Round 2 tonight in Philly

  Philadelphia – We’re going to guess that the resounding opening-night win for the Braves on Sunday probably made the off day Monday a whole lot nicer for the Braves/MIB blog denizens, as it undoubtedly did for Bobby Cox and his team.
 But with the parachutists and World Series banner-raising and ESPN’s single-game focus out of the way, it’s time to get down to the regular grind portion of the schedule, beginning with Round … err, Game 2 tonight against the Phillies and Jair Jurrjens vs. ancient lefty Jamie Moyer, who’s literally twice J.J.’s age.
  Don’t know if most of you noticed how unusually pleasant (for Philly in early April) that the weather was on opening night, but it’s gone now. Replaced by the sort of chilly greyness we expect (hey, we like the city, but not the weather).

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But quickly, before we look ahead to tonight, let’s look back to Sunday. Specifically to a second-inning Braves home run, one of three Braves homers against Phillies starter Brett Myers.
   It wasn’t the longest homer hit Sunday. That distinction belonged to Brian McCann, who crushed a first-inning, second-deck moon shot that sailed an estimated 460 feet (or would have, if the stadium didn’t get in the way).
  And it wasn’t the most noteworthy homer of the night. That belonged to new Golden Boy Jordan Schafer, who went deep in his first major league at-bat, only the fourth player in franchise history and 99th player in big-league history to do that.
  But the most important Braves homer Sunday? It could certainly be argued that it was the one by erstwhile Golden Boy Jeff Francoeur to lead off the second inning.
  Not because it gave the Braves a 3-0 lead or because it was a milestone homer for Francoeur. But rather, because it’s so crucial to the Braves that they get increased production from the right fielder after his disappointing 2008 season, in which Francoeur hit .239 with 11 homers, 71 RBI and a .294 OBP.

 

Breaking the curse?

Breaking the curse?

  This was a good start.
  Sure, he had a promising spring, striking out only five times (three of those K’s in the last week) and hitting for a high average. But until late in the spring, he didn’t hit any balls out of the ballpark. And besides, hitting for a high average in Grapefruit League games is one thing, doing it here is another.
  So for Francoeur to turn on that inside fastball and power it to the left-field seats, a ferocious line drive that seemed like it took only a fraction fo a second to get out … well, that was big stuff for him and the Braves.
  “He’s a huge key for us,” Bobby Cox said after Sunday’s game. “We’re predominantly left-handed, and we need that [Francoeur's right-handed power] in the middle of the order, behind Mac and [Garret] Anderson. We need that badly.”
  Francoeur’s homer was on the first pitch Myers threw him. Which meant that, one pitch into his season, Francoeur had half as many homers as he hit in his last 68 games in 2008.
  Yes, that’s correct. Beginning July 11, in his last three games before the All-Star break through the end of the season, Francoeur hit .245 with two home runs, 29 RBI and a .331 slugging percentage in 257 at-bats.
  Braves fans who’ve seen him this spring surely noticed the changes in Francoeur’s approach, the shorter and simpler swing, the slightly more-open stance, the front foot planted sooner, etc.
  But Phillies fans seeing him for the first time this year are probably hoping he’ll struggle and then revert to his old ways. Against the Phillies last season, Francoeur hit .224 with just one extra-base hit (a double) and three RBI in 76 at-bats over 18 games.
  As you all know, the Braves lost 14 of 18 against the Phillies.
McCann, the folks of Philly are used to seeing him rake. He hit .356 with 10 doubles, three homers, 17 RBI and a .472 OBP against the Phils last season.
  But Francoeur, that’s a different story. And one the Braves hope will play out in 2008, against the Phillies and everyone else.
  Of course, it’s a bit early to get too excited or start making assumptions. In 2008, Francoeur hit .297 with 10 extra-base hits (three homers) and 14 RBI in the first 18 games of the season.
  Then he hit .231 with no homers in 104 at-bats over his next 26 games.
  But he also didn’t look as sound in his approach last season as he does now.
  ”He’s seeing the ball much better,” Cox said. “Last year, he just got in a funk and couldn’t get out of it. Sometimes it plays with your head. His first two years he drove in 100 [RBI] with the same swing as he started with last year. You get into funks, and in major league baseball, they’re going to exploit your weakness after they figure it out.”
  Francoeur and the Braves believe, or hope, the right fielder has made that tougher for pitchers to do. Because everyone knows how uncomfortable it became seeing Francoeur hit for much of last season, particularly in key situations.
  The same guy who was known for big hits when he first got to the majors, hit just .192 (34-for-177) with runners in scoring position in 2008, including .175 in 80 at-bats with two outs. He hit .215 in 93 at-bats in the late innings of close games.
  Oh, and who can forget that with bases loaded, Francoeur went 6-for-33 (.182) with eight strikeouts and grounded into five double plays.
  ”It’s amazing how you can have one guy in the lineup struggling, and the big situation finds him every game, if not two or three times per game,” Jones said. “I think he’s ready to atone for some of those spots where he failed last year…
  ”The bottom line is, he’s in a better spot mentally than he was last year.”
  The Braves hope so. As Cox said, they really do need his right-handed bat in the middle of the order.
  Oh, by the way: McCann’s first-inning bomb Sunday matched his homer total from his last 25 games in 2008. Doesn’t that seem hard to believe? It’s true. He hit .321 with a .374 OBP and .893 OPS in that 25-game span, with one homer and 12 RBI.

