Heyward understands decision to play Constanza

MIAMI — For the fifth time in eight games, hot-hitting rookie Jose Constanza was in the Braves’ lineup in right field instead of Jason Heyward on Tuesday, Heyward’s 22nd birthday.

Handling his recent part-time status better than some of his fans online, Heyward said he fully understood the move by manager Fredi Gonzalez.

“We need to win,” he said. “We need the best team possible on the field. We’re 8-1/2 games back or something like that, and I’m not sure how many we’re up in the wild card, but we need to win as many games as possible. [Gonzalez] has been patient with me, as has everybody.”

Heyward was hitting .222 with 12 homers, 30 RBIs and a .317 on-base percentage in 88 games before Tuesday, while Constanza had a .421 average with three extra-base hits, five RBIs and a .436 OBP in 10 games since arriving from Triple-A on July 29.

Heyward homered Sunday at New York, and was 8-for-43 (.186) in his past 13 games before Tuesday. Since returning June 15 from a 3-1/2-week stint on the disabled list for a sore shoulder, he had a .229 average with five homers, 16 RBIs and a .318 OBP in 43 games.

Heyward said neither the shoulder nor any other health issue was affecting his current performance.

He said not being in the lineup every day had allowed him to work more in the batting cage. He’s been trying to simplify his swing and approach, with the aim of not having to think so much when hitting in games.

“I’m working right now, as far as my [approach],” he said. “But at the same time, while I’m working to try to be productive the rest of this month and September, you want to have the best team you can have on the field. That’s what he’s doing. We’re trying to win ballgames, no doubt about it.”

Heyward said he spent two hours working with Chipper Jones and hitting coach Larry Parrish in the batting cage last weekend at New York.

“Now that I have a little bit more free time, I’m able to clear my head some more and get rest,” he said. “It’s positive. Everybody sees I’m the same guy in the clubhouse. It’s not about me. I’m here for the long run, and hopefully I can get back to where I’m producing on a daily basis.”

Gonzalez said he spoke with Heyward a few weeks ago in Colorado about the possibility of the Braves acquiring a corner outfielder before the July 31 trade deadline and how it could affect his playing time.

The Braves instead traded for center fielder Michael Bourn, after injuries to Jordan Schafer and Nate McLouth. When Constanza was brought from Triple-A and excelled in his first-ever major league games, Gonzalez decided to keep playing him while hot.

Constanza can play all three outfield positions, and has started five games in right field and three in left on the trip. He had an eight-game hitting streak before Tuesday.

Gonzalez has admired Heyward’s attitude through the whole situation in recent weeks.

“He’s been terrific,” the manager said. “I spoke to him [Monday] about it. It’s a tough situation, when you try to work yourself out of a slump or tinker with your swing [while at same time trying] to compete in the major leagues and produce.

“I spoke to him about it yesterday and he said, ‘Skipper, I understand. I’m working.’ I said I know. He’s onboard, and his attitude has been great. His work has been terrific….

“Constanza’s getting an opportunity and he’s playing well. Like I said, you’ve got 50 games left in a pennant race, you’ve got to try to put the  best guys that you think can help you win those games. That’s Constanza right now, and next week it may be Heyward. Hopefully. Because he’s a big piece for us.”

108 comments Add your comment

David from Athens, AL

August 9th, 2011
8:36 pm

Tnaks DOb … Really proud of Jason!

cable guy

August 9th, 2011
8:42 pm

Jason impresses with his attitude and he’ll turn it around soon. Hopefully he’ll give us some big moments in October.

Jason Who?

August 9th, 2011
8:43 pm

Jason Who???????? He has been a non effective player in the tradition of Jeff Francouer……keep playing Constanza and send Jason out to the bullpen to have conversation with the relievers since he is not contributing anywhere else…..or send him DOWN to Gwinnett. – No Loss either way….

CONservative Johnson

August 9th, 2011
8:44 pm

Oh wait, I thought the racist “fans” said he had a bad attitude?

Braves rule

August 9th, 2011
8:46 pm

Would be nice if they played him once in a while.

Joseph

August 9th, 2011
8:49 pm

The maturity of this young man is astounding. On his 22nd birthday and he is mature enough to handle struggling for the first time in his life at playing a game. Heck there aren’t that many kids that are 25 that have the maturity and grasp of the situations they are given, whether good or bad. It is honestly refreshing to hear him during his interview. Hope Freeman gave him a hug after that for a birthday gift.

