Playing loosey goosey

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

   Not only did Adam LaRoche turn every pitch he swung on last night into gold – minus the one terribly wasted in that one ball he fouled off, aha – he has some great nuggets in the postgame.

   LaRoche boiled down this five-game winning streak (six of seven) into the simplest terms: “I think it’s there absolutely nothing to lose right now,” LaRoche said. “There’s zero pressure on us. We’re in a bad position, and everybody’s going out and doing their thing.”

   You have to figure it’s too little, too late. The Phillies keep winning and the Braves are still 7 ½ back in the East. The Rockies are giving the Braves a little hope, having lost four in a row to narrow the Braves’ deficit to five games in the wild card. But the Braves have the Rockies, Giants and Marlins all still ahead of them in the wild card, which makes things three times as hard. And of those three teams, the Braves face only the Marlins in their last 18 games – a three-game series Sept. 28-30.

   But it’s a marvel to watch this starting rotation really strut its stuff. I can’t remember the last time I wrote that the bullpen was worn down, and that’s saying something.

   LaRoche made a great point last night, about how it’s this rotation that’ll make the Braves want to kick themselves for not getting into the postseason, if and when they don’t.

   “I feel like we could go a long way in the postseason, a long way,” LaRoche said. “And it’s going to be a shame if we don’t get that chance.”

   Roll out Javier Vazquez, Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson right now in any order against any playoff team, and you’re onto something. Scratching together a few runs might not be as simple, but you’d have to like the pitching matchups.

Tonight

    Meantime the Braves face Bobby Parnell tonight, another arm in the hodge-podge Mets starting rotation. The Braves hammered him the last time they saw him, nine runs in three innings.

   I’d be surprised if Chipper Jones is ready to get back in there tonight, based out how his groin injury was feeling yesterday. But the Braves seem to be doing fine without him. They are 14-11 this season in games he doesn’t start. This is after they went 17-26 last year in games he didn’t start.

   Speaking of Chipper, little random tidbit for you. I know you guys couldn’t have been especially excited to see the Kansas City Royals on the schedule next year, but Chipper was…thinking he might have a chance to play in the one major league city he’s never played in, interestingly enough. But no, actually, the Royals are coming here, June 18-20.

NL rookie of the year

   Tommy Hanson is going to make this NL rookie of the year thing interesting. For most of the season, I figured J.A. Happ would have a great shot at it. But now, with this late charge, Hanson might muddle that picture. After last night, Hanson matched Happ in wins and moved ahead of him in ERA.

   (And I’m sticking with apples to apples here; Chris Coghlan, Garrett Jones and Dexter Fowler bring even more to the mix as every day players.)

Let’s compare:

Hanson 10-3, 2.65, 18 games, 18 starts, 108.2 IP, .224 OBA

Happ 10-4, 2.77, 31 games, 19 starts, 149.2 IP, .231 OBA

   The “wild card” stats: Happ is pitching for a division-leading team in the Phillies. That carries a lot of weight, especially when you consider he’s been doing it all year, in the heat of pennant pressure. Happ has three complete games, including two shutouts. Hanson has none (yes painful reminder of his last start in Houston).

   What’s working for Hanson: Hanson has allowed only 9 homers while Happ has given up 17 (Citizens Bank Park doing him no favors.) Hanson has 7.7 Ks/9 while Happ has 6.23 Ks/9. And if Hanson had the innings to qualify, he’d be fifth right now in the National League in ERA.

   Hanson should have three more starts unless the Braves decide to pull the plug and let him rest, which they might if they fall well out of contention here. But for now, he’ll take the mound Sunday against the Phillies. Great opportunity for him there.

   Happ has been out of action since Sept. 2 because of a “strained intercostal muscle.” After a 55-pitch bullpen session yesterday, Happ thinks he could be ready to pitch on Friday in Atlanta. So we can keep an eye on this thing up close.

Ernie Harwell, a true Southern gent    Just reading this morning about the special night the Detroit Tigers are putting on for their beloved former announcer Ernie Harwell. At 91, Harwell, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and advised against surgery. This is a farewell speech, he’ll be delivering in the third inning tonight, and it makes the hair on my arms stand up just thinking about it.

