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13 Mar

The irrelevance has never been greater

The Official Site of The Atlanta Braves: News: Non-roster invitees lead Braves in tie

“Duo not on the current roster, but not irrelevant”, says the official site. Oh, how wrong it is. The duo in question is Brent Lillibridge and the terrifying apparition that is Joe Borchard. And, yet again, Borchard’s efforts (a double and a triple) were in a game in which nobody cared about the outcome and thus they just stopped playing, this time after ten innings.

Joseph Reyes was really bad and gave up five runs in three innings, and is probably working his way out of the team’s immediate plans, what with his 9.00 ERA. LOOGY candidate Jeff Ridgway (I just realized that a ridge and a tread are in a way related concepts; think about it) walked three to allow the Tigers to tie the game in the eighth. But it didn’t really matter. Chuck James pitched two scoreless innings, but we already know that he can pitch well for up to four innings.

114 Responses to “The irrelevance has never been greater”

  1. 1
    A.West Says:

    JoJo needed to prove something, and I think pretty much proved he deserved to start in AAA. Walks irritate Bobby Cox.
    Chuck James proved that his arm really does function, at least for short periods. Which is a good sign, but there already appear to be 5 solid starters in front of him. 6-man rotation?

  2. 2
    csg Says:

    well Borchard keeps hitting. Mac can Borchard do anything to get your respect? just wondering if he’s lost all hope or if there is a glimmer in there somewhere.

    Good to see Chuck back out there, Bennett had a good short outing also

  3. 3
    csg Says:

    I’m also not suggesting that we give a spot to a career .205 .284OBP hitter either

  4. 4
    braves14 Says:

    Reyes never really got to pitch for an extended period in AAA anyway, he needs to go there regardless.

  5. 5
    braves14 Says:

    And Mac, I bet Peanut reads here and puts up positive articles about Hampton and that thing about relevance just to spite you.

  6. 6
    Dan Says:

    A team (the Cardinals) finally said “uncle” and stupidly signed Kyle Lohse to a one year deal. So much for Scott Boras’ demands of three year and 27-30 million for Lohse.

    ” 6-man rotation?”

    Heck no. If anything, the Braves should have had a four-man starting rotation last season. The less innings for Smoltz and Hudson the worse off the team is, in my opinion.

  7. 7
    Another Alex R. Says:

    I think the Cards are planning to convert Lohse to a right fielder in case the Juan Gonzalez experiment doesn’t work out.

  8. 8
    Frank Says:

    I’m not as down on James as some folks are, but here’s a thought–how about having him fill the long relief/Villareal role? Might work well for a guy who seems to do well for 4 innings but struggle beyond 5. He’d certainly be better than Carlyle.

    Lohse is more or less league avg and is worth 6+ innings per start. I’d have been happy for the Braves to take the 1 year plunge with him. I bet he’ll have a more productive season than Hampton–not because he’s a better pitcher when healthy, but b/c he’s actually healthy most of the time.

  9. 9
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Lohse is not as good as Chuck James, and he is more expensive.

  10. 10
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Oh, and here’s a fun fact from Mark Bowman:

    “Another pitcher seemingly destined for a second Tommy John surgery is Erik Cordier, who was obtained last March from the Royals in exchange for Tony Pena Jr. A former first-round selection, the 22-year-old right-hander underwent the same surgical procedure in 2006.”

    I guess that answers that question.

  11. 11
    ububba Says:

    Pretty hysterical “Phillies season preview” on Deadspin via famed grouchy scribe Bill Conlin.

    http://deadspin.com/367408/baseball-season-preview-philadelphia-phillies

  12. 12
    c. shorter Says:

    As ububba pointed out again — the Duncan mess does indeed go back to the play at the plate a few days before.

    I don’t think you should be trying to take out a catcher in an exhibition game. But if the cather’s blocking the plate, I’m completely okay with it. Maybe not the best idea, but I’m okay with it.

    Sliding spikes up? Can’t really see a justification for that.

  13. 13
    JoeyT Says:

    If Smoltz, Hudson, Hampton, Jurrjens, and James all look good, I wonder if Glavine can pitch relief.

