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Old 06-06-2010, 09:13 PM
stevo stevo is offline
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Default Braves in first? OK ... time to eat some crow

Reporter: Furman Bisherq


There were critics, your correspondent not excluded. Even the bright spring never turned many heads. Who pays attention to who wins or who loses in March? Besides, just look at it, a third baseman doing on-the-job training at first base. Strikeout king Javier Vasquez traded to the Yankees for one of the many major league Cabreras, Melky by name. Kelly Johnson rejected and second base turned over to Martin Prado. Bullpen completely overhauled — some not by Braves choice — and we all know what kind of treachery that can bring on.
And, of course, there was the impending retirement of Bobby Cox, who leads the National League in a lot more than just umpirical relations. He said he thought it was just time to go, and if he held on to the autumn run, and it was a good one, he might change his mind.
Whoever could have seen this coming? Troy Glaus, to begin with.
Sure, he’s no golden glove around the bag. There are different plays to be made around that bag than the ol’ hot corner, but who’s checking defense? The word has just been dropped on us that Glaus is the National League Player of the month of May!
Whoopee!
A lot of us are eating crow now, present company included. Now, it’s not that Frank Wren raided K-Mart and came up with a big bargain.
Glaus was signed for $1.75-million, or thereabouts. There’s some fine print none of us were privy to. He draws a $2.5 million bonus if he’s still on the active roster after 100 days, and that’s a cinch. He gets another $2 million based on plate appearances, and at the present rate he’ll make it past 600, with 35 home runs, 100 runs batted in, a bargain at twice the price.
After Glaus, the Braves shopped around looking for some pieces that fit, Eric Hinske, for instance, a guy with a nose for October. He has had the right touch, a place on a team in each of the last three World Series. The pitching was there, as solid a cast of starters as gold bullion — Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson, Kris Medlen, a late bloomer, not to mention Kenshin Kawakami, who can do everything but get a decision. Bullpen stock always gets me cross-eyed, but this one is breezing right along with a couple of near-40s guys, Billy Wagner and Takahashi Saito.
Now, I haven’t even mentioned Jason Heyward, but he’s one who takes another step forward each day. Nothing flashy, a style that sort of flows along; but there’s more there to be closely inspected later. Just keep your eye on the vital statistics: home runs, runs batted in, moving runners forward, defense.
All those little things that make the difference at a crucial time.
But this is Glaus’ time, a guy just hanging around the free-agency market. Hadn’t really played in over a season, but for a few games in the twilight of the season past. He was recovering from arm surgery, and frankly, had fallen out of sight. Never had played more then seven games at first base. As much as anything else, he has helped restore critics’ confidence in Wren as a general manager. And there was much to be restored. Now, the Braves occupy first place in the NL East, and the game is now on. But I assure you, Bobby Cox is still retiring. But, I wouldn’t blame him if he changed his mind. Now.

Braves in first? OK ... time to eat some crow
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:15 PM
KoolPappy KoolPappy is offline
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playing pretty good no doubt...can hit it!!
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:17 PM
harvin harvin is offline
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No crow eating for me. I have them winning the NL east at 3 to 1 and winning the World Series at 20 to 1. Didnt actually see them winning the series, but I did think they got in and ill ride 20 to 1 on anyone starting the baseball playoffs.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:09 AM
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Default Braves lose on inside-the-park home run

Braves lose on inside-the-park home run

PHOENIX – Gerardo Parra hit an inside-the-park home run when Atlanta outfielders Nate McLouth and Jason Heyward collided in the eighth inning, giving the Arizona Diamondbacks a 2-1 victory over the Braves on Wednesday night.

Arizona trailed 1-0 when Parra hit a drive to right-center. The ball hit off the heel of McLouth's glove as he ran into Heyward.
McLouth spun around and fell backward, his head slamming on the ground. He stayed there face-down for several minutes before he was able to get up and walk off the field.

Heyward got up and tracked down the ball to start a relay to the plate that was too late. It was Parra's first career inside-the-park homer and the seventh in Diamondbacks history.

The Braves said McLouth had a headache and would be evaluated through the night.


