It’s the Marlins…and it’s serious

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

   Let’s see if I’ve got this right. Braves are back in the hunt, down only 2 ½ games in the wild card. And there’s a touch of fall in the air (overnight temps in the 50s?!) and a zero percent chance of rain come game time. Could that combination bring fans back out to Turner Field tonight for the start of a seven-game homestand?

   It’s the final homestand of the season, one where any one loss along the way – really two – could dash the Braves hopes. But any win could keep this momentum rolling and put that much more pressure on the Rockies.

   Don’t you hear, kind of anecdotally, among your friends and acquaintances, people talking more about it now? I wonder if, and for the Braves sake I hope it will, translate into a little more excitement at the ballpark this week.

   It’s hard to say. I’m never sure with Braves fans how much what’s going on between the white lines affects whether they come, at least not until Game 5 of a division series or something. What I mean is I’ve seen empty seats for say a Randy Johnson-Greg Maddux matchup on a Tuesday, but then a sellout for a weekend series against a cruddy Brewers team.

   And once school starts and football starts, people aren’t necessarily thinking baseball, especially the way things went in early September for the Braves. But the Braves have been generating their own excitement lately, in front of small crowds in New York and DC. It would be nice to see a good crowd or two to go along with it here.

   It’s obvious that while people around them might have given up, the Braves never did. And it’s a refreshing thing. As esteemed colleague Mark Bradley pointed out in a column in yesterday’s paper, that’s a tribute to manager Bobby Cox and his ability to keep his players focused. Say what you will.

   Imagine, had those stories not surfaced about friction in spring training between Frank Wren and Cox, today would have probably been the day the Braves announced Cox would be retiring as manager after next season.

   I, for one, am glad that’s already happened. Yes, that’s in large part because my workload won’t be quite so hectic today, but it also means the Braves can just focus on what’s head: the Marlins and trying to keep pace with the Rockies, or better.

   The Braves actually have a chance to gain ground on the Rockies either way tonight because Colorado is idle before opening a three-game series against Milwaukee. For the Braves tonight it’s Jair Jurrjens vs. Anibal Sanchez.

   Unlike the last two series against the Mets and Nats – not to take anything away, but let’s be real – it won’t be easy.

   The Marlins are the only team in the NL East the Braves have a losing record against this season. The Braves are 7-8 against Florida. 13-5 against the Mets, 10-8 against the Phillies and 10-4 against the Nationals.

   And the Marlins still think they have at least at outside shot at the wildcard. They were eliminated in the NL East but are still hanging by a thread at 2 ½ games behind the Braves in the wildcard. They see this series as an opportunity.

   The last time these two teams met, they split a four-game series Aug. 30-Sept. 3. You’ll remember the sixth inning nightmares of back-to-back losses there. And those two losses started the 1-6 stretch that really seemed like it was going to end this thing for the Braves.

   The Braves have played mediocre against the Marlins this year – hitting .255 as a team, with a 4.55 ERA. They have to hope maybe they are catching the Marlins dragging a bit.

   The Marlins, 5-5 in their past 10 games, are coming off a 4-0 loss Sunday, having been shut out on an eight-hitter by the Mets’ Pat Misch, the 1-11 career pitcher coming in whom the Braves roughed up for eight runs in 1 1/3 innings in his previous start.

   The Marlins also have a flu bug going around. Neither Josh Johnson, who was scratched from his start Sunday, or first baseman Nick Johnson traveled with the Marlins to Atlanta. Manager Fredi Gonzalez is holding out hope Johnson might be able to start Tuesday – that way he could make two starts to finish out the season Tuesday and Sunday – but for now, Rick VandenHurk is scheduled to pitch tomorrow’s game against Tim Hudson.

   Cody Ross, who has two homers and nine RBIs in 15 games vs. the Braves this year, is nursing a sore left wrist. He was hit by a John Maine pitch Saturday night. He’s day-to-day, but told reporters Sunday “it’s not good.”

Welcome home

   Hey, a few things have changed since the boys left town. I’m sure they came home last night to plenty of stories from their families about what’s been going on since the flood.

   I know Derek Lowe, for one, doesn’t live too far from some homes that were flooded and I bet his wife has had some stories to tell him about street closings and neighbors packing up and moving out, losing most everything.

   I, for one, always get chills when there are good sports diversions to help people through tough times. Might this be one? We shall see.

   By the way, tonight is Dave Ramsey $1 ticket night. The $8 ticket upper reserved seats are $1 tonight and can be bought at braves.com/daveramsey.

   More from the ballpark this afternoon.

1,502 comments Add your comment

Clint

September 28th, 2009
12:04 pm

Wow, this is getting exciting. Too bad, management didn’t revamped the line up sooner this year!

dcp

September 28th, 2009
12:07 pm

It’s a shame that people will utter excuses for why they cannot make it to the park on a night like tonight. You don’t see that in other baseball towns – St Louis, LA, NY, Philly, Boston – people show up for big games. This is not Ft Lauderdale – there are enough fans in the area. Let’s see some Braves fans show up – it only costs $1, or $6, etc. This is a big series – tonight is it – lose tonight and they will be planning for next year.

Rock On......