    Maybe James and Glavine should pitch the same games, each throwing four innings.

  14. 14
    NMS Says:

    “A team (the Cardinals) …stupidly signed Kyle Lohse to a one year deal.”

    How is Kyle Lohse for one year/4 mil stupid?
    I really don’t get it. It is a one year patchup and 4 mil for mediocre starting pitching is pretty much the going rate

  15. 15
    A.West Says:

    Dan wrote: “Heck no. If anything, the Braves should have had a four-man starting rotation last season. The less innings for Smoltz and Hudson the worse off the team is, in my opinion.”

    Smoltz has pretty much said that if he’s going to have anything left for the postseason, that he’s going to need to conserve his innings during the season. So your advice sounds like a good way to have yet another post-season flop, assuming Smoltz even makes it past the all-star break without a career-ending injury on a 4-man rotation. Using that line of thinking, the Braves should never let McCann take a day off either. Use him up before he hits free-agency, yeah, that’s the ticket.

  16. 16
    CHill Says:

    Maybe we can pick up Horacio Ramirez to be in our rotation. Looks like the Mariners released him. Talk about getting better by subtraction.

  17. 17
    csg Says:

    #13 – I hope your joking

  18. 18
    Robert Says:

    How is Kyle Lohse for one year/4 mil stupid?
    I really don’t get it. It is a one year patchup and 4 mil for mediocre starting pitching is pretty much the going rate

    That’s a good deal for the Cardinals. He’ll be adequate for them. $4 million for adequate is a good bargin these days for pitching.

  19. 19
    kc Says:

    csg, Joey’s humor is so good because it makes so much sense but only will not happen. Joey, I would pair up Hampton with James instead!

  20. 20
    Another Alex R. Says:

    He may be adequate. He may also be Ramon Ortiz. I don’t consider Kyle Lohse a sure thing. He’s not good, and the only reason he has any value at all is that people are assuming he won’t be terrible. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a lot likelier to be terrible than otherwise.

  21. 21
    Brian J. Says:

    There are teams for which Lohse is a reasonable addition, especially at 1yr/$4m, but the Braves just don’t happen to be one of them.

    Any rotation with Hampton in it is definitely for entertainment value only.

  22. 22
    Kyle James Says:

    You know you mentioned Chuck pitching up to 4 innings… why don’t we use him as a long reliever!? Damn I’m a genius! :)

  23. 23
    Brian J. Says:

    I know this isn’t directly related, but congratulations to the Alabama basketball team. Any team that ruins Florida’s season has done good work.

  24. 24
    Frank Says:

    I think it’s a good move by the Cardinals; I only wish it had been the Braves. Last year Lohse had a ERA+ of 100. He pitched in 34 games (32 starts) and went 192 innings. These are basically the same numbers as Glavine (200IP, ERA+ of 96).

    He’s no stud like Johan Santana or Smoltz, but it’s likely that Lohse will have a better year than Hampton or Glavine.

  25. 25
    mraver Says:

    Brian-

    Florida ruined its own season by going 3-7 in their last 10 conference games. Although I guess if they’d won the SEC tournament again they’d have made it in. But there was no way that was going to happen, Alabama or no. :-)

  26. 26
    ububba Says:

    “And how ’bout them Dawgs?” he asks with a self-deprecating snicker. Too funny, that Ole Miss game.

  27. 27
    NMS Says:

    HOW BOUT THEM DAWGS!?

  28. 28
    Sam Says:

    Lohse had 13 starts where he gave up more than three runs. Glavine had 11 starts where he gave up more than three runs. Three of those 3+ run starts came at the end of last year.

    Do I expect Glavine to do that again? Not really. But I seriously doubt that Lohse is going to be that much better than Glavine.

  29. 29
    JoeyT Says:

    As Frank mentioned, they had very similar years last year. The primary difference is that Lohse is around his peak while Glavine is at an age of rapid decline. If I had to bet, I would bet on Lohse having a better year than Glavine.

