Rough time to be Brooks Conrad, a good dude

The cruel irony about Brooks Conrad is that, seven months ago down at spring training, some of us were doing stories about Conrad’s unexpected defensive improvement. Seriously, he made more spectacular defensive plays at multiple positions than any Brave in Grapefruit League games.

Error-plagued Conrad has been benched for tonight, but Braves wouldn't be in the postseason without him.

Error-plagued Conrad has been benched for tonight, but Braves wouldn't be in the postseason without him.

He’d been a fairly mediocre defensive player in the past, in nearly a decade spent exclusively in the minor leagues, and then during his first stints in the majors with Oakland in 2008 and Atlanta in 2009. But suddenly Conrad was flashing extreme leather, making highlight-reel plays at spring training, battling with Joe Thurston for the last bench job on the major league roster.

Now here we are, in the Braves’ first postseason in five years, and Conrad’s fielding ability has abandoned him at some of the worst possible moments, on the big stage, for a team that has to take advantage of its opportunities and not give away many outs if it has any hope of advancing.

He’s out of the lineup today, after making eight errors in seven games, including three in a 3-2 Game 3 loss to the Giants in the  NLDS last night. Three errors, two that let in the first and last Giants runs. The Braves will start Troy Glaus at third tonight and move Omar Infante to second.

Conrad is the plucky journeyman, a favorite in the clubhouse and – at least until now – among Braves fans everywhere. The guy whose late-innings hits and homers made him what Chipper Jones called the Braves’ “secret weapon” for so much of this rollercoaster of a season.

The guy whose walkoff grand slam capped one of the greatest comebacks in Braves history, a seven-run ninth inning against the Reds on a glorious afternoon that Braves fans at Turner Field or watching on TV will never forget.

Now, he’s the guy surrounded by dozens of reporters and TV crews, explaining how terrible it feels to make not one, but multiple errors in a 3-2 loss. The costliest ones came on a rather routine pop-up and an entirely routine grounder, the latter coming just 20 or so minutes after friend and fellow bench player Eric Hinske hit the biggest homer of his life to put the Braves ahead 2-1 in the eighth inning.

If I’m Bobby Cox, I don’t think I could possibly have played Conrad tonight, for the player’s sake or the team’s sake. It’s just too much to expect him to push aside all that’s happened and not have nerves or yips or whatever when a ball comes at him with the game on the line. And to think what might happen if the Braves lost another game due to a Conrad error … it’s too much.

If Cox doesn’t have enough faith in inexperienced Diory Hernandez to start him at second or third base, then yes, you must bite the bullet and put Glaus and his bad knees over at 3B, or Hinske, who doesn’t have mobility he had when he played the position years ago, but should be able to make the routine plays.

Most of us would love to make even what a minimum-salaried major league player makes. But I can honestly say I hope to never experience anything quite like Conrad experienced last night, in his three-error debacle that left him standing in front of more than 50,000 fans whose hearts had been torn out, but not quite like his was.

Brutal. I can’t imagine what it would be like, to have that grounder coming at you in the ninth inning, with whatever rats are rattling around in your brain at that point after two earlier errors, and then it goes right between your legs.

“It’s totally embarrassing,” Conrad said afterward, to reporters and cameramen and microphone-wielding TV people jammed in five-deep around his locker stall. “Once again I felt like I let everybody down. I feel terrible. It’s a whole lot to swallow but I’ll try to do my best to get over it. But it’s probably something you’re probably not for a long time, if ever. I feel absolutely terrible right now. I wish I could just dig a hole and go sleep in there.

“But it’s something you’ve got to get over quick. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that.”

I asked him about that ninth-inning error, and he answered: “Just coming right at me, one-hopper, tracked it the whole way, just trying to keep it in front at least. It just seemed to go right through me. It was a weird feeling. No excuses. It was a terrible overall performance tonight by myself.”

On the second-inning pop-up to allow a run: “I was just going after it. I thought I had great position, just popped out on that one too. No excuses on any of them. It was all absolutely terrible. Just got to get over it.”

Again, folks, can any of even imagine going through that, and then going home to your wife and two toddlers last night and actually trying to put that aside and sleep?

How ’bout the unfortunate decision by the person in charge of such things to run a rally video before the ninth inning last night, a video with Conrad’s grand slam as the centerpiece? Are you kidding me? A lot of fans booed.

And that’s not surprising. If I were a fan, I might have, too. Because if I were a fan, I’d be booing the player, his perforamance –  not the person, because most fans have no idea what kind of person Conrad is, other than what they read or hear.

It was the biggest game for the Braves in a long time, the biggest potential win after that Hinske homer. So yeah, if I’m a fan, so fired up one minute and then let down an inning later, maybe I’d have booed, too.

But I will repeat what I said earlier: if you knew Conrad, you’d never boo him. Because you’d know he’s a classic blue-collar guy who paid more dues than most major leaguers to get here, that he’s as good a dude, as nice a guy, as decent a person and strong a teammate as most of us ever run across in this line of work.

