Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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25 Jan

Alex Wood (by W.C.G.)

Alex Wood is the first player from the 2011, 2012, or 2013 Braves draft classes to reach the major leagues. (He was the team’s second-round pick in 2012, #85 overall.) There are two major reasons for this:

1) He was a college pitcher, such as the Braves are wont to draft, and thus has a head start on younger minor leaguers, and
2) He strikes out a batter an inning, pretty much whatever level you put him at.

This is a pretty call-up-friendly combination, and it appears that at the age of 23, Wood is
in Atlanta to stay. You can read a certain amount of confidence in him in the organization’s decision to let Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm walk in free agency. They figure they’ve got the top three in the rotation set (Medlen, Teheran, Minor) and can get 400 good starter-innings out of some combination of Wood, Gavin Floyd, Brandon Beachy, J.R. Graham, Freddy Garcia, and David Hale. I don’t disagree, much as it pains me to watch Huddy leave. Wood has a mid-90s fastball, a mid-80s changeup, and a delivery that suggests his arm will fall off with any random pitch.

Wood’s stuff and mechanics may be more suited for a relief role long-term, but in the here and now, the Braves need him as a starter, especially with Floyd not available until mid-summer. Will he be the starter they need, or is he best as a reliever? There’s evidence either way. And regardless, he might get a chance to shine at both roles this year.

From July 30 to August 27 last year, Wood had a brilliant six-start stretch in which he pitched five straight quality starts and one that would have been a QS had they left him in to get one more out. But in September, Wood started giving up runs in chunks, couldn’t get out of the fifth inning in any of three starts, and was put in the bullpen by mid-month.

That may be a sign of a young pitcher fatiguing at the end of his first full professional season, though note that Wood actually threw more total innings between college and the minors in 2012 (155) than he threw between the minors and the majors in 2013 (140). And after the move back to the bullpen, he didn’t give up another run the rest of the season, 3.1 playoff innings included. It’s not crazy to think that once Craig Kimbrel inevitably moves on from Atlanta, Alex Wood might be the Braves’ next closer.

Because Wood probably won’t throw more than 170 or so innings this year, and because the Braves need him to start now while they wait for Floyd and any midseason acquisitions to come along, I expect him to pull a reverse-2012-Medlen: start the first half of the season and pitch in relief the second half. If he pitches to the same level in 2014 as he did in 2013 and throws 170 innings, he’d project as a 2.5 WAR pitcher. That’s a valuable piece of a contending club, whether as a starter or a reliever.

121 Responses to “Alex Wood (by W.C.G.)”

  1. 1
    Rob Cope Says:

    Very optimistic about Wood. Love his mechanics, his stuff, and his attitude. Like you said, I see him throwing 170 above-average innings split between the rotation and bullpen. If his future translates as a starter, his mechanics suggest to me that if he can stay healthy and consistent, he could be a real menace.

    His versatility gave the Braves a lot of options, not only with Hudson and Maholm go, but also to sign Floyd. I’m not too sure that many teams could sign a guy who wasn’t available until mid-season, but it works perfectly with Wood’s timeline.

  2. 2
    AtlCrackersFan Says:

    I don’t know if the AJC mentioned it, but the only Braves manager to go undefeated passed away earlier this week. Vern Benson, has a career 1-0 record as a Braves manager. Benson got the call after Commissioner Bowie Kuhn told Ted Turner he could not manage the team (Turner’s record 0-1). Dave Bristol returned the next game to finish an abysmal 1977 season.

  3. 3
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Listening to the Rock*A*Teens unreleased live album, “A Major Motion Picture Soundtrack” in prep for the June reunion shows. This band was just unreal.

  4. 4
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Sam, I’ve never actually listened to them. Where do you recommend I start?

  5. 5
    csg Says:

    @ajcbraves: #Braves GM Wren hasn’t talked to Ryan Doumit about ex-Twins teammate comment to Twins writer that Doumit has decided not to catch anymore…

    @ajcbraves: …after Doumit difficulities following Aug. concussion. #Braves traded for Doumit to be backup C/1B/corner OF. Wren no comment at this time

  6. 6
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Probably start with “Golden Time.” That’s their most accessible album. None of the albums really capture what it was like to be at the tent-revival/stomp rock shows back in the day, but GT captures some of the swamp rock back end. From there, go to “Cry” from 1997. Production is less advanced on the earlier discs, but I think “Cry” is the best approximation of what it felt like to be awash in that reverb pit.

