Schafer rests, Diaz in CF

 

  Phoenix – If the Braves don’t win today, blame Will Farrell, Vince Vaughn and the rest of the cast of Old School, the film du jour in the visitors’ clubhouse this morning. Funny movie, but probably not the run-through-a-wall tour-de-force motivating boost provided by Al Pacino’s Tony “Scarface” Montana on Friday.
  Or, you mind end up blaming the lineup, which includes no Chipper Jones nor Brian McCann (Chipper’s resting the sprained toe against a lefty; McCann’s getting a day off) and has Matt Diaz in center field.
  No, that’s not a typo. Diaz is in center field, his first major league start at the position.
  Manager Bobby Cox wanted to give Jordan Schafer a day off, since the struggling rookie has played every game. With Omar Infante on the DL, the next in line was … well, the Braves really didn’t have an obvious, next-in-line backup.
  ”Yeah, stick him out there, let’s go,” Cox said this morning, when I asked him about Diaz playing center. “He played there in the minors. When he signed, he was a center fielder.”
  I asked Diaz about that, about when he’d last played CF (besides the one inning he played there last week, when no balls were hit to him).
  ”Maybe in Triple-A; for sure in Double-A,” he said.
  For the record, his last season in Double-A was 2003.
  ”I don’t know if I ever started [in center],” he said. “As crazy as it sounds, I was a defensive replacement. I’d move over from right in the late innings.”
   Yes, that does sound hard to imagine, all these years later.
  Not much crazier, really, than the notion of Diaz making his first center-field start at Chase Field, which has one of the more expansive outfields in baseball.
  Repeating: He’s played one inning of center field in the past, oh, six years.
  It should be noted, however, that Diaz and Martin Prado have both been shagging fly balls in center on a daily basis. In all honesty, I’m not really expecting him to look completely overmatched out there. I’m sure he’ll handle it fine.
  OK, make that, I think he’ll handle it fine.
  ”It’ll be fun,” Diaz said. “Fly balls are fly balls.” (He smiled when he said that.)
  He went to talk about how you can see the ball better off the bat in center than the corner-outfield positions. However, line drives directly to an outfielder are some of the hardest plays to make, and the center fielder gets more, along with hard bouncers that might skip and spin on the low-cut grass.
  Then there are the cutoff throws and trying to prevent singles from becoming doubles and doubles from becoming triples, and plays like the one that Schafer made Friday, when he stayed back about 20 feet from the towering CF wall and let a ball carom back to him.
  Earlier in the season, Schafer probably would have, as Diaz put it, “Spider Manned” the wall trying to get to it in the air.
  ”The good news for me is, I can’t get to that wall fast enough anyway,” Diaz cracked. “It’ll come right back to me, because I’m not going to outrun any balls.”
  But seriously, his speed isn’t bad. Diaz can run, especially since he lost 20 pounds last winter on the P90X workout and diet plan. He’s back at his playing weight (205) from his minor league days — back when he did play some center.
  ”Ninety days, and you too can be a big-league center fielder,” Diaz said, in the tone of a TV pitch man.
  I asked Schafer about getting a day off, which he had no idea was coming until he saw the lineup card this morning. He said if he’d known about it before, he might have stayed out longer Saturday night.
  ”I’m gonna lift [weights] all day,” he said, before heading to the Chase Field weight room. “I’ll drive myself crazy if I just sit [in the dugout].”
  I asked him, might a day off be good for him? Isn’t he tired?
  ”Mentally, I’m tired,” he said. “Physically, I’m fine. Mentally, maybe it’s good for me to have a day off. Obviously I want to play every day, but maybe it’s for me to really sit back and watch, let things for for a day.”
  Schafer is hitting .206 with two homers, eight RBI, 61 strikeouts (second in the NL) and a .294 OBP in 48 games and 160 at-bats, and those two homers came in the first three games of the season.
  He’s hit .177 with five RBI and 57 strikeouts in 141 at-bats in his past 43 games.
  He did, however, make a helluva play on that carom-and-throw to cutoff man Kelly Johnson on Friday, which prevented a run.
  ”Yeah, that’s about the only thing I can do well right now, is play defense,” Schafer said, smiling.
Perhaps the only person as surprised as Diaz to see Schafer out of the lineup and Diaz in center field was Jeff Francoeur, who probably never imagined that Matt Diaz would play center in the majors before Francoeur played there.
  Truth be told, Francoeur would have liked to play there Saturday.
  ”I said while ago, either Bobby thinks I’m too slow, or he thinks Matt would be worse in right field than in center,” Francoeur joked.

