Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Thanks to Mac's family, bravesjournal.com is back.

16 Apr

Marlins 6, Braves 5

ESPN – Braves vs. Marlins – Box Score – April 16, 2008

Hey, it’s time for the return of the Miserable Braves Loss Type-Index! Tonight’s loss is Miserable Braves Loss Type 4.2(c): “Starting Pitcher Is No Good And Doesn’t Even Pitch Five, Team Can’t Get Hit To Come All The Way Back, Then Reliever Allows More Runs, and Team Again Can’t Get Hit To Come All The Way Back.”

Tim Hudson didn’t have anything, and left after the third trailing 4-1. He apparently is fine, he just wasn’t pitching well. It’s a good idea, where the chances of him improving plus the chances of the team rallying are probably less than the chances of him either completely imploding or getting hurt. And Jorge Campillo did a good job in his stead, throwing three perfect innings. Yunel “Future Token All-Star” Escobar hit a two-run homer to cut it to 4-3, but the Braves blew a couple of chances to get tied or ahead.

After Campillo, Bobby really had no choice but to go to Jeff Bennett. Normally, he’d use Boyer or Acosta here, but those guys are now the setup man and the closer, at least until they get hurt too. Bennett allowed a two-run homer and was lucky that was all. The Braves came back with two runs in the eighth, but Bobby wouldn’t hit for Kotsay, who hit into a double play to end the inning. It was the team’s third GIDP of the night, and I don’t know for sure but I’m guessing that you aren’t going to win many games that way. Nothing doing in the ninth, and it’s another one-run loss. I hate Kotsay.

100 Responses to “Marlins 6, Braves 5”

  1. 1
    csg Says:

    I would rather have Bennett out there over Ring, Resop, or Ohman, but even more surprised that Bobby didnt play reliever roulette out there tonight. Lefty against Gonzalez wouldnt have been that bad of an idea

  2. 2
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New poll.

  3. 3
    braves14 Says:

    Bill James quote:

    “One-run games involve a huge amount of luck. This may be the only safe statement that can be made about them.”

  4. 4
    Alex R. Says:

    Let me say this very simply. One of the things many of us like about Bobby is that he never yells.

    I think it’s time to start yelling at this team. We are now 3-6 against the MARLINS, NATIONALS AND PIRATES. This is unacceptable.

    I don’t care if it’s Chipper and Smoltz leading a closed door meeting, or Bobby yelling, but if they continue to sleep walk losses to these crappy teams, we will suddenly be 15 games out in July. This has to stop.

    I am jealous of the Tigers because at least Leyland will shout at his team once in a while. Bobby, shout at your team. Us fans deserve better than this.

  5. 5
    Alex R. Says:

    Also, it maybe the new uniforms. How about pulling out the old road uni’s?

  6. 6
    csg Says:

    this is very sad

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8040140/Father-of-two-dies-after-sliding-off-escalator-railing

    but how can someone just slip over a railing and fall two stories?

  7. 7
    csg Says:

    who’s pitching friday night? Website has Bennett starting, but why would Bobby use him if this is right

    Smoltz – thursday
    Bennett?? – Friday
    Carlyle – saturday
    Glavine – sunday

    wow, this is getting fun isnt it

  8. 8
    braves14 Says:

    Smoltz is going tomorrow, Carlyle Friday, Glavine Saturday, Jurrjens Sunday, then back to Hudson.

  9. 9
    Jared Says:

    I wouldn’t blame Kotsay too much, for I think he has done a good job. The fact is, Yunel and Chipper who represent 20% of line-up do about 98% of the hitting. Unacceptable. I think guys like Diaz need to step up and get going and Brian McCann needs to remember what good contact feels like. Man this team can’t pitch.

  10. 10
    Adam Says:

    If I hate anyone right now, it’s Terry Pendleton.

  11. 11
    Robert Says:

    I think it’s time to start yelling at this team.

    I can’t say I believe in these types of motivational techniques, but I have to admit I’ve had the same thought.

    On the plus side, it looks like Yesco is going to be really, really good. And I never get tired of going back and reading the thread where Stu assured me that we knew Yunel from his minor league numbers and he was a utility type player despite my contention that he was too young to draw any real conclusions.

  12. 12
    John Says:

    I hate one run losses, especially after last year. Other problems aside, is it possible this team tries to come back from larger deficits in order to lose by only a run? It seems like we’ve had 8th or 9th inning rallies only to fall a run short at least three times this year already.

  13. 13
    Robert Says:

    Well they could just roll over and play dead and lose by three all the time, but I doubt we’d like that any better.

