Who’s at fault for this September’s Braves flop?

Somebody got to celebrate at Turner Field. (David Tulis/AP)

Somebody got to celebrate at Turner Field. (David Tulis/AP)

Somebody got to celebrate at Turner Field. (David Tulis/AP)

Somebody got to celebrate at Turner Field. (David Tulis/AP)

I’m on record as saying I believe Fredi Gonzalez to be a good manager. He passes the test every successful manager must pass: His men play hard. (That’s the weird part about what’s happening now; the Atlanta Braves still, at least to these eyes, appear to be playing hard. Just not well, at least when it comes to hitting the ball.) If you ask me today if I’d be comfortable with Gonzalez managing this team the next five years, I’d say yes almost without hesitation.

Here, however, is where the “almost” arises: For the second time in four years, the Braves under Gonzalez are authoring an epic September collapse.

In 2011, as we can never forget, the Braves led St. Louis by 8 1/2 games on the morning of Sept. 6 for the one and only wild card; at 11:40 p.m. on Sept. 28, they were eliminated in the 13th inning of the season’s 162nd game. For 25 minutes, those Braves stood as the first team in the history of baseball to hold a September lead of more than eight games and miss the postseason. (The Red Sox would lose in extra innings in Tampa to join the ignominy.)

The 2011 Braves were 9-18 in September. That’s a winning percentage of .333. The 2014 Braves are 3-11 in September; that’s a winning percentage of .214.

At the end of play on Sept. 6, these Braves were tied with Milwaukee for the second wild card; Pittsburgh was a half-game behind. As we speak, the Braves trail the Pirates by 5 1/2 games and the Brewers by four. The Braves haven’t been mathematically eliminated, but Baseball Prospectus assesses their chance of making the playoffs at 0.8 percent. They’ve wilted again.

The collapse of ’11 had root in injury. Starting pitchers Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson were lost, forcing the Braves to deploy three rookies — Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy and Randall Delgado — in their rotation. (The season’s 160th game was started by Delgado against Cliff Lee.) A bullpen overtaxed by an extraordinary number of close encounters — 55 of the Braves’ 162 games were decided by one run — and overused by Gonzalez finally buckled.

Craig Kimbrel, who would be named National League rookie of the year, blew three September saves. The first came in Game 1 of a season-changing series in St. Louis. (The Cardinals would sweep the weekend.) The second came in Miami when Omar Infante hit a walk-off homer. (Also remembered as the night Chipper Jones lost a ground ball in the lights.) The third came in Game No. 162, when a clean inning would have sent the Braves to St. Louis for a one-game playoff with the Cardinals.

This time, it must be noted, there has been no bullpen mismanagement. The bullpen hasn’t had much to do. The Braves haven’t had a lead since the sixth inning Saturday, when Justin Upton dropped a line drive in Texas and Julio Teheran was touched for three unearned runs and lost to the worst team in baseball on a day when he carried a no-hitter past the game’s midpoint. There have been no sore arms among the starting pitchers. (These Braves got those out of the way early.) The only significant late-season absence due to infirmity has been Evan Gattis, who was diagnosed with strep throat.

Meaning: The extenuating circumstances of three years ago don’t apply. The Braves have almost a full complement of ballplayers. They do not have a full complement of actual hitters. They scored six runs in three games against the wretched Rangers. They’ve scored two in two games against Washington, which clinched the NL East at Turner Field on Tuesday. They’ve played 14 games in September; they’ve scored 33 runs. That’s 2.4 per game.

(We stipulate that this didn’t begin in September. On the contrary, the Braves were shut out in their opener on March 31. They’ve been shut out 14 times this season. To repeat: They haven’t hit a lick.)

In 14 September games, these pitchers have worked nine quality starts. The Braves have lost seven of those. This rotation leads the majors with 105 quality starts; the team, beggaring belief, is below .500 (75-76). This season has seen a total failure of hitting, and for that Greg Walker and Scott Fletcher — the coaches charged with helping Braves hit — will surely lose their jobs. But is Gonzalez exempt?