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Braves lose on inside-the-park home run | The Augusta Chronicle
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:25 PM
Uncle B Uncle B is offline
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Originally Posted by stevo View Post
Braves lose on inside-the-park home run

PHOENIX – Gerardo Parra hit an inside-the-park home run when Atlanta outfielders Nate McLouth and Jason Heyward collided in the eighth inning, giving the Arizona Diamondbacks a 2-1 victory over the Braves on Wednesday night.

Arizona trailed 1-0 when Parra hit a drive to right-center. The ball hit off the heel of McLouth's glove as he ran into Heyward.
McLouth spun around and fell backward, his head slamming on the ground. He stayed there face-down for several minutes before he was able to get up and walk off the field.

Heyward got up and tracked down the ball to start a relay to the plate that was too late. It was Parra's first career inside-the-park homer and the seventh in Diamondbacks history.

The Braves said McLouth had a headache and would be evaluated through the night.



just saw the clip of that....man, that had to leave the ears ringing for awhile...
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:52 PM
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Default First-place Braves have played fewest home games in majors

First-place Braves have played fewest home games in majors

David O'Brien

MINNEAPOLIS — After they wrap up their three-game series against the Twins today, the Braves are headed to … what’s that? Home? What a concept.

Or, as Bobby Cox put it this morning: “Where we headed? I don’t know, where’s home anymore?”

That’d be Atlanta, where the Braves will get to sleep in their own beds tonight and spend a day off at home tomorrow before opening a three-game series with Tampa Bay on Tuesday, the start of a six-game homestand.

What’s made the Braves’ recent run more impressive is the fact that they’ve played on the road more than any other team in the majors, including their season-long 11-game trip that ends this afternoon.

After today they’ll have played 39 of their 64 games on the road, and after today the Braves will still be in first place regardless of the outcome of the outcome of this series finale against the Twins.

Then they’ll head home, where their .760 home winning percentage (19-6) is the best in baseball. That’s fewest home games, best home winning percentage.

Anyone can see where that’d be reason for optimism, since having the fewest home games today means the Braves have the most home games the rest of the way.

They are 14-2 in their past 16 home games and take a nine-game home winning streak into Tuesday’s game against the Rays, when Kenshin Kawakami will try again to get his first win.

By the way, I bet you all can guess who Kawakami faces on Tuesday, right? Of course it’s David Price, the lefty with the 9-2 record and 2.23 ERA.

The rest of the matchups for that series: Tommy Hanson (6-3) against righty Wade Davis (5-6, 4.91) on Wednesday, and Tim Hudson (6-2) against righty James Shields (5-5, 4.55) on Thursday.

♣ Wrapping it up today: If I eat Mexican good today, I will have had it for 12 consecutive days on this trip (I went out to L.A. the day before the road-trip opener). For the sake of continuity, I might have to do it, though it’s a little easier to find great Mexican food in L.A. and Phoenix than in Minneapolis.

As for the Braves, if they win today they’ll have a winning trip (6-5) and extend their streak of series without a loss to 11. The Braves haven’t lost a series since dropping two of three against Philly at Turner Field May 7-9.

After that, the last-place Braves trailed first-place Philly by six games. As you know, the two teams have gone in opposite directions since.

The Braves are 23-9 since that series, while the Phillies are 12-17 and have been overtaken by the Mets, who are 17-14 in that same period.

The Mets have won eight of 10 and are only 1-1/2 games behind the Braves entering Sunday’s games.

“They can’t lose,” Cox said of the Mets. “They’ve got a lot better team [than given credit for]. In New York they [media, fans] like to rip, rip, rip.”

The Braves are certainly a lot better than most of us thought in late April, when they were in a nine-game skid and the bandwagon was emptying quickly.

They’re playing now the way quite a few people predicted in the spring. Remember, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale picked them to win the World Series.

“This is the Braves’ year,” Bob said before Opening Day. “They have all of the ingredients to make this a special season, and come trade deadline, will do everything possible to make sure Bobby Cox’s final season is one that he’ll never forget.”

Well, I don’t know about winning the World Series or how much the Braves will do at the trade deadline. I do know they’re playing as well as any team in baseball, and have the feel of a special team, with players who believe in one another, pull for one another, and refuse to point fingers after a loss.

