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22 Feb

Jonny Venters

Another amazing season from Everyday Jonny, though he, like Kimbrel, ran out of gas at the end of the season, posting a 5.11 ERA and a .424 OBP in September. I’m a bit concerned about Venters, as it was his second major league season and he’s older, and he’s worn down as the season has gone on both years. Okay, he led the league in appearances, with 85, but 85 appearances and 88 innings is not that many. At any rate, you’d prefer that he get more rest but if you keep playing close games you’re going to need your best reliever. For the first four months of the season, he’s the best reliever in baseball.

Venters throws a devastating sinking fastball that some say is the best pitch in baseball, mixing in a slider. Thanks to the sinker, he had a 70 percent ground ball rate, which is the sort of thing that helps a lot. He normally also has good control — until he gets tired after several days of use or at the end of the year, when he starts pitching behind and walking people. I mentioned the September OBP above; the elevated walk rate in the second half really stands out, but it was almost all from that month.

Some people want Venters to displace Kimbrel as the closer because, well, as good as Kimbrel was last year Venters is better. But this arrangement, using the best reliever as an eighth-inning man (whom you can bring in at other times if necessary) is probably closer to optimal than using your best man as the closer. It’s a nice problem to have… Second in the league in holds. Unsurprisingly, the Braves led the league in that pseudo-category, as O’Flaherty was fourth.

Jonny Venters Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com.

126 Responses to “Jonny Venters”

  1. 1
    sansho1 Says:

    It may not be that great a workload, but if it wears him down it wears him down. Here’s hoping replacing the Scotts with a couple of live arms will help spread out the late-inning chores just a little bit more.

  2. 2
    Smitty Says:

    A healthy Moylan and Medlin would help him a lot.

  3. 3
    Marc Schneider Says:

    A few more 8-1 wins would help as well.

  4. 4
    ryan c Says:

    There are too many great arms trying to make the Braves’ pen to be anything but balanced. The only problem lies in trusting those other 3 great young arms to do the job. I’m glad management didn’t go buy “leadership” this winter and looks to be relying on the ridiculous pitching depth that already lies within the organization. I think that decision is at least a year late and probably cost us a playoff berth last year.

  5. 5
    Smitty Says:

    @4,

    I agree. I think not getting another RH arm for the pen was a huge mistake.

  6. 6
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Previously on Buffy…

    @114 – ok, Sam – is Fredi a good manager, an average manager, or a poor manager?

    Fredi is an average tactical/in-game manager who seems to have decent people management skills, though it’s early to tell in Atlanta, obviously.

    Fredi Gonzalez doesn’t win or lose more than 2 games a year, either way. He just holds the keel steady.

  7. 7
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I largely agree with Sam, primarily because I think all managers pretty much manage alike. I think he bunts too much and so forth but most managers do that, especially now that offense has returned to a more normal level. This isn’t so much to defend Fredi but just to say I don’t think there is enough variation among managerial styles to say that Fredi is some enormous outlier. I mean, what was so great about Tony LaRussa? He got this reputation because he was making move after move but so what? For that matter, what was so great about Bobby Cox’s in-game managing?

  8. 8
    Adam R Says:

    I agree that Fredi doesn’t have a big impact one way or another. But it shouldn’t go without saying: the Braves aren’t built to have the luxury of leaving as many as two games on the table (See 2011).

    One of these days, some team is going to take the risk and find a truly SABR-friendly manager that maximizes strategic opportunities, and maybe that team will be fortunate enough to also be visibly successful, maybe even as a result of those in-game decisions or broader philosophical approach (bunting, SBs, etc). Is there a bigger inefficiency out there to exploit at this point?

  9. 9
    justhank Says:

    Bobby Cox was one of the worst in-game managers I’ve ever seen. I mean, Bill Curry bad.

    But he was a superb leader in the sense that he established high standards and enforced those standards up and down the organization.

    I don’t think last year’s collapse happens with Cox at the helm – he was such a steadying influence that the paralyzing panic that seemed to overtake the team would not have been allowed.

    Hopefully, Fredi learned a thing or two from last year and won’t make the same mistakes again.

  10. 10
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    One of these days, some team is going to take the risk and find a truly SABR-friendly manager that maximizes strategic opportunities, and maybe that team will be fortunate enough to also be visibly successful, maybe even as a result of those in-game decisions or broader philosophical approach (bunting, SBs, etc). Is there a bigger inefficiency out there to exploit at this point?