John Brown

August 9th, 2011
8:50 pm

It’s the Summer of George. I mean Jose. Constanza. Heyward will be fine… sophomore slump. Pretty common.

Frenchy all over again...

August 9th, 2011
8:54 pm

I like Fredi’s approach on this better than Bobby’s with Frenchy….

Braves803

August 9th, 2011
8:55 pm

Really proud to see the way he’s handling it.

urban redneck

August 9th, 2011
9:05 pm

j hey is way more mature than 22. i’m a fan of constanza, and i understand playing the hot hand. however, very few people will remember constanza in 2013 or after when heyward is still a productive part of this team. i have no doubt about that………….if he’ll quit sliding headfirst.

Rowsdower

August 9th, 2011
9:09 pm

Heyward is the future. He has tremendous potential. Unfortunately, potential isn’t going to get us to the playoffs and hopefully beyond. Constanza has given this team a spark with his play. I’m glad to hear Heyward is taking it for what it is…the team’s best chance to win.

El Bravo

August 9th, 2011
9:09 pm

kudos to Heyward. He will be back as soon as he figures things out. DOB, why has this team (not just Heyward) become so impatient at the plate? I believe all of our players are seeing less pitches per plate appearance than last year and they are all drawing less walks. Is it all about Parrish’s approach or are they being pitched differently?

reagan

August 9th, 2011
9:11 pm

El Bravo………………agree 100%

Rowsdower

August 9th, 2011
9:17 pm

The reason the guys aren’t patient this year is because you can’t walk off the island. You have to hit your way off.

…wait, this isn’t Cuba. Nevermind. Carry on.

LAG

August 9th, 2011
9:20 pm

Admirable attitude by Heyward. I’ll admit that he’s taking the not-playing situation a lot better than I am.

TheAntiMe

August 9th, 2011
9:25 pm

I believe that if Jason Heyward can shorten his swing a little and work on hitting the ball the other way (he seems to roll over on outside pitches a lot sending numerous grounders to 2nd) then he can be one very talented hitter.

I admire the way he has taken his demotion to the bench from being the everyday starter. His head is definitely screwed on straight and Jason is the kind of guy who is very easy to pull for.

Frank Wren

August 9th, 2011
9:46 pm

TheAntiMe, I’d like to call you in for an interview for the position of “Special Hitting Instructor”. 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, GA.

Biff Pocoroba

August 9th, 2011
9:56 pm

Put me in coach!!!!

Bravesbobblehead

August 9th, 2011
10:01 pm

Hang in there Jason, you will work it out and be a great player. I love the attitude also and the signs of maturity. 22 years old have a cup cake on me.

Hero

August 9th, 2011
10:04 pm

In atlanta, black mecca, an african-american hero is needed for the braves. They should put him in the starting lineup to attract more fans.

Hooters Insider

August 9th, 2011
10:09 pm

Why was Chipper in the cage with Heyward and Parrish? Was he heckling Heyward? Why wasn’t Chipper PLAYING IN THE GAME? Oh, he was hurt. The last thing Heyward needs is advice from some broken down redneck with Hooters wing sauce on lips.

Jabbo

August 9th, 2011
10:13 pm

Hurricane Hazle

TheAntiMe

August 9th, 2011
10:21 pm

The last thing Heyward needs is advice from some broken down redneck with Hooters wing sauce on lips.

That’s why Chipper’s helping Heyward instead of calling on you for advice, hooterhead.

Lotimus Pyle

August 9th, 2011
10:30 pm

Heyward has the right answers. He has a long career in front of him and mistakes like Francouer made are easily avoided. It takes time to figure it all out, and he is big enough to recognize that he’s not there yet. Francouer would do it differently if given the chance, and Heyward has obviously learned from Jeff’s mistake. Listen to Chipper. The man knows what he’s talking about, even though a lot of bloggers are clueless.

bob horner

August 9th, 2011
10:31 pm

paging dr. francouer, dr. jeff francouer

Charlie Lau

August 9th, 2011
10:42 pm

Like the attitude of Heyward. Just start trying to use the entire field.

Kudos to Constanza; hope he is around and doing as he is for years to come. Don’t think the first time he cools off that he needs to be discounted as a lot of the bloggers on here believe.

Chipper is trying to help and will one day be a very good hitting instructor or manager if he chooses.

Bring back jeff

August 9th, 2011
10:44 pm

the braves should have never traded francouer—pay whatever it takes to get him back. They can trade heyward for some cash and draft picks.

sup

August 9th, 2011
10:44 pm

actually im more impressed with skipper

up north

August 9th, 2011
10:49 pm

omg-where do they get these pitchers! One pitch, one swing, and a beautiful outing by Beachy down the toilet.

