Thinking with Chipper in the box

   MiamiOK, first off, a disclaimer. Chipper Jones is not in the lineup today against the Marlins. Bobby Cox is giving him the day off because it’s a day game after a night game, and he wanted to give his 37-year-old a little rest.

 

   “I didn’t even ask him,” Cox said. Just did it. And it’s nice for Cox that he had a choice and not because something is ailing Jones.

   But here’s the thing, I talked to Chipper for a good while yesterday about facing K-Rod, and I want to blog about it. So can we suspend belief and let me blog on something that’s not pertinent to the next two hours? (He might be pertinent in three hours though, I can see him pinch hitting.)

   Great, thanks.

   One of my greatest curiosities when it comes to baseball is wanting to know what goes on inside a hitter’s head, or a pitcher’s head, during the course of an at-bat. What are they saying to themselves? What would they say to each other, if we could have a little trash talk in baseball?

   It’s one of a gazillion things I loved about Bull Durham. “Bring me the heat,” Crash Davis says to himself, in the batter’s box. “Bring it, Meat.”

   Well, Chipper let me in his head for his ninth inning at-bat Tuesday night against the Mets’ new closer Francisco Rodriguez. Chipper lined out to right with runners first and third to end the game, a one-run loss.

   Not to bring up a sore subject there, but want to know what one of the smartest hitters in the game was thinking pitch by pitch in his first at-bat ever against one of the best closers in the game? Cool.

   “First pitch fastball, game on the line, for a ball,” Jones said.

   It’s 1-0.

   “So I’m thinking he’s probably not going to come back with that,” Jones said. “He’s probably going to throw me something offspeed. He throws me a slider backdoor for a strike.”

   It’s 1-1.

   “I’ve seen K-Rod pitch enough where I know at some point I’m going to see a changeup,” Jones said. “I saw a changeup third pitch. Spit on it for a ball.”

   It’s 2-1 and that’s a new term for me. Spitting on it means taking it like – like spitting on the ball and saying “Get that junk out of here, I’m not swinging.” OK, my take anyway.

   “So now I’m thinking I know he’s not going to throw me a heater,” Jones said. “And I just spit on his out pitch, what’s he going to come back with? He’s going to come back with a slider. And I was right.”

   He lined out to right fielder Ryan Church.

   And I had him go back over it again, cause I’m slow and it took me a minute to process everything. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing, because he broke it down even more.

   Back to the 1-1 pitch:

   “I don’t think he’s going to challenge me,” Jones said. “With the game on the line guy on third base, knowing I’m a fastball hitter. He saw me hit a home run off JJ Putz the night before, right? So I sit on the changeup. I get it, it’s a ball. So now it’s 2-1, I’m thinking, what’s the only pitch he’s thrown for a strike? The slider. I’ve never faced him before, but I got the slider. I just got a little out in front of it. My thinking was right. My execution was right. It just didn’t fall for me.”

   By the way, with Chipper’s double in the first inning on Tuesday night, Jones reached 900 extra base hits for his career. He ranks third in Braves franchise history in that category behind Hank Aaron (1,429) and Eddie Mathews (901). Elite.

 

SCHAFER STAYS IN:

   You knew Bobby wasn’t going to sit Jordan Schafer, but after his four strikeouts on Wednesday night, this would have been the day. Instead, Schafer is going back out to battle his way out of this stretc, which has seen him struck out 14 times in his last five games. He’s hitting .100 (2-for-20) in that time.

   Cox’s take? “As long as he keeps catching everything, fine with me. He’ll get better.”

   And he will, based if nothing else on the law of averages. And the work he’s doing and what he’s capable of. And his mindset seems to be OK while going through this.

   “I have 100 percent confidence I’ll figure it out,” Schafer said Thursday morning. “There’s something in my swing right now that’s not right. But once I get it, I’ll be fine. It’s just something I’m going to need to figure out.

   And no, at no time in our conversation did he blame the wrist. I think that might be a factor but not enough of one to get him to this point. He got three hits the day after he first hurt it.