    If there was a glaring inefficiency there to maximize, Epstein or Beane would have done so by now. There’s just no evidence that managers win you that many games, tactically. They’re managers, not players. Chris Jaffe did yoeman’s work on the subject a few years ago. Wrote a book and everything.

  11. 11
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I love Jaffe’s book. I reviewed it and use it a lot.

    The basic point is, the conventional wisdom may be true: a bad manager may be able to hurt you more than a good answer can help you.

  12. 12
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The basic point is, the conventional wisdom may be true: a bad manager may be able to hurt you more than a good answer can help you.

    Luckily we don’t have a bad manager.

  13. 13
    Marc Schneider Says:

    The problem with SABR managing is that the differences in probabilities manifest themselves over a long season rather than in a particular game. In any given game, making the “correct” move increases the chances of success only very marginally. Even over the course of a season, I doubt you would see that much difference between a SABR-managed team and a conventionally-managed team because strategy is, I think, a very small part of winning baseball games. The impact of SABR comes in the construction of the team.

  14. 14
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @13 – Bravo!

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

    We may not have a bad manager. I think the jury’s out.

    I do think he improved tactically toward the end of the year, but then he presided over the worst collapse in franchise history.

    He appears not to have lost the ear of the clubhouse, which is crucial. We’ll have to see how they come out of the gate in April, and more importantly, whether they lose gas in June like usual, or stay strong through August and September. Then we’ll know if he can actually bring out their best.

    I’m prepared to reserve my ultimate judgment, but right now I’m not optimistic.

  16. 16
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    We may not have a bad manager. I think the jury’s out

    See, that’s a reasonable and fair position.

  17. 17
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Oh, by the way, “Yay Jonny Venters!”

  18. 18
    PaulV Says:

    When someone asked Venters if another LHP had a sinker like his, he said EO’F

  19. 19
    Ethan Says:

    Ohh Chipper

    Maybe his undershirt is scrunched up?…the wind could be playing tricks?…he’s wearing a weighted flak jacket for core strength?

    I’m open to anything

  20. 20
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @19 – Even if he’s fat (for his normal form) he’ll be no less than the third best hitter on the team.

  21. 21
    DJ Says:

    @19 – the first comment on Deadspin said ‘I Now Pronounce You Chunky Larry’. That made me laugh.

  22. 22
    Smitty Says:

    @19

    Hitting the BRAAIIINS to hard

  23. 23
    Johnny Says:

    ‘Some people want Venters to displace Kimbrel as the closer because, well, as good as Kimbrel was last year Venters is better.’

    I wonder if the Braves even realize that they are using their best reliever in higher leverage situations. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

  24. 24
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I bet the Braves realize they’re using their top three relievers in roles all three are comfortable in.

  25. 25
    csg Says:

    Anyone see this Beachy trade rumor?

    http://whitesoxdaily.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/white-sox-interested-in-brandon-beachy/

  26. 26
    Johnny Says:

    #24 – Yeah, I should have said ‘I wonder if the Braves know that its against LaRussa rule #1 to use their best reliever in any role than closer.’ One would hope that the Braves know that they are getting maximum utility out of Venters in his current role.

  27. 27
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Why would we want Ramirez and L’ilbridge? But at least interest in them makes sense. I can’t imagine we’d have any interest at all in Gavin Floyd.

  28. 28
    sansho1 Says:

    I don’t think there’s any predictive value in choosing one or the other to close. It’s a coin flip as to who would be better in a given year.

  29. 29
    MikeM Says:

    @25

    Ugh, no thanks.

  30. 30
    Stu Says:

    27—Shortstop and versatile outfielder. That kind of deal would make sense. Yeah, the one with Floyd makes no sense.

  31. 31
    ububba Says:

    Given the staff’s physical issues, maybe we should be hanging onto a relatively proven starter who can actually perform.

  32. 32
    csg Says:

    #31 – Yep, agree

  33. 33
    ububba Says:

    More potentially damaging Madoff-related allegations about Mets ownership. A Federal trial could begin during Spring Training & run into the season. Tough times for Mets fans.

    http://tinyurl.com/89k4j6q

  34. 34
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    If Chipper is fat, I wouldn’t mind being that fat.