PiersonBrave

August 9th, 2011
10:51 pm

Hooters Insider
August 9th, 2011
10:09 pm

Why was Chipper in the cage with Heyward and Parrish? Was he heckling Heyward? Why wasn’t Chipper PLAYING IN THE GAME? Oh, he was hurt. The last thing Heyward needs is advice from some broken down redneck with Hooters wing sauce on lips.

———————
Posts like this are soooooo old! Get some new material d-bag!

Matt

August 9th, 2011
10:51 pm

up north – that’s Freddie’s fault there. No reason to pull Beachy in that situation.

PiersonBrave

August 9th, 2011
10:55 pm

Get over it! Frenchy is not coming back. His 10 cent head is the reason that he got traded.

flbravesfan

August 9th, 2011
10:56 pm

6 straight fastballs to Buck unbelievable. Braves had this won till that stupid selection of pitches. Marlins commentators openly questioning pitch sequence . Freaking unbelievable. Let a major league hitter time your fastball.

DawgInaTruck

August 9th, 2011
11:00 pm

This is why Heyward will succeed where Francouer did not-maturity and a willingness to listen. Francouer, instead of listening to (all but) pleadings from Terry Pendleton insisted on doing it his (wrong) way and even said, “If I go 1-4 with a home run I’ve had a good night”. To begin with 1-4 is .250 and that is not good by any standards and he said NOTHING about the team.

Heyward, on the other hand, is obviously listening to coaches and veterans and puts the team first.

A lot of so-called ‘fans’ who wanted to dump Uggla in the first half are the same ones who are down on Heyward now. Both players have tremendous talent and work ethic and will always be winners.

TheAntiMe

August 9th, 2011
11:03 pm

up north – that’s Freddie’s fault there. No reason to pull Beachy in that situation.

It seems to me that the last game Beachy pitched that he had a shutout going into the 6th inning but then gave up 4 runs without getting anyone out in the inning. At the time people were complaining that it was Fredi’s fault for leaving Beachy in the game.

You can’t have it both ways. There is just no pleasing some of you folks.

PiersonBrave

August 9th, 2011
11:08 pm

Get you some of that fish!
Great job Big O’.

Joseph

August 9th, 2011
11:11 pm

TheAntiMe there is a way to please some of them. FIRE EVERYBODY because it is a joke this team has the 2nd best record in the NL. FREDI IS DUMB, blah blah blah. Chipper is stealing money and is not a team player so force him to retire blah blah blah. Only way to please them is to agree with them so they feel smart.

I will take 2nd best record in the NL with only have starting 8 together for 11 games all year. Pretty dang good job by everybody from players to management in the organization to accomplish that feet alone.

Bob the Blogger

August 9th, 2011
11:42 pm

Heyward is showing much more maturity in this situation than Francoeur did when he was sent down.

Lets think for a minute

August 9th, 2011
11:43 pm

Maybe he’s getting picked off cuz he’s not out there everyday

alex

August 9th, 2011
11:44 pm

@hero, I don’t think “welfare”
‘ will work in baseball!

@joseph, best I can say about you and the antime comments is at least you haven’t blogged about “one shot,one kill” or used sir;just the usual blather and self admiration…

Joseph

August 9th, 2011
11:56 pm

Alex, you are more than free to have your own opinions. If you have a concern or anything like that with anybody that no matter whom they communicate with uses sir or ma’am, then that is your choice. Have a pleasant evening.

NickB

August 10th, 2011
12:23 am

LOL, anyone who thinks Constanza should play ahead of Heyward is a certifiable baseball retard…. Seriously, go and defend yer buddy Frei G. But when you combine this with, his love of Proctor, his misuse of Venters, his horrible decision making when it comes to pulling pitchers, as well as his love of the sac bunt…. It’s obvious he really doesn’t understand the game. It’s bonehead first year High School coach stuff he does………

Lufa

August 10th, 2011
12:27 am

Hey DOB, a question. Last year, there was some talk as to when Jason would be brought up. It was said that if the Braves waited till 21 days or something like that into the season, that they would control him for another year. Does that still hold? Meaning, that if they sent him down to the minors for 21 days would they would control him for another year? Seems like a good idea being that he is riding the pine now anyway.

NickB

August 10th, 2011
12:30 am

Lufa

That had to do with his call up date. Depending on his production relative to the amount of days he’s on the 25 man roster he could possibly gain super two status which means he gains arbitration a year earlier…..