I’d suggest that he has been handed a lineup of guys who can hit the occasional home run but who have pronounced holes in their swings. (Including both Uptons, Chris Johnson and Jason Heyward.) As Nationals manager Matt Williams noted last month, the Braves are good at hitting mistakes. They’re just bad at hitting good pitches.

Gonzalez said Monday that he’d spent most of the previous 18 hours making out lineups to face Stephen Strasburg and rejecting all until he decided to have rookie Phil Gosselin lead off and Andrelton Simmons, he of the sub-.300 on-base percentage, batting second. Turned out the Braves didn’t score off Strasburg, one pitcher they usually handle. They didn’t score until Williams deployed the defrocked closer Rafael Soriano with a four-run lead in the ninth. (Soriano nearly blew the game.)

At this late date, the Braves could bat Gerald Laird leadoff and B.J. Upton third and Justin Upton ninth and it would make no difference. For this team, there is no right lineup. There are only varying shades of lousy.

That’s why I wouldn’t lay this season at the feet of Fredi G. He didn’t assemble this roster. Frank Wren did. My defense of this general manager — and I admit I’ve been among his defenders — is based on one simple number: From 2010 through today, the Braves have won more games than any other National League team. But they’ve never had a September quite like this, not even in 2011.

That one was historically awful. In its abject feebleness, this one has been nearly as bad. And this, for those keeping score at home, makes twice in four years.

Reader Comments 1

262 comments
scottarino
scottarino

Fredi is no Connie Mack, that's for sure, and I've been very critical about his bullpen management, but he was saddled with a very flawed team. It is clear to me Wren was always grasping at straws for whatever reason (lack of true baseball knowledge I reckon). One year the Braves were too left-handed up and down the lineup, soon they didn't have enough leftys. IMO Frank doubted a few nice pieces he had (Prado, Infante, Schafer) and just reached too wildly for the brass ring in an attempt at adding power. In retrospect Wren's moves look very amateur.


Haywood was sold to the fans as the second coming of Willie Mays, and he is still young, but he's no Willie Mays, he's Claudell Washington. Bourne was a very nice addition to the lineup, but Wren wanted to pay BJ a dumptruck load of money instead. 

BravesFanForever
BravesFanForever

I would trade every position player if it meant getting back more in return. So I don't think anyone should be safe. it really depends on the situation. The only requirement I have is that we get guys who get on base, we have a couple who hit the ball with consistency (think .300), we have a few who can hit the ball out of the ball park, we have 1-2 guys who can steal bases (fortunately we have one who appears to be a great one in the minors), and we make it a meaningful point to improve the BENCH. This is one aspect of this team that hasn't been discussed much. I'm not sure what happened this year but guys who you think you could depend on didn't hit-- AT ALL. There are the beginnings of a decent bench with a couple of players but really we need guys we can depend on.

JamesDeaux
JamesDeaux

No bullpen mismanagement?  What do you call throwing Luis Avilan into one critical spot after another?  He's been BY FAR the Braves worst reliever all year, and yet, Fredi put him into one late-game situation after another, despite the fact that he can't get lefties or righties out.  Avilan gets lit up, causes a game to get completely out of hand, and the pitiful offense has no chance to come back.  Even after getting demoted to AAA, Avilan somehow got WORSE.  Yet, he got promoted back to the big club and continued to be awful.  That was stubbornness or cluelessness--probably both--on the part of Fredi Gonzalez.

sergeantgallaher
sergeantgallaher

And Schafer sucked, I would rather have BJ than him and I cant stand BJ. I was glad when he was cut.

sergeantgallaher
sergeantgallaher

This team needs a hard a$$ manager, to kick them in the butt instead of coddle them. Fredi is to much like Bobby but Bobby had leaders like Justice, Bream, Smoltz to get on players. Freemen is the face of the franchise but would rather hug people instead of being a leader.