 ♣ OK we’re about to start the game. Gotta cut it short here. Take it out with a classic from Lucinda, who I’m going to go see play tonight in nearby Mesa (thankfully, no threat of a rain delay here in Phoenix under the closed roof). It’s 97 degrees outside at the 1:10 p.m. start, 75 degrees inside. I think Lu would like it better outside, especially if it was more humid. Like home.

“LAKE CHARLES” by Lucinda Williams

He had a reason to get back to Lake Charles
He used to talk about it
He’d just go on and on
He always said Louisana
Was where he felt at home

He was born in Nacogdoches
That’s in East Texas
Not far from the border
But he liked to tell everybody
He was from Lake Charles

Did an angel whisper in your ear
And hold you close and take away your fear
In those long last moments

We used to drive
Thru Lafayette and Baton Rouge
In a yellow Camino
Listening to Howlin’ Wolf
He liked to stop in Lake Charles
Cause that’s the place that he loved

Did you run about as far as you could go
Down the Lousiana highway
Across Lake Ponchatrain
Now your soul is in Lake Charles
No matter what they say

Did an angel whisper in your ear
And hold you close and take away your fear
In those long last moments

He had a reason to get back to Lake Charles
He used to talk about it
He’d just go on and on
He always said Louisana
Was where he felt at home

Did an angel whisper in your ear
And hold you close and take away your fear
In those long last moments

Did an angel whisper in your ear
And hold you close and take away your fear
In those long last moments

 

1,268 comments Add your comment

1st

May 30th, 2009
4:14 pm

pryguy

May 30th, 2009
4:15 pm

1st

May 30th, 2009
4:16 pm

MFin04

May 30th, 2009
4:17 pm

Here is the radio link I’m using, should work for everyone…

http://www.broadcastradiostream.com/WFIS.asx

If not….go here:

http://freebaseballradio.com/Atlanta.html

Virginia Ranger

May 30th, 2009
4:17 pm

8 pitches. I predict Davis won’t make it out of the 16th

Diehard Braves Fan w/o Apology

May 30th, 2009
4:18 pm

Yeah, I think Boog is totally being forced to talk about the facebook crap all the time.

It’s more fun to hang out there during games than here. There are real Braves fans that go to talk about the team, including the problems, than to complain. Why is it “crap”, because you’re an old fart and don’t get it? Maybe because there’s not enough negativity? That’s where I hang out, the crowd is diverse in all ways, and people are really into the Braves and games. There are a few who playa-hate but they don’t dominate like they do here. I invite real fans to check it out you can carry on a conversation directly with someone and/or make general comments to the blog. Check it out, you real Braves fan will feel much better about yourselves.

But don’t deprive yourself of David’s great work here..it’s absolutely 21st Century stuff!

McFann :Ô:

May 30th, 2009
4:18 pm

Thanks, cabravesfan! :)

Braveheart

May 30th, 2009
4:18 pm

But seriously, his speed isn’t bad. Diaz can run, especially since he lost 20 pounds last winter on the P90X workout and diet plan. He’s back at his playing weight (205) from his minor league days — back when he did play some center. ”Ninety days, and you too can be a big-league center fielder,” Diaz said, in the tone of a TV pitch man. (DOB)

LMAO

Braveheart

May 30th, 2009
4:19 pm

Wow, fielded cleanly by Diaz and Prado is a really good looking defensive third baseman.

