1:04 pm September 6, 2009, by Carroll Rogers
Rob from SC
September 8th, 20091:38 pm
My biggest problem with Bobby Cox is his abuse of our best relievers and his lineup construction.
September 8th, 20091:39 pm
I would like to see Escobar hit out of the third spot for the rest of the season. Let Chipper hit 4th
September 8th, 20091:43 pm
I’m sure every fan nitpicks moves made by their team’s manager. Cox has earned the right to retire when he’s ready. I’m not a huge fan of his game day moves all the time but you just can’t ignore what he’s done here. Get him another slugger in that lineup and we’ll be in the postseason next year. I honestly think it’s that simple. (on paper, at least)
Imagine how much worse the Pirates would have been for the past 17 years if Bobby Cox had been their manager…
September 8th, 20091:44 pm
DOB what are some good restaurants to eat at in downtown Atlanta?
Daybed: The NL Wild Card ran separately on the front of the sports section; the others were inside. I haven’t looked on the Braves page online, but I’m betting it’s there somewhere, the NL Wild Card thing.
Anyway, I picked the Dodgers to hang on to win the wild card after the Rockies pass them in the NL West.
September 8th, 20091:47 pm
Daybed, I just went to the Braves page. My take on the wild card is at bottom of the story with headline about Braves needing a miracle.
Sorry, Chipper, but after this year, you have no choice but to move to first. You can’t play third anymore.
Guess you heard that, Chipper.
Get rid of the donk in the dugout
September 8th, 20091:48 pm
September 8th, 20091:52 pm
I was sitting in the “bowl” on Friday night and had the same impression that you had. The crowd ROARED when Bobby left the field. Total standing ovation around me! and thanks for the answer on Bobby from the “inside” perspective!
I agree with you that we probably won’t see both rookies in the opening day lineup. I just hope that we can afford a new outfielder, a 1B closer AND another bullpen arm!
September 8th, 20091:57 pm
RHR (September 8th, 2009 10:48 am): “…can we clone Jim Tracy? My favorite thing was him telling his starters “look girls, you’re gonna have to throw at least 7 innings per start or get the F out of here!” … or something like that.”
PS: Es de nada, TommyP — comprende, mi amigo?
September 8th, 20091:58 pm
RHR: It WOULD be nice to have someone with potential pop to back Chipper up next year. I was hoping this year that the Braves would pick up Jeff Baker but the Cubs got him. Baker has absolutely raked since he’s been given a starter’s role in the Windy City.
September 8th, 20091:59 pm
Rock On......the denizen formerly known as Dadgum
September 8th, 20092:02 pm
DOB…yeah I was surprised at the Friday crowd no doubt. But glad the attendance got steadily better in the face of a diminished playoff chase. Can’t explain why except to say that a city with 3.5 million people should be able to get 30,000 through the gates given good conditions. One would think.
Cox getting thrown out is a lot like going to a NASCAR race to watch a wreck or Hockey game to watch a fight. It is a right of passage for the sport and sort of a side-show so to speak. Fans love the extra show. Thus the spontaneous applause. Similar to a doctor tapping you on the knee with a hammer. You know he is going to do it but the reaction is the same. A manager is going to get thrown out often but that doesn’t mean the applauding fans love him and agree with his moves. I understand your point though but it can be viewed different ways. He is right to stand up for his team but the ump made the right call no doubt.
September 8th, 20092:03 pm
the braves rank 22 in homers which is pretty bad, but they could easily move up 5 or 6 spots if they had mclouth and larchoe all season instead of kotchman and schafer. that would be middle of the pack in the league and the majors, wren might not have as much correcting to do to the offense as we think.
September 8th, 20092:13 pm
Tommy P….earned the right to retire when he is ready? So we should excuse the upcoming non-playoff years because he wasn’t ready to retire yet I guess. Wow. Don’t think it works quite like that.
Kudos for his 14 titles but it is about what you can do for me tomorrow that Wren will be thinking about. Does Wren think the Braves will be serious playoff contenders with him at the helm? That is the question and I doubt the prior years will matter a whole lot in that decision. I do think if Wren decides to go in another direction he will give Bobby the option of retiring.