  7. 7
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    How do you feel about Chris Lopez’s solo album, Knitting Needles & Bicycle Bells?

    Also… what about Smoke? I wasn’t aware enough in the ’90s to actually follow these bands when I was living in Atlanta.

  8. 8
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I have that Tenement Halls record (Knitting Needles…) and it’s pretty good. But it lacks the heft that I associate with the RATs catalog. It’s still Lopez, and Lopez is amazing in pretty much every way as a songwriter, but it misses Ballard and Will laying down the back beat that held the swirling mayhem of the RATs together. It also misses Justin doing whatever it was he was doing in that snarl of cables and distortion pedals while cringing in the corner of RATs shows.

    Never really listened deeply to Smoke.

  9. 9
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Ah, that’s why Smoke sounds familiar to me. Bill Taft was in that band. I was into The Jody Grind for a while there, and of course Opal Foxx Quartet was the predecessor to the RATs. Mostly I know Taft’s work from Hubcap City, which I enjoyed well enough. Wasn’t that deep into the Benjamin side of the scene.

  10. 10
    'Rissa Says:

    For those of you without Twitter, this morning Chris Johnson and Kris Medlen had a hilarious exchange on there.

    @C_Johnson28: “So… Sunday and no football huh?? What to do what to do.”

    @KrisMedlen54: “@C_Johnson28 go practice your helmet tossing”

    @C_Johnson28: “@KrisMedlen54 pretty sure I’ve nailed that!”

    I’m beyond ready for baseball season to start again!

  11. 11
    urlhix Says:

    “Cry” is my fave. Every year in Athens there is a record that you hear everywhere. Out of cars passing, walking by a bar or townie house. A zeitgeist sound. “Cry” was that record in ’97. And yeah, Sam, it still was a pale companion to those shows.

    Smoke was pretty epic. This one probably sums it up…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f-5ZFoibio&list=PL0xkFB-Q23yaUeABF56NgPiAqoeQOmFpT

  12. 12
    urlhix Says:

    Also this:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0233315/

  13. 13
    urlhix Says:

    I’ll just leave this here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXJzWlTmhqs&list=PLUKUX0DbnNmGl-lmBazuUEHOOvT2cV1f9

  14. 14
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Turns out the documentary Benjamin Smoke is on Vimeo. They seem to have been a pretty great band.

  15. 15
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Damn it, now I’m depressed about Vic Chesnutt.

  16. 16
    ububba Says:

    My fave from that whole Cabbagetown world was Deacon Lunchbox, who took confrontational poetry to a new level.

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

    Peter Sillen, the guy who co-wrote/co-directed the Smoke doc, did a really good one (“Speed Racer”) on Vic Chesnutt in the early ’90s. Hopefully, someone (maybe him) will do another one & tell the whole story.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Speed-Racer-Welcome-to-the-World-of-Vic-Chesnutt/267117952221

  17. 17
    Anon21 Says:

    Unless Wood just totally flops as a starter, I don’t see him returning to the bullpen. Slotting him into the rotation is currently necessary to even start counting to five major-league starters, and shortages of pitching rarely get better as the season wears on.

  18. 18
    braves14 Says:

    1. Medlen
    2. Minor
    3. Teheran
    4/5 Beachy/Wood/Hale/Garcia

    I’m guessing Beachy will be ready to take the #4 spot, and Wood being in the rotation will depend on if the Braves want another LHP in the ‘pen or not.

  19. 19
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Add Gavin Floyd to that mix @18 as well. He won’t be ready by spring, but he’ll be in the mix to take on a rotation slot if/when Wood starts to tire down the stretch. And I fully expect that is the plan with these guys. Out of spring, I expect to see:

    Minor / Medlen / Teheran/ Wood / Beachy

    Barring major injury I expect to see Hale, Garcia and Floyd take Wood’s spot in the rotation down the stretch, as he nears career highs in innings pitched. The Braves have shown with both Wood and Medlen recently that they take innings counts seriously as an organization and approach roster building with a strategy in mind in that regard. They are stockpiling fungible 4/5 starters in AAA, people like Garcia and Floyd and Hale, in addition to the JR Graham’s of the world, specifically to give coverage for the younger guys like Wood (and to a much lesser extent, Teheran.)

  20. 20
    Edward Says:

    For the group: Lucas Sims cup of coffee in September?