   Harwell has been a baseball broadcaster for 55 years, including 42 with the Tigers. He called “It’s gone” on Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard round the world.” But believe me Atlanta, when I tell you we can call him our own. Harwell was born in Washington, GA and grew up in Atlanta.

   Harwell was a batboy for the Atlanta Crackers. He graduated from Emory. He started his career as a copy editor and sports writer for our Atlanta Constitution. He was very proud of his roots, and he never lost his Southern grace.

   Visiting media don’t always mix and mingle in the press box. You get wrapped up in your day-to-day business, all the work you have to do, and unless you make the effort, you might just go on about your business hardly aware of writers and broadcasters from other teams. But Harwell is different, a true gentleman. I’ll always remember him approaching a young and nervous beat writer in the Lakeland press box in spring training and making her feel welcome.

   My thoughts tonight go out to Ernie.

   More from the ballpark this afternoon.

We tip our caps to Ernie.

We tip our caps to Ernie.

1,149 comments Add your comment

Firearm

September 16th, 2009
12:37 pm

Tiger Woods

September 16th, 2009
12:37 pm

Bobby Cox quotes on ESPN. Pretty sweet to see the Braves talked about on ESPN. THanks Carroll!

Randy J.

September 16th, 2009
12:38 pm

Pete

September 16th, 2009
12:41 pm

Think of how much better chance Hanson would potentially have if Cox had left him in to finish the game in Houston, after pitching 8 shutout innings. What a shame.

indianabravesfan

September 16th, 2009
12:41 pm

I have an idea lets wait until this season is over with before we start talking about next season.

Ok, I can’t wait. I say we sign Chone Figgins who can play almost anywhere with his .300 batting average and .400 OBP and play him at 2nd. That would leave Prado and Infante as the utility guys which is what they should be doing. Then we have Diaz, McLouth and Heyward (in June) for the OF.

I know this does not address the SP and BP but that is another day!!!

bravesgrl4life

September 16th, 2009
12:42 pm

Lew RE: your September 16th, 2009 12:21 pm post on the old blog:

Dude, your art is awesome! I sent you an email re the McCann pic.

Gotta go do some work now but will check back with you guys and gals later.

Carroll Rogers

September 16th, 2009
12:44 pm

Tiger Woods, ESPN picked up Jeff Schultz’s story on Cox. It was all Jeff.

ncscoots

September 16th, 2009
12:50 pm

Think of how much better chance Hanson would potentially have if Cox had left him in to finish the game in Houston, after pitching 8 shutout innings.

In other words, 11-3 gets him ROY, 10-3 doesn’t, LOL? Wow. Those BBWAA guys are a hard room.

Maybe Hanson would have a better chance if he hadn’t gotten torched for 7 runs in his first start. What a shame. :-)

dogsbrekky

September 16th, 2009
12:51 pm

J. A. Crapp – let’s light him up like a pinball machine this weekend and give him one hell of a whooping..

ROY – I would go with the Jones guy from Pitts then Hanson/Happ unless Tommy wins another 2-3

wjones

September 16th, 2009
12:51 pm

“Matters not one iota whether player and/or agent is peeved or upset about past salaries when it comes to arbitration. The arb panel couldn’t give a rat’s behind about their feelings or about past slights — perceived or actual — when it comes to salary.”

Maybe I was unclear, DOB, but you totally missed the point I was trying to make. Of course a player-team relationship has no bearing in an arbitration hearing. That is, as you say, “not that hard”. What that does have a bearing on is whether a player/agent wants to deal with a team in the future, i.e., do they want to come to the table and try to work out a deal that bypasses the arb process, give up future arb/free agency years, work together for a mutually satisfying deal, or has the relationship gotten to the point where the player and/or agent just wants to fleece the team and go see if the grass is greener. In other words, one could see how a team “nickel-and-diming” a player when the team has complete control could sour a player’s feelings toward the team.