They’ve got good pitching, an excellent bullpen, the best bench they’ve had in many years, and a few hitters who tend to produce best with games on the line.

All ingredients that can turn a good team into a championship team.

Among NL teams, the Braves have the second-best average and best OBP in close-and-late situations (.273, .385). With runners in scoring position, they rank fourth in average (.277) and first in OBP (.390).

The rank fourth in bullpen ERA (3.29) and have the fifth-lowest opponents’ average in close-and-late situations (.232).

When you hit .273 to your oppoents’ .232 in the late innings of close games, you’re obviously going to win a lot of them.

One more thing: The Braves have turned it around on the road, where their futility in the early season was epic.

The Braves were 5-14 in their first 19 road games, with a .217 batting average, eight homers and a 5.02 ERA. In 19 since, they are 12-7 with a .275 average, 15 homers and a 3.11 ERA.

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First-place Braves have played fewest home games in majors | Atlanta Braves
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:05 AM
stevo stevo is offline
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Default Troy Glaus: The new Chipper Jones or a one-year wonder?

Troy Glaus: The new Chipper Jones or a one-year wonder?
8:51 am June 14, 2010, by Mark Bradley

Troy Glaus was supposed to be the one-year bridge to Freddie Freeman, but he has been much more. He leads the National League in RBIs. He has 13 homers. He’s hitting .290 for the season, which is astonishing given that he was at .194 on May 1. Over the past six weeks, he has been the dominant player on baseball’s hottest team.

And now for the bad news: His contract expires at season’s end.

I know, I know. I’m the guy who thought a one-year deal for Glaus was one year too many. (What can I say? I’m an idiot.) But now Glaus is hitting his way out of the Braves’ financial ballpark: They signed him for a base salary of $1.75 million, and at his current rate he might command 10 times that come November.

And here’s the twist: The Braves could well need Glaus even after Freeman is primed and promoted. Because the one-year bridge could also be the new Chipper Jones.

There’s no guarantee the third baseman plays beyond this season. (My latest lousy guess: It’s a tossup he retires this fall.) The Braves have no suitable replacement at the top of the farm system. Glaus is a third baseman by trade, and he’s 33. He could fortify the other side of the infield in 2011, provided he’s still here. Which he might not be.

The easy move would be for the Braves to hand Glaus a new multi-year contract this minute. Too easy, I’m afraid. He’s driving up his price with every big hit, and he’d be nuts to sign anything today. The Braves hired him because he was cheap, but he won’t be cheap if he winds up with 30 homers and 120 RBIs. He’ll be exactly the sort of free agent the Braves can no longer afford.

We can’t really call Frank Wren short-sighted — he did just make the best acquisition of the baseball offseason — but a couple of more years of Glaus would sound mighty good. And there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type.


Troy Glaus: The new Chipper Jones or a one-year wonder? | Mark Bradley
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:06 AM
stevo stevo is offline
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4-4 2 homers last game. Singlehandedly wiped my under out
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:45 PM
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Default Tim Hudson: Braves were too ‘passive’ in past seasons

Tim Hudson: Braves were too ‘passive’ in past seasons
8:32 am June 18, 2010, by Jeff Schultz

There’s something about sports teams that don’t impress you on paper but wow you on the field. It’s what made the story of the 1991 Braves so special. Well, that and just playing a meaningful game after Memorial Day seemed cool.

But for too many Octobers in the 1990s, the Braves seemed just the opposite: They impressed you on paper but not on the field. Some considered the team good but robotic, lacking passion. This year’s team is different. They are playing above their depth, certainly when you consider the “stars” who aren’t performing. We’ve all noticed it. Tim Hudson has noticed it.

In fact, the Braves’ pitcher had some remarkably candid comments late Thursday night following his win over Tampa Bay. While praising this year’s team for it’s passion and aggressiveness, he pretty much indicted Braves teams in the past few years for being “passive.”

Here’s a Q-and-A with the pitcher.

♦ Question: You’ve been able to beat a lot of great teams in this stretch. What is it that stands out?