Another Clueless Braves Blogger

August 10th, 2011
12:33 am

Jason’s comments about not thinking so much says a bunch. When he first came up, he was in control in the batter’s box; he waited for his pitch and if he got it, he drove it. If he didn’t get it, he took a walk. Then Bobby started asking him to be more agressive, and I’m sure others started telling him what he needed to do. J-Hey is a great talent, and he will figure things out eventually. Meanwhile, he is showing way more class than some of the cretins that pollute these blogs.

Joseph

August 10th, 2011
12:36 am

Nick, his “High School coach stuff” has the team with the 2nd best record in the NL, while having a starting 8 healthy only for 11 games. Nope it is all Fredi’s fault, the players win, but he loses. Misuse of Proctor? I didn’t see Proctor tonight, so are you saying he should have pitched?

Columbus

August 10th, 2011
12:44 am

Great attitude Heyward. I like the comment about his attitude being better than some fans on here. Jason shows he is understanding and that the team is first. Seems some folks on here put him in front of the team just because of what he did last year or what he is projected to become. It is about winning now and having any chance at catching the Phils. We have to have 2 great months and win the head to head games with thenm and keep the Cards and Dbacks off of our butts. I believe and hope next year Heyward will have an incredible year! Great attitude. Chipper knows more about hitting than anyone one team including the coaches. Another reason Chipper is valuable to the team. Vital to the team. When he gets his timing back from being out of the lineup for a month, the offense will be so much better and tougher with him switch hitting and drving in runs and getting walks. The McCann back and with Gonzalez coming around and the newly found speed, we are goign to make a run at the Phils even with their $173 mil payroll and our $87 mil. You know 7 teams in the NL have higher payrolls than the Braves and I believe ONLY the Philsd have a better record. Regardless we would be in the playoffs today with 7 teams spending more, several MUCH more. Great job Wren, Schuerholz, Fredi Gonazalez! and the rest of the organization! Fredi is a complete manager. He will manufacture runs by bunting and hitting and running, will sit players, will hit and run, manages the bullpen well, is not afraid to try things, etc. What more can you ask? Come playoff time he will have a lot of experience knowing what each guy does well and does not do well and that is huge. Not only that, they will have EXPERIENCE bunting and moving the runner over, hitting and running, etc. That is HUGE for him and the players. I see nothing to dislke with Fredi. With our payroll and injuries and struggling hitters, we are in the playoffs as of today and it just so happens the Phils with the 2nd highest payroll in baseball have been on a serious roll and also happen to have the BEST record in baseball. I believe we would be in 1st place in most divisions and within a game or 2 in the others at worst. Would you haters be happy then? Or would you still be hatin Fredi? Probably. What do you know? Not much. Not much. At least not about baseball. I am sure you are the same ones wanting Richt fired and wanted Chipper gone 5 years ago. Watch UGA the next 5 years and oh yeah, WITH RICHT! Not much. Yall are young and dumb! You want Mike Smith gone too? And Matt Ryan? LOL Haters. Braves have 87 mil payroll, Phils have $173 mil and would be in first in about every other division in the majors and you are unhappy with Fredi? You obviosuly were not around in the late 70’s and ALL of the 80’s! Except 82 but even then we got swept in 3 games and were done!

Bill Martin

August 10th, 2011
1:01 am

So Uggla has a 30 game hitting streak. Look at his hitting with runners in scoring position……
Uga Uggla or maybe better Ugly Uggla. Maybe some day he will wake up to his potential and stop
trying to hit every pitch over the fence…….

Bill Martin

August 10th, 2011
1:01 am

So Uggla has a 30 game hitting streak. Look at his hitting with runners in scoring position……
Uga Uggla or maybe better Ugly Uggla. Maybe some day he will wake up to his potential and stop
trying to hit every pitch over the fence…….

BandwagonFans

August 10th, 2011
1:29 am

Jose who??? who didn’t get any hits tonight? better send him back to Triple A. If you think a 27 year old rookie is better than a 22 year old Heyward you’d best get your head checked. Last year everyone was all about Heyward because he was the bandwagon. Now everyone’s jumping on the Jose train to nowhere lol its kinda funny. Jose isn’t that good or he’d have been starting in the MLB oh about 5,6 years ago.

dawg212003

August 10th, 2011
1:31 am

I am not a fan of Heyward. He is LAZY!

Ron H.