Just to be theoretical for a moment, suppose the Braves go to JJ or Escobar after the season and offer them a miminum contract, with no raise. Completely within their rights to do so. The player and agent can scream until blue in the face, demanding a trade, etc. But the Braves don’t have to even respond, just mail the contract to them. But you can’t tell me that this won’t come back to haunt them in future negotiations. The Braves have not historically, if memory serves me correctly, been a team that enjoyed going through the arb process, prefering to settle “out of court”, so to speak. And that scenario would be more likely if the team and the player/agent had a decent history coming into the negotiations.

That was my original point. Sorry if I took everyone on a wrong turn. And I posted this on the old blog, having no idea that we would have a new one so early.

drdebug

September 16th, 2009
12:53 pm

Thanks Carroll for the nice retrospective on Ernie Harwell. Long-timers like him are among baseball’s treasures, and it’ll be a sad day when he passes. Seems like we’re losing too many of them in recent years.

Zach

September 16th, 2009
12:55 pm

Carroll, percentage wise what’s your guess on the braves making the playoffs?

Gustopher

September 16th, 2009
12:57 pm

Great blog CR. I remember Ernie when I lived in Michigan. Is there anywhere we could send a card or an email?

Tell It Like It Is

September 16th, 2009
12:57 pm

Indianabravesfan,

What is it with all the love for Diaz? Prado and Infante have more upside. They can play several positions(better than Diaz can play right field)and they can hit just as good over the long haul(not streak hitters). It IS What It IS.

wjones

September 16th, 2009
1:00 pm

“What is it with all the love for Diaz? Prado and Infante have more upside. They can play several positions(better than Diaz can play right field)and they can hit just as good over the long haul(not streak hitters). It IS What It IS.”

Is it?

glove51

September 16th, 2009
1:03 pm

Hanson has more “pressure” to win than Happ. The Phillies have practically sewn up the NL East title, while the Braves are currently still fighting for the playoff lives.

McFann :Ô:

September 16th, 2009
1:04 pm

Daslied Can you imagine Chipper hitting cleanup with the year he’s having, considering he’s always been statistically better as the #3?

Haha! So it’s either that or BMac hitting cleanup with the year he’s having, considering he’s always been statistically better as the #5?

Taking one for the team for sure…

McFann :Ô:

September 16th, 2009
1:06 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Ms. Rogers!

Tell It Like It Is

September 16th, 2009
1:06 pm

wjones

September 16th, 2009
12:51 pm

That was my point also. It seems that arbitration only breeds distrust down the road. No wonder Scott Boras and his ilk do so well. I that a salary cap would solve this problem. Baseball may soon price itself out of existence.

The Braves have some very good players that are at risk. Why not do for them as was done for McCann and Frenchy? This will be interesting to watch. It IS What It IS.

glove51

September 16th, 2009
1:08 pm

Figgins: Pass

Tell It Like It Is

September 16th, 2009
1:08 pm

wjones

September 16th, 2009
1:00 pm

IT IS!!!!!

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Worried

September 16th, 2009
1:09 pm

Just Keep Winning….4 games (loss column) behind Rockies…

David O'Brien

September 16th, 2009
1:12 pm

wjones: That line about arb process being “not that hard” to understand, that was in the summary I cut-and-pasted. I didn’t add that. Don’t want anyone thinking that I added that, since it sounds condescending (I do that enough myself). I didn’t add anything except the italics to the two graphs above it.

Rodney Derrick

September 16th, 2009
1:17 pm

Carroll– Lovely tribute to the great Ernie Harwell, who was also Editor of the student paper at Emory, The Emory Wheel. Ernie was also the only sportscaster in history traded for a baseball player; from memory, I believe he was traded by the Atlanta Crackers.

Brian

September 16th, 2009
1:18 pm

Let’s keep in mind that Jurrjens and Hanson have never pitched in the playoffs. You could argue that neither have really pitched in a truly meaningful game in their career. Vazquez’s career postseason ERA: 10.34.

It’s not like the other playoff contenders don’t also have a strong front of the rotation, especially the Giants and Cardinals.

AndyC

September 16th, 2009
1:18 pm

Carroll,

I really like what you said about Harwell. Great stuff.