   Schafer and Chipper spent time hitting in the cage Tuesday and watching video on Wednesday. He’s thinking about making level contact, about shooting the ball to left center, and about keeping his head still. Problem is he’s just got a lot to think about.

   “They can throw the ball right down the middle right now, and I’ll swing underneath it,” Schafer said. “There’s something there I’m a little off on, I keep missing under the ball, or I keep fouling the ball off. There’s something there that’s not right.”

   Through it all, though, Schafer says he doesn’t doubt himself.

   “It’s aggravating as hell but it’s just something I’m going to have to work through and I’ll be fine,” he said. “You’re going to have ups and downs. My first month, I’ve have some good ups and some bad downs.”

 

LINEUP

 

1.   Omar Infante 3B

2.   Yunel Escobar SS

3.   Garret Anderson LF

4.   Casey Kotchman 1B

5.   Jeff Francoeur RF

6.   Kelly Johnson 2B

7.   David Ross C

8.   Jordan Schafer CF

9.   Jair Jurrjens P

 

McCANN WATCH

   Brian McCann is scheduled to catch for the Gwinnett Braves tonight to test out his new prescription Oakley glasses in a game. We’ll have Chris Vivlamore at that game reporting on how he does. Stay tuned.

 

And one last thing:

   If I’m a little cross today, here’s why…It’s some kind of kids day today at the ballpark with the 12:10 p.m. start. There will be 8,000 screaming school kids here today. In fact, they were screaming an hour before the ballgame. So keep it down on the comments – ha- because chances are pretty good I’ll have a headache! And by the way, it’s Carroll,  if you’re still reading and haven’t figured it out already.

 

1,055 comments Add your comment

Eware

May 7th, 2009
12:09 pm

Wouldn’t this have to be Manny’s 2nd or 3rd failed test for the MLB to report it. Doesn’t the Players Union have something to do with that.

If I’m wrong here, someone let me know.

Manny's Engorged Head

May 7th, 2009
12:10 pm

cabravesfan

May 7th, 2009
12:16 pm

I find it totally fascinating to read the way Chipper breaks down his at bats. There is a guy I would love to sit down with, maybe a couple of beers, and just listen to him talk about hitting…

And I am seriously trying not to laugh at Manny testing positive…maybe because I just can’t stand the dodgers but…

P Town-

re: the Lakers- it’s a 7 game series my friend, anything can happen :)

dogsbrekky

May 7th, 2009
12:17 pm

Sad day again for our game – re Manny, whatever the truth may be

Go JJ

Gummy Bears...Bouncing here and there and everywhere....THEY ARE THE GUMMY BEARS!!!!

May 7th, 2009
12:18 pm

DOB being DOB?

dogsbrekky

May 7th, 2009
12:18 pm

DOB – thanks for the Chipper “getting in his head” viewpoint

Very interesting

bigchiefrg

May 7th, 2009
12:18 pm

I am listening on the radio and those kids are awefully annoying, I feel for you Carol.

I love Cox’s take on the kid. ‘As long as he keeps catching everything, fine with me’. Classic bobby. But he is correct, he will break out. Glad we are just sticking with him (although what choice do we have).

Renegator

May 7th, 2009
12:19 pm

Guys: Can you not read?

Its Carroll – not DOB.

MGL

May 7th, 2009
12:19 pm

Hurricane Corky

May 7th, 2009
12:20 pm

Eware… CBA says:

First positive test result: a 50-game suspension;
Second positive test result: a 100-game suspension; and
Third positive test result: permanent suspension from Major League and Minor League Baseball

KC

May 7th, 2009
12:20 pm

I know it’s a day game after a night game and all that, but I think Chipper’s day off should’ve waited until Saturday… after McCann’s back in the lineup (but not vs. Hamels).

PWHjort

May 7th, 2009
12:20 pm

Thank you Carrol. I liked the part about Chipper’s AB against K-Rod a lot.

KC

May 7th, 2009
12:21 pm

I don’t know if Schafer’s wrist is bothering him enough for stint on DL or not. But if his wrist is ok, it may be close to Gwinnett time… cuz he has looked really, really bad lately. Completely overmatched by big league pitching of late. Seems like he’s better than that. I’d like to think it’s the wrist.

