Braves ‘emptiness’ after Wild Card loss; infield fly debated

The morning after their crushing 6-3 loss to St. Louis in the Wild Card game, Braves players and team officials were back at Turner Field on Saturday morning, the players cleaning out lockers and saying goodbyes while discussing a range of topics including the controversial infield-fly call in Friday’s game.

It was the topic du jour in baseball, the ruling by left-field umpire Sam Holbrook in the eighth inning Friday, on Andrelton Simmons’ pop-up that landed 60 feet into left field.

With the Braves trailing 6-3 and runners at first and second, Simmons’ fly ball drifted back and fell between Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday and shortstop Pete Kozma. Each had backed off at the last moment so the other could take it, but  neither did.

When the ball landed, a crowd of more than 52,000 roared. The Braves and their fans figured they’d now have the bases loaded with pinch-hitter Brian McCann coming up. Finally, something had gone the way of the Braves, whose three errors had led to four unearned runs, along with a fifth run that could have been prevented.

But instead of McCann coming to bat with his .339 career bases-loaded average and nine grand slams in 109 at-bats, he came up with two outs and two runners on after the surprising call by Holbrook, who replays showed raising his right arm to signal infield-fly rule just as Kozma was peeling off his pursuit of the ball.

“My thing with Sam was, ‘Sam, this is way out here for you to be calling an infield fly. Way out here,’” Gonzalez said Saturday, recalling his argument with Holbrook on the field after the ruling. “And at the time you don’t know how far out, but it just didn’t feel right. And you look at the replays over and over and it’s like, arhgh.”

The spot where the ball landed was 225 feet from home plate, according to Baseball Info Solutions. In the past three seasons, there were six infield-fly rulings in the majors on balls that were not caught, and the longest measured at 178 feet – 47 feet less than the ball Simmons hit.

“I’ve seen [the infield-fly ruling on a ball that's] shallow, but not that far out, pretty much in left field,” said Simmons, a shortstop.  “I’ve never seen that before. I don’t think anybody had seen that before.”

Many Braves fans went from cheering loudly to booing and throwing hundreds of plastic beer bottles and other garbage on the field, causing a 19-minute delay. During the delay, the Braves filed a protest, which was quickly overturned as MLB sided with Holbrook’s ruling.

“You would’ve liked to have taken a shot with the bases loaded and the McCann at the plate with one out,” Gonzalez said. “But you can’t say that play cost us the game.”

McCann walked to load the bases with two outs, and Bourn struck out to end the inning. The Braves were done. For the game, and for the year.

“It really comes down to umpire’s judgement,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said Saturday, when asked if he thought anything could be done to clarify or improve the infield-fly rule. “There’s always case studies after things happen, and usually it takes something like this for it to be studied further. I can’t remember – and I’ve been in the game 34 years – I can’t remember an infield fly rule having this big of an impact, and being talked about. So there’s a first time for everything.

“But that’s not the reason we lost the ballgame. We didn’t lose the ballgame because of that call. We lost the ballgame because we didn’t make routine plays. We had three of them that came back and bit us. That’s not indicative of the way we played all year long. We played pretty sound baseball all year long. If there was any question about our club over the course of the season, it was would we be consistent enough offensively.

“We end up with 12 hits last night. If we make plays we win the game 2-1 or 3-1. I know they end up getting more earned runs than that, because you can’t assume a double play [on Chipper Jones’ errant throw in the three-run fourth inning]. But they shouldn’t have scored.”

Wren was asked how it felt the day after losing the first-ever Wild Card game, the first postseason matchup involving a one-game, do-or-die format.

“Probably a one-word description is emptiness,” he said. “I think we’ve talked all season long that we had a real good team and had a chance to take it into the postseason and do well. How well? You never know. That you understand that’s kind of the laws of baseball. But we had a chance to do well.

“I probably went into yesterday’s postseason game as relaxed and at ease as I’ve gone into any in a long time, because I felt like we were ready to play. We had played well in September and felt like we had the right guy [Kris Medlen] on the mound. We had everything going in our direction. And then you don’t make the plays defensively in postseason, it’ll be you. And that’s what beat us.”

He said the problematic nature of the Wild Card format was discussed by general managers at their meetings last winter. The game was created after the addition this year of a second wild-card team in each league. In the past, the single wild-card team advanced directly to a best-of-five Division Series against the division winner with the best record.

“All of us at the general managers meeting when we talked about this format, it’s not a format that’s indicative of the best team,” Wren said. “When you’re playing for six months and 162 games, this is not a sport where you play 20 games. This is not a sport where you play a handful of games, and then one game is appropriate. This is a sport that’s about series, it’s about winning series. And one game is kind of a harsh reality.”

Having the two wild-card teams play a three-game series was discussed, but unless it was done in two days, with a split doubleheader the first day, it was determined that playing a series before the division series would unfairly penalize those teams that won division titles.

“Really what came down to the crux of the problem when we discussed it at the general managers meeting, you don’t want to disadvantage the division winners as well, by having them sit,” Wren said. “Because in many cases, and we’ve experienced it with the Braves over the years, where we clinched on the 20th of September and you’re now getting your team ready, and you lose that edge. Well, now all of a sudden you sit four or five days to play your first playoff game, there’s a good chance to lose your edge. So it’s a difficult fix to say the least.”

173 comments Add your comment

phoenix

October 6th, 2012
6:42 pm

Lots of words, not much new info. Wren is always of very little news value.

What’s plan B if McCann continues falling apart? Are we stuck with Uggla for 3 more years, or is there any chance they can somehow obtain a major league hitter/fielder for that position? What’s plan B if Bourn goes elsewhere? Can Juan Francisco play every day in the majors? Is Fredi on the hot seat?

