Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lots of Moving and Shaking...

Many athletes are getting a new change of scenery this week in both MLB and the NBA. The NL Central and NL Wild Card titles seem to be locked up now with Milwaukee getting CC Sabathia and the Cubs acquiring Rich Harden. Harden will get hurt at some point, but the Cubs have been the best in the NL before today's trade. The only way the Braves can make the post-season is if they win the East. This means the Braves are going to have to make some decisions soon after next week's All-Star Game. Rumors are that the Teixeira market is not very good - probably because most teams aren't interested in giving up a ton of prospects and then have to deal with Scott Boras demanding $22 million a year for his client his winter.

If the Braves do decide to become a seller this July, don't be surprised if Jeff Francoeur's name is mentioned. While Frank Wren is now officially the GM, Mr. Schuerholz is still lurking and after saying he felt "betrayed", Francoeur may have one foot out the door. All the guys that rubbed management the wrong way the past 15+ years were quickly dismissed: Rocker, Justice, Sheffield, Spooneybarger, Lofton, and Wickman just to name a few. Wren and company are all saying the right things now like "We love Jeff" and "We still think he has a great future" but you never know what they are really saying off the record.

The way the Braves have played on the road this season tells us they will likely have a record around 45-50 when the AS Game gets here. Lets say at 8 games out of 1st, Teixeira and Francoeur are shopped around before the deadline. Wren has said we will want a 1st baseman back in a trade for Teixeira. I think a likely trade partner for Tex would be the Dodgers. They just creeped into 1st place and already missed out on their initial target Sabathia. LA has a young 1st baseman in James Loney and if they threw in a young starting pitcher like Jon Meloan, I think the Braves would be interested. Francoeur could then be sent to a club looking to get younger so maybe Frenchy and Brent Lillbridge could net Jason Bay. Bay is the power hitting corner outfielder we thought Francoeur was and is currently .289-17-45.

How about this for a 2009 starting lineup?

Schafer CF
Escobar SS
C. Jones 3B
Bay RF
McCann C
Loney 1B
Johnson 2B
B. Jones LF
Hudson SP

Just some food for thought - we will probably end up keeping both - like Beezbo said, we can't pull those commercials...

As for the NBA shenanigans that just went down. Elton Brand pulled a Carlos Boozer and chose Philly over the Clippers, giving them a legit shot to compete in the east with a starting lineup of A.Miller, Iggy, Young, Brand, Dally. Maggette took the Warriors cap space no one wanted (and they will regret investing $50 million into him) and the Josh Smith saga took a big turn.

Now it appears the Clippers are the only team with the cap space to pursue J-Smoove. Hopefully, they won't front load a deal like Philly was trying to do in hopes we wouldn't match. I am convinced that if Smith signs a front loaded deal, say $14 million in year one, the Atlanta Spirit Group will not approve us matching the contract. They just aren't in the business of winning.

Did anyone watch Monday Night Football last night in the Neither-City-Ever-Wins-Anything-Can-We-Really-Get-Excited-About-The-Arena-Bowl match-up between Atlanta and Cleveland?

You knew the Force would choke - they play their home games in Phillips Arena.


FPSMGR said...

Arena football is the dumbest sport besides olympic speed walking.

As of right now Frenchy is 0 for 2 in tonights game and the Dodgers pitcher hasn't given up a hit going into the 4th.

When is ESPN making their stop in Atlanta to do their bit on "Title town"?

FPSMGR said...

Is beezbo Michael or David?


Jeff said...

Beezbo is David...ESPN is going to make their Title Town appearance next week and interview former professional female goalie Manon Rheaume and her part in the Atlanta Knights 1994 Turner Cup Championship. Also on the agenda is an interview with Ivory Latta who will break down the Dream's post-season chances for 2014.

Beezbo said...

In Schuerholz's book, he says when they traded for Sheffield, they knew it would be a two year deal. The Braves agreed not to attempt to re-sign him after the 2nd year if Sheff agreed not to opt out after the 1st year. In the eyes of the general public, it looked like the Braves cut ties with Sheff because of his attitude. But it really wasn't. The Braves just came out of that looking like the good guys and Sheff was the a-hole, even though both sides knew the deal. Just shows you how great a GM (and Lutheran) Schuerholz was.

Jeff said...

I think Schuerholz knew going in that 2 years is all the club could handle from a jerk like Sheff. While he wasn't a "bad guy" when he was here, it is just another example of a guy that wasn't a fit and is only welcomed here for a short time. Other examples of this: Bobby Bonilla and Raul Mondesi.

Rich said...

David is not Beezbo--David is my son. Josh Williams is Beezbo.

Who was the last Yankee pitcher to win a World Series game?

Beezbo said...

...and Christopher Dalbec is Gilbert.

I had to look it up, but it was Mussina in Game 3 of the '03 Series. I knew the year and the game, but I guessed Clemens. I thought he had the lead when they took him out and McKeon and all the Marlins gave The Cheater a standing O.

mike said...

Your blog is blowing up. Please don't ever mention Title Town again, it's just another way for ESPN to sing Boston's praises 24/7. I never thought I would miss the 'Who's more now?' segments.