August 10th, 2011
1:41 am

A lot of you fans are just trolls, trying to get a reaction out of the rest of us. A few observations:

Fredi is doing great. Don’t think so? Look at the W-L. Enough said. I don’t recall ever seeing a 162-0 record.

Heyward is having a slump. It’s common in sophomore years. Heyward looks like he’s working on it and will be fine. He’s got the right ppl helping him.

Funny how ppl rag on Chipper for hooking up with a hooters chick. Most of you coulnd’t, if you tried. His numbers are not the greatest anymore, but he’s up there where it counts.

Keep Beachy in, take him out. Hindsight is 20/20…unless you’re a fan. Then, it is just easier to blame the manager.

On that note, it doesn’t matter who the manager is (to some of you). Bobby, Fredi…the current manager is always the worst manager ever. I’m sure management just hires anyone off the street. Maybe you trolls should apply.

Jeff F. is gone…He played with his wallet and the Braves and fans noticed. Maybe he becomes a superstar, maybe he doesn’t.

Uggla is hitting in 30 straight games and you’re complaining? Ha! I’d hate to be your son or daughter. Like the rent, your expectations are too high. There haven’t been that many 30 game hit streaks…ever.

Lighten up, ppl. You are fans. Not players. It is ridiculous to think you know more than a manager that has been doing it for 10, 20, 30+ years. In fact, you’re dillusional if you think that…

Enjoy the game, enjoy the team. The Braves are back to winning and being good, especially considering the budget.

JS, FW, and the rest, to include FG are doing a fine job.

TONE-TONE

August 10th, 2011
1:56 am

JOSEPH…. Do you proof read your blog before submitting. Go and
read what you write.Man, you are down right pothetic! GO AND GET
A LIFE! THIS BLOG IS NOT FOR MORONS!

Joseph

August 10th, 2011
2:01 am

TONE-TONE…do you proof read your “blog”? I thank you for you input sir. I will gladly take it into much consideration. Have a wonderful evening, or morning, however you view it.

TONE-TONE

August 10th, 2011
2:17 am

JOSEPH…..”.I thank you for you input sir.” Man this is not properENGLISH!
But yet and still, you try and pretend you are so well educated! You are a
joke!

clay

August 10th, 2011
2:49 am

@Hooters Insider

Really man? Really? Some ppl just never let go.

Skeeterleg

August 10th, 2011
5:09 am

Joseph, excuse me jackass,(sorry I meant sir), but NickB said love of Proctor and misuse of Venters…not love of Proctor. Now its obvious why you sound so clueless when you respond to every single post on here. Try reading the posts first before you react. It might help you comprehend the game a little more if you calmly read the posts instead of skimming and spewing out your reactionary garbage to try and bully people. It makes you sound like an opinionated bonehead. Just my opinion sir.

TONE-TONE

August 10th, 2011
5:44 am

SKETTERLEG…….I totally agree with you on this JOSEPH IDIOT.
He can’t spell, he can’t comprehend, and he can’t pronounce words
correctly. HE IS JUST AN OPINIONATED MIDGET NERD! I HATE
THIS GUY!

Another Clueless Braves Blogger

August 10th, 2011
6:24 am

Bill Martin August 10th, 2011 1:01 am So Uggla has a 30 game hitting streak. Look at his hitting with runners in scoring position……Uga Uggla or maybe better Ugly Uggla. Maybe some day he will wake up to his potential and stop trying to hit every pitch over the fence…….

Bill Martin, or may we call you BM?

Rowland Office

August 10th, 2011
7:17 am

dawg212003, Heyward is lazy? I’m guessing you know this from your vast experiences around him or other players like him? Read the column, he spent 2 hours in the cage before the Mets game working on his swing w/ Chipper and Parrish. IS that what you mean by lazy? I’m guessing that you don’t necessarily get to the Majors at 21 by being lazy, but you can post ignorant comments on message boards.

Wrecker

August 10th, 2011
7:22 am

If he is going to be a bench player short term, he has to be ready to play and “into” the game. Getting picked off in extra innings as a pinch runner will not endear him to Freddi.

Brian from Villa Rica

August 10th, 2011
7:34 am

Is this kind of attitude that makes Jason so good. He’s scuffling and he knows it. It doesn’t do any good to sulk about not playing. Act like a man, work hard and bounce back. Everybody in the world, including Jose Constanza, knows that Jason is more talented. However, talent sometimes isn’t enough to carry you through injuries and bad habits. He’ll work the bad habits out and be ready by the playoffs or by next season.