September 8th, 20092:17 pm
FWIW, I love Bobby Cox, and would like nothing more to HAVESEEN him go out a winner. I cheer when he’s announced at games, and cheer when he comes out to argue a call and cheer when he gets ejected.
Separately, I think Cox’s departure is long overdue, have often been critical of his management style, and really feel like he should’ve been gone after the Braves lost to the Astrost in 2004.
September 8th, 20092:19 pm
I agree with your thoughts on Schafer. I would love to keep him on the team as a 4th or 5th OF, but I think it would be better for all if he were to start the year at Gwinnett and get some at bats.
I know the blog loves Diaz and I am happy he has had such a great post all star game run, but I would feel more comfortable with him in a platoon. I also think that Bobby, who I think will be back next year, will feel comfortable with a Heyward/Diaz platoon in RF. That is how he started with Andruw.
So that leaves a hole in LF and a hole at 1B. Hopefully the $$$$ will be there to fill those 2 holes with players better than GA.
September 8th, 20092:22 pm
Vinings Jim – good thought, but it appears that Joe’s got on a road uniform while Ted sports the home look. Maybe the caps?? Someone please shoot me.
If Wren is more of a speed/defense guy then Crawford would fit that perfectly. Imagine Crawford and McLouth hitting 1 and 2? But, a true cleanup type hitter is a bigger missing piece because McLouth, while not your typical leadoff hitter, can steal some bases and draw a few walks in that leadoff spot. I think fixing the pen when one or both of Sori/Gonzo are gone will be the bigger challenge. Teams will be lining up for Vazquez if they choose to bait him this winter and I’m sure they’d offer a slugger for him.
September 8th, 20092:23 pm
In how many losses did Frenchy leave runners all over the bases? How many games were ultimately lost because we ran a .313 OBP (Schafer) out there for FIFTY games. In how many tight games did Jeff Bennett contribute to defeat? In how many close games was the pitching staff handled with sufficient ineptitude to ring-up another L? ED F’n NORTON!?
I love Bobby for everything he’s meant to the Braves, but he’s lost it completely. Wearing blinders, or waxing sentimental, doesn’t make it not so…
September 8th, 20092:25 pm
I’m on to you, Random. Your attempts to annoy do not faze me. Go ahead and do that insanity “quote” … see if I care.
September 8th, 20092:27 pm
wren might not have as much correcting to do to the offense as we think.
Yes. He does. Relying on four guys who can hit 20 is not the same as relying on two who can hit 40. Doesn’t equate.
Guys such as McLouth and LaRoche are excellent complementary players who can supply good-not-great offense. Use them (and players such as McCann and Chipper) to surround a thug or two, and you have an offense that can be fearsome; use them as centerpieces, and you have this year’s problems to only a slightly lesser extent.
September 8th, 20092:29 pm
Don’t you want your best relievers pitching the most? Is 60-65 innings “abuse”? I’m seriously asking. Smoltz threw 80 innings in a couple of seasons as a reliever coming off arm injury. There are quite a few relievers who have thrown 60+ innings so far not on the Braves. Are they being abused? Again, just asking. Maybe someone can answer since they obviously seem to know for a fact that the Braves relievers are being abused.
As far as lineup construction, all indications are lineup construction is overrated. Not much difference between McCann batting 4th or 5th or Escobar batting 6th or 7th. What is that worth, maybe a run or two an entire season?
September 8th, 20092:30 pm
brent a… “really feel he should’ve been gone after the Braves lost to the Astros in 2004″.
The Braves don’t opperate that way, obviously. It’s becoming more and more apparant that he’ll leave when he feels like it. You have a few here that don’t realize this man hasn’t just cost his team this year but he’s done it in spurts over the years, like that Houston series in ‘04. I don’t care, say guys were injured and CJ and Mac having down years. Those are excuses because even with those nagging unjuries to Prado/Infante/Church he still had the best rotation in the NL and his team is still more than likely going to finish 3rd… again.
September 8th, 20092:32 pm
Hey Car talk puzzler:
Thats an old one. I think they have asked that one before.
Both are wearing their “Away” colors since it was being held at an NL park. Couldnt happen in a normal in-season game.