Stuart

October 6th, 2012
6:43 pm

David from Athens, AL

October 6th, 2012
6:43 pm

Thanks David for all the effort and work you and CR put in to make this a valuable site for the inside Braves’ information. Job well done!! Greatly appreciated! Looking foward to “hot stove” winter as FW will make thos tough decisions

Stuart

October 6th, 2012
6:45 pm

The Braves had what 2 6-8 losing streaks. They go just .500 in those stretches they are at home last night watching the Nats and the Cards play for the right to play Atlanta.

CaptainC

October 6th, 2012
7:00 pm

Of course, as many have acknowledged, Friday’s loss looms heavily on errors not an umpiring crew’s poor judgement (yes, it was). Clearly, no chance of turning an easy double play by letting ball drop…I’m not a Braves fan, but still, would agree a better call should have been made. Would rather see a manager come out to question why the IF rule was not called than see this. If the play had stood, would be hard to believe that Metheny (or any other mgr.) would have had any grounds to question situation. Calls like this remind me of how the NFL keeps trying to justify calls on hyper “technical” rules.

william in pasadena

October 6th, 2012
7:08 pm

Thank God! We are finally done with Chipper Jones. He had a very good career, and did a lot for the team. But, before you Chipper lovers rush to his defense, recognize he was paid for his service. And, I might add, he made a lot of money working part time. He should have been gone at least 3 years ago. He and Uggla were the veterans on the field and they cost the Braves the game.They did exactly what they have always done, CHOKE. My preference would be to see Frankie and Freddie unemployed very soon but, I know that’s not going to happen. The Braves need to rid themselves of the Bobby Cox influence also. Matheny is a rookie manager and he out-managed Freddie. Why would you attempt any kind of squeeze play when the pitcher is the next batter? I certainly hope Wren gets a marquee player with the money saved from Chipper and Lowe’s salaries. Same ole Braves!

Chop Chop

October 6th, 2012
7:13 pm

Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

Wait ’til next year.

Bigwheel

October 6th, 2012
7:16 pm

Thanks DOB, Ive been looking forward to see what
FW had to say about the matter. And I wish those stats could have been brought to Holbrooks attention last night during MLBs sour attempt to say they made the right call, I just cant believe they thought it was the right call….well Sir, I hope you get time away, a nice vacation, and cant wait till some stove/winter meetings !

Gary

October 6th, 2012
7:17 pm

I have always called the IFR when runners were on with no outs and the infielder makes the call that he is taking the ball and I feel he will make the catch while facing infield, thus giving him a reasonable chance to turn a double play. that is what the rule was designed to do, avoid the double or triple play.

Better idea

October 6th, 2012
7:19 pm

Best idea for 2 wildcards: entire series is home for team with best record; one game first day and one next day as split DH (second game if necessary) w/no off days after #162. Agree?

GaryNPOhio

October 6th, 2012
7:22 pm

Wimpasadena, are you sure your not a phillies fan? really, there would have been no wildcard game without Chipper, he played hard, he played hurt and finished his career with a good season. Narrow minded and uninformed at baseball would be a kind way to describe your opinion. wow

Carroll

October 6th, 2012
7:30 pm

thoughts on changing the IF fly rule: The purpose of infield fly is to keep the infielder from purposely dropping a ball and getting a double play. But if it all comes down to an umpoires judgment anyway, then why have a rule at all?? Why not just let the play happen, and if the umpire believes the fielder dropped it on purpose to get a double play, then call the batter out and send the runners back… This is the same way they would handle a line drive that is purposely dropped. What a nonsense rule. Regardless, it is just mind boggling what this team has always done in October. Ever since that rf ump got in Dye’s way against the Yankees, it has been one debacle after the other.

Ken Stallings

October 6th, 2012
7:32 pm

First, the players emptiness echoes my own!

Second, I am really sick of hearing the cliche, “that call did not cost us the game.” It is inaccurate because one bad play (or call) by itself would not have cost the Braves the game — not even Chipper’s errant throwing error that greased the skids for three runs. This is because the Braves did eventually scratch a third run.

It took the full combination of errors, pathetic lack of hitting with runners in scoring position, and the Holbrook call. But, Holbrook nor MLB deserve to be let off the hook. Their role in the call was bad enough. Their role in holding a press conference but then acting like it was nothing bad about the call, was a case of forethought of denial.

I was not impressed! It is clear that except for Harold Reynolds, everyone else widely seen as a baseball expert, is in agreement that the call was not merely bad, but brutally incomprehensible. Sam Holbrook thought his ejection of Zack Greinke was his defining moment. If only! Holbrook is persona non grata at Turner Field. Seriously, MLB should never schedule that clown to umpire another game at the Ted. It risks too much and MLB should have the good sense to realize that.

Ken Stallings

October 6th, 2012
7:35 pm

Things went downhill for the Braves ever since J.S. traded away David Justice. The guy nails the solo homer to score the only run in the deciding game of the Atlanta Braves’ only World Series championship and his reward is to get traded to the Indians!

Since then, it’s been bad karma after bad karma in postseason!

Carroll

October 6th, 2012
7:38 pm

and william, could not agree with you more. but be prepared for the apologists. Chipper’s legacy is that of a loser…a loser that had so many opportunities but never seemed to care. How many times did an inferior team come in here and want it so bad, that no-name nobodies stepped up and did the unthinkable? Every freaking time!! How many times did Chipper with all of his god-given abilities step up in his 15 postseason opportunities and carry a team the way Jeter has done so many times? And Jeter is not even as talented as Chipper but he wanted it badly enough to make it happen time and time again. Beyond sad.

