Kicking off the second half, and Maddux ceremony awaits

 (Staff writer Carroll Rogers is filling in for David O’Brien today.)

 

   Afternoon, denizens, and welcome to the second half of your Braves baseball season. Well, not second half, exactly, but the next 74 games.

   We’re giving DOB a day to catch his breath from his trip to St. Louis, and Denver, and Chicago, and we’ll be bringing you Derek Lowe tonight vs. Oliver Perez and the Mets.

   And oh yeah, we have Jeff Francoeur taking right field for the visiting team. Bizarre.

   As if we weren’t disoriented enough after three days away from the Braves (and for some of us, more like almost two weeks, amazingly), we have this awaiting us a Turner Field.

   On a personal level, I can say I’m very sorry to see Jeff go. He’s one of the best people I’ve ever been around in a clubhouse. Upbeat, friendly, thoughtful, honest, and as nice a guy as you’ll ever see. He managed to seem normal, in light of all his fame and success, and that’s a credit to him.

   I hope for his sake the change of scenery brings him good things in New York, and he continues making adjustments and getting his career turned in the right direction.

   So now that leaves us a little more than two weeks to go before the trading deadline and the Braves have already traded for hitters in two of their least productive spots on the field – center and right. And they’ve got a scorching hot hitter at second base now in Martin Prado. And surely super utility man Omar Infante will be back in the swing before long – I’ll check on the latest.

   And yet, I ask, is it enough?

   These next two weeks will tell – if the Braves can continue to get by without a whole lot of pop in their lineup, if they can make up for it by putting together the timely hits, and late in games, to win the one-run games. Or if they figure it’ll be time to upgrade maybe at first base or left field for the sake of adding a bigger bat.

   Or, dare we say, sell off some pieces. Though it’d be a shocker if that’s the way it goes.

   Having had three days of nothing going on, I’m sure you guys have hashed these things around quite a bit. Shoot, a couple of analysis pieces for print and I’m ready to move onto something else. Let’s get some games to talk about. In the meantime, let me throw an oddball stat out at you and get on to another topic that’s been on my mind: Greg Maddux.

 

ODDBALL STAT:

 

 

   Chipper Jones played more games in the first half (77) than Yunel Escobar (73). Jones has also played more than Casey Kotchman (73) and Garret Anderson (67) and Kelly Johnson (68). The only Braves’ every day player that had him beat was Francoeur (82) and well, we know what happened there.

   Actually, Chipper is on pace to play in 142 games, which would be his highest total since 2003. Course, now I’ve surely jinxed him. But that’s something that just kind of crept up on us, no?

   There’s been so much ado about Francoeur and Johnson’s lack of production, did we forget to notice that there just hasn’t been much complaining about Jones and his nagging injuries and creaky old body? Well, we offer a kudos to Jones for keeping it, literally, together.

MADDUX, 101

    This might be hard to believe, but after writing a story, a Q and A and a collection of his accomplishments for tomorrow’s paper (tune in), I still have a more to say before the Braves honor Maddux tomorrow. (Hall-of-Fame luncheon is soldout – snooze, you lose – and the pre-game ceremony tomorrow night is at 7:31 p.m. when they retire his number. Hey, wait, is that at 7:31 because of his number?)

 

   Anyway, I had a long conversation with Maddux last week, and some of his thoughts were almost too technical for what the boss folks wanted for the newspaper, but I thought the bloggers might appreciate it.

   Right?

   If you’re not a Maddux person, I warn you, you might want to just skip it and spare me complaints about writing too much about a guy who doesn’t play for the Braves anymore. But in this case, pardon me, I think it’s appropriate.

   Here goes: 

 

   This is Maddux talking about two of his biggest influences 1) his high school pitching coach the late Ralph Medar, a former major league scout who held open practices for high school, college and minor league players in Las Vegas. And 2) Dick Pole, his former pitching coach with the Cubs, who is now with the Reds. Pole coached Maddux in the minors and majors.

   “When I was first learning how to pitch, I never had a pitching coach who knew how to throw the ball,” Maddux said. “Mr. Medar taught me all the basics and laid down the foundation of what was in store for me. Dick cleaned me up a little bit when I needed it and actually taught me how to pitch, how to manage the game. Dick made me aware of how to pitch behind, how to pitch with a lead, how to pitch in a tie game, how to pitch when you’re tired. He taught me how to be a complete pitcher, not just a brain dead heaver.”