September 28th, 2009
12:08 pm

richbrave…from your post on last blog

richbrave……very glad to see the AA franchise land here in Richmond. A top team and better top prospects for sure. Richmond Defenders has a great ring to it but probably want to move away from the Civil War thing. I like the Richmond RiverCats. Yes, I will most definitely attend some games. RE is doing better.

richbrave

September 28th, 2009
12:08 pm

BRAVES win, BRAVES win, BRAVES win. Let’s fry the FISH guys. No looking backing back and thinking what might have been. These guys would just love to knock you off. Kick azz.

RHR

September 28th, 2009
12:10 pm

Thanks Carroll.

I’ve seen empty seats for say a Randy Johnson-Greg Maddux matchup on a Tuesday, but then a sellout for a weekend series against a cruddy Brewers team.

Oh that’s easy, most Braves fans don’t live in Atlanta and can only get to the weekend games, if any. We’ll be there in spirit though.

Paul Lentz

September 28th, 2009
12:12 pm

Anders……..Francoeur playing decently with the Mets has nothing to do with us. The fact remains that for whatever reason, he SUCKED A$$ with us. In his last 900 at-bats with us, he hit .239 with 16 homers. That is what I base my “he couldnt hit for us” statement on.

Ryan Church played decent for us before he hurt his back. He filled in for McLouth when McLouth was hurt. He gunned down several runners from right field. His ability to draw walks helped turn the line-up over. Simply put, Ryan Church was a DRASTIC improvement over Francoeur from an offensive standpoint. That is not to say that Church was a “superstar”. What I’m saying is that he did SUCK A$$ for us and drag our line-up down like Francoeur did.

RHR

September 28th, 2009
12:12 pm

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

:D

Doc Holiday

September 28th, 2009
12:12 pm

Lets just hope Norton gets that same bug josh johnson has and lets hope none of our key players get the bug, that could be devastating.

Thrillhouse44

September 28th, 2009
12:13 pm

What a run! This has been awesome. Time to strap on the leotards.

Mitchell

September 28th, 2009
12:16 pm

New blog. I just posted this on the old one. I’m not about to let it go unnoticed:

Mitchell

September 28th, 2009
12:12 pm

I still can’t believe there are people here who defend Bobby Cox. This season has been in my opinion one of the worst performances by a future Hall of Fame manager in recent memory.

This is not exciting, this wild card race of ours. It’s nerve wrecking. It’s gut wrenching and we’re playing the worst teams in baseball. Bravo Bobby for finally beating inferior opponents.

We’re better than the Rockies but why do we trail them in the standings? Because they fired their manager for not getting the job done and having a losing record, replace him with somebody who’s hardly been relevant in any of the cities he’s coached but who suddenly brings a winning attitude and turns the team around. But hey, 2 out of 3 is good enough for us.

I can’t put into words what a disappointment it would be to not make the playoffs at this point. That’s not to say we had much of a reason to consider ourselves a playoff team on opening day, except maybe for the vast improvements made to the pitching staff in the offseason, the number of players returning from injury and the hope that Jeff Francoeur might actually not suck.

I realize there are those who will point to the Braves record in the second half as evidence of his supposed managerial genius, worthy of recognition and acclaim by baseball writers but those people are mostly wrong. His decisions alone have cost this team at least a half dozen games and that’s just being forgiving. And it’s not like that was in the first month of the season. This is ongoing. How can anyone possibly justify allowing Greg Norton to be on this team let alone using him as the go-to pinch hitter?

Why did we get Javier Vasquez if we weren’t go to let him do what he does best, pitch deep into games and eat up of innings? Wait, what am I talking about, he has two complete games this year… in September. About freakin’ time.

Why do you take your starters out of games in the 6th inning with a ten run lead instead of saving the saving the bullpen the work? Why is our worst hitter batting third and our homerun hitter batting 8th?

I’m glad he makes all his players feel good about themselves. I guess that makes up for being a third place team at best the last four years.

Go Braves.

Jake W.

September 28th, 2009
12:17 pm

“It’s a shame that people will utter excuses for why they cannot make it to the park on a night like tonight. You don’t see that in other baseball towns – St Louis, LA, NY, Philly, Boston – people show up for big games. This is not Ft Lauderdale – there are enough fans in the area. Let’s see some Braves fans show up – it only costs $1, or $6, etc. This is a big series – tonight is it – lose tonight and they will be planning for next year.”-dcp

Clearly you haven’t figured out this is not a baseball town then. Stop comparing Atlanta to other cities because it will do nothing but frustrate you. They aren’t the only show in town like the cards seem to be in st. louis and to be honest those northeast cities like philly, boston, and NY are baseball cities. Atlanta is not. On a Monday, if the Braves draw 30,000 that should be considered a success. I already had tickets to a Nats game and i’m going make my way out for at least one marlins game. Take into consideration that some of my fellow metro Atlantan’s are dealing with the effects of the flood. We probably will not come close to a sellout but like I said if they draw 30,000 that should be considered a success.

Mitchell

September 28th, 2009
12:18 pm

Noticing some bad grammar.

Feel free to bash me for it or the actual content if you wish. I stand by it, typos and all.