P. W. Hjort
September 8th, 20092:37 pm
If we lose a few more games of ground at least we’ll have a protected 1st round pick!
TnBrian, again, can anyone provide evidence that Cox is the reason for a mediocre offense? Haven’t seen any convincing evidence. Obviously some know that he is responsible and have the evidence since they are so sure of themselves regarding Cox. Why are they withholding the evidence?
September 8th, 20092:44 pm
ken (September 8th, 2009 7:53 am): “The handwriting has been on the wall all year concerning this team. I really like Bobby Cox,but it should be painfully obvious to all by now , that change is necessary. At least a third of the braves losses can be contributed to poor in game management and bad decisions(using Norton) at critical times in close games.”
Please identify the exact twenty-three or more (23+) Braves’ losses that can be ATtributed to Cox’ “poor in game management and bad decisions”. Please also specify the exact moves/nonmoves Cox made that resulted in each loss.
“Also, Chipper has provided zero leadership in the dugout nor on the field.”
How do you know? What is the basis of this insight of yours?
Sincerely and eagerly awaiting clarification and explication.
Rock On (September 8th, 2009 9:31 am): “I saw no support for Cox at the game.”
That standing O upon his ejection was not “obligatory”, especially if you are correct that “Cox was totally wrong on the play”. If the crowd didn’t fully support Cox, wouldn’t they have jeered at him for once again making a fool of himself — getting kicked out of a game for no good reason? Sounds to me like the crowd was totally behind him, “right OR wrong”.
“For a team drawing small support in the heat of the playoff chase that will eventually come back around to the manager.”
How so??? This seems a pretty dubious statement to me — people come to the game to watch the players play, for the most part. And to get drunk, shoot beaver, visit with friends, etc. You’re the first person I’ve ever heard to blame “poor” attendance on the manager. (And I believe DOB has already successfully refuted your claim that the weekend crowds were “small”.)
“The Braves need new management in the dugout. While all the players may love to play for BC I don’t see the fire in this team at all.”
“Fire” is itself invisible. (Even if it weren’t, I doubt you would know it if you saw it.) What I assume you’re referring to are the superheated gases called “flames”. You seem to have enough superheated gas of your own to suffice most people.
I probably am putting too much emphasis on it as you say…but, I dunno. Just feel the Braves need to find someone else to bat cleanup. Someone who, well, for one thing, someone who does need regular days off and won’t get as worn down towards the end of the season. The catcher shouldn’t have to be counted on as the main piece of the offense…at least, that’s the way I feel.
im not sure if i believe that he is a much better hitter down a slot. he is probably the same hitter, no matter where he is slotted.
That’s a logical statement. But his AVG is 23 points higher for his career batting fifth, and he’s had way more ABs in that spot. And you look at the AB per HR–20.2 in the fifth spot, 23.92 in the cleanup spot. And actually, the AB per K’s is that far off–7.26 batting fifth, an even 7 batting cleanup. RBI: 4.99 batting 5th, 5.17 batting 4th.
Just dissecting the numbers.
plus, his BEST numbers are batting 6th. why didnt you say he is best suited to bat 6th?
He’s only had 233 career ABs in the 6th spot–that’s too tiny of a sample-size (not even a full season). He’s had 828 ABs batting fifth and 574 batting fourth.
Heck, though, he could bat 6th against lefties for all I care. I just want him out of the cleanup spot. Don’t think it’s entirely fair to put the weight of the offense on your catcher’s back. If Francoeur or some of them wouldn’t have tanked the way they did, I think it wouldn’t have been such a big deal.
September 8th, 20092:45 pm
Not much difference between McCann batting 4th or 5th or Escobar batting 6th or 7th.
Depends. This year? None. Another year with different personnel? Plenty.
The elephant in the room is Escobar batting anywhere near the middle of the order. I’m as big an Escobar fan as anybody, but, when he’s one your better options for run-producers, sayonara. Bat just isn’t big enough. Hit him at 2 in a lineup with real middle-order bats, and he’s a big plus-offense guy. Otherwise, not so much.