TampaBrave
TampaBrave

Whoever signed BJ Upton and released Jordan Schafer should fall on the sword!! The dynamic of having brothers on a team, where one of them is great and the other stinks to high heaven could not be successfully managed and damaged the psyche of this team. BJ has been on roster welfare for two years, living off of the mangled proposition that benching or releasing him would alienate his true ball playing brother, and his teammates know it. We have been kidding ourselves to think that BJ would turn it around, and worse yet, we let a fantastic little ballplayer go that could have been the next Brett Butler. If you look him up, Schafer is doing very well in Minnesota, batting .297, 15 stolen bases, 17 runs, 12 RBIs, four 2Bs in 38 games. As long as BJ is on this team, I refused to travel up to Atlanta to catch games, which I have done for years. And I'm thinking that the responsible party has to be removed as well. Also cancelling my $150 MLB subscription. Sickening!!

DIT
DIT

Fredi is not a good manager. However, these guys are getting paid a lot f money to play. Can't blame Fredi for the lack of offense and pitching woes. It's the PLAYERS fault. As a team they totally stunk it up the past 45 days. They look as if I went into a time warp and was watching the 1980's Braves.. Embarrassing!

Of course Wren did not think they needed to make any moves in the off season was the first step of their bad season. The Braves as we use to know them are gone. Get ready for mediocrity(sp)

Furman Bitcher
Furman Bitcher

Come on Bradley, luv ya, but what a lame article. Fredi is not a good manager. And since when should we want a "good" manager. I want a "great"manager. Bad line ups, the continuing of playing player that suck no matter what they make is reason enough to can this guy. Why cant you and Shultz say the truth and that is CHANGE IS NEEDED. Be a real writer and stop being scared. If you write the article beating up on Fredi I promise you he will say this line after he reads it....... "I just want to tip my cap to Bradley for writing the article he did".

ComaToes
ComaToes

Tonight's game between the Braves and Mets will probably be one of the most irrelevant games ever played at Turner Field.  Yet there are still people crazy enough to pay perfectly good hard-earned money to go watch it.  Amazing !  The only thing that will be more irrelevant are the last 3 games of the year vs Philadelphia.  All seats should be free, at least for those last 3 games, if they really do appreciate the Braves' fans. But they won't be, as they are too greedy.  As long as Liberty makes money off the Braves operation, that's all they can about.

Lance13
Lance13

I am not sure how he can say that the team plays hard.  Yes...there are many of the Braves players who play hard - JHey, Simmons, Wood, Kimbrell to name a few - but there are many who do not.  The lackluster play of BJ is his natural state more often than not; others that tend to fade and either lose focus or just give up - like JUp, CJ, and others - play hard sometimes but as often as not they give half effort.  That is what has been so hard to watch for me.  The Braves need some veteran leadership - those players that Cox and Schierholtz made sure were present in the clubhouse for the younger players and to assure the team respected the organization, the team, and the game - and I hope they find it in the off season because they sure do not have it now.

KayDubs
KayDubs

Die-hard Braves fan creates a GoFundMe in order to fly a banner over Saturday's game saying Wren must be fired. Sign will say FIRE FRANK WREN.  This is really happening


http://www.gofundme.com/eptce8

ComaToes
ComaToes

@KayDubs Says "page not found".  Wrong link perhaps?  Should be Fredi Gonzalez anyway !

Nig-ga-lese
Nig-ga-lese

This team SUCKS.  It's a lifeless bunch. Been that way since 2006.  The only reason we've been competing since 2011....is due to our really good pitching.  As long as we have decent pitching...we wont collapse.  However, the offense is hopeless. 

Bogey
Bogey

Best move the Braves gave made lately was identifying their young core players and extending them for more money than they would have made short term, but for less than they likely would've long term via arbitration and free agency.

Freeman, Kimbrel, Simmons, Teheran all fit the bill and will all be 30-32 yrs old when those ćontracts term...in other words thru the best of their prime years. Let other GM's overpay for aging players north of 30 yrs old - the Braves can't afford it. My guess is Freeman and Simba will likely be resigned for another future deal if healthy. Kimbrel likely nit; Julio all up to health.