  14. 14
    billy-jay Says:

    “Lollygaggers!”

  15. 15
    kc Says:

    It’s not Kotsay’s fault to be up there swinging…blame it on Bobby for refusing to PH for him.

  16. 16
    kc Says:

    …and blame Wren for getting him…I wonder what Dayton would do…hey the Royals are playing pretty well!!!

  17. 17
    Remy Says:

    The Marlins announcers made a big deal of Kotsay’s hitting into a DP to end the eighth inning, but, really, the Braves had scored two runs by then. It would have been great to continue the inning, but Kotsay, like KJ, had to swing to keep from striking out. The ump made a bad call, expanding the strike zone. The pitcher was smart enough to throw another pitch in the same place. The way I look at it, Kotsay and KJ knew that they had to swing or take strike three looking. In my opinion, they both did the right thing by putting the ball into play.

  18. 18
    Stu Says:

    You mean the thread where you said he was just like 21 year-old rookie Edgar? I was obviously wrong about Yunel, Robert, but it was pretty clear you didn’t know what you were talking about at the time. I do enjoy the fact that you bring that up so frequently, though. Figured I’d finally give you the response you’re looking for.

  19. 19
    csg Says:

    i just wish some of our guys would make the other pitcher throw strikes, everyone outside of Chipper and Yunel are swinging at the 1st pitch thrown to them. Everyone is falling behind in the count and no one is making adjustments. Diaz swung at two pitches in the LH batters box tonight. Both his and Tex’s crucial DP’s were on pitches outside the plate and both of them tried to pull the ball. If you’re swinging at that crap at least try to hit it the other way.

  20. 20
    Stu Says:

    The main problem with the offense is Teix. We get something started with the first 3 guys, then it dies, then we have to restart it again the next inning, then it’s up to the 8-9 spots to drive runs in, which doesn’t happen for any team. Rinse, repeat. If/when Teix gets going, this offense will roll.

    I just don’t know if we’ll have any pitchers left by that point.

  21. 21
    kc Says:

    Stu, your last statement is very funny but unfortunately very true.

  22. 22
    Adam Says:

    @20, I think there’s a lot of truth to that…it also explains some of how we can put together enough of a rally to lose by a run so consistently.

  23. 23
    ububba Says:

    So far, it seems like Kotsay & Tex can only play well vs. the Mets.

    But I agree with the above sentiment—Tex is a big key to this offense.

    I have no answers on our current crop of relief pitchers, but this team should score.

  24. 24
    Robert Says:

    You mean the thread where you said he was just like 21 year-old rookie Edgar?

    That’s the one. I misread Edgar’s ages but it didn’t take away from my larger point. And yeah, I enjoy being right about it since you were so arrogantly sure of yourself then. The amount of times I bring it up is proportional to your obnoxoiusness at the time, so it will probably continue until he hits free agency.

  25. 25
    Robert Says:

    From the ajc story if you want to feel a little sick…

    Hudson’s fastball velocity was down about 5 mph all night. He said he threw a pitch as hard as he could to Mike Jacobs in the third, and Jacobs scorched the mere 85-mph fastball to the right-field seats.

  26. 26
    Stephen Says:

    Another one run loss…at least the Braves will lead the NL in something.

    Things will get better: mighty Tex will hit, Soriano will return, Diaz’s average will climb and Hudson will regain his form, but Kotsay will suck. I could not agree with KC more that getting Kotsay (no matter how good his wife looks) was a mistake and reflected either the limits of ambition or lack of means.

    Nonetheless, Kotsay is only a small part of the problem; mighty Tex really must start hitting. If he doesn’t, he might not even get the chance to don pinstripes next year…

  27. 27
    Grst Says:

    Was reading this interesting article on the Braves in Forbes (seriously) when I come across a quote by some blogger named Mac A. Thomason…anyone heard of him?

    Anyway:

    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/0505/089.html

  28. 28
    jj3bagger Says:

    Grst, thanks for the link, but I guess I haven’t been “that” impressed with the new ownership, but I can’t go to any games, so I guess I can’t speak to the “fan experience.” Good to see Mac quoted though. I’ll be impressed if the ownership takes the profits and puts them back into payroll (Tex).

    I’m not ready to hit the panic button yet, but I haven’t been real impressed this season, to say the least.