Paul Lentz

September 28th, 2009
12:19 pm

Meanwhile, another SUCK A$$ tribute to Bobby Cox. Talk about a “man crush”, lol.

“Keeping the players focused”? How about giving “tribute” to the fact that Bobby was forced to play the players who deserve to play based on their actual contributions……not because they are Bobby’s boys”? Or how about giving props to the starting pitching for the Braves that has limited the ability of Bobby Cox to make one tactical bad decision after another on the field (for instance, trotting Greg Norton out there to pinch hit in the top of the 7th yesterday with a runner on 3rd, 1 out in a 3-3 game)?

The Braves dont need a manager to help them “keep focus”. They need a manager who will help manage a game and make in game decisions that will put the Braves players in the best position to win games. I havent see Bobby Cox do anything “differently” in the past 16 games (14-2 record) that he has done all year long.

Again, I point out that the Dallas Cowboys won the 1995 Super Bowl with Barry Switzer as Head Coach, lol (and Im a Dallas fan). The 1977 Yankees HATED Billy Martin, yet won the World Series. My point is that sometimes a team’s talent can will them to victory, despite their manager. Our starting pitching is that good. The difference is that at this point of the season, our offense is contributing JUST ENOUGH to sustain a winning streak, no thanks to Bobby Cox (who didnt want to bench Kelly Johnson or trade Jeff Francoeur).

RemoW

September 28th, 2009
12:21 pm

Francoeur is one of those guys you can’t mess with his approach. He is very much a less talented version of Pete Rose. His approach is “see the ball hit the ball” way.

Once he quit worrying about strikeouts or getting walks he started hitting. I just don’t see him as an adjustment guy. What you see is what you get and with all the early success and the lack of minor league seasoning got him. If they left him alone he would probably still be raking for the Braves. We the fans would still be blasting him for no walks.

I also think he kicked himself for turning down the contract extension. I think there was a period of time where it was Bmac for Francoeur to lead this team in the future and Bmac is better. He took the extension and is taking over the team

P. W. Hjort

September 28th, 2009
12:22 pm

Anyone going to make it to the Ted tonight?

richbrave

September 28th, 2009
12:23 pm

Thanx pryguy, Rock On, McFANN, scoots and DOC.

rico:

Thanks for the heads up. No, I didn’t notice BRUNDIGE in an ATLANTA uni, but I’ll take note with the next four games against the feckless GNATS. I was mostly distracted by the innane dribble of ROB DIBBLE. Sorry.

Your comment connecting he and PHIL WELLMAN is just a bit disconcerting, remembering Mr. W’s melt-down last year. A true classic, but not something I want to particularly associate with DB.

Can’t wait for BC to get thumbed with the line-up card in his hand. That would be a classic, and BOBBY could make it ejection #12 for the year and #162 in his career, which would be a mile-stone as well.

Paul Lentz

September 28th, 2009
12:23 pm

Anders…………Anders…………..While Chipper Jones isnt playing like the Chipper of old, he still contributes. His ability to draw walks combined with his presence in the line-up still puts fear in the opposing pitcher (stressful at-bats do have a wear and tear on a pitching, especially from a mental standpoint)……….has softened the blow of his struggles in the power numbers.

The point in having a “balanced line-up” is that not one person is solely depended on to carry the team. Chipper is still a threat and pitched accordingly by the other team.

homer the brave

September 28th, 2009
12:24 pm

I wish the interleague play would be adressed. We went 7-8 with a tough IL schedule while the Rockies went 11-4 against less competition. Seems like IL games killed us and helped them. Take those away and we would be in it right now

pryguy

September 28th, 2009
12:24 pm

I posted this on the old blog and wasn’t about to let it go unnoticed.

Mitchell and his far superior record/resume to replace Cox in 2011!!!

(Please note sarcasm)

Vinings Jim

September 28th, 2009
12:25 pm

Thrillhouse44 – congratulations on the Dukes’ win – did you see that four teams in our division are in the Top 6 in this week’s poll?

ncscoots

September 28th, 2009
12:25 pm

Doesn’t a blogger’s obsession with the phrase “SUCK A$$” make one wonder just a little about the origin of such an obsession?

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you, if that’s the way you swing. I guess.

brentATL

September 28th, 2009
12:27 pm

And on top of it all we have great baseball weather…72 at first pitch with a good breeze, smells like fried FISH….

Rob from SC (Chipper is a ground ball machine)

September 28th, 2009
12:28 pm

Paul

Chipper is not scaring anyone. His 2 hits yesterday were Ground Balls to the SS and the pitcher.

Clint

September 28th, 2009
12:31 pm

You have never ever heard of a player that thought Cox was a bad manager. Aren’t they the ones who would know? They have to deal with him more than their wives. They also want to win, really bad. If they didn’t think Cox was helping them do that, wouldn’t we have heard about that…. at least once. I’ll defer to pros on this issue. Go Braves!

Marc in FL

September 28th, 2009
12:31 pm

So, does Bobby give McCann an off day? I mean, he needs to, but can we risk a game without him?

pryguy

September 28th, 2009
12:31 pm

How can someone write so much on a blog so consistently throughout his day? That’s right I am referring to Lentz if you hadn’t already figured it out.

