Chipper’s best player I ever covered, best I dealt with

Chipper Jones’ first full season in the majors was 1995, which was also my first as a major league beat writer. I covered the Marlins for The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel back then. So I saw plenty of the Braves’ Golden Boy, who made girls swoon and boys want to be him in every city in the National League. Damn kid had it all.

slideshow_579032_Chipper+1_15024He was young, a switch-hitter with power and a sweet swing from both sides. Able to run fast, despite the major knee surgery that sidelined him the entire previous season.

I was young and able to run all night too, closing down bars in every city, staggering home or back to my hotel, waking the next day to crank out stories and do it again. That had at least as much to do with the fact that this was the pre-blog, pre-Twitter era for newspapers and still a few years before we started posting stories on our papers’ websites during daylight. A beat writer could sleep it off till 10-11 a.m. with impunity.

Chipper’s Braves won 90 games in that truncated 154-game season — it started late because of the strike — a pace that would’ve yielded 101 wins in 162 games. The Marlins? They won 67 games, finished fourth ahead of Montreal. After the strike ended they had signed a couple of aging veterans who would become two of my favorite players to cover, Andre Dawson and Terry Pendleton, the 1991 NL MVP and captain of the Brave’s worst-to-first ship, whose old third-base job in Atlanta now belonged to a rookie named Chipper. But I digress.

Things changed radically for us ink-stained wretches as years passed and the 24/7 news cycle came to newspapers. But things didn’t change much through the late ‘90s for the Braves and the kid who was becoming the most prominent Braves position player since Dale Murphy. Eventually he would be the best Brave since Hank Aaron and most accomplished Atlanta Brave, period. And the Braves would win the NL East title year after year.

What I remember most about young Chipper was that he was always in the lineup and did everything well. Hit, field, run. People tend to forget, because he was hurt so much during the second half of his career, but for a decade Chipper was one of the most durable players in the majors. And one of the most productive.

Eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons from 1996 through 2003. Fourteen consecutive seasons with more than 20 homers, including six with 30 or more. Eight seasons with at least 90 walks and eleven seasons with more walks than strikeouts, a rarity these days, particularly for power hitters.

He has a career average/OBP/slugging percentage slash line of .304/.401/.530, with 468 home runs and 1,622 RBIs — it’s likely that’d be good enough for first-ballot Hall of Fame selection even if he weren’t a switch-hitter and 1999 MVP.

In his first seven full seasons — not including the shortened ’95 season — he played 157 or more games six times. He played 156 in the other season in that seven-year stretch, a period in which he never finished lower than 11th in MVP balloting.

Chipper was a legit five-tool player and had an air about him that said, “I’m really good.” Watching from the other side, I admired it. That smirk. There’s something about the way great players carry themselves that separates them at first glance, whether it’s an arrogance or cockiness or in some cases detachment, as if they are operating on another plane.

With Chipper, it was the cockiness you noticed. That and enormous talent. For opponents, or opposing fans, he was a classic example of the guy you hated from a rival team, but would love to have on your team. Gary Sheffield was another player I covered who was like that, though for different reasons. Gary exuded sheer menace in the batter’s box, his bat twitching, sending a message that he intended to do harm.

Braves Jones BaseballChipper also had a presence in the batter’s box. But quieter, not much movement. With him, it’s the eyes. He stares through a pitcher. The look says, “Gimme your best pitch, because you and I know there’s a real good chance I’m going to hit it real hard.”

There’s something else about Chipper that separates him. In 18 years of covering major league baseball and 25 years of covering big-time college or professional sports, he’s the best I’ve ever dealt with as a reporter. That’s saying plenty, because I’ve covered teams that had some great, quotable guys with senses of humor, like Dawson and Jeff Conine, Bobby Bonilla and Mark Kotsay, Mark DeRosa and Adam LaRoche, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and the current team dotted with good dudes who make my job easier.

But from a reporter’s perspective, Chipper is the total package. Great player. Approachable. Always available to the media. And the most quotable star in the game today.

Not only does he have a wealth of experience and knowledge, he’s a savant when it comes to remembering pitch counts and situations from games a decade or more ago. And to go with gravitas, he answers questions with such honesty and candor that it’s sometimes shocking in a world of cliché-spewing superstars.