  35. 35
    Kevin Lee Says:

    I think Fredi always adheres to Asimov’s 3 Laws of Baseball Management:

    1.A manager may not lose a ballgame or, through inaction, allow a ballgame to be lost.
    2.A manager must obey the orders as directed by “the Book”, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    3.A manager must protect his own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

    Sure miss Dr. Ike.

  36. 36
    Seat Painter Says:

    Back last May through the All Star Break, I would await each VDA (Venters Daily Appearence) with glee, because I *KNEW* when he’d throw that Bugs Bunny sinker, making the best right handed batters alive look foolish, I would get to go to sleep that night giggling like a school girl.

    Now if I can just convince Mrs. Seat Painter of that, my marriage may get back to normal….

  37. 37
    Mac Thomason Says:

    The Science Channel is rerunning the “Prophets of Science Fiction” episode on Asimov tonight.

  38. 38
    ububba Says:

    And don’t forget the Hawks (minus Iso-Joe) vs Linsanity at MSG tonight.

  39. 39
    Nick Says:

    Incidentally, the All-Star break cannot possibly come soon enough for the Hawks. The main goal should be to keep the wheels from falling off the wagon in these last two games tonight and tomorrow night. They are falling apart in every way imaginable, both on the court and in the locker room. You have Marvin Williams complaining that his offensive skillset isn’t being properly used (which, by the way, if he could come up with a stand-up routine built around that, he’d be golden), Tracy McGrady complaining about playing time (never mind the fact that if he played any more, his freaking legs would probably fall off) and Joe Johnson injured and sniping at those two and head coach Larry Drew. Combine that with their abysmal play right now, and it’s a hell of a mess.

  40. 40
    Smitty Says:

    @31

    I agree, unless we feel confident that Hudson returns in May and two of they young guys can step up.

  41. 41
    jjschiller Says:

    @25- With the kind of unsubstantiated rumors (and blatant speculation delivered as rumors) that gets regurgitated at MLBTR, I can not put any stock in to anything that they do NOT see fit to reproduce.

  42. 42
    PeteOrr Says:

    That White Sox Daily site is pretty terrible too. The guy that runs it is only occasionally capable of forming complete sentences, and his reasoning is AJC commenter-level bad. The thesis of the piece below the Beachy rumor is that, if a full 1/4th of the Sox’ roster performs up to unrealistic fan expectations, they could challenge the Tigers for the division.

  43. 43
    PaulV Says:

    Great McCann story from left side of page

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120221&content_id=26774266&vkey=news_atl&c_id=atl&partnerId=rss_atl

  44. 44
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Nice find, Paul. I’d love to know more about this:

    Eric O’Flaherty believes he might have already been out of baseball had he not gained the chance to work with McCann after being released by the Mariners before the 2009 season. Last year, O’Flaherty became the first pitcher in Major League history to record a sub 1.00 ERA while making at least 70 appearances in a season.

    “He saved my career, definitely,” O’Flaherty said. “I say that not because he’s my friend or anything, but because it is legit. From the moment I started pitching for the Braves, he told me I should move to the other side of the rubber for a different angle. He just gives me real feedback. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything. He’s honest and he’s passionate about it.”

    I mean, seriously, O’Failurety has been one of the best relievers in baseball over the last two years. If Brian McCann is part of the reason for his success… then everyone is massively underrating him, including us. He’s basically Leo Mazzone and Dale Murphy.

  45. 45
    csg Says:

    Bmac worked with EOF right after Mac wrote this bit on 04/04/2009.

    “O’Flaherty makes the roster over Logan in the battle of the incompetent LOOGY candidates.”

  46. 46
    PaulV Says:

    It is easy to root for player who work to improve their game as well as teammates whi help them. McCann has earned the trust of staff and will make a great pitching coach or manager. I hope that Chipper will be a big help to batting coaches this year.
    Many natural hitters cannot teach their skills, but CJ is good student of hitting and may help others.
    Mac was right when he made those comments.

  47. 47
    kc Says:

    Mac, 85 appearances and 88 innings may not sound too much, but it may possibly be his limit if he is showing consistent trend the last two seasons.

  48. 48
    kc Says:

    Finally someone taught Fredi that neither Teheran nor Delgado should be considered as bullpen option.