PWHjort

May 30th, 2009
4:20 pm

Diehard,
All you’ve done on this blog is complain about it. Seriously, if you’re so miserable here, go back to the facebook page. We won’t complain.

cabravesfan

May 30th, 2009
4:20 pm

McFann-

posted this on the other blog right before DOB put up the new one…anyways- linkto the full interview with Mac from FOX if you, or anyone, wants to watch…he’s pretty adorable here :)

http://msn.foxsports.com/video/MLB

Il Cattivo

May 30th, 2009
4:20 pm

So yet another game with both teams wearing dark colors. Wonder how long MLB will allow this to happen. I guess till someone wakes up Bud Selig for his daily dose of geritol, he wont notice.

booger1

May 30th, 2009
4:21 pm

CA, that interview WAS adorable! I liked it :)

brian

May 30th, 2009
4:22 pm

It is obvious that Frank Wren has major decisions to make. The Braves need to add another bat, but at what cost? No one wants to trade away our young talented prospects. I think over the next month Javier Vazquez may be the one moved for an OF bat and prospects. vazquez is pitching well and will have significant trade value. To move Vazquez the Braves have to be certain that Hanson can step in as a #4 starter, Glavine is ready to go, and we will continue to see the Kawakami of May, not of April. That is a lot of ifs, but Hanson is pitching so well he may force the Braves hand to get him to the majors.

The Braves will not move Lowe, Jurrjens or Glavine. Kawakami’s trade value will be minimal. That leaves Vazquez who many speculated would be moved in the offseason. The last wildcard is Tim Hudson’s progress. As the Braves become more and more convinced that Hudson will be able to come back and contribute as a #3-5 starter, it will make it more and more tempting to move Vazquez.

As far as the trade market, with Peavy vetoing trades and Houston likely to hold on to Oswalt, Vazquez may be one of the top arms with Bedard who will be on the market. Although the Phillies have obvious pitching needs it is unlikely he will be dealt within division. The Dodgers though could be a match with Kemp or Ethier the main piece along with a prospect or two.

sri

May 30th, 2009
4:23 pm

You can watch the game online, if you have a fast connection and Internet Explorer.

http://www.sticktv.net

(This link was posted on the blog about a week ago. I dont know if it is legal, but I have watched a couple of games last week, it is decent quality.)

DOB, is it ok to post such links?

propp

May 30th, 2009
4:23 pm

we need more quotes from Diaz. He is always hilarious

David..(Athens, AL)

May 30th, 2009
4:25 pm

matt has got stop swinging at those high pitches!!!!!!!!!!

pryguy

May 30th, 2009
4:25 pm

mfin,

thanks for the link, this made my day being able to listen to the game.

RHR

May 30th, 2009
4:26 pm

LOL “Throw a rosin bag up there and he might take a swing at it”

RHR

May 30th, 2009
4:27 pm

cabraves, glad you got to see the McCann interview. How cute is he? lol

Blowhard Braves Fan w/o Levity

May 30th, 2009
4:27 pm

Thanks for the blog, DOB.

Chop It Up All-star

May 30th, 2009
4:28 pm

That D-backs pitcher will be lucky if he doesn’t get punched in the mouth…dive?! How about you throw a better pitch.

propp

May 30th, 2009
4:28 pm

not much easier of a DP than that to kill an inning

Braves Paisan

May 30th, 2009
4:28 pm

Anybody got the stats about teams grounding into DPs? Lord, we must be among the worst.

hmmm...

May 30th, 2009
4:28 pm

the braves should bring in bonds. replace him in the later innings or just ph him. he’d be cheap

McFann :Ô:

May 30th, 2009
4:29 pm

cabravesfan

I saw you’re link on the last Blog, but thanks for reposting it!

Also forgot to say: Thanks for the new Blog, Chief!

MFin04

May 30th, 2009
4:29 pm

How do you find the game on StickTV? I can’t find it?

met fans are idiots

May 30th, 2009
4:30 pm

this team needs to learn the art of stealing/base running there is absolutely no reason why prado should not have attempted to still 2nd there

Chief

May 30th, 2009
4:30 pm

You’re welcome, McFann!

Jerry Holcombe

May 30th, 2009
4:31 pm

I was just reading abot Andruw Jones and against what I said before he signed with Texas, I am glad he didn’t come here. That guy is too special to have his career killed because his hitting instructor was Terry Pendleton. Now that he is back on track, I would like to to see him reclaim a starting centerfield job that doesn’t bring him close to the career killer. I read what DOB said last night about how this is killing Francoeur, and I understand that. But, in order to get Jeff’s career back on track, he has got to get out of Atlanta soon, or the team has to fire Pendleton and bring back Don Baylor, or Chris Chambliss, or both. I wonder how much Francoeur’s dad had to do with his development growing up. If Chipper’s and McCann’s dads have been helpful to them, why not Francoeur’s?

cabravesfan

May 30th, 2009
4:32 pm

RHR-

he crackes me up!

