Boy Wonder does it again!

The Trade:

Your Toronto Blue Jays received SS Yunel Escobar and LHP JoJo Reyes in exchange for SS Alex Gonzalez, SS Tyler Pastornicky and LHP Tim Collins.


For starters, I will send it over to our boy Jesse for his take on the deal: 

This is a challenge deal.  A challenge deal (a term created I believe by Bill James) is where teams trade players of exact same positions, pitting those players against one another.  A challenge deal is much easier to evaluate in the long run because players at the same position are directly comparable.

Some examples of other challenge deals are:
Toronto perspective:  shortstop Yunel Escobar is better than shortstop Alex Gonzalez (regardless of their stats this year) and minor league shortstop Tyler Pastornicky (playing “eh” in A-Advanced, though he’s still young); and left-hander JoJo Reyes is better than left-hander Tim Collins.

The Atlanta perspective is the exact opposite:  Gonzalez and/or Pastornicky is/are better than Escobar.  Collins is better than Reyes.  Anyway, three players are better than two.

By the way, Sal Fasano is a fan of Reyes.  Likes the way he pitches.

I neither defend nor disparage the deal right now:  Time will settle the winner and loser of this one, and probably pretty clearly, too.

I will add that Toronto’s system has a plentitude of middle infield prospects, causing Pastornicky to become expendable.  It is very likely that Lansing shortstop Ryan Goins now gets promoted to Dunedin, where I believe he will outperform Pastornicky’s production.  This moves Justin Jackson back to a full-time role at shortstop with the Lugnuts.

To hear what Jesse has to say about Tiny Tim Collins click ahead to 5:47.  I must warn you, it may pain you to do so.

More Analysis:

I, unlike Jesse, am ready to call this one right now: AA fleeced em.  I mean he should be wearing a ski mask into the office tomorrow.

First off, we got the best player in the deal.  Hands down.  No disrespect to Gonzo and the career year he is having but..... 

At this time last year Joe Polanski had Yunel Escobar rated in his top 100 baseball players, of any position in both leagues, including pitchers.  No way does a guy lose that type of ability in half a season.  It's just not possible.  Christ, he managed to get an MVP vote in 2009.

For argument sake, let's examine the offensive data.  Keep in mind his 2009 totals for AVG, OBP and Runs were good enough for top 25 in the NL.  More importantly his .373 batting average with runners in scoring position ranked third in the entire Major Leagues.  Also worth noting, he has hit .312 in the second half of the season for his career.






4 Seasons44618471622242472874291831713180199.291.368.403.771105654

162 Game Avg.162671589881713211166656572.291.368.403.771105238

If those aren't nerdy enough for you.  I suggest you take a look at Fan Graphs.

Here are all his 14 home runs from the 2009 season courtesy of Hit Tracker.  Click the link for some videos of his bombs.  Start by watching the 459 footer he hit in Arizona off John Garland.  Love the trot.

What about his defense at shortstop?

Well let's shoot it over to the guy that has been watching him since he got to the big leagues former Blue Jay manager Bobby Cox.  Here is what he had to say in February of this year before he put him in the dog house:

"Escobar, to me, is a Gold Glove winner at short," Cox added. "He's as good as it gets."

For the 2010 season he has the most assists as a shortstop in the NL to go along with a top three range factor.  

How about his contract info?

According to Cot's Baseball Contracts he has 2.121 years of Major League Service time and is arbitration eligible for 2011-2013.  At that point, he can become a free agent.  He is currently being paid $435,000, which is just above the league minimum.  He is represented by the Wasserman Media Group which is only worth noting because they are not Scott Boras.

