Tough task tonight to avoid series loss

  Fort Lauderdale – A day after Rafael Soriano served up a reminder that he’s human, the Braves face a tough task if they hope to avoid what would be their first series loss since the July 4 weekend.
  They’re facing the Marlins’ Josh Johnson tonight at — ahem — Land Shark Stadium. (Seriously, can they ever have another Super Bowl at this place as long as it’s named Land Shark Stadium?)
  The Florida right-hander is 9-2 and ranks eighth in the NL in ERA (2.80), fifth in home ERA (1.98), sixth in opponents’ average (.228) and fourth in opponents’ average with RISP (.168).
Yeah, he’s real good.

This didn't make Soriano happy last night

This didn't please "The Scowl" last night

  And the Braves counter with Kenshin Kawakami, which means they are more than likely to score two runs or fewer while Kawakami’s in the game regardless of who the opposition is.
  Unless, of course, the Braves’ recent offensive improvement can finally pay dividends for Kawakami like it has lately for other previously non-supported Braves starters.
  Kawakami’s poor April, coupled with a lack of run support and the whole culture/language barrier thing seemed to have relegated him to a corner of anonymity and lack of recognition.
  Here’s what I mean: How many of you know much of anything about the guy? I confess I don’t, other than he likes golf, lives in Bow Wow’s old mansion (seriously) and drives a black Maserati, which I saw him driving when I went past him in the HOV lane the other day on my bike.
  Anyway, his rough first month and lack of wins have fueled the perception that he’s had a substandard season.
  Fact of the matter is, he’s got a 3.20 ERA in 14 starts since the beginning of May, though just a 4-4 record in that span. The Braves scored one or no runs while he was in eight of those starts.
  Of course, part of that also has something to do with his relatively early exits. Dude has lasted fewer than six innings in nine of his past 16 starts, and exactly six innings in four others in that span.
  In fact, he’s worked more than six innings in only three of his 18 starts this season. If there’s anything that’s surprised me about his performance, it’s probably that. He’s not been as durable as   I thought he’d be, beginning with the sore shoulder he had in spring training.
  I think he’s pitched with varying degrees of shoulder discomfort in a lot of his starts this season, though he hasn’t said anything about it most of the time. The six-innings-or-earlier exits could have something to do with that, or possibly just the fact that Bobby Cox and the Braves have seen how he’s run into trouble in the fifth and sixth innings of quite a few starts.
  He’s 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in his past seven starts, though he lasted five innings or fewer in four of those games.
  Kawakami is signed for two more years at nearly $8 million per season, so I’m not reallye expecting teams to beat down the Braves’ doors pursuing him this offseason. And frankly, as a fourth or fifth starter he’s more than adequate, since six-inning quality starts over and over are more than most teams get out f those positions.
  It’s just that I never got the impression the Braves were thinking fourth or fifth starter when they signed him to that deal. More like No. 3 starter.
  Anyway, that’s a conversation for another day (and maybe not too far off, if the Braves have to open a spot for Tim Hudson in a few weeks and nobody gets hurt before then).
  As for the Marlins’ Johnson, he’s 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA in his past eight home starts, and the Marlins won the last five of those. Left-handed hitters have batted .244 against him, compared to .210 by right-handers. However, all seven homers against him were hit by righties.
  Johnson is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA in nine games (eight starts) against the Braves. Kelly Johnson is 4-for-10 against him, while Martin Prado is 0-for-7. So I’ll be curious to see what the lineup looks like.

 ♣ NASA does Braves/MIB blog: I was in the hotel fitness room today and couldn’t find anything on the TV. Had my Ipod on, since didn’t care much, either. But I came upon the NASA channel.
Talk about a mystery. Do people actually tune to the NASA channel and watch for hours as the stationary cameras monitor a few guys sitting around at cubicles and occasionally talking to each other?
  I found it fascinating (well, sort of), to the point where I kept glancing at the TV to see if they were doing anything interesting (if you work in the NASA Control Center, do you have to make sure you don’t adjust your crotch or whatever while you’re in front of the cameras?)
  Anyway, one time the camera switched and it was a view from behind a dude at his computer. And guess what he had on his screen? The Braves/MIB blog. This blog. He was blogging.
OK, I made that part up. That last paragraph. That didn’t happen.