    @urlhix– I haven’t pin-pointed that Athens zeitgeist record for the last year. Maybe the Easter Island release? I just don’t hear it very often. Any thoughts?

    also @urlhix– where do you go to watch games? I usually try the Normal Bar or the bar at Agua Linda. The bartender’s a big fan at the latter.

  21. 21
    Edward Says:

    Okay, also for the group.

    Some old baseballprospectus-er just released his 2014 projected standings: http://claydavenport.com/?p=207

    I don’t have much to say about the order of the teams–but how can I take a projection seriously if the best team in the majors only projects to win 91 games? (Only one other team cracks 90 wins.)

    In 2013, 10 teams won 91 or more games in the regular season.

    Shed some light, please?

  22. 22
    cliff Says:

    Edward at 21,

    I think his algorithm overadjusts to every club being a .500 club (or being “average” in run scoring and run prevention).

    The run differentials are historically low. Yes, many teams come back toward .500, but some almost always go the other way as well. This doesn’t seem to account for the dregs that then allow most other teams to pick up a few wins.

  23. 23
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    My God, I had never heard Deacon Lunchbox before. Wow.

  24. 24
    braves14 Says:

    20 — I guess if he pitches like Tommy Hanson circa 2008/09 he has a chance for a September call up, but even then I find it more likely for the Braves to shut him down to limit his innings.

  25. 25
    JonathanF Says:

    @21: Edward, this is the other side of regression to the mean. If I make a prediction of wins for every team that is completely unbiased, some teams are going to be over and some teams under my prediction. If I look at 91 win teams, about half of them are going to do better and half worse… how much better and worse depends on the accuracy of my model.The same is true at any level of wins… so the odds that an 88 win (predicted) team beats a 91 win (predicted) team in the real world is probably about 40 percent. In any case, these predictions won’t be predictions of actual results… they’re predictions of expected results, which are much less narrowly dispersed than actual results.

  26. 26
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @23 – it’s near impossible to explain Cabbagetown/ATL from the 1990s to people who didn’t live it. It was one of those perfect scenes that just captured everything deeply weird and deeply *local* about the place and time. And it was one of those scenes that you absolutely *knew* Sub-Pop was not going to swoop in on and nationalize…

  27. 27
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Cat Power made it to become an actual national indie darling. But I guess she’s really the only one.

  28. 28
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Chan Marshall was born in Atlanta, but Cat Power was an NYC based band. I guess it could be wrong, but I really don’t think of her as part of the Cabbagetown scene at all.

  29. 29
    Edward Says:

    Yes, Tom Tango blogged about the same thing today, too. I’m closer to understanding.

    But what’s the point of that sort of projection for a team? From a fan’s perspective, it’s a very boring way to approach the season. And in the end it’s not very representative of results. From a front office perspective, it’s a useless aggregate of useful data (individual player projections). And not only useless, but incomplete because its projections don’t include the ‘unprojectable’ things–like, for instance, how good Gattis and Simmons were for the Braves last year. (Gattis had no projectable record to speak of and Simmons had, what, 50 games of MLB play in 2012? Wren & Co. I’m sure had projections for them that would not be projected by computer.)

  30. 30
    urlhix Says:

    @Edward, not really sure, I turned in my townie card years ago. And I usually just watch the games here at home but thanks for the heads-up about Agua Linda being a good place to catch a game. Good to know. Maybe I’ll run into to you there sometime.

  31. 31
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    But what’s the point of that sort of projection for a team?

    Column inches and page hits. There is literally no point in linear, normalized projections otherwise. At that point you’ve abstracted the abstract of the abstract. You might as well be rolling chicken bones. I can write up a projected standings for each division, in the next 20 minutes, just cross-referencing starting lineups on B-REF and guessing, that will be just as useful and accurate as the stat-dork projections.

    Stat projections are good for one thing: discussion about what player would fit for the positional needs of a team and how much you might rationally pay for those services when compared to “replacement value” options.

  32. 32
    ububba Says:

    #28
    Funny enough, I recently finished a Cat Power book (in my apparent quest to read every music bio ever written—I could have worse habits, I guess).

    Anyway, she was very much a part of the scene. She did make music there & played out some, but she didn’t get really noticed (musically) until she moved up to the East Village. Cat Power itself has pretty much been a revolving band project with her as the singer. (FWIW, I’ve always found her kinda hit & miss, but I really like her last 2 records.)

    When she moved to that area, she worked the counter at Fellini’s in L5P and, from what I understand, she still owns a house in Cabbagetown.