Bobby M

October 6th, 2012
7:39 pm

Tough one. Unfortunately the infield fly rule was called with all the proper criteria in place…even if it looked a little wierd. It was a pure emabarrassment for Atlanta, however, in how the fans acted. Where’s the decorum. Atlanta fans looked like a bunch of uncivilized animals on national television. Terrible, childish behavior.

Fats

October 6th, 2012
7:41 pm

Judgement call. Got to get over it,even though it screwed us up pretty bad. We left 12 men on base. That is what killed us in the end. Hope MLB

Fats

October 6th, 2012
7:42 pm

continued…………MLB should NEVER do this 1 gm playoff crap again. 162 games should carry more weight

labalt

October 6th, 2012
7:56 pm

do you guys recall in 1998 a young sam holbrook ejecting mark mcgwire as he argued a 3rd strike in the first inning against the braves and tom glavine?.. card fans were furious since mcgwire was on the homerun chase that year with sosa

InEverJerry

October 6th, 2012
8:06 pm

Can anyone tell me if an outfield umpire has ever invoked the IF?

william in pasadena

October 6th, 2012
8:09 pm

GaryNPOhio, guys like you are the reasons the Braves refuse to get great players to win. They know they need to do just enough to keep you coming back. For your information, I grew up in South Ga and have followed the Braves since ‘66. Nobody has defended them more than me, especially in Dodgers territory. I probably have forgotten more about the Braves than you know. I believe the Braves could have won the East with a 3B who can play defense, hit 20 HRs, drive in 80 RBIs, play 150 games, and bat 280. Is that too much to ask of a guy who makes $13 mil a year?, Yea, Chipper played hard (not too hard though) and played hurt. Isn’t that what you are supposed to do if you are the leader? What did our leader do yesterday? Cost us 3 runs and had 0 rbi’s. Did you hear me, that’s 0 rbi’s. He overstayed his welcome. He got payed very well for what he did in the past oftentimes as a part-time player (overpaid), so don’t even go there. Heck, you could have had 2 players for $13 mil.

Fredo

October 6th, 2012
8:52 pm

“it’s not a format that’s indicative of the best team,”

no kidding, the Astros 55 win/107 loss season ended Wednesday and the Braves 94 win season ended only 2 days later …. that big a difference in wins should at least allow you to play a few games more

Steve w

October 6th, 2012
8:53 pm

To bad chipper is going out a loser. If he had a real 2 nd baseman to throw to instead of 4 ft uggla it might have been a lot different outcome. Dan the boy and his little half hearted leap was a joke. He mistimed his jump but Dan mistimed everything this year. What is the deal with Freddy’s love affair with the guy? Dan needs to be given his unconditional release. Yes chippers.
throw was bad but you have to knock it down or at least have a great effort. Maybe dans big wad in his mouth was weighing him down?

SteveC

October 6th, 2012
9:09 pm

Sorry, Braves fans — especially the LOSERS who threw crap on the field. I know you’re frustated. Who wouldn’t be? No timely hits, sloppy fielding. Big time CHOKE by the Bravos.The better team WON. But fans, come on! What kind of red neck, NASCAR trash are you????

The Atom Bomb

October 6th, 2012
9:20 pm

Well Brave fans, the Braves did their thing. Isn’t it clear that the hitters can’t hit, the fielders can’t field, and some of the pitchers can’t pitch. So, what you have is a bunch of choke artists wearing those uniforms and being paid like professional players.

Braves2013

October 6th, 2012
9:34 pm

To fix the braves we need to do the following

1. Take down all the flags in the outfield time to close that chapter

2. We need a better owner

3. Need a big bat and leader

4. Need a new stadium

Braves2013

October 6th, 2012
9:34 pm

To fix the braves we need to do the following

1. Take down all the flags in the outfield time to close that chapter

2. We need a better owner

3. Need a big bat and leader

4. Need a new stadium

JohnDrake6

October 6th, 2012
9:40 pm

Next year it should be a three game series. If they’re concerned about the delay to the rest of the playoff schedule play the first game at the 2nd wild card winner’s, then a double header at the 1st wild card’s site. That would not only make it less random, but also provide the added duress on the wild card teams that MLB wants.

Or if MLB insists on keeping it to one game, replace the game with a coin-toss. It would be just as satisfying, perhaps more so.

Ekim56

October 6th, 2012
9:53 pm

@phoenix 6:42
“Lots of words, not much new info. Wren is always of very little news value.”

————————————————————————————————————————

What in the world do you expect him to do? Reveal negotiating strategies? Tell the world how much he’s willing to pay Bourn? Who he might go for if he can’t? It’s way too early for that. Sunshine rules are fine in politics most of the time. Maybe not so much in sports negotiations.

Don!

October 6th, 2012
9:58 pm

The simple answer is that the outfield umpire should not be the one making that call. The role of the outfield umpire is to assist with fair/foul calls down the line, and actions that occur in the … get this … OUTFIELD!

Don!

October 6th, 2012
9:58 pm

The simple answer is that the outfield umpire should not be the one making that call. The role of the outfield umpire is to assist with fair/foul calls down the line, and actions that occur in the … get this … OUTFIELD!

Don!

October 6th, 2012
9:58 pm

The simple answer is that the outfield umpire should not be the one making that call. The role of the outfield umpire is to assist with fair/foul calls down the line, and actions that occur in the … get this … OUTFIELD!

Just Asking?

October 6th, 2012
10:07 pm

I was at the game and even though I didn’t throw trash on the field, I understand those that did. It was maddening. There was no announcement as to what the call was, so most didn’t know what the problem was until it started filtering through people’s smart phones. We already had one call that seemed wrong from the viewpoint of those at the game, and now another that definately was wrong.