Again, I do understand the booing by some. They’re booing the plays, the errors, not the man. It’s just that, knowing him like some of us do, knowing how much he cares and how much he’s put in to get here, it makes it seems almost unimaginable what he must have felt like afterward.

Conrad's dropped pop fly let in the first run of Game 3 loss.

Conrad's dropped pop fly let in the first run of Game 3 loss.

And we don’t know him half as well as some of his teammates, many of whom were torn up after the game just talking about what Conrad must be going through.

Derrek Lee, who talked to Conrad on the field briefly after the last error: “I was just trying to be there for him. We’ve all been there. Sometimes it seems that nothing good is going to happen to you. You feel like you’re on an island all by yourself. I didn’t want him to feel like that.”

Chipper Jones: “It’s very hard. There’s no a guy in here that wouldn’t take Brooks Conrad in their fox hole any day. We love the guy to death. He works his tail off. He deserves better than what happened to him today, but it’s part of the game. It’s happened to all of us. It’s happened to the best players. It’s just unfortunate because we want so bad for him to be successful.”

Tim Hudson: “Just got to keep his head up. We love him more now than we ever have. So it’s just one of those things where he’s a little rough go at it in that aspect of the game, but we’re behind him. We wouldn’t be here without him. There’s no question about that. It was tough to see a teammate deal with some things like that but he knows we’re behind him. We have all the confidence in the world in him. Your heart goes out for him.”

Asked what Hudson brings to the Braves, Hudson said: “He’s gritty. He gives you 100 percent. He goes out there and lays it all out. I know that he’s won single-handedly four or five games for us this year. So he’s a guy, we’re obviously rallying around. He’s a sparkplug, man. It’s one of those things where your father feathers get raised, when somebody says something bad about him. We hate that he’s being in the spotlight for something like this just because he doesn’t deserve it.”

Conrad’s contributions: For those who might have forgotten all that Conrad did this season, what he’s meant to the Brave in terms of on-field performance – put aside the good-guy stuff, we’re talking actual performance – here’s a few things.

– He led the Braves a .378 average with runners in scoring position this season, which was the fourth-best in the NL for those with at least 50 plate appearances in those situations.

– He led the Braves with a .313 average and 1.115 OPS in close-and-late situations, just ahead of Hinske’s .302 average and 1.009 OPS. Conrad had 10 extra-base hits including a team-high five homers and 17 RBIs in 48 close-and-late at-bats.

Rough times for a good dude.

Rough times for a good dude.

– In the last six games of the regular season, including four Braves wins, Conrad went 7-for-20 with a double, triple, homer and six RBIs to go with his four errors in that span.

ESPN stats guru Mark Simon did this chronology of Conrad’s biggest moments this season:

May 11: In his first start of the season, filling in for an injured Chipper Jones, Conrad homers and has a Web Gem in an 11-3 rout of the Milwaukee Brewers. He’d start again the next day, hit a home run and drive in four more.

May 20: Conrad caps a ninth-inning rally with a walk-off pinch-hit grand slam, giving the Braves, who trailed 9-3 entering the ninth inning, a 10-9 win over the Cincinnati Reds. It was the Braves’ third straight walk-off win and the first time a Brave hit a walk-off grand slam when down by three runs since Del Crandall in 1955.

June 12: With the score tied, 2-2 in the top of the ninth inning, Conrad successfully squeezes in a run with a bunt hit. The Braves beat the Minnesota Twins, 3-2. He was one of four players to put his team ahead with a bunt hit in the ninth inning, along with Howie Kendrick, Marco Scutaro and Chris Heisey.

July 24: Conrad snaps a 5-5 tie with an eighth-inning grand slam off Florida Marlins reliever Burke Badenhop. The Braves go on to score eight runs in the inning, rallying from 5-2 down, and go on to win, 10-5. He’s the fifth player in the last 60 years to hit two pinch-hit grand slams in the same season.

August 10: Conrad hits a go-ahead two-run home run in the ninth inning vs Matt Lindstrom. The Braves score three runs in the ninth inning and rally to beat the Houston Astros, 4-2. He became the first player to hit three go-ahead HR in the 8th inning or later off the bench since Rusty Greer for the Rangers in 1995.

August 13- With the Braves and Dodgers in a scoreless tie, Conrad homers off Hiroki Kuroda. The Braves win, 1-0. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Conrad was the fourth rookie in Braves history to win a 1-0 game with a home run.

