Red Sox fans provide Lowe some love

Derek Lowe didn’t know how he’d be received by the Red Sox fans tonight.  But as he made his way toward the bullpen to warm up, they provided a nice ovation that proved they haven’t forgotten the significant role he played during the 2004 postseason. 

While becoming the first pitcher to ever gain wins in three clinching games during the same postseason, Lowe helped the Red Sox end their 86-year drought with the 2004 World Series title.  <p>

Five years later, Lowe finally finds himself with another opportunity to pitch in front of the fans who saw him develop from a young middle reliever to a postseason hero.   This will actually be his first career start against the Red Sox. 

While Jason Varitek, David Ortiz and Tim Wakefield are the only current Red Sox remaining from that 2004 world championship team, Lowe will certainly find some familiarity with the environment.  In the 46 starts he’s made at Fenway Park dating back to the beginning of the 2002 season, he is 28-10 with a 3.20 ERA. 

(And we interupt this blog to say that the Red Sox fans once again provided a nice roar when the public address announcer said Lowe’s name while announcing starting lineups.)

Frenchy update: The Royals are watching Jeff Francoeur this weekend and there’s still obviously a chance that Dayton Moore could be prompted to make a deal for the 25-year-old outfielder. 

But to make this deal work, the Braves may need to be willing to assume the baggage and cost that Jose Guillen would bring.  Guillen is making $12 million this season and he’ll be owed and equal amount before his contract expires at the end of the 2010 season. 

Smoltz’s humor: Chipper Jones wasn’t happy when the official scorer awarded him a seventh-inning single on Friday and then later opted to charge Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell with an error 

Knowing that Jones wasn’t happy, John Smoltz approached his good friend today and attempted to further stir the pot by saying that he was the one who had called the press box to persuade the official scorer to reverse his original ruling. 

After saying, “You’ve got to be (kidding) me,”  Jones laughed with Smoltz, Francoeur and some of the other Braves who were in on the joke.       

63 Comments

Lowe is pitching pretty damned well but I don’t know if he’ll make it to the 7th with his pitch count… a shame, as they are both on fire. I’m going to wait to post this until this half inning ends… only one out… And damnit, of course as I say that they score a run.

Does Francoeur have a desire to stay with the Braves? If so, would he quit this weekend in order to avoid a trade? Has he ever said anything about the trader rumors?

Jose Guillen? I can’t imagine the positive vibe having him and GA in the outfield would bring the Braves. What a good idea. Let’s get Milton Bradley and Mel Hall while we’re at it.
I know trading Jeff is like selling an AMC Gremlin, but Guillen is a time bomb just waiting to go off on a team like Atlanta. Kenny Lofton would be elected mayor of Atlanta compared to Guillen, unless of course Guillen is a lot calmer these days since he is off the juice. Yikes. I hope that is a rumor that doesn’t come to pass. Guillen is a better player, but there will be less wins at the end of the year with him than with Jeff. If they want to blow up the current roster, that would be the way to guarantee it happens, from within.

Guillen is the baseball equivalent of Star-berry, with Dennis Rodman’s good sense. He is destined to be the best player on the worst team. Good teams wouldn’t even consider him. I guess we see the level of desperation that has developed in Atlanta.

Why would the Braves make that deal? I would rather just give Francoeur to the Royals.

Trading Frenchy for that no good Guillen and is high salary would be the biggest mistake Wren could ever make !

For God sake trade Frenchy , but not for that loser !

And for a minute, I thought we had a chance to win this one. Ah well. Good luck, Bennett.

At least call Mike Scioscia and find out what really happened in LA.

How about trading Kelly Johnson and Frenchy to KC for a bag of balls and a couple of bats and they can keep Guillen.

Mark, given the philosophical differences between Dayton and Frank, why do you think Frank would buy anything positive Dayton had to say about his $12 million albatross? Is he to the point where he has to say “please” now as well? Ugggh.

How did such a crappy rumor even start? Wren wont do it.

At least we hope not…

Or….keep Frenchy , just demote him and bring up Jones.

