens, but did Schurholz know something we didn't? On the offensive side, he wouldn't know Rey Sanchez from Honus Wagner, but he usually puts together a pretty mean pitching staff.
   33. Colin Posted: December 11, 2001 at 03:02 AM (#552016)
I guess I'd give him some credit on Burkett, though that requires forgiving him the 2000 performance, which also means forgiving him for moving Bruce Chen down the depth chart, which in turn means forgiving him for Andy AShby. And that I can't do at all.

But Burkett pitched hellaciusly well this year.
   34. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: December 13, 2001 at 05:49 PM (#552019)
John Burkett doesn't give Schuerholz credit for Burkett's 2001, so why should anyone else? As I've heard the story, Burkett's new-found success can be attributed to

1) Tampa Bay's pitching coach suggesting he start long-tossing between starts, to build up arm strength and rejuvenate his fastball, as a final parting shot as Burkett moved on.

2) Pitching behind Greg Maddux and picking up some tips on how to live with an 85 MPH fastball and junk.

3) Leo Mazzone telling Bobby Cox that Burkett was worth a shot after watching him pitch the final exhibition game of 2001's spring training (in Venezuela).

I personally go with 4) His DIPS didn't move an inch, and his performance in the second half was indicative of his coming back to Earth after being extremely lucky on balls in play in the first half.

I know that means I'm giving some sort of credit to Voros, but hey, sometimes you gotta dance with the devil, right?
   35. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: December 21, 2001 at 07:31 PM (#552330)
As a Braves fan, I cry each day I open the paper and see the Braves listed in the transaction column. The Braves have plenty of young pitchers that need a shot. Please tell me what Albie Lopez brings the Braves for 4 million that Damian Moss could not provide at league min. salary? It really hurts to see Schuerholz tear the heart out of this team. Paul Snyder built this team from nothing with quality drafts and talent identification in the late 80s and early 90s. I am afraid the team is about to come full circle. Two stars (Horner, Murph) Jones and Jones, an aging staff that gives up a ton of hits, and a bunch of overpriced league average vets Jordan, Castilla, Surhoff(Oberkfelts, Ozzie Virgil, and Rafeal Ramirezs of the world).

I only hope that this means Millwood is about to be traded for some offense. Of course the signing still makes zero sense. If you want a vet Burkett could have been had for about the same (still can't fathom why the didn't offer him arbitration). Moss could have been plugged in to the rotation (I assume he would match Lopez's preformance) if Millwood or (heaven forbid) Marquis is going to be traded for offense. The true worst case scenario is for Albie to become the set up man for one of the most exspensive bullpens in history (A spot where the Braves previously excelled at getting excellent production at low costs.) Can Chief Nok-a-homa and Expos size crowds be far away...
   36. Josh Posted: December 21, 2001 at 07:44 PM (#552331)
Can John Schuerholz be traded to the Yankees? Please?
   37. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: December 23, 2001 at 10:52 PM (#552332)
I'm on record "elsewhere", so I'll save the Primer readers from my frothing.

   38. Colin Posted: December 27, 2001 at 03:59 PM (#552333)
As pointed out, the Braves have in fact spent $18m on a closer, a 3B who will likely hit no better than the LF he replaces in the lineup, and a fifth starter who, according to Schuerholz, they're not sure yet if they'll pitch in the rotation or out of the bullpen.

That might have been Barry Bonds money. Or Moises Alou money. Or money for anybody who isn't filed under stiff in the dictionary.
   39. Bob Koo Posted: January 15, 2002 at 10:06 PM (#552680)
As a Mets fan, all I have to say is $*!@%#***#!%#!!!

The Dodgers are still run by moronic buffoons.
   40. Colin Posted: January 15, 2002 at 10:09 PM (#552681)

About freakin' time that Schuerholz did something worthwhile this offseason. Now, as long as Cox doesn't bat Castilla right behind him (else we could see a new GIDP record).

I think Odalis will flourish in Dodger Stadium; it'll be forgiving enough that maybe he won't have those annoying deep-pitch-count innings where he gets himself in trouble from nibbling. May give him confidence to just throw the ball hard over the plate and get outs.