    BTW, here’s an oral history of the Cabbagetown scene from the Loaf:

    http://clatl.com/atlanta/the-triumph-and-tragedy-of-the-cabbagetown-sound/Content?oid=1549240

  33. 33
    Dusty Says:

    Indians sign Eliot Johnson and Rockies sign Paul Janish

  34. 34
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    It’s okay. We got Pete Orr back.

  35. 35
    Grst Says:

    @34 You gave me a scare there and I had to go look, but apparently he just signed with the Brewers.

  36. 36
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    With Uggla, Simmons, Pena, Pastornicky and La Stella all in house, I doubt the Braves are going to spend much on more MI depth.

  37. 37
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I doubt the Braves are ever going to spend anything on MI depth.

    Fixed that for you.

  38. 38
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I saw Cat Power play Variety Playhouse after releasing You Are Free. I really enjoyed that album in high school but haven’t come back to it much. Her live shows are famously hit and miss, but I remember really enjoying her then.

  39. 39
    W.C.G. Says:

    I doubt the Braves are ever going to spend anything

    Fixed that for *you*.

  40. 40
    Edward Says:

    I saw her at the 40 Watt just after she got sober, when she was learning to tour without running off stage–although she started a couple songs and then decided she didn’t want to finish them. She didn’t play “He War,” but everything else about the show was wonderful. For an encore, she gathered her entire band, a group of players from Memphis, around the front microphone and led an impromptu a capella sing-along of “Tracks of My Tears,” the old Miracles hit. Best moment of any concert I’ve ever been to, and I fell in love with her a little bit, too.

  41. 41
    ububba Says:

    Funny, I remember seeing a Billy Bragg show at the old 40 Watt (now the Caledonia) where he sang a particularly affecting “Tracks of My Tears” as well. Guess it’s just one of those songs…

  42. 42
    urlhix Says:

    I saw her on the “Moon Pix” tour at the watt. She was a beautiful wreck. Her drummer kept stopping to yell at the monitor guy. So very sad dub. As raw as I’ve ever seen a performer in person.

    Hanging out at the end of the night, no one can find her. Everyone searching high and low. Turns out she’d curled up asleep under the back seat of the van.

  43. 43
    Seat Painter Says:

    Joe Posnanski on Chipper.

    http://joeposnanski.com/joeblogs/no-56-chipper-jones/#more-1593

  44. 44
    Adam R Says:

    Did not expect to be sharing Cat Power stories on here.

    My school recruited her to open for Sonic Youth for our annual Spring Fling (aka drunken debauchery). This was in ’05, and most Penn students were pissed because Dartmouth got the artist formerly known as Snoop Dog. So it ended up that both acts played for maybe a hundred people. It was amazing.

    She played by herself and wedged the bulk of her material to date into one long medley. In many cases she played the songs completely differently than the recorded versions, in order to make them segue smoothly. It was hypnotically effective, and technically impressive to boot, but I don’t know that the audience shared my opinion.

    Before the show, she smiled at me from backstage, so I smiled back. Then she made a face at me, so I made a face back. Etc. It seemed like she was in a good mood, but sure enough, she bolted from the stage mid-song, ending the show. I don’t think it helped her confidence that a student government person crawled up onto the stage to tell her to wrap it up.

    Sonic Youth was just unreal. They took requests, making some guy’s life who really, really wanted to hear “Tuk N Dar.” I also got tangled up with Thurston during “Teenage Riot,” which is not bad for a free show.

  45. 45
    ryan c Says:

    There’s going to be snow at the beach!

  46. 46
    ububba Says:

    MLB approves protective caps for pitchers. Their use is optional.

    http://tinyurl.com/lfehhh7

  47. 47
    tobi24 Says:

    I saw Cat Power in Zürich, Switzerland on the “You Are Free”-tour, an album which I still love, I think it’s her best one along with “Moon Pix”.
    I enjoyed the concert a lot. I remember, though, that her performance seemed to become more and more erratic. After she and the band had finished her set they retreated upstairs onto some kind of balcony they had at that place. You couldn’t see them anymore, but while the audience was clapping rhythmically to provoke an encore they responded by stomping on the floor in rhythm for minutes… and finally by playing a few more songs, but without coming back down on stage. You heard them but you couldn’t see them.

    During that time, I listened to her music A LOT. That decreased a bit for a while, but I thought her latest album “Sun” was brilliant again.

    #44 Same here, I didn’t see myself posting about Cat Power here…

    This is actually my first post ever, after having been a “lurker” for about a year or so…

  48. 48
    Edward Says:

    @43 Yeah, the comments over there are just wild. Anon 21 stepping in now and then.