 ♣ Jurrjens vs. Old Man Moyer: As a rookie in 2008, Jurrjens went 1-2 in four starts against the Phillies despite a 3.33 ERA. The Braves scored zero runs while he was in the game in the two losses, and two runs in the no-decision.

Jurrjens was 1 in Moyer's 1997 rookie year

Jurrjens was 1 in Moyer's rookie season

  The Curacao Kid had no problems at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, going 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA in two starts, with eight hits (no homers) and two runs allowed in 15 innings.
Jurrjens tailed off a bit in his home starts in the second half last season, but not on the road. In his last nine road starts, he was 5-2 with a 2.41 ERA and eight quality starts. He had a .230 opponents’ average in those games, with one homer allowed in 59-2/3 innings.
  Don’t know if you guys saw my Jurrjens story in today’s paper (and online), but I did a stat on how he compared at a similar stage of his career with a few pitchers who became Braves icons.
  Jurrjens is 16-11 with a 3.82 ERA in 38 starts, including seven for Detroit in 2007.
In their first 38 starts, Greg Maddux was 12-19 with a 4.93 ERA, John Smoltz was 14-18 with a 3.53 ERA, and Tom Glavine was 7-19 with a 4.99 ERA.

 

  Couple others of note: Brandon Webb was 12-13 despite a sparkling 3.07 ERA in his first 38 starts, and Jake Peavy was 14-15 with a 4.61 ERA in his first 38.

  Oh, and get this: Tim Hudson was 21-4 with a 3.68 ERA in his first 38 starts for Oakland (damn). He did have a stunning 7.5 support runs per nine innings pitched, but still … 21-4.

  Yeah, whatever: That was pretty much the reaction Chipper Jones had Sunday upon learning that his 14th opening-day start was an Atlanta Braves record. Albeit not as colorful. He said, “Just means you’re a grizzled old f***er.”
  After all those opening days, the old f***er also said he doesn’t get too worked up about a single game, even if said game comes with a flyover (or parachutists) and pregame lineup introductions along the baselines.
  He told of being in the visiting clubhouse players lounge before Sunday’s game.
  ”I was sitting in there with Francoeur and Mac [McCann], and they were bouncing off the walls, sky high,” Jones said, smiling. “They said, ‘Are you nervous?’ I said, ‘Are you kidding me? I don’t have butterfly one.’
  ”Win or lose, we’re gonna come right back Tuesday and do it again. Right back to the same old grind.”
  At that point, a grizzled old f*** of a baseball writer mentioned to Jones that some veteran players and managers have said that when you don’t feel butterflies anymore before opening day or the postseason, it might be time to hang it up.

Grizzled

Grizzled

  Jones had an answer to that.
  ”I just feel prepared, that’s all,” he said. “There’s nothing out there at the end of that tunnel [from the clubhouse to the dugout and field] that I haven’t see 100 times before. It’s just another nine-inning game.”
  He had swagger the day he got to the majors, and clearly hasn’t lost any of it.

   An off day in Philly: So how does one spend a sometimes-rainy off day in downtown Philly? Maybe go to some of the greatest museums in America? Check out the Liberty Bell? Take an umbrella and stroll around the Penn campus?
  Of course not. Not when Funk-O-Mart is only a few blocks away.
   First, I had my favorite Philly lunch — the sublime roast pork sandwich (with provolone) at Tommy DiNic’s in the Reading Terminal next door to my hotel.
  

Funk-O-Mart

Funk-O-Mart

 Then, to burn off a few of the million or so calories in that belly bomb of a sandwich, I walked to a few record stores in the Center City part of downtown, beginning with a return visit to the spectacularly named Funk-O-Mart on Market St., which bills itself as “The Underground Sound of Philadelphia” with “the largest selection of vinyl on the planet.”
  Hey, I don’t know about largest on the planet, but it’s substantial, alright. I got three used LPs — first edition pressings of Funkadelic’s Uncle Jam Wants You and The Best of King Curtis, and some sort of special album that was sent out to James Brown fan club members in the 60s, with a colorful cover that includes this gaudy, raised silver-lettering graphics thing going on.
  I also headed over to the not-funky Borders, where they had a sale, 40-percent off on selected CDs and DVDs. After being so good about not spending much money on music during spring training, I broke down and brought Townes Van Zandt’s For the Sake of the Song and Radiohead’s expanded two-disc version of The Bends, plus Midlake’s Trials of Van Occupanther from a few years ago. Also got a Jerry Lee Lewis DVD of live performances from the ‘50s-‘70s, and The Clash’s Rude Boy DVD.
  Gonna have some fun playing/watching all that after I get home this weekend.