Brian

September 16th, 2009
1:20 pm

Figgins will likely rise out of our price range.

jeffrey d

September 16th, 2009
1:21 pm

The arbitration panel is 3 attorneys? That’s pretty boring. They need to do it reality TV style. Tommy Lasorda, Ray King, and Donald Trump.

Pete

September 16th, 2009
1:32 pm

NCSCOOTS: “In other words, 11-3 gets him ROY, 10-3 doesn’t, LOL? Wow. Those BBWAA guys are a hard room.”
Guess you dont realize that a complete game and shutout (assuming that happened) has a very positive impact, as well as an extra win. Now you know.

Daslied

September 16th, 2009
1:33 pm

Gustopher, I found this:

http://www.fanmail.biz/103523.html

Not sure how accurate it is (info from 2007), but someone sending mail to that address received a response from Ernie.

Space Monkey

September 16th, 2009
1:34 pm

Yes, it would be great to see the Braves in postseason with Javy, Tommy, and JJ as the big three. Except even if we made it, Bobby has never believed in going with his best pitcher in the first game of a postseason series. He would start Lowe, Javy, and JJ. They’d be swept in three. A cat as old as Bobby doesn’t change his ways. Think about it, if he had just let Hanson pitch the ninth in Houston or pinch hit Conrad instead of Norton, we might have a shot at this thing. Believe me, Bobby would start Lowe in game one. It’s what he does. It’s why we only have one ring. Bobby has never understood that every game counts and winning–not keeping veteran players happy–is the object of the game.

Rob from SC

September 16th, 2009
1:35 pm

Space Monkey

He would start Lowe

coach joe

September 16th, 2009
1:39 pm

nice info on Mr. harwell.. He seems like a real gem.

go Braves. run the table

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Worried

September 16th, 2009
1:39 pm

Need Lowe to step up tonight…take this series…go for the sweep tomorrow.

We have solid pitching matchups against the Phillies…and hopefully we can roll out 8 or 9 in a row.

Mike McDonald

September 16th, 2009
1:40 pm

Carroll Rogers is the most refreshing AJC baseball writer that I have read in 46 years of living in Atlanta. She has good baseball instincts and insights and she is a very gifted writer. Reminds me of the galaxy of star baseball writers that that I grew up with in NYC in the forties and fifties. I hope management appreciates her as much as I.

Rob from SC

September 16th, 2009
1:42 pm

Carroll also brings the team good luck

ncscoots

September 16th, 2009
1:46 pm

Guess you dont realize that a complete game and shutout (assuming that happened) has a very positive impact, as well as an extra win. Now you know.

You mean, as opposed to his ERA, K rate, WHIP, and all the other factors that go into deciding his worth as a ROY candidate? Guess you didn’t realize that it’s not the single inning he DIDN’T pitch that’s going to make or break his chances, but, rather, the ones he did. Now you know.

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Worried

September 16th, 2009
1:50 pm

We’ve gained three games in three days against Colorado…pretty good…

If we can get it down to 3 games by the end of this week…We totally have a shot.

The Phillies is the toughest series we have left to play…If we can somehow…win that series…by taking the first two games…I think it could be exciting.

We then go on to play the Mets/Nationals…Could be another 4 or 5 game winning streak…then see where we’re at the last week of the season.

What happens if we go on a major roll????…14-4 or 13-5 down the stretch…could get real interesting!

Wes

September 16th, 2009
1:54 pm

I think the Braves perceive Derek Lowe as their “ace” because of his contract. Out of all the starting pitchers for the Braves, he has the longest contract and biggest paycheck… thus, Bobby Cox is going to start him the first game of any playoff series (if they make it). He’s a decent pitcher, but certainly not an “ace.”

The Braves’ real ace is Vazquez and they better NOT trade him.

DAP

September 16th, 2009
1:54 pm

i hadnt even thought about chone figgins in a while…but i think if the braves are going to spend money on free agents, they wont bother with a guy like figgins. im not sure, but i think the braves would rather have a guy who has a higher slg% than OBP.

DAP

September 16th, 2009
1:57 pm

brianYou could argue that neither have really pitched in a truly meaningful game in their career.

and you would probably lose that argument.