    When I went to the DBacks-Braves series last year in July, I was talking to a fellow Braves fan (a girl nonetheless!) and we were discussing the Escobar/Kelly platoon. I told her that there was no way Escobar was going to have a better career than Kelly, based upon his minor league numbers. She told me that Escobar had a “higher ceiling” than Kelly. Two things, I should have put the ring on her finger right there, as I have never had a girl use the term “higher ceiling” to me before, and secondly, I was wrong. I posted on here at the time, that Yunel would never hit for any power, and if he wouldn’t have bulked up, who knows, but certainly, I was wrong, and I have been pleasantly surprised with him, and his development has been one of the lone bright spots for me so far this season.

  29. 29
    ububba Says:

    I think we can all agree that Yunel’s backstory made it more difficult to accurately project what he was going to be.

    He could turn out to be less than he is now, but I don’t think he will.

    There are some players you can just watch for awhile & get an idea if they are going to be a good player: Yunel is one of those guys.

  30. 30
    kc Says:

    To be honest, Yunel’s track record is so short (including that strange year he had with Blauser) that nobody can make an accurate assessment on him…except Brayan Pena I guess…

  31. 31
    timo Says:

    And what is really annoying me… Mark Redman just won the second in three starts.

  32. 32
    Adam M Says:

    If you took some random team that was mediocre-to-ok last season, and added Jurrjens, Glavine, Kotsay, and Ohman, then I’m not sure that team would suddenly be on anyone’s radar. This is the reality: the Braves are just not that good. BP called them the 3rd-most talented team in the NL East and I haven’t seen anything to suggest otherwise.

    We can complain about Kotsay, as I’m sure I will for the next 140 games, but signing him to be the CF replacement is just not something a contender would do. The Braves are better than 5-9 against a soft NL schedule, but not that much better.

  33. 33
    Perimeter Perez Says:

    It feels like June showed up early this year.

  34. 34
    Cliff Says:

    A run. My kingdom for a run.

  35. 35
    Stu Says:

    That’s the one. I misread Edgar’s ages but it didn’t take away from my larger point. And yeah, I enjoy being right about it since you were so arrogantly sure of yourself then. The amount of times I bring it up is proportional to your obnoxoiusness at the time, so it will probably continue until he hits free agency.

    Ah, yes, the old “When someone is obnoxious, you should be even more obnoxious and for a much, much longer period of time” maxim. Always a winner.

    I was certainly sure about a subject, projecting Major League success, about which one can’t reasonably have very much certainty. As I’ve said before, more than once, I was very (and happily) wrong about Secular Ebony. I’d say your average well-adjusted adult would have dropped the subject by now, Robert.

  36. 36
    barrycuda Says:

    i’m not voting until a certain first baseman/”cleanup hitter” is on the ballot.

  37. 37
    Alex R. Says:

    While I have NO doubt that Teixeira will start hitting a ton soon, he’s far more to blame for our offensive woes than Mark Kotsay; quite simply, we’re talking the #4 hitter, the linchpin to the entire lineup and one of the team leaders, to a fill in, mediocre center fielder who bats 8th.

    We can all like Tex a lot more than we like Kotsay, we all do, but Tex is far more to blame because we have 200X more expectations for him than we do for Kotsay.

    Still, I have to say the point Cary was making at the games over the weekend to me that we should have instead added Coco Crisp (even if it meant for two years) than one year for Kotsay, makes sense.

    The Braves better hope Schaefer recovers fine from the suspension next spring and is ready to go for 2009.

  38. 38
    Frank Says:

    I’ll pass on Coco Crisp–he’s making something like $11m this year and apparently the Sox aren’t willing to eat any of it.

    I haven’t looked at Kenny Lofton’s numbers from last season, but I wonder if singing Lofton (and keeping Devine and Richmond) wouldn’t have been a better move than trading for Kotsay.

  39. 39
    Alex R. Says:

    If Kenny Lofton had been brought back to the Braves after what he said about Bobby, the city and the organization, and the way he acted during his one year stint in 1997, that would have been enough to have me tune out the Braves this year and maybe beyond.

    There are a lot of us who haven’t forgotten what Kenny did and said in ’97 and wouldn’t stand for him coming back. My sense is Bobby wouldn’t have stood for it either.

  40. 40
    Frank Says:

    “singing Lofton”–wtf–one run losses must be numbing my brain

    make that “signing Lofton”

  41. 41
    Dutch Says:

    The Kotsay trade makes even less sense as time goes on. I mean, do they really think that Josh Anderson isn’t capable of matching Kotsay’s mighty .651 OPS? Blanco too. Oh veteran presence, where would we be without you…

  42. 42
    Dutch Says:

    Refresh my memory. What did Lofton say.