Indydawg

August 10th, 2011
8:16 am

People complain about having stand up players, then you get one and people still complain. LMAO.

alex

August 10th, 2011
8:18 am

tone: relax about joseph,enjoy..Ithink(hope) he is just pulling our leg and is the Mr. Hyde of Dr. Jekyl

Dawgdad (The Original)

August 10th, 2011
8:22 am

Georgy has been great for the team and deserves to be in the lineup. Just wait until he gets his new all cotton uniform, he will be even better.

Great attitude for Hayward, changed my impression of him somewhat. Hope he is able to get it together again soon.

We should be applauding Chipper for helping with Hayward. He can’t do it with the bat much anymore, but no one knows more about hitting than the Chip. I can’t understand how anyone can criticize him to trying to help his teammates, that is just bush.

Hmmmmmmmmm

August 10th, 2011
8:29 am

It’s funny how things work out…. Mr. O’Brien and others were ready to annoit this kid into the Hall of Fame…. He has a great attitude, but the bottom line is always, can he produce…. the answer is a resounding NO! Maybe next year, maybe next week, but the manager is doing his job and playing the best players… You people talk about how talented this kid is and can say in the same breath that Constanza is not talented…. LOL…. Very funny… Constanza is EVERY bit as talented and he is proving it where it counts, ON THE FIELD…

Baseball Fan

August 10th, 2011
8:32 am

Wren should have traded Heyward instead of Schafer. Heyward will never reach the level that is expected of him. He will be another Francoeur, except not as good.

Mike

August 10th, 2011
8:42 am

thanks Ron H. for restoring my faith in this blog.

STRETCH

August 10th, 2011
8:53 am

TONE,

“Pothetic” is actually spelled “Pathetic”

beebee

August 10th, 2011
8:56 am

Let’s just get to the playoffs, baby! Then take it from there!
Go Braves!

bee

T BRAVO

August 10th, 2011
8:57 am

I hope he can get things worked out by September. We’ll need him for Milwaukee. Just think of this outfield, Prado (.320, 20 HR, 90 RBI), Bourn (.290-.310, 60 steals), and Heyward (.280, 30 HR, 100 RBI). Let’s go!!!

ATLfan15

August 10th, 2011
9:06 am

@Ron H: excellent post!

Tallcarl

August 10th, 2011
9:08 am

@Colombus -Good voice of reason ”Colombus”. Well written and very true. I also do not come on these blogs to spew garbage. You and the other responseable blogers are the only reason I come back.

JF McNamara

August 10th, 2011
9:18 am

I get it and don’t agree that you play the best players, but we had to suffer through Uggla hitting in the .160s with no benching. Even with a 30 game hit streak, his batting average is still just now catching up to Heywards. For a guy (in Heyward) who was sabermetrically one of the top 15 hitters in baseball last year, Heyward should’ve been afforded the same patience.

cphizzle

August 10th, 2011
9:26 am

If only ever player was as mature as a 22 year old. Not only a 22 year old, but a 22 year old that made the all star team last year. Can’t be easy for Heyward but taking it like a man. With that attitude this kid will be fine.

cphizzle

August 10th, 2011
9:28 am

Hey Baseball Fan: take a look at Francoeurs numbers and tell me you wouldnt take them.

MSBRAVESFAN

August 10th, 2011
9:39 am

I think Jhey will be fine, but hopefully he will be the super star everyone last year was making him out to be. If he gets hot in Sept, I will 100% forgive his less than par season. We are going to need him if we are going to make the playoffs. Constanza has been great and has played hard but I think a productive Jason is key.

"Actual" Baseball Fan

August 10th, 2011
9:41 am

OK all you ‘fans’ out there. Look at the four stragglers we have had out there – Gonzalez, Uggla, Heywards, and McLouth. Uggla and Gonzalez have struggled all year long, but they have the experience and maturity of seasoned minor/major league players that allows Fredi to keep them in the ball game to turn over at some point. McLouth can be put on the same page – he was turning into his old self once coming back from his first DL stint, but was plagued by another DL injury.
Heyward is coming off of a great year, which if you remember correctly, did not end well. Heyward got murdered in the post season, showing that the league learned his weakness – low and outside. This year, he struggles, the league still knows his weakness, and he has some injuries (we can debate if they were that serious or not). But being that he is a rookie, you can’t put him out there everyday because he still doesn’t know himself and the game well enough to adjust. Let him rest, let the other “sensational” rookie (remember who that was last year?) play and help the team, let Heyward watch video and work on not expanding his strike zone, then you can let Heyward progress back into who we know he can become. And for goodness sake, whoever said that Chipper is a wash-out and doesn’t know what he is talking about, any MLB team would love to have him as a hitting coach once he is finished.
Just remember, baseball is about DEVELOPMENT! As much pressure as we put on Heyward, he still needs to develop.

bravesgrl4life

August 10th, 2011
9:44 am

Much more mature reaction than Francouer’s a few years ago about being sent down to get his swing corrected. I continue to be impressed with JHey’s character.