  49. 49
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Did you know the Braves are the third-winningest team in baseball over the last 5 years, while being 14th in payroll over the period? It’s true:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/43859/payroll-and-wins-the-top-15

  50. 50
    cliff Says:

    Tonight I guess there will be snow below the gnat line of 2 to 3 inches for the first time in about 10 years. So, all of us will just lay in tomorrow.

    Everybody watch out. Old Satan Claws is getting stronger every day.

  51. 51
    spike Says:

    Atlanta is just boned right now. Hope everyone is safe.

  52. 52
    csg Says:

    Yeah Birmingham is a complete mess right now also. Lots of people stranded, kids stuck at schools away from their family. It’s pretty sad. They missed this one:

  53. 53
    mavery Says:

    On the use of “linear, normalized projection”:

    There’s a lot of stuff these things tell you, just not what you might expect. If you want numbers that look like actual end-of-year standings, these are not for you. If you’re looking for the most likely (or a guess at the most likely) *order*, this type of projection is quite useful. If you’re interested in the *relative difference* in teams you might expect, they’re useful.

    Really, if you wanted to make projections that looked “real”, all you’d have to do was look at average dispersion of win totals and scale the “predicted” differences accordingly. Stats geeks don’t do this because it’s ad hoc and doesn’t have any good statistical properties, but IMO it would probably produce results that resonated with fans better.

  54. 54
    JonathanF Says:

    What fans want to know (or should, IMO) are two things: what is the probability my team wins the division (or gets a wild card, or whatever) and what are the distribution of wins expected given where the team is today. Simulations, even of a linearized normalized model, can give you those two things fairly easily. Anyway, the baseball Prospectus projections are, i think, just that (well, they don’t give a whole distribution of wins, but could)

  55. 55
    fm Says:

    Chipper just drove out on his four-wheeler and rescued a stranded motorist named Freddie Freeman.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BfHvJPOIEAERtGS.jpg

  56. 56
    Timo Says:

    From SportsOneSource Media

    Major League Baseball has approved a padded cap designed to protect pitchers from potentially dangerous line drives.

    After testing a number of prototypes from various companies, a cap manufactured by the 4Licensing Corporation subsidiary isoBlox will be made available to pitchers at all levels when they report to spring training. Use of the equipment will be optional. Since the caps need to be fitted, players who are interested will be provided with contact information for the company.

    There are no plans to require Minor League players to wear the product.

    MLB, which will continue to work with other companies that are developing products to enhance safety, alerted all teams of the development Tuesday morning after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association.

  57. 57
    Johnny Says:

    Pictures of Atlanta on the news last night looked like an apocalypse movie. I like that Alabama has 9 snow plows for the whole state.

  58. 58
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    In the interest of the public good, I’ll log in to let you all know I am home, safe and sound, warm and well. You may sleep easy tonight.

  59. 59
    Nick Says:

    I am more than aware that we Atlantans aren’t winter weather veterans or anything, but it’s not like we’ve never seen it before, either. A winter storm of some sort seems to happen once every two or three years. I grow tired of every single storm becoming a catastrophe beyond measure. I’m not expecting every single road to be plowed and passable within six hours or anything, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask that two inches of snow not cause people to be stranded on the damn highway for 24 hours, either.

  60. 60
    krussell Says:

    The only thing that works in Atlanta is to tell everyone to stay home. Why they opened schools with snow expected mid-day is totally beyond me. They closed them a few weeks ago because it was too cold (but dry), but they open them when it’s dangerous to do so? School lets out at 12:30 – parents must leave the workplace or the home to go get them, twice as many cars on the roads as usual and all at the same time. I’m surprised it wasn’t worse.

    And spare me the condescension from northerners about driving in the snow. You fools can’t drive on ice either. Nobody can. The best thing to do is just don’t try it.

  61. 61
    sdp Says:

    Not taking credit for this, but:

    Does Chipper get an extra RBI for driving home Freddie?

  62. 62
    mavery Says:

    I blame folks who live in the suburbs. They consistently vote against things that would improve the transit situation in the region, and they reap what they sow.

  63. 63
    Nick Says:

    @61

    The problem is that the rest of us reap it, too. But yeah, I live inside the Perimeter and eventually got home last night. Somebody who lived in Kennesaw or something was probably still stuck on the highway this morning.