In the interests of being thorough I must mention a few things.  He has been labeled as having an attitude.  Now I'm not going to sit here and pretend to know what that means.  I can guess he plays the game with the same fire and passion that every other Cuban I have ever seen in the big leagues but here are the facts courtesy of Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com:
  • In 2009 he was removed from a game on June 14 because of a lack of focus. 
  • On June 25, he took exception to a charged error by gesturing toward the press box and pouting in his next at-bat.
  • He was benched by his manager for disciplinary reasons.
  • He was deemed abrasively brash by opponents.
  • all while continuing a tense relationship with the Atlanta media.
"People would perceive it as being flashy, but he's always said, 'That's just me," said Braves bench coach Chino Cadahia, who's been Escobar's interpreter since he made it to the big leagues.
"It's just a lot of people don't understand his whole story. But I'm not defending him to some of the things he's done, because they've been wrong, and I've told him they've been wrong. But at the same time, if they understood where he came from, how he was able to get out [of Cuba] and the stuff he had to do to do this, sometimes you understand a little better some of his actions."
"He has to be himself most of the time," Cadahia said. "But being himself, he has to be able to control being himself, also. We definitely want him to be Yunel Escobar. But he can be Yunel Escobar and not show anybody up."

Yunel had this to say about it:

"Us Latin players are a bit aggressive, and sometimes that gives off a bad impression," Escobar said in Spanish "We play a brash game, an aggressive game, and that's what I've been demonstrating here.
"People have misinterpreted those mannerisms. But honestly, I'm not a bad kid, and I don't disrespect anybody. I respect the game."
"This is the year I'm trying to focus on [learning English], because I've already been here three years since 2007, and a lot of people have wanted to talk to me, but I couldn't talk," Escobar said. "I'm getting tired of that. I have to express myself to people because a lot of people want to get to know me, but they can't because of the language.
"Things happened last year where there were just misinterpretations that brought me problems I've never really had before."
"Every year that passes, I feel more like this is my home, and I gain a little bit more confidence," Escobar said. "Since I got here in 2007, I've felt a bit out of place. I didn't know how they were going to treat me, because it was the first time I was in a big league clubhouse."

I think now is the time I drop this on you.  Must read.

All that and he hits into a lot of double plays.  Like over 20 a year.  And you could call him a little soft.  But that is it.  Promise. 

Some More Analysis:

On centerpiece Yunel Escobar:

"It's fair to say that if Yunel Escobar was performing like he did last year, it would have been a much more difficult deal to make," GM Alex Anthopoulos said.
“If Yunel was doing what he did in the past, he’s not available to us and this trade does not present itself. This was an opportunity for us to take a chance on a very talented player."
“We control the player for three years after this,”
“We feel as though he has a chance to be a core player. Certainly he’s having a down year but, again, when you look at what he did the years prior to that, (we are) getting a very high-ceiling, talented shortstop that was arguably coming into this year as one of the better young shortstops in the game.”
"It's never a bad thing to have two great players,"
"We're just as high on Adeiny Hechavarria. We absolutely believe he's going to be an All-Star caliber shortstop. When we get a chance to add another guy like that in Yunel Escobar, we're never going to shy away from the talent."
“When you have depth at premium positions … It’s an absolutely outstanding problem to have,”
"I certainly believe Alex Gonzalez is going to continue to have a great year and help the Braves get to the playoffs, their aspirations are to win the World Series, but Yunel Escobar, long-term, is a guy we think is equally as talented ... and he certainly has greater upside."
"Where there's smoke there's fire and we weren't going to roll our eyes at that,"
"Everyone we've spoken to has said, first and foremost, this is a good kid and that was the number one factor for us. There have been run-ins, other issues, and I think it's a product maybe of the style of game he plays, maybe it didn't mesh well with the Atlanta Braves."
“Everybody that we spoke to — former teammates, coaches, minor-league staff, everybody — the response was the that this was a good kid,”
"Jose (Bautista) said he was a good kid, quiet, not a problem in the clubhouse at all. But he does play a flashy kind of game and I think being in the environment we have here for him, I think this is an opportunity for him to thrive."
"When we looked at it, we said, 'Well, we're either going to go off of three years of track record that Yunel Escobar has showed as a young man, or the three months that he's performed so far.'"
"We think there could be some mechanical things that can be addressed in his swing, and I think he may need a fresh start and a new organization and a city like Toronto that embraces Latin players,"
"There's no question his power has been lacking from what it has been in previous years,"
"The biggest concern for us was the lack of power and we really had our scouts focus on batting practice and make sure the raw power was there and we were pretty diligent about examining his health. The raw power is still there, and we think it's just a matter of making some tweaks."
"He can still drive the ball in batting practice. I think it's just a matter of making some tweaks."
"If you look at the Cuban player, they play with a lot of flare, a lot of emotion, a lot of flash,"
"But I think it can be exciting for fans. Toronto fans love watching a high energy player who brings a lot of passion and desire to the shortstop position and I think he's going to be able to thrive in this environment."
"Just talking to Cito Gaston, he said Tony Fernandez was very flashy as well and he thrived here, he was a fan favourite."
"I think Yunel coming to a city like Toronto — that a lot of Latin players seem to love and enjoy for obvious reasons — it’s a fresh start for him. It’s a new organization. Getting with people like (manager) Cito (Gaston) and (hitting coach) Dwayne Murphy, that will unlock some things.”
"We did a lot of homework and we feel like this is going to be an environment for him to really thrive."
"At the same time acquiring someone like Yunel Escobar along with Jo-Jo Reyes -- two young, talented players (was key). Going into the season, Escobar was widely regarded as one of the best young shortstops in the game. He's 27 and he's controlled (rights-wise) for three years beyond 2010 and he also has a chance to be a core player."