 

 ♣ Rescue Me: Saw a praise-filled review of the new season of Rescue Me, which starts tonight. DVR, tied with Ipod shuffle for greatest inventions of the past decade? Oh, and please, if you watched House last night, do us who didn’t a favor by not giving away whatever the surprise was.

  ♣ New radio team: I mentioned this deep in comments section of the last blog. So for those who missed it, I’ll mention again. The AJC’s Steve Hummer is doing a story for Sunday on the new radio broadcast team of Don Sutton and Jim Powell. If you’ve got an opinion you’d like to have in the story, about the new team and/or how you’re getting by without Skip and Pete, then e-mail it to Hummer (not me) at steve@ajc.com. Again, e-mail to Steve, not me. Thanks.

 ♣ Speaking of broadcasts … It was brought to my attention by a Braves fan in Alabama that the Braves radio network no longer includes a station in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile or Huntsville, and the one listed for Dothan is actually about 30 miles away and can barely be picked up in that city.
Is that possible? I mean, it’s one thing for TBS to stop beaming all Braves games to the entire country (and beyond). But to not even have a radio-network affiliate in Alabama’s largest cities? Wow. That’s one I don’t understand.
I’m sure someone from the stations that used to carry the Braves there can fill me in, at least off the record, as to what happened.

 ♦ Oh, and here’s some boys (and one girl) from Alabama. From their great  Southern Rock Opera album…

“LIFE IN THE FACTORY” by Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers)

Let me tell ya’ll a story
So far fetched it must be true
Bout a bunch of fatherless boys from Florida and a boy who was man enough for two.
Practiced twelve hours a day in the Hell House
In the swamps out side of town.
100 degrees without no open windows
Heat radiating off the tin.

They named their band Lynyrd Skynyrd, after the coach who kicked them out of school.
Practiced seven days a week cuz Rock’s the only thing to save them from life in the factory.

They spent years inside the Hell House
Then they opened foe The Who
90 degrees, outdoor, summer festivals
Them, boy’s wouldn’t even break a sweat.
Played each show like their lives depended on it
300 a year will take its due
They kicked The Stones ass out at Knebworth
Ask anyone who was there and they’ll tell you

They hit the road doing ninety
Leave them steel mills far behind.
Ain’t no good life at the Ford plant
Three guitars or a life of crime

Sold out shows and platinum records, New York critics and redneckers
Bunch of boy’s from Florida had them eating from their hands
They got the fame and all the glory
But folks, it’s still a sad story when legend over shadows the songs and the band.

Let me tell y’all a story that more or less is the truth
From the swamps of Northern Florida to the swamps just north of Baton Rouge.

 

1,564 comments Add your comment

sidslidkid

April 7th, 2009
12:16 pm

Man I’m ready for this game. Let’s go Jair!

hk

April 7th, 2009
12:17 pm

… final Spring Training ‘MVP’ hitting projections, factored by games played … added set of curves factored by at-bats as well ….

… Frenchy wins… most proud of him for 7 walks and only 6 strikeouts in 67 at bats, .382 OBP :) )

http://www.mindspring.com/~hk3/mvp09.htm

ellaguru

April 7th, 2009
12:24 pm

With everything else, Dave, now you’re a Funkmaster. Joshy would be proud.

That Midlake record was good, wasn’t it? Not too funky but you’re a man of many tastes.

ND

April 7th, 2009
12:32 pm

No PTV here in NC and once the sun sets the radio signal is lost so really looking forward to RESCUE ME.

sidslidkid

April 7th, 2009
12:40 pm

Speaking of Broadcasts part II… If any of you guys have an iPhone or and iPod touch you should check out the MLB At Bat app. It’s a little pricey at $10, but I think getting live home and away audio feeds of every MLB game makes up for most of the cost.

pfunkATL

April 7th, 2009
12:41 pm

DOB
Any chance of a rain/snow-out tonite…sure hope not because I am off this evening and LOVE watching JJ pitch.

Hope the opening day party went well. I got to go last year, but this year was a BIT under the weather and missed it. Hope to see some of you guys at the park this year though.