 ♣ Speaking of Prado ... did someone on the blog yesterday really say that Kelly Johnson deserved to be back in at 2B after his big game the other day? Did they?
  People, Prado has hit .355 (38-for-107) with 10 doubles, three homers and 18 RBI and 20 runs scored in his past 25 games, with a .417 OBP and .533 slugging percentage in that span. He and Escobar fueled the Braves’ offensive resurgence.
  No, he’s not going to win any Gold Gloves, as his play last night that should’ve been ruled an error (but was called a single) reminded us. But Kelly is just a serviceable defensive second baseman, too. And lately, Prado has actually played quite good defensively, on top of his steady hitting.
  And while we’re talking about resurgences, Garret Anderson’s continued last night with his two hits including a ninth-inning, go-ahead homer. He’s hit .336 (50-for-149) with six homers and 22 RBI in his past 41 games, with a .369 OBP and .517 slugging percentage in that span.
  And in his past 14 games, Anderson’s hit .392 with three homers and a 1.056 OPS.

♣ OK, I gotta get to the ballpark. But I wanted to share this with you. One of my closest friends from Fort Lauderdale, Sun-Sentinel columnist Mike Mayo, wrote this touching tribute to his brother, who suffered from schizophrenia and died recently.

  Alright, let’s take it out with a great cut from Alabaman Jamey Johnson’s terrific That Lonesome Song album. And here’s the song, if you haven’t heard it.

“BETWEEN JENNINGS AND JONES” by Jamey Johnson & Buddy Cannon

I left Montgomery on North 65
I was restless and ready to give Nashville a try
I rolled into town with a sound of my own
Somewhere between Jennings and Jones

Well, the day job I landed felt just like a jail
I couldn’t seem to break out with that hammer and nails
And I spent all my nights in some old honky-tonk
Somewhere between Jennings and Jones

Hanging out in the bars with the drunks and the stars I found a few good ole boys just like me
Started burning our candles both ends and the middle a bunch of roaring outlaws at high speed
And they said that the end of that road I was on
somewhere between Jennings and Jones

Well, some record executives found me on night
I was singing half-lit, they said it sounded just right (right)
They put my name on an album but they shelved all my songs
Said I was somewhere between Jennings and Jones

Hanging out in the bars with the drunks and the stars
And a few good ole boys just like me
Started burning our candles both ends and the middle a bunch of roaring outlaws at high speed
And they said that the end of that road I was on
somewhere between Jennings and Jones

Now to find me in a record store won’t take you long
I’m right there between Jennings and Jones

2,364 comments Add your comment

OptimisticInTexas

July 29th, 2009
3:00 pm

So yesturday’s loss combined with today’s news really feels like a kick (or multiple kicks) in the knots… It’s almost like a scare tactic… LOL

Capt Caveman

July 29th, 2009
3:00 pm

I’m re-posting this from the end of the last blog.

Ok there Original Jon — here is a good case in point. We played the Expo’s a lot back when the Braves split their spring training complex in West Palm Beach. So therefore we spent a lot of time playing split squad games with them. Same scenario basically happened in two straight games where we they had the tying run on base and the winning run at the plate and in both instances had the count go 2-2 and 3-1 respectively . At that point I looked to the dugout to confirm and then gave the pitcher the “just bring the best gas you got” sign. One game we got the out, one game the batter got a hit that lead to a loss. But in both instances the coaches praised the pitcher for not committing the “Cardinal Sin of Baseball’ — which is never WALK the winning run onto the basepaths !!! It’s a rule that has been taught since the days of Babe Ruth, Warren Spahn, Bob Gibson, Orel Hershiser, Doc Gooden, Roger Clemens, and into the present.

It’s the old “forget about the curveball Ricky, give’em the heater!!” (Major League 1989)

Mark Wohlers gave up that WS homerun and the most significant part of it was not that he gave it up but that it was on his slider and not his best pitch — fastball.

As a catcher you know what your pitchers best pitch for a strike is and when you get in that situation you go with your best stuff. If he hits it — well he hits it. Good for him and we’ll see ya tomorrow.

That’s how real baseball is played. Your “hindsight” coaching is never going to change that.

Mark Twine

July 29th, 2009
3:00 pm

ADAM DUNN WHERE ART THOU

TBrown

July 29th, 2009
3:01 pm

If I were the Phillies, I’d say F–K YOU! to everyone and make the trade for Halladay. That’d pretty much guarantee the next two world series rings, making that 3 in a row. WHO CARES ABOUT THE MINOR LEAGUES?!? Nothin says “we’re all-in” like trading every decent minor league player for TWO aces.