The Braves aren’t necessarily interested in Guillen. I’m just saying the Royals still have enough interest in Francoeur to send a scout here this weekend. And it’s no secret that they would love to dump Guillen’s salary. The most newsworthy element is the fact that the Royals are obviously still at least contemplating the possibility of trading for Frenchy.

2009 Games Shutout

Marlins- 1
Mets- 1
Nationals-1
Phillies-0
Braves – 7

Draw your own conclusion. We have a real problem.

Only problem is Brandon is the Amish version of his old self. Late June and no homers on the year. No speed and no power, he’ll fit right in.

Well I guess I won’t complain that that rumor is worse than the loss. The loss is worse. Damn frustrating.

I am right there with you on KC wanting to trade Guillen and hand his salary off to some schmo. The Falcons tried to trade Mike Vick, too.

What would it take to acquire John Mayberry?

Phillies and Mets are in division and thus off limits. Nothing would make them trade him to Atlanta. Well, Hanson and Lowe maybe.

I hope this rumor was wishful thinking by the Royals dept. Guillen is expense old slow and sorry with no hopes of getting any better. At least Francouer is just sorry.

An was it just last week the the marlins turned down 4th outfielder Ross for Francouer. If this is what the trade market has become for Francouer just take him off and DFA after the season. Its just an embarassment to the franchise.

If we think we are still in the hunt, I think that management’s move for the Braves would be to target Derosa. He is having a good season, hits for power and could take over Frenchy’s duties in right. Granted he is in a final year of a 5.5 MM contact, but I think Cleveland would chip in to unload him at this point. They are clearly in a spiral and not going anywhere fast. What we would have to give up at this stage remains to be seen. I think sending Francoeur is a mistake, but their seems to be a lot of animosity between him and the Braves management and He would really jump at the chance to extend his value before he becomes FA. He may also welcome a chance to try his skills anew against AL pitchers who haven’t seen hime before.

All this being said I am not sure that simple fixes are going to work for this team right now. We clearly need to do something to jump start this offense. Whether a simple player trade accomplishes that is unlikely in my opinion. What i want to know is where is John S? He had so many positive effects on the Braves in Mid-season over the years. A little bit of his magic is sorely needed. Sometimes being President is a lonely job, but sometimes you just have to realize that the buck stops there.

I’m going to go back to what I said in April, Francoeur and Jo Jo for David DeJesus.

No way we can trade Francoeur straight up for anyone right now. He needs to go but we can’t take on a problem like Guillen, we’ve already got enough problems.

I’ve been going to spring training since 1966. Jeff Francouer is the most friendly player the Braves have ever had. I have supported the Braves Team since coming to Atlanta. Why don’t you trade Jeff to another team I will be glad to go to the team he goes to. If this happens, no more Braves for me, and I think there will be all alot of other fans that feel the same way.

I have been going to spring training since 1966. Jeff Francouer is the most friendly player the Braves have ever had. He has the best arm of any right fielder in baseball.
I have supported the Braves since they moved to Atlanta. But if Francouer leaves Atlanta, so will I.

Jttaylor,
So you’d rather have a black hole of outs in your line-up just because he’s a nice guy and has a good arm? Dude, face facts, he can’t hit and he sucks. You are part of the problem. We are losing games because of Francoeur but the front office is scared of upsetting fans like you by moving him. Real fans want their team to win.

Please stop pandering for Mark DeRosa. He is not a great outfielder and we have muliple utility men. There is no garantee that his power will be te same at turner field. And next yr he will be a free agent. And we’ll have trade more prospects to get him. Bad move. The braves need a soulution not another band-aid.

Nobody has ever disputed that JF is a nice guy and a good teemate. The fact is he is a 250 (at best) corner outfielder with no power and no speed. Additionally, he does not have good plate discipline and really struggles in the clutch. Last night it happenned again. Just when the Braves were mounting a comeback, JF with a double play. He needs a fresh start. I don’t think Gullen is the answer though. They can’t handle that contract.