I don 't like the CJohnson deal as much, but the pickings for 3B is slim.

Point is: they did those moves with John Hart's influence, not Wren's or Schuerholz's for that matter.

Time for Wren to go....average shouldn't be good enough.

cspecial
cspecial

OKAY, OKAY EVERYONE LETS HAVE A MOMENT OF SILENCE, THE BRAVES ARE DEAD

slydawg
slydawg

"...one simple number: From 2010 through today, the Braves have won more games than any other National League team. "

Statements like these only serve koolaid drinkers who wants to continue the pain of not competing for championships. When was the last time a team in this state, not high school, has garnered any national attention for being a champion and having a championship like organization? Every coach for the Jackets, Bulldogs, Hawks, and Falcons (football and basketball, respectively) , have winning records but even the casual fan can sense these men are not championship quality. The leaves are all Brown and the tree trunk is rotting. Why? Because the roots were never right for the soil in the first place. If the roots of a thing is rotten, so shall the fruit it bears. CLEAN HOUSE..... Starting with Shuerholtz and ending with their buddy, Gonzalez. The Braves are mediocre, not suck, but are mediocre because they have smart baseball men, but they are all buddies who feel no pressure.

PeteScott
PeteScott

This team has ZERO clutch hitters.

Z......E......R......O.

If they were a military unit, at war........they'd ALL be dead.

96JB
96JB

Baseball is about spending money, which the ownership of the Braves are not willing to do. I don't mean a guy or two, I mean spend BIG. Not going to happen. In MLB, you get what you pay for.

Jazzpman
Jazzpman

@96JB Well I kind of agree, BUT you have to spend it on the correct players.  The Braves have an eight place hitter batting .206 and pay him $15 Million a year and it will get more expensive down the road.


So just giving guys big contracts doesn't work if you are NOT fitting a puzzle together. 


For instance. who is your lead off hitter ?

Apparently Frank Wren thought " ANYBODY " could fill in that role.  last night the ESPN guys were talking about Desmond and what he brought to the Nationals, and WHERE were the Braves going to find one .... the outfield or infield ?


Frank Wren took the Braves a Mid Market team, and put in place HORRIBLE pieces, both on the field, and in the dugout.  In my estimation, neither Upton should be in Atlanta, and I bet Hayward would agree.  

The attitude of the team has been terrible with the Uptons and the hot headed 3rd baseman we have.


Gosh I love the Hustle out of Hayward, and last night was a prime example.  I hope like heck he lands in Boston soon ! 



rdbravo
rdbravo

@96JB The Yankees payroll is more than ours and they have the same issues. Guys with low batting averages trying to hit homeruns. Money doesnt buy good players. The money hurts them because they lose the drive to get better and play hard. Development of players in the minor leagues and getting to the majors is how you get great players.

bennyhayes
bennyhayes

@rdbravo @96JB The KC Royals are built on speed, athleticism, and contact hitters. A good formula for small market teams. It worked for them in the 70's and 80's. Now their farm system is promising. Contact hitters don't slump much, and don't cost too much, either. Speed and defense, with pitching, can succeed without huge FA contracts. Braves' farm position players seem to be lacking.

Doktor13
Doktor13

No Ballz Bradley... the Idiot Bullhorn...

jeffreyd
jeffreyd

Aside from knee-jerk reactions, I really don't get why people think Wren should go. The only move I can fault him for is signing BJ Upton. Consider the circumstance around his other acquisitions:


Derek Lowe - The Braves' staff included Buddy Carlyle, Jorge Campillo, Chuck James, and Mike Hampton (!!!). Lowe was coming off a season in which he pitched over 200 innings at a 3.24 ERA.

Dan Uggla - had just hit .287 with 33 HR, 31 doubles, and a .877 OPS.