Crazy Trades McGee

July 29th, 2009
3:01 pm

I thought this was a good trade offer, so I’m moving it over to this blog for comment:

I’ve got it:

BRAVES GET:
V-Mart

TRIBE GETS:
- A box of fresh off the line Krispy Kreme Donuts
- 1995 World Series Champions Banner
- A case of Coca Colas straight from the factory
- Jeff Bennett

Doc Holiday

July 29th, 2009
3:01 pm

So now the phillies get tougher with LEE as part of the staff……….Good God.

HeywardTheFuture

July 29th, 2009
3:03 pm

Kotchman kills us.

McFann Ô

July 29th, 2009
3:03 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief. I wish they didn’t have to face Mr. Johnson on the mound…

Repost:

Oh…and the punches just keep on rolling–Pirates traded Ian Snell and others to the Mariners. My man Ian is out of the NL! :cry:

What next, I ask you? What next??

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:03 pm

DOB thanks for that not ..that is funnnyy that he lives in bow wow’s old house lol

Steve from OH

July 29th, 2009
3:04 pm

Kotchman kills us.

I’m afraid you have him confused with MFIKY.

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:04 pm

thanks for that note*

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:04 pm

Adam Dunn get here now

Capt Caveman ( a/k/a Bosley )

July 29th, 2009
3:05 pm

Hey McFann — I have changed my name to reflect my new position. Just don’t replace my with Bernie Mac ……….. ( I know he’s dead ) You know what I mean.

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:05 pm

huge trade went down
Ed Price of AOL FanHouse reports that the Reds acquired Wladimir Balentien from the Mariners for righty Robert Manuel.

Original Jon

July 29th, 2009
3:05 pm

Boy Caveman, for a guy that usually passes on by my posts and doesnt respond to them is sure on my nuts, arent you. I dont give a crap what you think, honestly I dont, I never said intentionally walk the guy, I said dont throw the pitch down the fricking middle of the plate, if you cant get that, then I guess your feeble mind never will. So get off my nuts already, unless you really love them, then ok, but I wont be responding to you anymore because you are just getting annoying.

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:07 pm

Kotchman sucks

Efrim

July 29th, 2009
3:08 pm

From Jim Callis of Baseball America, on the Lee-Philly deal:

Glen (Philadelphia)
Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Phillies acquired Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco for Knapp, Donald, Marson, and Carasco. Thoughts on this deal?

Jim Callis
Stunned, frankly. From everything we’ve read about the Phillies, it seems the four pieces they value the most right now are in some order, Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown, J.A. Happ and Michael Taylor. The Indians didn’t get any of them. They got one high-upside guy (Knapp), and he’s in low Class A and has some shoulder fatigue. The rest of the guys are solid regulars at best–they’re not stars. Lee is very affordable for next season, and the AL Central is a very winnable division. I don’t like this trade at all for the Indians. From the Phillies’ standpoint, this is a great deal, to hold on to the young guys you want and get a frontline starter. I’d rather have Halladay than Lee, but I’d rather give up this package for Lee than meet J.P. Ricciardi’s reported demands for Halladay.

McFann Ô

July 29th, 2009
3:08 pm

Capt. Caveman

OK!

Just don’t replace my with Bernie Mac ……….. ( I know he’s dead ) You know what I mean.

Um…sorry…not quite sure…

AndyC

July 29th, 2009
3:08 pm

Great trade for the Phils. Lee is a very good pitcher and they didn’t have to give up their two best prospects to get him. Forget about Lee’s record this year (7-9), the Indians are terrible. His ERA is 3.14 in the AL which is outstanding. He has also been pitching very well of late, only one poor outing in his last 9. With the kind of run support he will get with the Phils I think he could go on a Sabithia-like run.

I am going to say it and you guys and gals can trash me if you like… but the Braves are DONE in the east. 8 games out with 62 left to play. This is after playing their best ball all season and they fall further back. DONE.

I think the wildcard is still a possiblity but they will have to get lucky and hope that 3-4 teams play poorly the rest of the way. I still hold some hope there. Let the trashing commence!

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:08 pm

I’d rather watch scott thorman swing for the moon and miss than watch goofy lookin casey with a folded down ear try to hit

fleming

July 29th, 2009
3:09 pm

flang1

Not interested at any price. Trade Norton for Smoltz, Lars Anderson and Clay Buckholtz? Answer NO.

Have to disagree with you there. Would trade Norton for those three in a minute then DFA Smoltz if I needed to. Anybody for Norton would be a good trade LOL.