It is so easy for people to come on here and write about Cox’s decisions and completely critique him. If I’m not mistaken, Cox has led this team in the worst of times (April, May, June) and the best of times (July, August, September) in 2009. His critics have not fallen off however. I am not even remotely saying Bobby Cox does not make bad decisions at times. What I am saying as an avid fan is I respect the work he had and still is doing with this organization and I respect his past successes to put trust into his decisions, however they may turn out. There have to be so much that goes into his position as manager that I could not comprehend. Yet people on here have the fortitude to continuously be bitter and the comprehension and understanding of how to manage a MLB team.

Bobby Cox has made many mistakes throughout his career, and I wouldn’t even begin to think of how many more I would have made throughout that amount of time. What I do know is his ability to bring out the best in his players and put his team in situations to win a baseball game.

I’ll wait for the long-winded response by the educated baseball fans who are quick to judge and criticize. Irregardless, Cox has been our guy and I’ll continue to support him….through all his good and bad times.

Paul Lentz

September 28th, 2009
12:33 pm

Despite my rumblings about Bobby Cox as manager, I give MAJOR PROPS to the Braves team as a whole (and GM Frank Wren) for their level of play since the All-Star Break. Bobby Cox’s in game mismanagement cost the Braves a number of games in the second half. We should have a much better record than 51-30 since June 28th.

It’s disappointing that some on here see 51-30 and think “great record”. In past days, I pointed out at least 5 games that Bobby totally mismanaged that cost the Braves victories. I realize that players make mistakes that allow other teams to come back. Notice that I have not ripped Soriano for blowing a few saves. Nor have I said anything about moving Chipper or McCann fromt he #3 and #4 spots in the order during their struggles.

However, given all the accolades for being a “great manager”…..Bobby Cox has simply not done a good enough job of managing this team this year. This “keeping focus” crap that Bobby gets credit for is a complete joke.

Earlier this year, I was ripped by some on here for saying that it was Bobby’s fault that this Braves team is poor fundamentally (both base running and on which base to throw to). I was told that “these guys should know how to run the base and play defense before they get to the Majors”. Well if that is the case, then shouldnt MLB players already have the ability to “keep focus”?

If it isnt a manager’s job to teach his players the fundamentals of base running and where to hit the cut off man……..then why should it be his job to have his players “keep focus”?

ncscoots

September 28th, 2009
12:33 pm

posted this on the old blog and wasn’t about to let it go unnoticed.

Not to worry. Dentz has already posted about half of the last blog this morning, anyway. Wants to be sure we don’t miss a single word of his insight, else our lives would be for nought.

monty

September 28th, 2009
12:35 pm

A good chance to see how BC manages tonight against a team that has a comparable lineup to ours late in the season with so much riding on he outcome. Will he make the right moves at the right time?(I hope so) Or will he do some dumb stuff like pinchhit with Norton with the game on the line? Or let a pitcher have a melt down before recognizing he’s lost his stuff.It should be interesting.

Paul Lentz

September 28th, 2009
12:36 pm

Clint……….I think that a big reason why most MLB players love Bobby Cox is because Bobby is loyal to a fault. He allows SUCK A$$ players to sink up the place, no matter how much they SUCK.

Hell, I would love Bobby Cox too if he allowed me to keep a job playing baseball (and I know that I would SUCK A$$ as a MLB player, lol).

Paul Lentz

September 28th, 2009
12:37 pm

pryguy……….Bobby has really brought out the “best” in Greg Norton this year, hasnt he, lol.

Duke

September 28th, 2009
12:38 pm

Mitchell:
Good thing no one gives a F*** about your opinion. To say Bobby Cox has done a bad job and doesn’t need to be back next year is ignorant and selfish. It also shows how inept your baseball knowledge is.

Anders

September 28th, 2009
12:40 pm

While Chipper Jones isnt playing like the Chipper of old, he still contributes. His ability to draw walks combined with his presence in the line-up still puts fear in the opposing pitcher (stressful at-bats do have a wear and tear on a pitching, especially from a mental standpoint)……….has softened the blow of his struggles in the power numbers. (Lentz)

What? You are talking out your posterior at this point. The Braves have struggled offensively most of the year. Exactly where is all this mental wear and tear Chipper inflicts paying off? McCann sure isn’t benefitting much. If anything Frenchy is seeeing more pitches to hit on the Mets than he did with the Braves. Why do you suppose that is?

pryguy

September 28th, 2009
12:40 pm

Lentz,

Easy to point the finger again, which is what I had stated earlier. You can write all you’d like about all that has gone wrong etc… because it’s easy to do. Hindsight is 20/20 yet you think all along your vision is 20/20. Bobby puts Norton is a situation where he has had success in the past, albeit about 12 months ago. Talk about Prado, Esco, McCann, Hanson, Vazquez, JJ. Or how about Moylan. Have you seen his recent quotes, or do you play blind to all that encompasses positive talk about the Braves and their manager?

Rob from SC (Chipper is a ground ball machine)

September 28th, 2009
12:40 pm

pryguy

I am not saying that I agree with Paul, but Bobby Cox has been taken off the hook by our starters.