You’ve been lucky, Braves fans. He’s made your summers more fun and interesting for nearly two decades. But we in the media have been at least as fortunate. He’s the best baseball player I’ve ever covered and the best athlete I’ve dealt with as a reporter. I know there won’t be another like him for me, not while I’m still tapping these keys.

• Regarding attendance and payroll: Of the six teams with the majors’ best records today, three (Yankees, Rangers, Giants) rank second through fourth in the majors in attendance, behind Philadelphia. The other three teams (Nationals, Braves, Reds) occupy the exact middle of the majors in attendance, ranking 14th through 16th respectively.

Not coincidentally, the top four teams in MLB attendance also ranked among the top eight in USA Today’s Opening Day payroll rankings, led by the Yankees ($198 million) and Phillies ($174 million) with the two highest payrolls and two highest home-attendance averages, the Phillies at 44,021 and Yankees at 43,691.

The Rangers were sixth in payroll at $120 million and are third in attendance at 42,548, and the Giants were eighth in Opening Day payroll at $118 million and are fourth in attendance at 41,695, which is 99.5 percent of capacity at their ballpark, third in the majors behind the Red Sox (101.4 percent of capacity) and Phillies (100.8 percent).

Meanwhile, the Braves were 18th in Opening Day payroll at about $83 million, although they moved up two spots with Derek Lowe $10 million payout added to the total. The Reds were 17th at roughly $82 million, and the Nationals 20th at about $81 million.

And the home attendance of those three NL teams? Washington is 14th with an average of 29,799, Atlanta is 15th at 29,093, and Cincinnati 16th at 28,978. The 17th and 18th spots are occupied by the Mets (28,035) and Marlins (27,347).

In terms of percentage of capacity at their ballpark, the Braves’ attendance ranks 22nd at 58.5 percent, while 11 teams are at 83 percent or higher.

Braves attendance will get a bump this weekend from huge crowds for Chipper’s last regular-season series. But even if 50,000 showed up for all three games, it would still leave attendance below 30,000 for the year and right around Washington’s average in the middle of the pack.

I’m never one to tell people they should spend their money on this or that, and I’ll be the first to say I can’t stand Atlanta’s gridlock traffic (thanks again for turning down the MARTA spur when the ballpark was built so you could reap parking fees, you astute leaders with such grand vision).

But those who moan about the size of the Braves’ middle-of-the-pack payroll, keep in mind, not only are the Braves locked into a poorly conceived long-term TV contract that will soon be far below the average value of deals other major league teams have signed or will in the next several years, they also rake in lower ticket revenues than almost every team with a payroll as large or larger than theirs.

Can’t just expect a sugar daddy like Ted Turner to buy the team again and bankroll a disproportionately sized payroll simply because he likes to win (damn the profits or losses) and/or fill airtime on a cable TV station. Those cats don’t come along very often in all of sports, much less twice in one town.

• What time will the Wild Card game start? I’d be lying if I said we’ve been asked 100 times in the past week what time the Oct. 5 Wild Card game will start. It’s been at least 250 times.

And the answer is the same: We have no idea. I talked to a TBS official yesterday, and he said off the record he couldn’t even tell me if the two Wild Card games (NL and AL) would begin at 1 and 4, or 1 and 8ish, or 4ish and 7, or 4 and 9 … nothing. The reason being, there are so many variables still potentially at play here.

For instance, if one or more of the potential wild-card teams has to play a tiebreaker the day after the regular season ends, to determine a division title winner (and perhaps a wild-card winner). And what if that game is on the West Coast? Then it wouldn’t be fair to ask that team to play at 1 or 4 the next day a couple or three time zones away.

Or bringing it closer to home, what if the Braves tied the Nats and had to play them in a tiebreaker on Oct. 4 at Washington? Then what if the Braves lost that game and became the wild card team? Wouldn’t be fair to ask them to play the Wild Card game in Atlanta the next day at 1 p.m., would it?

And we all know that if the Yankees are an AL wild-card team, TBS is going to put the Yankees in prime time on Oct. 5, unless it’s impossible due to the NL teams’ scheduling, travel, etc.

This is all an unfortunate byproduct of trying to schedule two Wild Card games with the advent of the new format that added another wild-card team to each league. Most years, it’s probably going to be like this and they won’t be able to set the times until a few days or so before the games.