On JoJo Reyes:

"(The Pacific Coast League) is a tough league to pitch in and we want to try to get the best out of Jo-Jo," Anthopoulos said "He's had time in the big leagues before. He was a highly touted prospect. It's just a matter of getting him into the right environment to get some success, to get some confidence going. His stuff is certainly there."
"He hasn't had a great performance this year,"
"We have some scouts that feel pretty strongly about him and think he has a chance to bounce back and be the player he was in the past."

On Alex Gonzalez:

"The production and the results speak for themselves," Anthopoulos said. "As I told Alex, the two most professional position players that I've probably been around in my time in the game have been Scott Rolen and Alex Gonzalez.
"Just the way he carries himself and the way he conducts himself, he's a tremendous teammate and a quiet leader -- not an easy guy to part with."
"It wasn't a reflection on Alex at all. He's absolutely exceeded any expectations we had for him. He's a plus player, a plus defender. What a tremendous competitor, tremendous person and good role model for the younger players. That's what made this so complicated."

On prospects Tim Collins and Tyler Pastornicky

"Both guys are very talented," Anthopoulos said. "I give the Braves a lot of credit. I think they did a great job from a scouting standpoint. The makeup of both players is outstanding. I spoke to both of them today. They're both tremendous kids, very hard workers, outstanding baseball players and very tough, intense competitors."
"We were reluctantly willing to give up both players,"
"But it was not an easy decision to make."
“We think Tim Collins can pitch in the big leagues right now as a 20-year-old with a great arm,”
“That was the cost to doing it.”

Boy Wonder has spoken.  It should be noted he sees Escobar as a top of the order hitter.


I didn't even bother to mention the other players in the deal.  It's not because I forgot but more because this trade, to me, boils down to this:

We just traded a potential lefty bullpen stud, a potential back up infielder and a season and a half of a 33 year old Major League shortstop we got for nothing.


A potential All Star and a lefty with big league starting experience.


  1. Man, you guys went to town on this one! Great job. I checked out that SI article about Escobar, and what a story. It's got made-for-TV movie written all over it, powerful stuff.

  2. Epic. Post. I'm gonna need to read that again. Great stuff! I like the trade. Part of the future for part of the present. It's the future we're been working towards so this is just plain and simple logic.

  3. Agreed, awesome bit to chew on there. Was way better than the stuff on TSN or CBSsports. I was excited about this deal when I heard it on the radio. Trading a 33 year old infielder who is playing well above his career averages, for a 27yr old who got an mvp vote last year was a coup. Hopefully the change in scenery will make the difference.