Mitchie-san

July 29th, 2009
3:10 pm

I understand that the Wild Card is needed for teams like the 104 win Giants. I just hate it when a team who is no where near 100 wins or whatever eeks their way in to the playoffs.

Didnt the Hawks make the playoffs a few years a go with a losing record via the wild card? They had no business in the playoffs with all the other teams. Its stupid.

I know there is no way around all this and I just have to deal with it. I just prefer to keep my eyes on the prize and not the consolation prize.

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

July 29th, 2009
3:11 pm

Cliff Lee’s good, folks (or at least he has been every year but 2007 and 2006 and 2004), but does he intimidate clubs to the degree Halladay does? Nah.

He’s still an upgrade for the Phils, of course. If he pitches well at the Bank.

It’d be something if he winds up being another, say, Len Barker for them, though …

Going into a playoff series, facing a rotation of Halladay, Hamels, and Moyer somehow sounds more impressive than Hamels, Lee, and Moyer.

McFann Ô

July 29th, 2009
3:11 pm

Kinda “funny”…in that photo of the Marlins celebrating, Mr. Meals looks like he’s in on it…

Nova Scotia Steve

July 29th, 2009
3:12 pm

I know Kawakami has had some tough runs support…but the guy’s game are marathon’s…I get bored when he pitches….

RARELY does he get past the 5th or 6th inning…and he doesn’t pound the strike zone.

So you can almost bet on the bullpen getting the decision every single time he pitches…

The guy is frustrating to watch…period.

wjones

July 29th, 2009
3:13 pm

“I’d rather watch scott thorman swing for the moon and miss than watch goofy lookin casey with a folded down ear try to hit”

What’s up? Did Kotchman steal your GF or something? Decaf will solve overreaction.

Supes

July 29th, 2009
3:13 pm

Efrim,

Thanks for posting the info/analysis on the Phillies/Indians trade.

Maybe when Shaun reads that, he’ll get my frustration with the indians bending over and not getting any of the top 4 guys (that the Phillies valued more than anyone in their farm system). Why do I care as a Braves fan? Because I want the Phillies as weak as possible in the future, if someone would have been smart/savy enough to pry away their top tier talent, the better for the Braves :)

18 Wheels of Love

July 29th, 2009
3:14 pm

Did I mention Heyward is hitting .443 in AA since his promotion. There’s your cheap power bat for RF. Bobby and Wren both said during ST that they had brought up a 19 year old before (Andruw) and Wren recently said Heyward’s play would let him know when he was ready. I’m not saying they should bring him up, I ‘m saying Heyward is making hard for them not to bring him up.

Capt Caveman ( a/k/a Bosley )

July 29th, 2009
3:14 pm

Original Jerk — You still don’t get it. At 3-1 count you got to bring it. You have no choice. Anything on the edges might be called a ball. You aim for the middle and bring your best stuff. So quit saying he shouldn’t have thrown it. He had to b/c that’s what the situation called for.

I just can’t stand people like you who seem to think that professional ballplayers and coaches don’t know what you know. Take into account the situation, the count, and the fact that the ump was squeezing the zone a little, and you have to throw it across the plate. Make him hit it, don’t get cutesy. Now learn a little before you go speaking out of turn again.

McFann Ô

July 29th, 2009
3:14 pm

Piedmont Blues does [Lee] intimidate clubs to the degree Halladay does? Nah.

Yeah, but Lee’s a lefty–that makes him very intimidating. 8O

Bad day for trades. :evil: Lose a Snell and gain a Lee.

Doc Holiday

July 29th, 2009
3:14 pm

I think Lee + Happ + Hamels + Moyer + Blanton are good enough for them to keep them at the top………..and Pedro is waiting in the wings……..bullpen maybe?

Tough staff suddenly.

Steve from OH

July 29th, 2009
3:14 pm

sri (detroit)

Schafer – ML regular CF or 4th outfielder

Jim Callis (2:46 PM)

Regular.

18 Wheels of Love

July 29th, 2009
3:15 pm

That should say Bobby said during ST and Wren just recently said…obviously Wren wasn’t around in 96.

Hillbilly

July 29th, 2009
3:15 pm

Burning our candles, both ends and the middle…

a bunch of roarin’ outlaws at high speeeeeed!

And they say that the source of this roll that we’re on…..