But man, Chipper and Sheffield back to back in the order. If Andruw could return to 2000 form that makes a real tough middle of the order, and if Furcal can re-learn how to draw a walk it gets real interesting.
   41. Alan Posted: January 15, 2002 at 10:30 PM (#552684)
Boo Koo, I agree whole heartedly.

I take back every good thing I've ever said about Steve Phillips as a GM. This is awful. How could Phillips not be willing to give up 'freaking Armando Benitez for Gary Sheffield, especially when not doing so means that he'll be going to your biggest rival and biggest competition? All we need is that Chen and Agbayani for Trammel deal to go through, before a full-scale revolution is started.
   42. J. Cross Posted: January 15, 2002 at 10:36 PM (#552685)
Am I missing something here??

Did a certain someone get a "loan" from Ted Turner?

Is TBS going to inexplicable start airing ads for Fox television shows?

I wonder if Dan Evans actually thinks that Brian Jordan is a good player? Is that possible?

Honestly, I really must be missing something.
   43. Bob T Posted: January 15, 2002 at 10:39 PM (#552686)
As a resident of Southern California and a disgruntled fan of the Dodgers I can only say this

[Sound of head hitting table]
   44. Christopher Posted: January 15, 2002 at 10:42 PM (#552687)
Wow, from Dye and Koch to this. Where does Odalis Perez fit in? The rotation has Brown, Ashby, Dreifort, Nomo, Daal, Gagne and the rights to Ishii. That's not even counting a good crop of minor leaguers that are just about ready.

There should 28 GM's kicking themselves after this one. Too bad for Met fans they didn't play any games in December.
   45. Alan Posted: January 15, 2002 at 10:45 PM (#552689)
"The Dodgers got raped on this one. Is this trade dumber than Myers for Cust?"

Yes. By far. Where can I find myself a good gun?
   46. Bob T Posted: January 15, 2002 at 10:53 PM (#552692)
Nothing better than swapping a .399 OBA for a .337.
   47. Alan Posted: January 15, 2002 at 11:01 PM (#552694)
Mac, you've had 11 years to be happy. We've had about 3 months and a couple of wild card appearances(I don't count losing the WS to the Yankees a happy thing).
   48. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 15, 2002 at 11:34 PM (#552699)
David wrote:

"The thing that strikes me is this makes the seemingly inexplicable signing of Albie Lopez make sense. If Schuerholz knew he was going to trade either Jason Marquis or Odalis Perez for a hitter, then signing Lopez provided the flexibility to do so. It makes me wonder just how long this deal has been brewing."

During his 4PM (EST) conference call news briefing Evans said he and Schuerholz had been "talking since the winter meetings." The Lopez signing was made specifically to make Odalis Perez expendable. I was very worried about what JS would return for the trade, but now I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised to say the least.

   49. Matt D Posted: January 15, 2002 at 11:35 PM (#552700)
I just moved to Los Angeles, and I must say I'm rather amused with Dan Evans. I watched him on TV one day and he said all the right things. But then his trades and acquisitions got weirder and weirder. I mean, it became clear that he was no Riccardi long ago. But this....?