JasonInFL (Formerly ME)

April 7th, 2009
12:42 pm

I hope Jair can keep his run of pitching greatness in Philly going tonight! Get the W and ensure a series win against the defending champs…not a bad way to start the season!

buzzmeat

April 7th, 2009
12:43 pm

not a resue me fan, but tonight i will be DVRing, FRINGE and SVU

sidslidkid

April 7th, 2009
12:43 pm

Has anybody ever eaten at the Bullpen by the Ted? I’m thinking of going there before the game Friday.

PI Braves

April 7th, 2009
12:44 pm

hope braves play good tonight!

Eware

April 7th, 2009
12:44 pm

I was wondering about the Dothan Braves station. The station listed doesn’t exist in town. I might have to pull out some foil for antennas and try to find something, otherwise I’ll be missing the game tonight.

brent a.

April 7th, 2009
12:45 pm

Snow flurries outside my window, here in Atlanta.

Go Braves!

supa

April 7th, 2009
12:49 pm

Off day in Philly? I’d go to Olga’s food truck at 37th and Spruce. Best and cheapest sandwiches you’ll ever find.

OHBravesGirl

April 7th, 2009
12:49 pm

DOB, great quote from Chipper and hilarious accompanying picture. I laughed out loud, and then I realized I should stop reading blogs when I’m sitting in a silent cube environment. Oops.

Clerks III Please Kevin Smith

April 7th, 2009
12:49 pm

DOB

New Star Trek premiered yesterday in TX, if you love spoilers…Check out http://www.trekmovie.com

Fromthebellyofwickman

April 7th, 2009
12:49 pm

Hey guys longtime braves fan from the UK here, can’t wait to see JJ in action tonight. Need some advice from all y’all american folks, i’m finally getting the chance to actually see the braves play, as my dads taking me to chicago in july and we got tickets to see them play the cubs at wrigley on the 8th. – just wondering what the deal is with being an away fan at baseball grounds, as in football in the UK they are segregated etc. so just wondering if i’m gonna have to cheer a little quieter for the braves to avoid being beaten up chicago-style.
C’mon you braves!

Mark

April 7th, 2009
12:50 pm

I don’t have problems picking up the Braves radio signal in Dothan, AL…It is around 30 miles away but no problems here…Of course until the fall, and they carry HIGH SCHOOL football games on Friday nights…I mean, really, let’s get a little perspective…Problem with the rest of the state is that all they care about is football…You can’t get a local commentator to talk baseball for anything, but you bring up Nick Saban or Gene Chizik and you have rednecks calling in left and right…It’s pathetic really that that large of cities that have had such a huge Braves fanbase are no longer carrying the games if that is the case…

Mark

April 7th, 2009
12:51 pm

Eware, the station is 106.3 out of Blakely, GA…No local station actually carries them…

drake

April 7th, 2009
12:53 pm

Is anyone else’s AJC.com sports page really messed up?

Mitchell

April 7th, 2009
12:55 pm

Yea, Im still mad that i live in the state of Ga(statesboro) and cant even watch the braves game tonight.. i have to miss three games this week due to peachtree tv broadcasts…

BravesfanfromBirth

April 7th, 2009
12:55 pm

I was glad to see what this team did on opening night. They didn’t let the pressure of the Phillies hanging their WS banner affect them, and they came out smashing the ball from the get go. Schafer opened my eyes big time. The kid has a great eye for the ball, and he has speed and power to add to it. He is going to be a great player for us no doubt. Lowe proved every bit of the term “ACE” with that masterful pitching debut in a Braves uni. Hopefully JJ can follow tonight, and Vasquez can deliver tomorrow and sweep the defending WS Champions, and our division rival. GO BRAVES..

Renegator

April 7th, 2009
12:56 pm

sidslidkid:

I have eaten at the bullpen by the Ted and it was pretty good. Lots of burgers, chicken fingers, wings, etc. It’s got a sportsbar menu but the food was tasty.

DAP

April 7th, 2009
12:56 pm

from the belly youll be surrounded by cubs fans…how big are you? thats an important factor. i would recommend just being polite. the cubs fans shouldnt be too bad. they are good baseball fans, from what i know of them (very little…).

Isenberg

April 7th, 2009
12:56 pm

Why was Skip and Pete’s BBQ replaced inside the Plaza at Turner Field?

glorydays

April 7th, 2009
12:57 pm

I know he got out of the inning; but Gonzalez looked horrible to me. Yes he struck out Howard and the stats don’t look bad but it could have been a lot worse with one fly ball. His location was off, his fast ball look ordinary and his breaking ball was not sharp. Did anyone else see it this way or have I become a NY’er somehow.

BravesFanInKy

April 7th, 2009
12:57 pm

After one game don’t Braves outfielders already have nearly 10 percent of their home run total for all of last year? Seems to me it was like 22 homers? Frenchy’s shot was a real bullet, and I thought at the moment that it was the key of the three. You expect Mac to hit them — not so deep, but him them — and you hope Schaeffer hits a few. But French you require for the team to succeed. This was a good sign.