  49. 49
    James Says:

    I do find it funny that Fredi will occasionally trot out spectacularly terrible ideas only to fully reverse course on them after the front office has presumably told him that the complete opposite was going to happen.

  50. 50
    kc Says:

    @49 Fredi only thinks from the major league club point of view and wants the best 25-players on his roster. He has a simple brain.

  51. 51
    desert Says:

    Fredi Gonzalez doesn’t win or lose more than 2 games a year, either way. He just holds the keel steady.

    So… 2 wins either way is 4 wins total, correct? A consistent 4.0 WAR player gets anywhere from 15 million to 20 million on this market. I don’t think baseball has realized it yet, but yes, optimal strategy is going to make a difference in the game. The M’s are planning to hit Chone Figgins at the top of the lineup, and for however long he’s a regular, he will get more at-bats than anybody else in that lineup. You can’t argue that doesn’t hurt the team.

    Another way to look at it is that a typical replacement team of quad-A players is going to win around 45 games in the Majors. The average team in the majors wins 81 games, so around 36 wins above a replacement team. If a manager can turn 4 losses into wins, that represents an 11% increase in wins, or anywhere from a 10% to 70% jump in playoff chances (depending on where on the win curve that team is). That, to me, is significant, and imparts more on the relevance of the manager than saying ‘just 2 wins either way’.
    47,

    Agreed, but I think the argument goes both ways. Relievers have constantly achieved such random results and fluctuated from season to season, so do you ride them out when they’re performing well? Or, are Venters and Kimbrel unlike your typical reliever (and are ‘special’), and you should take care of them for the next few seasons and watch their inning load? Then again, there have only been a handful of consistent ‘shutdown’ relievers in the history of the game, and the chance of Kimbrel and Venters staying in that class is very small.

    Either way, we’re setting Kimbrel up for a tremendous payday come a few season. Ladies and gentlemen, your $15 million/year relief pitcher for the Atlanta Braves!!!

    50,

    I sure hope so.

  52. 52
    DougM66 Says:

    If the White Sox offered Ramirez, a good hitting decent fielding shortstop, and Lillibridge, a decent hitting very good fielding outfielder (he’s not the same type of player as he was with the Braves), for Beachy, the Braves would have to make that deal. What’s the point in having a surplus of starting pitching if it isn’t used to fill needs in the major league club?

  53. 53
    desert Says:

    52,

    Oh… I think that if the White Sox offer a straight Ramirez for Beachy deal, the Braves should agree to it immediately (and Beachy currently holds the title of desert’s favorite Brave). Ramirez will probably be a top-5 shortstop next year. That’s absolutely worth Beachy.

    That being said, I also predict Beachy to be top-5 in NL Cy Young voting this year. So take my ill-founded logic for what it is.

  54. 54
    Mac Thomason Says:

    L’ilbridge had a great year last year, but he was 27 and his career major league slash line is still .220/.290/.381. His PECOTA projection is .225/.302/.375.

  55. 55
    urlhix Says:

    I’d just as soon keep Beachy. That guy is a stud with Bruce Lee forearms. Consider me a fan. And hedging the bet, we’re gonna get hurt at the SP position. Why limit your options with the cheap talent that we have.

    The quote that has stuck with me from the article the other day was Birdman saying, paraphrasing here, that we needed to give these guys another chance. Couldn’t agree more.

  56. 56
    sansho1 Says:

    @55

    I totally agree. If this rotation is long on live arms, it’s short on individual reliability — Beachy is the one front-line starter we have who has no current health or durability concerns. He’s seemed like a horse from day one.

  57. 57
    spike Says:

    Freeman article from Kahrl…

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/21037/which-way-is-freddie-freeman-headed

  58. 58
    kc Says:

    The Hawks suck.

  59. 59
    Ethan Says:

    The Hawks always suck

  60. 60
    desert Says:

    The Hawks have always sucked and will always suck.

    Now I want to read The Once and Future King again.

  61. 61
    kc Says:

    @55 I agree. I would rather trade Delgado, Minor or even Hanson or JJ before I consider trading Beachy.