I'm a Red Sox fan without the ability to see my team play every day, so the ONE thing I was looking forward to was seeing Sheff play at Dodger stadium. Guess I'll start saving up for my TBS Season Pass.
   50. Mike Posted: January 15, 2002 at 11:50 PM (#552702)
Even a blind squirrel . . . This is like giving MacPhail a boost for taking advantage of the Expos in the White/Downs deal. IMO, he (and Schuerholz) get mild bumps, but not nearly as sizeable as the Evans drop.
   51. Brian Popowsky Posted: January 16, 2002 at 02:33 AM (#552704)
The only thing the Dodgers have going for them is that the Orioles are dumber. The Dodgers have had no direction for 20 years and in recent years it has gotten worse. I predict a sub-500 season.
   52. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 16, 2002 at 04:09 AM (#552706)
Carlos' family seems to have bad luck. Don't forget that both Melido and Pascual have rain-shortened no-hitters that were taken away and Pascual got lost trying to find the Launching Pad for his first game and ran out of gas on the highway.
   53. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 16, 2002 at 04:49 AM (#552707)
Plus, they have to bear the burden of being related to the horrible "actress" Rosie.
   54. Jose Bautista Bobblehead Day Posted: January 16, 2002 at 07:04 AM (#552711)
I really could not care less about the principals involved in the trade, but I do wonder what this move will do for Sheffield's Hall of Fame chances. After this last season, his HOF Monitor was at 82. With 5 more .300-30-100 seasons, he is in the 120-140 range. However, he is now shunted off to the hitter's ghetto that is Turner Field with a motley crew of low-OBP, washed-up veterans, which could quite likely do a double-whammy on his numbers. Then again, it may be that this trade will allow him to play for a contender, and win that elusive World Series ring. Either way, it should be interesting.
   55. Jose Bautista Bobblehead Day Posted: January 16, 2002 at 09:58 AM (#552714) embarassing. Thanks for picking up the oversight, fellows.

I will say this: it would be a reasonable expectation for Sheffield to pick up 50 points of OPS just from the change in parks. However, he will have to contend with an iffy lineup. To address Atlanta's first four hitters:

Rafael Furcal -- While I think he is tremendously skilled at what he does, I'm waiting for him to get through a full season and put up numbers comparable to his rookie year.

Marcus Giles -- Giles really impresses me, and I think that an 800+ OPS is well within the realm of expectation.

Andruw Jones -- I've never been impressed with his command of the strike zone. He had one good year (1999, 76 walks), but has never had more than 59 in any other season. He can be a great, great player, almost as good as Vladimir Guerrero, if he can live up to the press clippings and take a pitch on occassion. Failing that, Jones will be cast into the scrap heap of tools-laden flops.

("Flop", of course, is a relative term, and it would be an apt use of it if Jones continues to put up 260/320/480 seasons when experts have touted him as a future Hall-of-Famer.)

Larry Wayne Jones -- Not much to say about him. Future Hall-of-Famer. One of the 5 or 10 best players in baseball. Walks on water.

The rest of the lineup? Meat. I will admit to being intrigued by Julio Franco, but I'm not sure if that's a healthy interest.
   56. Darren Posted: January 16, 2002 at 03:00 PM (#552716)
Any chance the Braves pick up Cust from Colorado?
   57. Kurt Posted: January 16, 2002 at 03:39 PM (#552718)
"Then again, it may be that this trade will allow him to play for a contender, and win that elusive World Series ring."

Sheffield has a ring (97 Marlins). I'm sure you know this, but the phrasing above makes it appear that he hasn't. Of course, a second ring would certainly help his chances.
   58. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 16, 2002 at 03:42 PM (#552719)

   59. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 16, 2002 at 04:12 PM (#552720)
Who's a bigger drag on his team, Eric Karros or Brian Jordan? Jordan's a year older and has a worse injury history, but he's less far away from productive, and the contracts are pretty close.

Re: Turner Field v. Dodger Stadium

Park factors, courtesy of Baseball Prospectus 2001
   60. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 16, 2002 at 04:17 PM (#552721)
Looked at the b-r page on Sheffield with all the discussion about HoF that's being bandied about, and just about bust a gut laughing. His #1 comp through 32: Dick Allen.
   61. Toby Posted: January 16, 2002 at 04:57 PM (#552722)
Speaking of HOF chances, I wonder how much the shift of Chipper to the outfield is going to affect HIS chances (assuming this transfer does take hold). He only has under his belt 1056 games on the left side of the infield (almost all at 3B), that's almost a full season less than what Ernie Banks had there (1194, almost all at SS).

He probably still projects to be elected, but in light of this he clearly won't crack the best 3B's of all time. Schmidt, Mathews, Brett, et al.: At ease, gentlemen, for another while.
   62. Brian Posted: January 16, 2002 at 05:04 PM (#552723)
I still think Chipper is a very good bet for the Hall of Fame, but I don't think he ever had a chance to be in Mike Schmidt territory had he stayed at third base, since his defense is so bad.
   63. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 16, 2002 at 06:02 PM (#552727)
1. Bobby Cox has called Marcus Giles "the perfect #2 hitter" no less than three times this winter.