…bats somewhere between McLouth and Jones

PWHjort

July 29th, 2009
3:16 pm

It’s almost impossible to not make the playoffs in the NBA. I think all you have to do to make the NBA playoffs is to ask nicely. (Rumor has it a “please” has to be involved)

wjones

July 29th, 2009
3:16 pm

“Maybe when Shaun reads that, he’ll get my frustration with the indians bending over and not getting any of the top 4 guys (that the Phillies valued more than anyone in their farm system). Why do I care as a Braves fan? Because I want the Phillies as weak as possible in the future, if someone would have been smart/savy enough to pry away their top tier talent, the better for the Braves ”

To make it up to us, the Indians should give us Victor Martinez for Norton. Either Greg or Ed, or both.

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:17 pm

wjones no he just sucks…

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:18 pm

Bring up Heyward ASAP

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

July 29th, 2009
3:20 pm

Mitchie-san,

It ain’t happening, but my preference would be an expansion to 32 teams, eight divisions, no wild card.

The more likely development is adding another wild card if the calendar could handle it. (Ugh.) The tendency is to make more teams eligible for the postseason rather than fewer on the grounds that you’d generate interest throughout the season in more markets.

Crazy Trades McGee

July 29th, 2009
3:21 pm

Is anyone else’s office 100 degrees? Are we in a recession?

braves fan lmh

July 29th, 2009
3:21 pm

Lets be honest here. Cliff Lee is a good pitcher, but was last year a fluke or has cliff lee finally figured it out and turned into a top of the rotation guy? Lets not forget that Lee was almost released by the indians before last year and this year he has given up 165 hits and 10 homeruns. In that bandbox of a stadium in philly how effective can he really be?

Steve from OH

July 29th, 2009
3:21 pm

Piedmont–the only change I’d make is making the Divisional series a best-of-7 instead of best-of-5.

Big Daddy

July 29th, 2009
3:21 pm

SI.com has a story on the “hottest” prospects in baseball. Not only was Heyward not in the top 10, he wasn’t even mentioned as an honorable mention!

Whats that all about?

Train Wreck Bystander

July 29th, 2009
3:22 pm

I’d rather someone else was getting Cliff Lee than the Phils. But neither the Phils nor the Tribe asked for my opinion on the subject.

Needless to say, I was disappointed in last night’s outcome. But I can forgive the occasional blown save. Happens to the best of them. Didn’t stop me from shouting a few expletives at the TV, though.

We’ll get them tonight.

NASA TV rocks when they are actually outside the ISS doing stuff, or launching / landing the Shuttle. But when the spacemen are sleeping and you have to watch the console farm, it gets kinda stale. Some of the old historical films they show are a blast too.

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:22 pm

Red Sox emerge as favorites to land Victor Martinez
Views3764Comments25Posted by: Jon Heyman01:06 PM ET 07.29 Share
The Red Sox are actively pursuing Indians catcher Victor Martinez, and they appear to be the favorites to land him now. The Rays, a Red Sox rival, are another team looking at Martinez.

Boston is looking to upgrade its offense and may be discouraged in its pursuit of Padres 1B Adrian Gonzalez.

The Indians now appear likely to trade both Martinez and top pitcher Cliff Lee as they rebuild.

TBrown

July 29th, 2009
3:22 pm

Crazy Trades McGee-

I feel ya on the heat. I’m dying here man. It’s usually freezing in my office, but this week has been a burner.

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

July 29th, 2009
3:22 pm

Steve from OH,

I would buy that.

I’d also be OK with a return to two divisions per league and let the top two from each make the divisional series.

Dorothy Davis

July 29th, 2009
3:23 pm

If Bobby is going to insist on useing a 125 hitter (Norton) for a pinch hitter when the game is on the line and we have runners on with 2 outs, then we are doomed for sure this year. Could we maybe afford a 250 pinch hitter next year…like all the ones we sent back to the minors? Norton is the biggest anchor around this years team. Cut him loose!

Space Monkey

July 29th, 2009
3:23 pm

Man, Cliff Lee for a barrel full of garbage. And we had to give up four solid guys to get Texeira. My fantasy league commissioner would have spiked this deal. Cleveland is having a fire sale. Do they have any players that could help us?