Mooseberg

August 10th, 2011
9:47 am

The fact that he said he was thinking too much at the plate or was trying to think less means this whole thing is in his head. Hopefully he can overcome that.

[...] Heyward understands decision to play Constanza | Atlanta Braves“Now that I have a little bit more free time, I’m able to clear my head some more and get rest,” he said. “It’s positive. Everybody sees I’m the same guy in the clubhouse. It’s not about me. I’m here for the long run, and hopefully I can get back to where I’m producing on a daily basis.” [...]

the truth...

August 10th, 2011
10:29 am

For all you bashing Gonzo, I wish you could be at SS with the game in front of you and have that smash streak towards you….

There are only a few guys that handle that play….it gets no praise in any of the blogs or article…but the players to a “T” know how incredibly difficult plays like that are and Gonzo makes them look easy.

Most of the bloggers here are pathetic and ignorant. Fredi is doing fine agree with him or not…one of the upper teams in baseball, achieving more with less money and healthy players than most, he is respected by his peers and players, I hope he loses no sleep over the ignorance of most of you…

Jeff

August 10th, 2011
10:43 am

Dan Uggla must be taking steroids. He didn’t taking them the first half but he’s taking them now. Just look at his arms. Let’s be real now, how in the world can your arms get that big? STEROIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I will tell you this, the real Uggla or the Steroids Uggla won’t hit Brian Wilson or Tim Lincecum!

braves buff

August 10th, 2011
10:47 am

Heyward is a shell of what he was last year
Getting picked off is inexcusabe

ijudgenot

August 10th, 2011
11:03 am

Good attitude by Heyward. Just as Uggla had a history of power hitting the coaches could rely on in waiting for him to turn his season around, Heyward has a history(albeit) in the minors of being a hitter for average and power. Heyward was a better hitter in the minors than Freeman. Heyward ,unfortunately for him, played his first year under “three-run homer addict” Bobby Cox. Cox criticized the kid for being too patient at the plate and hitting singles to the opposite field. He was told to be more aggressive at the plate and to try to pull the ball more in order to hit more homeruns. He has gotten into some bad habits and needs the time to straighten his swing out. Freeman has had the good fortune to come up under Gonzalez,who to his credit, has not tried to make the kid change his swing to be a pull hitter. I hope Heyward looks at what Freeman is doing this year and remembers that the approach Freeman is using, hitting the ball hard to all fields, is the approach he (Heyward) had when he first came up last year and go back to that.

JF McNamara

August 10th, 2011
11:14 am

ijudgenot,

I thought the exact same thing the other day. Bobby Cox ruined this kid just like a lot of other good hitters because he lacked the ability to apply in game strategy. His whole strategy was to wait on someone to hit a home run, and he forced his hitters into trying to do it.

Fredi G. has already shown that he wasn’t that great of a manager, and Bobby trying to morph everyone into a power hitter was clearly one of his faults.

ijudgenot

August 10th, 2011
11:15 am

the truth,
I agree with you about the defense of Gonzalez at SS being one of the best, if not THE best, in the league. The problem in the past has not been that he was in the lineup but where he was hitting in the lineup. Fredi because of the anemic hitting of the rest of the team had him hitting 2nd for awhile then 5th or 6th. He should be a 7th or 8th place hitter. There any pop in his bat is a bonus to his defense.

jclvbraves

August 10th, 2011
11:26 am

If Heyward is the future we are in deep trouble The only hope we have here is that Chipper has taken him under his wing so maybe some work ethic will rub off on young Heyward,Then during the winter he might actually condition and work to get ready instead of in his words “resting” all off season.Its a year round job Glass hope you get it now.

Brooklyn Braves Brawler

August 10th, 2011
11:31 am

I like Jason’s attitude and he will be successful going forward. Jose is doing well and should stay in the lineup as much as possible. Break out game for Martin last night.