September 8th, 20092:46 pm
Il Cattivo – is that right? I saw the picture, and I thought Boston wore white at home? (Of course, it’s a b&w pic, but Joe’s is obviously gray while Ted’s appears white.)
If you’re right, well, thanks for putting me out of my misery!
lou Vales(the Pee guy)
You should be very thankful that this is a professional sport and not collegiate. If this was college they would have dropped the “OLD” “He deserves to go out on his own terms” line on you. A Major League baseball team is not going to allow itself to be swayed by the fond memories of past achievements????–1 World Series win in 14 playoff appearances—-and will instead concentrate on the present and the future. If the Braves were FSU you would be hearing “Hey, the Braves were nothing before Bobby Cox arrived. He should get to stay until he wants to leave.” YES!!!!! People are that STUPID> Can you imagine another enterprise in America where a founder could have built a company into a dynamic force and then be allowed to bring that force to its knees BECAUSE he was the once who brought it up?? Only in college sports.
September 8th, 20092:48 pm
Shaun Not much difference between McCann batting 4th or 5th or Escobar batting 6th or 7th. What is that worth, maybe a run or two an entire season?
Guess we’ll never know, will we?
Personally, I like Escobar 6th, and–––
September 8th, 20092:50 pm
ncscootsRelying on four guys who can hit 20 is not the same as relying on two who can hit 40. Doesn’t equate.
how many teams have 2 guys who hot 40 homers? the whole idea is to put together a team of guys who collectively hit well enough to win baseball games. and thats not only in the homer column.
the braves dont even need 1 guy who can hit 40 homers. they have a pretty good pitching staff that helps them win too.
anyways, my point is, if we evaluate what we need to do to improve the braves based on the roster in april, it will look different than when we evaluate the roster in sepember.
if the braves had laroche and mclouth all season, and had hit 14 more homers between them, as well as the other production they gave opposed the the characters we had, the braves would be in a different (better) position right now.
so again, he might not have to do as much as some think.
ncscoots I’m as big an Escobar fan as anybody, but, when he’s one your better options for run-producers, sayonara.
That’s a good point…I forgot he used to bat second. He was good there…so now where does Prado go?
September 8th, 20092:56 pm
And more than some think, obviously.
McFann, that’s pretty simple, re your 2:50. Who do you want to have more appearances in a season, Escobar or Prado? That’s easy for me, so Prado can hit anywhere in the bottom third.
September 8th, 20092:59 pm
Ah, I get it. Yeah, I’d have to go with Escobar, too. No offense to Prado…
really feel he should’ve been gone after the Braves lost to the Astros in 2004″.
Instead it was Leo…
It’s hard to type with this catcher’s mitt on my left hand. Can you imagine how hard it is to manage a team wearing one?
September 8th, 20093:00 pm
RHR Instead it was Leo…
Nah, he went after they lost to the Astros in 2005…
Shaun, did I blame Cox for CJ and Mac’s struggles? No. Is it his fault that Prado and Infante got hurt/developed headache? No. Is it his fault that KJ/Frenchy/Schafer got way more at bats to begin the season than any hitter sucking that much should EVER get when much better, more consistant bats rotted on the bench in Diaz/Prado? Yes. Infante was also there at that point to play CF for a pitiful rook in Schafer.
It’s those kinda stubborn, “I play them out of their slumps, regardless” moves that lose you games and frustrate fans and other players, I’m sure. That doesn’t even count how he consistantly used the same arms, Gonzo/Soriano/Moylan in blowout games to “get their work in”. Yeah Bobby, those gofer balls that Soriano and Gonzo gave up to give the other team a win sure paid off, huh? Couldn’t have been that they were tired, could it? Nah, they were just off that night like was Medlen those two games in Florida. That’s my “evidence”, Shaun.
P.S.– Maybe Wren made those out of nowhere trade for Church because he knew Cox would never stop playing Stenchy. Ever think of that?
I’ve criticized Bobby before for not going with the hot hand (benching Deion Sanders in Game 6 of the 1992 World Series, not starting Kevin Millwood in Game 1 of the 2002 NLDS, etc.), and we’re seeing it again: Matt Diaz tore the cover off the ball at the leadoff spot, and we’re seeing Nate McLouth returned there immediately???