well i’ve always been one that believes in giving credit where credit is due, and the performance that josh beckett put on last night was stellar, even if it was against us and our drastcially struggling offense. As for the trade talks about; obviously the organization needs to do something if they want to win this season, but i would turn the focus to a real bum ( kelly Johnson ). He is below average on defense and is def. one the top 2 worst offensive players in the lineup! Omar Infante ( once he is off the DL ) and Marting Prado and more then proved they are worthy of that position and i think i can speak for all by saying bye bye KJ! As for this ridiculous chatter about the royals being interested in Frenchy; i know he is killing the lineup offensively but if you look at guillens numbers he only has a .250 average w/ 30 RBI’s, how is that bettering us at all. i ‘ve heard some pretty dumb things in my life but that has to be the dumbest thing EVER! Frank Wren earned my respect early this month when we accquired Nate, but if he wants to walk in the shoes of John Schurholtz then he better get cracking on finding suitable deals to keep this years team contenders! Finally i think you all will agree with me when i say its time we support JJ; it kills me to see all his hard work not be rewarded lets focus on backing him up today and taking 2 of 3 from the best team in baseball…LETS GO BRAVES!!!!

How about this , Kelly Johnson and Frenchy for Cody Ross or Hermidia and put Infante at second when he comes back.

Just a thought.

I lost a lot of respect for Chipper Jones. I wonder what his batting average has been since he made those comments about how he and Brian MAC are the only two hitters on the Braves team. When Chipper can’t say “we” when the team is struggling, he is not a good leader. He should have included himself in the struggles. Now he is included in the batting struggles.

Leaders also are able to tell it how it is. And, guess what? Chipper was spot on. He’s been in a slump, and just like he said, when he slumps, the team usually does to. And Friday’s 8 run episode shouldn’t really count, because every team in America has been able to light up Dice-K this year.

Some odds and ends before I get started today…Francoeur and Kelly Johnson are both out of today’s lineup, which includes Blanco (RF) and Prado (2B)…Chris Burke, who hit the game-ending solo homer for the Astros in Game 4 of the NLDS, signed a Minor League contract w/ the Braves last week and he’s currently playing with Triple-A Gwinnett…With his strained right oblique healed, Jason Heyward returned to Myrtle Beach’s lineup on Wednesday.

Why is Blanco in? I understand Prado. But I don’t understand Blanco. He’s 0 for the year. He’s fast.. but… And I know, I know. Francoeur isn’t doing great. Whatever, though. Good luck to them today, I really want a series win here.

Interesting, Burke is in Gwinnett, a major league SS, and Kelly and Frenchy are sitting.
Hmmmm….
Will the Braves Father’s Day grilling include some KC Masterpiece?

Does GA even consider throwing somebody out…..EVER?

That’s 2 runs that scored uncontested on plays GA could have made. He absolutely sucks. Go get a big bat if we aren’t going to get any defense anyway.

Once again I’m realizing how poor Chipper is as a leader. Missed a huge opportunity. He complained about a pitch that was a strike (which he thought was a ball). He didn’t take charge on a fly ball that no one caught. He got kicked out of a game where they would need his “usually good” bat.

biggya, three things:
1) That was indeed a strike in the 1st inning, but what major leaguer has never disagreed with a ball/strike call?
2) A shortstop is supposed to take charge in the infield, much as the centerfielder is the captain of the outfield. Even though Chipper’s the elder statesman of the team, it’s Escobar’s responsibility to direct traffic there.
3) I’d have been heated too if an umpire’s inconsistent call cost us a lead, especially if the call went the other way against me earlier in the game.

On an unrelated note, Garret Anderson really seems to love hitting in AL parks… hmmm…

Keep Frenchy and get him a little support in the front office, maybe send him down for a while to get stuff figured. Trade kelly johnson for mark derosa to fill in right and put prado in at second. Derosa is a baller and a team guy not afraid to get dirty and he gives bobby a ton of options. Frenchy will either get it figured out and get back in the mix or gain some trade value rather than them jump to a quick decision and make a bad trade. Last but not least Scherholz back to gm and ted turner back as owner. No use in making a desperate decision with frenchy when we all know what he can really do, needs some time in the minors to get his confidence back. They could probably use a little more support and a few less critics. Go Braves.

You couldn’t trade kelly Johnson for anyone, wait except for Jeff Francouer. OOPS we already have 2 of the worst hitters in baseball.