  64. 64
    ububba Says:

    #59
    From a Southerner living in the North: Trains, my man. Trains…

    My questions: Since it appears that anyone who was paying attention knew this was coming, did the city & state just cheap out on treating the roads? Does that ever happen down there?

  65. 65
    krussell Says:

    Pretty sure that the trains won’t ever be dropping people off at their front doors. Have several friends that took the train home yesterday and then got into all kinds of trouble driving home those last few miles from the station to their homes. This happens like once every 5 years so it’s not worth worrying about for the most part.

  66. 66
    krussell Says:

    @63, they are saying in press conferences that they treated the roads, but I don’t think anyone believes them. I was stuck on 75 for 6 hours and never saw any DOT vehicles. They were caught off guard it seems.

  67. 67
    ububba Says:

    #64
    Front-door service? Now that’s an idea Cobb & DeKalb might actually vote for.

  68. 68
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @63 – they gambled on the forecast and lost. The forecast yesterday morning was for the snow to come in SOUTH of Atlanta. Macon, middle and south GA all prepped for snow and ice yesterday. ATL and north GA prepped for a “dusting” from the top half of the weather system. It was “supposed” to go beneath us on the map.

    It came in further north than expected, and it came in 4 hours earlier than expected. It was predicted to come in around 5. It hit in earnest at noon. What this did was have a city prepped for “snow flurries and maybe light accumulation” be out of the house, in the offices and schools, at mid-day when the system hit. Once it hit and everyone sort of had a “GASP, that’s sticking pretty fast!” moment, literally EVERYONE tried to leave the offices and go pick up kids or get home at the same time (about 12:30 pm.) All that did was put a gazillion people on the interstates right as the system was dumping snow, which melted and refroze into ice in a matter of an hour or so, at the same time. That in turn led to this.

  69. 69
    Nick Says:

    It came in further north than expected originally, but by yesterday morning all of Atlanta was under a Winter Storm Warning. They dropped the ball, particularly the schools, which never should’ve been in session. And without the schools being in session, yesterday’s issues aren’t as bad.

    Secondly, I disagree that it’s not worth doing something about. It happens often enough where we should be better at dealing with it, and stuff like yesterday should never happen.

  70. 70
    td Says:

    My understanding is that Birmingham was as bad or worse. Students spent the night in schools and there were many stranded motorists. Not a good response from the south in general, although it seems Macon and farther south at least tried to keep people off the roads.

  71. 71
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Secondly, I disagree that it’s not worth doing something about. It happens often enough where we should be better at dealing with it, and stuff like yesterday should never happen.

    Agreed. Kasim Reed needs to go full on Kristallnacht on the outer burbs and secondary county commissioners. Time to Boss Hogg up the metro and tell the ‘burbans to f*ck right off. 6 million people need a city government, not a hodge podge of competing interests.

  72. 72
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Apropos of the weekend’s brouhaha, let’s not use the Kristallnacht metaphor again for at least a fortnight.

  73. 73
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Here’s what happened in Atlanta.

  74. 74
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @70,

    Kristallnacht???

  75. 75
    Dirt Napper Says:

    Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristallnacht

    Agree that it’s not a metaphor I’d use…

  76. 76
    csg Says:

    Can’t speak for Atlanta, but Birmingham was a disaster. People were stuck in certain areas for 12-14 hours with no assistance. 1100 school students were stuck at Jefferson County schools overnight. Cars are everywhere and people just abandoned them and walked to the nearest warm place.

    Our towns may suck at preparing for these things, but the people in the south really come together to aid those who are in need. Saw more assistance and hospitality from strangers than I’ve seen in a long time. Kudos go out to the individuals who assisted those in need.

  77. 77
    krussell Says:

    This has happened exactly twice in my lifetime of living in Atlanta. I really don’t think it should be a priority. If you want to avoid it in the future then the solution is pretty simple – issue a mandatory closure of schools and business if there’s a threat of an ice storm. Problems solved.

  78. 78
    Nick Says:

    The city is a mess whenever it snows or ices, which is about once every 2-3 years. The fact that it’s only lined up in this exact fashion twice is pure coincidence and largely irrelevant. Really, the week-long disaster after Snowmageddon three years ago was just as bad, even if it didn’t involve people having to sleep in their cars on the highway.

  79. 79
    Dan Says:

    I can’t fathom why they didn’t close the schools, knowing full well what was coming and when. Were they that desperate for a half-day of school?

    Kristallnacht?

