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Offseason off to uninspiring start, but it could be worse

We’re not expecting any big moves, but if FW doesn’t lock up any of the young core and ship Dan Uggla elsewhere, this offseason will be an abject failure. As bad as the offseason following the ’96 season — unlikely. 

That winter started off pretty uneventful: Greg McMichael was traded for Paul Byrd, Smoltzie was re-signed and Steve Avery was let go. Then, one week before Opening Day, JS dealt Marquis Grissom, David Justice for Kenny Lofton and Alan Embree. The trade was made in part to free up salary to keep Maddux and Glavine, free agents the following year. So that part of the transaction was a success, but Lofton flopped in Atlanta and there was no attempt to re-sign him. JS would’ve been better off trading Justice and Grissom for prospects or more affordable pieces.

There’s no excusing the trade made two days later: Jermaine Dye and Jamie Walker to Kansas City for Michael Tucker and Keith Lockhart. Dye went on to his 313 homers with a .829 OPS. Tucker and Lofton were platoon players at best.

Sometimes, doing nothing ain’t so bad.

Elton John, the Lemmer, Knucksie and JS talk Bravos

My dream: Elton John teams up with a rich Atlantan (say Sara Blakely, the billionaire who founded Spanx) and buys the Bravos.

He’s no superficial fan. In this series of clips, from 2007, Elton bitches about the best-of-five division playoff, disses the DH, compares B-Mac to Johnny Bench, quizzes JS about Leo Mazzone’s departure and asks Knucksie about his nephew Lance.

He even gets JS to admit a mistake when he asks: “Why did we get rid of Jermaine Dye?”

Think of it: A baseball fan who’s loved the Braves as long as, if not longer, than most of us running the show. Bet he’d get rid of that godawful country pop shit they play between innings, too.

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The 20 worst A-Braves players: #7 Jordan Schafer

Homering in your first MLB AB has guaranteed one thing: You won’t make the Hall of Fame (hopefully Jay Hey changes that).

Jermaine Dye and Will Clark are probably the best players to accomplish the feat. They are the exceptions among a fraternity that includes Esteban Yan, Johnnie LeMaster, John Montefusco and the 14th Brave to make our list, Jordan Schafer.

Schafer looked like a future star in 2007, hitting .312 with a .887 OPS (49 doubles, 10 triples, 15 HR) in Single-A. Then he was suspended 50 games for HGH. His performance since then suggests ‘roids had much to do with his early success.

He was mediocre at Double-A Mississippi in 2008 and the Braves, with no real alternatives, named him their Opening Day CF after a solid spring.

He responded by going deep off Brett Myers. Two games later he hit a 2-run bomb off Jamie Moyer.

Schafer would homer only once more in his next 99 games as a Brave, striking out 105 times in 363 AB total. He was a disappointment defensively, as well, often letting the wall play him in CF.

An injured hand contributed to his struggles as a rookie, but good health hasn’t translated to performance. Jordan did show some flashes in 2011 and handled his trade to Houston with class. It’s been downhill ever since. The Astros gave him ample opportunity — even after he was busted on a felony pot charge last spring — and he responded with a .211 BA and .297 OBP.

When FW re-signed him earlier this winter, I couldn’t help but think of Craig Robinson, Larvell Blanks and Adrian Devine. Wasn’t once enough?

We were told not to fret, that Jordan would be the starting CF in Buford, not Atlanta. But with the LF job still open Schafer has a shot — a very long shot — at making the big league club even though he’s done little to deserve it.