Answer: “On paper and out there on the field, I don’t think people look at us with a lot of fear. You know, ‘Gosh, here come the bombers to town.’ But I think after we play anybody and after somebody sees us for a while, they know that we’re no pushovers. The way we pitch. We love to play defense. We don’t throw away many at-bats. We’re a tough, gritty team. To be honest with you, that really wasn’t the personality of the Braves in a few years past. Now we have a little bit of a different personality on the field. I think it shows in the games that we play and the games that we win.”

♦ Question: How did that change?

Answer: “It’s amazing. You get a few pieces in here, and all of a sudden your team can take on a different personality. Whether it be from a couple of guys coming off the bench, keeping everybody ready. Or sometimes it’s just winning. That can change your attitude a lot, realizing you can play and win these kind of dirtball games.”

♦ Question: In past years, did you realize at the time that the team wasn’t tough and gritty?

Answer: “It seemed a bit passive. It seemed a little bit passive and not a real aggressive type of baseball. You come in now and you’ve got guys who are really ticked off when they get out, really ticked off when they give up a run, really ticked off when they don’t do the little things to win. I’m not saying you have to tear down the dugout and tear down the bat rack and go nuts. But it’s nice to see somebody with a little fire up under him and not take it well.”

Some pretty revealing stuff. We’ve all speculated about this being a Braves’ problem in past seasons but it means more when a guy like Hudson says it. Do you agree with him?

Tim Hudson: Braves were too 'passive' in past seasons | Jeff Schultz
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:51 PM
stevo stevo is offline
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Default It’s time for Braves to end the Kawakami experiment

It’s time for Braves to end the Kawakami experiment
1:06 pm June 21, 2010, by Jeff Schultz

So I stood by Bobby Cox Sunday when he said he didn’t want to talk about any future decisions regarding Kenshin Kawakami, though he added, “He’ll make his next start.” Why? By default. Jair Jurrjens has at least another week of rehab left.

And then I stood by Kenshin Kawakami as he deflected no criticism (a commendable character trait of his) and said of possibly losing his starting job: “I haven’t thought about that much. But being a starter, I’m not really doing my job right now, so I’m ready for anything that is coming.”

It's time for Braves to end the Kawakami experiment | Jeff Schultz
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:25 PM
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Default Braves’ memorable first half, in their words

Braves’ memorable first half, in their words
3:27 pm July 13, 2010, by David O'Brien

ANAHEIM — They have the National League’s best record (52-36), the second-largest division lead in the majors, and six players on the NL All-Star team, if you include Jason Heyward and Billy Wagner, who are skipping the All-Star game to get healthy.

With all that success, it’s easy to forget how dreadful the Braves looked in April, when some fans were convinced their season was over and called for the Braves to have a fire sale and bring up minor league players to prepare for the future.

Seriously, think about that. It happened. GM Frank Wren was being lambasted for a while by some, and now he’s looking like a legit candidate for executive of the year.

They started out 8-14, posting a 4.24 ERA while batting .228 with 81 runs in their first 22 games. And that’s including 16 runs in an opening-day win against the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano (a result made less important after we saw Big Z’s subsequent work and eventual meltdown).

That means the Braves had scored 65 runs in a 7-14 stretch and lost nine consecutive games as of April 29.

Then they figuratively flipped a switch and became the hottest team in the league. Voila.

Beginning April 30, the Braves went 44-22 with a 3.36 ERA and .270 batting average and nearly six runs per game the rest of the way before the All-Star break, better than the Yankees (42-25) in that same period.

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Braves’ memorable first half, in their words | Atlanta Braves
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:00 PM
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Default Chipper says he's content being piece of the puzzle

By David O'Brien


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Chipper Jones recently told Braves officials he's leaning toward retiring after the season, and his performance has improved significantly since that story leaked.

He's declined to elaborate publicly on his plans beyond 2010. But in a Q&A with Braves beat writer David O'Brien, Jones was candid about coming to grips with the fact that he's more of a role player now, not the engine that drives the Braves' offense.

His hitting totals before the 2010 All-Star break (.252 with six homers, 33 RBI, a .378 on-base percentage and .393 slugging percentage) weren't much better than his career-worst stats after the 2009 break (.236 with nine homers, 30 RBIs, .361 OBP and .389 slugging).

But after hitting .228 with three homers and 22 RBIs in his first 51 games, he hit .307 with three homers and 11 RBIs in his past 21 games.