It’s HUGELY important to have your leadoff hitter get on base. If one of your first two hitters gets on, you’re in much-better shape if it’s your first guy, not your second guy.
In addition, given this team’s propensity to hit and struggles with bunting, etc., it makes sense to run more and bunt less. Hitting and running is another valid option, which another esteemed manager, out of the West Coast, does quite often. As it stands now, the typical would-be bunter gives the pitcher two strikes by two failed bunts and then swings away, thereby not moving the runner over with a bunt, digging himself into a hole, and making things easier for the pitcher.
Given this team’s lack of home-run prowess when the season began, it’d make sense to put Adam LaRoche and McLouth in the middle of the order, not on the peripheries of it, though LaRoche indeed has done well there.
Quit looking for the silver lining, Bobby, please. You’re a great manager, but this team’s offensive approach is too stoic and too predictable.
Look at the Florida Marlins: We have six quality starters; they have one, yet they lead us for now in the standings. Why? Offense CAN do a lot for you, especially in the regular season, and they placed more intelligent emphases and strategies on it than we do.
I’m not giving up on this team. You would think that a team with six quality starters, who hasn’t hit fifth gear all season, would be poised to. (Notice I didn’t say “due”; our actions are the result of free will, not determinism.) It’d be nice also if Chipper could play down the stretch like he did in ‘99. I would adjust the lineup a bit, though. I’d put Diaz back and leadoff and McLouth more in the middle of it, and I’d utilize Kelly Johnson more.
Also, this team has GOT to try to avoid double plays, which are killing us! I’m tired of how the team seldom runs and puts pressure on the hitter and not on the pitcher/defense, and if you’re going to have McLouth at leadoff, SEND HIM!!!!! Bobby refused to do so once or twice in the last few days, when we could’ve used a stolen base from him.
This team has the talent and the managerial intelligence to win it all, which is why I get frustrated by this underachieving product. The strategy and execution simply have not been there.
That reality is free to change at any time, though, and you have to love the fact that the Rockies and Giants are going to have their respective plates full of the Dodgers and Padres, two of the best teams in baseball, down the stretch. Now is the time.
September 8th, 20093:01 pm
Let me just say this. In what offense would Escobar be given a role other than run-producer. Because, to me, it seems like that’s the role for him in just about every offense he could play in. Name one offense where Escobar would have a different role.
September 8th, 20093:04 pm
McFann on top of things today!
September 8th, 20093:06 pm
Sorry, that was a Paul Lentz-esk post. Someone said on here that I get jumbled with my thoughts sometimes and they’re right. But, as long as at least some of my point is made, it’s cool.
Name one offense where Escobar would have a different role.
Atlanta Braves, this year early. He’s hitting lower now, because there aren’t any better options on the squad. Name one offense of a contender where Escobar would be hitting in the middle of the order as a run-producer.
September 8th, 20093:09 pm
scoots,And more than some think, obviously.
you havent even bothered to find out what i think.
you seem to think that this team cant win next year without a 40 homer player. why is that? the braves were right on the edge until this weekend with the current bunch. are gonna conclude the braves losers this coming march because they cant find that 40 homer bat your looking for? just trying to figure out why you think an offense that is ALMOST good enough MUST have a monstrous home run threat.
i personally think that with the guys we have now, a 25 homer decent OBP outfielder to replace garret would do just fine.
September 8th, 20093:11 pm
September 8th, 20093:12 pm
RHR (September 8th, 2009 2:25 pm): “comprende
“I’m on to you, . Your attempts to annoy do not faze me.”
Pero usted dice que es molesto que sólo si no hablan español, ¿no?.
“Go ahead and do that insanity “quote” … see if I care.”
You shoulda been here a year or so ago — I collected like 30 or 40 comments from over just two or three months that all contained some variant of the definition of insanity. “Pepperidge Blogs Remembers . . ” (I think.)
Didn’t know it bugged you, though. Bugs me too — that’s why I pasted all those commments together. Thought people would take the hint.
Guess not, huh?
PS: DAP — I’m eager to see that Larchoe fella, if he’s good enough to be mentioned in the same breath as McLouth.