Beginning with the Houston series our starters, especially Vazquez, Jurrjens, and Hanson have been fantastic. No need to manage with the way they have been throwing the ball.

I get on COx for using Norton everyday in crucial situations. Also he kept playing Francoeur and Johnson when better players sat on the bench. How games did that cost us.

Finally, Jim Tracy batted Brad Hawpe 7th yesterday. Why does Cox refuse to move Chipper and Anderson down in the lineup when they are struggling. Cox manages every game the same. He refuses to adjust.

AJ

September 28th, 2009
12:40 pm

It would have been nice if the Cards had taken 2 of 3 from Rockies. Tonight is a must win to get the 1/2 game that is available to be picked up. 2 games out with the Rockies playing Milwaukee and LA is doable if the Dodgers play hard for best record in the league. If not, we have to hope Braves take at least 2 of 3 from Marlins and sweep Washington again, which will be hard to do. Is there a big finish ahead for the Braves? At least they are relevant during the last week of the season…..certainly wouldn’t have thought that earlier this year. Let’s try to keep pitching together into next year, find a replacement for Anderson in left once he leaves, keep LaRoche at 1st, and take our chances in 2010. Chipper is due to bounce back and hopefully no one will have a “career year” that cannot be repeated next year among the regulars. If the Braves get the Wild Card this year, our starters have an advantage over Philly, LA and St. Louis 1 through 5, and a definite advantage in the bullpen from 7th inning to 9th with Moylan, Gonzo and Soriano. Philly and St.Louis have better offensive clubs, but no one to hold a lead late in the game. Could be interesting…..

P. W. Hjort

September 28th, 2009
12:41 pm

There is an “I hate him” opinion of Bobby Cox. This opinion generally belongs to the younger fan. The 15-to-29-year-old fan that thinks they know a lot more about the game than they actually do. They criticize Bobby Cox for playing Francoeur then they criticize Bobby Cox for sitting Francoeur. They criticize Bobby for using Moylan then they criticize him for not using Moylan. They criticize Bobby for using Prado then they criticize him when he sits Prado. These are just a few examples of the copious amounts of complaining these people do. Not that I completely discourage the complaining. I don’t think the entire spectrum of one’s baseball discussion should revolve around Manager’s failings, though. The larger problem is that they fail to see the bigger picture. The fact that a manager makes a sub-optimal decision he has much less impact than you actually think. And people constantly rattle off things like, “Bobby cost us the win tonight”. Like I always say, if there was a manager that was worth 5 wins, teams would pay him $20 million. No such character exists.

Efrim

September 28th, 2009
12:41 pm

So, does Bobby give McCann an off day? I mean, he needs to, but can we risk a game without him?

Marc in FL, I think they will keep McCann in the lineup until the Braves are out of contention. At this point, they basically have to win out(or at least go 6-1) to make the playoffs. They could be eliminated from contention by Thursday, so McCann can get all the rest he needs then.

Paul Lentz

September 28th, 2009
12:42 pm

Duke………..Do you realize that if Bobby had his way, that the Braves would be competing with the Nationals for the worst record in baseball?

Where do I need to start? Bobby wanted Frank Wren to re-sign John Smoltz. He wanted Tom Glavine instead of Tommy Hanson in early June. Jeff Bennett, Buddy Carlyle, Greg Norton, Kelly Johnson, Jeff Francoeur are all examples of players Bobby is loyal to who basically SUCK A$$.

Peter Moylan is the only one who has panned out. Was it worth it to see all the above players SUCK A$$ for the Braves, just so Bobby Cox can take credit for one of “his boys” succeeding?

It just goes to prove that “a blind squirrel can get an acorn every once in awhile”.

monty

September 28th, 2009
12:44 pm

Duke:
Do you think anyone gives a “friedgrasshopper” about your opinion of Mitchell’s opinion? It’s OK to be blindly loyal to BC. It’s also OK to voice a dissenting opinion, like many do. Just Chill!

P. W. Hjort

September 28th, 2009
12:44 pm

Anders -

The Braves have struggled offensively most of the year.

Not so. The Braves, overall, are 6th in the league with 4.8 Runs/Game. This is bested only by Philly, Colorado, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, and Florida.

By the way, what is the best Mets blog with regards to content? I read Amazin’ Avenue occasionally and I like that one. Is there a better one? Am I missing something?

Carroll Rogers

September 28th, 2009
12:46 pm

Don’t be afraid to come up for some air, Paul.

ncscoots

September 28th, 2009
12:46 pm

It just goes to prove that “a blind squirrel can get an acorn every once in awhile”.

Too bad your batting average on posts isn’t quite as good. Must be tough to be put down by a visually-challenged tree-climbing rodent.

Props to the squirrel.

Johnny Schuerholz

September 28th, 2009
12:46 pm

BELIEVE…

Yea baby…only 2 back with 6 to go after tonight…

Going to be an AWESOME week to be a BRAVES fan…

I DO BELIEVE…

pryguy

September 28th, 2009
12:46 pm

Rob,

I am aware of that Houston series and completely agree. I was just as upset over the managing. Maybe it is a fault of Bobby, his stubborness to adjust. But maybe, just maybe it is also his reason for success. His willingness to put trust into his players. Norton has been awful and it is clear to see that. Cox should have allowed Tommy to finish out that game. I again point out to the fact that I believe over the course of a season Cox will put his team in a position of success more times than not. And those on here that don’t see that are narrow-minded and just point to the reasons the Braves “barely” won.