So fans have to buy tickets not knowing whether they’ll need to take off a half-day of work, or really closer to a whole day if the game were in the early afternoon. Again, this is where I don’t envy fans. It’ll be a terrific time at the ballpark, likely in beautiful early-fall weather. But having to make arrangements is easier for some folks than others, particularly those driving in from outside of town or those who have important matters at work that day, or kids to pick up from school, or whatever.

TV/money runs most of these decisions, and has for a long time. But in this particular case, there are also several other factors, as noted above.

The good news is, by Monday or Tuesday we could have a lot better idea of who’s in the games and what time they’re likely to start.

Until then, here’s what I can tell you about the Wild Card games: They will be shown on TBS and the broadcast team carrying the NL Wild Card game will have a Braves flavor. That’s because veteran Braves analyst Joe Simpson has been assigned to one of the three-man teams, and former Braves pitcher John Smoltz will be an analyst alongside Cal Ripken and play-by-play man Ernie Johnson in the other.

• Chipper’s last series: Seems fitting that the last regular-season home series of Chipper’s career would be against the Mets.

He needs one homer against the Mets to give him 50 and break his personal-best tie for homers against one team. He has 49 homers in 242 games (848 at-bats) against the Mets, and 49 homers in 245 games (846 at-bats) against the Phillies.

APTOPIX Phillies Braves BaseballBy the way, Battle Axe has given the home fans plenty to remember this season, including the two walk-off homers against Philly, a two-homer game on his bobblehead night, and a 5-for-5 game against the Cubs on the day he was named to the All-Star team. And if it seems like Chipper’s been particularly good at home this season, it’s because he has been.

In 56 home games this season, he’s hit .320 with 10 homers, 37 RBIs, a .405 OBP and .557 slugging percentage. His career slash line in home games is .314/.414/.559, compared to a .293/.389/.501 career slash line in road games.

He talked about some great memories from his career and named his top five moments this season in this interview with Carroll Rogers.

• Tonight’s matchup: On Chipper Jones Night at Turner Field, Tim Hudson will face Mets lefty Jonathon Niese.

Niese is 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA in his past seven starts, all quality starts of six innings or more and three earned runs or fewer. He’s 5-3 with a 3.15 ERA in 11 career starts against the Braves, including 4-1 in his past six and 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA and .216 opponents’ average in two starts against the Bravos in the past two months.

Against Niese, Jason Heyward is 7-for-17 with two homers and eight RBIs; David Ross is 6-for-15 with a homer and eight RBIs; Freddie Freeman is 5-for-16 with a homer; Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker are each 6-for-12, and Michael Bourn is 6-for-16. And by the way, it seemed like, from talking to Bourn yesterday, that he might get one more day off today to rest his sore left thumb.

Chipper is 4-for-20 with a homer against Niese, and Brian McCann is 1-for-10. Fredi sounded yesterday as if he’d already decided that Ross would start today against Niese, giving McCann consecutive days to rest his sore knee and shoulder. Given the stats of the two hitters against Niese, that would make sense.

Hudson is 5-2 with a 3.22 ERA in his past eight starts, with 23 strikeouts and 13 walks in 50-1/3 innings. Against the Mets, he’s 15-9 with a 3.59 ERA in 26 starts, including 2-3 with a 4.32 ERA in six during the past two seasons. He got no decision in his only start against the Mets this season, allowing eight hits and four runs in four innings of a July 13 Braves win at Turner Field.

Against Hudson, Ruben Tejada is 8-for-14, Jason Bay is 7-for-23 with a homer, and David Wright is 15-for-65 (.231) with two homers.

• Etc.

The Braves are 10-5 vs. Mets entering this series. After losing their first four games against them this season, the Braves are 10-1 with a a 3.18 ERA, .290 batting average, 79 runs and 16 homers in their past 11 against the Metropolitans….

Martin Prado has hit .305 with 23 extra-base hits, 27 RBIs, a .356 OBP and .812 OPS in his past 59 games, including .403 (25-for-62) with a .448 OBP and .980 OPS in his past 16 games.

The Mets hit .213 while losing 11 of 12 games through Sept. 20, but they are 6-1 with a .267 average and 11 homers (and a 3.43 ERA) in their past seven games.

• Let’s close with one of the saddest, most beautiful songs recorded by one of the finest bands there ever lived, the mighty Replacements, from the album “Tim.” You can hear the song by clicking here. Please do. I think there’ll be some folks feeling this way watching Braves games in bars across the South this weekend as No. 10 winds it down. Raise one for the old switch-hitter.