RHR

May 7th, 2009
12:23 pm

I LOVE today’s blog, Carroll. Very good stuff, thanks for getting that for us. Oh and thanks for explaining ’spit on it’ because I didn’t get that either. Also looking forward to seeing him pass one of his idols on the all time Braves extra base hits in the next week or so.

Daybed Wagmoe

May 7th, 2009
12:24 pm

8,000 screaming school kids? I bet that outnumbers the adults in the stadium.

K-Rod

May 7th, 2009
12:24 pm

You know what I was thinking? When does that Schafer kid come up again?

fat people sink faster

May 7th, 2009
12:24 pm

KJ cant get into the game and JS wont be taken out

odd i tell ya

Carroll Rogers

May 7th, 2009
12:25 pm

Somebody just told me Manny just cost himself $7 million in salary missing those 50 games.

Rodney Derrick

May 7th, 2009
12:25 pm

Has anyone noticed how many guys who play for Joe Torre end up with steroid labels? Is this just a coincidence? Is it the markets? New York and Los Angelos? Dodgers should have to forfeit games won by Manny’s hits. Of course, that will not happen. Just as doper Jim Leyritz’s home run will not be called back.

dogsbrekky

May 7th, 2009
12:25 pm

KC – the night Chipper took the POOTZ out, he was hobbling like an old man

Good to give him a day off

Carroll – my apologies for not reading the author of the article, but thanks again

fat people sink faster

May 7th, 2009
12:25 pm

daybed: 8k might outnumber the total number of adults for the 2 games total

jonatuga

May 7th, 2009
12:25 pm

Carrol,

Insightful stuff. Really enjoy you and DOB and the difference in you two’s blogs. I wish you two were both blogging daily, but I know you all don’t! Keep up the good work.

Pete

May 7th, 2009
12:26 pm

BREAKING NEWS: Manny Ramirez just suspended for 50 games-”performance enhancing drugs” on ESPN2 now

Sethual Healing

May 7th, 2009
12:26 pm

MAN those kids are SHRILL on the radio.

RHR

May 7th, 2009
12:26 pm

I find it totally fascinating to read the way Chipper breaks down his at bats. Me too! Are we just being girls or is that as great to you guys out there as it was to me? Me too on the other part of your post too…but I’ll stop there. :)

Lew

May 7th, 2009
12:27 pm

eware-I’m not sure of the procedure in these things, but when they suspended him for 50 games, I’m betting someone would have noticed whether or not it was reported.

brent a.

May 7th, 2009
12:27 pm

I just glanced at the Braves’ attendance article and found it curious that the writer (who I assume was mainly Rana Cash, with DOB just providing some information) failed to connect the new stadium in Gwinnet with the Braves drop in attendance; or, at least failed to ask the question.

To me, it’s a no-brainer. I live in town, so I’ve been to two A-Braves games; but, if I lived in Gwinnet County, I don’t think you could get me to come to Atlanta most evenings. It’s a pain.

DAP

May 7th, 2009
12:27 pm

my gameday audio isnt working and im ticked.

Pete

May 7th, 2009
12:27 pm

Carroll Rogers: “Somebody just told me Manny just cost himself $7 million in salary missing those 50 games.”
Knowing baseball’s union, he will probably be paid anyway

MattyO

May 7th, 2009
12:28 pm

Manny being Manny, right?

Rob from SC

May 7th, 2009
12:28 pm

man I hope Fredi Gonzalez is our next manager

fat people sink faster

May 7th, 2009
12:28 pm

ross has a damn cannon for an arm

Rodney Derrick

May 7th, 2009
12:28 pm

Fred McGriff and Dale Murphy for the Hall of Fame. With Manny, ARod, Barroid, Clemens, Palmeiro all guilty, space should open up for some good guys. Who knows what numbers Fred and Dale would have put on the board if they had cheated.