You can’t just make Ted Turner the owner again. He has to buy the team… and in order for that to happen, Liberty Media has to put the team up for sale.

PWHjort

nice article on Kelly Johnson but he still is a player who should have seen his last at bat in a Brave uniform.

papi I’ll dumb it down next time so its easier to understand.

My point, vjace, is that you ask a bit much.

papi sorry man just miss the good old days, potential is there just needs some work to make it gel if you know what i mean

I think Jeff should stay. I’m a big fan of defense and Jeff is a great right fielder. His arm is among tops in the majors.
Let him bat 8th. We’ll have Jason Heyward up next year to give us the bat in left.
The other way of looking at it is trading Francoeur, and we can put Schafer in left when he gets his head back and Heyward can have his right field spot.
Our outfield would be sick! Left to right: Schafer, McLouth, Heyward!
I wonder if we could trade Frenchy and Kelly and some other minor leaguer for Brian Roberts. Roberts is getting older, and the O’s suck, so they might be willing to give him up for some young talent. Who knows? But Roberts would be amazing at second!
He’d be a great leadoff hitter!
Roberts 1st
Mclouth 2nd
Chipper 3rd
B-Mac or Escobar 4th and 5th (any order determining the opposing starter-I like Yunel lower in the order)
Kotchman 6th
Whoever our LF is 7th
Francoeur 8th

What do ya think?

I think if we were to have traded for B. Roberts it should have done it before he signed that extension with an home town discount.

I really wanted to trade for him this offseason but now I don’t see it happening at least not without having Heyward/freeman or Medlen in the deal. Also the O’s have not shown any indication that they need to dump salary and they believe that they can contend in the next couple of years.

Watching the Cubs and Braves…. The Braves fans better start buying tickets to the Red Sox and Yankees series or when I watch I’ll think I’m in those cities instead of Atlanta. There’s more excitement from the Cub’s fans than the Braves fans. What’s wrong with the fans in Atlanta? Don’t they like the competiveness of professional baseball? You would have more fun and release your tension by cheering and motivating the players.

Wisbrave

I would be tempted to trade Medlen for Roberts. He is that good.

Got new post up.
http://darion.mlblogs.com/

Got new post up.
http://darion.mlblogs.com/

No beef, vjace. Mainly ’cause you actually proposed keeping Frenchy, lol. I miss Turner’s Braves too, especially because those teams stayed together more easily so that they could develop that chemistry together.

As I look at the allstar voting,I find it interesting that the leaders at shortstop aren’t exactly having good years.I was wondering why the Braves aren’t touting Escabor?Could it be because he’s not liked or can it be financial concerns?I’ve wondered why he was not offered a deal like Frenchie and Mac were offered after one year?When I look at what Escabor is making compared to KJ,Frenchie,and Diaz,i’m appalled.This man has produced from day one and the only young Brave that has done better is Mac.Something is wrong when the Braves pick and chose who they promote for honors and pay at a early rate.Oh yeah,how much money does Prado lose by being a utility player compared to KJ being a starter?Just asking

The conversation for Brian Roberts starts with Jason Heyward. No less. He’s an all-star and he just signed a long-term deal. The O’s are at the end of a long rebuilding process and they’re not inclined to trade Roberts. Especially fo scrubs like Francoeur. Medlen isn’t even close to enough. Like I said, the conversation would start with Heyward. Which Wren would never do.

And Atl_brave, when Schafer returns he’ll play center with McLouth switching to a corner. Schafer is leaps and bounds ahead of McLouth defensively.

I respectfully diasagree that the O’s would have to have Heyward in a package for Brian Roberts. The O’s have a stocked outfield and hinted that they are looking for pitching depth. That in addition to have the financial flexibity of not have Roberts contract on the books. A package of promising pitching prospects might, just might get the O’s to listen.

He O’s are loaded with nearly MLB ready pitching prospects.

I did not realize that Yunel Escobar was in the movie, “The Goonies”. Great job Yunnie~

http://a0.vox.com/6a00b8ea0715a11bc000c2251c9c90549d-pi

Inappropriate, Costas. What a fan. That’s disgusting. Pick on him for his mental failures or something he has DONE wrong… not something like that.

hi bowman

do you know lowe derek…

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