McFann-

glad you saw it…just wanted to make sure! Thought you might like it ;)

Necromancer

May 30th, 2009
4:32 pm

Okay, McFann that was me!

Hee hee hee!

Braveheart

May 30th, 2009
4:32 pm

Anybody got the stats about teams grounding into DPs? Lord, we must be among the worst. (BRAVESPAISAN)

Nah, we’re only 6th worst in the NL, and 14th worst in the majors. Pretty much middle of the road in GIDP. The average major league team has hit into 37 double plays. We’ve hit into 38

David O'Brien

May 30th, 2009
4:34 pm

It’s more fun to hang out there during games than here. – Diehard Braves Fan

Then please, don’t let us keep you away from all the fun and frivolity!

bravesgirlnc

May 30th, 2009
4:34 pm

What would it take to get Loaf to actually run?

Larry

May 30th, 2009
4:35 pm

extra base hits? those must be nice.

Necromancer

May 30th, 2009
4:36 pm

I wonder if the front office has taken notice of how our struggling hitters have consulted with someone other than TP?

How much longer do you think TP has? Surely not too much longer…

David O'Brien

May 30th, 2009
4:36 pm

sri: don’t know. but it’s cool with me if it’s not, because then we’re breaking the law, breaking the law… heh heh heh!

Murph Rocks

May 30th, 2009
4:37 pm

Cattivo, I agree. Arizona needs to be in the home whites for sure. And would it hurt the Braves to just wear the grey aways maybe once this year??

Matt

May 30th, 2009
4:38 pm

David (Athens, AL) what is your last name?

PWHjort

May 30th, 2009
4:38 pm

I just wrote this. Some of you may appreciate it. It deals with statistical analysis, John Schuerholz’s philosophy, selectivity at the plate, and our the flaws in our organization.

nolie

May 30th, 2009
4:38 pm

(and of course pretty much anything sci-fi) (CBF)

Ever watch EQUILIBRIUM with Christian Bale? Sci-fi(not spaceships) action movie. Pretty good IMO.

Blowhard Braves Fan w/o Levity

May 30th, 2009
4:38 pm

lol, DOB’s mood is high. Must be the pool view.

Braves Paisan

May 30th, 2009
4:39 pm

It was Bill James, many years ago, who wrote about Amis Otis, I believe, that one of the thing he liked about him is that he wouldn’t crash into walls or dive for balls he couldn’t catch. Baseball is about going out there every day, and low probability play that will get you injured in the outfield is NOT the smart way to go.

CB

May 30th, 2009
4:39 pm

bravesgirlnc -a hamburger?

David..(Athens, AL)

May 30th, 2009
4:40 pm

sri

May 30th, 2009
4:40 pm

MFin,
Channel 22. But you have to install a plugin for TvAnts. Click on ‘Downloads’ and install the plugin for TvAnts. I usually dont install such plugins, but my antivirus software scanned this and deemed it ok. So far my computer has’nt crashed.

hmmm...

May 30th, 2009
4:41 pm

Yeah they sould can TP. And bring in barry bonds

Read Me Please

May 30th, 2009
4:41 pm

Some of you may appreciate it. PWH

not if it’s as unrealistic as your normal posts here. Why would we bother? Narcissist.

bravesgirlnc

May 30th, 2009
4:41 pm

CB-LOL. Certainly not a ball hit to the gap.

Steve from OH

May 30th, 2009
4:41 pm

Is Bowman posting under DOB’s name? Or is it N8?

Murph Rocks

May 30th, 2009
4:41 pm

DOB, I’m sure you’ve answered this before, but I can’t recall. On the road, do you fly with the Braves on their flight, or do you (or the AJC) have to make flight arrangements for you?

(Note: I say the AJC because, while I know you would be fully capable of handling your flight arrangements, I have no doubt the Man In Black has some hot little assistant that coordinates his professional affairs for him…at least, he should.)