   I asked him if there were keys he still went back to late in his career that came from Medar.

   “Oh yeah, absolutely,” Maddux said. “Like my stride, how to throw my changeup, how to take my hand out of my glove, the basics. Where to start, where to hold your hands out of the stretch. Things like that. Any time you’re struggling you always revert back to the first thing you learned as a pitcher, and that was always Mr. Medar.”

   It might be where your foot lands? I asked.

   “Yeah,” he said. “It might be where to set your hands before you start, how to take it out of your glove, how to pick your leg up. I always put the webbing of the glove next to my chin and just put them (his elbows, I presume) straight out. Always tried to keep my right elbow a little bit closer to my ribcage.”

   Maddux on Pole’s teaching him an appreciation for the groundball out:

   “You’re going to get your strikeouts on accident,” Maddux said. “You throw so many pitches, you’re going to get your share of punchies. But I never really went for a strikeout until two strikes. I think you see a lot of pitchers trying to strike somebody out when the count is 1-0. That’s pretty hard to do.”

    I’d talked to Pole, when I was in Cincinnati for the Reds-Braves and he told me, in spite of what he taught Maddux about strikeouts, Maddux couldn’t help but kid him when he got to 3,000 strikeouts for his career.

   Maddux remembered kidding Pole about other numbers too.

   “It was always kind of a fun thing we had going,” Maddux said. “I think I ended up giving him something like my 300th homer I gave up too. It was one of those home runs at Wrigley they threw back on the field and it was 300, or some really ridiculously high number. I wrote on it ‘To Dickie, thanks for teaching me how to give up 300 homers.’ That was pretty good.”

   OK, a couple more: his former teammates had told me a lot about the guts Maddux showed on the mound, the willingness to go inside, even with his changeup. So I asked him about that:

   “A changeup inside is not dangerous at all if he’s looking in,” Maddux said. “Best pitch you can throw. That’s how I look at it. I looked at it as safe. A lot of times they see balls in certain areas, it makes them react quick. If they see it away they stay back, if they see it in, they’re quick, so if you’re facing the hitter that you think sees that way or reacts that way, to me that’s safest pitch to throw.”

   I think I translate that as they’re gearing up to hit the fastball in, so their timing is off when he comes in with his changeup. Let me know if I didn’t follow him right, eh?

   And finally, after all these years, going back to 1999 when Eddie Perez told me Maddux called a game for Bruce Chen from the dugout, I got him to talk about that. He never wanted to admit it when he was playing, even though guys like Brad Penny, who threw seven shutout innings on a game Maddux called for him with the Dodgers, had talked about it.

   “Everybody needs help on the mound,” Maddux said. “Dick Pole used to call my pitches for me from the dugout. And I understood how that helped me and how that gave me the confidence to throw that pitch. There are times when hey, guy needs help on the mound, help him out.”

   Was it fun, I asked, because it kept him so into the game?

   “It was stressful,” he said. “I tell you what, it made you watch the game a whole different way. You don’t see from the dugout as good as you see from the mound. So you found yourself running up between innings watching the video from the last inning. Maybe it’s not looking the same way from the mound as it is from the dugout.”

   Was it stressful because it’s his outs, not yours?

   “Not really,” Maddux said. “It’s his decision to do it.”

 

   True enough. OK off to the ballyard. Let’s get this thing rolling.

 

 

1,923 comments Add your comment

McFann :Ô:

July 16th, 2009
2:42 pm

ric flair

July 16th, 2009
2:44 pm

METSFAN4LIFE

July 16th, 2009
2:45 pm

Logan

July 16th, 2009
2:47 pm

Texas Nick: I live in Amarillo.

Son are you being held hostage???

semiballcoach

July 16th, 2009
2:49 pm

that is good stuff, thank you carroll

Najeh Davenpoop

July 16th, 2009
2:51 pm

a643dp

July 16th, 2009
2:52 pm

Skip Bayless on ESPN just picked the Braves to win the east.

Goodoleboy

July 16th, 2009
2:53 pm

How can you be a Brave fan and not be a Maddux person?

wilymo

July 16th, 2009
2:53 pm

DOB,

Good meeting you the other day. Wait until you see Sori’s new post all-star break hairdo….

DAP

July 16th, 2009
2:54 pm

very cool quotes from maddux. thanks carroll.