Brian

September 28th, 2009
12:49 pm

The more we win, the more frustrated and panicky the Bobby Cox haters get. I love it.

pryguy

September 28th, 2009
12:49 pm

Sorry Carroll,

Not to be rude, but feeling lively early Monday morning to…dare I say…defend Bobby Cox. Thanks for the new blog, bring all the good karma from DOB’s recent road trip back to Turner tonight!

Efrim

September 28th, 2009
12:50 pm

By the way, what is the best Mets blog with regards to content? I read Amazin’ Avenue occasionally and I like that one. Is there a better one? Am I missing something?

P.W. Hjort, a lot of my friends that are Mets fans follow Matt Cerrone’s Metsblog and Mike Silva’s New York Baseball Digest. But from reading your posts, I think you’d like Amazin Avenue more than those two.

Jake W.

September 28th, 2009
12:50 pm

“What? You are talking out your posterior at this point. The Braves have struggled offensively most of the year. Exactly where is all this mental wear and tear Chipper inflicts paying off? McCann sure isn’t benefitting much. If anything Frenchy is seeeing more pitches to hit on the Mets than he did with the Braves. Why do you suppose that is?”-Anders

You are right, this team has struggled offensively most of the year. Chipper’s struggles this second half have hurt this team a lot. But there is no denying that we are a better team offensively this second half than we were in the first half chipper’s struggles or not. I think what Lentz is trying to say is that even though Chipper is struggling if you are the manager of another team you still have some fear in the back of your head that he can at anytime revert back to that guy from last year and hurt you. Will he, doesn’t look like it right now but you don’t take him lightly. He still garners respect based on his past that Frenchy has yet to earn. Francoeur is not the sole reason we were bad offensively in the 1st half but he was definately a part of it.

Oh and to that last question, why is frenchy seeing more pitches to hit with the mets, I don’t get it. I mean seriously, how many pitches does he see that he doesn’t want to hit?

bravefaninok

September 28th, 2009
12:51 pm

Efrim

September 28th, 2009
12:52 pm

Don’t be afraid to come up for some air, Paul.

Seriously. And this little number takes the cake:

Do you realize that if Bobby had his way, that the Braves would be competing with the Nationals for the worst record in baseball?

Just…. wow.

Lars Taint

September 28th, 2009
12:52 pm

Paul Lentz,
I think you consider yourself a pretty insightful, open minded guy. So, if you are going to continue to throw out what you consider to be examples of Bobby losing games for us, then you have to at least be willing to admit that his policy of sticking with players to let them work through thier struggles worked pretty well with Peter Moylan this year. When he struggled a little at the beginning of the year, I remember you saying that you had seen enough to know that he was a bum and that he didn’t deserve to be in the majors. I also remember you saying over and over again that you are almost never wrong about anything you suggest that the Braves need to do. Well, Moylan has been one of the most reliable relief pitchers in baseball this year.

bravesgrl4life

September 28th, 2009
12:56 pm

Anybody interested in fried Marlin tonight? I sure am. It would be totally awesome to see our guys go on a 7 game streak tonight. If they can only keep the momentum going, we’ll be in good shape. Won’t be able to watch tonight due to a meeting that I won’t get home from until about 9 when hubby gets off work – gotta let him have the TV. He’s so ready for the season to be over so he can have his big screen back. By April, there WILL be a second TV in our house :)

Brian

September 28th, 2009
12:56 pm

I love how the Cox detractors always say “Cox has cost us at least X number of games this year!” They completely ignore the possibility that decisions Cox made may have WON us games. See how easy this is: Albert Pujols has made almost 400 outs this year! He stinks!

monty

September 28th, 2009
12:57 pm

P.W.Hjort
“The Braves have struggled offensively most of the year.”

Not so. The Braves, overall, are 6th in the league with 4.8 Runs/Game. This is bested only by Philly, Colorado, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, and Florida.

While that may be true “now.” They have hovered around or between 4.5.-4.6 runs per game all year long up until recently. While a tenth of a point here or there doesn’t seem like much, in terms of stats on run scoring it is actually huge and means ther difference in winning and losing. At 4.5-4.6 runs per game I’m quite sure that many teams jump ahead of them and so while their recent barrage of scoring runs has helped where they rank “now” it hasn’t been that way all season.

gayle

September 28th, 2009
12:58 pm

Mitchell rocks! The Braves are chasing the Rockies now because they had the courage to dump their manager when the team was not performing. That is why the Rockies will be playing next week instead of the Braves.

pryguy

September 28th, 2009
12:58 pm

Brian coming to aid the cause I have started…”It’s easy to write 500 word essays on things that went wrong and it’s because of Bobby Cox”

Mitchell

September 28th, 2009
12:59 pm

Duke

September 28th, 2009
12:38 pm
Mitchell:
Good thing no one gives a F*** about your opinion. To say Bobby Cox has done a bad job and doesn’t need to be back next year is ignorant and selfish. It also shows how inept your baseball knowledge is.