Brian

September 16th, 2009
1:59 pm

To all the people that sound like they would have a heart attack if Derek Lowe started a postseason game, he has a 3.33 career postseason ERA. Vazquez’s is 10.34. Yet these are the same people that complain that Bobby started Maddux and Glavine ahead of Smoltz based on their regular season performance.

Just goes to show that some people will complain about anything and disagree with whatever Cox decides to do.

David O'Brien

September 16th, 2009
1:59 pm

Just looking back at the last 2-3 weeks, it really is uncanny what the Braves have done against three guys who are highly decorated and/or the hottest pitchers in baseball when the Braves beat them badly: Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Chris Carpenter. It’s often guys who are struggling, like tonight’s pitcher, who seem to give them more trouble.

Spark

September 16th, 2009
1:59 pm

Pete

September 16th, 2009
2:01 pm

ncscoots: “You mean, as opposed to his ERA, K rate, WHIP, and all the other factors that go into deciding his worth as a ROY candidate?”
Why would it be opposed to all that?? Thats weird….it would be in addition to, obviously. Check out other ROY pitcher candidates to see how many complete games and shutouts they have, and you will understand (I think lol)

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Worried

September 16th, 2009
2:03 pm

Who the hell is ROY????

8O

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Worried

September 16th, 2009
2:04 pm

Rob from SC

September 16th, 2009
2:04 pm

go read mlbtraderumors. an agent says 21 mil a year for Bay = no thanks

nycbravesfan

September 16th, 2009
2:08 pm

I like the blog as well. great insight into ROY race that hasn’t touched Atlanta since…
2000- Rafael Furcal
1997- Scott Rolen beat out Andruw Jones (andruw had a horrible 1st yr.)
1995- Nomo beat out Chipper Jones ( horrible)
1990- David Justice
1978- Bob Horner
1971- Earl Williams

David O'Brien

September 16th, 2009
2:09 pm

Rob from SC: What gives with the “luck” comment? I thought the Braves fared well on the six-game trip I just covered.

Tom

September 16th, 2009
2:09 pm

Carroll, come back to the GT beat. Roberson blows.

All the 'Fire Bobby Cox's' Combined

September 16th, 2009
2:09 pm

Please fire him so we can all scream “fire Ned Yost” one week into the 2010 regular season.

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Delusional

September 16th, 2009
2:10 pm

The Braves can still make the playoffs! I beeeeeeeeeeeeeeelieeeeeevvvvve!

bravesgrl4life

September 16th, 2009
2:21 pm

DOB, was that some type of reverse pysch there in your 1:59 p.m. post? I sure hope so.

BossLady

September 16th, 2009
2:21 pm

Good Luck? Well, how did the Braves sweep the best team this weekend?

nycbravesfan

September 16th, 2009
2:24 pm

If the Braves go 13-5 (14-4) (15-3)then other teams must..
Colorado 7-9 (8-8)(9-7)
San Fran 10-7(11-6)(12-5)
Marlins 11-5(12-4)(13-3)

HMMMMMMMM………..

Phil

September 16th, 2009
2:25 pm

Vazquez, JJ and Hanson. You’re right, pretty good combination. So was Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux. Only a buffoon like Cox could screw it up.

Nova Scotia Steve - Is Worried

September 16th, 2009
2:26 pm

Marlins 3-0 over St. Louis

indianabravesfan

September 16th, 2009
2:26 pm

Marlins up 3-0 aganist Piniero and the Cards

RC

September 16th, 2009
2:32 pm

“If the Braves go 13-5 (14-4) (15-3)then other teams must..
Colorado 7-9 (8-8)(9-7)
San Fran 10-7(11-6)(12-5)
Marlins 11-5(12-4)(13-3)”

Not unreasonable at all, although I am a bit concerned about needing the Rockies to play around .500 from here out….just doesn’t seem likely.

GregNorton

September 16th, 2009
2:34 pm

Is it I-85 or I-285? I get so confused.

nycbravesfan

September 16th, 2009
2:36 pm

Greg Norton, your looking for the I-85 out of town !!!!