  62. 62
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    So… 2 wins either way is 4 wins total, correct? A consistent 4.0 WAR player

    1. No. 2 wins, max. Not 2+2 wins.

    2. Trying to translate a SWAG of 2 (or 4) managerial wins into WAR is just absurd on its face. This fetishistic fascination with WAR will be the death of me, one day.

  63. 63
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Agreed, with the idea that the multiple injury problems (Hudson’s back, Hanson’s shoulder, Jurrjens’ toe/knee) make dealing a starter more difficult than previously assumed.

    Agreed, with the idea that Brandon Beachy is a valuable player and shouldn’t be traded lightly.

    Noted, otherwise, that Beachy is this year’s fan favorite and is thus being overvalued and over projected by the faithful. He’s a fine, fine starting pitcher who came out of nowhere last year, but like Brent Lillibridge’s super-special 27 year old break out season, wisdom suggests that we not assume he’ll be a Cy Young candidate until he actually maintains that level for a while.

  64. 64
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Anyone that says the Hawks suck obviously hasn’t watched the Wizards.

    I’m not statistician and I do appreciate the advanced statistics. But, IMO, the problem with adding or subtracting wins based on strategy, to me, is the fact that so much of baseball is random. You can make the wrong move and have it work out and vice versa. For example, you have a guy on first, no outs. SABR theory would say don’t bunt. Our guy bunts. So, runner on second, one out. Third guy hits a home run for two runs. Arguably, if you hadn’t bunted, the second guy gets on base and you score three runs instead of two. But it’s also possible that the second guy hits into a double play so you score one run. Over the course of the year, I agree it makes sense to generally not bunt in that situation. But, as far as translating that into wins, I think that’s a lot more treacherous because you don’t really know when the “right” move would have backfired or the wrong move work. It’s true that two wins can make the difference between making or not making the playoffs. But there are so many games in a baseball season that could go either way depending on the bounce of the ball or an umpire’s call or any number of random factors. You can be the best manager in the world and the shortstop boots a double play ball and you lose the game. Or you can be the worst manager, make a really stupid decision and someone hits a home run to win. I just don’t think you can isolate a manager’s value into winning or losing a particular number of games because there are so many factors that go into winning or losing. And, really, while you can say another two games would have gotten the Braves in the playoffs, it shouldn’t have even mattered, with a 10 game lead. If they play .500 ball, they make it easily.

  65. 65
    Johnny Says:

    #25 – I don’t see it. Not becuase it doesn’t make sense but because of Ramirez’s contract going forward.

    I would trade Beachy for the right player or package of prospects. Yeah he has nice peripherals and a MLB resume but at least one of Medlen, Teheran or Delgado or Vizcaino for that matter could provide at least 80% of his value.

    So how does an organization acquire that level of pitching potential fail at finding and developing a dang left fielder?

  66. 66
    Johnny Says:

    Lillibridge
    Home .269 .369 .519
    Away .244 .300 .488

  67. 67
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Ramirez’s contract is pretty good for a player of his quality… but yes, the Braves would probably need some cash to offset it.

    Unlike a lot of White Sox, he hit better on the road.

    I don’t think there’s anything to this rumor, really, though I’d like to get Ramirez.

  68. 68
    Smitty Says:

    @67

    I agree. Could we throw Pastornicky in for the cash value?

  69. 69
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Smitty,

    Why do we think Pastornicky will be less useful at the major league level, in total, than Brent Lillibridge?

  70. 70
    Johnny Says:

    I think he means Pastornicky would be the SS the Sox need to replace Ramirez and we get cash. At least thats the way I read it.

  71. 71
    Smitty Says:

    @70,

    Yes.

    Plus, I think Lillibridge might be more diverse and could open up a slot to trade Prado in the future.

  72. 72
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Ah. I see the point now.

  73. 73
    MikeM Says:

    Trivia note: The Braves have not had a player rack up 100 rbi in a season since 2007 when Chipper & Francoeur(!) did it. In fact, only 3 times has a brave topped 80 rbi since then (Uggla last year & McCann ’08/’09).

    So I ask the wisdom of the board: Will anybody on this team get 100 this year?

  74. 74
    ububba Says:

    If we get guys on base…

  75. 75
    PaulV Says:

    Getting 100 rbis is tough sitting out 20% of games.

  76. 76
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    If Bourn gets on base and either Heyward, Chipper or Uggla hit reasonably well over the course of 140 games, they would have a shot at 100 RBI. If Bourn does not get on base, they don’t have good seasons with the bat, or they lose time to injury, the will not.