Why can’t the League Office admit just once that the umpire was wrong? This was the perfect opportunity to get it right. No one would have been disadvantaged by correcting the call. It was obvious that it was wrong. The umpires look stupid, the League Office looks weak, and the game is harmed by a call that should have been overturned. There was plenty of time to get it right too.

Why not have someone announce to the fans what the call was? It is done in Pro-Football for every call.

G

October 6th, 2012
10:13 pm

This would have been an even greater article if Frank Wren would have resigned

Don!

October 6th, 2012
10:13 pm

I hate bad latency on websites. :-(

LiamNJ

October 6th, 2012
10:22 pm

Disclosure: I am a Phillies fan, so the Braves are not my favorite. That being disclosed, I wish Chipper Jones a happy retirement. He has been a great pleasure to watch – even when the Phillies suffered at his hands. Baseball is a great game, and we should be able to admire opposition players. Also, the IFR ruling was bad baseball. The League will never overturn the umpire, but it was a bad call. Enthusiastic fans are a part of great baseball, but the Atlanta community should be ashamed of that display with trash being thrown on the field.

john

October 6th, 2012
10:30 pm

i seem to be one of few who recognize this, but frank wren has an excellent head on his shoulders

Tim

October 6th, 2012
10:57 pm

As a huge Cardinal fan, I was sickened by the clasless Braves fans who found it necessary to throw garbage on the field because they didn’t get their way. I also noticed from the get-go that when Medlin? was pitching the Braves fans would boo nearly everytime a ball was called even if it was well out of the strike zone. Real classy. Seeing the leftwing nutjob Jimmy Carter with his Braves cap on and knowing that the other leftwing nutjob Ted Turner who owns this team makes it that much sweeter to see the Braves get humiliated.

Tim

October 6th, 2012
10:57 pm

As a huge Cardinal fan, I was sickened by the clasless Braves fans who found it necessary to throw garbage on the field because they didn’t get their way. I also noticed from the get-go that when Medlin? was pitching the Braves fans would boo nearly everytime a ball was called even if it was well out of the strike zone. Real classy. Seeing the leftwing nutjob Jimmy Carter with his Braves cap on and knowing that the other leftwing nutjob Ted Turner who owns this team makes it that much sweeter to see the Braves get humiliated.

marcos

October 6th, 2012
11:00 pm

What I find most insulting about the blown call is Joe Torre, Selig and the umpire declaring it was a correct call, as if millions of us are totally stupid.

marcos

October 6th, 2012
11:00 pm

What I find most insulting about the blown call is Joe Torre, Selig and the umpire declaring it was a correct call, as if millions of us are totally stupid.

Billy

October 6th, 2012
11:06 pm

Time to move on from Bobby and Chipper..clean the BC smell out of clubhouse. Let Fredi manage without BC looking over his shoulder and FG calling BC asking him what to do. Let Fredi be Fredi are fire his a@@.

I have no faith in Mr. Wren but I will give him the benefit of doubt to see if he gets off his rear this winter and makes the moves need to win..also to see what he does with Mac, Hanson and Bourn. (1st 2 need to go)
I hope he keeps all the coaches as I think they did well..really like Walker.
The fans are frustrated with last 17 years and no playoff wins since 2001. Time to put up are shut up.

Carroll

October 6th, 2012
11:18 pm

Fredi should’ve pulled the team from the field at that moment and refused to continue the game unless/until they corrected the call. What would we have lost as a team? That call effectively ended the game anyway. not saying it is the whole reason we lost–we did plenty toward that end–but at that point, that was clearly the end of the game. So even if it went down as a forfeit, what difference would it have made? At least we would have had some measure of satisfaction that our guy/team stood up to the morons.

Billy

October 6th, 2012
11:25 pm

Fredi didn’t wish to be fired..thats why. Wren was running the show on talks with MLB and umps on phone with Joe Torre.

biff pocoroba

October 6th, 2012
11:26 pm

I drove 9 hours to see the game last night.
We dug a hole with our errors. The non infield fly rule call was the the error to get us back in the game. We were hosed by umpire and then by MLB becuase they wouldn’t want to have any issues with tv. Would we have come back?? don’t know but from my seat I would have love to have had the opportunity to see what would have happened.

People calling for Fredi’s firing are baffoons. Great job managing last night, Ross was clutch and Georgie had a triple in his PH.
He doesn’t field balls or make throws.

Starting rotation looks good w Beachy back, Meds, huddy, Minor, Delgado….
Bye Hanson

wish we could resign Bourne but with imited $ from an absent owner gonna be tough

I will miss Chipper, the Braves will miss Chipper, ATL will miss Chipper. “Don’t know what you got til its gone”

Billy

October 6th, 2012
11:28 pm

Would love to see Braves get David Wright free agent to play 3b..

biff pocoroba

October 6th, 2012
11:29 pm

I was siiting to far back or I would have thrown stuff on the field as well
Congrats Cards, 8 games back but still advance
Screw nats for sitting Strasburg

I am pulling for A’s or O’s

biff pocoroba

October 6th, 2012
11:31 pm

we have a great third basemen in prado, pastornicky to second, uggla to Obama welfare line, need CF and a catcher to split time w Ross

Bill Myers

October 6th, 2012
11:42 pm

Very convenient to have the Cardinals manager from last year make the call on the protest. Thank you Mr Torre. You know it was a blown call. If you have any honesty at all, you will admit it..

Gene

October 6th, 2012
11:43 pm

The Braves will never win a division, league, or world championship as long as Wren is GM.