Does it? How so?

RemoW

September 28th, 2009
12:59 pm

Just to rile you inmates up. If we make the playoffs. Cox is going to be either 1 or 2 for Manager of the Year!

ncscoots

September 28th, 2009
1:00 pm

Paul Lentz, I think you consider yourself a pretty insightful, open minded guy.

Unfortunately, public displays such as this forum tend to strip away the false notes in one’s personal symphony, LOL.

Heath

September 28th, 2009
1:01 pm

Need a win tonight… probably still only have a chance if the they finish the season without any losses or only one. Should be an interesting finish if they can keep up their recent successes…

RHR

September 28th, 2009
1:02 pm

lol @ the follow up immediately after pryguy’s post. Priceless.

So, does Bobby give McCann an off day?

With 7 left? Why does he need a day off?

Roman Gal

September 28th, 2009
1:02 pm

If anything Frenchy is seeeing more pitches to hit on the Mets than he did with the Braves.

I doubt he’s getting anything better to hit than the fastballs down the middle he was getting…

SRF

September 28th, 2009
1:02 pm

Brian – that is actually a good point – there have been moves that won games and he should get credit.

I am just frustrated that it is sooooo close…

monty

September 28th, 2009
1:03 pm

Well I boogered that up. Anders made a quote that the Braves haven’t hit well all year. P.W.Hjort said, “that was not so” and gave where they rank statistically right “now” in runs per game. Then I follwed up with the Braves have really only averaged 4.5- 4.6 runs most of the season. I gave the impression that it was P.W. that said the Braves haven’t hit well all year. He actually said they had hit well. Sorry!

CB

September 28th, 2009
1:04 pm

PWH,you gave an excellent summary at 12:41 pm. Mitchell, you are entitled to your opinion and gave your reasons as well. If you are criticised,it is over mostly your poor language and rants.

Roman Gal

September 28th, 2009
1:04 pm

Good blog, Carroll.

I think most Braves fans are content to watch the games on tv. For me, when I’m away at school, it’s hard to go to weekday games. Actually, I really want to go to at least one game this weekend…

LoMel

September 28th, 2009
1:05 pm

Up here in Knoxville but when classes are over tomorrow I’ll be heading down for the game! Hope to see some of you there!

Dorothy Davis

September 28th, 2009
1:06 pm

ANYONE WHO BELIEVES BOBBY COX IS THE REASON THE BRAVES ARE IN THE HUNT FOR THE WILD CARD…I HAVE SOME OCEAN FRONT LAND FOR SALE IN DENVER…CHEAP! PLEASE GOD, SEND US ANOTHER COACH FOR THE 2010 SEASON!!! Enter your comments here

McFann :Ô:

September 28th, 2009
1:07 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Ms. Rogers! I wish I could be at Turner Field this week! EVERY NIGHT this week!!!

Marc in FL So, does Bobby give McCann an off day?

No way! He didn’t give him Saturday’s DGANG off, so he’s not giving him any extra days off! Now, if that guy woulda fouled that ball a little harder off BMac’s thumb, it’d be a different story…

Even though BMac stinks against the Marlins, he HAS to play! And you know he wants to.

Brian

September 28th, 2009
1:07 pm

SRF, I wouldn’t be too frustrated. This year’s Braves have outperformed every preseason projection and prediction, and have already increased their win total from last year by 13. If they make the playoffs, it will be one of the stories of the year in baseball. If they don’t (and they probably won’t), while it will be disappointing considering how close they got, it is exciting to see the prospects of 2010 so bright considering how well they played this year.

Lars Taint

September 28th, 2009
1:07 pm

Paul Lentz and other Bobby haters,
Is Charlie Manuel a horrible manager for sticking with Brad Lidge for so much of the season even though he leads the league in blown saves? Was Joe Torre a bad manager the year he stuck with Jason Giambi for most of the season even though it was obvious he couldn’t hit once he got off the juice.

McFann :Ô:

September 28th, 2009
1:07 pm

You’re welcome, richbrave!

bravesgrl4life

September 28th, 2009
1:08 pm

I would get to at least one game this week, but I don’t have anybody to go with me. It’s an hour+ drive home late if I go to a night game.

Rob from SC (Chipper is a ground ball machine)

September 28th, 2009
1:08 pm

pryguy

My point is this. What makes baseball so great is the length of the season. Over the course of 162 games, even the best players slump. I just wsih Cox would change it up a bit. Our three hottest hitters are hitting 6-7-8. What harm could it have done to move CHipper down in the order during his prolonged slump. Cox never adjusts. That is why I feel like every loss is the same.

monty

September 28th, 2009
1:12 pm

Lot of differing opinions on Cox today. Some seem to think that this team wouldn’t be where it is right now without him. MAybe that without Cox we would be battling the Nats for last place. And some seem to think that no matter what managerial moves made or not made during a game they really don’t signifcantly affect the outcome. And some seem to think we would have won the division had Cox made a few key decisions sooner and knew how to make more intuitive in game moves.