LKS

April 7th, 2009
12:58 pm

DOB…let me know what ya think about House. I didn’t know there was a surprise coming so it shocked me pretty good. Definitely not the typical house.

sidslidkid

April 7th, 2009
12:59 pm

I think we had 27 homers from our outfield last year.

TwoDown71

April 7th, 2009
1:00 pm

DOB,

Question about Frenchy’s new stance. From what I understand he worked all offseason developing the new stance with Texas hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. Is this viewed as a slight to TP or is it common to have multiple hitting coaches adjusting your swing? Can’t imagine a golfer going with multiple swing coaches.

Roman Gal

April 7th, 2009
1:00 pm

Fromthebellyofwickman You can and should cheer loudly, but it’s probably best to avoid smack-talking too much.

Evan

April 7th, 2009
1:01 pm

DOB,

Do you foresee a possible scenario if our closing candidates struggle throughout the season the Braves using Tommy Hanson in a similar role to what the Cardinals in ‘06 and Rays last year did with Wainwright and Price respectively? Obviously they wouldn’t want him in the bullpen for the future or even there that long this year, but he would scare hitters as a closer down the stretch/ in the playoffs.

Roman Gal

April 7th, 2009
1:02 pm

Oh, and don’t be surprised to get food dumped on you.

McPoyle

April 7th, 2009
1:04 pm

from the belly – if you’re going to wrigley it’s all in good fun. no one will raz you too much, for the most part Cubs’ fans are at Wrigley to have a good time, you won’t hear them booing their players like you would in Philly. They won’t pay too much attention to you, they’ll be concentrating more on their Old Styles. I’ll be there for the series in July, and I’ll be sporting the Braves hat and obnoxiously standing and applauding for the Braves. Wrigley is called the Friendly Confines for a reason.

Thank God we didn't trade Franceour, sheesh!

April 7th, 2009
1:04 pm

Ummm…Franceour made solid contact a few times sure and drove that homer…

…but he still went 1-4 and didnt hit one ball the the right of second base. He still seems to be way to pull happy. But hey, it’s only one game.

Josh B

April 7th, 2009
1:05 pm

I am just o utside of Huntsville, AL and I can’t pick up the Braves on the radio and it is going to KILL ME because I have a 45 minute drive home about an hour after the game starts, so most of the time i am not going to make it for all the games that are shown on TV.

SoWeGa Fanatic

April 7th, 2009
1:05 pm

Me 2, Mitchell. That is a crock.

TnBrian

April 7th, 2009
1:06 pm

DOB, that’s not Moyer’s rookie card by the way. That’s ‘89 Donruss, his rookie card was the ‘87, I believe. Forgive me please…I’m in an anal mood!

Sandlot

April 7th, 2009
1:08 pm

Isenberg, I was wondering the same thing. What’s up with the renaming of Skip and Pete’s?

pfunkATL

April 7th, 2009
1:08 pm

I have been in the home(s) of the opposing team many times. Cheer your AZZ off, but don’t be rude to those around you and everything will be fine…

Wouldn’t HURT to get friendly with those surrounding you before the game starts either:)

durhambrave

April 7th, 2009
1:09 pm

Josh B…At least you have a chance to watch the games in Alabama. We are in the National’s region in NC and we can’t even watch them because they are blacked out. So just be glad that you can see some of the games.

DiamondbackMac

April 7th, 2009
1:10 pm

sidslidkid I have no idea about the Bullpen’s food but their Budweisers are as good as any I’ve ever had.

Tapate50

April 7th, 2009
1:11 pm

DOB
Those 4 guys and one girl rocked with Booker T at the Variety Playhouse. Way better than the Tallahasse show with Hold Steady a few months ago.

“Sinkhole” was impressive performed live.

Any chance TBS, Sportsouth, etc..gonna carry the game tonite?

drake

April 7th, 2009
1:12 pm

They like it when you reach for fly balls at Wrigley.

David O'Brien

April 7th, 2009
1:13 pm

It’s supposed to be mid- to low-40s during game, 20 percent chance of rain. Very windy right now, but that’s supposed to improve near game time. Either way, it’s gonna be raw out there.

Jeremy Vachon

April 7th, 2009
1:13 pm

Ditto for the snow at my office window in Alpharetta… Soo excited about the season. Seems like I don’t mind the honey do stuff quite as much when the Braves are on in the background.

drake

April 7th, 2009
1:14 pm

sidslidkid

April 7th, 2009
1:14 pm

DiamondbackMac, I plan on partaking in one… or maybe six of them.

David O'Brien

April 7th, 2009
1:14 pm

Tapate50: I bet they did rock.

Game’s on Peachtree TV tonight. Sorry, pal.

You can get the TV listing each day in our ondeck box and other spots on our Braves page, by the way.