    Glavine makes more sense for Atlanta because he’ll sell more tickets, attract more viewers, etc. If the goal is to win games, though, I’d rather have Lohse.

  30. 30
    kc Says:

    Not to mention Lohse costs only half as much as Tommy.

  31. 31
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I think baseball needs to do something about collisions at the plate. These are dangerous and unnecessary. You can’t just knock a fielder down if he has the ball. First, enforce the rule that catchers can’t block the plate without the ball. Second, if they have the ball, require the runner to slide. This isn’t football; there is no reason to allow runners to just bowl over catchers. If you are going to allow that, why not just allow base runners to knock over infielders catching pop ups? I can’t blame a rookie for trying to do something to make the team but he may well have ruined the catcher’s career just as Pete Rose ruined Ray Fosse’s in 1970.

    And, I would also ban hand-first slides, the absolute dumbest play in baseball. Guys used to learn how to do fall-away slides and so forth. Not only is a fall-away slide elegant, it’s also much safer. Head first slides is a just a way for guys too lazy to learn how to slide to look like they are really competing. But, of course, today, the only thing that counts in baseball is hitting home runs.

    Sorry if I sound like an old curmudgeon.

    Alex,

    I saw a car at the Metro this morning with a San Antonio Spurs sticker on it. I assumed it was you. Do you drive a Jaguar? :)

  32. 32
    Stu Says:

    If you are going to allow that, why not just allow base runners to knock over infielders catching pop ups?

    Well, catchers are in full gear, so it’s different than your average infielder. Still, I hadn’t really thought about the possibility of banning home-plate collisions before, but I can’t say I’d be totally against it. In no other sense is baseball a contact sport—it would be fine with me if they wanted to try to make it safer.

  33. 33
    clarke Says:

    And because they are in full gear, if you were to ban home-plate collisions, a runner would never get a chance to touch the plate on a close play at home- the catcher, unlike the infielder, doesn’t mind taking a spike in the shins.

  34. 34
    Rob Cope Says:

    I wish I slid feet-first yesterday. I have a strawberry the size of my dadgum forearm right now, and it stinks taking mid-terms today when it’s rubbing up against a desk for an hour straight. Marc has it nailed: I’m just too lazy…

  35. 35
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @32,

    If the catcher has the ball and the runner can’t get in, that’s tough for the runner. If he’s out, he’s out. I don’t see why the fact the catcher has gear should give the runner carte blanche to knock him over. These catchers are getting concussions and breaking bones. And most of the time, it doesn’t make any difference anyway because the catcher holds onto the ball and the runner is out. I don’t have a problem with knocking the catcher over if he doesn’t have the ball or the ball is just getting to him; the catcher has no business blocking the plate without having the ball.

    I didn’t mean to insult you Rob but we have all seen how dangerous head first sliding is and there is really no need for it. You don’t get to the base quicker and you risk getting your finger of shoulder stepped on. If I were running a team, I would require all the players to slide feet first. I never played organized baseball past Little League, but even there we were taught how to slide. I don’t think baseball teams work on sliding these days, do they?

  36. 36
    Stu Says:

    clarke,
    Sure, it would change the game some, but there are plenty of instances where runners have touched home plate on close plays without bowling over the catcher. Seems like a change worth making for the greatly increased safety it would bring about.

  37. 37
    barrycuda Says:

    little leaguers have to slide on any play at the plate. it seems like a not-so-bad idea. and, instead of just calling the runner out, they throw him out of the game. my son was once tossed for running over a catcher who was fielding a throw that was 10-15 feet up the third baseline……………. so the “play-_at_the_plate” rule isnt alwys a clear cut call unless you just want to protect catchers the wat the NFL protects quarterbacks.

  38. 38
    J Leeds Says:

    Not to mention Lohse costs only half as much as Tommy.

    While that turned out to be the case, I doubt it would have been true when the Braves signed Tommy. Lohse was looking for a multi-year deal. The Braves weren’t interested in signing a pitcher to a multi-year deal, believing that they have enough pitchers coming through the system that they don’t need to do so.