18 Wheels of Love

July 29th, 2009
3:24 pm

NASA TV is no Three Sheets.

wjones

July 29th, 2009
3:24 pm

“wjones no he just sucks…”

I don’t agree. I do have one wish for him, though. I wish that once or twice every series or so, he would come to the plate looking for a pitch that he could really rip. Maybe in a spot where he is comfortable in doing that. When he connects with a pitch, it generally is long enough to go out of any park. I think if he did that he could very well hit another 10 to 12 homers before year’s end. Then again, batting in the bottom of the order, he would get fewer and fewer pitches to swing at, let alone drive. I’d still like him to try, though. Also, when he gets in a good groove, he is a doubles machine. Until his injury he led the league and wasn’t even on his hitting streak yet. I don’t think we’ve seen the top of his game yet, even with that hitting streak.

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:24 pm

now that the braves are right in the wild card case were going to stand pat …cool frank…pull of a tex like trade now with this pitching staff wild card is ours

Eric from MO

July 29th, 2009
3:24 pm

Tbrown how would Halladay guarentee the next two rings? Maybe the pennants but I would still take the Red Sox, Yankees, or Rays over them. You can not say it guarentees anything.

Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)

July 29th, 2009
3:25 pm

The Nats have to start shedding guys soon. They can win 50 games with a $60 million payroll or 50 with a $40 million payroll. What’s the diff?

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:25 pm

wjones, your kidding right?

TnBrian

July 29th, 2009
3:26 pm

I’m surprised Wren hasn’t gotten his team a relief pitcher yet and I haven’t heard a peep on any Braves rumors for awhile. Don’t think anything is up either. Maybe he realizes the obvious that it’s going to take a ton of what the Braves have been doing the past month to win the WC and the division is almost wrapped up for Philly. He almost has to get another Rp, right?

Joebrave

July 29th, 2009
3:26 pm

Hmmmm, well I said it last night,and with todays transaction, the coffin lid is now closed on the Braves season.
Unless Wren makes a stunning deal for an impact bat, Los Bravos are done.
I know I know let the Joebrave bashing begin, but let’s not forget the other teams ahead in the W/C, teams can deal as well..And if Colorado, or San Fran grabs say Sanchez, or another starter which can be done, then ATLANTA IS TOAST.
Look at this team through rose colored glasses if ya want, The real Braves showed up last night 3 runs, and lose!

lexbrave

July 29th, 2009
3:26 pm

“Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the Giants are definitely getting Freddy Sanchez.”

Are the Pirates even going to have a team left? More importantly are they going to have a fan left.

Original Jon

July 29th, 2009
3:26 pm

Capt Cavefag, why you still talking to me, seriously? Do me the favor and keep going past my posts. Thanks.

ncscoots

July 29th, 2009
3:28 pm

The more likely development is adding another wild card if the calendar could handle it.

My favorite has always been this one: two wild-cards, yes, but the two meet in a single elimination game to see which makes the playoffs. It puts a burden on the wild-card team in the playoffs and provides at least a slight advantage to the division winner that plays them. As now played, a single extra road game in a short series is not much of a disadvantage to a team that did not win its division. The better-record teams in the playoffs deserve more than that.

Scuba Steve

July 29th, 2009
3:28 pm

DOB, very touching article by your friend…nearly had me in tears at work. Makes me appreciate my time with my brother!

Eric from MO

July 29th, 2009
3:28 pm

Ok, I know that Lee is good, but I dont watch the Indians much, who does? So my question is, is Lee a groundball pitcher or flyball pitcher because that matters alot in Phillie.

Joebrave

July 29th, 2009
3:28 pm

Sorry but I don’t believe and I damn sure ain’t drinking Booby’s cool-aid!My thoughts, Wren should sell!

wjones

July 29th, 2009
3:28 pm

“wjones, your kidding right?”

No

UNCBrave

July 29th, 2009
3:29 pm

Braves have to call about V-MART….The Phillies got last year’s Cy Young winner FOR NOTHING from the Indians…

Trade Medlen/Schafer/Kotchman for V-MART…..Pick up the PHONE FRANK WREN

Joebrave

July 29th, 2009
3:29 pm

Stand pat Frank, so it’s your move Hoss!

Eric from MO

July 29th, 2009
3:30 pm

18 Wheels if, and its a big if, they bring up Heyward it will be in Sep. Just like Andruw. Also I hope they dont. AJ never became a complete hitter like he could of if they let him stay in the minors and learn something.

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:30 pm

im with uncbrave…braves cant stand pat and expect to beat out the rockies,giants,and cubs

Optimism - catch it

July 29th, 2009
3:31 pm

Every year some team that is supposed to be great falters down the stretch. the Phillies took down the mets as they collapsed. it would only make sense for the braves to do the same to the Phillies. there are about 60 games left. Phillies will go cold. braves will too. the difference will be which team takes advantage & rebounds the quickest. cliff lee could blow out a shoulder in his first game with the phils. hamels could go down again. braves have beaten some good pitchers & lost to some bad ones. anything could happen & probably will.