McLouth - was a reigning All Star with a .817 OPS before coming to the Braves

Kawakami - was coming off a season where he had a 2.30 ERA and won his league's MVP


Also keep in mind he made some great trades - Renteria/Jurrjens, buying low on Vazquez and selling sky high, giving nothing for Bourn, giving nothing for Derrek Lee....


I'm not saying Wren is perfect (what GM hasn't made mistakes?), but I don't get how you can fault him as much as he's faulted without using hindsight. Except BJ...that signing stinks.

TEB1
TEB1

@jeffreyd It's called results, that's why. It doesn't matter if he had good intentions and the trades/signings looked good on the surface.GM's should be evaluated on the results. No playoff wins in Wren's tenure as GM says it all. Not to mention how tying up all your resources prevents you improving the team significantly when the time comes to do so. Braves are still looking for a lead off hitter.

Born2Buzz
Born2Buzz

Give it up MB.  If Freddie doesn't get canned the entire organization is lost.

The guy was completely devoid of answers in 2011, looking like a deer in the headlights every time he had to explain another loss in that epic collapse.  He's doing the same thing this season.

Of course Wren needs to get dumped too.  

Keep both of those guys on board and you might as well make the new stadium seat 20K since that will be about the max # of people who want to watch this team.

ImaNitwit
ImaNitwit

The Braves over achieved through the end of August. They are a .500 team based upon the talent. Problem is fans in every city think their team should be in the playoffs. It isn't mathematically possible. Braves are doing just fine based on the players on the roster.

TEB1
TEB1

@ImaNitwit So the idea is for a GM to build a team of average ball players? Just good enough for a .500 team?

TEB1
TEB1

Remember all the great pitchers in our minor leagues that Wren was unwilling to trade? Where are these guys now?

jeffreyd
jeffreyd

@TEB1 You mean like Teheran, Wood, Beachy, and Minor? They're with the Braves.

jeffreyd
jeffreyd

@TEB1 @jeffreyd Okay, then, Delgado? He went to the Diamondbacks to acquire Justin Upton. And Vizcaino went to the Cubs for Maholm.

TEB1
TEB1

@jeffreyd @TEB1 Well who were the pitchers this year he was unwilling to give up? I know all about Delgado and Vizcaino, and unfortunately know too much about Maholm. Don't forget we traded Infante for Uggla before we signed him for all that money.

TEB1
TEB1

First, find a way to retire Schuerholz, and bring back Stan Kasten to run the Braves. I'm sure he will fire Wren and hire a quality GM. Hopefully the new GM will trade both Uptons, Johnson, Gattis, Heyward, and start the process of rebuilding the Braves into a quality organization. All the blame should start at the top of the organization down.

RangeRover
RangeRover

@Jazzpman

"Where is the lead off Batter?"

We had one...his name is Jordan Schafer.


This is in the Twins news this morning about his play:

"Jordan Schafer showed off all his attributes, going 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, two runs scored and two steals against the White Sox.

Schafer hit the two-run shot in the fourth inning, his first home run of the season. Schafer also stole two bases, giving him 29 on the year, 14 of which have come since joining the Twins. The outfielder is hitting .308 in the American League and has enjoyed a bit of a career revival in Minnesota."


This is a story about Schafer that just came out this morning:

"There are occasional reminders, Twins outfielder Jordan Schafer said, when professional athletes realize how fortunate they are, and how quickly things can change.

Schafer had one of those realizations Sunday.

He spent time before Minnesota's game in Chicago -- not far from where he grew up -- with Jeff Konopasek, a former baseball player who was paralyzed in a boating accident in 2003.

A mutual friend of Schafer and Konopasek's parents set up the day.

Konopasek was taken onto the field with Schafer, who also signed a bat and some balls for him. Konopasek's speaking ability is still hindered, but Schafer said he was engaged and wanted to learn more about playing the outfield.

"It helps put things in perspective," Schafer said. "You can be driving down the road one day and have your world turned upside down."

After signing items for Konopasek, Schafer asked if he could do anything else for the former second baseman.

"Hit for the cycle," Konopasek said.

That's a bit hard, Schafer reminded him.