  4. Boyz,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    I am SO excited about this deal and I'm glad it came out right.
    It has been a while since I analyzed the shit outta something Blue Jay related and to be honest with you, it felt great.
    I pulled out all the big guns in terms of references, mainly because I believe a future All Star only deserves the best!

    I do have to give a hat tip to the postless wonder jaysaremy2ndfavoriteteam for the SI story. I feel it is important for us fans to try to remember that all these kids, and they are just kids, that leave their homeland and family to play pro ball have already made huge sacrifices to do so. Cubans specifically get extra points in my eyes. That story may help explain his behavior on and off the field justa little bit.

    Well said sir. I really have nothing to add to what you are thinking. Thanks for sharing!

    I have heard a lot of idiots mention the name Alex Rios the last 24 hours. Thing is, in this scenario, we are the White Sox stealing away a great player having a bad season from an idiot GM.
    There is really no way the Braves win this trade, unless of course they take home the World Series. Win now is a bad place to be when it makes you cough up young players at premium positions.
    Remember the Brandon for Brandon trade?
    That is what we should be talking about right now and not the Rios salary dump.....

  5. Gotta jump in and play devils advocate. Life time braves fan so i will try and put this in perspective. Yunel was traaded because he was lazy, and didnt play hard all the time. The Braves are better off regardless of talent. As for Jojo, he is one of the worst ML pitchers i have ever witnessed. He pitched wellin AAA and then crashed and burned in ATL. He's done this off and on for about 3-4 years now. He will never be a valuable ML pitcher, just does not have it. In fact, he has actually regressed this year and cant even pitch well in AAA. Overall this trade is good for both organizations from the Shortstop perspective and good for the braves from a minor league depth perspective... I just cant believe they got the Jays to take Jojo in the deal. From a Braves fan point of view, any trade that got rid of Jojo, wouls be a win for Atlanta. Best of luck with Yunel, i hope he grows up and, well, enjoy the 2-3 inning, 11 run starts that you will inevitably have to tolerate for Jojo.

  6. Have fun dealing with Escobar's poor attitude and lack of hustle. If Bobby Cox gets sick of you not playing hard everyday and being an overall poor teammate than you have got a problem. And Reyes has been in the Braves minor league system for at least 4 years and the Braves have given him every chance to make it in the majors and he has disappointed every time. The Braves solved there problem by getting rid of a problem in the clubhouse and got some good players in return.

  7. Wait to you see Jojo pitch. There is absolutely no way he survives, specially in the AL east. Cox gave him like 20 opportunities, and there was no improvement at all.

    As for Escobar, the Jays got a talented guy. Last year he was the Braves MVP, and he is awesome defensively one of the best shorstop arms in baseball. But as you posted all those incidents that happen in 2009, you think well he is gonna improve on that. I got news for you, they've gotten worse. 2010 incidents:
    - April 24th, forgot how many outs there were in a deep flyball. Didn't tag up in the middle of the Braves 9 game losing streak where they had serious problems scoring runs. Then refused to speak to the media, as Bobby tried to reamain his composure.
    - June 17, charged with an error in a tough play. Started gesturing in disbelief, in the dugout both Chipper and Hudson tried to console him and get his head back in the game.
    - July 9, lost a popout that was two steps behind his shortstop position. Then in a grounder he made a poor throw to Glaus pulling him off the bag and almost getting him injured.
    - He never runs hard, all his teammates dislike him saying stuff like, "when you hit 300, that's acceptable, but not now", or when he asked a Braves player what he could give him for a birthday gift, "just play hard".

    You'll see what I'm talking about in about a month.