2. Anything you read in the AJC can more or less be discounted.
   64. VegasRobb Posted: January 16, 2002 at 10:56 PM (#552730)
Where's George Lombard these days? Lombard in RF, Sheffield in LF, Chipper back at third, everyone else fighting for first?

*looks up Lombard's 2001 Minor League Stats*
   65. VegasRobb Posted: January 16, 2002 at 11:00 PM (#552731)
Looks like he was hurt for most of the year, but here's his line from 2001:

.318/.423/.682 in 44 ABs for AAA Richmond.
   66. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: January 17, 2002 at 12:19 AM (#552733)
Lombard missed all but the last month or so of last season due to a heel/foot surgery thing. But he was the "Hey, I can hit the ball!" version of George Lombard for those 44 ABs. The guy's a mystery, wrapped up in a riddle, inside an enigma. Destroyed AA, sucked at AAA, got hurt, got better, ripped the AFL, sucked in the majors, got hurt, got better, ripped AAA in limited at bats.

It would be nice if he could show up and play like those 44 ABs at the ML level. 270/350/500 plops him right down into LF and moves Chipper back to 3B, booting Castilla over into The World's Ugliest Firstbase Scrum (tm).
   67. Jose Bautista Bobblehead Day Posted: January 17, 2002 at 08:06 AM (#552735)
Of course, there is no question that Dick Allen should be in the Hall of Fame. Pronto. He was a 292/378/534 hitter in over 7000 plate appearances during the pitching-dominated 1960s and 1970s, and his 1972 season with the Chicago White Sox is one of the greatest offensive performances in baseball history. A look at some of his stats from that year.

Allen's rate stats: 308 AVG/420 OBP/603 SLG
   68. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 19, 2002 at 03:56 AM (#552740)
Saying that Bill James' comments on Dick Allen were crap is being exceedingly kind. Not quite as bad as his new and "improved" runs created formula or his recent hallucinations in which making up how many chances a fielder has is better than looking at how many they have, but that's a rant for another time.
   69. Repoz Posted: February 02, 2002 at 03:43 PM (#553976)
When Rich Rodriguez was with the Mets in 2000 he would constantly complain about not getting enough "work".
   70. Alan Posted: February 02, 2002 at 07:42 PM (#553977)
Whatever happened to Mel Rojas, another Met fan favorite?
   71. Steve Treder Posted: February 02, 2002 at 09:35 PM (#553978)
Lester Bangs,

Gene Bearden was a lefty who threw the knuckleball, but you're right, there are very few of them. I think the reason for that is clear: they don't need to. The southpaw job market is a whole lot less competitive than the one for righthanders; why bother to stake your career on a difficult-to-master trick pitch when just showing up with an average-at-best sidearm curve guarantees you lifetime work?
   72. Colin Posted: March 21, 2002 at 03:22 PM (#555504)
Blanco's advantage over Bako is that Maddux's main weakness is an inability to hold baserunners, so sometimes they run freely on him. Since the backup catcher gets maddux every tfifth day and (stupidly) in playoff games, the Braves, assuming they'll get no offense anyway, want to get at least one thing good out of it all.

As for Cabrera, he was an odd man out in the pen for this year. Cox lost confidence in him down the stretch last year, and Spooneybarger will be joining remlinger and Ligtenberg in setup of John Smoltz.
   73. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: March 22, 2002 at 02:01 AM (#555511)
Getting rid of Perez is great. Getting something, anything, from the Tribe for him is unbelievable.

Blanco can't hit. However, Javy's knee's make carrying a caddy a must. One who can control the running game every fifth day and in late inning defensive situations--just icing on the cake. Cabrera was sporadically effective last year. Cox and Leo have a track record of getting good work out of the likes of Brad Clontz and Dennis Springer. They will prove Cabrera to be replacable.