  43. 43
    Frank Says:

    Dutch–I don’t remember what Lofton said but he clearly didn’t click w/ Cox. One might have hoped that a decade would let bygones be bygones.

  44. 44
    Mr. Swings@Everything Says:

    You guys know that it’s still April right? WTF were you expecting from Kotsay? His defense has been quite good so far and he was looking like a hitter just last week. Oh sorry, I mean PANIC!!!!!!!!111111111 RUN FOR THE HILLS!!!!!111

  45. 45
    doubledawg Says:

    If Tex doesnt turn it around, I hope Bobby doesnt make the same mistake he did with Andruw last year and refuse to tinker with the lineup. Halfway through the season, the talk was Andruw is still on pace for 100 RBI’s, but the way Escobar, Renteria, and Chipper were hitting ahead of him, it should have been 160.

    KJ’s OBP is terrible for a lead-off hitter. He leads the team in K’s (I dont count Diaz, since ugly swings and slap singles seem to be a legitimate part of his gameplan). Prado has scored more runs than KJ in 1/3 of the at bats. KJ is not getting on base.

    If that keeps up, I think we need to consider trying Blanco out. If his speed is legit and he can tally a .365 OBP, than he’s going to score a lot of runs on the back to back hits by Pablo and Chipper. It would be a defensive downgrade, but I’m not sure Kotsay is going to hold up anyway.

  46. 46
    mraver Says:

    IMO, Kotsay’s not the problem. He’s been a bit hit-unlucky thus far, but he’s not striking out much. 3 GDP’s is annoying (especially last night’s), but those are more a product of opportunities (kinda like RBI) rather than actual suckitude.

    More potentially worrisome is Kelly Johnson. I’mma wait until May before I start thinking anything silly, but he’s striking out a good bit and really not walking at all. The reason he’s a bigger concern is that he was being counted on to be an integral part of the offense whereas Kotsay is batting 8th.

    I’ll just chime in that I have been very pleasantly surprised by Escobar this year. I’d always held out hope that he’d turn out better than his numbers indicated he would, and there were some signs (mostly anecdotes about instincts and how he couldn’t get along with his coach in AA) as well as an overall very small sample of ABs to look at. Really the most impressive part of his half-month this season is that his BABIP is LOWER than it has been over his career. It’s currently sitting at n almost-sustainable .356. He’s done well this year by taking walks and absolutely smashing the ball when he’s made contact. He won’t keep his OPS over 1.000 for the whole year, but he’ll be great even if he slips a little.

  47. 47
    Stu Says:

    Blanco looks afraid to even swing the bat. Maybe that’s because he hardly ever gets ABs, though.

    I agree w/ Mr. S@E about simmering down re: Kotsay, though. It’s early and his defense has been very solid.

    I think KJ, Teix and Diaz will all be fine, too. Of course, I thought we’d be better than 5-9 at this point, so it’s pretty clear I don’t know much.

  48. 48
    Hap Says:

    @27
    “All new stadium employees now have to pass a 45-minute psychological exam, and ushers write introductory letters to the season ticket holders they’ll be serving.”
    I’m a season ticket holder and I didn’t get any introductory letter from my usher… This sounds to me like the way every other big corporation operates: PHBs put in stupid policies which thye think are just great ideas and then the Dilberts in the trenches ignore those ideas in order to get their actual job done and the PHBs are completely unaware of what the situation really is. The article also claims Turner Filed upgraded the concessions… you could have fooled me. I really hate the cool (I.e. not hot) dogs…. my kingdom for a real “hot” dog.

  49. 49
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Great article in Forbes although I have to agree I’m not that impressed yet (although it sounds like they have done a good job of making it more fun to go to a game in Atlanta). I’ll be impressed when they go out and take on a player with big salary and/or pony up to keep a free agent (ie, Teixera). And where did they get the $102 million payroll figure? It must be going to the coaches because I don’t think the Braves have that big of a payroll.

    Re close games being luck. I think that’s yes and no. Certainly, if it’s 2-2 in the 7th, the result largely hinges on who gets a big hit or makes an error or hangs a curve. That’s pretty random. But the games the Braves have been losing aren’t like that. They fall behind, can’t score when they need to and the bullpen either blows a lead or widens the deficit. That’s not luck, that’s bad playing. It’s certainly early but the Braves seem to have a lot of the same problems they had last year (problems that remained even with Teixera hitting the crap out of the ball).