  8. Well said Eric, As a brave fan Jays fans never got to see what we did every night from Yunel. Dave Winfield said on BBT 'If he can't get along with Bobby cox and the guys in that clubhouse he won't anywhere else,' maybe he does maybe he doesn't. We were getting ZERO production from Yunel at short and had to make this move. We don't have time for 'last years' Yunel to show up and he's had his chance. I agree that this is a good deal for both teams and hopefully Yunel can turn it around for you guys and be a good teammate. Thanks for taking YOYO reyes off our hands and he's another guy that wouldn't listen to anybody who tried to help him..AKA John Smoltz and Tom Glavine. I guess those two just didn't have the credentials YOYO was looking for.

  9. I'm so glad Yunel was able to leave Atlanta. As a Braves fan I can tell you almost all of his mishaps have been way overblown. Braves fans act as if he was the only person on the team not running out ground balls or making errors. Every night I get to witness Chipper swinging at the first pitch and then he walks to first instead of running. Then we get to see Troy Glaus and Eric Hinske strikeout and throw or break the bat in a cussing anger. Later on in the game we get to see McCann strikeout or pop-up and cuss like a sailor and throw his helmet. For people who say he is lazy, how do you explain his range factor? Or the fact he gets to every ball? I am furious that the Braves traded him for two C prospects and a washed up SS. It's pretty tough being a Braves fan because all you hear is racial slurs about latin players who don't perform. Trust me Blue Jays fans, you are getting a great player! Braves fans just don't understand the Cuban player. Take a look at Alexi Ramirez, he has been criticized for doing the same things as Escobar. What did the White Sox do? They brought in Omar Vizquel to help tutor him and now he is a class act. This trade was simply a "retirement present" for Bobby Cox. Just look at how hateful the comments about Escobar are.

  10. Good stuff Brandon, I looked up some articles about the racist comments and they are pretty sad... How can people still say these things?

    Check some of the comments out from the Atlanta Journal Website: http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2010/07/12/braves-are-still-waiting-for-yunel-escobar-to-join-their-party/?cxntfid=blogs_jeff_schultz_blog

    They act like they aren't being racist, yet they continue to make assumptions about him without any evidence that he did any of those things.

  11. Gonna miss Escobar! The Jays got a steal in this trade no matter how Braves fan try to sway this. Gonzalez has never kept up this production and never will... AA really did a great job in this trade, and I can't wait to see Yunel tonight! With the proper leadership and a strong history with Latin players I think Yunel will flourish in Toronto.

  12. Wow, look at these comments by Braves fans! Talk about hateful, I can't believe those racist losers even have a team down there!

    From the Atlanta Journal:


  13. LMAO!! are you serious?? How can people say that the Braves and their fans are rascist against latin players? Prado? we love him. why? because he plays hard all the time. Vizquel? No issues there, why? Because he plays his heart out for us every night. Blanco? all good, no one dislikes him. So either you are saying that Braves only dislike, cuban players... or you are just throwing pointless accusations out at people to compensate for your own inadequecies. I am guessing the latter. People are way to quick to play the race card. This is simply a case of a guy that did not play hard all the time,and hurt the team chemistry being traded in the best interest of the club. It is sickening how quick people throw that out there over things that are clearly not.

  14. Braves fan here. I can understand why both sides can come away from this trade feeling good. I know nothing about the prospects Toronto gave up, I just assume the Braves feel good about it. Reyes has struggled during his numerous stints with the club. He has very good stuff, just for whatever reason, it never clicked when he got the call ups. For whatever reason, the Braves didn't get along with Yunel. Whether it was a racial issue, him being less than focused at times, or just laziness, the clubhouse and the coach didn't want him there anymore. He is extremely talented and has huge upside. I hope he is huge for you guys, because he seems like a decent kid. Gonzalez is a decent shortstop, but he will never put up the type of numbers Yunel is capable of. Short term it might work out better for the Braves, but this seems more like a move to make the clubhouse happy. Ultimately, when the dust settles, I expect that Yunel will be very good for Toronto and Reyes will turn out to be a middle rotation guy. The stats will be in Toronto's favor, but I don't think that those same stats would have been produced in Atlanta. Sometimes a guy just needs to start over somewhere else to be successful, and I think you guys got two of them that will help you.