Rob from SC

May 7th, 2009
12:28 pm

how was he not safe with Kelly dropping the ball

Jeff321

May 7th, 2009
12:28 pm

Carroll Rogers – Thanks for the insight about Chipper’s at bat. Btw, I was wondering if it would be possible one day for you to sit in the dugout for a “behind the scenes” piece during the game? (Maybe when DOB is running the regular blog stuff?) Thanks.

fat people sink faster

May 7th, 2009
12:29 pm

im with ya Rob…love the way fredi goes about his work

Carroll Rogers

May 7th, 2009
12:29 pm

so that call just cost the Marlins a run. Looked like Bonifacio knocked the ball out as he slid into second.

brent a.

May 7th, 2009
12:29 pm

Two 1st-inning home runs given up in as many games by JJ.

Joe just called it a “rare” home-run. Wonder if he’ll mention that he gave one up last game, as well?

fat people sink faster

May 7th, 2009
12:29 pm

glad that was a solo shot

P-Town Brave(Omar WINfante)

May 7th, 2009
12:29 pm

Wow…that was a gift as Kelly clearly dropped the ball and we’d be behind 2-0 instead of 1-0…

Really wish we had someone, anyone in our lineup that could do what Hanley just did…

TnBrian

May 7th, 2009
12:30 pm

Yep, Chipper needs a day off. :roll:

cabravesfan

May 7th, 2009
12:30 pm

How big was that caught stealing after Hanley goes yard?

brent a.

May 7th, 2009
12:30 pm

At least Kelly won’t have to complain about white shirts in the stands after the game.

Thanks ump!

Sethual Healing

May 7th, 2009
12:30 pm

DAP here’s a link to the game for free http://www.broadcastradiostream.com/WFIS.asx

Daybed Wagmoe

May 7th, 2009
12:30 pm

Nice job Ross! I’m watching Gameday and thought that Ramirez’s homer was a 2-run one. I didn’t realize until just now that Ross gunned Bonifacio down. Phew!

P-Town Brave(Omar WINfante)

May 7th, 2009
12:31 pm

CA-

With Kobe’s coming out party last night and them deliberately pissing him off, I doubt it goes 7 now…

Lew

May 7th, 2009
12:31 pm

Jeff321-I believe they have very specific rules about who can be in the dugout for games. They severely restrict access to a certain number of non playing personnel.

jonatuga

May 7th, 2009
12:32 pm

I’d love Freddi next year… I know DOB loves to point out he signed an extension, but I think he could get out of it to be Bobby’s succesor.

J-X

May 7th, 2009
12:32 pm

can somebody shoot me the link for internet radio feed?

keylargo

May 7th, 2009
12:32 pm

CarrollRogers

With Gwinnette playing in Syracuse and a day game in Miami do you think a move might be in the works for CF but just couldn’t be completed by game time?

Buffalo NY Braves Fan

May 7th, 2009
12:33 pm

Not to be a pain, but I’m stuck at work….. anyone feel like doing a play by play?

No need for balls and strikes, but per at bat would be nice.

Daybed Wagmoe

May 7th, 2009
12:33 pm

Gotta love Kelly in the lower half of the order. Hope Cox is watching.

Renegator

May 7th, 2009
12:34 pm

Wow. Look at that – Kelly can hit when he’s not batting lead-off.

I wish our Manager would pay attention and get Kelly out of the lead off spot. He doesn’t hit well there. Why can everyone see it EXCEPT the man who should be seeing it?

jonatuga

May 7th, 2009
12:34 pm

LETS GO D ROSS

brent a.

May 7th, 2009
12:35 pm

Lew, saw your comment last blog about Selig’s comments on attendance.

I don’t know how Selig defines, “several”; but, it wouldn’t surprise me if ticket sales were up in cities like Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Philly (maybe), and possible 1 or 2 other places that I’m not thinking of.

But, I agree with you, it’s mostly spin and bull.