"Hit a home run," Konopasek countered.

In the fourth inning Sunday, Schafer hit a home run, his first of the season.

"I think we're his good luck charm," said Janice Konopasek, Jeff's mother. "He was just the nicest guy. ... (Jeff) had a good day, he enjoyed himself, he enjoyed being out on the field."

After the game, the Konopaseks returned to their car for the drive home.

Jeff looked at his parents from the back seat and smiled.

"That was a lot of fun," he said."


And we have BJ Upton...

jeffreyd
jeffreyd

@RangeRover I really don't understand the cult following Schafer has. He has a .229 average in over 1200 ABs.

bob_smyrna
bob_smyrna

@jeffreyd @RangeRover

point is Braves can coach hitters, but cause them to regress.

Really TRAGIC things is Nats, Mets, Marlins all are putting $$$$ into minor leagus, where Braves have almost no major prospects: maybe one 2b and 1-2 pitchers.  We'll fall behind the Marlins next year. The next year we'll be behind the Mets. Far behind these teams. At least the corporate owners will grieve in their new ballpark when no one attends the games!!!


Jazzpman
Jazzpman

Here is more real info about the Braves.......


Although the article argues that the Braves performed at a level that should've been expected of them, they also say that this is because GM Frank Wren chose to sit on his hands instead of seeking to improve a team that won 96 games in 2013.


[Atlanta] is on pace to score 593 times this year – what would be the Braves’ lowest output in a full season since 1989. That Braves team won 63 games.

This from a lineup that includes first baseman Freddie Freeman (.293/.389/.475) and left fielder Justin Upton (.277/.351/.502), who have combined for 45 home runs and 170 RBI. But it’s a lineup that also includes downright black holes. The on-base-plus-slugging percentages of Johnson (.647), B.J. Upton (.616) and Simmons (.615) all rank among the 10 worst in baseball this season. Put another way, the Braves have given more than 1,650 plate appearances to three of the least productive offensive players in the game, a trio that comprises a third of their lineup.

Jazzpman
Jazzpman

FRANK WREN for the line up MESS !  Where is the lead off Batter ?

Here is what Sport Illustrated has to say about BJ and Bonifacio.......

 


A bigger problem was the presence of not one, not two, but three replacement-level killers, a pair of whom the team is committed to through 2017 via long-term deals. Start with the continued devotion to B.J. Upton in centerfield (.206/.282/.329 overall, with a 30-percent strikeout rate and a 15-point OPS dip from half to half), a wretched performance that doesn't even take into account his lousy defense (-10 Defensive Runs Saved). That all added up to a -0.9 Wins Above Replacement figure. Deadline acquisition Emilio Bonifacio did little more than match that offense in limited duty, leading to the league's worst OPS (.599) and WAR (-1.2) from that position.

 Hacktastic third baseman Chris Johnson, always dependent upon a high batting average on balls in play to prop up his production, has "helped" the team to the league's lowest WAR at the hot corner as well, dipping from a lousy .277/.301/.378 (.360 BABIP) to a miserable .238/.279/.321 (.326 BABIP); he's thrown in -12 DRS en route to a team-low -1.3 WAR. At second base, general manager Frank Wren finally cut bait on Dan Uggla (.162/.241/.231 in 145 first-half PA) despite still owing him around $20 million. But while replacement Tommy La Stella was productive before the break (.292/.371/.357), the league caught up to him and then some (.219/.297/.290 in the second half); the team's combined -0.7 WAR at the keystone is the league's second-worst total.

So With Frank Wren around this team will continue to go the Way of the Baltimore Orioles....... Maybe he will get booted out of town some day like they did him in Baltimore ? 

I doubt that though....... too much love for each other at the top, and living in the past.

Bogey
Bogey

Pappa Bunny:  one of the better posts we've had lately.


We always look to blame someone, and it's easier to lay it at the feet of management, however this one is clear-cut......its the players!