  50. 50
    Parish Says:

    How about Prado? He goes from the target of the tagline of this blog to not even in the poll of most hated. Kudos, Martin. Undoubtedly one of the “bright spots” of the season.

    @ 31 – “And what is really annoying me… Mark Redman just won the second in three starts.”

    This statement really makes one question the “Second Spitter Effect” as compared to the “Mazzone Effect” and cinches the answer to the poll for me.

  51. 51
    Alex R. Says:

    For once, I am actually in agreement with Marc S. about something. I am also not that impressed with John Malone and Liberty Media – yet or much at all.

    Is Liberty BETTER than AOL Time Warner? By a mile. Hell, being owned by Blackwater or Halliburton maybe better than AOL TimeWarner.

    But so far, the biggest thing that’s happened was Frank Wren becoming GM and the jury is very much still out.

    For every good thing from re-signing Glavine to saving $ and trading Renty for Jurrgjens or letting Andruw go and not spending a fortune to keep his .200 hitting butt around, they’ve also shown the payrool isn’t much different that the AOL days and still make me miss crazy Ted’s ownership and willingness to have the Braves be an elite payroll competitor.

  52. 52
    Ron Says:

    When you combine devastating pitching injuries, a horrifically bad bullpen overused by an insane manager, and a slumping clean up hitter, you get a team that doesn’t win a lot of games. The good news is it’s still only April. The bad news is it could get worse and there’s still 5 more months of the season to go. I miss those reliable Braves teams of the ’90s. We didn’t know how good we had it.

  53. 53
    Remy Says:

    I’m worried about Hudson’s losing velocity on his fastball. That can’t be a good sign.

  54. 54
    Smitty Says:

    I am starting to hate Diaz, he is a double play machine!

  55. 55
    Alex R. Says:

    re: Lofton

    I don’t think any of us have his “charming” quotes lying around from 1997, Frank, but I think everyone in here remembers fairly well what a spoiled brat he was and the negative relationship Lofton had with Cox.

    I believe part of it was related to the Braves no facial hair rule (from back then). Or it may have been that flashy, thick gold chain Lofton liked to wear that the Braves had a rule against – whatever the case, Lofton was a whiny jerk and moaned and complained from day one to his last day.

  56. 56
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Thanks Alex! There’s always a first time for everything.

    At least if Blackwater owned the Braves, they would KNOW how to get rid of underperforming players!

  57. 57
    Stu Says:

    If I remember correctly, the Lofton comments were something to the effect of, “Around here, if you aren’t a pitcher, they don’t really care about you.”

    There may have been other comments, too, but that’s what I remember fans being upset about.

  58. 58
    doubledawg Says:

    Since some of you are technologically gifted, can we please start a website or online petition aimed at ridding turner field of Aramark concessions? I will personally reimburse someone for the registration at GoDaddy. http://www.bravesfoodsucks.com is ready to go.

    Its incredibly frustrating and my buddy’s and I have written a few emails and gotten no response. I used to eat before the game, but now the 7:05 starts make you lucky to get to your seat by the 2nd inning.

    I was in DC for the Natspo’s series this past weekend and really enjoyed the “half-smoke” from Ben’s Big Bowl (DC’s varsity apparently). Even more convenient, was the fact they sold this at every hot dog vendor, not just the one with Ben’s name on it.

    Turner Field offers no local favorites, only mockingly stupid names like Slugger’s Pizza and All Star Grill, all serving the same dog food. Skip and Pete should be ashamed of themselves for putting their name on that Aramark BBQ. Its just embarassing in comparison to the quality of options that are available at EVERY OTHER MAJOR LEAGUE STADIUM I’ve ever been to.

    Seriously, if Malone is as interested in pleasing the fans, it cant be hard to not serve us dog food. Also, the nationals served beer in plastic cups that had the stadium on them, came in red, white and blue. Meanwhile, the Braves have throwaway cups and RAN OUT during the last playoff series in the 4th inning. They ran out of cups and would not refill our empties.

    ARAMARK MUST GO, JOIN ME, HELP ME, HELP US ALL!!!

    if you can supply assistance in designing a protest site, please email me at doubledawg(at)gmail(dot)com

  59. 59
    Remy Says:

    That can’t be the case with every club Lofton’s played for, can it? And that includes Cleveland–twice. I mean, his moving around has become something of a joke (see DHL commercial).

  60. 60
    MGL Says:

    Smitty — Diaz, Tex, Escobar, and Kotsay all have 3 GIDP. BcCann at 2.