And here’s tonight’s lineup:

Braves lineup for Game 4 Tuesday

  1. Infante 2B
  2. Diaz LF
  3. Lee, 1B
  4. McCann C
  5. Gonzalez SS
  6. Heyward RF
  7. Glaus 3B
  8. Ankiel CF
  9. Lowe RHP

♣ Let’s close with one from The Boss. Enjoy this video.

bruce_springsteen

“BETTER DAYS” by Bruce Springsteen

Well my soul checked out missing as I sat listening
To the hours and minutes tickin’ away
Yeah, just sittin’ around waitin’ for my life to begin
While it was all just slippin’ away.
I’m tired of waitin’ for tomorrow to come
Or that train to come roarin’ ’round the bend
I got a new suit of clothes a pretty red rose
And a woman I can call my friend

These are better days baby
Yeah there’s better days shining through
These are better days baby
Better days with a girl like you

Well I took a piss at fortune’s sweet kiss
It’s like eatin’ caviar and dirt
It’s a sad funny ending to find yourself pretending
A rich man in a poor man’s shirt
Now my ass was draggin’ when from a passin’ gypsy wagon
Your heart like a diamond shone
Tonight I’m layin’ in your arms carvin’ lucky charms
Out of these heard luck bones

These are better days baby
These are better days it’s true
These are better days
There’s better days shining through

Now a life of leisure and a pirate’s treasure
Don’t make much for tragedy
But it’s a sad man my friend who’s livin’ in his own skin
And can’t stand the company
Every fool’s got a reason to feelin’ sorry for himself
And turn his heart to stone
Tonight this fool’s halfway to heaven and just a mile outta hell
And I feel like I’m comin’ home

These are better days baby
There’s better days shining through
These are better days
Better days with a girl like you

These are better days baby
These are better days it’s true
These are better days

7,609 comments Add your comment

Matty D: Red Man Hunter

October 11th, 2010
3:35 pm

I’m in the 2 hole? Love it! Go Braves!!

Matty D: Red Man Hunter

October 11th, 2010
3:38 pm

My 1st AB: low inside pitch, golf swing, homer down the left field line, last night’s woes forgotten

Hillbilly

October 11th, 2010
3:38 pm

They every sin is deadly but I believe they may be wrong. I’m guilty of all 7 and I don’t feel too bad at all.

iChop2249 (formerly wonder2249)

October 11th, 2010
3:40 pm

McFann

Brenly is a Cubs announcer. But I can’t say that this whole series feels like I’m listening to a Giants broadcast. It’s the only series I’ve watched that I felt like a player was being shoved in my face constantly…a.k.a Buster Posey…by the way did you know he catches for the Giants, is ROY, and is the next best thing since Tim Tebow…who was the next best thing since Jesus.

iChop2249 (formerly wonder2249)

October 11th, 2010
3:42 pm

I like the fact Glaus in in there and Heyward has moved down, BUT this strikes me as a too-little too-late scenario.

Snotboogie

October 11th, 2010
3:42 pm

Nice chronological “pat_on_the_back” for Conrad. The higher the perch, the harder the fall I guess.

10-80

October 11th, 2010
3:42 pm

well said DOB. I was at the game last night and in disbelief when that ball went right through him, but I didnt open my mouth to say a word because I knew he felt as bad or worse than I did about it. We wouldbt be here if it werent for Brooks, gotta realize that.

Kat

October 11th, 2010
3:44 pm

I think you really nailed the thoughts/feelings of the fans and I like the player vs. person explanation a lot. Brooks has been there for us the entire season pulling off some great at bats and its unfortunate what’s happen towards the end of the season and post season. Hopefully he can get through it and come back a better player.

mahlers porn stache

October 11th, 2010
3:44 pm

I hate it for ole Oops Conrad…but that’s how it goes with the big boys. Time now to relax and pull a Hinske off the bench tonight. Keep your head up big guy!

sportsmandh

October 11th, 2010
3:45 pm

Best thing the Braves can do for Conrad is come back and win the series. Still doable.

T-Bone

October 11th, 2010
3:45 pm

Still have a heartbeat. Win tonight against their no-name pitcher, and take your chances in SF against the Freak (who was a bit wild in the first game, and who we only lost against 1-0).

JEB

October 11th, 2010
3:46 pm

Good for Bobby!
He wants to win – and you have to shake things up to do that some times!
Really should have played Glaus in there for several games!
I just didn’t get it! Glaus has been healing for over a month how long is it going to take to get his legs back healthy?? Plus, he is more of a threat in the lineup than Brooks – Brooks is better off the bench.
Plus, all this concern for Glaus at 3b and they put him in there for defensive purposes Fri. night.
If they could do it then – why could they not do it for the other games??
Like I said, just did not get it…

Snotboogie

October 11th, 2010
3:47 pm

It would be nice if Conrad came on as a PH today and won the game for us. But would rather not have a close enough game to see that happen.

Murph

October 11th, 2010
3:47 pm

Nice blog DOB. Very nice.

P-Town Brave ©

October 11th, 2010
3:47 pm

Wayne-

They have to win another 10 more to be winners….

And at least 2 more in the series…

Yeah coming into this, most of us weren’t expecting anything and figured it would be cake if we won the series…

But now, we lost a game based upon umpire error and Omar not feeling like diving to knock a ball down, and then another because of our manager deciding to leave Conrad in and take Kimbrell out…

The Giants have not won a game, the Braves have lost 2…thats really all there is to it.