Rodney Derrick

July 16th, 2009
2:55 pm

I do not understand why you guys have orgasmic excitement just to write “first”. I just hope the Braves do better and end the season in first. And hopefully, as she seems to do quite often, Carroll will be the good luck for the Braves in their first game back from the break. Unfortunately, that luck has not always extended past the first game when she is reporting and blogging. But speaking about a “first”, any takers on what Mac says to Frenchy when he is in the batter’s box for the first time?

Goodoleboy

July 16th, 2009
2:55 pm

Any news on the meet the alumni Dale Murphy night tomorrow night?

THWG

July 16th, 2009
2:57 pm

Does anyone know if the Maddux ceremony will be part of the TV broadcast tomorrow night?

Josh B

July 16th, 2009
3:04 pm

Hey guys I am going out the yard tomorrow, what time does the Maddux ceremony start?

McPoyle

July 16th, 2009
3:05 pm

Skip Bayless just picked us to win?? Well we might as well pencil in an NL East division crown right now.

I hate that guy.

Glad Maddux is getting a ceremony from his HOF team, the Braves! He had a shared ceremony with Fergie Jenkins retiring #31 for the Cubs earlier this year. Everybody knows Maddux’s best years were with Atlanta and he will be retired as a Brave.

Renegator

July 16th, 2009
3:11 pm

So is Oliver Perez going to own the Braves tonight like he always seems to?

Rob from SC

July 16th, 2009
3:12 pm

Renegator

July 16th, 2009
3:11 pm
So is Oliver Perez going to own the Braves tonight like he always seems to?

Depends on whether or not our hitters work the count.

Bravedawg

July 16th, 2009
3:12 pm

I think Chipper’s durability this year has been great, of course…but I’m concerned about his lack of power. ” I wonder if it’s just that he’s getting older? Or is it a “power slump” that he’ll eventually break out of? Last year the lack of power was complimented by the near .400 average, so that was okay. But this year, with our lack of offense up and down the order, and his average hovering around .290 (which is great–HOF compared to the rest of the lineup, but nothing like last year) it makes his lack of HRs a little more glaring.

Andrew in P-tang

July 16th, 2009
3:12 pm

braves need to take 3 out of 4 against the mets..series splits will do nothing now

Andrew in P-tang

July 16th, 2009
3:14 pm

whos going to be starting tonight Anderson or Church?

Il Cattivo

July 16th, 2009
3:16 pm

a643dp

Skip Bayless will say anything given a mic. He doesnt let facts get in the way of his “analysis”.

Mrs. Chanandler Bong

July 16th, 2009
3:16 pm

Well if Skip Bayless said it, then it must be true.

Goldenglove002

July 16th, 2009
3:16 pm

Finally! I hate the All-Star break so much, especially when the Braves don’t have players in it (McCann only got 2 AB’s I believe, and I missed one of them, so it was hard to remember that he was there for me). I can’t wait to see the game tonight, one because baseball’s finally back and two because of Francouer’s return. As much as us bloggers know about his play this year and last year, many regular fans who don’t watch evry game or get much into the numbers (majority of the fans in Atlanta aren’t like us) that I talked to were very dissapointed that he was traded and were slightly confused. I expect he’s going to get alot of cheers tonight from the fans like that.

And a big congratulations to Maddux on his inductment into the Braves HOF. He deserved it. Really hoping I can go to the game tommorow and see the ceremony.

Go Braves!

DAP

July 16th, 2009
3:16 pm

i dont think chipper really lacked power last year. the dude slugged .574 which is quite a bit higher than this year. that would be plenty high to me. i think chipper will have a power boost soon. but to me, ill take singles from him with runners in scoring position all day. i only want him to go for those extra base hits when theres only a runner on 1st.

BravesinTN

July 16th, 2009
3:17 pm

Enter your comments here

Iron Labrum

July 16th, 2009
3:17 pm

Carroll…that was awesome.

Buffalo NY Braves Fan

July 16th, 2009
3:17 pm

Bravedawg,

I think Chipper’s lack of power and lower BA this year is a result of his lack of protection in the order. Chipper is forced to swing at more borderline pitches and expand his zone, so the hits he is getting are bloopers and flares that find holes.