This is the most boring team I've ever seen.  Bradley, you state they always play hard, but they sure don't show it.  They've got a new stadium/shopping/restaurants/hotels, etc. opening in '17 - UPPER management needs to make some dramatic moves NOW to build some momentum and enthusiasm with the fan base or they won't like what they see economically in '17.


1:  Wren has to go.  While he's won most of his trades, they've mostly been smaller affairs and "gap-fillers" except for J Up.  I don' blame Uggla on Wren - I blame it on Uggs.  But, the BJ signing was a disaster and everyone knew it when they did it.  Notice I write "they", because ALL mgmt. signed off on that one - Wren didn't sneak that one in while Schuerholz and McGuirk were on vacation.  Answer:  bring in John Hart, if he's ready to stop just talking about BB on MLB network.


2. Get rid of BJ (maybe this should be #1).  3 ways to do it:  cut him and eat $45m (can't do it, even with the increased revenues coming); trade him to a drunk GM for a used resin bag AND still cover ~ $10m in salary (not wise and likely impossible); best option:  include him in a mega deal.  They'll have to overpay in other players to get the partner (could be 3 team trade) to take on BJ, BUT this is the best way to go.  Here's my what-if scenario (likely other better ones out there):


Call the Chisox to get Chris Sale (they made him available last winter for the "right package" but no teams stepped up).  They don't want to lose him but they have lots of holes and need them filled.  Here's what they get in return:  BJ (OK we're starting out in the hole value-wise) + Justin (100+ RBI's and seen by the league as a player) - he's a FA after '15 and will be too expensive for the Braves, so get value from him now; + Gattis (no position for him here, as Bethancourt is our catcher) who will have value to Chicago as a backup to Tyler Flowers/fil-in outfielder, and mostly as a DH (they got rid of Adam Dunn at trade deadline); + 2 pitchers - most likely one of the up-and-comers (Cabrera, Hursh or Graham - I think Sims is untouchable?) plus either Minor or Hale. 


Looks very one-sided, and we might also balance it with one ofChisox's minor league OF propects, but look closer and you'll see real value for the Braves.


Save salary to sign Heyward and bring in another FA OF; dump BJ (maybe still have to cover $5m in salary); AND get a second Ace for our staff.


Sorry for the length - but I think the Braves have to be aggressive.

Jazzpman
Jazzpman

@Bogey I think BOTH Upton's have to go.  BJ is horrible, but Justin's bat is too streaky, and his defense is terrible.  Last night when a grounder into left center turned into a double as he didn't hustle to the ball.

Maybe package them together for a ham and cheese sandwich ?  Or a rack of Ribs... But get them off the payroll.  This has become a lazy team and it started when they came to Atlanta GA !

Birdhair
Birdhair

and I admit I’ve been among his defenders

-Mark Bradley

Which prob makes you one of the worst sports writers in the country. You're ignorant. We need real sports writers in this town. You're a sorry excuse for an analyst. You run hot and cold on the braves and flip positions more than john kerry fliped positions during his presidential campaign bid. You do not serve the fans of atlanta. All of your analysis is after the fact and even then it's still wrong. Schultz finally recognized the problem (Wren) before the start of the season and you've sat here the past 7 seasons and staunchly defended Wren and still provide defense for him. You even wrote that this team could be world series bound a few weeks ago. None of your readers take you seriously anymore. It's time for you to go too, Mark.

2112thDawg
2112thDawg

Frank Wren needs to go. BJ UPTON, DAN UGGLA ... ENOUGH SAID. Gonzalez can't make chicken salad from Chicken bleep. 

jeffreyd
jeffreyd

@2112thDawg Dan Uggla the season before he was traded to the Braves: .287 average, 33 HR, 31 doubles, .887 OPS. Without using hindsight, please give me a reason why Wren shouldn't have traded a utility infielder for him.

BradleyBreeze
BradleyBreeze

Who's at fault?????......................BJ Upton of course..........everybody else blames him so why shouldn't I?............lol

58Supersports
58Supersports

3216 against Wren, must go.

2446 against Fredi, must go.

359  for neither to go.



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