6a0120a7b5f86a970b014e5fe9f675970c-800wi

“HERE COMES A REGULAR” by The Replacements

Well a person can work up a mean mean thirst
after a hard day of nothin’ much at all
Summer’s passed, it’s too late to cut the grass
There ain’t much to rake anyway in the fall

And sometimes I just ain’t in the mood
to take my place in back with the loudmouths
You’re like a picture on the fridge that’s never stocked with food
I used to live at home, now I stay at the house

And everybody wants to be special here
They call your name out loud and clear
Here comes a regular
Call out your name
Here comes a regular
Am I the only one here today?

Well a drinkin’ buddy that’s bound to another town
Once the police made you go away
And even if you’re in the arms of someone’s baby now
I’ll take a great big whiskey to ya anyway

Everybody wants to be someone’s here
Someone’s gonna show up, never fear
’cause here comes a regular
Call out your name
Here comes a regular
Am I the only one who feels ashamed?

Kneeling alongside old Sad Eyes
He says opportunity knocks once then the door slams shut
All I know is I’m sick of everything that my money can buy
The fool who wastes his life, God rest his guts

First the lights, then the collar goes up, and the wind begins to blow
Turn your back on a pay-you-back, last call
First the glass, then the leaves that pass, then comes the snow
Ain’t much to rake anyway in the fall

– David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

917 comments Add your comment

bruce

September 28th, 2012
1:34 pm

fabulous lead dr. o’brien

Venice Jim

September 28th, 2012
1:36 pm

Thanks, DOB!!! Enjoy the night!

Venice Jim

September 28th, 2012
1:37 pm

US has won first 3 holes of the afternoon…

Brian from SC

September 28th, 2012
1:41 pm

Bat Masterson

September 28th, 2012
1:45 pm

Tiger has gained a few pounds, you know…

Tiger? I remember seeing Tiger and Duval back when they were fighting it out for number one in the world. I was a little surprised by how lean they both were in person. I haven’t noticed Duval in a while but I seem to recall he’s sorta fat.

Miami Dave

September 28th, 2012
1:45 pm

Thanks for sharing DOB. We are really going to miss him in the years to come.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
1:46 pm

Weaseal

September 28th, 2012
1:49 pm

Were going to have a great October Braves fans!!!

TennesseePaul

September 28th, 2012
1:49 pm

Thanks for the work DOB.

GO BRAVES!

GO CHIPPER!!

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
1:49 pm

Mark Bowman ‏@mlbbowman
Tonight’s pregame ceremony to honor Chipper will air live on both http://MLB.com and http://braves.com at 7pm ET

Jerry Crasnick ‏@jcrasnick
Tim Hudson on Kris Medlen and wild card play-in game: “He would be my choice.” #braves

Craig

September 28th, 2012
1:51 pm

Enter your comments

Wonderful, professional journalistic piece of writing, DOB, this is why you are considered one of the best MLB beat writers out there!!

Craig

September 28th, 2012
1:51 pm

Enter your comments

Wonderful, professional journalistic piece of writing, DOB, this is why you are considered one of the best MLB beat writers out there!!

Jaime

September 28th, 2012
1:55 pm

Great post! You really captured the essence of Chipper and why people have followed him for his entire career. I stumbled across the Braves on TBS as a 10 year old and have been a fan ever since. It will be odd not seeing Chipper take the field next year.

Jaime

September 28th, 2012
1:55 pm

Great post! You really captured the essence of Chipper and why people have followed him for his entire career. I stumbled across the Braves on TBS as a 10 year old and have been a fan ever since. It will be odd not seeing Chipper take the field next year.

bruce

September 28th, 2012
1:58 pm

Carroll’s interview with Chipper is great and well demonstrates Dave’s point about Chipper being a fab interview. I could read answers to those type of questions for hours…

Bat Masterson

September 28th, 2012
2:04 pm

Thanks much, DOB.