Q. Do you look forward to the "break" part of All-Star break a little more as you get older?

A. Obviously I wish I had played a little better to garner an All-Star bid, but the farther and farther you get along in your career, the more you cherish three days off.

Q. Do you feel better about things in general, given the recent improvement in your performance?

A. I'm swinging the bat OK. I stopped looking at the numbers a month ago, and I just try to concentrate every day on being one-ninth of the equation that helps us win. I'm hitting third and playing third or, right now, on the best team in the National League, record-wise. And how can you be unhappy with that?

I got my five opportunities with the bat a game to influence the game, and a couple of plays in the field. I'm just trying to do that as flawlessly as possible, and at the end of the day after a win, it's been a successful day.

I'm not worried about whether I'm hitting .220 or .250 or .270, or where the RBIs and home runs are. I'm just going to go out there and compete.

Q. Outwardly, it seems like you're genuinely content, or comfortable, with just being part of the equation, playing a lesser role than before.

A. Yeah, one piece of the puzzle. I think once you come to the realization that, you know what, you're not going to go out and hit .350, or you're not going to hit 40 homers, or you're not going to drive in 110 runs, that you do just get, like you said, content with going out and executing your at-bats as best you can, and fielding your position as best you can.

Hopefully it's good enough to contribute to winning the game. For the last couple of weeks, I've been happy with my contributions. It hasn't been two homers and five RBIs in a game, but it has been a single to get a big rally started, or good baserunning to help along an inning, or make a good play in the field to prevent some runs from scoring. Things such as that, which don't always show up in the boxscores, but they help your team win.

Q. Can being a contributor to a team that's really playing well be just as satisfying as being a bigger force on a mediocre team?

A. Yeah, it really can. Even more so. Because it doesn't matter if you're the horse [of a team] and you finish third or fourth in the division. That doesn’t matter. That gets overlooked. Yeah, it's sexy, it's got appeal. But in the long run, it doesn’t help you get to where all 25 guys want to go. And all 25 of our guys are contributing every day, and we're getting to where we want to go. That's more gratifying.

Q. You sense something special with this team?

A. Yeah, everybody's locked in. Everybody's got the same goal, day-in and day-out. First day in town [New York Mets, final series before break] it was to set the tone for the series, get that first one out of the way, don't let them build any momentum. We did that. [Saturday, second game of series] it was doing whatever we had to do to make sure we won the series. We did that. [Sunday], it's more or less, we've won the series, now let's try and step on their neck.

That's kind of been the mindset for the last 20 series, and look at the results. Even the one series where we got swept in Chicago, we played pretty good baseball. We just ran up against a hotter team. That's going to happen from time to time. But you can't fault the way we played.

When we [were back] in our division for the last two series before the break, I think all of us would have been happy treading water, if we'd have gone 3-3. But at 4-1 going into the last game, we won both of these series and gained on both of the other two leading teams in our division, you've got to be ecstatic with that.

Q. Did any one thing stand out to you as the key to the turnaround by this team after its bad start?

A. No, it was just a cumulative effort to go out and bring all three facets of the game. It started with us pitching better; we didn't pitch particularly well in April. We pitched well, starter-wise, ever since. We're able to shorten games because of our dominant bullpen, been able to make it a seven-inning game because of our strong back end of the bullpen. And after Martin [Prado] and Troy [Glaus] got hot, the rest of us kind of followed.

Chipper says he's content being piece of the puzzle *| ajc.com
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:47 PM
coloradobuff95 coloradobuff95 is offline
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braves made good deal getting ss gonzalez from toronto
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:09 PM
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Default After trade, Braves are team to beat »

After trade, Braves are team to beat »

Yunel Escobar's addition by subtraction

Buster Olney
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Once, when Yunel Escobar offered best wishes to an Atlanta teammate on his birthday, the teammate told Escobar he knew exactly what present he wanted from the shortstop: Just play hard today.


That Braves players came to view consistent effort from the 27-year-old infielder as a gift is not a great reflection on Escobar, especially given the reputation of the Atlanta clubhouse. It's an easy place to exist, to thrive, and has been for many years. Bobby Cox likes players; some managers don't. And the most prominent veterans on the team, like Chipper Jones and Tim Hudson and Billy Wagner and Brian McCann, are all reasonable and relatively laid-back, tolerant of different personalities so long as the effort is there.