Steve from OH

July 29th, 2009
3:31 pm

Do the Indians have a say in that, UNCBrave?

MiamiBrave

July 29th, 2009
3:31 pm

DOB

I’m in Miami (Doral) to be exact and its pouring (been pouring all day) what’s the weather like around the stadium…not in the mood for a rain delay tonight :\

Joebrave

July 29th, 2009
3:32 pm

Sheeeeeit! now that’s funny rat thar Optimism!

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:32 pm

Eric from MO,Andruw never was a complete hitter because he didnt care.

UNCBrave

July 29th, 2009
3:32 pm

Phillies, Giants, and Rockies make trades to get better….FRANK WREN DOES NOTHING….

What does that say to your ball club?

The Nats have to sign Strasburg by August 15 and therefore have to free some $$$ up….

The Braves haven’t been named in anything…

Kawakrappy goes tonight and gets SHELLED by the Fish going 5 innings and throwing 100+ pitches..

PWHjort

July 29th, 2009
3:33 pm

Steve from OH,
From the last thread. I don’t think Marson has any bearing on whether or not they trade V-Mart. I doubt they’ll keep Marson for awhile anyway. Carlos Santana is their future catcher. And he’s mashing AA pitching (.275/.397/.536). That’s such a beautiful AA line. Decent average, LOADS of secondary skills. 63 BB’s, 58 K’s, 19 HR, 20 2B, switch hitter. I don’t know how good his defense is, but he’s going to be an extremely good hitter.

TnBrian

July 29th, 2009
3:33 pm

Joebrave, whether you’re right or wrong about the Braves season being done, it had nothing to do with last night’s loss. Did you watch the game or just the final score? The ump screwed Soriano and JJ all night and we did come back to take the lead until one of the best closers in baseball had an off night.

Smoltzy

July 29th, 2009
3:34 pm

Does anyone think we should or could get Smoltzy to help in the pen. Mr. Obrien what are your thoughts.

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:34 pm

Vmart is only makin 4.5 this year..we’d barely have anymore to pay..with a 7 mill option next year..we’d be set

Frank from KS (now living in CO)

July 29th, 2009
3:34 pm

Anders

I agree with ya on Soriano. He isn’t even NEAR the class of Eck, Lee Smith, Wetteland, Trevor Hoffman and (even as much as I dispise the Yanks) Rivera….just to name a few.

If he ends up putting up numbers such as them…..he’ll be in the same class…but not until then.

CrimeDog

July 29th, 2009
3:35 pm

UNCBrave-

Is there any method to your capitalizing madness, or do you just randomly decide which words need to be capped?

IT’s somewhat IRRITATING to read your HALF-baked trade IDEAS when half of the WORDS are in ALL caps.

THANK you.

UNCBrave

July 29th, 2009
3:36 pm

Will Victor Martinez Be Next To Go?
By Ben Nicholson-Smith [July 29 at 2:31pm CST]
The Indians have traded Mark DeRosa, Rafael Betancourt and, now, Cliff Lee. Who’s next? Executives tell ESPN.com’s Buster Olney that they fully expect Victor Martinez to be traded in the next 48 hours. In the words of one AL official:

“I don’t think they’d move one without moving the other.”

Martinez, 30, makes $4.5MM this year and will earn $7MM in 2010 if his team picks up his option. Most expect the switch-hitting catcher’s option to be picked up, regardless of who he plays for. Indians GM Mark Shapiro told FOX Sports that he’s not under pressure to make deals for financial reasons, but some of Olney’s sources say the team faces pressure to cut payroll.

Inside Guy

July 29th, 2009
3:36 pm

Paul Kornerko is coming.

Rock On....the denizen formerly known as Dadgum

July 29th, 2009
3:36 pm

Many have mentioned that they didn’t think Heyward would be called up this year with 2010 a possibility.

Folks, think about this for a second, we have just seen Frank Norton trotted out there time and again to hit the big one. If the Braves have a distant chance in Sept. don’t you really think their chances are better trotting out Heyward as opposed to Norton or others especially when the minor regular season is over and Heyward needs work anyway with teh big club. Heyward in September is a no-brainer especially on a team that needs his big bat. Fast-forward to next March and I say he is on the 25-man.