Roman Gal

September 28th, 2009
1:12 pm

I would get to at least one game this week, but I don’t have anybody to go with me.

I have that problem this weekend. This weekend is special for my school…bad timing if you ask me.

Vinings Jim

September 28th, 2009
1:12 pm

Heath, buddy – good to see you when I’m actually looking at the blog

flange1

September 28th, 2009
1:12 pm

Lars,

I would not waste your time on the Bobby bashers. IF you ask them, it was Bobby’s fault that the storms hit Atlanta.

You can’t win an argument with a moron, at least in their minds.

GTSteve

September 28th, 2009
1:13 pm

If I lived closer I would be there every night this week, I will be there this weekend

GO BRAVES

Carroll Rogers

September 28th, 2009
1:13 pm

I hear you outta towners on the weekend games. Makes sense. Just wondering about the locals who might be catching the bug. From the sounds of the blog, there are a few on here anyway.

As for the Bobby Cox experts, if you aren’t saying something you haven’t said 50,000 times, I don’t know, could you come up with some new material?

Rob from SC (Chipper is a ground ball machine)

September 28th, 2009
1:15 pm

Carroll Rogers

How can you describe the Greg Norton situation

Salamander: (hey, everyone else seems to think its cool to have a retardedly long tag)

September 28th, 2009
1:16 pm

Time to sweep the last homestand of the season.

Go Braves.

RHR

September 28th, 2009
1:17 pm

By the way, what is the best Mets blog with regards to content?

Well you could ask Anders.

Oh wait…

pryguy

September 28th, 2009
1:18 pm

Rob,

Fair enough, and I do agree he is not apt to change very quickly or easily. But what I contend is that is that also a good quality of Cox as a manager? It’s more dependant on the situation, but I think his willingness to stick with certain guys or continue the course his way has helped his team at times as well.

Brian

September 28th, 2009
1:18 pm

Here’s how I sum up the Greg Norton episode from yesterday:

6-3 Braves

RHR

September 28th, 2009
1:18 pm

Where abouts do you live bravesgrl?

Daslied

September 28th, 2009
1:19 pm

Mitchell, your post was noticed. And then it was dismissed.

BTW – I’d jump for joy for a “2 out of 3″ team, as that translates to 108 wins.

RC

September 28th, 2009
1:20 pm

Carroll,

Thanks for the info on the $1 tickets tonight. At two more “locals” will be attending because of it :)

Rob from SC (Chipper is a ground ball machine)

September 28th, 2009
1:22 pm

pryguy

Cox is the best clubhouse manager in the history of the game. That is a very important quality. We will miss that when he retires.

I agree that no being quick to change is a good thing. But after a while you have to be willing to. If KJ doesn’t get hurt is he still the starter?

Jeff R

September 28th, 2009
1:22 pm

Is this the same Paulie Lentz who was telling us that the Rockies were “unstoppable?” A team of destiny? Oh, and that the Braves had to win “every game” or they didn’t have a shot at the post season?

Now Bobby Cox has little or nothing to do with the Braves playing well in the stretch? Not credible, just not credible.

Rob from SC (Chipper is a ground ball machine)

September 28th, 2009
1:23 pm

Brian

Only because of the great work by Moylan

Mixxo

September 28th, 2009
1:23 pm

Mac’s taking a day off????

WTF!

If that fat b*stard can’t strap ‘em on for today, give him the WHOLE WEEK off dammit! About tired of his fat a$$.

Nova Scotia Steve - Fight Like A Brave

September 28th, 2009
1:23 pm

My nerves are shot

P. W. Hjort

September 28th, 2009
1:24 pm

Anders

But from reading your posts, I think you’d like Amazin Avenue more than those two.

I figure. I’ve read some posts over there that pretty much make my head explode, in a good way.

Heath

September 28th, 2009
1:24 pm

VJ -

I can’t help but to be pulled back in by the recent play of the Braves the last couple of weeks. I’ve been busy, but I thought I’d stop by the ol’ blog and see what was going on here too. Not much different…

Oh, I wanted to tell ya that I decided to get the Lasik Eye surgery. I am getting that done on the 9th. I can’t wait! Contacts and glasses be damned! :)

AndyC

September 28th, 2009
1:24 pm

Carroll

Amen to your 1:13 comment about Bobby. If you hate Bobby he will be gone after next season. There is no point in talking about it anymore. It’s done. I don’t read any Bobby bashing posts anymore. These people need to get another hobby…you know football has started…

GTSteve

September 28th, 2009
1:26 pm

If they sweep the Marlins, it will be a wild weekend at the Ted

Rock On......

September 28th, 2009
1:26 pm

The Braves have been involved in 67 games where they scored 3 or fewer runs losing those at a 84% clip. Of the 67(11-56) games we have been shut out a dozen times and scored 1 run in thirteen others. Regardless of our outstanding pitching we can not beat the Rule of 64. Today’s slogan is…..Just score four!

pryguy

September 28th, 2009
1:27 pm

If it all comes down to Sunday and the Braves are 1 back or even…does Vazquez get pushed forward a day to start Sunday or does the ball get handed to Huddy who would be scheduled.

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