And too many times the effort from Escobar was not evident, which is why the Braves decided to trade a younger shortstop with a theoretically higher ceiling for a 33-year-old shortstop.



Alex Gonzalez has struggled to stay healthy at times, and he sometimes has a hard time finding his way on base. But he is steady defensively and less apt to make the kind of mental mistakes that Escobar was guilty of time after time after time. And this year, Gonzalez is having a strong offensive season, with 17 homers and 50 RBIs. There have been many situations this year when the No. 6 or No. 7 hitters have come up with runners on base -- Escobar, in a lot of cases -- and almost no damage is done.


Gonzalez has power, and he can do some damage, but above and beyond that, nobody is going to wonder whether he cares, whether he is going to play hard; this had become the daily question about Escobar.


Right now, the Braves appear to be the team to beat in the NL East, and in Cox's last year, they have a whole bunch of guys rowing together, in sync. Escobar was not one of those guys, and the Braves had too much at stake to be left to wonder on a daily basis whether their shortstop was going to pull along with them or leave his oar unattended.


They have a new shortstop now, and Gonzalez has an incredibly affordable $2.5 million option for 2011. "Without that," said Atlanta GM Frank Wren on Wednesday, "this would not have been a deal we would have considered."


This is a great trade for the Braves, in light of what Escobar wasn't giving them and what Gonzalez should give them, and considering the talents of the two prospects they got in the deal -- left-handed pitcher Tim Collins and shortstop Tyler Pastornicky.


Update: Reader Danny, from Newton in Massachusetts, tipped us off to this video of Collins' delivery.


Collins is 5-foot-7 and was signed by former Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi, who was at an American Legion game in Worcester, Mass., scouting another pitcher when he first noticed Collins. "I heard a really good fastball in the [nearby] bullpen, and I saw Collins," Ricciardi recalled Wednesday evening. "I was like, 'That fastball is coming out of that little guy's arm?'"


Ricciardi quickly signed the pitcher for $10,000, and he has taken strides toward the big leagues this year. Collins throws a 93-94 mph fastball, but his best pitch is a knee-buckling curve, Ricciardi said -- and this is why Collins has racked up a stunning 73 strikeouts in 43 innings, with just 16 walks, in Double-A this year. "He has an unusual delivery in the way that he torques his body," Ricciardi said. "He's like a little Tim Lincecum in that regard. His stuff is filthy, like a little Billy Wagner. It wouldn't surprise me if he reaches the big leagues later this year."


This was addition by subtraction, writes Mark Bradley.


Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos acknowledges that this is a risk and a gamble, as Dave Fuller writes. Just when the fans in Toronto have come to appreciate Gonzalez, he's gone, writes Steve Simmons.


The Braves' move forces the Phillies to think about making a move, writes Phil Sheridan.


Here's why I wouldn't have made the trade if I were the Blue Jays: If Escobar couldn't find contentment in the Atlanta clubhouse, there's no reason to expect he's going to turn around his effort with any other team.


The Jays were shortchanged on this deal, writes Jeff Blair.

ESPN.com - Yunel Escobar's addition by subtraction
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:10 PM
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braves made good deal getting ss gonzalez from toronto
Seems most agree Buff.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:35 PM
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Default Will the Braves' Wren make another deal? And should he?

Will the Braves' Wren make another deal? And should he?

12:53 pm July 19, 2010, by Mark Bradley

We can assume Frank Wren will make another deal these next two weeks because that’s what Frank Wren does: He always makes another deal. In 2009 he made three major in-season trades. Last winter Wren was a hummingbird of activity: Signing Billy Wagner and Troy Glaus and Eric Hinske and Takashi Saito, trading Javier Vazquez and Rafael Soriano. In all of sports, there’s no more aggressive general manager.

Knowing this, we can speculate that Wren, who last week made a big deal involving shortstops, isn’t yet done. If the regular season ended today, the Braves would be division champs and Wren would be the 2010 executive of the year, but there are two-plus months to go (and then October). And the GM who made trade upon trade last summer when his team was scrambling to contend isn’t apt to rest with his club five games in front.