  39. 39
    clarke Says:

    @32,

    Well if you were to get rid of collisions that’s what you would have- catchers just sitting there blocking the plate- there would be no incentive to get out of the way. And I don’t think you can ban some collisions but not others. It’s either there or not.
    I am not saying I like collisions at home, they are just a necessary evil.

    @35- Those plays probably involved the catcher having to reach for a bad ball or come up on a short hopped ball- if you were to eliminate collisions I think the catcher would just sit on the plate blocking it until a teammate got them the ball.

  40. 40
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I recognize it would be a difficult rule to enforce. I’m just saying that baseball culture has evolved to the point that runners are encouraged to bowl over catchers on any close play and I don’t see why this should be the case.

  41. 41
    Stu Says:

    …I think the catcher would just sit on the plate blocking it until a teammate got them the ball.

    Not if you enforced the “Catchers can’t block the plate without the ball” rule.

  42. 42
    clarke Says:

    @40

    The gray area of “When did he get the ball” would result in a huge amount of umpire disgression and arguments and extended game time.
    As a former catcher, knowing I could get bowled over was incentive enough to not be around the plate unless I had the ball- I wasn’t going to get killed unless I could get that guy out.

  43. 43
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Exactly. That’s the point. If they don’t have the ball, catchers are fair game. I think catchers do violate this a lot but on the other hand, there are plenty of pointless collisions at the plate when a runner tries to run over a catcher when the catcher has the ball in plenty of time because the runner thinks it’s not macho to just accept that they are going to be out.

    I have no problem with guys sliding hard to break up a double play for example, but they can’t throw a body block to take the infielder out.

  44. 44
    ububba Says:

    For 2008, I’ll roll the dice with #47. I may be cursing that notion in a couple months, but for now I’m fine with it.

    Re: Plate Collisions
    In our Little League as well, if we blasted the catcher in an obvious attempt to knock him into the backstop, it was an automatic out—even if he dropped the ball. Of course, that didn’t stop all of us from doing it.

    And yes, there have been some nasty injuries in MLB on those plays. Greg Olson’s pinned-back broken leg comes to mind.

    Best plate blocker I ever saw: Mike Scioscia.

    Habitual contact avoider: Jorge Posada.

    And I’m not really criticizing Posada anymore than I am, say, Franco Harris for running out of bounds all those times when a free safety was lining him up for target practice. Both were very successful players who helped their team win; they just weren’t going to have any career-ending collisions, if they could avoid them.

  45. 45
    Smitty Says:

    Chuck James for Vulture!

  46. 46
    clarke Says:

    I am not sure if I am following you Marc- if they don’t have the ball then it’s fair game to knock them out, but if they have the ball then no go? I thought you wanted it completely banned.

    Most plays at the plate are so quick and bang bang (that’s what she said)that I am not sure an Umpire could call that without constant controversary. Who knows.

  47. 47
    Remy Says:

    Anyone remember what happened to Ray Fosse? He was never the same after Pete Rose knocked him over–in an All-Star game, no less!

  48. 48
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Clarke,

    You are right, I am being inconsistent. My point is I think the catcher should be treated the same as any other infielder, regardless of having protective gear. Players can slide hard just as they can into a base without trying to knock the guy into the next state. Obviously, umpires would have to try to enforce the no blocking the plate without the ball rule to prevent catchers from just sitting on the plate but it’s not as if we are making up the rule. I don’t think it’s right that runners can ruin a player’s career like this. Look at Johnny Estrada; he was a pretty good player for the Braves until Darin Erstad decided to show how tough he was. (And I know there is debate over whether it was a dirty play or not.)

  49. 49
    jea Says:

    Estrada seemed to rebound pretty well the year after the Erstad play, when he went to Arizona. It can’t really be proven either way, but I think how good he was may be skewed by a career year in 2004. He hasn’t replicated those numbers since (which one could argue is because of the Erstad play, but he came pretty close in 06).

  50. 50
    jea Says:

    And Erstad doensn’t need to show how tough he was: he played college football! He’s gritty and determined!