    McCann will miss too many games resting to have a reasonable shot at 100.

  77. 77
    PaulV Says:

    So will Chipper, I am afraid. Who will get on base enough to bat second?

  78. 78
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    If Prado is healthy and returns to form, he could get on in front of the sluggers to contribute to someone’s 100 RBI.

    The best bet for 100 RBI seasons are Heyward, Uggla or Freeman, depending on their offensive years.

  79. 79
    Smitty Says:

    I think Uggla has the best shot at 100 RBI

  80. 80
    Ethan Says:

    @79

    I agree. He’ll probably mash 30+ HR, which is a good start. Hitting cleanup will help. Mostly though, it’ll depend on his BA. If he can hit above .250, I’ll feel pretty good about his chances.

  81. 81
    Marc Schneider Says:

    See, it just shows we should not have traded Francoeur. He is a true RBI man! He produces runs! His average is low but he is Mr. Clutch! (Did I miss any cliches?)

  82. 82
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    He’s a great teammate and brings energy to the clubhouse.

  83. 83
    PaulV Says:

    Did anyone know Warren Spahn had to sue when a biography said he was rewarded a bronze star in WW2?

    http://volokh.com/2012/02/22/emotional-distress-knowing-lies-warren-spahn-and-the-bronze-star/

    I had a baseball card with WS posed
    throwing a hand grenade

  84. 84
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I think it’s very admirable that Spahn did not want to be portrayed as a hero when he was not–although you could say anyone that endured the Battle of the Bulge was a hero. Although, I have read that Spahn was rather tight with money so perhaps he saw a chance to make a few bucks. Still, how many people would be upset about falsehoods that made them look better?

  85. 85
    PaulV Says:

    Many WW2 vets did not talk about their experiences. WA had much to be proud of and did not need false claims about him. The article was about Stolen Valor Law and Spahn case is one of the few cases about issue

  86. 86
    Johnny Says:

    That particular generation did not glorify their service. My dad although not a WW2 vet served in combat in Korea and Vietnam though you wouldn’t know it unless you asked him what he did during his service career.
    I am kind of hoping that Freeman will have empty bases because Chipper, Heyward, McCann and Uggla will have taken care of business.

    #82 LOL.

  87. 87
    Ethan Says:

    Yay! Chipper got un-fat!

  88. 88
    ububba Says:

    Another Brave with a distinguished military career: Hank Gowdy.

    Growing up an Army brat in Columbus, Ga., I actually played some games at Gowdy Field in nearby Ft. Benning.

    The park was named after the former Boston Braves catcher/1914 World Series star, who was the first major leaguer to sign up for WW1, where he saw action. When WW2 rolled around, he re-enlisted (in his 40s) & he was assigned to Ft. Benning.

  89. 89
    justhank Says:

    My father-in-law had two (TWO!) ships sunk beneath his feet in the Pacific.

    It’s like pulling teeth to get him to talk about it.
    ————–

    I need some help. The Hawks have often frustrated me through the years, but I actively hate this team.

    And only three weeks ago I was talking about how they were playing with heart, energy and selflessness.

    So, either I was on acid or they went completely self-absorbed overnight. It’s like they had a team meeting and said “this selfless, defense-playing, rebounding bullshit has got to stop. We’re the Hawks, after all.”

    I literally want to buy tickets behind their bench to heckle them Donald Sterling style.

    Is it me?

  90. 90
    ububba Says:

    There was a time when the Hawks were my very favorite Atlanta professional sports team (the Hubie Brown & Mike Fratello Eras), but I learned how to manage expectations, kinda like I do with the Falcons.

    By the time the Lenny Wilkens Era began to tease us with 50+ win seasons, I knew better. So I wasn’t so bummed when they’d make their annual 2nd round exit.

    Don’t go crazy. This bunch will never win big.

    #89
    Best School Project Ever: At UGA, I took a military history class & the main assignment was to interview a veteran. Super easy for me, growing up in the Land of the Army Retiree, so I talked to a close friend of the family.

    His story: During the Nuremberg Trials, he was part of the detail that guarded the Nazi war criminals, including Herman Goering.