As good as Lincecum pitched, we could be singing a different tune had the umpire (who’s name I will not mention) made the right call at 2b…

OR Bobby takes out an absolutely inept 2b like he should have…as right now, all feelings aside, Brooks couldn’t catch a cold…

OR Bobby leaves Kimbrell in like he should and he strikes out Huff, instead of laying a get me over slider in there like Dunn did to allow his bat time to get through the zone…

I guess we could play “What If” all day, BUT my main point, they are no longer winners by blowing this series…

ncscoots

October 11th, 2010
3:48 pm

Glaus has been healing for over a month how long is it going to take to get his legs back healthy??

Troy may have to wait for his next life on that one.

Mr. Enigma

October 11th, 2010
3:48 pm

“Braves lineup for Game 4 Tuesday”?

What?

McFann =Ô= =Ô= o

October 11th, 2010
3:49 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Chief.

iChop

OK, then maybe it was Dick Whatshisface who played for the Giants…

t’s the only series I’ve watched that I felt like a player was being shoved in my face constantly…a.k.a Buster Posey…

Oh my GOSH!!! To quote the snake from Jungle Book (don’t know how to spell his name), “If I never see that skinny little shrimp again, it will be too soon!” I mean every…thing…they say…goes back…to Buster Posey! And they ALWAYS have to say both names, it’s never just “Posey”…”Buster Posey this…Buster Posey that…Blah blah blah blah blah!!”

by the way did you know he catches for the Giants, is ROY, and is the next best thing since Tim Tebow…who was the next best thing since Jesus.

:lol:

Kenny

October 11th, 2010
3:49 pm

who cares if he’s a good dude. what matters is if he can do his job. he’s proven over the past month he can’t. well it’s too late now. even with the brooks trainwreck out of the way, the hole is too deep. lincecum will see to that if it goes 5.

P-Town Brave ©

October 11th, 2010
3:49 pm

Oh, and Wayne…

I agree…to a fault Bobby is too loyal when it gets to situations like this…

He has and will shoot himself in the foot more times than not, thus why the playoff record is what it is and part of why there is only 1 World Championship up on that mantle.

A great dude Bobby is, but that doesn’t make a great postseason manager.

Adam

October 11th, 2010
3:50 pm

Wow is booby finally doing what many on here have said for weeks. To bat jason in the 6 hole? Has he finally taken some smart advice. Worst manager ever. I almost hope they lose tonight so I don’t have to watch that old geezer anymore. Good riddance.

The Abs Man

October 11th, 2010
3:51 pm

Genuine heart-felt column on Conrad.
Good one DOB.

And thanks once again, for such an awesome and active blog for all of us to participate.

Trey

October 11th, 2010
3:51 pm

Thanks for the new blog, Chief!

Dav

October 11th, 2010
3:51 pm

Can’t forget Conrad’s bunt to put 2 in scoring position (which both runs scored on the ensuing double) in game 2

iChop2249 (formerly wonder2249)

October 11th, 2010
3:51 pm

McFann

I don’t know who Brenly played with, but I do recognize him from Cubs games on WGN. I occasionally tune into a Cubs game when the Braves aren’t on. Not this year though, they stunk…lol

North Georgia Braves Fan

October 11th, 2010
3:52 pm

DOB you can list all the yearly accomplishments you care to but it’s a case of what have you done for me lately. I have cheered for Conrad all year and I hurt for him but you can’t commit the errors he has and brush them aside.

Playoffs!!!!

October 11th, 2010
3:52 pm

I’ve heard the Buck Belue/Leo Mazzone pre-game show on the radio. It is the most GODAWFUL piece of TV or radio sports work I’ve ever heard. Really unprofessional.
Belue is a homer. But I can live with that. Mazzone comes across as a horse’s ass. I’m surprised the Braves managment puts up with it.
On one “episode” they were mispronouncing the opposing players’ names and then laughing about it.

barb

October 11th, 2010
3:52 pm

DOB: Any idea why Bobby doesn’t play David Ross in what might be his last chance this year in a playoff game? McCann isn’t hitting lefties right now!

TennesseePaul

October 11th, 2010
3:52 pm

Thanks for the work DOB.

Hope Conrad has put it behind him and found that magic he had this summer. The team will probably need him to pinch hit after the Giants bunt around the bases and slap bloopers to shallow left. There’s a ground baller on the mound today and a guy at third with no wheels. How the hell did this team make it this far?

GO BRAVES!!!

JEB

October 11th, 2010
3:52 pm

Good moves for Bobby!
He wants to win – and you have to shake things up to do that some times!
Really should have played Glaus in there for several games!
I just didn’t get it! Glaus has been healing for over a month how long is it going to take to get his legs back healthy?? Plus, he is more of a threat in the lineup than Brooks – Brooks is better off the bench.
Plus, all this concern for Glaus at 3b and they put him in there for defensive purposes Fri. night.
If they could do it then – why could they not do it for the other games??
Like I said, just did not get it…

veer

October 11th, 2010
3:54 pm

we will win today good lineup

TennesseePaul

October 11th, 2010
3:54 pm

Sheeesh. Just saw Heyward was dropped to sixth!
What a line-up shuffle for the potential last game of the season. For the best though. Conrad has made the most glaring mistakes, but Heyward’s whiffing has been just as painful.