Drew

April 7th, 2009
1:14 pm

Gonna be some stinging hands in that batter’s box.

James is Red

April 7th, 2009
1:16 pm

Anyone know how many days into the season it takes Baseball-Reference to start updating stats. Still nothing new out there.

Frankie Knucles

April 7th, 2009
1:16 pm

I’m with you folks on Peachtree Network. Its b.s. how they blackout the whole Tarheel state. I’ve got DishNetwork so the MLB channel is not an option. Oh well, theres the blog I guess, and the 10 second recap on sports center.

DAP

April 7th, 2009
1:16 pm

Thank God we didn’t trade Franceour, sheesh!

what do you want him to do, poke one to the 2nd baseman just to ease your mind? they were pitching him inside all night. i personally dont care if he never goes the other way, if he makes good contact and drives the ball. but, i think jeff will get his share of single up the middle and a few linedrive singles to right.

Gil In Mechanicsville

April 7th, 2009
1:17 pm

Likely the lack of sponsorship (tough economy) is what did in the broadcast. That along with folks tuning in via the internet or XM or watching on TV has made the numbers pretty unattractive for local merchants. They can get a bigger bang for their buck advertising in home mailers. Sad but true, radio broadcast for baseball may be going the way of print newspapers and drive-in theaters…

JDH GT

April 7th, 2009
1:18 pm

Frequent reader, rare commentor here…

I live in Birmingham and was outraged by the decision to not carry a radio broadcast of the Braves. I would be willing to bet that Birmingham is one of (if not the) biggest Braves markets outside of metro Atlanta. Apparently, the local stations only care about Alabama and Auburn football. That is what you get 24/7 in Birmingham. Here is an article from a Birmingham News on the decision: http://www.al.com/sports/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/base/sports/1238919361296830.xml&coll=2

I would encourage everyone living in the Birmingham/Hoover/Tuscaloosa area to contact WJOX at http://www.joxfm.com to let them know of your displeasure.

Mike S

April 7th, 2009
1:18 pm

Hey DOB, just read this on Chipper’s Yahoo Sports page:

Mon, Apr 6

3B Chipper Jones called the first players-only meeting of his career, this before the season opener in Philadelphia. Now that the team leader’s role has become his, he wanted to make sure someone said out loud that there’s no room for mediocrity this season.

You know anything else about that? Thanks. (sorry if you mentioned it already, but didn’t see it anywhere)

beachcomber

April 7th, 2009
1:18 pm

glory days. I agree on Gonzalez.. What I saw this spring and what I saw Sunday night makes me a bit nervous.

DOB’s comments about no radio in some of Alabama’s largest markets is curious. As an ancient former radio station manager, one of the cheapest ways of filling air time is baseball (one of my stations was a Braves affiliate in the ’70’s). And most games are at night not exactly prime time on AM radio – puzzling. Go Braves!

BLowe

April 7th, 2009
1:19 pm

pretty chilly up here in PA, some snow flurries are around..

Fromthebellyofwickman

April 7th, 2009
1:19 pm

Awesome guys thanks for the feedback, can’t m’ing f’ing wait to see some live baseball, is so frustrating being a braves fan over here in the UK. Looking forward to seeing if frenchy’s turnaround and schafer’s brilliance are for real and if B-Mac is gonna be a true beast this season.

crap-wheelie

April 7th, 2009
1:21 pm

More baseball tonight. TW in Charlotte just added Peachtree TV. And the Braves look scrappy and fun this year. I’m about to plotz. Only one complaint: Why isn’t Sutton the TV color man and send Simpson or Boog to the radio? It would be great to hear Don analyze these new Braves pitchers. I don’t think there is a Braves radio affiliate here in used-to-be-banktown. If anybody knows a Charlotte station broadcasting Braves radio, please let me know.

Rick

April 7th, 2009
1:22 pm

For those not familiar with English football ( soccer to us ) , the Braves fan in UK is not talkng about getting a razzing from other fans if you root against the home team – he is talking about being beaten and seriously injured which can happen in UK . Believe it or not , mild mannered English people go crazy at football games and are considered dangerous . For years , some countries banned English football fans from entering their country to attend away games ( may still be true ).

So I would assure the Braves fan from UK that it is nothing like that here – every game has visiting fans who cheer for the visiting team . Most home fans pay no attention – at most , you get a little razzing .

Gil In Mechanicsville

April 7th, 2009
1:23 pm

Frankie Knucles…. Don’t blame Peachtree, it is major league baseball that decides who is in what market….

I am stuck with the Orioles and the Nationals…. It is why I have DirecTV and the MLB package. It was very frustrating for me when Comcast was feuding with the Nationals and MLB blacked out TBS but I could not get the Washington station either….