  51. 51
    clarke Says:

    Marc,
    I agree with you- it isn’t fair that runners can ruin a player’s career- but I just think that if umpires start enforcing the no blocking rule, it will create a worse situation in terms of the amount of incorrect calls, leading to arguments between teams and extended game time. Umpires don’t have to enforce the rule now because its enforced by most catchers themselves; they’re not going to get in the way unless they have to.
    And yes sometimes a catcher doesn’t have the ball and gets drilled anyways- things happen. Pitchers intentional hit batters (the smart ones make it look accidental)players dig their spikes into the a fielders forearm on a tag at second.

  52. 52
    Smitty Says:

    Erstad was a punter.

  53. 53
    c. shorter Says:

    Plays at the plate are always exciting. I’m all for everyone staying healthy… but I wouldn’t want to bring in even more judgment calls from the umps. Judgment calls by the umps are part of the game, I just wouldn’t want to add more to them when it’s already a tough enough call to determine if the runner is safe or out. Would we end up with a circle around the plate (almost like in the NBA for charges/blocks)? Dunno.

  54. 54
    jea Says:

    #51 I know. I was going for a firejoemorgan thing about how the media views Erstad.

  55. 55
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Clarke,

    I’m not advocating taking all the risk out of baseball–that’s not possible. And I’m not saying players shouldn’t play hard. It just seems to me that the plays at the plate present an opportunity for a lot of cheap shots. A hitter can get out of the way and, in the NL at least, a pitcher can expect retribution for throwing or hitting a batter. Infielders can force runners to duck when turning double plays. Catchers are basically helpless. I don’t know if the Erstad play really effected Estrada’s career, but it did give him a concussion and, as we know by now, that’s no laughing matter.

  56. 56
    Dix Says:

    I tore every ligament in my knee except the PCL, and had 20% of the cartledge removed after an attempt to avoid a collision at home plate. I’d not have been injured (most likely) if I had just ran the catcher over.

  57. 57
    clarke Says:

    If situations like Estrada were the norm, rather than just once a few years thing, I would be more inclined with your position Marc. Olson broke his leg, the Rose/Fosse collision, and then what? Occasional injuries here and there are fine I think. Collisions can happen on the fields, concussions can happen in other possible intentional ways.

  58. 58
    Rob Cope Says:

    I got what you meant Marc. I have to disagree about head-first sliding in general, though. There are many times when a head-first slide is the only way you can be safe. I can think of two times this year that I’ve been safe because I slide into the left-field side of third base and just got my left hand in there. If I had gone in feet first, I would have been toast. Hook slides work well in those cases too, but it’s very easy to over-run a bag on a hook slide. You see that a lot.

  59. 59
    Remy Says:

    Does the context in which the game is being played–spring training or an All-Star game, for example–change your opinion about how much contact there should be at the plate?

  60. 60
    c. shorter Says:

    58 — It does for me… exhibition games probably shouldn’t see collisions. But, if the catcher is blocking the plate, I still think he has to expect to get hit.

  61. 61
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @58,

    Yes, but I think it is hard to blame a rookie trying to make the team in spring training who knows that the manager expects him to be aggressive. I assume that a veteran would not run over a catcher in spring training.

    Rob,

    I defer to your knowledge on head-first sliding because you obviously know more about it than I do but I assume you would agree that it is, in general, more dangerous in terms of injury, than feet-first sliding.

  62. 62
    Kevin Lee Says:

    Re:#57 Rob

    Marc doesn’t need my help making his point about head first slides, but I can’t stand ‘em.
    The hands are so valuable to a baseball players and have so little protection. I can’t believe that the risk of a hand injury is worth the reward of that single base.

  63. 63
    clarke Says:

    Not really- although usually it seems that everyone is on the same page in those games in terms of loosing up and not going all out (Rose was insane and an asshole). Although I guess now with the All Star game determining home field, then that makes the game mean something. If bowling over Posada in the All Star game means the National League gets home field, I’m all for it.

  64. 64
    Rob Cope Says:

    Put your batting gloves in your hands when you do a head-first slide, and you’re ok. Yeah, you can get cleated, but, honestly, how often does that happen? I was stupid and jammed my finger three weeks ago sliding head-first (still isn’t right yet), but a smart baserunner won’t hurt his hands too often.