Oh, and Bobby kills me hitting Garret ahead of a younger, more powerful hitter in LaRoche. Keep ‘em comin Shaun.
Wayne the Baseball Czar
September 8th, 20093:13 pm
In an earlier life, I was only Wayne in Utah, but now I have been (self) appointed “Baseball Czar” to do an evaluation of baseball in general, and report to the big boss.
My report is this: baseball is a great game! The Braves will have a very good 2010 season when they add a couple of needed pieces, and Manny deserves his current fate.
Wanted to check in real quick on the old blog to see how everybody is doing. It has been almost 2 weeks since I have curtailed my blog comments and severly minimized my reading. Seems like little has changed, and the blog is in great hands with flange, scoot, mcfann and the rest of you fine folk.
My new bidnezz venture is going well, but is very time consuming now. Actually made some money last week (not enough to retire on yet, but cash none the less).
At what point will the Braves management team pull many of the starters and let a few guys get a tryout? Not really anybody interesting on the roster though, that would realistically contribute next year, though. Maybe a pitcher or two? Medlen in a starters role, and Huddy is getting his tryout.
September 8th, 20093:16 pm
TnBrian, did the Braves have any other options besides Schaefer and Francoeur at the beginning of the season? Kelly Johnson had a track record of success and is at an age where players generally peak. It’s hard to argue against giving him a chance (see Pedroia in his rookie season when he struggled for at least a couple of months).
And, again, there are lots of pitchers with as many innings as the Braves relievers. You want your best pitchers getting the most innings. How can anyone be so sure that they are tired, overworked or abused?
Maybe some of you know more that Bobby Cox, Frank Wren and the rest of us.
September 8th, 20093:18 pm
I think the crowd roared for Bobby because it was good to see some fight out of someone in the braves organization at turner. Other Diaz getting plunked, it hasn’t happened much.
Some of these folks know because they are so sure of themselves. Funny thing is, they won’t reveal what they know to the rest of us. Could it be they don’t really know?
September 8th, 20093:21 pm
Infante was injured May 20th and out until mid-August. As recently as May 3rd, Schafer had an OPS of .816. He was doing fine for a rookie centerfielder playing mainly for defense. He had an 0-19 stretch in mid-April, but other than that he was doing alright for a rookie – getting some hits, getting on base, catching stuff. I would’ve played him up to that point, too. When he slumped for the next month he was summarily replaced.
Martin Prado hit .208 in May (OPS of .653). Kelly Johnson had an OPS of .828 in May. When KJ in June, he was replaced.
Matt Diaz had a .709 OPS in April, and he stunk last year. He was good in May, terrible in June. Oh yeah, and he was our starting LF for the first month.
Is it really bad managing to choose long-standing starters over bench guys? Is it really good managing to dump those starters when they have a bad week or two? No to both questions.
September 8th, 20093:23 pm
brent a McFann on top of things today!
After going a whole weekend without Blogging, I kinda need to let some things out…
Shaun Some of these folks know because they are so sure of themselves. Funny thing is, they won’t reveal what they know to the rest of us. Could it be they don’t really know?
I don’t know…
Pepperidge Blogs Remembers . .
lol I remember that name..I want to kick things when I see some wise ass trot out that “definition of insanity” line.
September 8th, 20093:24 pm
September 8th, 20093:25 pm
Two straight years now, Bobby has used a failed lineup for 25% of the season, has made a wise adjustment in May, and quickly returned to Plan A or thereabouts.
Prior to this season, Jeff Francouer was the only guy who looked like a valid 35-HR threat, and apparently management DIDN’T EVEN TRY TO GET HIM THERE!!!!!!!! The strategy was to get him to hit BASE HITS TO RIGHT FIELD!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As I said, move on. This team still has a chance. Gotta start tonight. Take it one game at a time—and don’t tell me that statement’s a cliche; a lot of cliches got there for a valid reason. Learn from the past. Use INTELLIGENT strategy. Develop your God-given talent. Win games.
September 8th, 20093:29 pm
random, heh…im lucky if i get all the right letters.