Jack G.

May 30th, 2009
4:42 pm

If the Braves want a big bat bad enough, they will give Bobby Bonds a call.

Elvis Presley

May 30th, 2009
4:43 pm

“Have you considered what sunshine does to your deck?” -radio commercial.

That’s just one vowel away from being a warning for nudists.

PWHjort

May 30th, 2009
4:43 pm

I didn’t say EVERYONE would LOVE it. Just that some people might appreciate it. How is that narcissistic?

Braves Paisan

May 30th, 2009
4:44 pm

I am thinking TP will be the next Braves manager after Bobby calls it a career. No inside info, just a hunch, and some of the great fans in 402 agree with me. Anybody?

Virginia Ranger

May 30th, 2009
4:44 pm

Mr. Ross certainly is a vast improvement over Mr Corky Miller, who had to have the nicest set of hair I ever saw.

PWHjort

May 30th, 2009
4:44 pm

Braves Paisan,
My choice (and not that my choice matters) would be Eddie Perez.

semiballcoach

May 30th, 2009
4:45 pm

if bobby answers the call, we have a story

McFann :Ô:

May 30th, 2009
4:45 pm

cabravesfan

Oh yeah. :P

Necromancer

Har har! ;)

cabravesfan

May 30th, 2009
4:45 pm

nolie-

never seen it but I’ll check it out- thanks!

bravesgirlnc

May 30th, 2009
4:46 pm

And this is why he should be hitting lower in the order! Way to go Kelly!

PWHjort

May 30th, 2009
4:46 pm

Why do we sit Kelly Johnson vs. lefies? Ever.

David O'Brien

May 30th, 2009
4:46 pm

Kelly’s heating up again, Braves have to hope it’ll last a few weeks or so. Dude just crushes when he’s on one of his streaks.

Chop It Up All-star

May 30th, 2009
4:46 pm

Nice shot Kelly!! With Chipper out today, why not play McCann, and then give him a day off tomorrow when Chipper is back in the lineup?

Steve from OH

May 30th, 2009
4:47 pm

Braves Paisan, I’m fairly certain they’ll stay within the organization, with TP being the frontrunner. I think Eddie Perez will get some consideration as well, and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Eddie manage the club at all.

AndyC

May 30th, 2009
4:47 pm

McFann

You were right about the McCann/Victorino collision. BMac was infront of the plate and reached back to tag Victorino. He didn’t really have time to block the plate. The throw was late and for any shot at getting the runner he had to come up and get it. It was a pretty bad collision and BMac was OUT cold!

RHR

May 30th, 2009
4:48 pm

David O'Brien

May 30th, 2009
4:49 pm

Speaking of warming up, Garret Anderson is looking a lot better recently.

Braves Paisan

May 30th, 2009
4:49 pm

PWHjort: I saw Eddie coaching the Mississippi Braves when they played in Montgomery. I shouted out to him and I think I scared him a little. Great baseball man.

Oh, by the way — that is as far as GA can hit the ball anymore, LOL!

Woah

May 30th, 2009
4:49 pm

Is Loaf heating up?

BravesFanChris24

May 30th, 2009
4:49 pm

Keep the offense going please ~_~

Steve from OH

May 30th, 2009
4:50 pm

Is Loaf heating up?

Only if he’s on the beach working on his tan.

Virginia Ranger

May 30th, 2009
4:51 pm

PWH it is because Mr. Pendelton never had to bat leftie against a southpaw. He simply does not understand the rare guy who is not a switch hitter.

double you pleasure, double fun, hit a double, we score a run

StingerSplash

May 30th, 2009
4:52 pm

Gracie just referenced “Caddyshack” with the Baby Ruth episode while talking about the pool beyond the RF fence. Beautiful. (Forced to listen to Fox because the WGST listen button on mlb.com/gameday just keeps spinning round.)

McFann :Ô:

May 30th, 2009
4:52 pm

Huyi…RBI doubles…

AndyC

OK, I thought he was out in front for that one. Yeah, I just don’t have the guts or whatever you would call that to go back and watch that play again. Unfortunately, there’s a full-page photo of it in one of my ChopTalks.