  65. 65
    csg Says:

    Boston released Wakefield

  66. 66
    Rob Cope Says:

    Oh, and to answer that question: yes, the base is that worth it.

  67. 67
    Rob Cope Says:

    Triple post!

    I’m going to the Braves-Phils game in a couple minutes. Anyone want me to heckle anyone in particular? :)

  68. 68
    csg Says:

    nevermind read that article headline wrong

  69. 69
    clarke Says:

    Rob,
    Exactly. And that goes for fielders/catchers and runners.

  70. 70
    ububba Says:

    In all my years of playing organized baseball, I never slid head-first. Just a personal decision, but when I saw a Babe-Ruth-league teammate get his lip busted with a hard tag, I felt better about that decision.

    I’m not in favor of collisions in spring training. The game result means nothing. Your score means nothing. Your desire to make the team is duly noted, but you’re not really proving anything by blocking the plate or trying to blast the catcher.

    If Jorge Posada had his wrist broken instead of the back-up catcher, this conversation would be still burning well beyond this forum.

    From all I’ve heard & read, the vets on both sides of the Tampa-Yanks thing are less than pleased with all of it. BTW, some of the Yankee vets have had a word with Shelley Duncan about his rah-rah play.

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/03142008/sports/yankees/vets_pitch_control_to_gung_ho_slugger_101893.htm

  71. 71
    Jason Says:

    A guy I went to high school with was paralyzed from the neck down when a runner ran him over at the plate, even though it was against the rules. Kids emulate what they see on TV. Ban collisions. It shouldn’t be a part of the game.

  72. 72
    ububba Says:

    Do we ban football, too, then?

    Or is that different somehow?

  73. 73
    Jason Says:

    Yes, I’d say football is different. Football is a “contact” sport, baseball is not. That’s what makes baseball more civilized and obviously, better. :-)

  74. 74
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @70,

    It is different, Ububba. You don’t allow all kinds of hits in football–you don’t allow clotheslines anymore, you don’t allow hits after the whistle, etc. In general, the rules try to prevent hits on players in helpless positions. You don’t have to allow collisions at the plate to play baseball. Even if the risk is relatively low, why not try to prevent it?

  75. 75
    ububba Says:

    I agree that it’s different.

    When it comes to players getting serious & lasting injuries, football is near the top of the list.

    But we all know that a perfectly “legal” hit in football can result in a serious injury. That’s why I bring it up.

  76. 76
    Another Alex R. Says:

    GRAND SLAM YUNEL ESCOBAR!

  77. 77
    Marc Schneider Says:

    That’s true, Ububba, but sort of irrelevant in the baseball context. Obviously, injuries occur in baseball from the normal competitive activity. But concussions are relatively rare in baseball except during collisions at the plate. And collisions aren’t relevant to the normal playing of the game as tackling is to football. It’s not a fundamental part of the game. And, true, serious injuries in football result from legal hits but that’s no reason not to ban clotheslining or chop blocks that increase the risk of injury even more. It’s the same with beanballs in baseball; guys get hit and injured all the time unintentionally but that doesn’t mean that it makes no sense to prohibit intentionally throwing at hitters.

  78. 78
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Frankly, I think that a plurality of the problems in football and baseball would be solved by making one change in each sport: going back to a one-platoon system and instituting a Latin American draft. They’re complete, utter pipe dreams, but I believe a huge number of the problems in both sports relate to these two things.

    I like Bear Bryant’s philosophy: I believe in players who can play both sides of the ball. If players had to actually play 60 minutes, they wouldn’t be able to bulk up so inhumanly to play the line, because humans simply weren’t built to carry that weight — and there would be less of a drug problem in the league. Moreover, smaller players = less momentum = less horrific injuries. God knows people would still get injured, but two 220 pound guys running into each other hurt each other less than one 400 pound guy running into a 300 pound guy.