Mixxo

July 16th, 2009
3:17 pm

Andrew in P-tang

braves need to take 3 out of 4 against the mets..series splits will do nothing now

Yup Yup, also need to figure out how to beat the Nats, Bucs and the rest of the lower echelon teams.

BravesinTN

July 16th, 2009
3:19 pm

4 things I could do without:
1) the “First!!!” douchebaggery on these blogs
2) also, on this blog, the overdone phrase ” just sayin’ ”
3) The Wave at any baseball game
4) losing a series to the Mets
The Braves have to win this series…

Braindawg

July 16th, 2009
3:20 pm

Go Braves kick some mets A$$! That being said, all hale Maddox, never be another like him! Ball Caps Off To Maddawg Maddox!!!!

Goodoleboy

July 16th, 2009
3:20 pm

Renegator,

Id expect nothing less

Mixxo

July 16th, 2009
3:22 pm

I see we’re done with the Bucs, still have our nemesis the Nats on the schedule though. Sheeesh! :(

Padres, Lastros and Reds too. Yikes!

Kudzu Wildcat

July 16th, 2009
3:23 pm

Carroll…Any chance that Maddux would become a pitching coach? If I am the Braves, I make him an offer and hope he says YES.

CLE

July 16th, 2009
3:23 pm

Man, how amazing would it be if Maddux was a coach for the Braves someday?

cabravesfan

July 16th, 2009
3:23 pm

Thanks Carroll! I’ve always loved listening to Maddux talk pitching- his mind is amazing :)

Matt

July 16th, 2009
3:23 pm

Lets go BRAVES!!! I hope and pray to God there will be NO more trades although I think the ones we made were necessary! When we had all our success in the 90’s, for the most part we kept the team in tact. I think if we leave it how it is now, team chemistry will grow and that will create more wins. Need look no further than our Atlanta Hawks ;)

El Bravo

July 16th, 2009
3:25 pm

Goodoleboy, I would change that statement to, how can you be a baseball fan and not be a Maddux person? Some day I hope someone writes a book about MadDog’s puns, practical jokes and other baseball exploits. I’ve always heard that the man has a sick sense of humor and that bit about sending the 300th homer he gave up to his coach is pretty funny…

Bravedawg

July 16th, 2009
3:25 pm

DAP – When I say “power,” I’m referring more to HRs. That’s where my concern lies. He hit 22 last year, which was sharply down from past years (except for ‘05, when he had 100 less PAs than he had last year). I’m not saying I don’t like doubles. But given the fact that he doesn’t have much around him, getting a single or double with no one on base more than likely means he’s going to get stranded. A HR, (this is straight from the Obvious Department) guarantees a run or more.

PWHjort

July 16th, 2009
3:25 pm

DAP,
A lot of that was batting average driven. His ISOP was only .210. Which is fine with me if he’s hitting .364. But he wasn’t a “power-hitter” last year. Just a damn good hitter.

Andrew in P-tang

July 16th, 2009
3:26 pm

Mixxo, yea your right..it seems that the braves just focus more against teams that are favored against us..for some reason we dont have that edge to us against all teams..very annoying

Marc

July 16th, 2009
3:26 pm

Pelfrey will be the only starting pitcher to beat us this series, bets?!

Bravedawg

July 16th, 2009
3:26 pm

Buffalo NY Braves fan – you could be onto something there. That probably does have a lot to do with it.

NC Braves Fan

July 16th, 2009
3:27 pm

Carroll – I love the comments from Maddux! Glad you arm wrestled your editors into submission on that one!

Amazing how a guy with so much talent and career accomplishments could be such a humble guy from start to finish.

Joe Fan

July 16th, 2009
3:29 pm

The Braves are 7 games back in the loss column, meaning all things staying the same, they will have to win 8 more games than the Phillies do in the second half in order to finish ahead of them. Does anyone actually believe the inconsistent Braves and their manager are capable of doing that with only 74 games left to play?

Wil

July 16th, 2009
3:32 pm

Love the Maddux stories. It always amazes me to hear about the things he did on and off the mound.

McFann :Ô:

July 16th, 2009
3:33 pm

Goldenglove McCann only got 2 AB’s I believe [in the All-Star Game]

No no no…he only got one AB. And he caught the top of the ninth. That’s it.

Apparently Manuel wanted some tips on ASG managing, so he called up Clint Hurdle.

Clint: “Hey, Chuck! What’s happenin’?”