DAVE

October 6th, 2012
11:57 pm

Hey Carroll, the game was lost because all the sloppy play. The TRUTH be told even if they took back the IF play and gave bases loaded with one out, we don’t know for sure what would happen. We do know the other less talked about disaster call that favored the Braves and gave them 4 strikes and 2 Runs would have clearly been a third out strike out and no runs. Kudos to the Cardinals for dealing with it and taking care of business.

birdo

October 7th, 2012
12:04 am

Get over it on the infield fly rule. This call should have not been a factor. Face it, the braves choked and didn’t meet the challenge.

OLDFAN

October 7th, 2012
12:05 am

Just hope the Cards get stomped. Without Pujols they’re just not the same team.

Tim

October 7th, 2012
12:07 am

Bill Myers, I don’t know what you’re smoking but Torre wasn’t the Cards mgr. last yr., it was Tony LaRussa. In fact, Torre last managed the Cards back in the 90’s. All this whining from you Brave fans is truly entertaining. Please continue with your whinefest. LOL!!

Mark

October 7th, 2012
12:10 am

To: Bill Meyers…um…Joe Torre last managed the Cardinals in 1995 and was fired by them mid-season…

birddawgbill

October 7th, 2012
12:13 am

@ TIM , Turner hasn’t owned the Braves in many years. @ Bill myers Larussa managed the Cards last year Tiered managed them last in 95. Cmon guys know what your talking about before posting. Also I am not picking on Chipper but I don’t know if Uggs and Simmons panic with their throws if Braves r up 2-0 as they should have been. I’m a huge fan of Hoss but his D was subpar the last month. Still will miss seeing him next year. Now sign Victorino, and Youk trade Uggla put Prado at 2nd. Or sign Pagan. Also send Gattis to AFL and give him an honest shot next spring. Or maybe even consider signing Pierre for LF.

birddawgbill

October 7th, 2012
12:14 am

Meant Torre.

OLDFAN

October 7th, 2012
12:45 am

Cannot believe the Cards were yelling “infield fly” during their undeserved celebraton after the game. That speaks volumes. Yes we made 3 errors but to get ripped off like that AGAIN is sickening.

Mitchell

October 7th, 2012
1:36 am

The Cardinals are a bunch of con artists.

They don’t belong in the playoffs.

They didn’t deserve to be in that game but what disappoints me more than anything is that the Braves themselves didn’t believe that call made a difference.

How can the same team that pulled off three of the most improbably comebacks of any team in 2012 not believe in themselves enough to think that God awful call cost the game as much if not more than the errors?

Even if Bourn just walks or gets hit by a pitch and there are still two outs. Even though they leave entire island nations on base a night, you cannot bet against Martin Prado with the bases loaded and a chance to tie or possibly win the game.

If we got three outs in that inning instead of two I believe we would have won the game.

We know how the situation has gotten to Craig Kimbrel in the past but after two full seasons he’s done more than enough deserve the benefit of the doubt.

All he needs is one run.

If we had the chance we deserved and taken the lead either off Prado’s bat or Jason’s, it would have been over.

There’s no rule in the book that says you can’t make an error (or three) and not still win the game.

As for the Cardinals, I would rather win then have “class” but they showed once again they are as f*ing classless as it gets.

Mitchell

October 7th, 2012
1:42 am

LiamNJ

October 6th, 2012
10:22 pm

Disclosure: I am a Phillies fan, so the Braves are not my favorite. That being disclosed, I wish Chipper Jones a happy retirement. He has been a great pleasure to watch – even when the Phillies suffered at his hands. Baseball is a great game, and we should be able to admire opposition players. Also, the IFR ruling was bad baseball. The League will never overturn the umpire, but it was a bad call. Enthusiastic fans are a part of great baseball, but the Atlanta community should be ashamed of that display with trash being thrown on the field.

Oh, give me a f*ing break.

You live in New Jersey.

Who are you to talk about class?

What are you even doing here?

Mitchell

October 7th, 2012
1:58 am

The Braves are nothing but excuse makers.

For once they have a legitimate excuse and they just don’t even fight for it.

It was the worst call in baseball history.

Say it. Say it out loud.

Get fined for it.

Light a paper bag of dog **** and leave it on Bud Selig’s door step.

I hated Bobby Cox for probably the last five years of his career but if fans hadn’t thrown cups and trash onto the field, HE would have.

The Braves played the 8th inning with two outs, not three.

That was unfair and horribly wrong.

But they just take it lying down like a bunch of cowards.

They should have thrown the Gatorade cooler onto the field and f*ing left.

I would have rather walked out and never come back than to be cheated like that if I were Chipper Jones.

Semper Fi Braves Fan

October 7th, 2012
2:00 am

Love when people, who are not even Braves fans, search and find our city newspaper blog to post something about being classless.

Was trash being thrown onto the field bad…. sure. But you can’t tell me your city, or fan base wouldn’t do the exact same thing under similar circumstances. Especially, the ravenous sports fans in Phili.

Psshhh

October 7th, 2012
3:15 am

Stuart… shut up, for real. If they had one, I guarantee you’d be like, hell yeah Fredi is the right man for the job.

Curtis W.

October 7th, 2012
4:39 am

The one-game wild card playoff idea is both stupid and completely inappropriate for major league baseball. Baseball is of course played in a series format because it takes a series to test the depth of a team’s roster. But that decision by MLB wasn’t about what’s good for the game of baseball or the players. It’s simply about money. By getting the fan base of four or five marginal teams in each league more interested by having a shot at the second wild card spot, the owners can fill more seats and make more advertising revenue from radio and tv. For anyone who wants to protest this stupidity it’s very easy: the next time a wild card game rolls around, turn off your radio or tv.