If Giles can kick the injuries plaguing him this spring. The middle infield looks good. The outfield is in good shape. The infield corners, as discussed in previous threads, at best provide replacement level offense. At first this is done cheaply, at third outrageously. (Signing Castilla made no sense. Why not let the Francos (Matt and Julio), Derosa, Helms, and Surhoff just rotate the positions amongst themselves? Only Surhoff is overpaid.)

Speaking of BJ. Surhoff could probably find himself 400 at-bats this year (not that this would be any good for the Braves) if he would turn himself into a jack-of-all-trades. If he expressed a willingness (and demonstrated a minumum level of competence) to play the infield and outfield corners and catch twice a month. (This also solves the third catcher issue that comes along every post season.) Instead he ####### and moans.
   74. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 22, 2002 at 06:37 AM (#555513)
You guys gotta give me some time; I was busy talking with some statheads on AOL Instant Messenger about beer and bad early 80s cartoons.
   75. Jason Posted: March 22, 2002 at 04:23 PM (#555514)
What exactly is Maddux's problem with Javy? I haven't seen much printed about this. Given that either a) Maddux is calling his own game, or b) the bench is calling the game (both options nullifying the catcher's contribution in that respect), you'd think Maddux would appreciate the increase in offense with Lopez. And I find it hard to believe that Perez called a better game than Lopez (if either actually called any games), otherwise, you'd think more guys on the staff would have used Perez, particularly Glavine.

Is it just a Maddux mind game? Or is he simply helping Cox in determining when to rest his #1 catcher?
   76. Stevens Posted: March 22, 2002 at 06:04 PM (#555516)
I'd heard Maddux likes to work fast and Javy doesn't get the ball back quickly enough to him. But I admit, that seems easily correctable, if not altogether odd.
   77. Walt Davis Posted: March 22, 2002 at 07:14 PM (#555519)
This doesn't explain the playoffs, so obviously it's something else in this case, but during the season, I think it makes sense. C's rarely start more than 125-130 games, so you need your backup every 5th day or so anyway. And if you know you're not going to be putting your best offense out there, doesn't it make sense to do it when you're likely to give up fewer runs?

That's not necessarily the optimal solution in all cases. If your backup kills lefties, it makes more sense to start him then; or if your backup hits better than your starter, maybe start him with your worst pitcher; etc.

I just wish they'd traded for Girardi instead. Actually, I need that in my dmb simulation -- just started playing with the 2002 projection disk. My Cubs are off to a fast start (23-13) mainly due to a weak schedule. But I just lost Hundley, Duncan, and Zambrano for a month -- I could really use a LH C and some RH bullpen help about now.
   78. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 22, 2002 at 07:23 PM (#555520)
On the Javy subject, I was told a couple of years ago by an ex-member of the Braves that the rumor that Maddux believed Lopez was tipping pitches is true.
   79. Jason Posted: March 22, 2002 at 07:57 PM (#555521)
Wow - I wonder how Javy does that. Subtle, I am sure. I dont have the stats in front of me, but does Javy and/or the Braves get run on a lot? I see that Maddux is apparently weak at holding runners, but what about the rest of the staff?

Whatever the explanation, it always seemed to me that if I was Javy Lopez, I'd be pretty pissed about being snubbed by The Great One. Can we hear from Javy on this one?
   80. Repoz Posted: March 22, 2002 at 08:48 PM (#555523)
I remember reading somewhere years ago that Maddux didn't like all the movement that Lopez made while going into his wind-up,which might be the tie-in with Lopez's propensity (in Maddux's mind anyway)of tipping pitches.
   81. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 24, 2002 at 03:26 AM (#555526)
Laker has a pancreatic infection, which probably is about as fun as it sounds. It's a lot more serious than I thought, too; in some cases, the gall bladder has to be removed. No quickie antibiotic course, it appears, so I'd guess Laker being out only a few more weeks is a pretty conservative guess.
   82. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 25, 2002 at 08:50 PM (#555528)
Gall bladder surgery is annoying, but not typically real serious. My mom just had hers out and she wasn't off of her exercise regime for more than a week.
   83. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 25, 2002 at 09:58 PM (#555529)
Tell that to Andy Warhol!
   84. Clyde Posted: April 28, 2002 at 11:39 PM (#556065)
Required Bermanism: Ryan "Islet of" Langerhans.
   85. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: April 30, 2002 at 02:03 AM (#556069)
According to the AJC, the only reason Bragg wasn't called up originally was that the Richmond Braves were playing in Ottawa. Greenville was playing in Hunsville, AL, so Langerhans was the choice for Sunday.