Charlie: “Just wonder if you had any piece of advice you’d like to pass on to me for this All-Star thing.”

Clint: “Have that first catcher play as much as possible. Screw the ’starting catcher can re-enter the game in an emergency’ rule! That other guy you have doesn’t need much playing time.”

Charlie: “Gotcha! Yeah, that other guy plays for the Braves anyway, I think…”

:roll:

toga party

July 16th, 2009
3:33 pm

Thank you so much for the Maddux interview Carroll. Some great stuff from my all time favorite player. I sure wish I was in Atlanta tomorrow.

Jerry

July 16th, 2009
3:33 pm

Yes Joe Fan I do.

Cheese

July 16th, 2009
3:33 pm

OK, here we go!!! we need to take 7/8 or 6/8 from the Mets and Giants if we want to be in it otherwise i say we see if we can get some prospects for Vasquez

18 Wheels of Love

July 16th, 2009
3:35 pm

Carroll, you know you can contribute your own song and lyrics to the blog…I’m interest to see what you would pick.

Joey

July 16th, 2009
3:35 pm

Goldenglove002, you really are confused? How about this stat from none other than the NY Times Sports dept: Francouer has the lowest OBP by a starter in the history of MLB, minimum 2500 at bats. Still confused?

McFann :Ô:

July 16th, 2009
3:35 pm

Buffalo NY Braves Fan I think Chipper’s lack of power and lower BA this year is a result of his lack of protection in the order.

Well!

Goldenglove002

July 16th, 2009
3:36 pm

McFann- that proves how much attention I payed to the All-Star game. So are you telling me that Molina caught 8 innings? thats crazy.

Jerry

July 16th, 2009
3:36 pm

Cheese… Phillies success or failure has a little to do with that. But You aren’t far off. 5 of 8 minimum

McFann :Ô:

July 16th, 2009
3:40 pm

18 Wheels

How ’bout this song for the Braves’ second “half” theme song? (Here are just the lyrics…that was the only video I could find.)

It’s gonna take some time this time

To get myself in shape

I really fell out of line this time

I really missed the gate

The birds on the telephone line (next time)

Are cryin’ out to me (next time)

And I won’t be so blind next time

And I’ll find some harmony

But it’s goin’ to take some time this time

And I can’t make demands

But like the young trees in the wintertime

I’ll learn how to bend

(*) After all the tears we’ve spent

How could we make amends

So it’s one more round for experience

And I’m on the road again

And it’s goin’ to take some time this time

And I can’t make demands

I’ll learn how to bend

It’s gonna take some time this time

No matter what I’ve planned

But like the young trees in the wintertime

I’ll learn how to bend

Repeat (*)

Shamus Thacker

July 16th, 2009
3:41 pm

Great blog Carroll!

Goldenglove002

July 16th, 2009
3:41 pm

Joey- I’m not confused (though some of my spelling and grammar may not have agreed with me in that post). I said people who I have talked to who don’t follow the game as closely as many of us were slightly confused. Believe me, I actually would pray for Francouer to strikeout when he came up to the plate with a runner on first and less them 2 outs. I understood he waas doing bad

Texas Nick

July 16th, 2009
3:42 pm

Logan, only being held hostage by the heat!!

McFann :Ô:

July 16th, 2009
3:42 pm

Goldenglove

Yes, he caught 8 innings. BMac caught one. I sense a conspiracy…

Haha, oddly enough, BMac caught the Mets’ closer. He pitched a dang good inning, too–very good pitch selection. Huh, no wonder at all, of course…

Bravedawg

July 16th, 2009
3:44 pm

Joey – “Francouer has the lowest OBP by a starter in the history of MLB, minimum 2500 at bats.” Is that true? Wow. Do you have a link to that? I’m not doubting, just need to send it to a misguided friend who thought we were dumb for trading Francouer.

retired on the Lake (formerly cityofdecatur)

July 16th, 2009
3:50 pm

need to sweep the mets and frenchy get some meaningless hits. got the smoker stokin’ (3 chickens and a few pounds of salmon) company’s coming this weekend and we B rootin’ for da braves . don’t let us down the run starts this weekend. if we gotta single and double um to death that’ll be just fine. don’t see any power surges but timely hitting will do just fine. bobby needs to manage the bullpen better and not waste the big 3 with large leads (we have had a few). go braves.