MFin04

May 30th, 2009
4:57 pm

SRI – that is awesome!!!! That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen! I love the internet!!!!

Elvis Presley

May 30th, 2009
4:58 pm

37 pitches for Javy through three. Nice.

Super Mac

May 30th, 2009
5:03 pm

How does Diaz look in center?

StingerSplash

May 30th, 2009
5:04 pm

Kind of a puzzling AB for Frenchy — he goes the other way on a couple of foul balls but then tries to pull a low, slow breaking ball on the outside edge. Gotta keep the hands back, kid, on a slowballer.

spolarbear72

May 30th, 2009
5:04 pm

EP has my vote for next mgr.

Sir Stealth

May 30th, 2009
5:11 pm

According to the radio broadcast, Javy Lopez has returned to simultaneously pitch for the Braves and play second for the D-backs.

StingerSplash

May 30th, 2009
5:11 pm

sri: don’t know. but it’s cool with me if it’s not, because then we’re breaking the law, breaking the law… heh heh heh!

Why does he keep doing that with his shoulders?

Vinings Jim

May 30th, 2009
5:14 pm

cabravesfan – did you see our friend Tom’s 3:03 a.m. post about you (and me)? I found it quite humorous.

nolie

May 30th, 2009
5:16 pm

The throw was late and for any shot at getting the runner he had to come up and get it. ANDY

that’smistaken. The ball is coming faster from the throw than a catcher can catch it and move to make the tag. It’s a bad technique that he needs to get over. He does it a lot, and it almost always costs us a run.
In the big picture, he’s a decent catcher overall,a great hitter with a great attitude and I wouldn’t trade him for any other catcher. I just wish he would quit using that maneuver. He did it in the minors too, so I don’t believe it’s because he’s scared of collision, just over eager.

Chop It Up All-star

May 30th, 2009
5:18 pm

Virginia Ranger

May 30th, 2009
5:18 pm

And what was that stuff

StingerSplash

May 30th, 2009
5:19 pm

Wonder how many comments of “If Schafer were in CF, that would have been caught” we’ll have, beginning …. now!

brent a.

May 30th, 2009
5:19 pm

Hudson just said that the Vazquez trade, “flew under the radar.”

Clearly, he must not hang out here. :)

Perhaps, though, he’s on Facebook. 8)

Braveheart

May 30th, 2009
5:19 pm

how deep is Diaz playing?

LuisG

May 30th, 2009
5:19 pm

Can someone please describe for me that double by Drew?

Jurrjens4NLCY

May 30th, 2009
5:19 pm

According to the radio broadcast, Javy Lopez has returned to simultaneously pitch for the Braves and play second for the D-backs.

How what did he do? I can’t watch the game (F ing Cubs)

Chop It Up All-star

May 30th, 2009
5:19 pm

Love to see hustle out of the box on a pop-up.

Elvis Presley

May 30th, 2009
5:20 pm

I love our top three starting pitchers. I really do.

Braveheart

May 30th, 2009
5:20 pm

Well, I guess it was bound to happen. I called DOB an old fart because he loves Animal House, and now someone’s called me an old fart because I don’t worship facebook and tweeter.

Elvis Presley

May 30th, 2009
5:21 pm

LuisG, Drew hit it and none of the Braves caught it. So he ran all the way to second and stopped there. Double.

richbrave

May 30th, 2009
5:22 pm

Hey DAVE:

Gonna’ grab a rental a noche, and head out for JEROME para une cervaza o dos? Or hang in seniorita-ville for a little night life by the SALT RIVER?

McFann :Ô:

May 30th, 2009
5:22 pm

Nolie He did it in the minors too, so I don’t believe it’s because he’s scared of collision

Thank you.

cabravesfan

May 30th, 2009
5:22 pm

Vinings Jim-

yes I did see that…wonder if he is aware that most of our posts were about him? Wow, does that sound as creepy to you as it does to me? (Sorry Tom!) :)

Plate Appearance

May 30th, 2009
5:22 pm

MIRACLES DO HAPPEN

Yes, miracles do happen. Bobby has taken Schafer out of the lineup — for at least one day.

Consequently, this is absolutely my favorite game as a Braves fan this year!

Schafer should be working out his hitting woes in AAA.

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