    Because Goering ended up cheating the hangman—with help from a US officer—he related the experience with a decidedly bitter tone. But, of course, I got a helluva story out of it.

  91. 91
    oldtimer? Says:

    Justthank, my grandfather was sunk twice in the Pacific as well. He never spoke about anything he did out there expect playing pranks with the guys and that kind of stuff.

  92. 92
    sansho1 Says:

    My grandfather wouldn’t talk about it, either, even if you asked. That’s what the VFW was for, I guess. The one exception was the time he called my mother after seeing Saving Private Ryan — he’d been an Army pilot, mostly in north Africa, but he was sent to Normandy to fly support missions post-invasion. There are scenes in the movie in which the squad calls for air support, and he told her that was him up there.

  93. 93
    John Gaines Says:

    I’ll be damned.. Ryan Braun won his appeal.

    #stilladouche

  94. 94
    desert Says:

    This fetishistic fascination with WAR will be the death of me, one day.

    I’m not too surprised that reason and logic will be involved in your death one day, Sam.

  95. 95
    Stu Says:

    93—This has positive fantasy implications for J-Deez Nuts.

  96. 96
    mravery Says:

    @91-
    Now that I think about it, my grandfather was mostly the same way. He was in the Pacfic doing something with the medical core, but the only things I ever heard him talk about were joke/prank things.

    Guess it’s just tough to talk about that sort of thing.

  97. 97
    Smitty Says:

    @93

    Big shock. He disputed that protocol had not been followed.

  98. 98
    Mike N. Says:

    My Grandpa was in the Corps of Engineers in Italy during WWII. I never got to talk to him about it (I was only 9 when he died) but my dad says he never heard any interesting stories from him. Either he got lucky and didn’t see anything bad or he just wouldn’t share it with anyone at all.

  99. 99
    PaulV Says:

    Survivor can access military records somewhere. I will ask my cousin. Her dad did not weigh enough to join Army Air Force so he did radar work in Navy.

  100. 100
    ryan c Says:

    Oh Mikey…
    http://atlanta.sbnation.com/atlanta-braves/2012/2/23/2820271/mike-minor-atlanta-braves-trade

  101. 101
    c. shorter Says:

    100 — Not good. Not something that the Braves tend to smile upon.

  102. 102
    braves14 Says:

    My grandfather was in WWII and also would not talk about it other than playing cards on a boat out in the Pacific.

  103. 103
    MikeM Says:

    Boo, Minor. Boo.

  104. 104
    kc Says:

    @103 I can understand his frustration, but this is simply not smart on his part.

  105. 105
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Yeah. I agree with Minor but I wish he’d kept it in the clubhouse. He’s gonna get an earful from Chipper Jones.

  106. 106
    urlhix Says:

    Well, it was fun having you as an Atlanta Brave. Hope you enjoy your time in Pearl, Mississipi, not-so-minor-moron.

  107. 107
    PaulV Says:

    http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

    The website to get military records

  108. 108
    Johnny Says:

    The dumbass just lowered his trade value. I understand his frustration too. but this aint the way to work this issue.

  109. 109
    kc Says:

    They should send him to minor league camp now.

  110. 110
    Ethan Says:

    Obviously the Vandy education speaking (I keed Stu/Parish, I keed)

    I agree with him as well. He’s probably going to have 10 or starts to prove he belongs. If he’s pitching well he’ll stays; if he isn’t he’ll go down. He admitted his much when he added the qualifier about his 3rd/4th pitches working. Hell, it’ll probably be a moot point because someone else will get hurt.

    Regardless, he should know the media rules by now. It’s like the Chipper situation when he spoke of ARod answering for himself because he played in the steroid era, and then the New York media had a field day. They will always construe comments in the most sensational manner possible.

  111. 111
    Adam M Says:

    His comments don’t exactly constitute “an ultimatum.” He’s basically saying that he thinks he belongs, which is how he should feel–I doubt it means that he’s dogging it. He took a little too far, true, but it’s neither a big deal nor something that can’t be handled in house.

    The Braves’ real problem remains offense and the health of the top of the rotation. No need to create another one.

  112. 112
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I’m not too surprised that reason and logic will be involved in your death one day, Sam.

    This is the funny thing. You honestly thing that a mindless devotion to WAR is based on “reason and logic.” This is why you don’t understand baseball very well.