Andrew in P-tang

July 16th, 2009
3:50 pm

does anyone know if jason heyward will be a september call up?

BL

July 16th, 2009
3:50 pm

Yeah Joey can you tell me where I can find that he has the lowest OBP of any MLB player in history with 2500 AB’s???

Cheese

July 16th, 2009
3:51 pm

Yeah, Jerry my only point was we gotta we worry about ourselves, continue dominating the phillies this year (taken 7/9 correct?) we should find ourselves in position for something to happen in august relative to the division or the wildcard…

Retired on the Lake (formerly cityofdecatur)

July 16th, 2009
3:52 pm

my bets against a heyward callup this year

TurnThePage

July 16th, 2009
3:54 pm

OK, so anyone care to guess at the lineup tonight with a lefthander on the mound? What about:

CF Nate McLouth
1B Martin Prado
3B Chipper Jones
C Brian McCann
SS Yunel Escobar
LF Garret Anderson
RF Matt Diaz
2B Brooks Conrad
P Derek Lowe

njbraves

July 16th, 2009
3:57 pm

Maddux needs to be the Braves new pitching coach immediately. He’s always been known as the smartest pitcher going, imagine what he could do for a Hanson and JJ.

njbraves

July 16th, 2009
3:58 pm

TurnThePage…way to go out on limb with that line up.

Carroll Rogers

July 16th, 2009
3:58 pm

Lineup tonight:

1. McLouth CF
2. Prado 2B
3. Jones 3B
4. McCann C
5. Escobar SS
6. Anderson LF
7. Diaz RF
8. Kotchman 1B
9. Lowe P

Yes, Maddux ceremony will be carried live on Peachtree TV. But if you’re in town, come watch. I’m already sad my brother can’t come because his white blood count is too low and too much risk for infection. But those who can come, should!!

Trade Chipper

July 16th, 2009
3:58 pm

Great blog Carroll, always above and beyond. Thanks!

Andrew in P-tang

July 16th, 2009
3:58 pm

mclouth
prado
jones
mccann
escobar
diaz
church
kotchman
lowe
going with the defensive lineup

monty

July 16th, 2009
3:59 pm

We’ve got the next 3 weeks to make a push, we don’t have to be in 1st but we need to get within 3-4 games to realisticly have a chance and to keep motivated every day. We IMHO can’t be where we are right now in 3 weeks and expect to make some historic type of run. We have to position ourselves so that the pitching can carry us through the last 6 weeks.

Steve in DC

July 16th, 2009
3:59 pm

Carroll, great job with the Maddux comments and interview. That’s really great stuff and much appreciated around here I’m sure. Wish I could be there to say farewell one last time to Mad Dog. Think I’ll go and watch the “Chicks dig the long ball” video on Youtube real quick for a pick me up.

BravesDA

July 16th, 2009
4:03 pm

Maddux should become the hitting coach, since he probably knows more about a hitter’s tendencies ;)

Fred

July 16th, 2009
4:03 pm

Carroll, Thanks for all of the information. I hope your brother’s health improves soon.

BL

July 16th, 2009
4:04 pm

Carroll, Sorry to hear about your brother. Does he have cancer? If so, what kind? I know what you are going through with the counts (not me).

Knowitall

July 16th, 2009
4:04 pm

Carroll,

Great stuff from Maddux. I can’t believe the bosses thought that was too technical.

TurnThePage

July 16th, 2009
4:05 pm

WHY is Kotchman in there? I would venture to say that Brooks Conrad has been much more productive than Kotchman has been lately and adds some speed, spark and spunk.

18 Wheels of Love

July 16th, 2009
4:06 pm

Maddux was a professor on the mound. Wish he would come back to ATL in some formal capacity. Hire his brother to be manager and he could be pitching coach.

Couch Tater

July 16th, 2009
4:09 pm

LT

July 16th, 2009
4:10 pm

No Church today? Wonder what that reasoning is… I’ll bet Francoeur’s in the Mets’ lineup!

braves70

July 16th, 2009
4:10 pm

Put another reliever’s scalp on Bobby Cox’s belt? Former Braves Tyler Yates (now with Pittsburgh) will have elbow surgery and miss the rest of the year. I know he has been away from the Braves for a couple of years but Cox overworked him while here just like he is doing Moylan and Gonzalez now. If you are a reliever, Bobby Cox has to be your worst nightmare.

Steve C.