Suggestions for next year:
1B: Sign LaRoche to a 3 year deal to give Freeman time to develop to the point he will be effective
2B: find a way to trade away KJ, keep Prado there
3B: Lets either try to find a good free agent to fill here, or give Conrad a shot
LF: Move Chipper back to left like they did when Vinny Castilla re-arrived in Atlanta several years back
RF: if there is something out in the market, go get them for a year or two. If not continue the Diaz/Church platoon until Heyward is ready to come up, we don’t need to rush him
P: Gotta find a way to get rid of Lowe’s contract in a way that other FA’s will still sign with us. Pick up Hudson’s option or decline and work a contract out before he goes to free agency.
Let Gonzalez go. I know his stats look good at times, but he has very little control, usually gives up most runners he inherits.
Find some quality arms in the bullpen that can give us 3 or 4 days straight without faltering much at all.
The catcher shouldn’t have to be counted on as the main piece of the offense…
its his own fault for being such a good hitter.
September 8th, 20093:30 pm
oh and to add,
Bring Wellman up to manage the team if no other manager is available,
Fire Toilet Paper from Hitting coach, and get someone who can actually coach hitting.
Hold still on McDowell, think he is going to turn out to be a good coach, unless Leo wants to come back then we can get rid of McDowell
Piedmont Blues (ex-BFIR)
September 8th, 20093:39 pm
Nice season. Just not nice enough. (I know, not mathematically eliminated, blah blah blah).
Still, the Braves have a shot at 85 wins, which is a fine bit better than we might have expected even at the All-Star Break.
How could things have gone differently? Bobby could have used Heap in more of a straight platoon at cleanup and given him more days off. Fresher legs, better bat? Besides, McCann is continuing to rake vs. RHP while being Frenchy-like vs. lefties. Diaz at cleanup vs. LHP would have made much more sense. (Giving Ross more ABs vs. lefties instead of Heap would have helped the offense, too.)
Also, McClouth could have put up the same sort of numbers as a Brave that he had as a Pirate since the start of 2008 (OPS of ~.840 rather than .779).
Given the number of close losses and low-scoring games, those two changes alone might have been enough to keep the Braves in the race. Oh well.
As for 2010, I’d expect to see the team add a big bat from outside the organization and not rely on Heyward to be the savior. (Steve from OH suggested Konerko. That might work.)
I’d also guess they’ll hang on to Church as an insurance policy; heck, I’d give him ABs over Anderson right now.
Huddy’s two starts have to be encouraging. If he can put together another couple or three without a serious setback, he may have earned that option for 2010.
September 8th, 20093:40 pm
Welcome back, Wayne!
Glad to hear the biz is off to a good start.
Car Talk Puzzler
Il Cattivo (September 8th, 2009 2:32 pm): “Hey Car talk puzzler:
Both are wearing their “Away” colors since it was being held at an NL park. Couldnt happen in a normal in-season game.”
Macon Braves (RIP)
Go Braves, errrrr……..Go Dawgs, errrrrrrr…..Go Falcons…uhh, PLEASE!!! Dang what a sucky week and a half for the teams I root for. 8^(
Just found an interesting stat from this year on Gonzo:
With McCann catching (205 PA), his K/BB is 2.57. Gives up 1 homer per 41 batters, with a .715 OPS against. BABIP is .303.
With Ross catching (61 PA), his K/BB is 5.5. 1 homer in 61 batters, with a .414 OPS against. BABIP is .200.
Still good for both, but I had no idea this split existed. Sample size be damned!
September 8th, 20093:41 pm
Shaun, funny you say that about KJ because if I remember correctly Boog and Joe S. let off a huge sigh of relief when it was clear that Prado was going to be the new 2nd baseman. Almost like, “what the hell took so long, Bobby”? Also remember how long it took Cox to finally pull the plug on Schafer and again, Boog and Joe had that tone in their voice like, “hopefully Cox didn’t ruin the poor kid”.
And I misspelled McLouth. D’oh!
September 8th, 20093:44 pm
“The game has passed him by.” Probably the single dumbest comment there is short of “He waits on the three run Homer.”
Is that anything like waiting on a bus and watching Wal Mart go by when you start traveling on said bus?