Bragg was already on his way to join the team before any further news about Surhoff came out.
   86. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: May 02, 2002 at 06:47 AM (#556074)
Here's another Darren Bragg fun fact: After being traded to Boston, Bragg hit the first home run by a left-hander off of Randy Johnson in four years (it was a grand slam, too). I believe it was Johnson's last 1996 appearance.

At that point, it was the sixth LH HR ever off of Johnson. The next year, he gave up 4. Since then, he's given up 1. For comparison, he's given up 232 right-handed HR.
   87. MattB Posted: May 03, 2002 at 01:16 PM (#556315)
Darn. Less than two weeks ago I wondered whether Jermaine Allensworth would appear unannounced onto San Diego's roster. Well, ten years ago I would have at least had the division right.
   88. Klobedanz Posted: May 03, 2002 at 02:13 PM (#556316)
Well I got to see Porter and Timmons last night for the R-Braves. Actually, maybe I should be embarassed about telling people that.
   89. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 23, 2002 at 02:01 AM (#552751)
This is also the team that thinks Eric Karros is a great.
   90. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 23, 2002 at 02:01 AM (#552752)
This is also the team that thinks Eric Karros is a great.
   91. Colin Posted: August 12, 2002 at 04:55 PM (#558376)
The loss of Helms isn't so much a "Good riddance"thing from a pragmatic standpoint. Bobby Cox will not regularly play Marcus Giles at 3B; hell, Giles lost his regular job at 2B to Keith friggin' Lockhart back when Keith was hitting about .130. So Marcus will ride the pine.

So all that means all vinny, all the time. Which means Helms getting injured is a loss for this team, because if nothing else he was about 100 points of OPS above Vinny.
   92. Bob T Posted: August 30, 2002 at 05:28 PM (#558600)
Isn't Steve the son of Pablo?

Steve and Yorvit are not from the same city and I think the name Torrealba is not that uncommon in Venezuela.

The Venezuelan white pages aren't online, but the Yellow Pages (Paginas Amarillas) are online and there seemed to be over 20 different businesses with the name Torrealba in it. (Doctors, lawyers, etc.)
   93. Benji Posted: September 06, 2002 at 09:29 PM (#558604)
Poor Torrealba...didn't get a shot at Ferret Strickland in a tie game...thats the highlight of Blanco's career.
   94. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 07, 2002 at 03:21 AM (#558606)
I enjoyed watching the flying Wilson triplets with the Pirates last year: Jack, Craig, and Enrique.

In related news, at the Marlins-Bucs game tonight, both Abraham Nunezes were in the the game at the same time, confusing my poor mother immensely.
   95. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: November 18, 2002 at 05:42 PM (#559502)
I said all of this first.

   96. dlf Posted: November 18, 2002 at 05:46 PM (#559503)
Any info on the throw-in? Ryan Baker, 24 year old reliever. I can't recall seeing his name on any lists of Braves top prospects.
   97. Colin Posted: November 18, 2002 at 06:38 PM (#559504)
Pah, I beat you to most if it, sam
   98. Alan Posted: November 18, 2002 at 07:03 PM (#559505)
Colin and Sam just stole my thoughts before I had a chance to put them in writing. I am really smarter than both of them.
   99. Colin Posted: November 18, 2002 at 07:12 PM (#559506)
I have a doctorate, ttherefore I am smarter, and legitimately more pompous about it too
   100. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: November 18, 2002 at 08:17 PM (#559507)
Colin might have a doctorate, but I gots followers. Doctorates come and go. Cult leaders are forever.

Alan spells better than both of us, though.
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