Rico (just call me...The Beeg Boy...) Carty

September 16th, 2009
2:36 pm

Where has all the power gone? Had the Braves just had one true power hitter outfielder (like me)…for the entire year where would this team be? Only as a team have 136 home runs…10th in the NL. Veery baad I saay. I hiit 109 home ruuns in 2,746 AB’s during my stretch with the Braves. That’s 1 home ruun every 25.19 AB’s. When was the last time the Braves had production from an outfielder like that? Beeen a verry long time ago?

As DOB said earlier, Braves hit well (and win) against the better starting pitchers…so what will they do tonight? If you want to be a pretender…theey wiil lose. If you waant to be a contender…theey wiil wiin!

14 – 4 is doable…the Rockies did it before. Just may fall short, though. Rather contend and fall short than never to contend at all…

Beeg Boy is gone!

tjhook

September 16th, 2009
2:37 pm

Enjoyed your column, Carrol. I worked as a stringer when you were at the Macon Telegraph. I wanted to know what happened to Kevin, Ivan, Kelly, etc. If you don’t remember me, I was the other black guy that attended Mercer (not James Mays). Anthony

tjhook

September 16th, 2009
2:38 pm

I also did some stringer work for Augusta with Michael Carvell. Is he doing any work for the AJC this year?

GregNorton

September 16th, 2009
2:38 pm

What? Frenchy was traded? When did that happen?

ncscoots

September 16th, 2009
2:39 pm

Yeah, but, Pete, you wild man, LOL, your initial post made it sound as if Bobby’s lifting of Hanson in a one game were enough to cost the kid a shot at the title. :-) My rambling point was that having one complete game shutout wouldn’t appreciably enhance his chances, and having none would likewise not detract from them.

tjhook

September 16th, 2009
2:40 pm

By the way, this year is probrably one of my favorite years to watch the Braves. I think Wren deserves to be recognized as Executive of the Year the way he has patched this roster together before the season and during. And I thanked the heaven above when we reacquired Laroche. He’s a glue player for the Braves’ organization.

jconservative

September 16th, 2009
2:41 pm

Carroll – really nice comment on Ernie Harwell. Really well written.

And yeah, Vazquez, Jurrjens & Hanson as starters in a playoff series?

How does it look to sign Vazquez for next year? Slim?
He will go over 200 IP again this year. That carries a lot of weight with me.
And I just noticed, Jurrjens has a shot at 200 IP.

GregNorton

September 16th, 2009
2:42 pm

Alright guys. Who’s hiding my bats?

Bravos are Dead

September 16th, 2009
2:46 pm

It’s not the 90’s and the braves need to wake up and realize that. A great offense and decent pitching is the only way to succeed. What good does a good rotation do you when you cant even put up 3 runs in a game? D. Lowe and Kawabunga cost the braves 23 million a year. Hell you could get texeira for that and he plays EVERY game. The braves have the 11th highest payroll and they’re not even better than the marlins who spend a third of the money and have about the same team. FIRE WREN AND BOBBY COX!! AND NORTON!! /

GregNorton

September 16th, 2009
2:48 pm

Hey, this weather isn’t bad for August. Who we playing?

DAP

September 16th, 2009
2:48 pm

rob from sc no way bay or holliday get $21mil perseason. notice in the same sentence on MLBTraderumors, its says a GM predicted those guys would get closer to $15mil. and i think a 5 year $80mil deal for holliday (which was also cited in the same paragraph as being likely) is a decent price tag. i would actually think about that if i were wren.

RHR

September 16th, 2009
2:49 pm

Thanks Carroll, good stuff on Harwell. It is amazing how a friendly word or a kind gesture can leave a lasting impression of a person. Requires very little effort and costs nothing…

RC

September 16th, 2009
2:52 pm

tjhook,

Completely agree with your 2:40 post. In my mind the ONLY thing that could have been done better was calling up Hanson a bit earlier to avoid having to let Jo-Jo pitch every 5th day, but I understand the reasoning for that decision and think it probably is better for the future.

Ed-Covington

September 16th, 2009
2:52 pm

I won’t place any blame, but has a team with this good a pitching staff ever missed the post-season? Seems a shame the effort will go for naught because it will be hard to duplicate next year.