DiamondbackMac

April 7th, 2009
1:24 pm

sidslidkid The greatest recipe for good food I’ve ever heard was: Drink your beer first and the food will taste great.

Thank God we didn't trade Franceour, sheesh!

April 7th, 2009
1:25 pm

DAP…I just hope you are right. I think we know all too well what can become of a right-hander that refuses to do anything except pull the ball.

I guess the big test will be how he handles the lefties.

cphizzle

April 7th, 2009
1:25 pm

Josh B i live over toward Rogersville and i get the braves on 93.9 fm might wanna give that a try

David O'Brien

April 7th, 2009
1:25 pm

It’s colder right not in Atlanta than it is in Philly. it’s 40 down there, and 46 up here. BLowe — snow flurries in 46 degrees? Where?

MGL

April 7th, 2009
1:29 pm

For those of you looking for radio coverage, you might try out this link that someone posted the other day. http://www.freebaseballradio.com/Atlanta.html

lewie

April 7th, 2009
1:30 pm

you gotta like the way this team looks going into most 3 game series…not a lot of drop-off from one startng pitcher to the next

Justin

April 7th, 2009
1:30 pm

Snowed on me at lunch in Dunwoody, DOB. Granted, it was very scant but its still snow in April.

Justin

April 7th, 2009
1:32 pm

Never mind, just saw you were talking to a guy in PA.

Luke L1

April 7th, 2009
1:33 pm

Isn’t Glavine pitching today in some sort of a minor league game?

McFann :Ô:

April 7th, 2009
1:34 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief!

McCann, the folks of Philly are used to seeing him rake. He hit .356 with 10 doubles, three homers, 17 RBI and a .472 OBP against the Phils last season.

Yeah…but even still, I despised them Fillies with a serious passion last year.

McCann’s first-inning bomb Sunday matched his homer total from his last 25 games in 2008. Doesn’t that seem hard to believe?

Does seem hard to believe, but I remember it well…gyah, that was annoying! At least he had the 10 doubles and a good AVG…but that was still maddening!

Ready for some more ball! Beat them Fillies!!

Sid Bream's Mustache

April 7th, 2009
1:35 pm

fromthebellyofwickman: I’m a Braves fan living in New York, so I see them when they play the Mets. Granted, the people in Queens are probably significantly more uncouth than your average Cubs fan. Just be respectful, don’t talk trash, and make a spectacle of yourself. But do cheer for your team and try to have a great time.

Jon F.

April 7th, 2009
1:37 pm

DOB:
Good call on Midlake’s Trials of Van Occupanther. I love the song “Roscoe,” though the rest of the album is a little to mellow for me. They really captured the 70s during those sessions.

pfunkATL

April 7th, 2009
1:38 pm

I can DEAL with the cold, tho my Miami days made me rather INtolerant of them, but am DYING to see more baseball. I didn’t make it to the opening night party, but pretty sure the guys could HEAR my loud-azz even though I am downtown and they were up at the Galleria.

I am fairly sure Gonzo will be ok. The “closer” role is a BIT over-rated anyway. It’s all about attitude and throwing as hard and being as intimidating as possible for an INNING! Gonzo will get ROCKING and throwing some inside heaters and will do WELL this year.

Meat Rabbit

April 7th, 2009
1:40 pm

DOB, whats the chances of Bobby moving Shafer up in the lineup…lead-off maybe? I think he would give us more options at the top of the lineup.

cphizzle

April 7th, 2009
1:41 pm

guess i should quit my complaining of not having peachtree tv and be thankfull i do have a radio affiliate in my neck of the woods.

spread10

April 7th, 2009
1:43 pm

DOB, any word on Chipper’s pregame speech?

BLowe

April 7th, 2009
1:43 pm

south of Harrisburg, little college town called Shippensburg..girlfriend is freaking out lol…I’m in Harrisburg, about an hour and a half west of you

Knowitall

April 7th, 2009
1:44 pm

DOB,

I work off of I20 (west) and we had snow flurries here about an hour ago.

BLowe

April 7th, 2009
1:44 pm

cphizzle, I dont have either lol, but I get to watch todays game via Philadelphia broadcast, what fun

Fromthebellyofwickman

April 7th, 2009
1:46 pm

Yeah thanks again peeps, i think i would be disappointed if i didnt get a bit of razzing being a bravo in wrigley, think it will just add to it, i didnt really expect to be beaten up or anything i know the crowds are totally different in baseball games to our football games in the UK, really looking forward to it and seeing them all live in the flesh. – another question actually, seeing as its a day game do after a night game, do you reckon that starters are more likely to be rested for the night game on the 7th or the day game on the 8th?
To try and make this vaguely topical, what are people’s predictions for JJ tonight? he looked a little rough in Spring but he seems like a real intelligent pitcher so i’m banking on him not suffering from the whole sophomore slump, but i do worry that he may outhink himself rather than just pitching.