Rock On....the denizen formerly known as Dadgum

July 29th, 2009
3:36 pm

ah….Greg Norton.

Steve from OH

July 29th, 2009
3:36 pm

PWH–IIRC, Santana’s defense is…bad, to say the least. He may end up at 1B or DH…

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:37 pm

crimedog, uncbrave just knows what the braves need in order to better there chances to get to the playoffs..

Wayne in Utah

July 29th, 2009
3:37 pm

Smoltzy

Have you looked at John’s record this year? How about his salary? I don’t think he will be returning unless the Red Sox want to release him first.

Steve from OH

July 29th, 2009
3:37 pm

We don’t have the expenable pieces that the Indians would like for V-Mart, plain and simple.

The Wreck

July 29th, 2009
3:38 pm

Just a note about the Land Shark Stadium name. The deal for the naming rights expires after the 2009 NFL season and before the Super Bowl is played there in February.

Smoltzy

July 29th, 2009
3:39 pm

Smoltz was signed at 5 million. There are only a few months left in the season so we would not be on the hook for all of it. I know he is struggling as a starter which is why I would love us to trade for him and put him in the bullpen. His stuff is still there I just don;t think his arm can handle starting anymore.

Eric from MO

July 29th, 2009
3:39 pm

Braves season isnt over, division probably is but not the wildcard. Everyone says it will be hard to win the wildcard because there is 4 other teams but I dont see it that way. Think about it, the Giants and Rockies will play each other plus the best NL team, Dodgers. The NL Central will beat each other up, with the Cards, Cubs, Brewers, and Astros. We own the Mets and Phillies, have the worst team in baseball with the Nats, and the Marlins, a young inexperienced team. We have the easiest schedule of all the NL teams.

PhillyPhan

July 29th, 2009
3:39 pm

How pathetic is it that the Braves have all that pitching and are neck and neck with the Marlins! Now with Lee, our team is primed and set for yet ANOTHER playoff run while the joke braves will be golfing on the green with the rest of the losers. HA, your team is pathetic and so is your silly old manager!! GO PHILLIES!

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:40 pm

Pirates seriously traded away half there team this year..crazy

Wayne in Utah

July 29th, 2009
3:42 pm

Smoltzy

I think you are dreaming. Also, didn’t it tick you off when he left last winter and went for the guaranteed cash?

No. He made the right choice monetarily last winter, and so did the Braves. Like I said, only if Boston released him and paid most of his salary.

Marc from FL

July 29th, 2009
3:42 pm

DOB,

As a Florida native, I can safely say “no”, no one actually watches the NASA channel (except about an hour before a shuttle takes off).

Eric from MO

July 29th, 2009
3:42 pm

Exactly Andrew because he got promoted when he was 19 and already thought he was great. It wont hurt to leave Heyward down til he is 20.

Andrew in P-tang

July 29th, 2009
3:42 pm

2:40pm: MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that the Giants and Pirates have a deal in place that would send Sanchez to San Francisco. The Giants will look at the infielder’s knee this afternoon before deciding whether to complete the deal, which wouldn’t send any major leaguers to Pittsburgh.

Texas Nick

July 29th, 2009
3:42 pm

The Phillies still have the pieces to get Halladay even after the Cliff Lee trade. If they give up Drabek and the others that Toronto want then………………WOW!! There minor league systm would take a huge hit but the Phillies would be unbeatable.

CrimeDog

July 29th, 2009
3:42 pm

Andrew in P-tang

Do I agree that adding Victor Martinez would make the Braves better? Of course. Do I believe it’s remotely possible, especially with the package UNCBrave “proposed”? Not a chance. You want to send a pitcher who spent much of his minor league career as a reliever and hasn’t pitched particularly well, along with an injured center fielder with an absurdly strikeout prone outfielder and a first baseman with no power to the American League?

While we’re at it, let’s send KK and Bennett to the Cards for Pujols and yank Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres for Buddy Carlyle and cash considerations. Of course, we’ll have three first basemen at that point, but defense doesn’t matter. Just stick two of them in the outfield.

Ben

July 29th, 2009
3:43 pm

D.O.B. You are so right about Land Shark Stadium. The very next Super Bowl game is in Miami, but the Land Shark name is only temporary. It converts back to Dolphin Stadium just before the Super Bowl. It has something to do with the agreement with the University of Miami. How is the weather there? It’s really bad in Coral Springs. I have tickets for tonight and foresee rain delays.

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