  61. 61
    OneEye Says:

    0-7 in 1 run games. I think so of that has to be put on Bobby. A great manager figures out a way to win close games. That type of skill has clearly passed him by.

  62. 62
    chris Says:

    i know this is early, but what about blowing this team up?

    i mean…trade smoltzy to a contender for their #1 pitching prospect and an infielder.

    tex for WHATEVER people will give (Phillip Hughes and Canto would be a good start yankee fans…or even the red sox have ALOT of talent in the upper minor leagues)

    glavine for a decent slew of minor leaguers

    chipper…oh, chipper…what to do? what to do? keep and move to first? if so…where to we get a third basemen? hey…lilli!!!!!

    ok i know, a bit premature, but i’m getting freakin frustrated with this team and it’s not even may

  63. 63
    Alex R. Says:

    #58

    Doubledawg…it’s actually “Ben’s Chili Bowl”; if it was Ben’s ‘Big Bowl’, then it would be an interesting mix of hot dogs, burgers, BBQ as well as Lo Mein and other Asian noodle dishes.

  64. 64
    Alex R. Says:

    #56

    Marc, you make a fair point. Blackwater would “eliminate” the likes of Chris Resop, Martin Prado, Mark Kotsay and other underperforming losers, so they wouldn’t be that bad!

  65. 65
    Frank Says:

    Speaking of Lillibridge, he’s off to a worse start at Richmond than the mighty Thor. Lilli’s ops is .351 and he’s struck out 18 times in 55 AB. It’s small sample so he’ll surely improve but ick.

  66. 66
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Alex,

    Agree with you about the others but I don’t think you can say Kotsay is “underperforming.” Tex is underperforming, KJ is underperforming, possibly McCann. Considering what our expectations were for Kotsay,he may actually be exceeding expectations. And, in any event, you can’t really pin much blame on the number 8 hitter for the team’s problems. If you look at McCann’s last at bat on Sunday (swinging at the first pitch at eye level), I think things like that are what is killing this team.

  67. 67
    Alex R. Says:

    True…Kotsay is probably performing to his level of expectation – as I had said earlier. fair enough.

    He is still not that great, but at least he’s cheap and at the bottom of the order.

  68. 68
    ryan c Says:

    from previous thread,

    “What is our farm system producing? Where are the position players?”

    chief nocahoma,
    this is just a complaint for complaints sake and it is, by no means, valid. in the past 3 years, the braves farm system has produced a starting 2nd baseman, shortstop, catcher, right fielder, and 2 utility players that play for us this year. that’s a TON of homegrown talent. complaining about the team and their lack to put it together is a legit complaint, but complaining about the lack of our farm system producing position players is ludicrous.

  69. 69
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The farm system has produced a lot of position players. Let’s not ignore the guys who went to Texas either. Brandon Jones should be good, and there are guys behind him. The problem has been pitching.

    And here, not that anyone asked for it, is the whole interview with Forbes that turned into one sentence.

    1) What do you think of Liberty Media as an owner?

    I was worried, but I think they’ve been okay so far. What largely frustrated me about the exchange/sale of the Braves is that it went against MLB’s stated policies in favor of local and personal ownership of ballclubs.

    2) Some fans I’ve talked to seem to believe that the Braves are in a long, slow decline. They point to new ownership, declining attendance, loss of TBS “nationwide” coverage, payroll that has fallen from 7th in the majors to 17th. Are you in this court? If so, why? If not, why? In other words, what’s it like to be a Braves fan these days?

    I don’t think it’s a decline, precisely. Well, it is, but things are cyclical. It’s very hard to stay on top as long as the Braves did.

    The loss of TBS is extremely frustrating. It could be good for the franchise, however, if they start getting real money for their TV rights. In the past, the team was able to plead poverty even though their TV rights were worth a ridiculous amount of money to the corporation that owned them, because TBS would pay only a token amount.

    3) In 1993, the Braves had 3.9 million attend home games. In 1997 (first year at Turner Field), they had 3.5 million. Attendance has fallen off every year since (except for a slight uptick last year), even when, in most of those years, the Braves were winning their division. Any reason for that?

    It’s a fairly standard pattern. Attendance tends to rise quickly when a team first has success. The peak in 1993 — the third year the Braves were competitive — is typical. Then it tends to decline, unless something else intervenes. This happens even if you win every year. The Yankees, for example, saw their attendance decline in the fifties.