  80. 80
    Johnny Says:

    @59 – You won’t get any condescension from me. As a transplanted Southerner I sure do appreciate the fleet of snow plows and salt trucks we have here in Ohio.

    There is no reason why a Southern city/count/state government should invest heavily in snow/ice abatement. But sending kids and govt workers out when they have to know that more than a 1/2 inch of snow can bring a metro area to a halt is unconscionable.

  81. 81
    Smitty Says:

    I live in Chattanooga and we were told everything would miss us to the south.

    Around 10:00am on Tuesday it started snowing pretty hard and didn’t stop until about 11:00pm. It was a total disaster.

  82. 82
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Smitty,

    Wow! That’s hard to believe. How much snow did you get? When I grew up in Chattanooga, I don’t think I ever saw it snow that much. But any appreciable snow was enough to cancel school.

  83. 83
    blazon Says:

    libidos are never so bold
    when fighting ennui and the cold
    warm up by the fire
    but shortly you tire
    of hearing it’s late and you’re old.

  84. 84
    Seat Painter Says:

    Dammit! blazon has a camera in my house again! Quit spying on me! And get off my lawn while you’re at it!

  85. 85
    Smitty Says:

    We got around two inches. That’s not a lot, but when everyone is told we would get none, it is a big deal.

  86. 86
    coop Says:

    Temperatures plunged to the 40s in Port Orange. We old folks can’t handle this harsh a winter.

    Stay warm and drive safely.

  87. 87
    Kevin Lee Says:

    I live in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Just moved here from Indiana last year. Yesterday we got 10″ of snow.

    All I can say is: Play Ball!

  88. 88
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Two inches in Chattanooga was always enough to bring things to a standstill.

  89. 89
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Yes. Kristallnacht. Good lord people. If you can’t snark about the Mayor of Atlanta going knives-out on the suburbs in order to get things done, using an 80 year old historical reference, the terrorists have won.

    I had a buddy today suggest that everyone in the area should be expected (though I suppose not required) to buy a bag of sand and a large box of salt and put it in their trunks. It’s the libertopian answer to the problem of being prepared for ice in a city (and surrounding endless exurban sprawl) that doesn’t get snow and ice very often. It should be a solution for the outer ‘burbs who tend to embrace that ideology a little, right?

    Everyone get a bag or two of sand and some salt in their trunk. If the roads ice, get out there and deice them yourselves. Whatta you want, government services?

  90. 90
    blazon Says:

    @88

    wildly incomparable…unacceptable

  91. 91
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Gawd. People. If it exists, it exists for the sake of comedy.

  92. 92
    ububba Says:

    Still too soon, I’m afraid.

  93. 93
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Sam,

    Your smugness and sense of sanctimony about your own insensitivity is breathtaking. It’s not as if you just made an exaggerated analogy, you reached for a specific event that you knew damn well would provoke people and that was completely inappropriate. Please stop pretending that you didn’t know the reaction you would get, especially given the context of the statements comparing the persecution of rich people to the Nazis.

  94. 94
    Dan Says:

    Look, people who were alive at that time and their direct descendants are still on this planet. It takes a long time to heal. Hundreds of years from now, people will care no more about Hitler than people today are riled up by the name Genghis Khan.

  95. 95
    Rob Cope Says:

    I would consider the cultural and ethnic heritage of those that participate on this site as you continue this discussion.

    What is it, like, 16 days til pitchers and catchers report?!

  96. 96
    blazon Says:

    in memoriam there’s a new book out this month which consists entirely of the word Jew, printed six million times…

    Kristallnacht was the precursor to all that…

    comedic?

  97. 97
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    8 days, Rob. No word as to whether or not any Armenians will be there.

  98. 98
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    comedic?

    “Tragedy is me stubbing my toe. Comedy is you falling in an open sewer grate and dying.” – Woody Allen.

  99. 99
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Yes, Sam, I’m sure Woody Allen would have found Kristallnacht hilarious.

  100. 100
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    If the rule of comedy is true – and I propose that it is – the rule of comedy is true. Period. Any comedy that sets any cows off as sacred has already broken itself.

  101. 101
    ububba Says:

    But some things presented at certain times just aren’t funny.

  102. 102
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Kristallnacht and other Holocaust analogies are off-limits on this board. Just pick other words.

  103. 103
    Hap Says:

    Not to change the topic (or maybe yes?) but I need some help from folks in Al. I need to drive from Atl to Panama City. The route I usually take goes through Phenix, Eufaula, Dothan. Does anyone have any good URLs for checking road conditions along that route (or have any firsthand knowledge of said route). TIA.