JEFF S

October 7th, 2012
5:13 am

The call as the rule is written was correct. (BTW it doesn’t say the call has to be made immediately, it says the call has to be made immediately when it becomes apparent the ball can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort. When the shortstop set and called for the ball while it was still in the air, the conditions of the rule were met.).

The most telling piece of information is that only 6 infield fliy rule balls were not caught over 3 seasons. It may well be this play was not intended when the rule was designed. It may well be that in the history of baseball this was the furthest fly ball called an infield fly that was dropped and perhaps indicates a tweaking of the rule is necessary. What do you want done. An arc placed on the outfield must like the idiotic trapezoid on NHL rinks outside of which the ifr should not be called? Do you want to add a statement that the ifr should not be called if in the opinion of the umpire a double or triple play cannot be achieved by failing to catch a ball such as this?

I will say this, however. I have never been in favour of using six umpires in a playoff game. The outfield umpires are looking at balls from completely different perspectives than they do for the entire regular season. Some of the worst calls in history have been made by outfield umpires without the proper perspective (Richie Garcia on the Jeffrey Maier play in NY in 1996 comes to mind. Perhaps he was too close to see the little moron reach over the railing and interfere with the Oriole player waiting to make a routine catch against the wall). No other sports adds officials for playoff games and changes the officiating routines. They do appoint alternates ready to hop into action incase there is a problem. This is what baseball should do.

In Old Savannah Forum

October 7th, 2012
6:36 am

The game was lost by the Braves and the errors they made and the inability to drive runs homes when in scoring positions.

This doesn’t excuse the horrific call made by the umpire and it was not an infield fly rule play regardless of what the umpire and Joe Torre said.

This 2 wild card team play-off is a disaster unless they go to three games. Playing 162 games and winning as many games as the lead wild card team as some division winners should warrant a 3 game payoff or eliminate the second wild card going forward. Not wanting to burden the division winners with having to wait a few more days is nonsense but if that is truly a concern figure out a way to have a three games series for two wild card teams or get rid of it.

To this “Tim” poster. Enjoy the win because St. Louis will not make it to the World Series this year.

Out of towners

October 7th, 2012
6:53 am

Ken Stallings
October 6th, 2012
7:35 pm

Things went downhill for the Braves ever since J.S. traded away David Justice. The guy nails the solo homer to score the only run in the deciding game of the Atlanta Braves’ only World Series championship and his reward is to get traded to the Indians!

Since then, it’s been bad karma after bad karma in postseason!
_______________________________________________________

It’s early on Sunday morning and you jump started my day……………with a chuckle. Maybe you are
actually Halle Berry.

bill

October 7th, 2012
7:25 am

tim the cards won with the biggest cheat and liar in their dugout Mark McGuire. Our former owner is a wing nut nut he did not turn half the alcoholics in the US into driving time bombs by producing a product more dangerous than tobacco Budweiser. We do not kill or beat up our opponents fans like had happened several times in St. Louis and we have not had muggings and murders like the dangerous city of St.Louisin our parking areas. I know it is classless to say this but you can kiss my Georgia /North Carolina ass.

Bobo is Not the Problem

October 7th, 2012
7:37 am

Two of my favorite Chipper moments:

1. Booting a grounder in the last game of the ‘00 or ‘01 season against the Rockies. Let it go right between his leg, 9th inning, 2 outs, and the Rockies scored a bunch for a comeback win. That loss gave the Cards home-field advantage against us in the playoffs. Chipper made another error in Game 1, and the Cards swept us.

2. Chipper calling out the fans who criticized him for being lazy and not working harder to stay in shape. That was in Feb ‘11 in the AJC. You take the praise, you gotta take the criticism. Classless redneck thug.

Out of towners

October 7th, 2012
7:40 am

Don!
October 6th, 2012
10:13 pm

I hate bad latency on websites.
________________________________________

Don, we are glad to know you have issues. Maybe it is time to upgrade…………….??

Carl Farvman

October 7th, 2012
8:28 am

“As for the Cardinals, I would rather win then have “class” but they showed once again they are as f*ing classless as it gets.”

What did the Cards do except play better than the Braves? How is this classless? I’ve lived in ATL for 5 years and it has become apparent to me that Braves fans seem to have an inferiority complex. I watched from afar as the Braves missed many chances to gain championships with top-notch pitching staffs and very solid slates of position players. There is a huge trend with this organization, including clinging onto excuses. It is sad to watch. The trashing of the field took it to another level. I suppose it’s not going to get any better from here on.

Carl Farvman

October 7th, 2012
8:42 am

Bill, got an inferiority complex, huh? I attended games at Busch stadium for 20 years and never encountered a problem. In fact, the environment around Busch stadium is vibrant with much to do…like most major league cities. Contrast this with Turner field and there is no comparison. First time I went to a ballgame at Turner I could not believe how poorly situated the stadium is with nothing but parking lots. Have no idea what planners were thinking about.

Gym Nash

October 7th, 2012
8:53 am

(1) The fan behavior was merely venting nearly 20 years of watching an underachieving team get trashed.
(2) At least king dud Chipper won’t be back.

Robert ( chi-town)

October 7th, 2012
9:14 am

What I find most upsetting about the call, is that Sam Holbrook should never have made the call. He’s been put on the left field outfield side, to have a better view at foul line calls in the outfield, home runs, and was a ball trapped or caught by an outfielder! Not to call the Infield Fly Rule! That call should still belong to to the 3rd base or second base umpire! Period! And shame on MLB for not informing the outfield umpires about this. These guys never umpire down the outfield lines unless they are chosen for the all star game. Here’s a perfect case where more is not better! The 3rd base umpire could see that that ball was drifting deeper into the outfield and he was NOT going to call IFR! Torre having total blinders about this was sad for MLB. Leave it to Bud Selig to mess these playoffs up! You play 162 games over six month’s and have a 6 game lead on the Cardinals, only because of the brilliance of Selig, have to play a one game wild card play in game – BRILLIANT!