Initially, I would think that we’ll get a better gauge in the summer (and to a certain extent, we will); however, season ticket sales drive a lot of these attendance figures, and I have little doubt that season ticket sales are not going to jump dramatically in the comi

P-Town Brave(Omar WINfante)

May 7th, 2009
12:35 pm

Big Dave strikes again! Braves lead and very VERY happy to see Kelly in that portion of the order bothering the pitcher A LOT!!

brent a.

May 7th, 2009
12:35 pm

. . . dramatically in the coming months.

Daybed Wagmoe

May 7th, 2009
12:35 pm

DAVID ROSS!!!!!

vabravesfan

May 7th, 2009
12:35 pm

brian who haha im jp but nice 2 run hr

Sethual Healing

May 7th, 2009
12:35 pm

Um. I kind of really like David Ross… I feel like I’m being unfaithful to McCann by saying that.

fat people sink faster

May 7th, 2009
12:35 pm

CRUUUUUUUUUSH!

jonatuga

May 7th, 2009
12:36 pm

Buffalo NY Braves Fan

I’ll give it a shot- Schafer fly out to deep right

cabravesfan

May 7th, 2009
12:36 pm

David Ross- best off season signing?

P-Town:

so what happens if kobe gets suspended (like he should- you suspend Howard, you have to suspend kobe) for game 3?

Daybed Wagmoe

May 7th, 2009
12:36 pm

Schafer didn’t strike out! He didn’t strike out!

bgvt

May 7th, 2009
12:37 pm

Wow. I’m not watching the game on TV but it is interesting that Ross hit the HR after the pitcher got concerned enough to throw to 1st a couple of times (after KJ was going on the first pitch, which was fouled off). Maybe it has something to do with the nuances of adding a few small ball wrinkles?

Efrim

May 7th, 2009
12:37 pm

Our backup catcher is tied for the team lead in home runs.

Buffalo NY Braves Fan

May 7th, 2009
12:37 pm

jonatuga,

Thanks.

fat people sink faster

May 7th, 2009
12:37 pm

ross is a huge boost for this team….what a clutch signing

KC

May 7th, 2009
12:37 pm

How about this ATL bench?! D-Ross was a VERY nice pick-up by Wren!

jonatuga

May 7th, 2009
12:37 pm

JJ- k

2 outs

Renegator

May 7th, 2009
12:37 pm

I’m telling you guys – we aren’t going to see much of an increase in offense when McCann gets back because Ross is holding down the fort just fine. Only difference is McCann will be batting 4th or 5th instead of 7th or 8th. Ross has been a great acquisition.

brent a.

May 7th, 2009
12:38 pm

P-Town,

I thought it was interesting to hear Barkley and Smith (former Rockets, no less) comment that Kobe must do this three more times to win the series. I’m not so sure. I think the Lakers can take one in Houston if Pau goes for 25-30, someone hits open jumpers, and Odom has a good garbage game.

Exciting game 2, though, and potentially classic series. I hate NBA officials, and they can sure do a lot to ruin a game; but aside from that, last night’s game was fun to watch.

Game 3 looks pretty juicy.

KC

May 7th, 2009
12:38 pm

Is there any doubt whatsoever that David Ross is qualified to be a starting catcher somewhere?

Carroll Rogers

May 7th, 2009
12:39 pm

Jeff321. um, NO. They don’t let media sit in the dugout, Jeff. The photographers are in the wells and an occasional player will get mic’d for TV but that kind of thing wouldn’t fly. They don’t want someone taking down what gets said in the dugout.

Keylargo, no. if the Braves wanted to bring a player here, they’d bring one. Geez, this isn’t kindergarten. What’s going on today, folks? Seriously.

brent a.

May 7th, 2009
12:39 pm

Renegator,

Ross is pretty good; but, I don’t think we’ll see McCann consistently striking out late in games. He’s just a better hitter than that.

But, Ross’ arm may off-set some of his offensive deficiencies.

Carroll Rogers

May 7th, 2009
12:39 pm

Daybed Wagmoe….I saw that myself, and go, hey contact!

brent a.