Pete

September 16th, 2009
3:00 pm

NCSCOOTS I just think if its a tight race, the added win, shutout and complete game (in addition to his already stellar stats) could push him over the top. Thats what I meant….maybe I didnt word it clearly. So IF the voting is really close, then yes, I do believe his removal from that game MAY cost him. Position players have far outnumbered pitchers in winning the ROY so to me, every extra win, etc. (especially since he didnt pitch until June) is important. We shall see…
Your “WILD MAN” lol :)

DAP

September 16th, 2009
3:01 pm

ed-covington, the giants have a pretty good pitching staff to, and may not make it. id say it hard to not at least contend when you have a great rotation, but not impossible to miss the playoffs.

mudcat

September 16th, 2009
3:04 pm

In 1961, just before a Detroit-K.C. Athletics game, my dad and I met Ernie Harwell and George Kell. They were both real gentlemen. Mr. Harwell had just replaced Van Patrick as the voice of the Tigers. Remember their voices to this day.

Hillbilly

September 16th, 2009
3:07 pm

Is it I-85 or I-285? I get so confused.

Greg, I believe it’s .085, but I could be wrong.

atlwolf

September 16th, 2009
3:07 pm

If JJ and Vazquez had just gotten proper run support, they would each likely have 17-20 wins and would be in the Cy Young mix with Wainwright.

White Blood Cells

September 16th, 2009
3:09 pm

It’s going to happen. Baseball = law of averages. Norton will get 3 huge hits in the 6th or 7th inning during the Braves 17 – 1 streak. The Phightens will get so tight, you won’t be able to drive a needle up their arse with a sledge hammer. Martinez 138 pitches, Lee 129 pitches (Charlie is already scared, no faith in the pen 1964 all over for Phillies fans) Blanton will get his brains beat in tonight and Livan will trick Rollins and Howard. The Rockies pitching has left the station, 9 runs last night. The Giants play LA 3 more times and Arizona ain’t a walk. Hanson goes Sunday for the sweep!

IlliniBrave

September 16th, 2009
3:12 pm

Carroll:

Great story about Ernie Harwell. Always enjoy reading human interest pieces like this – especially when they are about such a great guy.

One question, re. your comment “makesthe hair on my arms stand up just thinking about it.”
Uh…. how hairy are your arms?

Daslied

September 16th, 2009
3:14 pm

Ed-covington:

These teams are in the top 10 in team ERA, and they’re either not going to the playoffs or aren’t likely to: SF, ATL, CHIC, SEA, CHIW.

RHR

September 16th, 2009
3:18 pm

I hope Random and I aren’t the only two former fjm readers here….I may need to reevaluate my life if so. :P

Anyway. retro day on deadspin is living up to expectations. :lol:

http://deadspin.com/5360398/in-a-time-of-mourning-our-nation-turns-its-eyes-to-jair-jurrjens

Ed-Covington

September 16th, 2009
3:22 pm

I’ll take this staff over SF’s any day. Compare the stats, not just the hype you hear on ESPN.

Norton haters:
He STILL has a higher OBP (.330?) than GA & others; and that’s not a slight to GA. OBP IS more inportant than BA.

detroitchris

September 16th, 2009
3:26 pm

DOB,
Posted this on a earlier blog that i dunno if you got a chance to check out?

Huge news….
http://www.exclaim.ca/articles/generalarticlesynopsfullart.aspx?csid1=115&csid2=844&fid1=41078

Your thoughts?

Barney Frank

September 16th, 2009
3:26 pm

Hanson, Braves beat Mets to keep slim playoff hopes alive

Hanson, Braves beat Mets to keep non-existent playoff hopes alive

bruce

September 16th, 2009
3:27 pm

has anyone else noticed the no hope yes hope survey on the braves ajc page… the have hope folks have creeped up a bit each day, so each day more are saying they have hope. the have hope folks are still very low, but climbing. Just hope the bats take care of business tonight

RHR

September 16th, 2009
3:32 pm

Frank Robinson (Rockmart)

September 16th, 2009
3:32 pm

Carroll
Did you have to get permission from A-Rod or his agent to use “loosey-goosey” in the title of this blog? Just want to make sure you don’t have to deal with any copyright issues.