    And I think that if the selection of amateur talent in Latin America was better regulated, there would be many fewer problems with drugs, unscrupulous buscadors, scouts/agents/svengalis who push pills into the hands of 14 year old boys and tell them that’s how they can feed their family. It would also help even out the talent pipeline in baseball — not every team can afford to pay millions of dollars to pick up high-profile teenagers like Julio Teheran or Elvis Andrus, and it’s also pretty unsavory to think that a team can pay a 16-year old millions of dollars and then basically control his future until his late 20′s.

    Anyway, you may say I’m a dreamer, but, uh…

  79. 79
    ububba Says:

    And I’m asking if and how the 2 sports are different to provoke response. I’m genuinely curious to see how they are perceived.

  80. 80
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Oh, and Scott Thorman just got ahold of one. That’s obviously really good for his chances of making the team. I’d still rather have him than Joe Borchard. (I think we should give Joe Borchard a nickname, like we did with Jorge Jong-Il. Let’s call him Pierre Trudeau.)

  81. 81
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I think you are right, AAR, at least in respect to football. There seemed to be a lot less really horrific injuries in the fifties and sixties, when players were smaller even though the rules were much more permissive about hits.

  82. 82
    c. shorter Says:

    Regarding whether baseball is a contact sport (and disregarding post 78 in which it seems that Thorman got a hold of one)… we could claim that baseball’s not a contact sport for Thorman.

    Thank you. I’ll be here all night.

  83. 83
    Rob Cope Says:

    Just got back from the game. Didn’t stay long

    -Thorman’s hit was a bomb. I had just gotten finished telling my friend that we should expect a good breeze from his swing-and-a-miss. I was way wrong.

    -Jordan Schafer’s got a cannon, and he’s got some pretty good range. I’m excited about him.

    -When Gregor Blanco came in the game, I yelled, “Hey Gregor, I hope you make the team. You’re way better than Josh Anderson!” He smiled, turned around and gave me a thumbs up. That was cool. The Phillies fans all around me didn’t know what I was talking about. Tools.

  84. 84
    Dan Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrLWiPaCrI4

    Three nights in jail for running onto the field at Turner Field?

  85. 85
    braves14 Says:

    Peanut all but says that Hudson will start Opening Day. I’d guess Glavine will pitch the home opener the next day.

  86. 86
    Dan Says:

    “Peanut all but says that Hudson will start Opening Day. I’d guess Glavine will pitch the home opener the next day.”

    Having Smoltz as the third starter is really dumb, in my personal opinion.

  87. 87
    braves14 Says:

    I don’t think it really matters the order they pitch in, as long as they get their innings.

  88. 88
    ububba Says:

    Fans on the field? Where’s John Stearns when you really need him?

    Beyond one night in the drunk tank, jail is a bit much, though…

  89. 89
    NMS Says:

    Marc, are you saying no hand/head first slides period or just at the plate?

    You are nuts if you don’t want to slide head first into second or third. Headfirst slides DO get you there faster than feet-first and they make you a MUCH more difficult target to tag.

    I can not over state how much sliding head first helped me steal bases effectively

  90. 90
    NMS Says:

    So three days in jail for playing slip n slide at Turner but Ruben Houston has 92 pounds of pot in his dorm and gets probation?
    Um, okaaay?

    BTW, I would totally spend three nights in jail to do that

  91. 91
    braves14 Says:

    There goes the career opportunites down the Turner Field rain drain.

  92. 92
    NMS Says:

    89,
    Oh come on. I really don’t think most employers would worry too much about three days in jail for sliding on a Turner Field tarp if the person has an otherwise clean record and is worth hiring

  93. 93
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I wouldn’t make a rule against head first sliding, but I would at the very least strongly encourage my players not to do it. I’m not sure there is any evidence other than anecdotal that head first slides get you there faster. Why would it? And why is it more difficult for a fielder to tag your head or hand than to tag your feet? With a feet first slide, you can hook into the base or otherwise make yourself more difficult to tag. Sliding head first, you have no option but to go straight in. Plus, most importantly, it seems to me there is a lot more risk of injury. I’m not questioning your experience but perception is often not the same as reality. I think the fact that no one really learns the nuances of sliding anymore makes people think that head-first sliding is better.