Kyle

October 11th, 2010
3:55 pm

I was screaming at the TV after that last error. To me it felt like the whole “Bartman” thing with the Cubs just not to that extreme. Then I stopped and remembered that Conrad is out there because Bobby Cox has no other choice. I felt bad because Conrad as DOB pointed out we are not here because of him. So i would like to say im sorry for booing Conrad. I should have understood the situation better. Go Braves

VaBravesfan

October 11th, 2010
3:55 pm

I am a Braves fan through and through so I always want them to win. That being said, I really feel bad for Conrad. That may be something he never gets over. He has probably replayed the game in his head a thousand times already.

veer

October 11th, 2010
3:55 pm

This lineup is scary.
Can you imagine our bottom of the order hitters before vs now?

I mean Conrads? Gonzalez? Ankeil? Melky?

Now we have
Glaus Gonzalez Heyward.

Mentally to an opposing pitcher it makes a big difference

Kyle

October 11th, 2010
3:56 pm

let me fix that – WE ARE NOT HERE WITHOUT CONRAD

RHR

October 11th, 2010
3:56 pm

Thank god I don’t have to worry about my worst day airing on national television and with an audience of 50,000 staring down at me. Glad he had a wife and two kids to go home to, those are the important things.

JEB

October 11th, 2010
3:56 pm

DOB
How is BMac’s wrist??
Nothing has been said since he hurt it yesterday.

Charles

October 11th, 2010
3:56 pm

Great article. Booing the performance and not the player is a clear sign of what was happening. Being there I wanted to gag, but also know that a player like BC cares more than even I do. And those who think Bobby Cox is inept, keep thinking that. Most baseball people know better.

Wayne in Utah

October 11th, 2010
3:57 pm

P-town

Sorry friend, but these guys (2nd and 3rd string players) are all winners in my book.

Bravesfan4life

October 11th, 2010
3:57 pm

We will win today as long as Bobby does not mismanage the game!!!

P-Town Brave ©

October 11th, 2010
3:57 pm

Gary O-

Knee jerk reaction?

You mean like removing Kimbrell when he had Sanchez down to the last strike of the game and he hit a weak grounder up the box that could have easily been fielded by Alex if Chino hadn’t had him in the hole?!

That what you mean?

Because I just can’t see Bobby pulling a vet if they’re in that same situation…

I still think Kimbrell had it…his stuff was good and he could get one more batter…

But to make it worse….Mike Dunn?! REALLY?!

white flag lineup

October 11th, 2010
3:57 pm

I’d argue most Braves fans weren’t booing Conrad. They were booing Cox for leaving him in.

C Norman

October 11th, 2010
3:57 pm

It goes without saying, the Braves wouldn’t have been playing even for the wild card w/out the contributions of Brooks Conrad. It also goes without saying, that the Braves wouldn’t be facing eliminations without the “contributions” of Brooks Conrad. Good move Bobby. Hope it’s not too late!!

Hillbillybrave

October 11th, 2010
3:58 pm

Seriously Hinske needs to be in the linup also maybe in right

Nice Guy

October 11th, 2010
3:58 pm

I’m sure that Brooks is a nice guy but when you’re 30 and only have 70 MLB at-bats (prior to this season), you don’t belong on a MLB field. It’s that simple.

P-Town Brave ©

October 11th, 2010
3:58 pm

Kyle-

Maybe not, but in the here and now, a guy kicking the ball all around the yard (on mostly routine plays) just absolutely can not be out on that field.

Herschel Talker

October 11th, 2010
3:59 pm

Who cares about Brooks? Anyone with any brain cells knows that we survived the first two errors and that we were in a position to win that game until the moron manager decided to make stupid move after stupid move. The real problem here is Bobby Cox, and judging by what I’ve seen from the Atlanta bloggers today, I think everyone finally {”gets it.”

mclOUTh

October 11th, 2010
3:59 pm

Whoever ran that video clip during the 9th should be fired. That was the dumbest move EVER. He set Conrad up to get booed. I watched him…he looked up at the big board…and you could tell he KNEW it was coming.

mclOUTh

October 11th, 2010
4:00 pm

And the DUMBER decision was pulling Kimbrel.

Herschel Talker

October 11th, 2010
4:00 pm

P-Town Brave at 3:57:

You are spot on, my friend. What a horrific managing meltdown all around in the 9th inning. He is true culprit here, not Brooks.

HT

ncscoots

October 11th, 2010
4:00 pm

I have cheered for Conrad all year and I hurt for him but you can’t commit the errors he has and brush them aside.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Man, folks here too numerous to count extolled the virtues of Infante, Conrad, Hinske, et al, days without end. Should be playing every day, they said. Maybe they’re all like Prado and just need a regular shot, they said. Bench the starters and play the bench, they said. Blah blah blah. Scrub love to the max.

And here they are. All those players beloved of all those posters, playing regularly, regressing to their norms…and getting slammed by most of the same folks who clamored to put them in this position.