September 8th, 20093:45 pm
DAP its his own fault for being such a good hitter.
Daslied Just found an interesting stat from this year on Gonzo:
September 8th, 20093:46 pm
You guys can think of me and others that believe Bobby did more damage than good to the ‘09 Braves what you want, but nothing will convince me he did the best he could with what he had. I don’t think a missed more than 2 innings of Braves baseball this year so that’s why I can sit here and have my opinions and not feel bad about them.
And can someone please explain to me exactly how the game has changed over the past fifteen years to the point here it has “passed” anyone by? Throw ball, see ball, hit ball, try to catch ball. Maybe steal second. Pretty damn well the same game I saw Maury Wills and Hank Aaron playing 50 years ago.
September 8th, 20093:48 pm
how about batting Chipper lead off?
September 8th, 20093:50 pm
Rock On: It’s been awhile since you posted but I wanted to reply to you saying, “Don’t think it works like that.”
Uh….yes it does. That’s why Bobby’s here, will be here next year, and will retire when he’s ready.
September 8th, 20093:52 pm
one of the best OBP in baseball and its not like we’re going to lose anything in speed or SB’s. Hell, other than Diaz the past couple weeks, i think Chipper leads the team in SB anyway.
September 8th, 20093:54 pm
1b- to be filled
lf-to be filled
thats 59.9 million of the 96.7 of 09 payroll..that leaves 36.8 to fill 1b,2b,ss,lf,bullpen….esco,prado,lf,JJ,hanson are all one year deals….so what do we do to make this team a winner….i assume JJ will get a mac type deal and then who nows..not alot of money to fill lots and lots of holes
September 8th, 20093:55 pm
Since everyone else is putting out ideas on what the Braves need to do next year, I’ll throw my thoughts in as well, position by position:
C: McCann starts, Ross backs up. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.
1b: Try to resign LaRoche to a 2-3 year deal.
2b: Prado/Infante….KJ is likely a non-tender at this point.
SS: Escobar stays put. See comment for Catcher.
3b: Chipper starts, Prado/Infante play the backup role.
OF: McLouth in CF, Diaz/Church in RF (of LF), accquired bat in LF (or RF). Bat likely accquired due to trade of starting pitcher, most likely Vazquez.
SP: Lowe, Jurrjiens, Hanson, and 2 of Vazquez, Hudson, Kawakami. Other traded for OF bat.
RP: No easy answers here…Moylan and O’Flarety are the only non free agents I trust, and both have been overworked to the point they are injury risks for next season. Medlen should get better, but I don’t know that Acosta will ever put it all together. Gonzo and Soriano likely cost more than they’ll be worth….Kawakami could be an answer, but then you have way too much $$ invested in pitching and no OF power.
Bench bats: Infante/Prado, Diaz/Church (whichever player in those groups that isn’t starting), Ross, Conrad, TBD (just not Norton).
Minor league callups: Heyward should get a chance at RF next year, although there is a good chance they’ll go the Hanson route and try to prevent him from becoming a Super-2 player. I could also see Schafer coming up after a little more minor league seasoning to push McLouth to a corner, although that is unlikely if the Braves actually do acquire a quality OF bat this offseason (since McLouth, Heyward, and Player X will all need to play).
September 8th, 20094:01 pm
McFann – that wasn’t a shot at your guy. I love him, but I thought that was weird. I’m sort of fascinated by the battery dynamic.
TnBrian – not disparaging your opinion, just stating mine.
September 8th, 20094:08 pm
McLouth – 8
Prado – 4
Jones – 5
Anderson – 7
Escobar – 6
LaRoche – 3
Church – 9
Vazquez – 1
September 8th, 20096:03 pm
Escobar’s moving around fine in clubhouse. Braves haven’t gone on field yet, though, so always a chance it will be too sore. But I think he’s gonna play…
Diaz is healthy, in case you were wondering about him not being in there. He would appear to have a short leash, still (he goes 0-for for two games, and he’s out).
Bobby said he wants to see if Church can play, if his back’s OK.
September 20th, 20091:46 pm
Scherholz “…..The Braves are a source of pride for our city and our fans……”. I am somewhat speechless
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