Venice Jim

September 28th, 2012
2:04 pm

Mike (San Diego)
So in the “boring” league it looks like St. Louis is going to Atlanta for the wild card game. I’m very interested to see who Matheny uses as his starter. If it was up to you, who would YOU throw out there?
Jayson Stark
Looks like they’re lining it up to have Lohse pitch that game. He’s been their best, most consistent and most dependable starter all year. So I think he’s earned that. But boy, I’d sure be tempted to run Carpenter out there. He seems to enjoy those winner-take-all games, right?

aFan

September 28th, 2012
2:04 pm

I was just wondering If anyone knew what time the Wild Card game on Oct 5 will be.

Thakns

Felix Millan

September 28th, 2012
2:05 pm

Maybe your best, most heart- felt work of the season, DOB. It’s going to be a misty- eyed kind of day. And you got it started. Thanks.And Thanks to Hoss. I know I’ll miss him.

SteveinFXBG

September 28th, 2012
2:05 pm

Great work DOB! Thank you!

Venice Jim

September 28th, 2012
2:07 pm

First time ever, Tiger wins the first hole of a Ryder Cup Match on a birdie with his own ball…

Phil/Keegan win first 3 holes

Felix Millan

September 28th, 2012
2:10 pm

Ken Stallings

September 28th, 2012
2:11 pm

I think all of us will miss him. Some more fully than others already appreciate the difference he brings. Again, for me, the single most impressive fact is Chipper did all this without using PED’s. Of all he’s done in his career, I respect him the most for that.

Murph

September 28th, 2012
2:13 pm

I haven’t been all that sad about Chipper leaving… until now. The closer it gets, the harder a time I’m having realizing that this is it for him. He’s down to a handful of games left and then… gone.

I’m glad my kids got to see him play. The 4 year old especially took to Chipper, and has even started swinging a bat from both sides of the plate to be like him.

DS1

September 28th, 2012
2:17 pm

Great read DOB. Thanks. Hoss will be greatly missed by many fans and sportswriters too!

Bo Graves!!

Ghost of Chipper Jones

September 28th, 2012
2:21 pm

Great read DOB

BTBUS

September 28th, 2012
2:23 pm

aFan, read the article.

Ghost of Chipper Jones

September 28th, 2012
2:23 pm

Things are getting close. DOB’s beginnng the writer’s exit stratagy

ncscoots

September 28th, 2012
2:25 pm

“I was talking to Freddie [Freeman] about it and I was like, ‘You don’t swing harder. You swing easier because the easier you swing, the quicker your swing is going to be. The harder you swing, the later you’re going to be…”

I was talking to someone the other day, trying to explain this. Mainly in the context of Kimbrel. There’s a physiological reaction to seeing the ball come at you even faster than normal, and part of that reaction is to swing harder, which just slows down the bat. Kimbrel gets it going from both the mound and the box, LOL, that can’t be fair, can it?

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Snipers and hitters, they’re all the same. :-)

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
2:26 pm

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
2:27 pm

that wasn’t meant at scoots :oops: but rather the post above his.

reckingball

September 28th, 2012
2:29 pm

wax on, wax off

Dave Wilmot

September 28th, 2012
2:30 pm

Great story Mr. O’Brien. We are ALL lucky to have had Chipper on the Braves!!!

DS1

September 28th, 2012
2:30 pm

If I’m Matheny, I’d be tempted to run Carpenter out for the play in game.

extremus

September 28th, 2012
2:35 pm

Awesome career by a player I think we’re all going to miss after this season. Hopefully the Braves will be able to bookend his career with World Series championships. That would be fitting.

Venice Jim

September 28th, 2012
2:36 pm

Saying dumb things twice makes me really want to believe them…

Efrim

September 28th, 2012
2:38 pm

As long as the Cardinals don’t throw Jaime Garcia, I could care less which of the 4 other RHP’s they come at us with.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
2:40 pm

“stuck with him” Should have drafted van Poppel :roll:

Can you go away as well? Don’t want to be stuck with such stupidity…

DAP

September 28th, 2012
2:41 pm

efrim As long as the Cardinals don’t throw Jaime Garcia, I could care less which of the 4 other RHP’s they come at us with

yup. and i wonder what their game plan against medlen is going to be? you have to know the cardinal hitters will be studying him hard.

nolie

September 28th, 2012
2:42 pm

abhor the DH rule, I believe Bud and his Buds will prevail, and implement the DH rule universally,.. raleigh

on a recent interview Bud said there are no plans at all to bring the DL to the NL

nolie

September 28th, 2012
2:42 pm

I will miss Chipper terribly

reckingball

September 28th, 2012
2:43 pm

The WC playoff game, is a playoff game.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
2:44 pm

welcome back, noles

MiaBchBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
2:45 pm

(YAWN!) Still another great blog (I kid, I kid, I kid…)

Methinks it would be absolutely appropriate if the Braves would return the favor at the close of the home regular season, and sweep the Mutts the same way they swept us to open the season.

