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Blog Entry

Not an Atlanta Braves type of player

Posted on: July 14, 2010 1:05 pm
 
The Braves were sure Yunel Escobar was their shortstop for many years to come. They were so sure of it that even this spring, they were justifying the decision to include Elvis Andrus in the 2007 Mark Teixeira trade by saying that they never thought Andrus would unseat Escobar.

Now, four months later, they've traded Escobar away, for a significantly older, but steady, journeyman.

Huh?

Hang on, because in another way, this Escobar-Alex Gonzalez trade makes all the sense in the world. And not just because Gonzalez is leading Escobar in 2010 home runs, 17-0.

Sure, that's part of it, and that's what Braves general manager Frank Wren chose to emphasize in his statement announcing the trade.

"We've been looking at ways to strengthen our club offensively, and Alex Gonzalez is a proven veteran player who gives us added power," Wren said.

True enough, and the Red Sox will tell you how much last year's midseason trade for Gonzalez stabilized their infield and was a huge key in carrying them to the playoffs.

But let's be serious. To trade 27-year-old Yunel Escobar for 33-year-old Alex Gonzalez is to acknowledge that Escobar wasn't becoming the player the Braves thought he was.

More than that, it's to acknowledge that Escobar just didn't fit.

As one veteran Braves scout likes to say about some players he sees, "Not an Atlanta Braves type of player."

You know what, Yunel Escobar was not an Atlanta Braves type of player. More and more, that was showing.

There was the time earlier this season in New York, when Escobar inexplicably failed to tag up at third base on a fly ball, in effect costing the Braves a game. There was the time last week in New York, when he lazily tossed a ball to first base, throwing into the runner and nearly getting first baseman Troy Glaus first.

There were the times he was more concerned about his own errors than with whether the team was winning or losing.

He may still develop into the player the Braves thought they had. The talent is there. The Blue Jays, still trying to build for some sort of future, can afford to take that chance.

But in Atlanta, Escobar was developing more and more into a guy who was "not an Atlanta Braves type of player."

Alex Gonzalez isn't the future in Atlanta, but by all accounts he is "an Atlanta Braves type of player."

He fits in, and unlike Escobar you can be sure that he won't be giving manager Bobby Cox fits in Cox's final months in the Braves dugout.

It's strange to say, but a Braves team with Gonzalez at shortstop has a better chance of sending Cox out as a winner than a Braves team with Escobar did.

And what about next year, when Cox is gone?

Well, the Braves will have a new manager, but they don't plan to have a new philosophy. They still plan to build around "Atlanta Braves type of players."

They won't be building around Yunel Escobar.
Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:41 am
 

Not an Atlanta Braves type of player




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 11:11 pm
 

Not an Atlanta Braves type of player




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 31, 2011 1:37 am
 

Not an Atlanta Braves type of player

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 11:30 pm
 

Not an Atlanta Braves type of player




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 6:16 pm
 

Not an Atlanta Braves type of player




Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 11:32 pm
 

Not an Atlanta Braves type of player




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 6:23 pm
 

Not an Atlanta Braves type of player

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Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 10:33 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:34 pm
 

Not an Atlanta Braves type of player

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Since: Dec 7, 2007
Posted on: July 16, 2010 10:06 pm
 

Not an Atlanta Braves type of player

No matter what we think of the trade, the Braves team gave Gonzalez a standing ovation when he entered the clubhouse for the first time. I guess that gives an idera of what they as a team felt about Escobar


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