For whatever reason, that kind of thing just really fluffin’ irks me. It’s irksome. Delivers irkitude. Makes me look around for a neck to snap, LOL.

Billy (TBFKB)

October 11th, 2010
4:00 pm

Nice perspective blog DOB.

sportsmandh

October 11th, 2010
4:00 pm

P-Town,

You know that on Friday night Dunn struck out 2 in 1 and a third inning, and got Huff on a ground out? Just making sure you know that, b/c I would’ve been fine to if Cox left Kimbrel in.

Sweet Daddy

October 11th, 2010
4:00 pm

I’m as frustrated as the next person about Conrad’s boot’s. But the personal attacks are just way out of line and childish. He’s a human being who made some mistakes on the field. Again, a human being.

Some people really need to get some perspective in their life.

Puma

October 11th, 2010
4:01 pm

Is Glaus really a better option than Diory Hernandez? When watching Glaus try to field Renteria’s bunt the other night, I thought his knees were going to shatter. I know there aren’t many options, and truth be told, I don’t even know what positions Diory plays or how well he plays them, but every hitter in the Giant’s lineup might as well lay bunts down the 3rd baseline.

Dave Wilmot

October 11th, 2010
4:01 pm

Say what you want to but Brooks is the real deal.

P-Town Brave ©

October 11th, 2010
4:01 pm

Norman’s name reminded me of a great golfer…

Basically put, just because he made all the errors doesn’t make him less of a clutch player during the regular season….

BUT

Just because he did all of that, doesn’t make him not a choker in the playoffs….

Anyone can see it, just look at his face…the ball has and will find him, and as you can see on his face and in his eyes, he’s praying for the ball every time to go somewhere else.

veer

October 11th, 2010
4:01 pm

I plan to watch this game on gamecast on espn. Watching every pitch is nerve wrecking especially knowing every inning is like the 9th, in terms that if the Giants score then we are finished.
I need to see a blow out today so i can relax and enjoy the game esp after yesterdays heartbreaking loss.

poised to win

October 11th, 2010
4:02 pm

Liked the chronicle of Brook’s game Winners….almost forgot in the dfarkness of last night.

Wayne in Utah

October 11th, 2010
4:02 pm

Lots of folks on the blog wanting Bobby to shake things up, or not go with guys as long as he does.

Consider this: If Bobby hadn’t switched Conrad and Infante around the last day of the season (again, doing what many on the blog wanted him to do), we are not in this fix. Infante is at second base fielding probably all these balls that Conrad missed. And Conrad is at third, probably knocking down that ball in game 1 that ultimately let the winning run score.

So, maybe Bobby woulda been better off staying with is lineup and not managing too short termed in game 162.

But then again, what do I know???

Braves Fan Lost in Ohio

October 11th, 2010
4:02 pm

“We love him more now than we ever have.” Tim Hudson

Baseball aside, we could all learn a little something from Tim Hudson here.

Rupert

October 11th, 2010
4:03 pm

I feel bad for the fans who paid money to see the game. I feel bad for fans sitting at home watching the game. I feel bad for Cox in his final season. I feel bad for the 24 other guys plus Wags. All of those parties were wronged by one player’s defensive incompetence yesterday, and over the course of this series. I feel bad for those guys. I do not feel bad for a pro ball player failing to do his job, failing to do the most simplest thing about his job. The nice guy write up stories are for the regular season, this is the post-season, this is supposed to matter, so I hope Conrad gets over his issues and helps them win, but I will not feel bad for him.

chris

October 11th, 2010
4:03 pm

after tonight, we might officially start talking about and thinking about the 2011 atlanta braves…which to me is going to be potentially the best season the braves have had in a decade…

bill

October 11th, 2010
4:04 pm

Dave,
Thanks for putting a human face on the heartbreak of last night’s loss. As fans, we’re all disappointed in the outcome, but need to be reminded that the players out on the field are not game pieces or robots participating in the game. They are in fact human beings who can and will make mistakes, and who have emotions and feelings as well. While I’ll admit I was one in the crowd screaming to take him out of the game (moreso after his failed sac bunt before the final fateful error), it is important to remember, as you pointed out, to differentiate between booing the player vs the person. Nice blog.

[...] p.m. Update to Braves beat writer Dave O’Brien’s post on Brooks Conrad: “Rough time to be Brooks Conrad, a good [...]

Dumbfound

October 11th, 2010
4:04 pm

@bravesfan4, you get any sleep last night ?!?

Wayne in Utah

October 11th, 2010
4:04 pm

@Robert

October 11th, 2010
3:42 pm
“I really thought Bobby would put Conrad back in. But I do trust BC’s judgement”

That’s just cause for your being institutionalized immediately

Robert, that one made me laugh. My neighbors have been trying to have me put away for years.

When I am 80, I’m going to sit on my porch with my pit bull, and sic him on folks walking down the street, all the while yelling at everybody I see. It’s going to be glorious!