May 7th, 2009
12:39 pm

Carroll,

I bet Keith Hernandez would help get you into the Mets dugout some time.

jonatuga

May 7th, 2009
12:40 pm

Omar- fly out to shallow center

3 outs

Shamus Thacker

May 7th, 2009
12:41 pm

Manny, 50-game suspension, tested positive for PEDs.

P-Town Brave(Omar WINfante)

May 7th, 2009
12:41 pm

I think I’m enjoying watching Sanchez pitch more than the home plate umpire…

1st pitch to Jair the catcher misses and it hits off his mask and then the next one past the catcher and whizzes past his left ear to the backstop…

Then Omar comes up and he throws a high curve and the ump ducks….LoL :-)

Turtsnap

May 7th, 2009
12:41 pm

Let me preface by saying…. I have always loved TP, going way back to the ’80s when he was with the Cardinals, to his time with the Braves.

But, I question why he is the hitting coach? You have guys like McCann and Chipper that consult their fathers when they go into hitting slumps. You have Frenchy that went to the Texas Rangers hitting coach during the off season. Now you have Jordan consulting with Chipper on hitting fundamentals?

jonatuga

May 7th, 2009
12:41 pm

2-1 Braves going into bottom of the 2nd

fat people sink faster

May 7th, 2009
12:41 pm

omar is under the ball a little to start the game. still him getting 2abs in the first 2 innings is a nice start

Renegator

May 7th, 2009
12:42 pm

brent a: Good point on the strikeouts but I agree that Ross’s arm is WAY better than McCanns.

Maybe those even out – maybe not.

Mitchell

May 7th, 2009
12:42 pm

Bouyah! David Ross!

That’s my dog. I think he runs faster when he’s rounding the bases on a homer than when he’s trying to score from second. He is a slow movin’ dude but sometimes it doesn’t matter.

By the way, that is the correct spelling of “bouyah”. Look it up.

cabravesfan

May 7th, 2009
12:42 pm

P-Town

so Sanchez is having some control issues?

Gummy Bears...Bouncing here and there and everywhere....THEY ARE THE GUMMY BEARS!!!!

May 7th, 2009
12:42 pm

holy crap the game is on now.

fat people sink faster

May 7th, 2009
12:42 pm

the ball is going to start jumping out of ballparks now that its warming up

Cameron

May 7th, 2009
12:43 pm

Where can you listen online to the game?

jonatuga

May 7th, 2009
12:43 pm

amazing barehanded play by esco to throw out hermida

P-Town Brave(Omar WINfante)

May 7th, 2009
12:44 pm

CA-

The Kobe elbow was nowhere close to the one Howard threw…Kobe’s was pretty inadvertant…

Also, if anyone should be suspended it should be Artest for the slashing of the throat gesture he made towards Kobe…

I do agree Fisher should and probably will be suspended for his elbow on Scola…

What I want to know is when the game stopped being about playing basketball…that game yet again reminded me why I don’t like watching the NBA. or NTA (National Thug Association) as I like to call it.

Jeff321

May 7th, 2009
12:44 pm

Carroll Rogers – How about hanging out with Braves players on their off day and doing a feature such as, “What does a player do on their off day.”

Alright, I’m fresh out of requests for now.

P-Town Brave(Omar WINfante)

May 7th, 2009
12:45 pm

Renegator-

I don’t think Ross’s arm is stronger than B-Mac’s…I think Ross has one of the quickest releases I have EVER seen though, and its usually always on the money…

Sethual Healing

May 7th, 2009
12:45 pm

Shamus Thacker

May 7th, 2009
12:45 pm

My news on Manny was obviously late.

Damn slow-azz pigeons….

jonatuga

May 7th, 2009
12:45 pm

Ross- fly out to the WT in center

3 outs

Steve from OH

May 7th, 2009
12:46 pm

Somewhere, Alex Rodriguez is smiling…

Renegator

May 7th, 2009
12:46 pm

C’mon JJ – settle in now.

jonatuga

May 7th, 2009
12:46 pm

brent a.

May 7th, 2009
12:46 pm

CA, Plus, #24 wasn’t even facing Artest.

An elbow when boxing out, is much different that an elbow when facing a guy.

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