  104. 104
    Rob Cope Says:

    Stay classy, Sam.

  105. 105
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Fine. I didn’t realize we were in a quick-wilting section of the forest.

  106. 106
    Seat Painter Says:

    So….

    Alex Wood’s arm. Falls off by July 1, 2015. Over/Under?

  107. 107
    iceberg584 Says:

    “in memoriam there’s a new book out this month which consists entirely of the word Jew, printed six million times”

    Sanctimonious?

  108. 108
    cliff Says:

    Hap, I am sure Alabama Highway Department (Department of Transportation) would have info on a web site on any major roads with obstructions. That whole route is heavily traveled, so it should not be so bad. Also, it should be over freezing today long enough to about Columbus to end most of the problems

  109. 109
    Nick Says:

    @102

    The forecast highs all along that route are in the low to mid 40s (except for ATL, which is high 30s) and it’s already well over freezing and the roads are pretty good in Atlanta. Make it through to Florida by 9 or 10 p.m. and I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t be fine.

  110. 110
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Sam,

    You can propose any “rule of comedy” you want but that doesn’t mean it’s always appropriate. I mean, if you see some person fall out of a wheelchair and struggle to get up, would you say we should all get a good kick out of it because those handicapped people are sure “sacred cows?”

    You seem to privilege “comedy” over any other human emotion. But there are times when other emotions take precedence. Simply saying that comedy knocks down what you call “sacred cows” and is therefore always appropriate shows a singular lack of concern for the feelings of others.

  111. 111
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I mean, if you see some person fall out of a wheelchair and struggle to get up, would you say we should all get a good kick out of it because those handicapped people are sure “sacred cows?”

    Uh… Help them up. Then mock them. That’s my basic strategy in that instance. YMMV, of course. But yeah, poke ‘em in the eye. Unless they’re blind, because then, what’s the point, right?

    You seem to privilege “comedy” over any other human emotion.

    This is true. I approach as many topics as I possibly can from the point of existential absurdity, and work from there. YMMV, of course.

  112. 112
    Dan Says:

    Kristallnacht and other Holocaust analogies are off-limits on this board.

    Hey, you don’t gotta be such a N*z* about it.

    (I’ll stop.)

  113. 113
    Edward Says:

    Am I the only one here who misses the connection between “go all kristallnacht on the suburbs” and “make the suburbanites stock up on salt and sand so they can de-ice the streets”?

    Pretty sure the Nazi pogrom program wasn’t an effort to get people to take care of themselves in times of weather emergency.

    I think–again, unless there’s something I’m missing–the real problem with your comment, whether in comedy or just poor taste, is that the comparison is completely inept. Makes about as much sense as if you’d said “go all Tianamen Square” or “go all Tutsi” or “go all slave market” on the suburbs.

    So is there something you really wanted to say or were you actually just throwing something out there to be offensive?

  114. 114
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Guys, this conversation is over.

  115. 115
    blazon Says:

    her strike zone i asked her define
    she said that was over the line
    but low and away
    will do for today
    tomorrow, inside, by design.

  116. 116
    Jonathan Says:

    Time for a new thread?

    Hope this does not get JC’ed, because it’s really cool:
    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/67249706/mlb-best-defensive-player-manny-machado-andrelton-simmons

    Also, JC Bradbury had a running commentary on twitter during the whole snowmageddon thing, thought he had a classy & stand-up way to deal with a bad situation. Not that I enjoyed the circumstances that spawned it, but I did really enjoy reading a lot of the stories talking about how people have been helping each other, around Atlanta and the whole southeast (favorite still probably has to be Chipper & Freddie, just for the Braves connection).

  117. 117
    W.C.G. Says:

    I’m working up a new thread pretty soon. Was supposed to be yesterday, but since Tuesday I’ve been tied up between my car getting mangled on 285 during the storm (and keeping me safe in the process of wrecking), then shopping for a new one. Got a new one today. It’s been a whirlwind 48 hours.

  118. 118
    ububba Says:

    Good luck!

  119. 119
    Grst Says:

    Let the critic silencing commence: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/bj-upton-hoping-offseason-work-pays-off-at-plate-in-2014?ymd=20140130&content_id=67280260&vkey=news_mlb

  120. 120
    Mikemc Says:

    I love watching those Simmons highlights. Even when I know a great play is coming, I’m still amazed.

  121. 121
    W.C.G. Says:

    New, somewhat overdue, thread.

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