  15. Dude the guy above mentioned Omar Vizquel as a mentor to Alexi Ramirez with the White Sox. Vizquel doesn't play for the Braves! As you suggested "Vizquel? No issues there, why? Because he plays his heart out for us every night". You take such offense to the statements yet, you didn't look over the links provided where Yunel gets slammed by racial slurs and jokes. Face it, you probably aren't racist. Lot's of Braves fans were towards Escobar. Solid kid, just needs guidance.

  16. Braves fan here... While watching Yunel play I developed a little saying "Yunel would get benched for that"... Because while he got benched for lack of hustle, we got to see Garret "Loaf" Anderson and Gimper Jones take plays off every night!!! Best of luck Esky! Maybe now you won't get benched for doing what the veteran leaders continue to do!

  17. Toronto will soon know how talented Yunel really is. No one in Atlanta can argue that Yunel is not talented. You GM AA said Yunel is a flashy player who was often misunderstood in ATL. No AA we understand what Yunel was, is and always will be he’s an arrogant horses ars with frosted tips to boot. He will soon show his ars to Toronto as well. If Yunel can’t get along with Bobby Cox who is widely known as a players manager who only expects hustle from his players in return he can’t get along with anyone. That was his biggest down fall in ATL he was lazy and he would pout if something went wrong. On multiple occasions he was charged an error and then called the official scorer between innings to complain. A player shouldn’t worry about official scores he should worry about W-L only. Good Riddance Yuni!!! Look at the bright side for years you complained about adjusting to American culture, well now you don’t have to worry about that anymore, you’re stuck in Canada now.

  18. @ brian

    So they guy can't speak English well at all yet he calls the official scorer in between innings? First off, that's a lie and secondly Bobby wouldn't allow it even if it was possible! Good job proving how hateful and racial Braves fan are (as mentioned above!).

  19. As a Rays fan (and thus with no dog in this hunt), let me add: you guys absolutely fleeced the Braves. I would call it an even proposition that Escobar is more valuable at SS over the balance of the season than Gonzalez, independent of any other considerations.

    And the only other consideration of consequence is that Y. Escobar is cost-controlled for the next three seasons, plays quality defense and has previously hit at an All-Star level. The guys the Jays gave up are inconsequential by comparison; Collins is a nice story with upside as a bullpen arm, and Pastornicky is the proverbial roster hamster.

    And that's it. A free agent, a fringe prospect, and a nobody in exchange for three cost-controlled years of a good defensive shortstop with serious hitting potential. That's preposterously great, particularly given that the Red Sox are also out there looking for a SS. Wow.

  20. This is why games aren't played on paper. Yunel is a good player, hopefully he will turn it around in Toronto. The bottom line is, he was a distraction to a team that has a legitimate shot at the World Series this year. You can take all of the funny little stats you can come up with to show that you're getting a potential superstar in Toronto, but he will never reach his potential unless he gets his head right (for Braves fans, he is Andruw Jones 2.0, only more of a head case) The Braves aren't looking at Gonzalez as a long-term replacement. He's just going to hold the fort down for Edward Salcedo, and he offers more to this club for THIS YEAR than Escobar does. The accusations of racism against Braves fans are flat-out ridiculous and ignorant. When somebody consistently refuses to hustle, that's not being "misunderstood", that's being lazy. We were also more than happy to get rid of John Rocker, Robert Fick, and Bob Wickman because they were clubhouse cancers, so you can keep you "racist" argument.

    Also, speaking as a Braves fan, we can't thank you enough for taking Blow-Jo Reyes off of our hands. Have fun with a kid who has a 5-15 career record in the majors, but was sure enough of his own abilities to refuse the advice of John Smoltz and Tom Glavine.

  21. Yunel is a talented SS with tremendous upside. Braves fans wish him success in Toronto as a fresh start under a strong manager like Cito should be good for him. He has been one of my favorite players since I saw him in Spring Training 2007.