Molina

October 7th, 2012
9:14 am

The ump made the corrrect call on the IF rule, and this is why. The Cards INFIELDER had turned his body towards the INFIELD as he prepared to make the catch. Once he positioned himself this way, the ump called IF rule. Had he not called it, the infielder could have purposely let the ball drop in front of him, then doubled up 2 Braves runners. That’s why it was the proper call, and history will show that it was the right call. Braves are letting emotion get in the way of taking an objective look at the call.

Robert ( chi-town)

October 7th, 2012
9:31 am

Are u serious? He’s not gonna even get one out for a supposed purposely miss? The ball was 225 feet into the outfield. The runner at second was halfway to third because the umpire never made the infield fly rule call until the ball was almost on the gound!

Georgia

October 7th, 2012
9:38 am

It’s not about the loss, it’s about the fact that the WC elim game had to be played in the first place. Georgia lost at least $2 million in otherwise earned revenue b/c of the new format. Missourri now reaps at least $4 million of otherwise earned revenue, a boost to the image of its state’s sports & gets free baseball. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ROBBED ALL GEORGIA TAXPAYERS of extra (and earned) revenue by this new format. The outcome of the WC elimination game has an economic impact that is so much bigger than “just one game”. MLB only thought about MLB. MLB did not think about the much bigger picture of what postseason revenue does in terms of job extension & tax dollars for the state’s team that clearly had the better 2nd place record in 162 games.

Georgia

October 7th, 2012
9:41 am

Typing error —- Missourri now reaps at least $4 million of otherwise UNearned revenue. Figure approximately $2 million of ‘tourism dollars’ —- hotel/motel tax, motor fuel tax, food & beverage, job tax, etc. Georgia would have otherwise been guaranteed at least 2 games in Georgia at $2 million a pop. Now Missourri gets 2 games in their state that they wouldn’t have gotten without this new WC elimination format.

BravesFanSince80s

October 7th, 2012
9:51 am

anyone, and I mean ANYONE, who says that Holbrook made the correct call is a fool, liar, or worse. and to all the folks telling the rest of us that one bad call did not cost the Braves the game, all the errors+poor hitting with RISP did can kiss my A S S… WE KNOW THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The bad call just brought it all crashing down you goobers!!!!

BravesFanSince80s

October 7th, 2012
9:53 am

Georgia@9:38: well said, excellent point

Molina

October 7th, 2012
9:57 am

Name-calling…seems about right after watching the classless Braves fans the other night. As I said, history will show the call was the right call. Rule is a rule. Live with it.

Doc Dawg

October 7th, 2012
10:02 am

The purpose of the infield fly rule is to protect the baserunners, not the infielder/outfielder combo from committing errors. On a ball hit 225 feet into the outfield, the baserunners don’t need protection and there is some likelihood that an error will be committed. The umpire should have understood the situation he was in and acted accordingly. I’m a game official and our casebooks and rules interpretation memos are full of situations where the letter of the rule is violated but we are told to make a no-call.

DP

October 7th, 2012
10:06 am

Chipper Jones is a first ballot Hall of Famer who as a power hitter also had a career batting average of over .300 from both sides of the plate, one of only 2 players in history to do that and something the fabled singles hitter Pete Rose couldn’t do.

Anybody who rips on Chipper and claims the Braves will be better off without him is an idiot, pure and simple.

Georgia

October 7th, 2012
10:21 am

BravesFanSince80s@9:53: If the AJC wants a story, THAT’S the story. And if any “big wigs” want to hold the feet of the MLB powers that be to the fire, that’s how they do it. It’s truly not about how the game was lost. It was the fact that it was ever played & the economic impact of it for all involved — except MLB themselves. MLB gets an extra game, regardless. But the team that truly won post season play has the biggest economic risk. Baseball players aren’t wired to think/play/win one game ’series’. The entire game of baseball is built on a series of regime, habits, routine, and monotony. Mess with that mind-numbing equilibrium, and you get an end result of Georgia’s loss of millions of earned income like we have now. Perhaps MLB & company’s hair-brained idea of extra revenue for themselves cost Georgia the ability to pay a little more on education debt obligations. THAT’S the true effect & bigger story when the closed-door conversations are had about the future & effects of the games that MLB wants to play. It’s cool for them to sell more tshirts. But it’s not cool for my loss of significant otherwise earned revenue, and the rewards reaped for another state’s otherwise unearned revenue.

Jborodawg

October 7th, 2012
10:44 am

Funny…at the St Louis Post Dispatch articles about the game, about 99% of the comments agree the IFFR was correct. Perspective is strange aint it?

Bases loaded, one out and B Mac at the plate…that’s “woulda, coulda”. But, errors and failure to score with runners in scoring position is fact.

I agree, this Wild Card one game format is atrocious; as is using extra umps. Too many chiefs spoil the broth.

We’ll get em next year. Go Braves!

BravesFanSince80s

October 7th, 2012
10:52 am

Jborodawg, thanks for re-hashing that already tired argument, much appreciated. As though any of the rest of us who watched game weren’t already aware that Chipper’s error was pretty much the difference in the game, the other 2, plus the terrible call, just piled an almost unbelievable and unbearable load of crap on all Braves fans everywhere… WE GET IT!