That Chipper will get as many chances as his health allows this weekend to do something (dare I say) grand, I am sure of. I am also sure that he will do something awesome this wekend.

That train will not be late.

Salt life

September 28th, 2012
2:45 pm

nolie…..good to see you. Hope you’re off the DL soon

Man Bubba and Web are on fire!

phil

September 28th, 2012
2:45 pm

Nolie polie…..

Glad to see you back here.

I’ve been missing Chipper all season in anticipation of the real thing. It’s awful. I hate when my sports heroes have to retire. He’s basically the last one.

MiaBchBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
2:46 pm

nolie, welcome back! Hope you are hale, hearty, and very well.

Bat Masterson

September 28th, 2012
2:47 pm

Hey, nolie.

Good to see you, hope things are under control.

MiaBchBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
2:48 pm

Here’s hoping 14-16 years from now, we can say the same about Heyward, Freeman, and Medlen, phil.

Jeff R

September 28th, 2012
2:49 pm

Thank you, DOB…

ncgary

September 28th, 2012
2:50 pm

good afternoon bravos

go braves

Efrim

September 28th, 2012
2:50 pm

nolie, welcome back sir. Happy to see your comments! ;)

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

September 28th, 2012
2:50 pm

Hi, nolie!!! How ya doing?…

nolie

September 28th, 2012
2:50 pm

Thanx guys. I was inspired by DOB’s song title : Here Comes A Regular…
and a great piece of writing David

CB

September 28th, 2012
2:50 pm

My 1st time doubling up, do you get a special reward for that/

Salt life

September 28th, 2012
2:51 pm

Paste eating window licker

ncgary

September 28th, 2012
2:52 pm

welcome back nolie

BravePack(FreeFan)

September 28th, 2012
2:52 pm

Great work DOB! One of your best yet…very heart-felt and sincere.

Salt life

September 28th, 2012
2:52 pm

cabravesfan

September 28th, 2012
2:52 pm

Efrim

September 28th, 2012
2:52 pm

Cardinals have a very good lineup: Jay, Beltran, Holliday, Craig, Molina, Freese, Schumaker, Kozma.

Medlen is going to have his work cut out for him. Should be a good game and I’m excited for it. Just wish it didn’t exist…..

Salt life

September 28th, 2012
2:52 pm

But I guess you knew that

MiaBchBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
2:53 pm

Salt life: I GOTTA use that line! :-)

CB

September 28th, 2012
2:53 pm

Efrim

September 28th, 2012
2:55 pm

Peavy’s uncertain future in Chicago

The White Sox hold a $22 million option for 2013 on Peavy; presumably, the team will decline that. Peavy has had a bounce-back season, but that kind of salary would represent about 20-25 percent of the team’s payroll, and it wouldn’t be good business for the team to pay him at that rate.

But Peavy is going to get paid this winter, nicely, whether it’s a renegotiated deal with the White Sox or as a free agent, because he is one of the relatively small group of second-tier pitchers ready to hit the market.

Zack Greinke is going to be the highest-paid free-agent pitcher, the only pitcher who might land a nine-figure deal. Behind him are Kyle Lohse, who turns 34 next week and is coming off a strong season with the Cardinals, Edwin Jackson, Ryan Dempster, Shaun Marcum, Francisco Liriano, Anibal Sanchez, Brandon McCarthy and Dan Haren, whose $15 million option with the Los Angeles Angels may well be declined. – Buster Olney

Bat Masterson

September 28th, 2012
2:56 pm

Paste eating window licker?

Never heard that one. I like it, Salt.

PMC

September 28th, 2012
2:57 pm

“I’m never one to tell people they should spend their money on this or that, and I’ll be the first to say I can’t stand Atlanta’s gridlock traffic (thanks again for turning down the MARTA spur when the ballpark was built so you could reap parking fees, you astute leaders with such grand vision).”

Requoted, for Emphasis. These people were dropped on thier heads while eating paint chips as children.