Choppinmama

April 7th, 2009
1:46 pm

Salty Dog: “I was on my way to the store when the game started. I heard McCann’s blast on the radio and had to turn around to go watch the game. Here’s looking forward to a great season and home broadcasters.”

SD, you mean you DON’T plan your whole day around gametime…………???

Bubdylan: McCann on Schafer: “He’s got every tool you could possibly want. He’s going to be the next big thing.” -DOB

You know that one perfect tear Anthony Hopkins sheds when he first sees the Elephant Man in person? That was Francoeur when McCann said that about Shafer…”

BubDylan: your powers of observation put into eloquent words is just as outstanding as that sole tear.

Claudell Washington's Broad Shoulders

April 7th, 2009
1:47 pm

Snowing a bit in Roswell

35YrBravesFan

April 7th, 2009
1:47 pm

I know it was one game, but watching the three home runs was fun. The only thing better was watching Lowe go 8 innings with 2 hit ball… The scarey point was Mike Gonzalez. But we need SOME high drama! so it was okay.

Go JJ! Knock the sox off the Phils!

GO BRAVES!!

Fromthebellyofwickman

April 7th, 2009
1:48 pm

Also, how do you reckon JJ will hold up as the season goes on after pitching as many innings as he did last year? I’m hoping that if he starts to fade towards end of year it will be just as Huddy is returning.

Bahozak

April 7th, 2009
1:49 pm

DOB – Any word on what the lineup will look like tonight? Any changes with a Lefty on the hill? Any chance Kelly voluntarily moves out of the top spot because he belongs 8th? How long does Kelly last there? One week? Two?

cphizzle

April 7th, 2009
1:49 pm

philly broadcasters??? i dont know BLowe…might want to turn down the ol tv and brush off those play by play skills and do it yourself if you cant pick up Jim and Don on radio

brvs1fan

April 7th, 2009
1:49 pm

Actually TnBrian that is an 87 Topps

TnBrian

April 7th, 2009
1:49 pm

Probably not a good idea to pitch Soriano tonight because of the cold. He’s injury prone and need to keep him healthy. JJ will probably be up to 80-90 pitched by the 6th, maybe even the 5th, so Carlyle needs to get ready for at least two innings.

Novice Ned

April 7th, 2009
1:49 pm

Yeah, just saw snow flurries over here in the near Emory University. Actually, more like slush flurries. It was so mild, I doubt that a southern child would get excited.

1eyedJack

April 7th, 2009
1:50 pm

NOT snowing in South Georgia but it feels colder that a witch’s tit.

TnBrian

April 7th, 2009
1:51 pm

brvs1fan, DOB changed it. It really was an ‘89 Donruss ten minutes ago.

elliwg6

April 7th, 2009
1:52 pm

So i’m trying to go the the saturday game. 2 for 1 college students for the upper box. but you have to buy at the ticket window when you get there, can’t order online and get the deal. anyone know the status of ticket sales for the second game? don’t wanna get up there and have none be left. they couldnt give me details when i called the office.

getnathan

April 7th, 2009
1:53 pm

Is kawakami pitching on Saturday?

Shamus Thacker

April 7th, 2009
1:54 pm

Doesn’t WGST provide online access to the broadcast via Website?

McFann :Ô:

April 7th, 2009
1:54 pm

Choppinmama SD, you mean you DON’T plan your whole day around gametime…………???

Wow…that must be awkward…

Gotta go walk the cousins’ dog. Later!

getnathan

April 7th, 2009
1:55 pm

I think Braves win tonight.

Zach

April 7th, 2009
1:55 pm

I may be asking a dumb question but I though JV was the #2 guy and JJ was #3. Am I missing something or have I been under a rock?

Claudell Washington's Broad Shoulders

April 7th, 2009
1:57 pm

Well, it could be that they are broadcasting the games in Alabama. Ya gotta remember Alabama is always 20 years behind the rest of civilization. So, them stations in Alabama may very well be broadcasting these games, but they won’t be heard in Alabama until 2029. It’s just the way Alabama be. Bear Bryant died almost thirty years ago, and they still act like he died yesterday.

Alabama ain’t as bad as Missippi though. Mississippi proudly remains 50 years behind. Them folks in Mississippi think that Mathews kid up there playing third for the Braves in Milwaukee could be a Hall of Famer someday.

DAP

April 7th, 2009
1:58 pm

rickMost home fans pay no attention – at most , you get a little razzing .

depends on where you are…i think we all knew what he meant. that why pretty much everyone said he didnt need to worry about it.

prediction for jurjens tonight? he wont be like lowe…im gonna guess 2 runs in 6 and 2/3 tonight, moyer wont get out of the 5th, the braves will score enough to win. gonzo gets his first save.

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