So: We expect another trade, and not for an infielder or a reliever, and the Braves’ rotation is good enough to get them to October. (And in October the rotations shrink.) That leaves the outfield, where only Jason Heyward is a given and where even Heyward is no longer a lock to be rookie of the year.

Nate McLouth should return from the disabled list this week, but before he was concussed McLouth was hitting .176 with three homers and 14 RBI’s. Melky Cabrera has spent the season convincing us he was as advertised when the Vazquez deal was made — a fourth outfielder. Hinske was terrific when the Braves reinvented themselves in May, but he hasn’t been as good since. Matt Diaz has hit like crazy since coming off the DL but remains a right-handed platoon man, and how many lefties will the Braves see?

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Will Frank Wren make another Braves' deal? SHOULD he? | Mark Bradley
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:02 PM
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Atl up 6 now over Philly who can't get their offense going.

Looking good for ya Harvin.
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:27 PM
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Braves clubhouse after Friday’s walk-off win by Marlins
12:46 am July 24, 2010, by Carroll Rogers

BRIAN MCCANN

On the passed ball:

“I don’t know how I didn’t catch that ball. The play has to be made. I don’t know. I didn’t make the play. I have no clue how it didn’t go in my glove.”

Frustrating given the multiple comebacks:

“We played a good game. It’s why it’s so frustrating, something so easy as catching a ball…it’s hard. It’s hard right now.”

On Chipper Jones’ comments that the Braves wouldn’t have been in the game if it weren’t for him:

“Means nothing. It’s the game. It’s the ninth inning, bases loaded two outs. My job is to catch the ball in that situation. I’m anxious to see the replay because I don’t know.”

CHIPPER JONES

On McCann’s feeling like he lost the game:

“We wouldn’t have been in the game, if it wasn’t for Mac. Couple guys in there in the ninth inning had some control trouble. You walk guys, you’re going to give up runs. (Wagner) has pitched great. It’s very atypical.”

On the wild offensive night:

“You wanted the last at-bat tonight,” Jones said. “That’s all you can say. It was one of those games where funny stuff happens and in those situations the team with the last at-bat gets it done. We battled hard all night, we played good, we swung the bats good, played good defense, just couldn’t get it done in the ninth.”

On coming back in the series:

“We blew one the other night and bounced back and won in decisive fashion on Sunday. You hate to keep having to bounce back like that but this is where we are. We’ll show up tomorrow and strap it up again.”

BILLY WAGNER

On regretting the leadoff walk to start the ninth

“No not really. Wes (Helm) is a dangerous hitter and if you get too giddy with him trying to make good solid pitches….3-2 fastball in just missed. That wasn’t what beat me. It was the ball to the backstop, just about everything I did was wrong. I wanted it where he could catch it.”

On whether the ankle was or is a factor:

“No, I’m fine. I’m good. (Shoot) if I did get hurt, it might be a good thing.”

On the frustration of losing after multiple comebacks:

“We played well. When you come down here, you know it’s tough. Situation like that you’ve got to make pitches. They’re scrappy. They find a way to do it, you can’t give them opportunities to do it and that’s exactly what I did.”

DEREK LOWE

On the first inning homer to Dan Uggla:

“It obviously wasn’t where you wanted it. It’s still the first inning. You figure you have a long way to go. The walks probably added up a little bit there in the sixth inning but we found a way to battle back.”

On the Marlins:

“They’ve been playing really good of late. They’ve had a lot of games like this where they’ve come back and won. They clearly are starting to get some confidence in late innings and they had a couple pinch hit big hits, one in the sixth and one in the last inning. So any time you can fight back, get yourself back into the game, it gives us confidence. But with that being said we’ll come back tomorrow like we have all year and find a way to claw back and get a victory and go from there.”

BOBBY COX

On comeback opportunities:

“We hit some balls right at them. (Hanley) Ramirez made two great plays up the middle that could have been game-winners for us but they made some plays.”

On the passed ball:

“I don’t know happened. He missed it.”

On the wild nature of the night:

“It was crazy. Derek pitched a heck of a game, had a ton of pitches for six innings but he still had his stuff.”

Braves clubhouse after Friday’s walk-off win by Marlins | Atlanta Braves
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