Salt life

September 28th, 2012
2:57 pm

Mia…….it paints a picture.

phil

September 28th, 2012
2:58 pm

The thought of the game next Friday is just disheartening to me….

They bust their butts for 6 months, only to risk elimination in ONE game? Too many random possibilities poised to get us.

That said, if it’s played in the afternoon, like so many of our playoff games were early in the last decade, I think I’ll just cry. That used to upset me terribly because I could never watch it.

Hopefully we can overcome this and get a crack at the 5 game deal. The baseball gods kinda owe us that…

Salt life

September 28th, 2012
2:59 pm

Bat…it’s my favorite. I find mouth breathing knuckle dragger is over used

phil

September 28th, 2012
2:59 pm

I just licked my window….

Very dirty. Bad idea. Tastes pretty lousy too.

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
3:02 pm

Atlanta Braves ‏@Braves
Tonight’s lineup vs. NYM (7:35, PTV/680AM/BRN): Johnson 8 Prado 7 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 Ross 2 Simmons 6 Hudson 1

Johnson and Ross in…. Fredi must be checking the stats. However, would’ve liked to see Baker in, he’s done well against Niese.

Reid in EAV

September 28th, 2012
3:02 pm

Pitch perfect dedication, David. Snif.

Efrim

September 28th, 2012
3:04 pm

Atlanta Braves ‏@Braves
Tonight’s lineup vs. NYM (7:35, PTV/680AM/BRN): Johnson 8 Prado 7 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Freeman 3 Uggla 4 Ross 2 Simmons 6 Hudson 1

Bat Masterson

September 28th, 2012
3:04 pm

:lol:

I remember one night, on here, when mouth breather had to be explained.

George_George

September 28th, 2012
3:05 pm

Repost from old blog
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George_George

September 28th, 2012
2:57 pm
nolie

September 28th, 2012
2:23 pm
abhor the DH rule, I believe Bud and his Buds will prevail, and implement the DH rule universally,.. raleigh

on a recent interview Bud said there are no plans at all to bring the DL to the NL
*************
Good day all
Hope it never happens. Welcome back nolie, hope all is well with you now. IT IS CHIPPER DAY, Pray no rain.

CB

September 28th, 2012
3:08 pm

Someone needs to put a water hose on Bubba and Webb. They are on fire!

MiaBchBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
3:09 pm

I use “drooling basset hound” and “troglodyte” quite often, Salt.

MiaBchBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
3:10 pm

Bat, on that night, didya haveta bust out the crayons?

Venice Jim

September 28th, 2012
3:11 pm

CB – four pretty good tee shots on that hole…

TheOnlyBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
3:11 pm

Braves hitters against Niese–

Johnson- .500/.538/.500/1.038 6 for 12, 2 RBI

Prado- .222/.300/.444/.744 6 for 27, 4 doubles and a triple
Heyward- .412/.474/.882/1.356 7 for 17, 2 doubles, 2 HR, 8 RBI
Jones- .200/.190/.450/.640 4 for 20, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Freeman- .313/.313/.563/.875 5 for 16, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Uggla- .250/.300/.357/.657 7 for 28, 3 doubles, 8 RBI
Ross- .400/.438/.800/1.238 6 for 15, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 HR, 8 RBI
Simmons- Never faced Niese
Hudson- Never faced Niese

Salt life

September 28th, 2012
3:12 pm

Mia…nose picking unibrow is another I like.

Salt life

September 28th, 2012
3:13 pm

That match could be over just after the turn

MiaBchBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
3:13 pm

Maybe with a little rain, and one far away lightning strike, The Natural Hoss will blast one into the upper pavillion. :-)

George_George

September 28th, 2012
3:13 pm

With 91 wins and counting, even if he blows the play-in game it will be difficult to FIRE FREDI. WHAT A SHAME.

Bat Masterson

September 28th, 2012
3:15 pm

It was just funny, Salt. Someone broke out mouth breathing and someone else had never heard it.

Had to post some links to convence them it was a fairly common insult.

MiaBchBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
3:17 pm

Bat, the “someone else” was probably twangin’ on a banjo while daydreaming about Ned Beatty’s booty. :-)

Venice Jim

September 28th, 2012
3:17 pm

If only we had the 84 wins you had been hoping for…

Salt life

September 28th, 2012
3:19 pm

Gotta love Bubba….encouraging the crowd to cheer during his tee shot on 1….posing after his tee shot on 8….he’s strutting around like a Bantam (bantee as grandma used to say) rooster

DAP

September 28th, 2012
3:19 pm

the onlybravesfan You wouldn’t care at all?

im just not worried about it. the braves hit righties well, and kris medlen is on the mound for us. im feeling good.

George_George

September 28th, 2012
3:19 pm

MiaBchBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
3:13 pm
Maybe with a little rain, and one far away lightning strike, The Natural Hoss will blast one into the upper pavillion.
****************************************************
That would be great just like the movie but the press box might catch on fire and DOB would have to run.

TennesseePaul

September 28th, 2012
3:21 pm

Last 9 Starts of the Starting 9

_________AVG__OBP__SLG___OPS_wOBA_L9S9+
Reed___ .257 .257 .286 0.543 .267 ___59
Prado__ .424 .486 .636 1.123 .476 __225
Heyward .206 .263 .324 0.587 .282 ___70
Chipper .241 .395 .310 0.705 .316 __111
Freeman .212 .270 .394 0.664 .266 ___91
Uggla__ .258 .333 .452 0.785 .363 __127
Ross___ .212 .229 .364 0.592 .250 ___69
Simmons .276 .333 .310 0.644 .295 ___90
Hudson_ .263 .263 .368 0.632 .235 ___82

MiaBchBravesFan

September 28th, 2012
3:23 pm

When are pre-game festivities slated to start? Gonna go to a local watering hole to get the feed. Is the MLB Network carrying any of it?

ncscoots

September 28th, 2012
3:23 pm

I’ll miss that frickin’ swing, and that’s a fact. Sweeter than Tupelo Honey.

Venice Jim

September 28th, 2012
3:23 pm

And Webb nails another one…

Bat Masterson

September 28th, 2012
3:23 pm

Squeal like a pig.

Yikes!

Shaun

September 28th, 2012
3:27 pm

Shaun, while I agree that the heart of an order can show up in the 7th or 8th, the ninth is the end. Hitters adjust, go to the opposite field, do whatever it takes to stave off eventual loss. In a close game, that matters. Even in the 7th, a hitter is apt to think that there are still AB chances, and will stay within himself to get on or hit a dinger.

But there may be better hitters coming up in an earlier hitters. So you would want to get your best run-preventer on the mound when the best hitters are coming up. The 9th inning or the last inning doesn’t turn the weaker hitters into the best hitters. You attack the best part of their lineup with your best reliever, late in a close game, no matter if it’s the last inning or not.

all things being equal, maybe. but the 7th inning is different form the 9th. the 9th is the end. what happens in the 9th has a bigger impact on the game, because afterwards…theres no more game.

Yes, but the point of using one of if not your best reliever earlier than the last inning is so that the 9th inning is relevant. The last inning doesn’t matter if an inferior reliever blows the game in the 7th inning because you asked him to face the other team’s toughest hitters.

You couldn’t possibly know this. In the seventh inning you have no idea of what the 9th may hold. All you do know is that, barring a hurricane, there will be a 9th inning. Put another way…”it seems to me that if a teams best three hitters are up in the 7th inning of a close game, it’s possible that the team sends enough hitters up in the 8th to permit bringing the big hitters up again in the 9th making the situation in the 9th even more difficult than previously assumed.”

Yes, it’s possible. But you shouldn’t always play for what may happen in the 9th when the game is on the line earlier. If a team’s best hitters are up in an earlier inning, you could blow the game there and the 9th inning could be irrelevant. You shouldn’t save your best reliever for the 9th, if the other team’s best are coming up in the 7th or 8th, because of the possibility that those hitters come back around again in the 9th.

You go with your best reliever as soon as the situation call for it, whether it be the 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th, because if you wait until the last inning due to the possibility that the best hitters will come up, then the game may be blown by then.

ncscoots

September 28th, 2012
3:28 pm

Oh well, only another 12 or 13 years until I can see Chipper’s son is throwing lumber, I guess. :-)

phil

September 28th, 2012
3:30 pm

I see Bourn continues to have thumb issues….just as well for now. Maybe he’ll get over his funk.

Bat Masterson

September 28th, 2012
3:31 pm

It’s gonna be weird, no doubt about it.

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