    There are problems with the ballpark. There’s not enough parking, and the train doesn’t go there, so you have to take a shuttle bus, and the transit people go out of their way to make it a pain. Once you get there, there’s little to do outside the gates, and the neighborhood isn’t the best, so you wind up going in and milling about until the game starts. And since the Braves are a regional franchise, rising gas prices (which keep people from driving in from Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina, as well as south Georgia) don’t help.

    4) If you had 20 minutes in front of McGuirk and Schuerholz to talk to them about the business of the team, what questions would you ask?

    1. Why won’t you negotiate contract extensions with players during the season? You’re losing an exclusive window!
    2. Are you willing to go above MLB’s suggested bonuses to sign draft picks?
    3. Speaking of draft picks, why didn’t you at least see if the Mets offered Tom Glavine arbitration before giving this year’s first rounder to a division rival?
    4. Can the Braves partner with the city of Atlanta to revitalize the neighborhood around Turner Field?

    5) How long have you run BravesJournal? How many “readers” do you have?

    I started ten years ago this April. I’m not sure about the reader level, but it’s about 1100 a day according to my public site tracker.

  70. 70
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Mac,

    That’s a fantastic interview. Too bad they didn’t see fit to actually use more of it. But that would entail non-simplification and we all know that is not permitted.

  71. 71
    Remy Says:

    When John Le Carré was asked what it felt like to see one of his novels made into a movie, he responded, “It’s a lot like seeing an oxen made into a bouillion cube.” Thanks, Mac, for providing the full context.

  72. 72
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Mac, I think all of that is spot-on. Great job.

  73. 73
    csg Says:

    so blow up a team that 5-9? wow, this team is causing all of us to lose our minds. Its 14 games and we have Moylan, Soriano, Hampton, and Gonzo on the DL. Glavine and KJ are hurting and no one besides Chipper and Yunel arent hitting. The guys cant keep playing as bad as they are and cant stay as unlucky either.

    The Marlins scored two runs on a bloop single that landed three feet between Yunel, KJ, and Kotsay

  74. 74
    Stu Says:

    Francoeur has actually hit pretty well, too, csg. I’d take a full-season OPS+ of 120 from him in a heartbeat.

  75. 75
    Stu Says:

    Oh, and McCann has an OPS+ of 133.

  76. 76
    csg Says:

    yeah he has had a few bright moments – Ill give him some credit too.

  77. 77
    Alex R. Says:

    Mac,

    Great interview – and even though they butchered your conversation down to one sentence, pretty cool that you were interviewed by Forbes Magazine. And ironic considering you don’t make a dime off this site.

  78. 78
    Grst Says:

    Nice interview Mac. I notice even where they didn’t quote you much they used some of your ideas in other parts of the article.

    I don’t personally have any opinion of the new ownership yet as I don’t see much cause for judgment either way. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to at least see Malone indicate that he’s not afraid to spend some decent money on payroll. But as someone else said, whether or not we can lock up Teix will put that sentiment to the test.

  79. 79
    ryan c Says:

    i want to offer up a question: could josh anderson be our leadoff hitter? he makes contact, walks a lot, and has speed. would it be too much to ask kj to move to the 8 hole and kick kotsuck to the curb? i understand that josh is basically a singles hitter, but with escobar, chipper, and tex behind him, what else do we need? i like his speed and defense that he brings to the table, not to mention he had a solid debut for the ‘stros last year, a good spring, and a good start to the year in richmond.

  80. 80
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I should add that if Terwilliger had bought the team, it would have been a disaster, considering the collapse of the housing market.

  81. 81
    Alex R. Says:

    I’m with ryan c. I have a feeling if Kotsay keeps this up and Josh keeps getting on base, the Braves will have to look at this as an option.

    Yeah, if he keeps getting on base, even if it’s singles, who cares?

  82. 82
    Remy Says:

    This is off topic, but has anyone used a Kindle to keep track of this and other blogs while at the ballpark?

  83. 83
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Wait — Josh Anderson doesn’t walk a lot, as evidenced by his career .337 minor league OBP or his 152 walks in 2785 career minor league PA.

  84. 84
    Smitty Says:

    Mac is like famous.

    I agree about Aramark. They suck

  85. 85
    Alex R. Says:

    AAR,

    I maybe venturing off into crazy land trying to argue with arguably one of the smartest guys on here, but despite a mediocre career OBP, Ryan C. and I are simply looking at the fact that he’s kicking butt in Richmond, and what does it hurt to call him and give him the chance to fail in Atlanta.

    I distinctly remember that almost no one on here had any confidence in “Pablo” when he was called up last year, and there’s no one left on Bravesjournal who isn’t happy as a lamb with him.