:lol:

Puma

October 11th, 2010
4:04 pm

BTW – I like our chances tonight. Bouchy (sp?) should have never left Lincecum in Game 1 to finish with 120 pitches knowing he would be back on 3 days rest. The guy must be tired, his first post-season, and probably the most he has ever thrown. Braves just need to show patience at the plate tonight, get his pitch count up, and let D-Lowe do the rest. GO BRAVOS!

How cool would it be if Brooksy comes up with a big hit tonight late in the game?

civilized white trash

October 11th, 2010
4:05 pm

the biggest error of the game last night in my opinion was kimbrel being taken out

mclOUTh

October 11th, 2010
4:05 pm

This is why New York and Philadelphia excel…their fan base won’t take this crap and ownership knows it. But the masses here sit back and politely applaud and give sympathy. Hey guess what…if it’s a crappy movie…we DON’T GO! So if we get fed an inferior product on the field? Guess what…we don’t go. I saw Ted Turner at the game….THERE is our answer…an owner that CARES.

Gary O

October 11th, 2010
4:05 pm

P-Town Brave,

I meant a knee jerk reaction in terms of changing up his lineup every week. But you’re right. Bobby is loyal to his veterans to a fault (how many of us, including Chipper, told Bobby that he is okay no longer hitting third).

But Bobby is very different with his rookies. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt. I am looking forward to another manager, because I get to see someone else’s managerial style.

Also, I did not realize that Bobby’s post-season record is like 68-69.

Unknown Hinson

October 11th, 2010
4:05 pm

Poor Conrad, hope he comes in and pinch hits a homer tonight.

What do you think about Bobby not taking him out and putting Diory in for defensive purpose in the top of the 9th?

mclOUTh

October 11th, 2010
4:05 pm

Hey PUMA….wake up…Lincecum isn’t pitching tonight.

Gary O

October 11th, 2010
4:06 pm

Puma,

Lincecum is not starting tonight. if the Braves win, Lincecum will pitch on Wednesday on regular rest

Braves Fan Lost in Ohio

October 11th, 2010
4:07 pm

I’m sure that Brooks is a nice guy but when you’re 30 and only have 70 MLB at-bats (prior to this season), you don’t belong on a MLB field. It’s that simple. “Nice Guy”

Brooks earned his spot on the Braves’ roster, and he gave us several wins that, in the end, turned out we needed to even get to the playoffs. Now, is our first choice as a starter? No, that was Chipper. But, to say he shouldn’t even be in the majors? When you say that, not only are you not “Mr Nice Guy” but you show that you haven’t followed the Braves enough to know how much Brooks has done for the team.

P-Town Brave ©

October 11th, 2010
4:08 pm

Herschel-

Yes, I still feel that if Bobby had thrown Diory out there to begin the 9th (if not sooner) and left Kimbrell in, we’re up 2-1 and talkin about heading to Philly sooner than later.

Sportsmandh-

Yes I know, but I am going off what I saw…Kimbrell walked Ishikawa on a 3-2, but what most don’t remember is that the 2-2 was just off the plate and was called multiple times in the bottom of the 9th for Brian Wilson (anyone else notice the rather LARGE zone then?)

Then Kimbrell gives up a hit to Sanchez on a slider…granted, I wouldve stuck with the fastball because he couldn’t catch up…but in fairness, IF Chino played the D according to the pitch being thrown, Alex fields it and flips to 2b and the game is over…

Go on to Huff…Huff is a solid hitter v LHP and had just had a hit off Venters and also already had a hit v Dunn in the series…PLUS he’s a great off speed hitter…couple that with Dunn having a poor secondary pitch in his slider and that equals trouble…

Should have stuck with Kimbrell, played Alex in the right spot, and then just maybe then Brooks wouldn’t be the goat for Bobby.

Puma

October 11th, 2010
4:08 pm

oops, thanks, my bad

Thawk654

October 11th, 2010
4:08 pm

My son and I had the pleasure of meeting Conrad last year while he was playing in AAA. Very nice guy. We had hoped to see Jordan Schaefer but the kid was too busy looking for his hoes to go clubbing. Conrad spent a good 15 minutes talking to my son and I. It was a great experience.
That said, booing him isn’t going to help. It’s not his fault that Bobby didn’t replace him with Diory late in the game. It’s not his fault Heyward plays too deep to catch lazy fly balls to Right Field; and it’s not his fault that Bobby had a quick hook in the ninth inning. Yes, he made the errors, but the rest of the team and coaching staff is as much to blame as Brooks is.

ncscoots

October 11th, 2010
4:08 pm

When I am 80, I’m going to sit on my porch with my pit bull, and sic him on folks walking down the street, all the while yelling at everybody I see. It’s going to be glorious!

But, but, Wayne…I do that now, LOL.

Weekends only, though.

Get a few of these posters in town for a visit, and shoot, I might could have me a little fun. :-)

Bravesfan4life

October 11th, 2010
4:08 pm

Dumbfound – you get any sleep last night ?!?

I got about 3 hrs sleep b/c had to go college with 8:00 A.M class.

Billy (TBFKB)

October 11th, 2010
4:09 pm

Just watched the Hinske Home run replay for the first time…..Wow, what a great moment despite the next half innings melt down.