July 16th, 2009
4:11 pm

TurnThePage,

You do realize that Kotchman was out with the flu for a few games, right? Pretty hard to be productive when you aren’t playing, no?

RHR

July 16th, 2009
4:11 pm

Maddux would make a helluva pitching coach. Too bad he’s from the millionaire era where the players make so much the desire to come back and coach for a fraction of the salary has little appeal.

Josh B – It’s at 7:31….like Carroll said in the article above…

Original Jon

July 16th, 2009
4:12 pm

LT, the reasoning is Church doesnt hit left handers too well, thats the reasoning.

TurnThePage

July 16th, 2009
4:12 pm

Oh, I know thy Kotchman is in there. It’s the offensive production. After all, he has hit .273 with 4 HR 31 RBI in 73 games. Conrad has only hit .355 with 2 HR 8 RBI in 10 games. That average of roughly an RBI a game and half as many home runs in 1/7 the games probably scared Bobby Cox to death!

BL

July 16th, 2009
4:13 pm

Steve C.

Like it matters. Kotchman swings a canoe paddle

TurnThePage

July 16th, 2009
4:13 pm

Steve C, look at the numbers over the season. OK, he’s had the flu. Has he had it the whole season? Conrad hasn’t played the whole season, but he’s been pretty impressive in his ten games.

Andrew in P-tang

July 16th, 2009
4:14 pm

yea and i bet GA just has a great game tonight

Javy

July 16th, 2009
4:15 pm

You know you’re in trouble when your leading base stealer is also your top home run guy(McClouth) Hell to the NO, we dont have enough offense to go anywhere, we got 3 pitchers with ERAs under 3.00 in Hanson, Javy, & JJ & were still under .500, now who else has pitching like that??? NOBODY but you still cant win if you cant score, the Diaz/Church combo may be good enough but that sleepy guy in left needs to go for a righty power bat, we shoulda signed Burrell & pissed off the Phillies, put him @ cleanup in front of McCann then were in business! GOTTA GO LIST: Garret, KJ, Norton, Acosta, & TP!!!

Jerry

July 16th, 2009
4:16 pm

Tyler Yates elbow is Bobbys fault. LOL

TurnThePage

July 16th, 2009
4:16 pm

I really like Conrad. He’s not the best second baseman Atlanta has ever had defensively, but he’s not any worse than Kelly Johnson. He hits the ball though and has decent speed.

N8

July 16th, 2009
4:18 pm

TurnThePage

July 16th, 2009
4:18 pm

I’m at the point that I would like to see some of the dearth of veterans who aren’t producing like Garret Anderson and Casey Kotchman sit down and at least give some of the younger players a shot like Conrad, Matt Young and Brandon Jones. It certainly wouldn’t slow down the production in the lineup as a whole. Does anybody know how the Braves brass views Young? He has 26 steals. I just think with this team lacking power and speed that maybe they should give him a look see.

Steve C.

July 16th, 2009
4:18 pm

TurnThePage and BL,

Who would play first? Are you suggesting Conrad??? Dude’s defense is pretty bad, while Kotchman hasn’t made an error all year. Or were you suggesting Prado at first and Conrad at 2nd? Prado not very good defensively at first either. I will agree that Conrad has been impressive and I really like the all-out way he plays, but you really aren’t suggesting he play first base are you?

ncscoots

July 16th, 2009
4:19 pm

Maddux would make a helluva pitching coach.

You might think, but, great players seldom make great coaches.

Renegator

July 16th, 2009
4:20 pm

Steve from OH

July 16th, 2009
4:20 pm

His ISOP was only .210.

League average is around .150 or so…that’s still pretty doggone good IMO.

BL–Dave posted that stat back when Frenchy was traded. I believe it was lowest OBP ever for any corner OF with min. 2,500 PA. I know you’re sorry to see your boy go, but trust us: he sucks. Terribly. We’re much better off without him.

TurnThePage

July 16th, 2009
4:20 pm

Steve C., I think that Prado does a CREDIBLE job defensively at first. Is he as good defensively at first as Kotchman? No. He will suffice. Offensively, I think you would agree that both Conrad and Prado add much more than Kotchman ever would.

CT

July 16th, 2009
4:22 pm

What if the braves tried to get jaun peirre. he’s a good LF he can get over 200 hits in a season and he’ll steal bases.it solves all the leadoff problems.

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