    Unfortunately, Yunel is the NL version of Milton Bradley disease. He is soon to be 28 (or 30 in North American years), so he is not a kid. I have rarely seen a ballplayer be so completely self absorbed and sullen. He looks so unhappy.

    The Braves have a strong team that leverages everyone on the 25 man and is now 5 games up in the NL East. What has Yunel got to be unhappy about? He has had playing time, has been given every opportunity to excel and yet, he is miserable. Hope the trade makes things better, but he has a long history of being a problem child and leopards do not change their spots.

  22. Regarding the racist comments from an Atlanta blog. As you know any moron can post childish or inappropriate things on a blog.

    Yunel's issues in Atlanta were not related to any racist issues. He was a fan favorite, although quirky. I do not believe it is considered racist to expect MLB players to hustle, play smart fundamental baseball, respect the game and support your team mates.

    Yunel's many base running gaffs (and there were many), his inexpicable mental lapes in the field, his complete lack of hitting with conviction, and always presenting himself like a petulent teenager that looks like he needs a good azz kicking.

    Tell us what you think in October when the Braves go to the playoffs and Yunel is benched by Cito for not running out ground balls.

  23. Wow, way to draw conclusions about an entire fanbase because of a few internet comments. As has already been pointed out, other latin players such as Prado are fan favorites down in Atlanta.

    There are idiots in every fanbase, including Toronto's, as has been proven here.

  24. Did they really say JoJo Reyes is better then Tim Collins? Have they ever seen him pitch?! Worst pitcher ever. Im sorry Blue Jay fans do not expect anything out of him. and if he ever pitches for the mlb club...change the channel.

  25. This trade wasn't about maximizing talent, it wasn't about filling holes, or gearing up for the playoffs... it was a message that if you don't play your hardest for the Atlanta Braves, you will get shipped off.

    Atlanta Braves fans grew tired of watching him give 80%. You can read some articles and deem his attitude as "fire and passion," but after you watch him you will find it is simply lack of desire to put forth effort. Not running out ground balls is most definitely not a result of "fire and passion."

    Let me put it this way. When Alex Gonzalez walked into the Braves clubhouse yesterday, he received a standing ovation from the player. Partly because of who he is, but mostly due to the black cloud he replaced.

  26. No-one will deny this wasn't a win for the Blue Jays. You got a potential All Star and great defensive shortstop in Yunel Escobar, and Jo Jo Reyes as filler.

    However, that doesn't mean that the Braves didn't do well either. This isn't the normal case of a team making a pennant run dealing a young player who would have been valuable in the future for short term gains. Escobar was not well liked in the Atlanta clubhouse and had to be moved in the classic "addition by subtraction" move - that we got a shortstop who could help us for the stretch run was a bonus. He is still a fine player and one I loved to watch at shortstop, but the fact was he needed a change of scenery.

    I hope he sorts himself out in Toronto and I find much of the reporting of his antics since the trade in bad taste, but this is a move that helps Atlanta in their efforts to try to win a championship in Bobby Cox, Billy Wagner and Chipper Jones' final seasons. The Braves didn't get fleeced, they got exactly what they needed.

  27. Special thanks to everyone from Hotlanta for stopping by!

    You guys are in win now mode and this kid was in the way. I get it. Deep down I am actually very jealous and can only wish for meaningful baseball games involving my team after July.
    Even if I was sitting in your chair and the Jays were in first place in the standings, I would say this is a dumb trade. You just gave up on a 27 year old Gold Glover who hits around .300
    Did you ever consider sending him down to AAA if he needed a wake up call? Seriously.
    You just traded him for a much older shortstop who I cannot really say anything bad about, but then again I only got to see him for 80 odd games. Gonzo is a pro. He plays great defense and is getting a lot of extra base hits, right now anyways.
    Perhaps you should take a moment and read this:


    I respectfully submit our new guy in our park does better than your new guy in your park for the rest of this year. Straight up.