Belinda

October 11th, 2010
4:09 pm

Thanks for the article.

Bat Masterson

October 11th, 2010
4:09 pm

Damn good piece on Conrad, O’Brien. People boo and people cheer, without all the emotion last night it would not have been an electric atmosphere. Fans get caught up in it and boo, for me at home it was just more, oh man Conrad, I hated to hear it but I’m not going to trash anyone for booing either. When it’s all said and done I hope Conrad remembers the cheers, he’s heard plenty, as well he should have.

McFann =Ô= =Ô= o

October 11th, 2010
4:09 pm

iChop

I just looked Bob Brenly up on baseball-reference.com—he did play for the Giants. And he was a catcher! So that explains his creepish love affair with that rookie of theirs. Good lord…

“He ruined [catchers] for me…”

JEB How is BMac’s wrist?? Nothing has been said since he hurt it yesterday.

I was wondering that, too…but since he’s playing tonight, I guess it’s fine…but those wrist things cann really mess with your swing.

Sam Fossela

October 11th, 2010
4:11 pm

Well I guess if you like a guy then anything and everything anything and evehing is ok and forgiven. I will feel sorry for Brooks sometime after New Years but right now I can’t stand the sight of him, “good dude” or not. Earlier this season I thought that a clear line was reaffirmed about how a player is expected to play the game if he was a Brave. Now I see that liking a guy really is all that matters. No way Brooks should have been in position to hurt the team once, let alone two games when there were alternatives and he had already shown that he was shaky in the field.

NCBravesFan

October 11th, 2010
4:11 pm

Brooks really does seem like a good dude, and I think you nailed it with this post, DOB. How many of us, after having the worst day in our professional lives, would like to face a horde of reporters to try and explain yourself? I think it says a lot about him that he made no excuses for his performance, and didn’t slink out of the clubhouse & leave it to others to explain what happened.

I love this year’s team and will be cheering them on every pitch until this season is over — whenever that happens to be. Go get a win tonight, guys!

EmJay

October 11th, 2010
4:11 pm

I love Hudson’s “father feathers” comment.

Sopheeee

October 11th, 2010
4:11 pm

We had hoped to see Jordan Schaefer but the kid was too busy looking for his hoes to go clubbing.

You just broke Roman Gal’s ♥…

MFin04

October 11th, 2010
4:12 pm

Classy move DOB, classy move. I like it. Brooks has done a lot for this team this year and we aren’t here without him. Hope he gets a chance to redeem himself with the bat and increase a lead in our game tonight!

Mitchell

October 11th, 2010
4:12 pm

Brooks is just another in a long line of people who have suffered the misfortune of playing under Bobby Cox.

He’s the goat.

Not Brooks Conrad.

NO MORE BOBBY

October 11th, 2010
4:12 pm

Hope Conrad comes up with game on the line and knocks in winning run. I like this move not just because it gets Conrad out of the lineup, but because we need offense and I think Glaus shouldve been in there sooner than this. Not crazy about Diaz in number two spot but today is a win win situation. If Braves win we go back to SF and if we lose Bobby Ball is over in Atlanta.

Go Braves!

iChop2249 (formerly wonder2249)

October 11th, 2010
4:12 pm

P-Town Brave ©

October 11th, 2010
4:12 pm

Gary O-

Hit it perfectly there w/ your last comment…

I for another am excited about whomever we get as the next manager…

I am just excited for change…I’ve been around long enough and seen way too much of the same old, same old…

Happy that change is coming in 2011.

Rufus

October 11th, 2010
4:13 pm

I was yelling louder than anyone yesterday and am pretty ashamed of that. Brooks is and will continue to be a class act who’s done more than enough for this team this season. I understand the move and hope he gets a chance to contribute coming off the bench.

Bayou Brave

October 11th, 2010
4:14 pm

Nice blog, DOB. It’s great to hear that Conrad’s teammates are all rallying around him. I would love to see him come up to the plate in one of those close and late situations tonight. Gotta have faith in that dude by now.

C's

October 11th, 2010
4:15 pm

explaining how terrible it feels to make not one, but multiple errors in a 3-2 loss, including errors that let in the first and last runs, on rather routine pop-up and……..

——————-

rather routine pop-up……………….to Heyward.

monty

October 11th, 2010
4:15 pm

Shoulda, coulda, woulda, hindsight is 20-20. Just need a win tonight, “think series”, remember? Get through this round and all this stuff will be water under the bridge.

Mitchell

October 11th, 2010
4:15 pm

Billy (TBFKB)

October 11th, 2010
4:09 pm

Just watched the Hinske Home run replay for the first time…..Wow, what a great moment despite the next half innings melt down.

No way I will ever be able to watch that.

If they somehow find a way to win the series then maybe but that was probably their only chance.

I just wish it had been the 9th inning.

Why couldn’t it have been the 9th inning?

I knew it was too good to be true.

groundfog

October 11th, 2010
4:15 pm

Diorty should have been substituted for Conrad. Bobby Cox is as much to blame as Conrad

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