    WAR doesn’t add much to the larger understanding of baseball, except for children who don’t understand baseball to begin with.

  113. 113
    sdp Says:

    I agree with Minor’s sentiment, but that’s a poor way of handling it. He’s probably punched his ticket.

    He’s frustrated and he knows Gilmartin is hot on his heels. I’m sure his teammates understand that aspect of feeling expendable and like a pawn, but he can’t talk like that without yet earning his keep.

    Chipper’s gonna whip out his belt.

  114. 114
    desert Says:

    It’s been nice, Minor. Looking forward to the Gavin Floyd/Lillibridge for Minor deal (yuck).

  115. 115
    sansho1 Says:

    Are we sure that there’s no going back from not really requesting a trade? Isn’t the real story from today the fact that Fredi puffed out his cheeks to act like fat Chipper, but nobody got the joke so he did it again?

  116. 116
    csg Says:

    This is what can happen when you have 8 or 9 legitimate starters. Someone is going to get left out and feel like they arent appreciated. Oh well Mikey, that was stupid on your part.

  117. 117
    c. shorter Says:

    Generally, I don’t think it was a wise to speak out like that. Ultimately, though, I don’t think it means he’s on his way out. By all counts he will start the year in the rotation. We’ll see what happens from there.

  118. 118
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Well… no. Gilmartin isn’t hot on his heels. Neither is Vizcaino, in all honesty, because the team hasn’t shown any indication that they think Arodys is ready to start at the major league level. I doubt Minor has really lowered his trade value, either: he’s probably the best major league-ready LHP prospect in baseball after Matt Moore, and if the Braves want to shop him they’ll have a lot of salivating teams calling them up.

    The problem is that the Braves really don’t like it when guys take it to the media, and I worry that they’ll bury him to teach him a lesson. That would be cutting off their nose to spite their face, but it’s a possibility.

  119. 119
    spike Says:

    Please god, make everyone involved realize how this just needs to go away.

  120. 120
    sdp Says:

    My analysis is stupid.

  121. 121
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    The false drama aside, what Minor say here, “Overall, it’s not really – it’s about making the team, but if … I can control my third pitch and have a decent fourth pitch, then there’s no reason I shouldn’t pitch in the big leagues somewhere,” sort of eliminates the question of trading him.

    If Mike minor is controlling his third pitch and has a decent fourth pitch, he’s going to be successfully retiring major league hitters. And if Mike Minor is successfully retiring major league hitters, he’s going to be starting in Atlanta every fifth day.

  122. 122
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    The thing is, we suck at hitting and we have a billion pitchers. It would be great if we could, like, figure out how to give Minor a spot in the rotation and get someone who didn’t suck at hitting. I don’t doubt that Wren tried his hardest this offseason to make the team better. But it is insanely frustrating that we have superabundance at one position, which causes a major-league ready pitcher like Minor to stagnate, and an absolute black hole at shortstop and major question mark in left field.

  123. 123
    sansho1 Says:

    Well, he hasn’t stagnated yet. He’s been treated fairly. He is right, though, that a move will almost certainly have to be made at some point this season.

  124. 124
    kc Says:

    It almost seems like he does not have enough confidence in himself. If he pitches well enough, I am sure he would stay in the rotation ahead of Teheran and Delgado.

  125. 125
    Mac Thomason Says:

    New post.

  126. 126
    Marc Schneider Says:

    My father said very little about his time in WW2 except to relate amusing stories and that he hated standing in line for meals.

    Several years ago, I moved my mother into a retirement facility in Chattanooga. I saw a man wearing a 29th Infantry Division hat. I knew that the 29th (originally, I believe, a National Guard unit made up of men from Tennessee and Virginia) had been one of the assault units on Omaha Beach (which is portrayed in “Saving Private Ryan”). I asked him if he was there and he said he was although not in the first wave. But he said it was awful and he was grateful to be alive. He thanked me for asking, but, stupidly, I did not say what I should have–”No, thank you.”

    I don’t think the Braves will bury Minor just because of what he said. They may not like complainers but they also like to win. If Minor can pitch, he will pitch. Escobar was a completely different issue; his antics were hurting his (and the team’s) on-field performance. Despite what some seem to think, they didn’t trade him just to teach him a lessor or because the “good ol boys” didn’t like him.

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