Frank Robinson (Rockmart)

September 16th, 2009
3:34 pm

RHR,
Big fan of FJM here.

Orlando (Cha - Cha) Cepeda

September 16th, 2009
3:34 pm

Power numbers. I may have only hit 74 home runs while playing for the Braves (19.92% of my career)…my numbers were better than the “Beeg Boy”. 1 HR per 19.92 AB’s…and now look at Adam LaRoche. His numbers with the Braves (both stints)…beat mine! 1 HR per 18.38 AB’s. He hits better than this “Baby Bull”.

Re-sign this guy. He wants to play here. Hell, take some money Chipper to pay him.

Now go out and beat a pitcher who is not in contention for the Cy Young award tonight!!!

Cha Cha…

Greg Norton

September 16th, 2009
3:35 pm

Who took my batting gloves?

White Blood Cells

September 16th, 2009
3:35 pm

All the speculation on the 2010 Braves, all the superfluous listings of potential payrolls for next year. Get real fans, these are our 2009 players who have not been eliminated. This is why they play 162 games. Come on, get behind these players. Has anyone checked out the team portraits at Turner Field? Mike Devereaux – anything can happen and will happen.

Al (Hungo) Hrabosky...

September 16th, 2009
3:39 pm

Barney Frank…

Keep “screwing” with the economy and let us worry about the playoff chances. We know you like to play with boy’s…didn’t know you like to follow the games they play as well.

“Hungo” out…(Barney, I know you would like that…)

Nate from NCState

September 16th, 2009
3:39 pm

Ya know I’ve really tried to figure out how the Braves are going to manage their pitching rotation next year with 6 potential starters going into the year. Obviously they are not going to trade Hanson or JJ so that leaves Javy, Lowe, KK, and Hudson left.

Hudson has been the ace before and I think he could be again, unless Hanson fills that role. Either way, he’s a front of the rotation guy, and great in the clubhouse as mentioned before.

Javy has been the most dominant starter of everyone on the team, and I just don’t see how trading him makes a lot of sense, especially since he loves pitching in the NL it seems.

So it comes down to KK and Lowe and my question is why not trade Lowe? I know he is a work horse, and he has done well in the playoffs before, but he’s going to cost as much as any of the other guys, if not more. And I think they could get more in return for him instead of KK.

Thoughts?

Random

September 16th, 2009
3:39 pm

RHR (September 16th, 2009 3:18 pm): “I hope Random and I aren’t the only two former fjm readers here….I may need to reevaluate my life if so.

“Anyway. retro day on deadspin is living up to expectations.”

And here I was getting ready to remind YOU.

:roll:

Thanks.

(There’s over half a dozen “FJM Reunion” articles at http://deadspin.com/. Y’all should check ‘em out!)

Brian

September 16th, 2009
3:45 pm

Nate from NC State, what you’re not taking into account is the other team’s perspective in a trade. The reason we’re not going to trade Lowe is because no team is going to trade for Lowe. Seriously, if we called every team in baseball and literally gave them Derek Lowe, didn’t even request anything back, not a single team would take him. Now, if we paid almost all the 45 million dollars left on his contract, we would have a few takers (probably with a return of a couple of mid-level prospects), but why would we want to do that?

There probably would be some takers for Kawakami, but the return wouldn’t be enough to make a difference. We’d either get a middling prospect or two or an average major leaguer in return. Trading Vazquez would be the only option that would provide a difference-making return. Isn’t that what we want?

Keep in mind that the pitchers’ value to other teams is the same as the value to us. So if you would most like to trade Lowe, that means other teams would LEAST like to trade for Lowe.

Biff (Can you believe I stuck around for 10 years in the Big Leagues?) Pocoroba...

September 16th, 2009
3:49 pm

Don’t worry about the Marlins with their lead in the win column…beating Cards again today. Still tied with the Braves in the loss column. Yea. We need to watch them…along with the Giants, Rockies and Cubs. Fun stuff.

Still have 6 games with the Phillies and 3 with the Braves…among others. Good team…especially with that payroll…less than $36million!

Maybe Fredi will come to our rescue…

BELIEVE

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