    I agree that three days in jail is a bit much, but considering some of the things that fans have done in the past (ie attacking coaches), I think they want to come down hard on anything that looks even a little threatening.

  94. 94
    ububba Says:

    SEC Tournament, So Far: 6 games, 3 “upsets.”

    Let’s make it 5 for 8.

  95. 95
    Another Alex R. Says:

    I’m going to be appearing on this blog radio show in about two hours, talking about the Braves.

    Please, by all means, check me out.

  96. 96
    Stu Says:

    I really don’t think most employers would worry too much about three days in jail for sliding on a Turner Field tarp if the person has an otherwise clean record and is worth hiring.

    Let me put it this way: if the position you’re applying for is salaried, your prospective employer is going to worry about your 3-night jail stint. Unless you plan on working in food service or being self-employed, you’re probably going to need to avoid the slammer.

  97. 97
    Mike Says:

    Oh man, I’ve got the first pick in the draft this year. I don’t think I have ever had the first pick until this year, and I’ve had it twice. Awesome.

  98. 98
    basil Says:

    If that guy spent three days in jail, it was probably because his “buddies” couldn’t be bothered to bail him out. At least, I hope that’s why.

  99. 99
    ububba Says:

    AAR,
    What time do you exactly go on?

    Stu,
    Condolences on the ‘Dores. I’ll be rooting for them in the next tourney.

  100. 100
    Another Alex R. Says:

    8:30 PM.

  101. 101
    Another Alex R. Says:

    By the way, I’m logged on to the live draft, but it’s displaying an error message: Failed to Connect to Server. Am I screwed?

  102. 102
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I… don’t know. It’s working for me.

  103. 103
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Is anyone else having trouble connecting to the Live Draft for the Bravesjournal league?

  104. 104
    Mac Thomason Says:

    You do have Java enabled?

  105. 105
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Yeah… but I’m at work because it’s a faster connection. I think there may be a firewall issue.

    Crap.

  106. 106
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Okay, well, I guess I’ll head home. Might mean that I miss a round or two.

    Don’t pick anyone I wanted, guys!

  107. 107
    Dan Says:

    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080314&content_id=2426031&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=atl

    Mark Kotsay and Brian Jordan are deeply saddened.

  108. 108
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Hi, guys, I’m at the draft now.

  109. 109
    Frank Says:

    @84–It doesn’t matter if Smoltz starts the third game of the season instead of the 1st or 2nd. The whole bit about a 1 starter, a 2, etc. is meaningless during the regular season b/c each pitcher will get the basically the same number of starts. The fifth starter might be an exception if Cox decided to skip that pitcher’s turn on off days. Actually, given Smoltz’s tender arm and Cox’s heavy use of him the past few years, it might not be such a rotten thing if Smoltz got skipped a time or two during the season.

    Even if you think Smoltz and Hudson are the 1 and 2 (in either order), it’s might still be best to separate them in the rotation. It gives some LH and RH variation and it keeps the team from having 3 games stretches in which neither Smoltz nor Hudson starts.

  110. 110
    Another Alex R. Says:

    I’m on the radio!

  111. 111
    Dan Says:

    “The whole bit about a 1 starter, a 2, etc. is meaningless during the regular season b/c each pitcher will get the basically the same number of starts.”

    All starters will get about 35 starts if they stay in the rotation all season. I know that. The thing is, you don’t want guys like Kyle Davies matching up against other team’s staff aces.

  112. 112
    blake Says:

    on the contrary, that means we have smoltz matching up against other teams’ kyle davies…

  113. 113
    NMS Says:

    True but after a month or so none of that really holds true anyway.
    Between off days, starts missed due to injury/suspension, and rainouts teams rotations don’t really align for most of the year.

    Also, sometimes you might start the year with a guy has your “#1″ but he pitches like a #4 and your #4 pitches like a #2 and your #2 pitches like 3 and your 3 like a 1 and…
    well, yeah.

  114. 114
    barrycuda Says:

    headfirst slides…………another fine legecy from Pete “you wanna bet?” Rose

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