Opening Day!

Horray! It’s finally here.

I find it hard to believe that the Braves open the season with both Brian Jordan and Mike Remlinger on the roster. I liked both of these players five years ago, but they are no longer major league quality players. It bothers me that they made the team based on a few bright spots in spring training. I know that many fans have argued that Jurries and Devine can come up later, and Schuerholz still has money to spend, if things go wrong. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t excuse the decisions. Games lost in April count just as much as the ones in September. I think both players have the potential to do real damage to the team, and are certainly no better than they men they replace on the roster. It’s going to be a tight race this year, and I think the “opportunities” these guys receive could come back to endanger the streak.

In one sense, the Remlinger decision is defendable, because he is a lefty and Devine could use some triple-A seasoning, but couldn’t some of that money going to Remlinger ($700K) have gone to keeping Kyle Farnsworth? That’s where the mistake was made.

There is no defending the Jordan move. He was awful last year, he will be awful again this year. And please, don’t mention leadership. If Chipper, Andruw, and Smoltz can’t be leaders, then the team is in such serious trouble that Jordan isn’t going to help. Jurries is a perfect fit for this team. He’s got a fantastic bat and can play the outfield and infield corners for half the price of BJ.

But, for now, I’m going to be positive. I’m just happy to have baseball back. I’ll be rooting for the Braves hard this year, but I’m also going to keep an eye on the Orioles.

5 Responses “Opening Day!”

  1. Mac Thomason says:

    I’m a Remlinger fan, as you know, and really he had one bad year. Now, at his age that can be a sign that he’s lost it, but he was good (if fragile) for his first two years with the Cubs, and great for the Braves. I think it’s worth the risk, especially when the actual cost of Remlinger’s contract is about half that sum, since a rookie would get something close to $350K.

  2. JC says:

    Possibly, but I think he’s toast. When I see a pitcher give up that many homers in so few innings, I get worried. He was very good at keeping the ball in the yard for the Braves, but not so for the Cubs and Red Sox. Granted, those are hitter-friendly parks, but not friendly enough to explain away the difference.

    Remlinger is certainly more defendable than Jordan. I think that there is a real danger that he pitches for under a month and gets waived, which means he gets the $700K, plus the Braves have to pay a replacement’s salary on top of that. The Braves seem to have problems with this concept. Trading for Tom Martin two years ago wouldn’t have been a bad risk if he wasn’t owed $2 million, based on a DIPS miracle in a pitcher’s paradise.

  3. Chuck Oliveos says:

    In the Atlanta paper, Bobby defended Jordan by saying that he has a career .300 average against lefties. But, Bobby, the guy is 38 years old! I really don’t understand the affection so many managers conceive for guys who just can’t play anymore. Joey Girardi had to be pried away from Joe Torre’s roster, and don’t even mention Dusty Baker. Now, in Bobby’s defense, he has said that you don’t really know what kind of team you’ve got until June 1 and I suspect that, if Jordan isn’t producing by then, he may be replaced.

  4. Rain Delay says:

    Jordan for sure shouldn’t be on the roster, period.

    Jurries should have stuck, and the same with Devine. I don’t trust Reitsma to close out games.

  5. Marc says:

    Managers and coaches in all sports often feel more comfortable with veteran players. Maybe Bobby feels that he owes Jordan one last shot because otherwise he is done, whereas Jurries would have other opportunities. I think it’s a shame that Jordan–who has had a fine sports career and apparently has a successful off-field career–is hanging on at this stage and taking a spot from a younger guy trying to make his career.

    On the other hand, this might be one reason why Bobby is such a successful manager. Players will run through a wall for him because they know he will look out for them. That probably means more in the long run than game strategy or a particular roster move in April.