    As for YoYo or JoBlow or whatever you wanna call him, I put up a post about him. Read it. Think about it. Then relax. He is just a throw in.


    Special thanks goes to Andrew, the Rays fan, for being a neutral third party and a voice of reason on this shitshow of a comment thread.

  28. As a Braves fan, it is certainly bittersweet to see Yunel go. Toronto fans will immediately fall in love with his cannon arm which is the best I've seen since Shawon Dunston. Once the smoke clears, you will probably not like how he spaces out during games. He almost got Glaus' wrist broken with a weak throw to 1st right before the allstar break. I think that was the final straw in the clubhouse. He used to get away with crap like that but you can when you're producing. He has not this year and thus he's gone. Btw, JoJo sucks. Cut him now. You'll just be dissapointed. Hope these 20 year olds we got from you guys turn out to contribute.......RIP Yunel's promising ATL career

  29. Hey I'm a Braves fan through and through and I'll tell you right now that Yunel Escobar can play baseball. He hasnt performed the first half of this year but...i guess some players have off-halves. But i'll give you all props because he's a player. Jo Jo though?? NO. and i'm not even trying to give ya'll trouble or anything...he's awful. i've watched him pitch for two or three years. he's a liability. don't use him. ever. hope collins and pastornicky work out... peace

  30. And i promise Braves fans arent racist. Well. actually i couldn't promise that because there's always some people that you just kinda hide in the closet when the world comes and takes a peep...but it was never "oh he's Cuban". it was never that fact. it was....why in God's name did you not TAG UP FROM 3rd WITH 1 OUT TO A FLY BALL TO DEEP CENTER?? WHY WERE YOU NOT IN POSITION TO TAKE THAT GROUND BALL? WHERE IS YOUR PLATE DISCIPLINE? that sorta thing. im not a racist in the least.

  31. What is your take on sending Alex Gonzalez to Atlanta?

    I understand the trade from both ends. I understand what Alex [Anthopoulos] was trying to do in Toronto, trying to get a young shortstop, buy low and hopefully hit high. And Atlanta is trying to win. Bobby Cox’s last year, he wants to win. The question I raise is I struggle with a guy that’s playing on a first-place team and for a player’s manager like Bobby Cox that has tough time playing for him. That raises a little bit of a red flag for me.

    But Atlanta is living in a “now” mentality. I understand that, [Alex] Gonzalez is having a great year, they get to ride him. The option for him is only $2.5 million next year, which is cheap for a shortstop, and really, I like the two players Atlanta got in the trade. I think they are down-the-road prospects, but they are prospects, and the Jays didn’t get much in return in the way of prospects, so I know people are saying the Jays won this one, but I have a tendency to think Atlanta might have won the trade. But I see it from both ends, and I think it might address a need for both clubs as they continue to go forward.

  32. I'm a lifelong Braves fan and LOVED watching Yunel play, when he wanted to play. He does loaf, he does seem lazy or spaced out or whatever you want to call it. Some people want to call it racism when we call out Yunel and then watch Chipper trot to first but if anyone read the Braves board, MANY of us have called out Chipper for being lacksidasical(yeah I know I spelled it wrong) and lack of production. Someone on here called us Braves fans racist and/or ignorant but last time I checked Chipper's not from Cuba...

    My personal hope is Yunel gets to his FULL potential and carries Toronto to the Series so we can have another shot @ the title with you guys. I hope Gonzo stays hot on this career year he is having and its as good of a World Series as 92 was with us winning this time! As for who won the trade, compare it after this year when we have a DEEP playoff run and we Braves will have won In 20 years, who knows. Anyone remember the Doyle Alexander/John Smoltz trade, everyone said Detroit fleeced us with a deep playoff run Doyle helped with but 20 years later, we have a class act Hall of Famer we got to watch.

    Good luck Jays and please beat the crap out of the Yanks!!!!

  33. All Braves fans aren't racist. Come on.