Fred Garvin

October 7th, 2012
10:53 am

A Philadelphia fan calling someone else classless, I’m astounded by the irony

Molina

October 7th, 2012
11:51 am

I’m a Cards fan, but also disagree with the one-game format. It should be at least best of 3. Not sure how they would do that and not penalize the division winner by making them sit idle while the wild card is decided… Regarding the IFR call, right or wrong, nobody can prove that the IFR call did anything to change the outcome of the game. Fact is, Cards played better baseball during that one game, and that allowed them to move on, not the IFR call. I believe the difference in the game was the Cards having more post-season experience – they didn’t let nerves create errors as the Braves did. If it wasn’t for the one-game format, the focus of Braves fans wouldn’t be on the IFR call, the focus would be on winning the next game.

chipontheroad

October 7th, 2012
12:00 pm

New nickname for Torre “”load of crapola”

chipontheroad

October 7th, 2012
12:03 pm

Molina Chipper Jones has played more post season games than any player in National league history he was to old to cut the mustard also, You’re and idiot

nashvillewill

October 7th, 2012
12:30 pm

I think it is past time to move beyond the Bobby Cox-Fredi Gonzales era in Braves baseball. These (mis)managers have brought postseason failures that are unprecedented in sports history. With talent and pitching, the Cox era teams should have won at least five World Series; the Gonzales story is shaping up the same. Chipper was a product of that system and is gone (Jones had his strengths and weaknesses but was treated too much like a god by management. He was a well-compensated HOF player who often failed to produce the results for which he was paid and should have been called out). Why do Cox-Gonzales teams underperform? I think it may have to do with attitude towards players: beyond criticism, players making decisions for the team (was Chipper in charge? was Maddox or Glavine?), trading away players that were the heart of the team (Justice and Infante), while playing favorities with others (Hanson, Uggla, Chipper are recent examples). I would prefer a more fundamentals-focused manager who can handle pitching staffs. And who holds players accountable=if you fail to perform you will sit on the bench; if you fail to perform over two seasons we will look for talent elsewhere.

Go Jackets

October 7th, 2012
12:38 pm

The stink of Bobby Cox and his shortcomings are still in the clubhouse…..should be okay in a couple of years.

Benny

October 7th, 2012
1:06 pm

Maybe the fans throwing trash on the field was the frustration of seeing the Braves starting to wet the bed again, that they saw a CHOKE coming, and that a forfeit would be a quiet ending to this crap of losing at home during playoff time. Simply, the same old Braves of the past 15 years. Re-sign Bourne? Crazy talk. Interesting to see how season ticket sales are for next year. May have to go back to the 80’s and 3000 fans in the park to change the culture and the fabric of this team.

David O'Brien

October 7th, 2012
1:12 pm

Interesting to see how season ticket sales are for next year. May have to go back to the 80’s and 3000 fans in the park to change the culture and the fabric of this team. — Benny

Braves had one of the worst collapses in history in 2011, and I’ll bet you were among those on this blog saying they needed to blow it up and that attendance would be down drastically in 2012.

They kept the team together, won 94 games and a wild-card spot, and attendance was slightly UP, not drastically down.

Keep saying it and maybe one year it’ll actually happen and you’ll be satisfied, right?

John A.

October 7th, 2012
1:13 pm

This team has no SPIRIT!!!!!!!!! Fredi has drained the players of their pride with his poor decisions.

Instead of Uggly at 2nd, why not put Pastor there….at s minimum he can hit. The only hitter that showed up was Freeman……I suppose Fredi wanted him to hit a HR each at bat.

For all who want to bellyache over the umpire….it (the game) was lost before that happened. Stop crying over that call and start looking at the real picture. The errors are what cost the game, and it all started with Chipper. Too bad, but even he will admit that being three or four runs down with this team….TURN OUT THE LIGHTS.

TomTomClub

October 7th, 2012
1:51 pm

Nashvillewill, your 12:30pm comments are spot on. Couldn’t agree with you more!!

Carl Farvman

October 7th, 2012
1:58 pm

“Baseball players aren’t wired to think/play/win one game ’series’”

Then how does 1 team win from each contest? Perhaps it’s not an ideal format, but I don’t think MLB cares which team advances one way or the other. The attitude could be that neither team, regardless of record, necessarily deserves to participate in the post season. Win the division and you don’t have to worry about it. Get the WC? Find a way to step up and win that game.

Carl Farvman

October 7th, 2012
2:23 pm

Georgia: But it’s not cool for my loss of significant otherwise earned revenue, and the rewards reaped for another state’s otherwise unearned revenue.

Odd. Is this supposed to be the division winner’s attitude whenever a WC team knocks them out?…like the Cards did last year. Your views are biased and align only with what you wish to happen….just like the folks referring to the IFR call as ‘atrocious’. The criteria for the rule, as written, were met with that play. What the rule is intended to accomplish is irrelevant and the umpire is not required to analyze in real time whether or not a fielder can accomplish greater things by pulling off and letting it drop. Nor is he counting the amount of footage from the infield where the ball lands to determine if it falls within the maximum range of previous IFR calls. On the other hand, if it had not been called nobody would have made an issue of it.

Georgia

October 7th, 2012
2:34 pm

David O’Brien: You are spot on!
Carl Farvman: The tunnel vision make me laugh. Cheers

Curtis W.

October 7th, 2012
2:37 pm

Carl F., when you say “win the division and you don’t have to worry about it,” you are missing the real culprit here, which are the artificial geographic Divisions of East, West and Central. The Braves won the exact same number of games as the Giants, who won the West by many games. In my book, that means the Braves are as entitled to play in a 5-game series as the Giants. The only FAIR way to do this is to eliminate the geographic divisions and have the top 4 teams from each league play in the postseason.

Add your comment