    I fully admit to being less of a Bill james disciple than most everyone on here, but I am simply keeping this black & white, looking at Josh’s current output, and figuring with a reasonable measure of confidence, that if called up to start in CF, he could (at the very, very least) do BETTER than Kotsay.

    I mean, Anderson may not be great, but I’m just asking the general board question, would he really be worse than Kotsay? Me thinks not.

  86. 86
    Alex R. Says:

    I would also add that beggars can’t be choosers either.

    Right now, we have 2 players of our 8 starting offensive players (Pablo and Chipper) who are consistently performing so far. Francouer has been OK, and everyone else has been average to below average to awful.

    And considering the way Kelly is handling the leadoff spot, again, would trying Anderson out there be worse right now?

  87. 87
    Tony Says:

    Man that Escobar sure is a good player…I remember someone saying that last year. I see streaky KJ is up to his old tricks.

  88. 88
    ububba Says:

    Reality Check: We are not blowing up this team after a 5-9 start. C’mon…

    Forbes piece: Good job, Mac.

    And it’s nice to see that they didn’t take your one response out of context. (Nothing makes me crazier.) Not surprised they used that bit in the story.

    Re: Stadium Chow
    doubledawg,
    For the most part, the food at both NYC stadiums is sheer brutality, Shea being worse in the options department. (I’m sure it will be different next year.) At least at Yankee Stadium, you can get decent Chinese food—but there’s only one vendor for it.

    Speaking of which, I’m headed to The Bronx for a little Sawx/Yanks action tonight. If it becomes another 4-hour, football game like last night, my pals & I may end up draining the stadium’s supply of Beck’s.

    If anything stupid happens—and it will—I’ll have the blow-by-blow details.

  89. 89
    Smitty Says:

    Why not let Escobar bat first?

    I think McCann is havnig a solid year.

  90. 90
    ryan c Says:

    aar, you’re right. i dont know what i was thinking when i said he gets on base often. something in my brain thought josh was a good on base guy. that’s why one should do research before spatting off.

  91. 91
    basil Says:

    Let us seek solace in the misfortune of former Braves:

    The Vulture has given up four homeruns in 9 IP.

  92. 92
    CharlesP Says:

    Yeah Basil… but Edgar is back up to .300 and hit a grandslam yesterday. Heck even Andruw is raising his average a bit the last couple days… he may hit over .200 this year.

  93. 93
    Another Alex R. Says:

    Alex, thanks for the compliment, but I’d never presume to tell you what to think — you have your opinions and you’re entitled to them!

    I was definitely way wrong on Yunel, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I love him to death. I think Anderson is more of a known quantity, though — he has about 3 times as many minor league PA, and his offensive numbers are much worse than Yunel’s. Actually, Yunel hit well in the minors; I think most people were just expecting the bubble to burst when he hit the majors, and it simply hasn’t. On the other hand, while Anderson plays lovely defense, burns up the basepaths, and appears to hit for a nice average, he doesn’t really draw walks or have any power, and he’d be on the team already if he hadn’t been outplayed by Gregor Blanco in spring training.

  94. 94
    Alex R. Says:

    AAR,

    Your welcome!

    Let me boil this down to a simpler, direct question – do you think Anderson is better or worse than Kotsay? Just between those two guys, I think Anderson would be better.

  95. 95
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I don’t think there’s any difference in quality. It’s like comparing wormy apples and rotten oranges.

  96. 96
    csg Says:

    here you go, Tejada actually two years older than believed

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080417&content_id=2540641&vkey=news_hou&fext=.jsp&c_id=hou&partnered=rss_hou

  97. 97
    Stu Says:

    Actually, Yunel hit well in the minors; I think most people were just expecting the bubble to burst when he hit the majors, and it simply hasn’t.

    The power issue—namely, he didn’t show much in the minors—was why it took me so long to jump on the Secular Ebony bandwagon. I didn’t doubt that he could “hit”.

  98. 98
    Alex R. Says:

    Su, don’t you mean ‘Cruel Soybean’?

  99. 99
    Stu Says:

    No. New thread, by the way.

  100. 100
    Kyle James Says:

    100th comment hot damn! Well I saw some posts earlier, no ways could i read though all these, about Bobby yelling… well word at the start of the game tonight is that Bobby had a closed door meeting before the game. Maybe he lit them up?

    So far so good as Chipper just hit a 2B to drive Yunel in to open the game 1-0!

Leave a Reply

© 2014 Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built | Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)

GPS Reviews and news from GPS Gazettewordpress logo