P B Orr

August 10th, 2011
11:42 am

Heyward has started futzing with his batting gloves constantly and waggling his fingers like a clarinet player – he started that this year. If you check out his first AB on you tube, you’ll see he didn’t do that before. Check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0kcKvWZyoQ

Reason

August 10th, 2011
11:46 am

“three-run homer addict” Bobby Cox ,/i>

Three run homers win games. Small ball doesn’t. If you play for one run that’s all your gonna get.

Fredi G. has already shown that he wasn’t that great of a manager,

Braves fans Baseball IQ has to be the lowest in baseball. Only Braves fans would take one of the greatest managers in the history of the game, someone who is universally praised by baseball people as being one of the top managers of all time, and run him into the ground.

One thing is for sure. Bobby Cox is going to Cooperstown. You aren’t unless you buy a ticket.

NickB

August 10th, 2011
11:47 am

Bobby didn’t ruin Frenchy, his inability to be patient at the plate ruined him (and this was consistent all through his time in the minors too) When major league pitchers fiure out they don’t have to throw you a strike to get you to swing…. they won’t. He’s having a decent year for a terrible Royals team, with no pressure against the weakest pitching division in baseball… here’s his career OPS numbers in full seasons of play:
.742, .782, .653, .732, .683,.790 Hardly tearing up the league… besides if you are saying we should’ve kept him for those 2 seasons to reap the benefits of his monsrous .790 OPS seasons….. well that’s just silly!

Mark's for the Braves

August 10th, 2011
1:20 pm

Heyward will be fine. I think he needs to play winter ball and regain his confidence and come back in ‘12 with fire in his belly. May still make an impact this year, but I doubt it.

Jon

August 10th, 2011
2:04 pm

“Only Braves fans would take one of the greatest managers in the history of the game, someone who is universally praised by baseball people as being one of the top managers of all time, and run him into the ground.”
————
Who runs him into the ground? Some have mixed feelings about Bobby’s ability to get us into world series play given all the talent we had throughout the 90s. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with mixed opinion on that issue. You’re a feekin’ troll. Go spew your anger on another site, UnReason!

Brava

August 10th, 2011
2:28 pm

LOL, anyone who thinks Constanza should play ahead of Heyward is a certifiable baseball retard…. Seriously, go and defend yer buddy Frei G. But when you combine this with, his love of Proctor, his misuse of Venters, his horrible decision making when it comes to pulling pitchers, as well as his love of the sac bunt…. It’s obvious he really doesn’t understand the game. It’s bonehead first year High School coach stuff he does………

The only thing that makes me LOL is you. Who are you to denigrate a manager who has the second best record in the NL and equate him to a high school coach? Who are you to call Braves fans who care more about the team than one player certifiable baseball retards? You need to have a long look in the mirror and ask yourself, who you are, because you have serious issues, NickB.

Kentavo

August 10th, 2011
2:29 pm

There’s quite a bit of debate about the benching of Heyward, or whatever you want to call it. Most of my friends think Fredi is nuts for doing this. But I agree with it as long as it’s not long-term, and i don’t think it is. But, it makes me wonder if J-Hey is in the manager’s doghouse a little bit, or if there’s something more to it. Maybe I’m just a conspiracy theorist.

Brad in KY

August 10th, 2011
2:41 pm

Fredi Gonzalez hasn’t had a clue all season about what sort of player he has in Jason Heyward. When he sees Heyward he sees a big guy that will one day hit a lot of home runs. He has no concept of a corner outfielder that can hit for power, average, and get on base at a ridiculous rate.

When you combine FG’s lack of understanding of what sort of player Heyward is with Heyward’s struggles resulting from trying to play through injuries (an attitude clearly encouraged by the Braves’ clubhouse culture), you have a deadly combination resulting in Heyward’s benching in favor of minor league scrub Constanza. Constanza, by the way, is so awesome that he’s only just made it to the big leagues at the ripe old age of 27 and that because of injuries and nothing really to do with performance. Oh well, at least he’s “fast.” But I doubt that’ll be much consolation when he struggles through a 4 for 40 stretch over the next couple weeks while Heyward wastes away on the bench.

kjb

August 10th, 2011
3:52 pm

You don’t have to get a hit to be affective in this game…..yeah Georgie did not get a hit this game but he walked, stole second & scored on a Prado base hit!!! Speed is very Valuable!!!

kjb

August 10th, 2011
3:55 pm

By the way Georgie makes contact & most of the time he will be out a ground ball!!!!! Speed!!!!

kjb

August 10th, 2011
3:56 pm

That’s beat out a ground ball!!!!

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